THE President of the GAA, Christy Cooney, will unveil a specially commissioned plaque in memory of Limerick hurling legend, Tommy McCarthy, in his home place of Kilfinane this coming weekend.
The sporting giant who played his hurling with Kifinane and Limerick will be honoured when the Tommy McCarthy Commemorative Committee will hold a number of events in conjunction with the Kilfinane festival.
One of the highlights of the festival will be the unveiling of the plaque to Tommy McCarthy at the front of McCarthy’s Bar at Lower Main Street which is now the home of Limerick senior hurler, Richard McCarthy – a relative of the late Tommy.
“His (Tommy’s) parents were involved in the GAA and he still has people involved in the GAA. Richard McCarthy who plays with Limerick would be a relation. The plaque is being unveiled at Lower Main Street as Tommy lived there himself,” explained Hugh Murphy, secretary of the Tommy McCarthy Commemorative Committee.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Tommy winning his second All-Ireland Medal in 1936.
Tommy played his club hurling with Kilfinane from an early age and in 1926 he hit the headlines in a senior club game with his native club. He played with Limerick in 1927/28 in the Thomond Feis Cup which was won by Limerick in 1928, and added far more Thomond Feis medals to his collection in the mid ‘30’s.
He was also a very accomplished handball player and won many championships in singles and doubles from 1925 to 1928.
However, a few years later Kilfinane senior hurling team, due to lack of numbers - regraded to junior grade and Tommy went to play senior hurling with Fedamore. Tommy was a regular on the Limerick team during Limerick’s great spell from 1933 to 1938 and won two All Ireland Hurling medals in 1934 and 1936 playing at full-back on a team that included the Mackey brothers, John and Mick, Timmy Ryan, Micky Cross and Ned Cregan to mention a few. He was also a regular on the Munster team and won four Railway Cup Medals 1934, 1935, 1937 and 1938 as well as being a member of the Limerick National Hurling League team that won titles in 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938.
Tommy got married in 1938 and emigrated to New York where he was involved in the GAA there for many years both as a player on the Limerick team and as a selector and manager over the years.
Tommy died in June 1968 at the age of 62.
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