Davy Dennis RIP
The death has occurred of David (Davy) DENNIS
Ballysax, Suncroft, Kildare
|David Dennis, Ballysax, Suncroft, The Curragh, Co Kildare, 28th November 2015 passed away peacefully in the tender care of the staff in St Vincent’s Nursing Home, Athy. Beloved husband of the late Maureen, deeply regretted by his sisters Kathleen, Tess and Breda, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Rest In Peace
Reposing in St Vincent’s Nursing Home Sunday 29th November From 7pm until 8.30pm. Removal Monday 30th November at 10.30am to arrive at St Brigid’s Church, Suncroft for 11am funeral Mass thence to Dunlavin Cemetery for interment.
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Davy Dennis in St Vincent’s Hospital, Athy, on Saturday after a very long illness. He was a proud Cork man and his devotion to the GAA, and to hurling in particular, marked him out as a man apart.
Davy was a very loyal Moorefield man who played a major role in the development of the club – on the playing field, its games and in administration. He was Kildare Hurling Board secretary for over a decade and assistant secretary for two years. He was also a county selector and trained Kildare teams for many years.
He was Moorefield secretary for eight years: 1971, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1985. He was a central figure in the search for and purchase of club grounds in the early 1980s and our Pollardstown facilities are part of his legacy to the club.
Davy captained Moorefield to victory in the Kildare Junior Hurling Championship in 1961 and repeated the feat at senior level in 1963, as reported (see below) in the Leinster Leader on 9 November 1963.
He was predeceased by his wife, Maureen. May he rest in peace.
EXTRACT from MOOREFIELD CLUB HISTORY
DAVY DENNIS PROFILE
Writing in ‘Moorefield News’ in 1991 Davy Dennis remarked that it was, perhaps, “Sarsfields’ luck and Moorefield’s misfortune that on arrival in Newbridge I escaped to Moorefield.” No sentiment could be more inaccurate and indeed Davy, who was a renowned writer and the author of many fine pieces down the years, has seldom penned a comment so wide of the mark – though one suspects it was made with tongue in cheek and designed to titillate our neighbours and great rivals. He arrived in Newbridge in 1954 to take up employment with what was then Post and Telegraphs and on being met off the train he was greeted with the remark ‘where are you going with that thing (his hurley), sure there is no hurling here!’ His landlady was Mrs Vines and she resided in Eyre Street. Her daughter Betty was doing a line with and later married John O’Neill, a local councillor and Sarsfields player. John’s brother Maurice married another daughter, Pat, and the brothers’ father, Bill O’Neill, was chairman of Sarsfields. One might say truly a miraculous escape! In truth, the decision to join Moorefield was very much dictated by the fact that Moorefield were committed to entering hurling teams in the championships and the club was perceived by Davy as having a positive attitude to our traditional field game.
‘He always believed that the impact of Irish Ropes was never fully appreciated’
He therefore resisted all ‘friendly persuasion’ to go elsewhere and remained a loyal and true Moorefield man down the years. Davy Dennis’s hurling exploits with many Moorefield teams and the legacy the club continues to enjoy as a result of his passion for the game are documented throughout this book, as is his commitment as a club officer and a tireless organiser of social and cultural events. He regularly remarked on his admiration of the organisational structure of the club and the great spirit of volunteerism that pervaded its members and, indeed, he frequently penned articles reflecting this. In one such contribution he remarked on the huge success and popularity enjoyed by Tommy Behan during the Friday night Pongo sessions which, thanks to the host’s genial personality, attracted large numbers each week and contributed in no small way to keeping the club afloat financially.
Davy had great admiration for the Ladies Committee and recalled an Annual Dinner Dance in the Town Hall at which 27 Moorefield women provided the catering. He always believed that the impact of Irish Ropes was never fully appreciated commenting, ‘not alone did it give meaningful employment to so many, it also made its pitch available for the training of many Moorefield teams when no other grounds were available – with the exception of Josie Abbin’s field which was usually confined to underage. As Irish Ropes grew and prospered, so did the Moorefield club. I remember with deep appreciation how the Irish Ropes presented a cup for underage hurling in the county, as indeed did the Cutlery.” He recalls early memories of the Ropes entering teams in the football factory league. One such team travelled to Cavan and beat Gypsum Rangers in a prestigious tournament. That team included such legendary names as Billy Bell, the Murray trio – Jimmy, Hugh and Con, Toss McCarthy, Ernie Cooke, John Ahearne and Jimmy Dowling. The same Ropes provided a team which beat the powerful Roadstone where almost every player was an inter-county player but met their match against the likes of Toss McCarthy, Jimmy Dowling, Jimmy McDermott, Jim Coates, Harry Fay, Paddy Moore, Mick Behan, Ray Clinton, Dinny Craddock and the Cummins brothers, Jimmy and John. This was the basis, Davy believed, of blooding a Moorefield team that went on to win three ’Leader Cups as a forerunner to winning the ultimate prize – the Kildare championship of 1962. He deftly points out that this final was not played until 1963 a year which gave him enhanced pleasure as the hurlers also took the title;(a team which he captained) thus the record books show that Moorefield won the senior hurling and football championships in the same year. Davy also captained the junior hurling team to victory in the 1961 championship. He refereed many games in the county and served as Kildare Hurling Board secretary for over a decade and for two years as assistant secretary. His perseverance in seeking suitable grounds for Moorefield in the early 1980s was a major step in securing the land for the fine club facilities we now enjoy.
Davy Dennis described the hurlers’ achievements in winning the senior title in 1991 after a 28-year wait as a tribute to the great work and dedication to that team down the years of Joe Fitzpatrick and Paddy Quill. While this is undoubtedly true, it must also be said that the good Lord looked kindly on Moorefield when he guided Davy Dennis towards the Moorefield club on that day in 1954 as he stepped off that train and punched in his ticket for Moorefield.
Second Senior Hurling Title for Moorefield
Greatest Asset Was Fine Teamwork
Moorefield 1-10 Broadford 0-3
Leinster Leader Saturday 9 November 1963
Moorefield in their second year in senior ranks brought the Kildaremen’s Association Cup to Droichead Nua with a very convincing win over Broadford at Naas on Sunday. After the first quarter, Moorefield took control in all sectors and ran out good winners by 1-10 to 0-3. Their margin of victory would have been far greater but for the brilliant goalkeeping of Johnny Mangan.
In setting out their stall, Moorefield’s greatest asset was their fine teamwork and this was very apparent in attack especially where scores were registered from passing movements. Broadford had slightly the better of the exchanges at the start, but could not translate this into scores due to a superb display by the Moorefield defence, brilliantly led by Harry Fay. On the other hand, the winners with fewer chances notched valuable points from far out to give them the edge. Broadford needed a goal to give them confidence, but having failed to register this score much of the sting went out of their attack after the first quarter and it was left to their defence from then on to bear the brunt of the exchanges.
Moorefield’s greatest asset was their fine teamwork and this was very apparent in attack especially where scores were registered from passing movements. Mick Leahy was top scorer with seven points (two from frees), but he had excellent support from Davy Dennis, Mick Monahan and Stephen Schwer in particular, who provided the openings.
Tom O’Connell was in sparkling form at midfield, ably assisted by Paddy Moore, and it was their domination in this sector which brought about Broadford’s greatest difficulties. Star of a very solid defence was Harry Fay, whose lengthy clearances and shrewd positional sense proved an inspiration to his colleagues. Jim Barker on his right also had one of his finest hours and played a big part in success. Jim ‘Ba’ Dowling and Joe Moran were also prominent under pressure.
Moorefield’s total was compiled by Mick Leahy (0-7), Billy Quinn (1-0), Mick Monahan (0-2) and Davy Dennis (0-1) with Joe Ennis (0-2) and J. Lynam (0-1) replying for Broadford. Referee, John Kelly (Suncroft) had excellent control over a sporting, well conducted contest.
Moorefield: Tony Breen; Joe Moran, Ned Goff, Jimmy Dowling; Jim Barker, Harry Fay, Colm Ruffley; Paddy Moore, Tom O’Connell; Davy Dennis (capt), Stephen Schwer, Mick Monahan; Mick Leahy, Art Kiely, Liam Sherry. Subs: Billy Quinn for A. Kiely, Hugh Byrne for J. Sherry.
Broadford: J. Mangan, S. Mooney, P. Gorry, S. Leonard, O. Malone, T. Duffy, S. Hynes, J. Lynam, J. Cummins, J. Ennis, M. Conlon, J. Flood, S. Conway, D. Thornton, S. Hackett.