Does anyone know anything about Mayo Olympians?

Okay, that last post set off a fair few unexpected spats so maybe it’s time to change the subject.  Personally, I blame the lack of football for all this online tetchiness and I don’t think that Sunday’s FBD World Series Final will adequately fill the gap in that respect either.  Me, I’m off to Parnell Park with my little Dub tonight to see Vinnies take on Ballyboden in the Dublin SFC quarter-final replay (throw-in 8.15 pm).  Keaney’s back for them, Ger Brennan’s missing for us but, you’d never know, Austie might be ready to roll back the years and knock over six or seven screamers to send the Marino lads into a semi-final date with Kilmacud.

Anyways, I did promise something different, didn’t I? Well, Liam Horan has been in touch to let me know about Tom Hunt and his search (his hunt, even) for details about Mayo people who have excelled in the Olympics, which he’s looking for as part of an Irish Olympic history that he’s been commissioned to write.

Anyone who grew up within shouting distance of Kiltimagh will have been well used to hearing the Coilltes blowing about Sean Lavan, who competed for Ireland in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.  Sean captained the Irish team in the 1928 Amsterdam Games and, apparently, he was also credited with inventing the solo-run in Gaelic football (a nugget of information I certainly never heard the lads in Aidan O’Hora’s bragging about).  Five-time Olympic gold medallist Martin Sheridan, who won his medals representing the USA, hailed from nearby Bohola and so he’ll also feature in Tom’s book.  According to the man himself, he’s interested in any information that people out there might have about Irish Olympians, be they from Mayo or elsewhere:

I am keen to hear interesting stories and facts about Olympians from all over Ireland. I am particularly interested in hearing about the 1948 basketball team that represented Ireland.  That team included Bill Jackson, who played full-back for Roscommon in their 1943 and 1944 All-Ireland senior football triumphs.

Tom may be contacted via email at [email protected] or else on his mobile at (086) 384 2702.

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