All Ireland SportsLife Hall Of Fame COLLECTION - ONLINE TRIBUTE
INDUCTEE..SEÁN FLANAGAN (1922-1992) of U.C.D./Ballyhaunis & Mayo Fame
SportsLife Category: GAELIC FOOTBALL
Seán Flanagan: A Record For Serious Attention.
When speaking of Mayo’s football icons it is not possible to stray too far outside the era of the early 1950’s when the county won the Sam Maguire Cup in the successive years of 1950 and 1951 and in the interim decades right up to 2020, Mayo are still making gallant efforts to bring Sam back to Mayo.
The heartaches are well documented and Mayo now need a new hero to succeed Seán Flanagan, the last Mayo footballer to captain the county to All Ireland senior football glory. Despite the passing decades in Mayo and far beyond, there is an immense regard for the double winning teams of 1950 and ’51 and foremost receiving All Ireland Hall Of Fame approval, is Seán Flanagan.
Seán was a footballer, lawyer and politician, an Irishman who served Ireland as Minister for Health from 1966 to ’69; Minister for Lands from 1969 to ’73 and prior to those high offices he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce in 1965/66. Onwards to Europe, Seán Flanagan served as a Euro MEP for the Connacht/Ulster region from 1979 until 1989. His political career took in the years from 1951 until 1977 as a TD and as an MEP until 1989, a total of 38 years in political life as a member of Fianna Fáil.
Seán Flanagan was born on 26th January 1922 and died on 5th February 1993 and was born in Coolnaha, Aghamore, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo. He was educated locally and then at the famed football academy, St. Jarlath's College, Tuam, Co. Galway. It was at the Galway college where he first displayed enthusiasm for sport. He won two Connacht championship medals with the college in 1939 and in 1940 and later studied at Clonliffe College, and then enrolled in University College, Dublin, where he studied law and qualified as a solicitor.
The Ballyhaunis native won two All Ireland senior football medals and five Connacht senior championship medals also. He also won two National Football League titles in 1949 and 1954. While still a footballer and his popularity sky high, the Mayoman entered into a career in politics. In recognition of his skills and long-running contribution to football, Flanagan was awarded the 1992 the All Time All Star a,s the current All Star Awards were still in incubation. Also in 1984, the Gaelic Athletic Association Centenary Year, Seán Flanagan was honoured on the Football Team Of The Century. In 1999 he was again honoured by the GAA by being named on the Millennium Football Team and this was further testament to his standing in the world of gaelic football.
Scanning the internet for information on a Mayo football legend of the 1950’s era, the scarcity of detailed information on Seán Flanagan, the footballer, rang a big bell. Mayo has been a county, dogged some would have you believe, with bad luck when it comes to winning All Irelands. Seán Flanagan was selected on the 1984 Team Of the Century and again on the Millennium Team, but stats on this legendary former footballer are in very short supply and unavailable for public viewing.
The club career of the former Ballyhaunis player is sadly not mentioned in any columns despite trawling the internet and when compared to legends from other counties, this omission does not enhance the pride of Mayo GAA fans in the fields of preservation of the Golden Memories of Mayo GAA legends.
Maybe Mayo folk are unaware of the relevance of promoting and preserving their football history for current and future generations of Mayo gaels. Away from football Seán was a footballer, lawyer and politician, an Irishman who served Ireland as Minister for Health from 1966 to ’69; Minister for Lands from 1969 to ’73 and prior to those high offices, he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Commerce in 1965/66.
Moving to Europe Seán Flanagan served as a Euro MEP for the Connacht/Ulster region from 1979 until 1989. His political career took in the years from 1951 until1977 as a TD and as an MEP until 1989, a total of 38 years in political life as a member of Fianna Fáil.
Major Honours... 2 All-Irelands (1950, 51), 5 Connacht Senior Championships (1948, 49, 50, 51 and 55), Railway Cup (1951), 2 Sigerson Cup (1944, 45), GAA Team of the Century (1984), GAA Team of the Millennium (1999).
Editorial by All Ireland Hall Of Fame