Gus Lohan

The Big Man From Cappataggle

by Val Arthur
The big man who first came to prominence with a little country club in Co. Galway is none other than the great-hearted former outstanding Galway-Clare and Newmarket hurling star, Gus Lohan.

Gus, who is well known nationally, and particularly in Clare, gave many outstanding displays for his native county and later for his adopted county and was as big in heart as he is in stature. A sportsman in the true fashion of all great men, he was utterly fearless and totally dedicated.

Those attributes were evident from his early days when he helped Cappataggle in 1957 to achieve a unique double in Galway sport: the winning of the Minor Championships in hurling and football. From 1961 to 1964 he also won Junior B, Junior A, Intermediate B and Intermediate A
Championships in successive years. ln 1965, the redheaded gárda was transferred to the famous Blues club of Newmarket-on-Fergus. His move was to be mutually beneficial as Gus made a major contribution to the fortunes of the Blues for the following twenty years, and of course he joined a group of players of outstanding skill and equal dedication.

Gus and Newmarket were to dominate Clare and Munster hurling for the next two decades and his displays made for much after-match comment and conversation. In all, he won a remarkable eleven senior hurling championships, two Munster Club championships, ten Clare Champion Cup medals and several prestigious tournaments.

In 1968 Gus threw in his lot with Clare and he immediately made a big impact in his first championship game against Waterford. He capped an outstanding display with a marvellous last-minute match-winning point. His great efforts for Clare were rewarded with a National League medal in
1977 when he again proved his worth with sound solid displays right through the league campaign.

Gus Lohan of course did not confine his talents to just the playing of the games. In 1979 he became Treasurer of the Newmarket club and proved to be as outstanding in raising finance as he was successful on the playing arena. He organised a trip to the USA in 1980 for the Newmarket senior team and he spearheaded a major fundraising campaign that resulted in this club having playing and social facilities on par with any club. He also organised a parish draw that netted a massive £114,000 profit which went to fund the restoration work in two churches in the parish.

In the words of the late Chairman Micko McMahon (R.IP),: ‘Gus Lohan was a serious player but he also combined a joy and a wit that made difficult tasks enjoyable and attainable. We, as a club, say thank you to Gus and Bríd Lohan.

Val Arthur

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