Miriam Meets.... Sean Boylan, his wife Tina and their eldest child Sean Og
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This week, Miriam O'Callaghan meets legendary Meath football manager, Sean Boylan, his wife Tina and their eldest son, Sean Og.
Sean recalls his years as manager of the Meath GAA team and Tina and Sean reflect on this impact this had on their family life and the experience of Sean retiring after twenty three years in the job.
Tina and Sean tell Miriam how they courted. Tina had been a regular visitor to the Boylan farm since she was a ten year old, and had known Sean nearly all her life. But it was only when she had left her life as a nun and was contemplating a move to Australia that Sean asked her out. That was Summertime and the pair married that Christmas. Both reflect on the almost twenty year age gap between them and the impact this has had on their relationship. They now have six children.
Sean Og is their eldest child. He recalls that he was never very good at football, but never pressurised by his father to excel at sport. Through school, Sean Og's talent as a pianist was spotted and he is currently studying piano at the Royal Irish Academy.
While the age difference between Tina and Sean has never worried them, Sean's recent experience of prostate cancer was very difficult for all the family. But the support of Tina and his children, particularly his older boys, was very important to Sean.
Sean explained to Miriam how the herbal medicine tradition in the Boylan family was brought to Dunboyne by his ancestor, also called Sean Boylan. The four remedies traditionally in the family were expanded by Sean's father after he was injured in the War of Independence and given only a year to live. This prompted him to make a further study of herbal medicine. He died at 91.
Sean Og is well informed about herbal remedies because he has grown up with this tradition. Sean jokes that the only time he was ever criticised was when the Meath team failed to win a match - he was blamed for giving them the wrong bottle!