Skryne’s show of strength at Croker

Meath’s 1949 All-Ireland-winning senior captain Brian Smyth this week enjoyed a nostalgic return to Croke Park accompanied by his fellow Skryne clubmen, including Liam Hayes and Trevor Giles, who all hold All-Ireland medals with the Royal County.

All seven of Meath’s All-Ireland-winning teams — 1949, 1954, 1967, 1987, 1988, 1996 and 1999 — have had representatives from the Skryne club and the visit to Croke Park was organised ahead of the launch of a book on the history of the club.

Joining Smyth at HQ were legendary full-back of the same era Paddy ‘Hands’ O’Brien, corner-back Micheal O’Brien and ’54 medal-winning midfielder Tom O’Brien.

Meath’s triumphant ’67 team saw forwards Paddy Mulvany and David Carty represent the club, as well as the late sub goalkeeper, Paddy Cromwell. Midfielder Hayes and corner-forward Colm O’Rourke were star players during the Sean Boylan era that yielded All-Ireland titles in ’87 and ’88 while midfielder John McDermott and sharpshooter Giles were part of the winning teams of the ’90s. Carty, O’Rourke, Hayes and Giles and the late Dinny Donnelly captained Meath to Leinster victories, while John McDermott was captain of the Irish International Rules team.

The Skryne group also visited the GAA Museum to view the medal collection and cap of the late ‘Man in the Cap’ Peter McDermott, who led the Royals to glory in ’54 and organised the groundbreaking trip to Australia for the 1976 team, the forerunner of today’s International Rules series.

Christy Cooney will launch ‘A History of the GAA in Skryne, 1887-2010; The Blue Kings of Tara’ at Killeen Castle Golf Club on Friday, March 30.

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