Mick Sammon & the events of Bloody Sunday

We met with Club President Pat Murphy to talk about Mick Sammon & the events of Bloody Sunday. Pat is a wealth of information and greatly helped us with the below article.

Celbridge GAA will honour the 14 victims of Bloody Sunday by lighting 14 candles tonight, 21-November-2020

Kildare footballer and 1919 All-Ireland Football Winner Mick Sammon was the referee for the match between Tipperary and Dublin during which the tragic events known as Bloody Sunday took place in Croke Park.
As referee, Mick Sammon threw in the ball at 3.15pm on that faithful day, little did he know what would unfold. Accounts given by eyewitnesses suggest that 5 minutes after the throw-in, Croke Park was raided by British soldiers with shooting breaking out almost immediately. The rest as they say, is history.

Of much interest to both Celbridge & Clane residents, is that Mick Sammon was born in Loughbollard Commons, Clane in 1892. he got involved with the movement for independence and became a prominent Gaelic footballer, winning an All-Ireland medal at midfield with Kildare in the 1919 All-Ireland Final against Galway.

The dreadful events of that tragic day took place under the eyes of Mick Sammon who was refereeing that fateful game. Moments before the shooting started Mick had been talking to Michael Hogan the Tipperary captain. When the firing commenced Hogan was killed and Mick Sammon crawled to the sideline and thence to safety.
After some years working in Dublin, Mick Sammon, moved to and bought a business in Celbridge. This was then known as the “Railway Inn”, beside the bridge in Celbridge. The public house later became known as “Greg Allen’s” and it is now called “McNamee’s Abbey Lodge”.

Mick went on to play with Celbridge for many years along with Owen Murphy who was the father of our Club President Pat Murphy. They also played on the Kildare teams of the early 1920s. They were lifelong friends and Pat Murphy has a lovely clock that was given to his Dad by Mick as a wedding present in 1938.

He was an idol of Pat when he was young as he was an All-Ireland medal winner.

Two other Celbridge men Albert O’Neill and George McGann were also in the 1919 team.

He settled in at the pub he bought but rarely spoke of the events of Bloody Sunday.

He was married with 2 daughters and his grandson Barry Brogan went on to be a champion jockey in England in the 1970s also winning a Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The whistle used by Mick on that fateful day is now on display in the GAA Museum having been donated to the Museum by Mathew Farrell late of Loughinstown Celbridge. The whistle was originally given by Mick to John Dunphy another great Celbridge GAA man before being given to Mathew. Attached is a photo of the whistle from GAA Museum.

The GAA Museum includes exhibits relating to Bloody Sunday including an original Tipperary v Dublin match ticket on November 21 and replica jerseys worn in the 'Michael Collins' film.
He died in 1947 and is buried in the graveyard of the old Franciscan Friary in Clane.

References & further reading.

Pat Murphy, Celbridge GAA Club President
Liffey Champion Article on Saturday 14-November, by Eoghan Corry.

https://www.rareirishstuff.com/blog/today-in-irish-history-croke-park-bloody-sunday-.4732.html

https://www.rareirishstuff.com/blog/today-in-irish-history-croke-park-bloody-sunday-.4732.html

 http://www.hidden-gems.eu/clane%20-%20mick%20sammon.pdf

https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-30409269.html

http://www.kildare.ie/ehistory/index.php/chance-remark-finds-referee-mick-sammon/