Blue Demons class of 1973 honoured for first national league success

John Coughlan salutes the northside club's terrific squad that lifted the league 50 years ago
Blue Demons class of 1973 honoured for first national league success

Peter Coughlan (RIP) represented by his son Shane, Jim Dineen (committee), Michael O'Sullivan, (committee), Dominick Dalton (absent) represented by his son Dean, Joe Coughlan, Dan Byrne (committee member), Andrew Houlihan, Barry Joyce, Barry Deasy, Sean Murphy, Sean O'Sullivan, Noel McCarthy (RIP) represented by his daughter Joanne, Aidan Horgan, John Cooney, at the 50th-anniversary reunion of Blue Demons' win. Picture: Larry Cummins

IT proved a very memorable and nostalgic evening for members of the Blue Demons team of 1973, the first winners of the National League when they were introduced to the capacity attendance at the Mardyke Arena on Friday night at half time in the game with Neptune.

Amazingly, all the players with the exception of Noel McCarthy who sadly passed away in October 2021 and Peter Coughlan (2018) were present on a special evening for all the rest of the squad.

Dan Byrne, Aidan Horgan and Sean O’Sullivan were inducted into the clubs Hall of Fame category on an evening when the old brigade witnessed the present Super League team defeat rivals Neptune in a thrilling clash.

Committee members Jim Dineen and Michael O’Sullivan were also present for the ceremony.

The following was the team and club mentors who helped to create a historical first National League.

1. Sean Murphy joined Demons in 1968 having played his basketball with Iona neighbours prior to becoming a stalwart with Demons.

The Blue Demons team of 1973 who won the first National league.
The Blue Demons team of 1973 who won the first National league.

Murphy received senior international caps with Ireland and went on to win another league as a player in 1981 and one as the coach in 1984 as well as being part of the BIB Federation Cup winning team of 1983. 

Sean is still coaching in the club to this present day and was a renowned academy coach; a superb teacher of the game.

2. John Cooney another Iona star moved to Demons in 1973 and won senior international honours winning leagues in 1981 and 1984 and National Cup in 1986 and went on to coach the successful 1989 league-winning team and was also part of the historical Federation Cup-winning squad of 1983.

3. Aidan Horgan one of founder members of the club in 1966 and captain of the very successful 1971 team. A driving force behind many club ventures and has served on the very successful golf classic committee since 1997.

4. Sean O’Sullivan served on the club committee as chairperson on a number of occasions as well as a very successful PRO both with the club and Basketball Ireland.

5. Barry Deasy joined the team in 1971 after many years with the club juvenile section. Served De Paul for many years as chairperson and coached the Super League team to a National Championship in 1985 and still an office with the juvenile club.

6. Barry Joyce another founder member and was on the team since the club's formation and was chairperson of the club in 1975 and continues to be a gig supporter of all fundraising ventures organised by the club.


7. Andrew Houlihan the big post player of the team who gained senior international honours with Ireland won the league pennant again in 1981 and a Federation Cup winner in 1983 before coaching the team to a historical 1986 National Cup win.

8. Joe Coughlan the youngest player of the team gained senior international honours and won the Super League again in 1981 and the Federations cup in 1983. A member of the Coughlan family who are synonymous with the Blue Demons Club.

9. Noel McCarthy founder member and heartbeat of the team senior international at the pre-Olympic Tournament in Amsterdam in 1972 won a basketball Intervarsity Embassy Cup with UCC.

Sadly passed away in October 2021 but was represented by his daughter Joanne who travelled from Dublin for the occasion.

10. Peter Coughlan was player/coach and another man who gave so much to the Blue Demons Club. Coached the team to another league in 1981 and the Federation Cup in 1983.

Peter was active in the club until the time of his death in 2018 and was a fundraiser par excellence with his legendary son Shane proudly representing him on the evening.

11. Dominick Dalton joined from Iona and teammate of John Cooney since they commenced hopping the basketball. Presently residing in the county of Mayo his son Dean was on hand to pick up his memento.

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