Billy Lowe & Paddy Domegan, class '48
Where are they now
Billy Lowe - Paddy Domegan
I remember when I was shipped off to Knock with my brothers Ed and Peter, we were met by one Fr Frank Maher with "wasn't your Dad here and didn't he end up playing at Lansdowne Road in the cup final". I had no idea what he meant but some time later I worked my way down the hallways checking out all the photographs of the SCT teams, but our father, Billy Lowe was nowhere to be seen. Our father had passed away at this time, so I thought nothing more of it until a recent meeting with the renowned archivist that is Tom Davitt CM triggered my resolve to investigate further.
A curious tale unfolded.
It starts in 1942-43, when one Billy (William) Lowe "assumed" captaincy of the Under Thirteen's who remained unbeaten throughout the season. There is also a mention of a young hopeful by the name of Paddy Domegan. By 1943-44, Billy is still in pole position as captain of the U14 team that sailed through the season with only one defeat. P. Domegan however appears to have fallen by the way side with no mention of him. But NO! for if we look to the 1943-44 JCT we find Paddy's progress is such that he "playing up a year" as part of the Junior Cup Team that is narrowly defeated by Belvedere in the 2nd round of the Cup. Thus when we get to the 1944-45 JCT, both make the grade, but Paddy is now in pole position as captain and Billy is relegated to the floor. Again the team fell but this time in the semi-finals to Clongowes.
Rivalry also extended to Athletics but again Paddy shaded it here with the Gold Medals. Billy however had some peace with Boxing, Billiards & Basketball, especially the latter when they won the Junior Cup in 1945-46.
Back to the rugby and in 1946-47 SCT Paddy is again "playing up a year" in the team that defeats Rock in the final to win the cup. This is a rare achievment for the College has only won the cup on eight occasions in the last one hundred years. Paddy features prominently as does the elusive out-half that is Frank Maher, who is to greet us some 35 years later on our arrival at Knock.
Hopes remain high for the 1947-48 SCT campaign but the team falls at the final hurdle in a final against Rock at Lansdowne Road. Billy features prominently in match reports but not Paddy. What has happened? Excessive brains would appear to be the answer for it would appear that Paddy matriculated a year early in 1947 to study medicine at UCD and hence does not appear anywhere on the 1948 College Roll. Not content with playing up a year in Rugby, he decided to do this academically as well. He was sorely missed by the 1947-48 SCT.
Billy does appear on the 1948 College Roll but not in any of the class or team photographs where he is mentioned. After school, we knew he spent two years convalescing from "TB" between a sanatorium in Cappagh and home in Holywell, Carrick-on-Shannon. It would now appear that illness took hold between the time of the cup final in March and year end in June as he is not listed in the 1948 Leaving Certificate results. This would explain the mystery absence from all 1948 year group photographs as these are historically taken in the last weeks of term.
Back to our story, after school, to add insult to injury, Paddy turned around and married Billy's sister, Catherine.
I never knew till this day that my late Uncle Paddy was also a Knock man.
I write this on the day that my eldest brother Fergus, who didn't go to Knock, turns 50. It is also the day that his youngest son Conor, Billy's grandson, is playing his Cup Final up at Croke Park so we'll have to work on Fergus to get Conor going to Knock. My youngest brother Philip also dodged internment at Knock and we'll have to wait on a change to co-ed before his daughters can resume the tradition. Update, he now has a son, Robert, so the line can continue.