Sunday, May 17, 2020

Johnny Haughey was famous for his rousing pre-match speeches to the Athleague team when they togged out for a match in Athleague Hall.

Canon Liam Devine pays tribute to Johnny Haughey’s contribution to hurling and recalls a story about Johnny’s brother Charlie in Sligo…

Johnny Haughey probably did more to promote hurling in the county than any other individual. He was passionate about the game.

I have fond memories of travelling in the same car with him when I was playing underage hurling with Roscommon. The late Mickey ‘Weeshie’ Naughton was the driver and we had great fun listening to the anecdotes they told as we journeyed to play Limerick and Tipperary in minor hurling and Cork in U-21. We got hammered in all three games but I still have fond memories of them.

I will always remember Johnny’s rousing pre-match speeches to the Athleague team when we togged out for a match in Athleague Hall.

A friend of mine from Wexford, a first cousin of the great Tony Doran, was present with me on one such occasion. He listened to Johnny’s speech with great interest and he said to me afterwards: “that man really knows his hurling.”

Johnny is one of nature’s gentlemen and I will never forget his kindness to me when I was a student and later when I would visit him in Healy’s of Athleague where he worked. Thanks for the memories Johnny.


Johnny Haughey’s brother Charlie lives in Tubbercurry, County Sligo. He is an agricultural advisor by profession although he is probably retired by now.

I don’t think Charlie had the same passion for Gaelic games that his brother had, although his son Ronan played hurling for Sligo.

Every Saturday morning Charlie would come into the Market Square in Sligo to sell shrubs, plants and young trees. I happened to have a friend who played club football with me in Sligo and his name was Bill Clinton, of all names. Bill was a native of County Offaly.

One Saturday morning Bill went into Sligo to buy shrubs or plants for the garden from Charlie. When it came to payment, he discovered that he didn’t have any cash on him but he had his cheque book.

“I am afraid that I will have to pay you by cheque,” Bill said. “But I must warn you that my name is Bill Clinton.”

“That’s no problem,” replied Charlie. “My name is Charlie Haughey.”


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