1950 Danno Mahony Final

When Danno Mahony threw in the ball at South West Final

It happened in 1950. Barryroe reached the South West grade 'B' hurling final. Drawing the first round with Bandon at Kilbrittain's Harbour View pitch on Whit Sunday, the replay at the same venue resulted in another draw in mid July but Barryroe won out in extra time.

In mid August they met Kilbrittain (who had annihilated them in the final three years earlier) in Clonakilty and came away with a narrow but well deserved victory. Victory over St.John's of Newcestown in the semi final put them into the final excitement grew no end throughout the parish. On a Sunday in mid September everything that was on wheels in Barryroe headed for Enniskeane for the final showdown with Ballydehob. Refereed by Board secretary Gus Keohane of Enniskeane, the game flowed from end to end with great gusto and great performances of two players, Jim Barry of Barryroe and Tom Vaughan of Ballydehob.

Victory went to Ballydehob who were coached by that great cleric, Fr. Paddy O'Sullivan, himself a former glen hurler of note and who had gained fame a year earlier with his production of the "Message of Fatima" by the Ballydehob Dramatic Troupe. However, all was not lost for us because during that era, provincial finals and county finals were started by prominent dignitaries - high ranking GAA officials, Government Ministers and clergymen, but on this occassion the grade 'B' final was started by a world sporting champion as the Great Danno Mahony of Ballydehob, World Wrestling Champion, threw in the ball to start the game.

For many in attendance, to see Danno in the flesh was as good as winning the match. People had heard about him and "The Irish Whip" and read about him for years previous and to see him in person was something really wonderful. If all of Barryroe were in Enniskeane on that Sunday, all of Ballydehob must have been there as well and as the massive crowd wound their way back to Enniskeane village, four men walking abreast, stood head and shoulders above everybody else - Danno, two of his brothers, and their father, Dan Senior, the tallest of the four with his hat and pipe - decent, honourable men, taking victory in their stride without any hullaballoo, as Danno had done so often in many parts of the world.

During the following week at the threshing, it wasn't the match that was the main topic, as everybody talked about Danno and recalled memories of the some of his great duels with Ed. George and the mighty Steve Casey of Sneem.

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