G.A.A. Publications - 1994

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1995, pp 85-86


The highlight of G.A.A. publishing the past year has to be Maurice Davin: First President of the G.A.A. by fomer G.A.A. President and Moneygall man, Seamus O'Riain. 

Published by Geography Publications, which is owned by Dr. Willie Nolan of U.C.D. Geography Department and formerly of Ballinastick, it contains 236 pages of text and sixteen pages of excellently produced pictures and illustrations, which add enormously to the enjoyment of the book. 

There is a review of the work by Marcus de Burca elsewhere in this Yearbook. Suffice for me to say that I would recommend it not only to anyone interested in the early history of the Association but to all who would like to know something about the social life of the period in the south of County Tipperary. The book will take its place alongside Tierney's "Croke of Cashel' and de Burca's 'Michael Cusack' as essential reading for anyone interested in the lives of those who shaped the early years of the Association. It is to be hoped that the publication of the Davin biography at this time will bring to the notice of all the importance of the man and the terrible neglect he has suffered. 

Perhaps it is worth noting in this regard that he is not remembered in any stand in Croke Park. Belatedly he was recognised in the naming of Aras Daibhin. But a fitting gesture to his memory would be the naming of the Canal End after him when the redevelopment of Croke Park is completed. 

Finally, the book is excellent value at £11.95. The reason for such good value is the subsidisation of its production by both Croke Park and the Munster Council. The Tipperary County Board are also to be complimented on their decision to purchase two hundred copies of the book in order to present one to every National School in the county. 

Arravale Rovers 

Another publication that nearly saw the light of day in 1994 was the Arravale Rovers Story. The best laid plans of Tom O'Donoghue did not just work out and the publication date is now gone back to the first half of 1995. In a way, the delay will better suit the book. 1995 will be the centenary of Tipperary's second football All-Ireland and the successful club team was, of course, Arravale Rovers. 

It was the first All-Ireland to be played in Jones's Road and on the same day the famous Tubberadora won the first of their three AlI-Irelands. Tipperary is the only county to have won two senior All-Irelands on the one day. 

Another interesting statistic is that two brothers played that day, one in football and the other in hurling. Jim and Paddy O'Riordan had that distinction. They hailed from Drombane and Paddy set up a record in the hurling final that will hardly ever be equalled: he scored all Tipperary's score of 6-8! Against such a feat the achievement of Eddie Keher and Nicky English pale into insignificance! Much more beside will be found in this important book which will extend to over 400 pages and contain over 100 pages of photographs. 

A Newsletter 

Kilsheelan club are to be complimented on a novel idea, the publication of a club newsletter. I have two of them to hand that were produced during 1994. They each contain 4 pages, are properly printed and include text and pictures. One of them was produced in May and lists all the club officers and the draws for the South Tipperary championships. The other pages are full of useful information for members of the club. The second came out in October and was a kind of progress report on the club's achievements during the year. It appears a worthwhile exercise for any club and the costs don't appear to have been prohibitive. Indeed there are a few advertisements scattered throughout both publications and they probably offset ome of the cost. 

"God Save Ireland" by Pat Slattery of Cahir has little to do with the G.A.A. The look was launched in Brú Ború in early November and it set out to expose the great decline of traditional values and moral standards that had befallen Ireland in the name of progress, liberalism, modernism and pluralism. I don't mention the look for that reason but rather for an interesting tale the author told me. 

Pat Slattery spent the first twenty years of his career in Dundalk as a senior official with the New Ireland Assurance Company. While in County Louth his love of hurling led him to play with Armagh and he was on the county team which won the Ulster junior championship in 1949. I checked out the story in the Armagh G.A.A. history and he's there in black and white in the photograph of the team on page 132. Others who 'helped out' in that year were friends of Pat's: Joe Haniffy from Galway, Willie Rainsford of Kilkenny and Walter Lambert of Galway. They were all listed with Pat as playing for the Eire Óg club. 

Armagh played Clare in the All-Ireland final (Home) in Armagh, on August 14. The teams were fairly evenly matched until the final ten minutes when Clare rammed in two goals to take the laurels. Jimmy Smith, then a minor, played with Clare, who were beaten by London in the final proper. Smith's medal that year was to be the only inter-county championship medal he won during his long career.