Festival to honour 19th-century footballer

Wed, Aug 25, 1999, 01:00

A 19th-century Waterford footballer who - in common with other great players of his generation - does not feature on the recently-selected "team of the millennium", will be honoured in his native county this weekend.

Dan Fraher, a brilliant goalkeeper with the now defunct club, Shandon Rovers, will feature prominently in the Eigse Sliabh gCua festival which takes place in the village of Touraneena, 11 miles from Dungarvan.

Described as a weekend celebration of the Gaelic traditions of Sliabh gCua, the festival opens in the local community hall at 8.30 p.m. on Friday with a lecture entitled "The Life and Times of Dan Fraher" by local artist and historian Willie Fraher, who is not related. Fraher, who was born in 1852 just after the Famine, was also a noted athlete and staged athletic meetings at the GAA ground in Dungarvan, which is named after him. A Fenian and native Irish speaker, he was interned in 1920 at Ballykinlar Camp in Co Down at the age of 68. He died in 1929. The festival, which continues over the weekend, will include an address by historian Brendan Kiely on the ancient church and graveyard of Knockboy, where Fraher is buried.