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Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Issue 3 (May/Jun 2009), Letters, Volume 17

1Sir,

—I refer to the letter from Gerry McAlister in the March/April 2009 edition. I was at that game and indeed remember the ‘unusual’ goal. Mr McAlister’s recollection is slightly in error. The headed goal was actually scored by the Dublin half-forward Eamonn Breslin (Ballyfermot Gaels), though Brian McDonald and Jackie Gilroy had been involved in the build-up. It was a National League game against Laois in 1964. This goal so upset some of the more reactionary members of the GAA that there was talk of a motion being put to Annual Congress to outlaw such goals. This motion did not materialise.

Dublin’s Eamonn Breslin nods the ball past Laois goalkeeper, Tom Miller, for the controversial headed goal in the 1964 National League game at Croke Park. (Irish Independent)

Dublin’s Eamonn Breslin nods the ball past Laois goalkeeper, Tom Miller, for the controversial headed goal in the 1964 National League game at Croke Park. (Irish Independent)

Prior to the opening up of Croke Park to rugby and soccer, Martin Breheny did an article on this very incident in the Irish Independent of 18 December 2006. While I have a clear memory of the game, I went to the best source to verify the matter, which entailed a visit to Ed’s Barber’s Shop, Upper Abbey Street, Dublin. Ed has a framed copy of the newspaper report hanging on the wall. Could there be better verification than a barber? It was a sad day for society when we allowed football punditry to move from the barber’s shop to the television.

—Yours etc.,
PÁDRAIG TURLEY
Dublin 6

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