Hall Of Fame 2009 – Jimmy Hatton

Hall of Fame


Jimmy Hatton (Kilcoole)

It is said that the essence of greatness is that it consistently proves itself and intermittently surpasses itself. So is with this evening’s recipient of the Wicklow GAA Hall of Fame Award.

As a player he was exceptional, as a club administrator he was meticulous, as a selector his judgement was very much respected and as a match official he had no equal.

Growing up in North Wicklow in the 40’s was an era where Gaelic Games was a way of life.

As a young boy he played minor football for Newtown who had contested three county finals. It was not long until he found himself on both his clubs adult football and hurling teams.

He was on the Clubs Junior hurling team that won the championship of 1953.  That success was repeated in 1957 and again 15 years later in 1972 when he again played a pivotal role in his club defeating Hollywood in the County Junior Hurling final.

He was to play in 5 senior hurling finals for his club and found himself on the losing side on each occasion.

In 1954 along with his brother he was a member of the team that against all the odds defeated St Patricks Wicklow in the County Senior Football final .He was to play in two more football finals 57’ and 61.

He was a member of the team that won the O’Byrne cup in 1957 when Wicklow defeated Kildare. He was a regular on both the county hurling and football teams during that period and in 1964 was on the Wicklow Junior Hurling team that won the Leinster championship.

He was Treasurer of his club for over a decade.

In 1969 as a selector he played a crucial role in Wicklow defeating Kerry to win the All-Ireland Junior Football Home title.

As a match referee he had no equal. His record will never be broken. He officiated at Provincial Finals in each of the four provinces. He was in charge of county Finals in Dublin, Westmeath, and Wexford and of course here at home in Wicklow.

On the National stage his first All-Ireland final was the Minor Football Final of 1962.

The following year he was in charge of the Senior Hurling Final in which Kilkenny beat Waterford.

In 1964 he was in charge of the Galway V. Kerry Senior Football Final. Again in 1965 he took charge of the minor football final.

In 1966 He refereed BOTH All-Ireland senior Finals. Cork V Kilkenny in Hurling and Meath V Galway in the Football.

As the years progressed he was to take charge of another 5 all-Irelands and many major Inter County and Provincial finals.

A great man, who is in the truest sense a sportsman who carried through his life a sense of chivalry and fair play that marked his conduct on and off the field.  A great ambassador for our county that made us all feel proud of our roots.

We are delighted that his wife Rose, Sons Colm and Seamus and his daughters Noleen, and Valerie and their partners along with his brother Dannie and his wife and friends  along with  his local  P.P Fr Belton who is also a proud Wicklow man has joined us for this presentation.

This evening we honour one of Wicklow greatest sporting legends and sporting ambassador I ask you to give a standing ovation to Jimmy Hatton from Kilcoole as he enters the Wicklow GAA Hall of Fame.

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