Wicklow overcame Louth on Sunday in the Kehoe Cup on a scoreline of 3-14 to 3-11.
The game will be remembered in Wicklow, and especially the O’Neill household, as the day when a father and son lined out side by side for the county.
In what is a truly rare feat at inter-county level, the father and son combination of the legendary Jonathan ‘Bosco’ O’Neill and his teenage son Jonathan Jr. contributed to the Garden County’s victory in the game which was played at the Louth Centre of Excellence.
While the O’Neill pair have previously lined out together for their club Glenealy, most notably last season when they claimed the Wicklow county SHC title and went on to reach the Leinster club IHC final, this latest milestone is really historic, to do so at county level must fill the family with immeasurable pride.
43-year-old Bosco has come out of inter-county retirement in 2018 after calling it a day in 2015, and looks to have not lost a speck of sharpness. He typically lead by example on Sunday, notching an impressive 1-06, while his son appeared as a second-half substitute.
Father & Son Jonathan (Bosco)O'Neill snr & Jnr lined out for Wicklow in the Keogh cup V Louth yesterday. Is this unheard of. #rtegaa Jonathan Snr was man of the match with 1-06. Jar came on as a second half sub.
— David Murray (@DavidDavemurray) January 8, 2018
O’Neill Sr. is regarded by many as the finest Wicklow Hurler of all-time, giving his son Jr. quite the name to live up to. If he goes on to achieve half of his father’s roll of honour (1 All-Ireland ‘B’ title, 5 Kehoe Cups and NHL titles in 2A, 3A and 3B, several Christy Ring Cup All-Stars) he will undoubtedly be deemed a huge success for the county.
There has been quite a few instances in the past where a father-son combination have lined out together at club level, particularly in the cases of small, rural clubs who may be tight for numbers and struggle to field a team. However, to see such an occurrence at inter-county level is truly unprecedented.
Has it ever happened before?