Profile: Pat Critchley
Pat or Zoom as he is affectionately known is an icon in Portlaoise and Laois Hurling. He holds 14 Senior Championship medals and probably unknown to many seven of those are for Senior Football. In fact he scored an equalising point in the 1976 Leinster final to bring the game to a replay in which Portlaoise won in Croke Park.
Laois’s only Hurling All Star he graced the playing fields and captained Laois in the 1984 Centenary Cup final against Cork, his opposite captain on that day was John Fenton.
Pat played with and managed the Laois Senior Hurlers and managed the Laois Minor Hurling team. He also managed the Town at various levels.
He was selected on the Laois Millennium team alongside his fellow team and club mate John Taylor.
Further national recognition of his hurling skills came about in 2013 when he was selected on the team of the greatest players never to have won an All Ireland.
Pat was also a distinguished basketball player and coach and has brought his school team Colaiste Croist Rí to three All Ireland titles.
Fittingly Pat was also involved he helping the ladies team in the school win an All Ireland
Football title in 2013 along with Cork All Star and fellow teacher Geraldine O Flynn.
Zoom may not be flying up and down the wings now but he is still passionately involved in
hurling in Portlaoise.
If you want to read more about Pat, he recently produced a great book about his up bringing in Portlaoise. The book ” Hungry Hill'” is available in the shops and well worth a read.