All Ireland Series 1925, Charlestown in Co. Mayo

The four-game Dublin-Meath saga in the late 1980’s is now part of GAA folklore, and of course, while it was capturing the imagination of the sporting public, the four games between Carlow and Wexford in 1941 also got considerable airing. It also took four meetings, two of which went to extra time, before the Leinster under-21 final of 1988, between Offaly and Wexford, was decided.

However, what is not generally known, outside the West of Ireland, is that Roscommon and Sligo had to face each other no less than six times in the first round of the Connacht senior football championship in 1925.

The Connacht draw for 1925 paired Roscommon with Sligo and the winners had a Semi-final date with the Provincial title-holders, Mayo. That left Galway and Leitrim to contest the other semi-final.

The Roscommon-Sligo series opened at Boyle on May the 17th. Roscommon won by a point, 2-3 to 2-2, but an objection by Sligo was upheld and a replay was ordered. This took place at Roscommon on July the 5th when the the game ended level at 1-5 each. Sligo on the 19th of July hosted the third meeting and again it ended level. Sligo 0-6, Roscommon 1-3.

These teams returned to Sligo on the 26th of July and once more failed to produce a winner. The next game was held in Roscommon and on August the 2nd, Sligo beat Roscommon by 2-5 to 0-5. However, as very often happened in those days, yes, another objection, this time by Roscommon.

The objection was upheld, and so on September the 13th these two teams met each other for the sixth time, in Roscommon. This time Sligo won by 2-3 to 0-2 and were through to the Semi-final against Mayo. This game took place in Tuam on October 4th in the old racecourse at Parkmore. Mayo won by two points, 1-6 to 1-4, and qualified to meet Galway in the final.

Because of the delay in completing the Connacht championship, Mayo, the 1924 provincial winners, were nominated to represent the West in the All-Ireland series. They beat Wexford, and Kerry accounted for Cavan in the other semi-final. Then, believe it or not, Kerry and Cavan were disqualified after an objection, and counter-objection, so that left Mayo the All-Ireland champions, temporarily at least.

Then again came another fateful day in Parkmore, Tuam on October the 18th when the Connacht final between Galway and Mayo was held, and Galway beat Mayo by 1-5 to 1-3, and, as well as capturing the provincial title, Galway were declared the All-Ireland champions for 1925. What can one say, but that another All-Ireland was lost.

The Mayo team of 1925 comprised the following players:

J E McEllin (Captain), J Murray (Goal), B Durkan, P O’Beirne, M Mullins, Fred O’Doherty (Charlestown), J Regan, M Mulderrig, J Forde, G Delaney, J J Walsh, A Lohan, G Williams, Jack Henry (Charlestown), and T Forde.

© Cathal Henry 2007