It is 25 years since Naomh Olaf's footballers won the Dublin Intermediate Football Championship to progress to Senior football for the first time. This team was celebrated at the Annual Naomh Olaf Lunch in Croke Park on Friday, 14 September.this team
The manager of the Naomh Olaf team at the time and for a long time before and after their championship win was the legendary Tommy Brennan who was also in attendance at the lunch along with members of his family, and it was a fitting gesture that he was inducted into the Naomh Olaf Hall of Fame at the event. His recollections of the time were excellently recounted by him as he was interviewed by Marty Morrissey with Aidan Byrne also on stage to humorously recall some of the events of which Tommy was possibly unaware.
Those who are more recent members of Naomh Olaf GAA Club may not know of Tommy Brennan. He is a native of Ballinasloe, where he played with the local St. Grellan's club, and was a very promising minor footballer who led his club to unprecedented success at Minor level. A student in Garbally College, Tommy was also a very good rugby player but unfortunately a knee injury curtailed his involvement in both codes.
Tommy was appointed to a teaching position in St. Olaf's Primary School and moved into Queen of Angels Primary School on its foundation where he spent many happy years teaching in the school. An extremely knowledgeable and able Gaelic Football coach, it was a huge bonus to the young Naomh Olaf club when Tommy agreed to become involved. His former students, from both primary schools, formed the basis of a very successful Under 21 team under his tutelage and he progressed with many of these players through many successes culminating in the Intermediate Championship winning campaign of 1993 which saw the team move into senior ranks a mere twelve years after the clubs foundation. Further progress was made and a high point was reached when this Senior Football team reached the semi-final of the Dublin Senior Championship in 1996 where they put the very strong Erin's Isle team of the time to the pin of their collar before losing out. Erin's Isle were to reach the All-Ireland Club final in that campaign.
Tommy retired as football manager leaving a huge legacy and in recent years has also retired from his teaching post and returned to Ballinasloe. He was a brilliant, tough and uncompromising manager who was hugely respected by his players and by many others in the Dublin footballing community. He has certainly left his mark on Naomh Olaf GAA Club where he has earned huge respect and he is a very worthy recipient of the Naomh Olaf Hall of Fame award.
Comhghairdeas Tommy. Ní bheidh do leithéad arís ann agus beidh fáilte fial romhat i gcónaí i gCumann Naomh Olaf. Tá an gradam seo tuillte go maith agat.