A tribute to Kathleen Dooey R.I.P.
By Seamas McAleenan-
Another link with Antrim’s great three in a row winning All-Ireland senior teams of the second half of the 1940s was broken at the weekend with the death of Kathleen Dooey.
Anyone playing or reading about camogie around that period was very familiar with the Dooey twins who first came to prominence when Peig was in the All-Ireland winning team of 1945, the first of Antrim’s six senior O’Duffy Cup successes.
Peig then captained the St Louis Ballymena team of 1946 to their first Ulster senior schools’ title with her twin sister Kathleen was at full-back and Kathleen was immediately called into the squad for the defence of the All-Ireland title.
Kathleen went into centre-back in the team and played there helping Antrim win the next two national titles. They beat Galway by four points in the 1946 final and then Dublin by three in 1947.
Peig was sub on the 1946 All-Ireland team, but work took her to Co Down. And by 1948 she had joined the Kilclief club and played in the Down side that inflicted their first defeat on Antrim in over three seasons. Indeed Kathleen marked her sister in that Ulster final and Down went on to contest the All-Ireland final that year but lost to Dublin.
Peig however returned to captain Antrim from full-back to the 1950 Ulster title and another All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin with Kathleen still at centre-half and the pair were still there for two more All-Ireland final defeats to Dublin in 1951 and 1952.
Peig then married Down dual-player Brian Denvir and settled in Kilclief, while Kathleen later joined her sister in her adopted county, working in Newcastle. Both continued their camogie careers with Kilclief and Down.
Kathleen died on Friday March 30th, almost 72 years to the day since she was called up to the Antrim senior camogie team.
To Peig and the Dooey family circle we offer our condolences. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal Gaelach