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Great Barney Carr will be remembered as a driving force of Down football


Barney Carr

Barney Carr

Barney Carr

The passing of Barney Carr yesterday, at home in his beloved Summerhill, Warrenpoint, severs another link to the great Down team of the 1960s.

In an era prior to managers being feted, Carr was what was known as the ‘trainer’ of the Down teams that took Sam Maguire across the border in 1960 and 1961, beating Kerry the first year and then defending it the year after in front of the record attendance at an All-Ireland final, 90,556 recorded to have watched Down beat Offaly.

There is a famous picture after the first final of Carr standing resplendent in a suit, with son Hugh clinging to his jacket lapel.

The surprising thing is that he was a mere 37 at the time.

Along with the administrative zeal of Dr Maurice Hayes, he planned out a route for Down to win an All-Ireland and inspired the nation, such is the special affection that Mourne football is held in because of that team of Sean and Kevin O’Neill, James and Dan McCartan, Paddy Doherty, Joe Lennon, Kevin Mussen and others.

At the age of 98, he outlived his bull-like centre-forward James McCartan snr, who passed away in August.

Carr also played in a Down team that won a Junior All-Ireland in the 1940s.

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His brother Aidan settled in Hilltown, whose son Aidan was an integral part of the Down teams that won All-Irelands in 1991 and 1994. It remains a fact that the Carrs have been involved in every successful Down team and one of true GAA royalty.

A decade ago, he published a memoir, Summerhill, Warrenpoint, which was rich in folklore and showcased his astonishing ability to recall details.

Barney was predeceased by his wife Anne and son John, and is survived by son Hugh and daughter Louise.

Requiem Mass will take place on Friday afternoon at St Peter’s Church, Warrenpoint at noon, and while numbers will be limited, the service will be available online through the parish webcam.

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