One for the history books

(26 Dec 2018)

There are many many brilliant people who are not on Camogie Committees etc, but they do amazing work behind the scenes to help promote Dublin Camogie. Three such people are Máire Ui Scolai , Phyllis Breslin and Síle Wallace.

The troops knowledge was called upon recently to help with information that was needed about a famous Dublin Camogie Team.

Máire Ui Scolai got to work and alongside Phyllis and Síle , helped gather information that was requested by the Echo and SDCC
I asked Phyllis (pictured on the right) to tell me about the night Gerry got her award and this is what she said.... In her own words.........


1. Citation for Gerry for her “Hall of Fame” award:

Betty (Gerry) Hughes was born and reared in Inchicore, the home of the great C.I.E. team,
formerly G.S.R. (Great Southern Railway).

Betty Hughes is known to many as Gerry Hughes. Her father, Gerry, worked in C.I.E. and as a youngster, she competed in the C.I.E. Sports, challenging girls much bigger than herself.
Her father’s co-workers wanted to support the plucky little one but didn’t know her name so they called her “Gerry’s girl” and the name stuck,

Gerry, encouraged by the great Kay Mills, played Camogie during the “Golden Era” of Dublin Camogie.

Dublin won an amazing 21 All-Ireland Camogie Championship titles from 1942 to 1967.
They only lost one championship match between 1948 and 1967.

C.I.E. has the distinsion of representing Dublin in the All-Ireland Championship on two occasions
In 1941 v Cork, which they lost, and in 1948 when they were successful v Down.

Dublin had an unbelievable run of 10 in a row All-Ireland Championship titles, 1957 to 1966, a feat that has not been beaten.

Gerry, a natural defender, made her debut on the Dublin Inter-County team in 1954, when she won her 1st All-Ireland Medal v Antrim,

Gerry went on to represent Dublin from 1954 to 1963.

Gerry captained Dublin on 2 occasions, 1961 and 1962. As the winning captain in 1961, Gerry,in a wonderful generous gesture, asked Kay Mills to accept the O’Duffy Cup as it was her last game playing with Dublin and she had just won her, record breaking, 15th All-Ireland medal.

Gerry, as part of the great Dublin 10 in a row team, is undoubtedly a legend in her own right, is a very worthy recipient of this “Hall of Fame” award.

2. My thoughts on the lead up to the night and the night’s event.

In the middle of November you asked Máire Ui Scolai to help you with a request from “The Echo “
who wanted to present a “Hall of Fame” award to a member of the Dublin 10 in a row team.
Máire contacted Sheila and me for assistance. We had a number of people in mind but settled on Gerry Hughes.

As it happened, on the weekend of the Leinster Club Finals in Kilkenny, when we talked to you about Gerry, Kathleen Woods, President, Camogie Association, showed me an email which she had received from Gerry’s daughter, Catherine, who was looking for information on her Mam’s playing career. 
(Coincidence or what).

From there I contacted Catherine and Gerry’s husband John telling them what we were planning,
to make sure that Gerry would be able to attend the awards. They came back with a definitive 
yes. The family were delighted that Gerry was being honoured in this way. The family were so excited, to say the least, that they decided that they wanted to be there on the night so they bought 
tickets for the event. Including Gerry and her husband, John, there were 11 at their table.

Stephen Leonard, Sports Editor, met Sheila and me to get some background about Gerry, and
he took a video with both of us talking about Gerry.

The night itself was something else.

“The Echo Amateur Awards 2018”.

The Green Isle Hotel, South Dublin County Council and South Dublin Sports Partnership were
sponsors of the evening.

All sports from the area were included and honoured on this night.

Gerry was in good form on the night and brought along her medals, only 8 as she had given 1 
to her brother who was going to Australia. She had some of her medals made into a bracelet.

Stephen Leonard, was the M.C. on the night.

He and the team in the “Echo” were amazing. They put together a collage of photos and some pieces of the interviews of Sheila and myself.

For the award presentation Gerry and her daughter, Shirley, and myself, were asked up onto the stage.
The local Mayor, Mark Ward, presented Gerry with her “Hall of Fame” award. After the photos,
Shirley thanked “The Echo” for honouring her Mam. Gerry herself said that “Camogie was the 
best days of her life”.

As Gerry went back to her table she got a “Standing Ovation”. The first one of the night. I think 
that they could not believe that such a lady could have achieved so much.

At this stage I’m waiting to be interviewed by Stephen. Needless to say I’m there with tears in
my eyes.

During this interview I told the story about the Camogie “ Team of the Century” and how 
annoyed Gerry was that she wasn’t included in it. I also said that it was wonderful that Gerry 
should be honoured with this award especially when Camogie and Hurling had recently received
a UNESCO special cultural status listing.

The icing on the cake is this weeks issue of “The Echo” when it gives Gerry the headlines,
“Emotional salute to one of the greats of Dublin Camogie, Betty Hughes”. with a photo of 
Gerry holding her medals with her family.

Also in the paper is a photo of 2 Ballyboden St Enda’s Minor Camogie team players with Gerry. 
They had received the December “Team of the Month” award. Isn’t it wonderful to see that
Camogie in this part of Dublin is alive and well and that they have all been part of such a wonderful

It’s been a joy to have been part of this tribute.

Phyllis Breslin

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