Eamonn McGowan – In Focus: Episode 160

Drumshanbo man and Leitrim GAA & Allen Gaels stalwart Eamonn McGowan joins Breifne Earley to talk about growing up in Leitrim, his love of coaching and the successes with various Leitrim teams over the years.

Eamonn played his last game at the tender age of 65, when he scored three points on his final appearance in a Division 3 league game against Aughawillan. He talks about his Drumshanbo childhood which was dominated by sports between gaelic games and The Showgrounds.

He brings us on a virtual tour of the town to some of the various locations around Drumshanbo where he played his early football until the purchase of the current home of Allen Gaels, what is now known as Shane McGettigan Park.

Playing his underage matches with St. Mary’s, the only underage team in the region, winning a minor league for his troubles with the side who would become some of his biggest rivals in future years.

Winning a Junior Championship with St. Francis in 1963 was the start of success in gaelic games in Drumshanbo with an amalgamation with Ballinaglera bringing the identity of Allen Gaels to the fore.

Eamonn talks about his involvement with Leitrim Ladies and the All Ireland final of 1984 where a referee’s inability to keep the score saw Leitrim deprived of an All Ireland Senior title at the hands of Kerry who went on to win 9 All Ireland titles in a row.

1988 would bring some sense of satisfaction and revenge when Leitrim Ladies landed the Junior Football championship against London in Croke Park and took home the All Ireland competition.

Eamonn was also an accomplished sportsman across a number of codes including soccer and cycling, during our conversation he talks about his involvement with the biannual charity cycle to Lourdes for the Irish Pilgrimage Trust, an Irish charity who bring disabled children to the shrine in the south of France each Easter. A vital cog of a large group of locals who cycle every two years to raise funds for the organisation.

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