Tribute to Jim Brosnan

December 13th, 2011
by Sean Moran

The weekend before last in a piece in this newspaper on the Kerry influence on UCC football, an accompanying panel listed Dr Jim Brosnan as one of the great exemplars of this connection. The piece was published the day before the Cork college lost to Dr Croke's of Killarney in the Munster club final. The same weekend Jim Brosnan passed away, taking away one of the great figures in Kerry football both as a player and administrator.

The son of the legendary Con Brosnan from Moyvane, who won six All-Irelands for Kerry and also managed the county to three more, Jim Brosnan was born in 1930. A celebrated Sigerson Cup player, he won two titles with UCC and was selected on this year's Sigerson Team of the Century.
As a county player he won an All-Ireland in 1953 and was flown back from the USA for the 1955 All-Ireland final, when he played a key role in the famous victory of Kerry over Dublin. He added another medal in 1959 and went on as coach to win a minor All-Ireland in the 1960s.

He is also well remembered in the county for his time as county chair when he initiated the reorganisation of football in the county by establishing county leagues with an emphasis on providing matches for players. In 1970 he was also the motive force behind organising the Kerry footballers' trip to Australia.

In the view of former All-Ireland winning captain Dara Ó Cinnéide, writing in the weekend's Irish Examiner,
"...perhaps the description that best defines his contribution to the GAA is that of a football socialist. He had a tremendous loyalty to the game and the players and a fierce conviction that the club player should not be neglected."

At a function to honour Dr Brosnan, which is archived on Weeshie Fogarty's excellent Terrace Talk site, an old rival, Seán O'Neill of Down, paid this tribute.
"I think the world of Jim Brosnan. He represents all that's great about the Kingdom. He was highly competitive, a physical player, who played it hard and played it fair."

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