The following are the Sean Gael award winners for West Tipperary in 2012
(Cashel King Cormacs & Rosegreen)
Paddy O’Sullivan’s first involvement with the G.A.A. was in 1957 when he won a West under-15 rural championship with Rosegreen. This was followed by divisional minor championships with Cashel King Cormacs in 1959 and 1960, and an under-21 title in 1964. In between he was in London from 1961-1963 and won a league medal with the Brother Pearses.
He went on to win two senior medals with Cashel in 1965 and 1971 following which his hurling career was curtailed through a knee injury. He turned his attention to the administrative side of things and was club secretary in 1974 and 1975. Later he was a junior selector and senior selector over a number of years. He was also involved with juveniles. At different times during his life Paddy worked in Roscommon and Donegal and became involved in the promotion of the game in these counties.
When Rosegreen was revived in 1980 Paddy was involved with the club for a number of years but returned to Cashel King Cormacs at a later stage and is still very much involved especially in the area of selling lotto tickets. He is the current president of the club.
Paddy Verdon ranks amongst the greatest servants, both as player and administrator, ever produced in the Solohead club.
Having first competed at juvenile level he progressed to the junior ranks and won a West hurling title in 1957 followed two years later by an historic West and county title in 1959.
He also won a West junior football title and on return to the senior ranks was also a winner at senior level. In association with Lattin/Cullen under the banner of St. Patricks he won a West senior hurling title.
Paddy was to have a very successful refereeing career and officiated at West finals in all grades of hurling and football.He was also honoured as referee for National Football League games.
As an administrator he acted as secretary of the Solohead club for 20 years and was always noted for his committment and efficiency.
Paddy also made an enormous contribution to the juvenile club and trained them to county under-17 success in 1970.
At inter-county level he represented Tipperary as a selector in minor football and hurling, U-21 hurling and intermediate hurling, attaining All-Ireland honours in the latter in 1971/72.
On moving to reside in Limerick he immersed himself in his adopted club Na Piarsigh and contributed significantly to their subsequent successes.
At board level he has served the past 5 years as chairman of the Limerick City board, bringing ability, common sense and experience to the post.
Tom Buckley had a great start to his hurling and football career when he won divisional and county juvenile titles in hurling and football in 1955 and 1956. Later he played minor, under-21 and junior for the club, winning divisional titles in minor and junior.
Even before his playing career was over, Tom was already involved at the administrative level, as secretary in 1970-71 and as a selector at under-21 and junior levels. He was also involved in the development of the field in the 1980s.
He was elected treasurer in 1998 for four years and this was followed by six years as chairman. The standout achievement of his chairmanship was the erection of lights in the field. He was also involved in major fundraising for the club.
In 2011 Tom was elected President of the club and he continues his involvement as a selector on the under-14 and under-16 teams.
When one looks back at the successes of Emly Hurling and Football club in the 1950s, 60s and 70s the Dawson Brothers, among others, contributed hugely. For example, in winning the 1960 West Tipperary minor and under-21 football titles, the lineouts included the following, Mike himself, Tom, Toby, Danny and William ‘Dollar Dawson, while their brother Patsy was then starring with the Tipperary senior football team.
Even though Mike was only a minor that year he also played on the Emly senior team that won the West title but were defeated by Thurles Crokes in an epic county semi-final. The newspaper report of that game mentions ‘before half time Mike Dawson drew cheers from the Emly supporters when he shook off two tackles and then shot high between the posts’. He was a very stylish fielder of the ball and together with his high fielding brother Patsy formed a strong midfield partnership that brought many football titles to Emly and also hurling. Among the most satisfying was winning a county junior football title in 1968. In the same year he also won a West senior football title with St. Ailbe’s, a combination with Aherlow.
He also represented his county for a number of years and was centrefield and captain of the Tipperary junior football team narrowly defeated by Kerry in the 1969 Munster final played at Clonmel. He gave loyal service to Emly for many years both on & off the field. Even though exiled from the parish for a long time he is still a faithful supporter of the club and attends almost all their games.
John Cleary from Tipperary Town enjoyed a long career representing Tipperary in handball
He won his first All Ireland in 1959 winning a minor hardball doubles title in partnership with Connie Cleere from Nenagh.
In 1961 he won a junior hardball singles All-Ireland.
He also partnered the late Paddy Hickey from Clogheen to win a 60x30 Senior Tailteann doubles All Ireland in 1969 and also won senior hardball doubles in 1975 with the same player.
John also won numerous county and provincial handball titles.
John also represented Tipperary in various National league teams
He was a staunch member of the handball club in Tipperary Town.
Philip Maher, now in his 70s, has been involved with Clonoulty/Rossmore club since the mid 50s. He played for a time in the junior ranks and was also well regarded as a cross country runner. He lives with his sister Maura, a devoted GAA fan also, just a couple of minutes away from the local field and the club is a second home for Philip. He is always on hand to help rejuvenate overworked leg muscles, ever ready to give a good rub and help players to get to top form for their next game. If there’s anything the players need, a bandage here or a patch there, Philip is on hand to oblige.
Hurling is Philip’s life. It’s Tuesdays and Fridays with seniors, then we have junior A and B, Minors, U21s and U16s. I’m here with all of them, he says. He doesn’t miss a training session or a match.
Former county men Joe Hayes, John Kennedy and Declan Ryan are just some of Philip’s favourite players from down through the years. And in recent times, he is enjoying an exciting crop of young players who have been busy writing fresh history for Clonoulty/Rossmore. He was on hand on August 24 last to see them win an historic Six in a Row West senior hurling titles, and he was in Croke Park in September to witness Sean and Jimmy Maher win All Ireland minor hurling medals with Tipperary. This gives Philip great hope for the future of hurling in his beloved club Clonoulty/Rossmore.
John Stapleton’s connection with Golden-Kilfeacle goes all the way back to his young days, where he started out as an underage player. He continued to play senior with the club and has the distinction of being one of the few members of the club to hold two West senior hurling medals, 1969 and 1972. John also served as secretary of the club from 1967 to 1978 and was one of the main organisers of the club’s famous trip to New York in 1972, where they played a number of games against local teams. There are many stories told of the ‘whale of a time’ they had in New York!
John continued to work for the club always being available to cut grass, line field, help fund raise and carry out any duties he was asked to do.
He then went on to work with the juvenile club, where he gave many years coaching and training the underage teams. He represented the club at a special medal presentation to juvenile clubs by the GAA President, Jack Boothman, in Sean Treacy’s Park in 1994.
In the early 2000s with the cost of sliotars and hurleys starting to spiral out of control. John was asked to take over the duties of kit man. Within a 12 month period he had halved the cost of hurleys and sliotars for the club, such was his dedication and diligence. It led to some players saying that the sliotars were better looked after than them! After every training session, John would take home the sliotars, wash them and leave them out to dry so that they would be ready for the next training session. John continues to be kitman to this day.
Every Thursday night John can be seen on traffic duty, directing all those that have attended Bingo to exit the GAA grounds safely. If that is not enough he is then back into the hall to help tidy up.
For the last number of years John has been the club county board representative. This year he returned to coaching under-8s, reflecting his continued involvement as a valuable member of the Golden-Kilfeacle club.
Paul McCarthy was born in Limerick Street, Cappawhite. He has a long and distinguished involvement with Cappawhite GAA Club.
In 1944 he was a played on the juvenile team which won the inaugural west juvenile hurling competition. A goalkeeper of note, he made his senior debut for the club in 1949.
He played with New Irelands in Dublin in 1950. He worked in London from 1951 to 1956. On his return he won a west junior championship in 1957.
He played on the Tipperary junior team in the Munster championship in 1958. He was captain of the St Vincent’s combination that won the west senior title in 1961.
The following year he was on the team which won Cappawhite’s first senior divisional title. He served as club PRO during the eighties.
As the oldest member of the team, which recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of winning Cappawhite’s first senior west title, he is a worthy recipient of the Sean Gael Award.