herald

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Hero Heffo A Solid option

IT'S the bridge that could help to soothe troubled waters.

And top Dublin GAA officials are keen to turn the water blue.

The new bridge over the Liffey will be christened in the summer. It's just down from O'Connell Bridge at Marlborough Street.

It will be able to carry buses and the LUAS. Many names are in the hat.

The suggestions have come from all strands of life – stage, screen, public life and the sporting arena.

Two of the most popular suggestions have been Maureen Potter and Ronnie Drew, two legendary Dubliners.

Rosie Hackett is also well in the frame. She was involved in the 1913 Lockout and the Easter Rising.

Yet the capital's GAA chiefs are hoping that City Hall will bend an ear in their direction.

"We'd be delighted if the bridge was named after a Dublin GAA person," states county chairman, Andy Kettle.

"It would be a fitting recognition for what Gaelic games have brought to the city down through the years.

Significant

"They have played a significant role in the lives of the people, and they have brought such enjoyment.

"It would be a big honour for the Dublin GAA if one of our people was chosen, so we'll see what happens.

"Some names have been mentioned – Kevin Heffernan, Kathleen Mills, Lar Foley and Des Foley, among them.

"They are all worthy candidates in their own right. Personally speaking, I'd go for Heffo.

"His contribution to Dublin GAA went above and beyond the call of duty. He'd be the main man, as far as I am concerned.

"The days of Heffo's Heroes were special. And he was such a great footballer himself – the only Dub on the Team of the Century."

Jim Roche was reared in Wexford. He is one of Dublin's leading county board officials.

Back in his schooldays, he remembers the excitement of the Dubs coming to town.

"People must remember there were no televisions then, so to see the Dublin team was a big thing," he recalls.

Hero

"I saw them playing Wicklow in the Leinster Senior Football Championship in 1956. The day after the game they went to America.

"Kevin Heffernan was on that team. He was a hero to me growing up. He was such a great footballer.

"In later years I was lucky enough to become a good friend of Kevin's. I'd meet him all the time in Parnell Park. He sat on management with us. He'd tell some wonderful stories.

"It would be a marvellous thing if the new bridge would be named after him. He did so much for the county.

"He changed football in the city, but he did so much more than that. He also played a huge role in the hurling revival.

"Hurling struggled for many years in Dublin. Kevin was the chairman of the development committee and he was instrumental in establishing the development squads.

"He is so respected in his native Dublin. Heffo was and is Dublin.

"I feel he'd be the outstanding candidate to have the bridge named in his honour."

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