Not sure about worth of 'mark'

Joe Lennon was great player

Not sure about worth of 'mark'

The jury is out on whether the introduction of the 'mark' will be good for Gaelic football. I know it has been trialled and will be introduced to all competitions now on January 1st.

I have had an interest in it going back a long time; playing the Australians and even back in New York and Canada before I came back to Ireland in the 1960s. It would be a great reward for the likes of Neil Gallagher, who is able to go up in the middle of players and win possession. It is a lovely skill and it would be nice to see it rewarded. But I have a doubt that over time there may not be enough merit to retain it.

I would be more interested in a limit to handpasses to three to get more foot passing into the game. Handpassing it out of control at the moment. It is nice to watch what Kerry, especially at underage, can do. I know Donegal could be accused of too much handpassing in the past, but that was down to the size of player available.

But overall the handpassing can be overdone and it is sometimes used to run down the clock towards the end of games, which doesn't help.


It was sad to hear of the passing of Joe Lennon, a great of Down football, and also someone who had a connection to Donegal.

My first All-Ireland final was 1960 and that great Down team took Sam Maguire across the border for the first time. Lennon, while a relatively small man, was alongside Jarlath Carey at midfield. He had good hands and was assured on the ball and used it very well.

He reverted to wing half-back later in his career and was marking Mickey McLoone when we should have won an Ulster final in 1966. We will always feel that Donegal should have made the breakthrough at that time. Down were well beaten in that All-Ireland semi-final but the regrouped and Paddy Doherty returned and they won another All-Ireland in 1968 with Lennon as captain.

He went on to write a book about coaching, which didn't go down that well down south. Then in 1975, when John Hannigan took over as Donegal manager, he brought Joe in to help with Donegal. I remember him on the line that day against Cavan in Ballybofey.

He was a thinking footballer but he was also a tough player on the pitch.

Are dheis De go raibh a anam.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Peter Campbell