Late Paddy Coyle of Gaoth Dobhair and Meath
Donegal and Gaoth Dobhair have lost another giant of a bygone era following the death earlier this month of Paddy Coyle in Co Meath.
Paddy Coyle, who played for Donegal in the 1950s and was a multiple championship winner with Gaoth Dobhair, passed away on September 6 at the Woodlands Nursing Home in Navan.
The late Paddy Coyle was originally from Lunniagh, Derrybeg, where he was affectionately known as Paddy Owen Coyle.
The last surviving member of his family he was a teacher by profession. He served for years as headmaster of Yellow Furze National School in Co. Meath and prior to that he spent some years teaching in Kentstown, also in Meath. He was married to Clare, who sadly passed away in 2009.
Paddy Coyle will be forever remembered for his contribution to GAA football not only at local level but also at a county level.
He was a member of the Gaoth Dobhair three in-a-row championship team of 1953, ’54 and ’55.
In the 1953 final against Carndonagh in Letterkenny he played centre half-back. Gaoth Dobhair held on to a slender one point win, 1-5 to 1-4 over the Inishowen team.
In the other two finals, he played right half-forward which was his favourite position.
In 1954 final, he scored a great goal in their 3-6 to 0-5 win over Donegal Town in Ballybofey.
And the following year, 1955, he was on the scoresheet once again in their 1-7 to 0-5 final win over St Eunan’s in Glenties.
He had the distinction of playing for clubs in three counties, Donegal, Erin’s Hope in Dublin, Navan O’Mahony’s and Seneschalstown in Co. Meath. He also played with the Four Masters in Coventry.
From 1950 until 1955 he played for the county senior team. He was the captain of the Donegal team which won the Ulster Junior Championship title in 1952.
Two years later he figured prominently in Donegal winning the Ulster title again when they had a victory over Tyrone in the final.
Apart from his success with the Gaoth Dobhair team, the late Paddy Coyle won a county minor championship with Dungloe in 1949, and a Warwickshire Junior Championship with the Four Masters club in 1956.
He won three Meath Senior Championships - 1959, ’60 and ’61 - with Navan O’Mahonys. Paddy’s late brother, Bernard Coyle, was also a prominent footballer.
He was the father of Meath football stars Colm and Pádraig Coyle. On moving to teach in Meath he became active in energising the Seneschalstown club, especially at underage level.
He had a huge influence on the football careers of his sons. Colm went on to capture three All-Ireland medals amongst a host of other achievements, both in a playing and managerial capacity.
His son, Pádraig also represented his county with pride and is one of the top officials on the refereeing circuit at the moment.
He is survived by his sons, Colm and Pádraig, daughters Stella, Margaret, Nuala and Gráinne; in-laws, grandchildren, great grandchildren, family circle, relatives and friends.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
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