Sean Óg Hanley [Feb 28th/Mar 1st 1877 – Aug c24th 1915]
“The death is announced of that illustrious hurling exponent who, in the opinion of many unprejudiced men who have been students of the game for a quarter of a century, was the greatest hurler the Gaelic AthIetic Association has known. Those who remember the brilliant selection of hurlers which did duty for Kilfinane cannot forget what a splendid place the famed Sean Og Hanley held in that great team. In every contest of the famous Championship of 1897, his superb displays made his name familiar throughout the land, and most deservedly so, for he possessed every essential quality of the expert and redoubtable hurler.
James Hanley, born at Ballyroe beneath Kilfinane town, had all a man’s strength. daring and hurling skill at sixteen, and a year later was performing in inter-county contests. The appellation ‘Sean Og’ granted to him from his first appearance on the hurling field was bestowed by oldtimers who, when witnessing his splendid style, were reminded of a famous player and athlete of yore named John Casey – the prodigy’s grandfather.
In his early games he played the part of a roving commissioner, and his tremendous energy and superb hitting-power were soon famous. Later on he settled down as a centre back, and as such has known no peer. He stood six feet one inch, wide of shoulder and limber of movement, and had wonderful reach and judgment. He was a left-handed man, and holding ‘the right hand down’ struck from both sides with equal facility. But his left hand overhead work claimed distinction as his outstanding feature. The right hand was ever fielding loose high balls, or snapping up low grounders off his deft stick. When in possession he would swoop around his men, and swing a long ball ninety or a hundred yards up field.
In a vintage athletic spell around Kilfinane, Sean Og’s star shone brightest among a brilliant galaxy of hurlers. The famous Emmets swept to All-Ireland and Croke Cup triumphs successively, startling the hurling-loving public with a series of grand victories at a time when Munster and Kilkenny were sending forth teams never surpassed before and seldom equalled since. It was in 1899 that Sean Og moved to Dublin and later to London. An opponent from those days of grandeur has stated that it took three men to hold him.
A dozen years in the fogs and fumes of London brought on the consumption which has claimed him, still in his thirties. The pathos of his untimely death in exile strikes the heart and imagination like a winter blast, but loving and inspiring recollections will preserve his personality and his performances, safe among the traditions of a game in which he played so manly a part.”
Distilled and compiled from excerpts ©Irish Newspaper Archives
Link to original Census Form A
|Surname||Forename||Age||Sex||Relation to head||Religion|
|Hanly||Michael||84||Male||Head of Family||Roman Catholic|
Comments about this page
I apologise for the error in my last post stating that Sean Òg was a cousin of mine. In fact he was a first cousin to my father. Who’s grandfather was also John Casey. Mary Hanley née Casey was my father’s Aunt. My father was Jermiah Casey who was born in no 15 Ballyroe lower
Thanks for the update Marjie. The Limerick Association in London do great work in maintaining Sean Og’s grave.
I came across the grave of Sean og Hanley yesterday in St Mary’s Kendal Green London. It stood out a mile as someone has draped an All Ireland Limerick Winning Liam Pennant 2020 on it… Fascinated to see who he was I discovered this site. I am also from East Limerick so it raised a smile. He is in good company .
Thanks for your comment George. Here is the marriage entry for Michael Hanly and Mary Casey:
and sure enough her father’s name is John. I’ve edited the post now to reflect this solid new info. Interesting reference to Canon Sheehan and the Caseys too. I suppose there is no tradition within the family relating to Sean Og’s All-Ireland medal? It would be an amazing find. You might be interested in the 1897 article we’ve put up here:
I’m a grand nephew of Sean Og-sister Margaret my grmother.His nickname of Sean Og came from his grfather John Casey.I have seen the John Hanly reference a number of times.From older generation-now all deceased- was told that novel Glenanaar by Canon Sheehan was vaguely based on this Casey family.The Caseys were from the Glenroe area,near Kilfinane
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