Mayo All-Ireland winner in 1950 and 1951 passes away

Fr Peter Quinn, one of last three surviving members of double-winning team, laid to rest

One of the last three surviving members of the Mayo All-Ireland winning team of 1950 and 1951 passed away peacefully at the weekend.

Fr Peter Quinn, who played his club football with Ardnaree Sarsfields, died on Saturday in a nursing home in Enniscrone, Co Sligo. He was brother of the late Fr Des, who died in Dalgan Park on September 20th, 2015.

Fr Peter, aged 91, was a native of Quignashee, Ballina, and was ordained in Dalgan Park, Navan, Co Meath, for the Columban Missionaries in 1950.

He served as a missionary priest in the Philippines, and also served in the USA on promotion work for the Columbans, working out St Pau, Boston and Silver Creek. He then joined the Orlando diocese.


Fr Peter was an outstanding footballer and was regarded by his peers as a very stylish centre half back and a key part of the back-to-back All-Ireland winning team of the era.

He had to play under the name Peter Quinlan because of a ban on clerics playing inter- county football at the time.

Fr Peter was also part of the team that carried the hex or famous “curse”, allegedly placed on them by a priest when they failed to show proper respect to a funeral cortege in Foxford as they were making their victory journey home to Ballina after winning the 1951 All-Ireland.

This so-called curse was denied in a TG4 documentary Mayo Gold Help Us by both Dr Pádraig Carney and Paddy Prendergast, now the last survivors of the team, but the story keeps cropping up, especially given Mayo's more frequent appearances in All-Ireland finals in recent years.

Mayo's failure to capture the elusive Sam Maguire for 61 years adds further credence to the curse, which allegedly asserted that Mayo would never win an All-Ireland again until all of the 1951 team had passed on to their eternal reward.

Despite extensive research, no evidence has been found to support the story of the curse but it remains very much a part of Mayo GAA folklore.

Fr Quinn had served his time playing football for Ardnaree, along with his brother, Fr Des. The club play in their first All-Ireland junior football final against Kerry and Munster champions Templenoe next Saturday in Croke Park.

Fr Peter donated his football medal collection to Ireland West Airport Knock, where they are on display. He also presented one of the All-Ireland footballs to his local national school outside Ballina.

Fr Peter is survived by brothers Pat and Gerry, and sister Sr Josephine, and nieces and nephews.

His remains reposed at McGowan’s Funeral Home in Ballina on Sunday before removal to St Patrick’s Church, Ballina, with burial afterwards in St Patrick’s cemetery, Kilglass.