Tommy Conlon: Monday morning we woke up in Ballinamore with a smile


“Last night I had a pleasant dream,” sang Larry Cunningham in the 1960s, “I woke up with a smile.” And apparently it wasn’t Zsa Zsa Gabor that Larry had dreamed of. It was the beautiful Leitrim.

Last Sunday I ran into another man from Ballinamore an hour before the county final in Carrick-on-Shannon. He hadn’t had any dreams the night before, pleasant or not, because he hadn’t slept with a wink on his nerves. Most of us didn’t get a lot of sleep on Sunday night either. But we definitely woke up with a smile on Monday morning. We were senior county champions for the 21st time. It was the city’s first title since 1990. The famine almost killed us. The celebrations would almost kill a few, too.

In fashion, the team hopped in the back of Joey Smith’s truck, past the Beirne gas station on the outskirts of Edentenny. It was about eight o’clock; darkness had fallen. The long journey of the day into the night was about to begin. A large cavalcade of cars threw themselves behind the truck. With flashing lights, blinking horns and waving flags, they made their triumphal procession through Ardrum, Aghadark, across the bridge over the Shannon-Erne waterway, onto Main Street, High Street and onto St Felim’s Square at the top. from the city.

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