Pádraig Carney RIP

Photo: The Road to ’51

The death was announced earlier this evening of double All-Ireland winning Mayo footballer Pádraig Carney. He was 91 years of age.

The Swinford native was an integral part of the All-Ireland winning team of 1950/1. He lined out at midfield alongside Eamonn Mongey in the 1950 decider and played at centre-forward in the following year’s final.

Pádraig Carney broke into the senior ranks in 1946 when he was still eligible to play minor. Indeed, he lined out for the county in the Championship at both minor and senior levels that summer, playing for the seniors – and scoring four points – a week before he appeared at minor level. From then until he departed for the USA he was a mainstay on the senior team.

He lined out for the county on thirty occasions, scoring 8-99. Included in that haul was the first ever penalty successfully converted in an All-Ireland final. That was in 1948 against Cavan.

He earned the famous sobriquet ‘The Flying Doctor” – which was bestowed upon him by RTÉ’s Mícheál Ó Hehir – when he was brought home from America to play for Mayo in the latter stages of the 1954 National League campaign. He played in both the NFL semi-final, against Dublin, and the final against Carlow. In that decider he scored four points, in what was his last ever appearance for the county. We was then just 26 years of age.

That double All-Ireland winning team were a group of high achievers, on and off the field. Pádraig Carney was no exception. He qualified from UCD as a medical doctor, while there winning three Sigerson Cup medals in four years. Working as a doctor in Castlebar, he played football for a time with the Mitchels and won county titles with them in 1951 and 1952.

His medical career – and that of his wife Moira, also a doctor – took him first to New York and later to California, where he lived out the remainder of a long and very fruitful life.

Pádraig Carney was a real Mayo legend and Mayo fans everywhere will mourn his passing. Deepest condolences to his family and friends for their sad loss. May the great Flying Doctor rest in peace.

26 thoughts on “Pádraig Carney RIP

  1. Sad news. A great warrior for the Green and Red. The second line says it all, “Double All Ireland winning Mayo footballer” wow. May he rest in peace.

  2. Sad news indeed.

    Mayo supporters throw how ‘legend’ too often to describe former and current players. This guy and all those heroes of 50/51 we’re true legends.

    RIP Pádraig. Thank you.

  3. For a full appreciation of Padraig Carney and his fellow giants from the 30s 40s and 50s I would highly recommend all followers of the green and red read James Laffey’s incredible “The Road to 51”. Spoiler alert there are 3 happy endings in the book and provides a flavor of the West of Ireland in that era with backstories of all the principle players which Carney was arguably the finest of them all.

  4. Sad news but undoubtedly a life well lived both on and off the field. Great men achieve great things, RIP and comfort to those that celebrate his life tonight.

  5. R.I.P. Paraic.
    I am at the age that I remember the Mayo team coming to Killala in 50 and 51 on the back of a lorry with the Sam McGuire cup, as one of our own another Doctor Joko Gilvarry was a member of this brilliant team.
    The cup was on display in Johnnie Hannicks window. Johnnie was Sean Hannicks father.
    They were led into Killala with a torch light procession, and it made the hair on your neck to stand out, it was a wonderful occasion and I hope that in my lifetime that I will witness this again.

  6. Feeling sad to hear of our great legend of Mayo is gone from us. What a wonderful Mayo man.
    God rest you Padraig, and thank you for all your achievements in playing for Mayo.such a pity he didn’t see Mayo win with these legends we have now.
    Sympathies to Padraic’s family.

  7. Thank You Padraic
    For giving us
    And future Mayo generations
    So much to be proud of.

    May you always hear the mighty Mayo roar.

    Immortalised forever.

    We say God Bless.

  8. Very sad news he was genuinely one of the greatest to wear the Green and red of Mayo. May he Rest In Peace

  9. RIP Padraic. May this journey you have embarked on be your most magnificent. Flying high into the ether of the unknown and the Spirit world you are about to embrace. Mhaigh Eo Abu. Forever Flying Skywards.

  10. Not only was he one of Mayo’s greatest he was one of the greatest ever to wear a Gaelic football jersey. Considering that his career ended art age 26 one can only imagine what it would have meant to his own career and to Mayo had he continued on to his natural retirement age. Many speak nonsense about curses on Mayo football but the real curse is never mentioned. That is the curse of emigration.

  11. Well said AndyD!.
    Padraig was a true gentleman. He worked in Charlestown as a GP before he moved to America for good.
    I grew up hearing great stories of his exploits. I feel today as if I have lost something special to every Mayo person!.

  12. His tally of 8-99 from 30 games is astonishing. Finished up at 26 – what a loss he must have been.

    A truly great Mayo man.

  13. Philor …….your piece above is beautiful……Hairs on my neck standing up reading that for sure. How that procession of the cup and sight of the legends, including Padraig, must have been……what a Mayo occasion…….tears tears tears of joy……..feckin hell…….I do indeed hope your wish and ours is granted soon……to see the green n red rose to those heights again……Maigheo abu……!!

  14. Padraic Carney was one of the greatest Gaelic footballers of all time. A true Mayo legend has passed. Mayo fans all over the Globe are mourning his passing. A great success story, both on and off the field. My deepest condolences to his family for their loss.

  15. Growing up in Swinford in the 60’s I heard so much about this legend and his exploits on the football fields. What a tragedy he and other deceased members of that team never lived to see Sam return to the county. May he rest in peace

  16. Went on my bike shopping for my mother, to our local country grocery shop. Shopping bag got caught in spokes – I ended up with a gash on my forehead & brought to Charlestown to have it stitched by Dr Padraig Carney – have the mark as a constant reminder of the great man. RIP

  17. He signed a programme for my son Eamon mongey you have inherited a great name try to emulate it best wishes padraic Carney thank you from Neil mongey

  18. I grew up hearing stories about and reading about the great Padraic Carney, May he rest in peace.

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