The late Kevin McConnell

April 17, 2009

The late Kevin McConnell with his 1949 All Ireland medal.
The death has taken place of Meath footballing legend Kevin McConnell. Kevin, who hailed from Castletown, donned the number four jersey as Meath swept to All-Ireland success in 1949 and 1954. With the O'Brien cousins from Skryne, Mick, at right full and Team of the Century full back Paddy 'Hands' O'Brien, Kevin formed what many rate as the greatest ever full back line in the history of gaelic football. Kevin was also in his usual left full back role in 1951 when Mayo got the better of the Leinster men. Later that year Meath travelled to New York and gained NFL honours. The Castletown man also appeared in the two All-Ireland finals of 1952, when Cavan pipped their southern neighbours after a replay. A strong determined footballer in the traditional mould, Kevin McConnell could have donned any of the defensive jerseys from 2 to 7 and his talents were rewarded by the Leinster selectors. Four Railway Cup medals adorn the McConnell household as do five provincial mementos. Kevin was a Castletown man through and through and indeed after retiring, held every position possible in the club. However, in 1950 he was part of a strong North Meath amalgamation which swept to Meath senior championship honours. In later life, Kevin and his wife Therese lived in Navan and the couple were a permanent fixture at all kinds of games in Pairc Tailteann. Kevin McConnell senior left a rich GAA legacy. We say senior because his eldest son Kevin played for Meath right through the 1970s and was voted Meath Player of the Year in 1977. Kevin junior is the father of present Dublin star Ross McConnell. Kevin McConnell was pre deceased by his son Michael. Other sons include Paddy, who is heavily involved in the Bective club and who has also worn the Meath jersey, Brendan and James who, like their older brothers served Castletown with distinction for years. The funeral Mass takes place tomorrow Saturday at 12 noon in St. Patricks Church, Castletown.

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