Remembering Junior Dooley


Picture names; At Back; Seamie O’Dowd/ John Joe Carty/ Gerry O’Dowd/ Sean Young with the Henry Feely Cup/ James Dodd/ Jimmy Dwyer/ Billy Hanmore/ Pat Kearney/ Christy Dolan.
Front: Leo Doherty/ Noel Sheeran/ Edwin (Jnr.) Dooley/ John Keenehan/ Rory Ahern. Pic. 1974

The community in Boyle and especially the sporting community were deeply saddened by the recent passing of Edwin (Junior) Dooley over the week-end. Jnr. was a quiet, inoffensive and most popular person with all who made his acquaintance. As a young man, he was an accomplished Gaelic and soccer footballer. Of course Jnr. inherited his sporting talent from his father Edwin Snr. who was a star player during the thirties when he played with Roscommon and Clare and also a prominent soccer player. Jnr. was proud of that inheritance. Jnr. was part of a number of fine Boyle under-age teams in the late sixties and early seventies. Their coach/manager was John McGowan so in a sense they were, for a time, ‘The McGowan Babes’. That Boyle team lost to regular rivals then Padraig Pearses in a couple of finals but eventually won a county U 16 title. Jnr. attended St. Mary’s College in the town at a time when there was a surge in numbers attending and when the college competed in the top strata of Connacht colleges competition. The height of that was in the ‘72/’73 year when they got to the Semi-final of the Senior ‘A’ competition where they went down to a crack St. Jarlath’s team in Ballymote. Jnr. was a stylist and the team’s marksman and a free-taker. That team went on to defeat a good Roscommon CBS team in the Roscommon County Colleges final at Castlerea. All these wins with accompanying pictures of the teams are recorded in the College magazines of the time. Another stage which Jnr. enjoyed and where his skills really shone was in the popular ‘ Pleasure Grounds’ tournaments of the 60s’ and 70s’.

Jnr.’s uncle, Tom, on returning from England in the latter sixties with Paddy Hatter, Hal Cawley and James Candon reformed the old Boyle Celtic Club and Jnr. was a regular player with them. Hal Cawley remembers Jnr. taking a late winning penalty ‘with aplomb’ in a Junior cup game in Ballyshannon.

His sons Darragh R.I.P. and Damien (now resident in New York) followed in their dad’s and grandfather’s tradition as very good under-age players with Boyle.

In talking to Jnr. last Autumn the conversation was of football and he told me of some pictures and material he had recording those sporting times.

His teammate from that era, James Dodd paid the following tribute to Junior on learning of his death, ‘Having received the very sad news that Junior Dooley had passed away it brought a flood of great memories back to me of the years that we played football together. Junior was a fast skillful forward who could always be relied on to put the ball between the sticks. He had great vision and nearly always made the right choices. He was a close in free-taker and was extremely reliable. He could kick with both feet. He always came to games very well prepared –his boots were always clean and polished and his socks and togs recently laundered.
He played on Boyle teams at U15 (1969), U16 (1970), U21 (1972), Junior (1972) Intermediate (1973 and 1974) but alas we, unfortunately, were beaten in all three senior team finals. In 1971 Boyle won a Minor league Final and Junior played a leading role in that success. Even though lacking success, he was always interested in playing and loved his football. The famous street leagues were a favourite of his and his team St Patrick’s St., was captained by JJ Nerney/ When soccer started up in Boyle Junior was very much in demand for his outstanding skills and this caused some conflict when needed by both codes. Off the pitch, Junior was a gentleman and his two great buddies were Freddie Daly and Liam Carroll’.

To the Dooley family, we extend our deepest sympathy. May he rest in peace.