Profile: Roc Scully

Rocky Scully outside his shop on Main Street Portlaoise

Rocky Scully was a prominent player and official over the years.

He was a fine hurler who won underage county titles with Portlaoise and represented Laois at minor level.

Roc’s family all have strong connection with the town.

His father, Paddy, was one of officials who helped reform the club in 1949.

His hairdressing salon was always a great meeting point for GAA supporters and was known as the GAA Barbers. Club notices were placed in a window of the premises at Main Street and this was the chief method of club communication at the time.


At his funeral in 2004 Parish priest Fr. John Byrne, receiving Rocky’s remains in SS Peter and Paul’s Church, noted that his death marked the end of a chapter in the history of Portlaoise. A chapter that encompassed almost a century: the length of time that PJ Scully’s Gentlemen’s Hairdressing Salon was in business – a business that Rocky’s father, Paddy Scully, established. It drew customers not only from the town and environs, but from many parts of the country and beyond. And it was much more than a barber shop. It was a place where the old stock, and the not so old stock gathered for a chat and the craic. Newspapers were perused there, racing form studied, crosswords solved, GAA matches analysed, great characters recalled. On the walls were evocative photographs of the 1915 All-Ireland winning Laois senior hurlers, of the 1949 beaten All-Ireland finalists, of the 1958 Portlaoise senior footballers. Rocky was a genial host, with a smile for everybody, with the ability to talk to all age groups and classes. He will be sadly missed.

Reunion of 1949/’50/’51 Portlaoise and Kilminchy minor hurling and football teams pictured in clubhouse on 18 November 2000.
At the reunion of 1949/’50/’51 Portlaoise and Kilminchy minor hurling and football teams in 2000. Roc Scully, Fr. Tom O’Reilly and Niall Kavanagh.
Minor hurling finalists 1951 Back: Eugene Conroy (Sec.), John Bergin, John Muldowney, Frank Dunne, Ned Campion, Ned Fitzpatrick, Hugh Campion, Tony Bergin, Roc Scully, Paddy Connell (selector). Front: Liam Horan, Paddy Bracken, Mick Larkin, John Hughes, Tom Bracken, Richard (Sonny) Brown, Michael (Bracken) Conroy.
Minor Hurling champions 1950: Back: Paddy Connell, John Muldowney, Sean Bergin, Tom Bracken, Al. Delaney, John
Sponsored cycle of the 1950s. Included are Jack Cleary, Roc Scully, Larry Donoghue (in shorts), Peter Ryan, and Jim Fitzpatrick.
Borris Road, winners of the Street League in late 1940s. Back: Kevin Blake. Larry Donoghue, Kieran Rigney, Jimmy Flynn, Tom Bracken, Paddy Walsh, Tom Sheridan. Middle: Dave Murphy, Joe Foley, Roc Scully, John Hughes (Capt.), Johnny Dowling, Jim Hughes. Front: Jimmy Preston, Noel Conroy, Louis Scully, Sean O’Reilly, Kevin O’Neill, Johnny Breen.

More Club History To Explore

Profile: Johnny Lynch

Johnny Lynch, of O’Moore Place, who rode to Mountmellick on a donkey to follow the Portlaoise hurlers in an epic game against great rivals, Clonad, played in Mountmellick.

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