The Lorrha and Dorrha (Davin) Club - A Brief History
County S.H. Final Program, Thurles, Oct. 14, 1984
Not many people know that the Lorrha and Dorrha (Davin) Club is the full title of what is more generally known as the Lorrha G.A.A. Club. Lorrha is included in a list of thirty-four clubs founded in County Tipperary in 1885. There is no record of the foundation meeting or of the people who founded it. Within a short time there were a number of teams in the parish and during 1886, a meeting was held to decide which team should represent the parish. There was a chance of a split and Frank Maloney and J. K. Bracken visited the parish on two occasions to sort matters out. It was decided to amalgamate the clubs and to call the parish club, the Lorrha and Dorrha (Davin) Club. Mr G. O'Brien and Rev. R. Kennedy of the parish are recorded as having attended the meeting.
There were two Lorrha players, Messrs P. Meara, Snr and P. Meara Jnr, on the North Tipperary team that played South Galway, for nothing less than the "Championship of Ireland", in Dublin, on February 9th, 1886. Lorrha played in the county championship for the first time in 1889 and defeated Hollyford in a most exciting contest at Wakefield, Templederry, On the victorious team were Paddy "The Champion" O'Meara, Tom Carroll of Newtown, Dan Carroll and Dan Donoghue. During the nineties, football was organised and there are reports of games in which Carrigahorig figured prominently. In 1889, there was a big dispute in the correspondence columns of the "Nenagh News" as to whether the Lorrha or the Toomevara clubs produced the better hurlers.
When the North Board was formed in 1900, Lorrha were one of seven senior hurling teams to affiliate for the first championship in 1901 and they made their first breakthrough when they won the North championship in 1905. There is a record from these years, which was kept by the club treasurer, Tommy O'Meara, and shows the total income of the club in 1902 as £6. 8s. 2d. There were about seventy paid-up members, at one shilling each, and they included one woman, Miss M. Nevin. The hire of brakes for team transport was one of the biggest items of expenditure.
Lorrha's next championship victory came in 1914 and the team included Tom Duffy, who is still alive and touching ninety years of age. The first Lorrha man to win an All-Ireland was Felix Cronin, who played with the victorious county junior hurling team in that year. The club won another championship in 1924 when they defeated an understrength Nenagh team by 7-3 to 0-3. Jim "The Private" O'Meara played with Nenagh that day and his brother Bill, played for Lorrha. Two other players on the team were Tom Duffy and Mick Cronin. Both were to win All-Ireland senior hurling medals with the county in 1925 and travel to the U.S. on the American tours of 1926 and 1931. Another All-Ireland medal winner from that period was Hugh Burke, who won with Dublin in 1917.
There's a long break to the next senior championship win in 1948, when the great hero of the hour was Tony Reddin. During the thirties there was little success recorded. The period saw the growth of junior teams like Redwood, and the regrading of Lorrha to intermediate status. The greatest hurler of the period was Christy Forde, who played in goals for Dublin in three All-Ireland and three National League finals. He won one All-Ireland and one League medal. The period culminated in Lorrha's first county championship victory, when they defeated Moycarkey in the 1946 final by 4-4 to 3-3. The match was played at Gaile, on November 22nd, 1947. Admission was one shilling and the sideline was sixpence extra. This team was the basis of the victorious 1948 team.
The fifties saw another senior championship victory, in 1956, but the high-point of the decade must surely be the success of the juveniles, who won three divisional and two county championships between 1956 and 1958. These players formed the core of the teams of the sixties and saw the club win four divisionc al championships in 1966, in senior, junior and u/21 hurling and in junior football. The junior hurlers also won a championship in 1961 and the footballers were to go one better in 1971 and win the county final.
The u/21 team which won the divisional championship, in 1965, went on to win county honours the following year. Noel Lane and Michael O'Meara figured prominently on the county u/21 team that won the inaugural All-Ireland in that grade in 1964. There was a great lot of hurling talent in the parish during this period and it may not have got the success it deserved.
The seventies saw two Lorrha men, Liam King and Noel Lane, contribute to the county's last senior hurling championship win. The seventies were marked by many near misses. A number of players achieved county status and won All-Ireland honours: Seamus Kennedy in minor in 1976, Brian Mannion in u/21 in 1979, Joe Kennedy in 1980, John Mclntyre in 1981 and Ken Hogan in minor 1981. At present this talent is coming into its own in the shape of a senior team that is attempting to prove today that it is the best in the county.
One of the present team, Michael Brophy, whose father before him gave sterling service to the parish, won a National League medal with the county in 1979. Another Lorrha man, Mick Cronin, was on the team that won the first National League for Tipperary in 1927. In between Tony Reddin won six finals, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955 and 1957. Sharing that success with him in 1950 was his clubmate Billy Hogan and another Lorrha man, Sean O'Meara, was on the successful 1957 team.
Finally, a short account of the history of Lorrha club would be incomplete without a mention of Hubie Hogan, who was North chairman for seven years and never missed a meeting and went on to guide the affairs of the county from 1976 to 1979. He was associated with G.A.A. affairs in the parish for over forty years.