‘When the long whistle went – we danced on the roads’
To mark National Heritage Week 2020, Cavan County Museum and the Cavan Heritage Officer have commissioned a stirring and inspiring new video commemorating the lived experience of the famous Cavan 1947 All Ireland win.
The sporting achievement is well documented, the only All Ireland football final ever to be played outside of Ireland. It was played in the Polo Grounds in New York City.
However, this short film focuses on the memories of Betty Carey and Paddy Harton who were children at the time.
The dynamic pair reminisce on their experience of watching the match and delve into what it meant to them on a personal level as well as what it meant to the county of Cavan overall.
Paddy tells the moving story of how the jubilations and celebrations of the All Ireland victory gave both his family and him personally a lift “out of their sorrow” after the death of his mother at a young age. It was a brief respite from their sadness.
Betty speaks of how the win gave her and those around her a self-confidence as a young person from Cavan and inspired her to believe she could achieve great things, “They were just ordinary people, and if they could do it, we could too”.
The video provides a touching reminder of the wider impact of sport in people’s lives and the contribution the GAA has made to Irish people and culture.
The video was produced by Alan Bradley whose recent documentary Seán aired to great acclaim on RTÉ One. The film crew were made up of Cavan natives Tina Brady and James Blake with editing by Grainne Creighton.
The video will be available for free to all on the National Heritage Website as well as Cavan County Museum’s Facebook and Youtube pages today (Thursday), August 20.