Surprise birthday for former Newbridge Patrician's teacher and Moorefield player, Hugh Byrne

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Surprise birthday for former Newbridge Patrician's teacher and Moorefield player, Hugh Byrne

Hugh Byrne, Jack Kelly, Stephen Schwer, Tom O'Connell and Tony Fagan

Three Kilcullen men who were part of the Moorefield senior hurling team which claimed the county hurling title in 1963, travelled to Wexford Town last weekend to be part of a surprise 75th birthday party for Hugh Byrne, another member of the victorious team.

The trio from Kilcullen were Tom O’Connell, Stephen Schwer and Jack Kelly and they were joined by another member of Moorefield squads of the day, Enniscorthy based Tony Fagan.

The birthday celebrant was teaching in the Patrician school in Newbridge at the time and had thrown in his lot with the local Moorefield teams. Hugh is also a holder of a Kildare senior football medal which he won as part of the Moorefield squad which won the delayed 1962 county title played in May 1963.

Hugh spent less than three years in Newbridge before returning, with two Kildare senior championship medals, to his home near The Hook lighthouse in county Wexford, and lined out with his local Fethard and Wexford county teams.  He entered politics and served as a T.D. for the Wexford constituency for 18 years including as Minister of State for Marine and Natural Resources.

Hugh was taken aback with the presence of his former teammates among the waiting revellers at Wexford Golf club, to celebrate the occasion with him.  They presented Hugh with a copy of Lorcan O'Rourke's book on the  Moorefield club, suitably signed by all the visitors.