All-Ireland footballer Dan O’Neill for London launch autobiography Divided Loyalties
Press Release: Ref. Divided Loyalties, autobiography of Dan O’Neill
Launch: Friday, January 30th, 2009, at 8pm
Venue: The Crown Moran Hotel, 42-152 Cricklewood Broadway, London , United Kingdom , NW2 3E
Dan O’Neill, one of two Mayo men to win an All-Ireland senior football title with Louth in 1957, has just completed his autobiography and it will be launched at a function in London on Friday, January 30th, 2009.
To this day, it remains a popular quiz question for GAA fans – who were the last two Mayo men to win All-Ireland senior medals.
“I have family and a lot of friends in London , and they have been onto me to launch the book in London . I am delighted to do son on Friday, January 30th, when I hope to meet up with all of them,” said Dan, who is now retired in Galway city.
“When I played with my home club, Castlebar Mitchels, we toured England in 1964, and played matches against teams in London , Luton, Coventry , and Birmingham .”
Dan played for Castlebar Mitchels and Mayo before transferring to Louth following an expenses dispute, and was joined in the Wee County by Ballaghaderreen man Seamie O’Donnell.
The two had played together in 1954 on the Mayo team that won the National Football League title, and bumped into each other again at a border crossing when both were Gardai stationed in Co. Louth.
In a twist of fate, they ended up playing at midfield together in the second-half of the 1957 All-Ireland final when Louth defeated Cork – and now, over 50 years later, Dan has chronicled his football career and his life and times in Mayo, Louth, Sligo, and Galway.
The book – Divided Loyalties – conveys why Dan, in a fit of pique, made an impetuous decision to leave his native county and throw in his lot with Louth, going on to win an All-Ireland medal with his adopted county.
“It was a big controversy at the time, both at home and throughout the GAA world,” says Dan.
“I spent almost eight years in Louth and naturally enjoyed a popular support from the fans there, which created in a me a very strong magnetic attraction for my adopted county. However, I always remained strongly attracted to my home county, and, indeed, I was delighted when circumstances allowed me to come back and wear the green and red again in 1963.
“At half-time in the All-Ireland final, Seamie came out from the half-forward line to play alongside me at midfield. So you had two Mayo men playing together at midfield for Louth in an All-Ireland final.
“Neither Louth or Mayo have won an All-Ireland title since, which is a source of great disappointment to me.
“I am a Mayo man first and foremost and I always will be. I long for the day when Seamie and I stop being the answer to that quiz question.”
Dan, who served in Ireland-West and North-West tourism authorities, retains a keen interest in GAA affairs. He finished his inter-county career by returning to his native Mayo to once again wear the green and d.
Divided Loyalties by Dan O’Neill, written in association with Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, freelance journalist Liam Horan.
If you’d like to pick up a copy of the book, retailing at £12, come along to the hotel on the night. The book will be available in all good bookshops.
Contact publishers Low Ball against the Wind (email@example.com, +353 87 9185867) if you have difficulty getting a copy.