Gaile Sportsfield 

Letter to Editor of Tipperary Star following opening of Gaile Sportsfield Jan 10, 1994


The Editor, 

'The Tipperary Star', Thurles. 

January 10, 1994 

Dear Sir:

The unveiling of the plaque at the entrance to the former Gaile Sportsfield last Sunday recalled for me Lorrha's first ever county final victory, the 1946 county junior hurling championship. Their opponents were Moycarkey-Borris and the date was November 23, 1947, according to the 'Moycarkey-Borris G.A.A. Story' and December 7, 1947 according to the Lorrha G.A.A. book. The score is also uncertain because none of the local newspapers reported the match. Again, there is a slight divergence between the two books with Moycarkey giving the result 4-4 to 3-3 in Lorrha's favour but the Lorrha book claiming only a three-point victory on a scoreline of 4-4 to 3-4. 

Lorrha beat Eire Og in the north final and defeated Galtee-St. Pecauns, the West champions, in the county semi-final at Thurles on November 16. In the other semi-final, Moycarkey- Borris, who had beaten Thurles Kickhams in the mid final, defeated south champions, Clerihan, at Cashel on September 28. 

The venue for the final was Gaile, which is about a half-mile from the border of Moycarkey-Borris parish. It was probably as close as it was possible to get to Moycarkey without actually playing the match in the parish! Admission to the game was one shilling and the sideline was sixpence extra. 

Paddy O'Sullivan of Lorrha remembered the occasion for me. The team and supporters went to the match by hired car. The supporters numbered seven, Tommy Carroll, Kitty O'Sullivan, Martin Lewis, Patrick O'Meara, Paul Boucher, Son Ryan and one other, whose name escaped him. 

There was a crowd of about 1,000 present and the referee (whose name is not remembered) let everything run. Lorrha played a great game and needed to be good to beat Moycarkey. 

Paddy, who was playing centreback, retired five minutes into the second-half. When he later went into the doctor in Thurles to have the injury seen to, the doctor, on hearing of the match, said: 'I can expect more so.' (This gives credence to Mickey Byrne's quip at Sunday's get-together that, if the grove of trees were still there they'd be skin and hair growing out of them.) 

Lorrha survived to win and the team, according to Paddy's memory was as follows: Paddy Maher, Des Donoghue, Mick Donoghue, Mick O'Meara (L), Billy Hogan, Paddy O'Sullivan, Tom Lambe, Hubie Hogan and Eugene O'Meara, Tommy Ryan, Dan O'Meara, Jim O'Meara, 

Paddy Guinan, Mick O'Meara, Vincent Darcy. Mick Brophy, who was a key player at the time, had his appendix out earlier in the year and missed the match. 

The Moycarkey-Borris team that defeated Thurles Kickhams in the mid final was as follows: John Power, Eddie Power, Willie Power, Jim Power, Pat Hackett, Tom Hackett, Larry Ryan, Timmy Ryan, Willie Dempsey, Johnny Mockler, Martin Kennedy, Michael Ryan, James O'Grady, Tony Molloy, Matty Bannon, Neddy McCormack. 

The Lorrha lads went home after the match and there were no celebrations. In fact, Paddy claims that there were people in the parish who didn't know for years afterwards that Lorrha had won a county final! 

Yours sincerely,

Seamus J. King