Vincent Daly’s legacy will remain in Longford history forever

Granard man captained the county to their only Leinster senior title in 1968

Longford GAA led the tributes to Vincent Daly. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Longford GAA led the tributes to Vincent Daly. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

The death of Vincent Daly removes an important link with one of the great football achievements in the game’s history. From Granard in Longford, he captained the county to their only senior Leinster title to date in 1968.

From an established football family he played with the local St Mary’s club, helping them to county success at all grades.

Too young for the Longford team that broke through by winning the 1966 NFL title under the guidance of Cavan great Mick Higgins and Fr Phil McGee, a brother of the late journalist and All-Ireland winning manager Eugene, he was only 20 the year he captained the county to provincial success.

Longford’s success in the mid-1960s was unusual and little short of astonishing for a county with a population of fewer than 30,000. Vincent Daly was versatile, playing in the forwards but capable of switching to centrefield, as he did in the 1968 Leinster final, in which the county defeated Laois - having deposed then All-Ireland champions Meath along the way.

Some weeks later, he led Longford in a memorable - and unique in terms of championship - All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry.

By half-time before a modest crowd of 34,053 (the other semi-final attracted more than 50,000 to Down-Galway) it looked over for Longford who trailed 0-6 to 2-7 but a great second-half revival with goals by centrefielder Tom Mulvihill and wing forward Jackie Devine, whose penalty put his team 2-10 to 2-9 ahead with just 10 minutes on the clock.

Kerry finished strongly, however, to outscore their opponents by 0-4 to 0-1 in the time remaining.

Vincent Daly made a career in the defence forces and his club St Mary’s Granard remembered him on social media.

“Vincent played on well into the 1970’s and we will always remember his willingness to help St Mary’s celebrate the opening of our clubhouse when he brought his football mementos to put on display with the rest of our clubs history.

“He was delighted to take a photo alongside the Leinster championship (Delaney Cup) Trophy that he had received on behalf of Longford in 1968 with his son Paul that evening.

“His passing will bring back memories of the important part he played in the great St Mary’s teams of the ‘60’s and in our club’s history.

“St Mary’s offer our condolences to his wife, Carmel and family Paul, Sandra, Angela and Vincent and his extended family.”

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