Cumann na mBunscol
Co. Shligigh
Micheál Kearins - the best ever!
(Courtesy: "Cúl")
SLIGO have produced many fine footballers down through the years but without doubt our finest forward of all time was Micheál (Mickey) Kearins. Mickey attended Ballinleg National School and played his club football in the green and red of the local St. Patrick's, Dromard. From an early age it was obvious  that  Mickey  had tremendous natural ability and was destined to become one of, if not the greatest forwards of all time. He played his first game for Sligo at minor level in 1960 against Galway and made his senior inter-county debut in the National Football League against Cavan in 1961. In all, he played senior county football for Sligo for 18 consecutive years. For four of these years he was the national leading scorer - a truly remarkable achievement. Mickey represented Connacht on the Railway Cup team from 1963 until 1 975 -- another outstanding achievement was the Rail Cup competition which was very prestigious in those days. By now Mickey was the boyhood hero of all Sligo schoolboys as they tried to copy his skills. 
In 1971 Mickey won an All-Star Award which was due recognition for his excellence on the football field and his devotion to Sligo football. Mickey retired from inter-county football in 1978 to concentrate on refereeing. By the time he retired from football he had collected an amazing 7 Sligo senior championship medals; 3 Sligo senior league medals; 2 Railway Cup medals; 1 Connacht senior championship medal and 1 All-Star Award. 
As a referee Mickey took charge of  many  games,  the  most important being the 1989 All-Ireland senior football semi-final between Dublin and Cork. As a referee he had also reached the highest level.When asked about his most famous sporting moment Mickey admits that it was winning his first championship medal with St. Pat's. A truly gifted sportsman Micheál Kearins is recognised by all followers of gaelic football as one of the all-time greats. 
'Give more time to training and spend less time in the pub," is his advice to all players. 

The Sligo team -- Connaught Champions, 1975
The great Mickey Kearins
of Dromard
A Castleconnor player, Barnes Murphy, and a past-pupil of Stokane N.S. also in west Sligo, received an All-Star award in 1974, prior to captaining Sligo to win the Connacht Senior Football Championship in 1975. Barnes is pictured fifth from left, in the front row above.
Those who read about great men may learn to follow in their footsteps. Mol on óige agus tiocfaidh sí!
Actions praised become traditions!
Barnes Murphy is pictured here to the right of Jack Boothman, President of the GAA, (centre) on an official tour of the primary schools in County Sligo, in October 1996. On entering the grounds of his old alma mater, Stokane N.S., with Paul Durcan (back row on left) and Joe Queenan, (front on right, kneeling) a great welcoming cheer arose from the children.