The late Paddy Dolan RIP, Ballinamore Sean O Heslin’s and Leitrim GAA Legend

The death of Paddy Dolan, Ballinamore, will be mourned by his family, by the local community and by the Gaels of Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins, of Leitrim and of Connacht.

An indication of his status as a footballer with the county was his selection, at right half forward, on the Leitrim Millennium Team, an accolade well deserved by this will of the wisp star over a long career in the green and gold. Paddy’s talents came to light at an early age and he first played with Leitrim seniors in the National League when only sixteen years of age, one of the many distinctions he shared with fellow great Packie McGarty.

Indeed Paddy and Packie would go on to share many a dressing room as they lined out together in the National League and the Connacht Championship – including a number of finals – at a time when Leitrim was so unlucky not to have captured at least one provincial senior title and bridge the long gap from 1927.

Paddy Dolan did win a Connacht title with the Leitrim Minors in 1956 and starred at left half forward in the All Ireland Final against Dublin in Croke Park, on the day that Galway became All Ireland Senior Champions by defeating Cork. In his senior career with Leitrim, Paddy would come face to face with many of that Galway side in future Connacht Championship clashes, including the finals of 1958, 59, 60 and 67.

!956 proved to be a special year for Paddy at club level also, as he won the first of his eight county senior titles with Ballinamore and was the youngest member of the side. The team captain that day,

Columba Cryan and his midfield partner Brian Sweeney would line out with Paddy Dolan in Croke Park in 1959 when Leitrim played Derry in the National League Semi-final. Paddy’s other seven county medals were won in 1964, 67, 68, 69, 72, 73 and 79 and he had the honour of being captain of the three-in-a-row champions. In 1969 Paddy was the main organizer, with Pat Murray and Joe McInerney of the Ballinamore club’s historic trip to Gaelic Park, New York and to New England and Boston in 1989. Paddy would also travel to New York with the Leitrim team in a later tour.

Paddy also lined out with the Leitrim hurlers on many occasions, a sport in which he also excelled. Indeed, Paddy Dolan, with his natural talents, athleticism, sharp mind and enthusiasm, is one of those who could be proficient in a variety of sports.

Apart from his skill on the field of play, Paddy was beloved by the Ballinamore community as a charismatic, friendly, charming and lovable personality. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Sincere sympathy to all the Dolan family.

Sonas síoraí da anam uasal.

Funeral arrangements: