Croke Park heroes remembered quarter of a century on

Delight: A snapshot of ISK fans celebrating in Croke Park which was posted on the school’s social media site

TODAY marks the silver jubilee of a glorious occasion when a team of gifted young footballers from a Kerry school covered themselves in glory with victory in the All-Ireland Colleges’ Senior Football Championship.

There were incredible celebrations when the stars from Intermediate School Killorglin brought the coveted Hogan Cup back over Laune Bridge where families and supporters lined the streets and bonfires blazed as the town welcomed home its heroes from Croke Park.

On 28 April 1996 a young sharpshooter by the name of Michael Francis Russell – who went on to become a Kerry GAA legend – pointed the way to victory over St Patrick’s College of Maghera and the slick Killorglin side, skippered by Pa O’Sullivan from Laune Rangers, ran out 4-8 to 1-14 victors.

Michael Francis Russell went on to become a Kerry legend

Fergal O’Brien, also of Laune Rangers, did real damage with two fine goals and the others were finished to the net by Mike Frank and John Lynch.

Press reports at the time said ISK had played a brand of fantasy football after they clinched the Holy Grail a few short years after playing in the C grade competition.

Not surprisingly, given its base in Killorglin, the all-conquering ISK squad comprised 17 players from Laune Rangers, eight from Beaufort, and one each from Glenbeigh/Glencar, Dr Crokes, Listry and John Mitchels and they combined wonderfully as a unit to play a very attractive style of fluent, attacking football.

Intermediate School Killorglin

The Intermediate School squad: Pat Healy (Glenbeigh/Glencar), Eoin O’Connell (Laune Rangers), Jimmy Doyle (Beaufort), Ryan Kinnerk (Dr Crokes), John Moriarty (Laune Rangers), John Sheehan (Laune Rangers), Eanna O’Malley (Beaufort), John Lynch (Laune Rangers), Pa O’Sullivan (Laune Rangers,, Mike Frank Russell (Laune Rangers), Mike Kelliher (Beaufort), Pat Leahy (Laune Rangers), Garret Sheehan (Laune Rangers), Fergal O’Brien (Laune Rangers), John O’Connor (Beaufort), Brendan Fitzgerald (Laune Rangers), Shane Harmon (Laune Rangers), Tony Lyons (Laune Rangers), Diarmuid O’Sullivan (Beaufort), Michael Ahern (Laune Rangers), Eoin Clifford (Laune Rangers), Enda Clifford (Laune Rangers), John Ahern (Laune Rangers), Tim Moriarty (Beaufort), Donal O’Shea (Beaufort), Ger Moriarty (Beaufort), Tim Scannell (Listry), Keith McKenna (John Mitchels). Brian Gannon (Laune Rangers).