The death was announced earlier this evening of double All-Ireland winning Mayo footballer Pádraig Carney. He was 91 years of age.
The Swinford native was an integral part of the All-Ireland winning team of 1950/1. He lined out at midfield alongside Eamonn Mongey in the 1950 decider and played at centre-forward in the following year’s final.
Pádraig Carney broke into the senior ranks in 1946 when he was still eligible to play minor. Indeed, he lined out for the county in the Championship at both minor and senior levels that summer, playing for the seniors – and scoring four points – a week before he appeared at minor level. From then until he departed for the USA he was a mainstay on the senior team.
He lined out for the county on thirty occasions, scoring 8-99. Included in that haul was the first ever penalty successfully converted in an All-Ireland final. That was in 1948 against Cavan.
He earned the famous sobriquet ‘The Flying Doctor” – which was bestowed upon him by RTÉ’s Mícheál Ó Hehir – when he was brought home from America to play for Mayo in the latter stages of the 1954 National League campaign. He played in both the NFL semi-final, against Dublin, and the final against Carlow. In that decider he scored four points, in what was his last ever appearance for the county. We was then just 26 years of age.
That double All-Ireland winning team were a group of high achievers, on and off the field. Pádraig Carney was no exception. He qualified from UCD as a medical doctor, while there winning three Sigerson Cup medals in four years. Working as a doctor in Castlebar, he played football for a time with the Mitchels and won county titles with them in 1951 and 1952.
His medical career – and that of his wife Moira, also a doctor – took him first to New York and later to California, where he lived out the remainder of a long and very fruitful life.
Pádraig Carney was a real Mayo legend and Mayo fans everywhere will mourn his passing. Deepest condolences to his family and friends for their sad loss. May the great Flying Doctor rest in peace.