The First Poc Fada on Annaverna Mountain 1960
"He must have been very conscious that not only was he the winner of the competition but more important, he was the first-ever, man or boy, to perform this feat."
On the 8th of August 1960 the first Poc Fada competition took place on Annaverna Mountain, 6 boys under the age of sixteen contested the event, all hailing from the recently formed (1959) Cumann Ógra Naomh Moninne which later became known as Naomh Moninne Hurling Club.
The results of the first Poc Fada
The photo opposite appeared in the "Argus" Newspaper the week after the event. The lads were superstars that week after their history making achievement but it wasn't for their epic endeavours but for getting their picture in the paper!
Below “An tAthair" writes about the beginnings of An Poc Fada....
LÁ DEN SAOL (Once upon a Time) by An tAthair Pól Mac Seáin. P.E.
SUMMER 1960: Some days after our bike trek to and climb of Sliabh gCuilinn in Sth. Armagh (and our special coiste meeting on the summit) Danny O’Brien; Oliver Hodgers; Sam McGuinness (Senior) - nach maireann – and myself, enjoying a sunny evening on the bank above The Báinseach: Liam O’Reilly (later the “Bagatelle” supremo) and Bredan McCoy, 2 mini-Setantas, passing a sliotar around: looking across to the 10 miles long Cooley Mountain range – L. “How many pocs would it take you from there to there?” (Cáman indicating the full 10 miles). B. “Ah, about 5 maybe!” L. “Well I’ld [sic] do it in 4!”. So that was the way the seed of the “madness” of An Poc Fada was sown.
Soon, after a positive coiste decision, Oliver and I walked and “measured” a course (3 miles 320 yds) stretching from the flat-topped Céide (Áth Na Bearna) to where the mountain gave way to the fields of the Mills Family in Achadh Min. Later, in the snow, with Danny, we measured this same course with a long rope, to be exact! Late July: A “special notice” was pinned to the famous “notice wall” in the Seomraí – officially., of course; WILL 6 UNDER – 16 HURLERS LIKE TO TRY IT? Yes, 6 would – Peter Crilly, Damian Callan, Seán Mc Aneaney, Mal Begley, Peter Myles and Jerome McDonagh. Sticks from a hedge for score flags (pieces of worn sheets, etc.); and all on bikes and Frank Myles per moped, out on Áth Na Bearna, 8.8.60 forenoon.
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