Famous People Of Clones

Pat McGeegan (McGuigan)

Pat was born in Clones, Monaghan on 10th February 1935. He worked on the railway as a fireman until his marriage to Katie Rooney in 1957 and then emigrated to Scotland. He Returned to Ireland in 1958 and joined the Eddie Roy band. Pat also sang with the Dave Dixon Showband, The Big Four, The Victors and the Skyrockets. He represented Ireland in the Eurovision song contest in the Albert Hall, London on the 6th April 1968 with a song called ‘Chance of a Lifetime’, composed by John J Kennedy. The song came 4th in the competition. Pat died aged fifty-two, just two years after his son Barry won the featherweight boxing championship of the world.

Jonathan Douglas

Jonathan was born on 22nd November 1981 in Clones. He first joined Blackburn Rovers after having being a trialist at Celtic and made his debut against West Ham in the Worthington Cup in October 2000. In March 2003, he was loaned to Chesterfield for six weeks in which time he played seven matches and to Blackpool for three months, where he made a significant impact playing in sixteen league games and scoring three goals. However, Blackburn were struggling in the league and Douglas found himself returning to action on a regular basis and shone for the team. He has since earned international caps for the Republic of Ireland, the first against Poland on April 28 2004. On August 19 2005, he joined Leeds United on a season long loan. He impressed in the early half of the season making forty appearances for the club and scoring five goals in the process. There performances impressed former manager Keven Blackwell enough to make the move permanent and on August 31, 2006, Douglas moved to Leeds. He then went on to play for Swindon Town, Brentford where has had his most successful spell with any club, and then Ipswich Town.

Eugene McCabe

Eugene was born in Glasgow in July 1930. He was the second son of Mrs Ellen McCabe, Sunnymeade, Clones, who comes from South Fermanagh stock and Mr Owen McCabe who was a native of Shercock, Co. Cavan. In the early 1940’s his family moved back to Sunnymeade in Clones. Eugene wrote his first story at the age of twenty, a story about his first term at Killashee. Encouraged by the publication of this story, he wrote his first novel. The novel was never published, in his own words “it had many faults”. Eugene did not write again for ten years, deciding instead to continue working on his farm at Drumard, Clones. Eugene started writing again when he was thirty. “The age of thirty was a turning point in my life”, he said. “While I discovered I was a tenth-rate farmer, I suspected I could possibly be a third-rate writer”. So, he began to write again. He wrote a little played called a Matter of Conscience, followed by the King of the Castle in 1964. King of the Castle is the story of an ageing and impotent farmer who wants an heir by his weird and in desperation asks a young journeyman to perform the necessary function. The play won the Irish Life award out of 169 entries and was the unanimous choice of the adjudicators. It was Produced at the Gaiety Theatre during the Dublin Theatre Festival. In the early mid-seventies, Eugene wrote what is probably regarded as his most famous set of works, a trilogy of plays entitled Victims which focused on the differing traditions and ‘the troubles’ of Northern Ireland.

Keven McBride

Kevin was born May 5th 1973, in Clones Co. Monaghan. He competed for his native country at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The 6’6 McBride debuted in December 1992, with a draw against Gary Charlton. In 1997, he defeated Paul Douglas to win the All-Ireland Heavyweight Title, and in 2002 he defeated Craig Tomlinson to add the IBC Americas Heavyweight Title. McBride lives in Dorchester in Boston. McBride’s greatest success to date came with a victory over Mike Tyson, who was once the world heavyweight champion, via a 7th round TKO on June 11, 2005 in the CI Centre in Washington DC. McBride’s nickname, “The Clones Colossus” recalls Barry Mc Guigan’s sobriquet “The Clones Cyclone”.

Mark Connolly

Mark was born on 16th December 1991. Mark originally started out with Wolverhampton Wanderers and then joined Bolton Wanderers in 2009 for a fee of one million pound. He didn’t make any senior appearances for Bolton and joined Crawley Town on July 9th 2012. He spent 2 successful years with Crawley making 69 appearances and scoring 3 goals. He then joined Kilmarnock in July 2014 for 2 season before rejoining Crawley when his contract expired on July 2nd, 2016. Mark has represented Ireland at all youth levels, but has no senior caps.

Patick McCabe

Playwright and novelist Patrick McCabe was born in Clones, Co. Monaghan in 1955. He was educated at St Patrick’s Training College in Dublin. His short story “The Call” won the Press Hennessy award. He is the author of five novels including The Butcher Boy (1992), a comedy narrated by a young slaughterhouse worker, which won the Irish Times literature award for fiction. The Dead School (1995), an account of the misfortunes that befall two Dublin teachers. Breakfast on Pluto (1998), the disturbing tale of a transvestite prostitute who became involved with Republican terrorists. The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto were both short listed for the 1998 Booker Prize. His novel, Emerald Games of Ireland (2001), is a black comedy featuring matricide Pat McNab and his attempts to fend off noisy neighbors. His novel, Winterwood, was published in 2006, and was named the Hughes & Hughes/Irish Independent Irish Novel of the Year.

Barry McGuigan

Barry was born on the 28th February 1961 in Clones, Co. Monaghan and started boxing when he was twelve. He had two characteristics which set him on the road to success, fierce dedication to boxing and a dogged determination. Barry reached the pinnacle of his amateur career when at Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, he won the gold medal in the bantamweight championship. He was the youngest member of the Nothern Ireland boxing team defeating Tumat Sogolik of Papa New Guinea and endeared himself to a vast television audience when he received his medal. On May 10th 1981, he had his first professional bout under the management of Barney Eastwood. The greatest tragedy of Barry’s career occurred on the 14th June 1982 when he fought Asymin Mustapha of Nigeria, dubbed Young Ali. Towards the end of a hard fight Ali was eventually knocked out. He never regained consciousness and died six months later in Lagos hospital. The incident almost put an end to McGuigan’s career. In April, he defeated Vernon Penprase to win the British title and in November he became the European featherweight champion. On June 8th 1985, Barry met Eusebio Pedrose of Panama at the open-air arena of Loftus Road, Londan, to fight for the featherweight championship of the world. Barry was victorious after 15 rounds, and Ireland, North and South went mad. Barry successfully defended his title twice but eventually the dream was ended in the heat of the Las Vegas desert, where he faced the relatively unknown Stevie Cruz from Texas in what proved a gruelling fifteen-round title bout under a blazing sun. McGuigan held a lead halfway through, but suffered dehydration because of the extreme heat and wilted near the end, being dropped in rounds ten and fifteen. He eventually lost a close decision and his world belt, which he was never to reclaim. After the fight, McGuigan required hospitalisation because of his dehydrated state. He retired shortly after. His record was 32 wins and 3 losses, with 28 wins by knockout.

James Cecil Parke

James was born on July 26th, 1881 at Clonboy, Clones. And was to become one of the most extraordinary Irish sportsmen of all time. He represented Ireland internationally in five different sports – rugby, tennis, cricket, athletics and chess. He was one of the most outstanding international rugby players this country has ever produced, an equally brilliant scratch golfer, a first-class cricketer and track sprinter, and a child prodigy at chess, but above all else, a universally renowned tennis star, ranked among the world’s ‘Top Four’ of his era, and winning an Olympic Games Silver Medal in the Men’s Doubles of 1908. Described in a 1913 London newspaper as ‘the world’s best (tennis) player’ he was certainly the most outstanding performer Co Monaghan has ever produced, and was probably the greatest all-round sportsman that Ireland has ever produced. He died on February 27th 1946 in Llandudno.

Thomas Bracken

Thomas was Born in Clones Co. Monaghan, in December 1843, Thomas arrived in Dunedin Geelong, Victoria, in 1869. During his Australian years, he had written much verse, which he collected into a volume published in Dunedin in February 1869. He was determined to make a career in journalism and eventually obtained a job of the staff of the Otago Guardia. He became editor of the Advertiser in July 1875. The success of the paper encouraged Bracken who felt inspired to contribute the occasional verse himself, including ‘God Defend New Zealand’ which became the New Zealand national anthem. Thomas died on 10th February 1898.

Joseph Finegan

A confederate general was born in Clones on the 17th November 1814. Finegan emigrated to Florida in his early twenties. He built a lumber mill in Jacksonville and then moved to Fernandia, where he was involved in building railroads. He also practiced law. After serving as a delegate to Florida’s secession convention he was appointed to the command of the states military by Governor John Milton. Finegan was praised by his confederate allies for organising two Florida brigades. His troops were spread thin by trying to protect Florida’s long shoreline. In early 1864, union forces under Gen. Truman Seymour landed in Jacksonville and began to move inland. Finegan assembled three brigades and met the Federals at Olustee on February 20th, driving them from the field. Finegan was transferred to the army of North Virginia, where he led a brigade of Flordians in William Mahone’s division. Finegans independent decision to attack the flank of Barlows division at Cold Harbou on June 3rd, 1864, helped repulse the union assault there. After the way, Finegan practiced law and was a state senator in Florida. He later lived in Savannagh, Georgia where he worked as a cotton broker. His final years were spent in Rutledge, where he died on October 29th 1885. Finegan was said to be “unreconstructed rebel” to the end. He is buried in Old City Cemetery, Jacksonville.

Seamus Mc Cabe

Seamus Mc Cabe first hit the headlines back in 1960 when still only a teenager, he reached the All-Ireland Minor Softball Singles Final. A tall blonde twenty-three years old Clones lad, Seamus made history in 1966 by becoming the first Ulsterman ever to win an All-Ireland Senior Handball title. Paddy Mc Elroy more than anyone had guided Seamus on the glorious road to success. A fine combination they proved themselves to be. He beat Nicholas Kerins of Kerry in the semi-final but lost to the more experienced Tom Ledwith of Westmeath in the Final. The Monaghan man, however, was eligible to compete in the minor grade the following year, but in 1961 this title went to Richie Lyng of Wexford who was to have many thrilling contests with Seamus some years later. For Seamus, 1966 was certainly a year of glory and a culmination of years of effort and a long string of successes in secondary grades – all of which was moulding the left-handed Clones star into an All-Ireland Champion. It isn’t often that Monaghan leads the way in All-Ireland finals but in the world of handball, Seamus went right to the top. He was always very proud of his Clones roots. Sadly, Seamus died on 14th November 2008.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Matt was born in 1897 and was a native of Clones, he is remembered locally of Fitzpatrick’s Square of lower Fermanagh street. Which was named in his honour after being unlawfully shot whilst protecting the border at the old railway station situated there. Matt was an Old IRA commandant during the 1919-1921 Irish War of Independence. He spent his early years living in Wattlebridge Co. Fermanagh, on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic. He joined the fifth Nothern division of the Old IRA at the age of 18. He went on to captain a volunteer force in the Monaghan region. He was praised for his recruiting of volunteers and enthusiasm towards further Independence. In 1921, he was captured by the British B specials in Roslea, but was rescued from the Monaghan infirmary by fellow volunteers in what was stated to have been the biggest raid to have occurred at that time. On the 11th February 1922, Matt acting as Brigade on Call, received a message from HQ that British Uniformed men were attempting to pass through Clones Railway station without prior arrangement and therefor in breach of the terms of the truce. In his attempt to protect the border and confront these individuals Matt was shot in the head. He died almost instantly.