28 January 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Two former greats of the game in Monaghan, Benny Mone, Clontibret, and Jim O’Hanlon, Ballybay, were inducted into the Monaghan GAA Hall of Fame at last Saturday night’s Northern Standard/R&S Printers sponsored awards ceremony in the Hillgrove Hotel …
It was fitting perhaps that these two men were jointly inducted on the same night as they were part and parcel of a great era in Monaghan club football in particular when Ballybay and Clontibret were the dominant forces.
Born in Wolverhampton in England Benny Mone came home to Clontibret just over a year later and was described as learning the basic skills of the game in Clontibret National School in schools matches organised by the legendary father Pat McCormick.
He made his championship debut with Clontibret in1953 although that was a disappointing year as Clontibret surrendered their championship title after completing a record-breaking four in a row in 1952.
Championship success came however in 1955, 1956 and 1958 with a team that is regarded as one of the greatest of all time in the county with such legends of the game as Paddy McKearney, John Murray, the McQuaid’s as well as the legendary Pat Clarke and John Rice to name but a few.
Rice was centre halfback on that team and when he retired Benny Mone took over his number 6 jersey which he wore with distinction and went on to captain Clontibret to further championship success in 1968, his fourth championship medal although he did appear in 11 senior county finals.
He was not long in the Clontibret jersey until he came to the notice of the county selectors and was a regular on the county team for over a decade although no Ulster championship title came to Monaghan in that time.
As well as representing Monaghan he also represent Ulster in the Railway Cup a phase of his career that began with a winners medal in 1960 and he was also a member of the team in 1962 along with such illustrious names as Dan McCarten of Down and Jim McDonnaell, Cavan.
When his playing career ended he continued serving the association as a referee and took charge of games from U12 level in Monaghan to inter-county championship matches in Ulster as well as games in the National Football League.
He also served as chairman of the Monaghan referees committee for over 12 years and in that time helped to further the cause of referees and refereeing.

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