By Noel Coogan

With Dublin expected to claim their 14th successive Leinster SFC title
against Louth on Sunday, older followers of football may reflect on
the clashes between the counties in the late ’50s with Navan’s Parc
Tailteann hosting some of those thrilling tussles.

The keen rivals were among the top football teams in the country at
the time with both tasting All-Ireland glory. Louth in 1957 and
Dublin the following year. In 1957 the Wee County mastered the
metropolitans by 2-9 to 1-7 in the provincial decider at Croke Park
before victories over Tyrone and Cork earned them the Sam Maguire Cup.

Louth were captained to the 1957 to triumph by Dermot O’Brien of Ardee St
Mary’s, who had played club football with Navan O’Mahony’s and helped
them to a Feis Cup success in 1955. On the same day in July as
Louth gained their crowning glory, Meath won the All-Ireland minor
title for the first time with Navan lad Brendan Cahill the victorious

Louth relinquished their All-Ireland crown in the 1958 Leinster final at
Pairc Tailteann on July 20th when Dublin scored a 1-11 to 0-6 victory
before an attendance of 27,689. Former Wicklow player John Timmons
starred for Dublin and team captain Kevin Heffernan netted the goal.

In his Irish Press report, Mick Dunne described the Pairc Tailteann
pitch as luxuriantly even and carefully prepared.
Leinster’s Big Two clashed at the semi-final stage in 1959 when it
took two hours action in Navan to decide the outcome.

In the drawn encounter Dublin scored 1-8 to 0-11 for their opponents with the
attendance being 27,467. During that game four Louth players were
attacked by spectators occupying sideline seats.

The Wee County only agreed to replay at Pairc Tailteann on the
condition that there would be no sideline seats. A bumper crowd of
31,171, still a record attendance for the venue, saw Dublin score an
emphatic 3-14 to 1-9 victory.

There was another very well-attended Navan clash between the counties
in 1975 when 31,000 saw reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin
defeated Louth by 3-14 to 4-7 in a provincial semi-final.