McGovern, Andy

Andy was born on the 4th November 1930. His parents were Patrick and Margaret. Andy was 1 of 10 children, he had 4 brothers John, Charlie, Barney, and Tommy and his sisters were Peggy, Mary, Kathleen, Bridie and Patricia who resides in New Zealand and is now the last surviving member of the siblings. Andy's first job was as a Telegrams Messenger, delivering telegrams to Swanlinbar, Templeport and Corlough areas for 3 years. He then worked for James Forde, a farmer from Kinawley for 9 years. Next he took up employment with Hugh Cullen for a further 9 years. After that he worked with Prior Bros. where he remained until he retired. Andy was a conscientious and honest worker who arrived at his work on time and did not leave until all his work was done. 

His big passion was Swanlinbar GAA club and he held the position of Club President for the last 21 years. Prior to that he had held the positions of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. Andy joined the club in 1942 and at that meeting there were 75 people. He attended his first AGM that year and thereafter never missed one. Throughout Andys playing career Swad played on two different pitches, the first being Macs. They then moved out to Leonards in Uragh, and reverted back to Macs field (the present field). At that time the rent for the field was £20 and the yearly running cost of the club was £300. During his years in the club Andy had some great highs. In 1946 Swanlinbar reached the minor final only to be beaten by Belturbet by a single point and in 1949 the Under 16's were ousted by Bailieboro by 4 points. One of his greatest memories was the arrival of The Sam Maguire cup in Swad in 1947, it was accompanied by 1947 All Ireland winners Owen Roe McGovern and TP O'Reilly. Andy always claimed there were 3000 people in Swad that day. 

There was no prouder man in Swad than Andy when we got to All Ireland Junior Final and played in Croke Park in February 2011. Andy McGovern left the country for the first time in 1997 when Swanlinbar GAA travelled to New York to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1947 All Ireland win. A wonderful time was had by all, though Andy did create some cause for concern at one of the many receptions held for the club over there, when he complained of chest pains. But this was quickly sorted out when he added that he had these pains for 14 years. Andy attended matches home and away and would always visit the dressing room to share his thoughts. He will be sorely missed by all players and club members, past and present of Swanlinbar GAA, all of whom he knew by name. Sympathy is extended to Andy's sister Patricia, his nephews, nieces and friends. Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam. 

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