Sky Sports is preparing to show Gaelic games live on television for the first time, a position that RTE found itself in all of 52 years ago.
The first hurling game that it broadcast live was the St. Patrick’s Day Railway Cup final of 1962 between Munster and Leinster and the first score on that historic occasion was scored by a Clonmelman who, ironically, lined out for Leinster.
Mick Kennedy had moved to Dublin in the late 1950s and is still hale and hearty, living in the Whitehall area.
He had moved from his home at Abbeyville, Marlfield Road, Clonmel in 1957, having made his mark as a footballer and hurler in his home town.
The talent he showed as a teenager led to a call-up for the Tipperary minor hurling panel in 1952 for the first round of the championship, although he wasn’t part of the team that went on to win the All-Ireland final.
However he earned a place at midfield on the team the following year when they went all the way again, beating Dublin in the final. His midfield partner was Billy Quinn, father of soccer star Niall Quinn, and their hurling careers crossed paths again some years later when they both moved to Dublin and played for the Faughs club.
Mick was also on the Tipperary minor football team in 1953 and subsequently played junior and senior championship football with Tipperary.
Having initially played hurling with St. Mary’s, he transferred to Marfield in 1956. He was on a South Tipp combination team, Na Piarsaigh, that reached the County Senior Hurling Final in 1957, where they were defeated by an all-conquering Thurles Sarsfields side. In 1956 he won a County Senior Football medal with Commercials on a team captained by Sean Cleary.
His hurling career continued to thrive when he moved to Dublin. In 1961 he was on the Dublin senior hurling panel that won the Leinster championship, beating All-Ireland champions Wexford in the final, before losing to Tipperary by a point in the All-Ireland final.
When he got the call-up to the Leinster team for that historic televised Railway Cup final in 1962 he scored the first point as his adopted province beat Munster by 1-11 to 1-9.
He won County Senior Hurling championship medals in Dublin with Faughs in 1970, 1972 and ‘73. He was captain of Faughs in 1960, 1964 and ‘65. When his playing career ended he maintained his interest with Faughs and was also a selector on the Dublin senior hurling team from 1989 to 1993 with Lar Foley and Sean Shanley, during which time they reached the Leinster finals in 1990 and ‘91.
Mick is the son of Tom and Ellen Kennedy. Tom, who was a noted hurler and footballer in the late 1920s, was a founder member of St. Mary’s hurling club in 1931.
At that time he was a partner in the building firm of Roche, Morrissey and Kennedy, who built part of the initial stages of houses in Ard na Greine and Garrymore (now Cooleens Close), and Mick worked for a time in the family firm.
The partnership subsequently changed - Sean Morrissey set up his own firm while John Roche and Tom Kennedy became Roche and Kennedy, operating this new company from Dillon Street.