We look at the stories that were making the headlines this week in the Andersonstown News in 1980

RESPECTS: Pat Cunning's funeral in September 1980
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RESPECTS: Pat Cunning's funeral in September 1980

Tribute to ‘Master’ Cunning

MR Pat Cunning, who died at the weekend, was buried in Milltown Cemetery on Tuesday following 12 o’clock Mass in St Agnes’ Oratory.

The large crowd who attended the funeral and who accompanied the remains to the oratory on Monday night was an indication of the great respect in which Mr Cunning was held by local people and by his many colleagues and friends in the teaching profession and the GAA.

 

As teacher in St Teresa’s Primary School and first principal of Holy Child, a whole generation of local children came under his influence.

“He was a man of his time,” a former pupil told our reporter. “A man we all respected and looked up to – and a great Gael.”

Our GAA correspondent writes: “Pat Cunning originally played in famous Dunloy Cuchulainn’s teams that won county football championships in the ’20s and then played for St Gall’s Belfast in the early ’30s. An expert even in those days of the hand-toe movements, he represented Ulster in both hurling and football, and was a regular on both Antrim hurling and football teams for many years. He was an Antrim official, and represented the county at Ulster conventions and at All-Ireland Congress.

When the Antrim County Board purchased Corrigan Park in 1928, he was the chairman of the county and took a big part in the organising of functions in the ground to reduce the debt. The then committee of Liam Harvey, John Cobourn, Sean McKeown, Pat McFadden and Hugh Carvan have all passed on before him.

The Gaels of Antrim, and particularly Belfast, should be in the eternal debt of this great-hearted Gael.

The following tribute came from a close friend and past pupil.

“Pat Cunning, former captain of Antrim and Ulster, died in his sleep on 7 September 1980.

“Mr Cunning is recognised with having invented and introduced the toe-to-hand method of running with the ball. Former teacher and principal of Holy Child Boys’ and Girls’ schools, branch chairman of Andersonstown Civil Resistance Committee and fluent Gaelic speaker, Pat was always true to his culture, his heritage and his sport.

Pat has gone, but the spirit of this man, born in the Glens of Antrim, shall be found in Gaelic games and culture, and in the young people he taught.”

Committee and bar staff from the Short Strand Senior Citizens night
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Committee and bar staff from the Short Strand Senior Citizens night

Editorial 

THE reaction of loyalist councillors to the Twinbrook Gaelic street signs is predictable. It’s not surprising that people who wouldn’t let you have a house to live in (remember Poleglass?) would certainly object to you expressing your Irish identity.

And predictably, the loyalists, aided by media interviewers, have made a divisive political issue out of something about which we could all agree. Councillor Belshaw complains that loyalists wouldn’t be allowed to erect the names of British and Orange heroes in loyalist areas. Is it possible that he has never heard of: Victoria Street, George Street, Albert Street, the Queen’s Bridge, Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, Brooke Drive, Craigavon, Schomberg Street, Ireton Street, Cromwell Road, King Street, Queen Street, William Street South, Rodney Parade, Churchill House, Templar House or O’Neill Road? Not to mention ‘London Derry’?

Good luck to the Twinbrook group for reminding us of our origins; and for refusing to allow some loyalists to drag the effort down to their own Poleglass level.

The demolition of Clonard Cinema, the last cinema on the Falls Road
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The demolition of Clonard Cinema, the last cinema on the Falls Road

A Rapid victory in Beechmount decider 

Congratulations to Rapid FC on their brilliant cup winning display at Beechmount Leisure Centre, on Thursday, 4 September.

The final was full of the good football we have had the opportunity of seeing in previous rounds, with the large number of spectators being well rewarded with seven goals in this excellent game.

The scoring opened after 10 minutes, when Rapid’s Liam Brown outjumped the Whiterock Celtic defence and headed a perfect cross into the roof of the net. But although Rapid had the better of the opening 20 minutes, Whiterock fought back enabling David Austin to score a well-deserved equaliser after 25 minutes.

The Rock came close again after 30 minutes, but a good save by Jim Murray kept them out. Just when it looked like the sides would turn around all square, Liam Brown scored Rapid’s second goal to give them a half-time lead of 2-1.

The second half started in similar style, with Rapid having much of the play, and, made it appear to be all over for Whiterock when P Carson scored a third for Rapid after 78 minutes. However, Whiterock produced two very good goals in a two minute spell, bringing the sides level again with three-all. The first was scored by Adrian Slavin, direct from a free kick outside the box and the second by Brian Muckin. Muckin’s goal brought the large Whiterock supporters contingent to their feet, and as was expected, the last six minutes of the game was played at a frantic pace. 

The winning goal was scored after a defence mistake by Whiterock which allowed T Short to round the defence and lob the ball over a stranded keeper.

So this thrilling final ended with a well-deserved win for Rapid FC.

The trophies were presented afterwards by Mr B Morrison, Assistant Director of Leisure Services, and Mrs P Hannon, Manager of Beechmount Leisure Centre.

County Antrim Football Minor Final with Hugh McPoland presenting St Paul's with the cup
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County Antrim Football Minor Final with Hugh McPoland presenting St Paul's with the cup