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Patrick Roger Cleary General Secretary G.A.A. 1889-1890 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2018 p 39

Patrick Roger Cleary General Secretary G.A.A. 1889-1890

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2018 p 39


Patrick Roger Cleary was born in Lagganstown, in the Parish of New Inn and Knockgraffoin the youngest of the five children of Roger Cleary and his wife Hanora (Ryan), and baptised in New Inn Church on March 14, 1857.

One account has him educated in Mungret College, but this is unlikely as Mungret was an agricultural school at the time and it is doubtful if Cleary’s parents, who farmed a small holding, would be able to afford the fees of a boarding school. The nearby Rockwell College was founded in 1864 and was initially a seminary for the education of priests for the Scottish Mission. Maybe Patrick Roger had early intentions of the priesthood? Another possibility is that he was educated by the Christian Brothers in Tipperary Town. At any rate P. R. Cleary was fluent in the Irish language and knew Latin. There were still hedge schoolmasters in the area and he may have
received his education from them.

However he was educated, he qualified as a teacher and was appointed Principal of Inch St. Lawrence National School in Caherconlish, a single-roomed school of the type that was common in rural Ireland at the time, with eighty pupils. He married a local girl, Minnie Dooley, whose father was a member of the R.I.C. , in the Augustinian Church in Limerick on January 19, 1888. They had a son, Roger, who was born towards the end of the same year, and died at the age of six, and three daughters, Minnie, Nan and Kitty. There was a second son, Michael Patrick, who was born in Limerick and died at the age of three months.


Involvement with the G.A.A.

The fact that P. R. Cleary and Minnie Dooley were married in the Augustinian Church in Limerick rather than in the Church in Caherconlish may reveal something of his relationship with the Parish Priest, Fr. William Cooney. A native of Coleman, Clerihan, Cooney was appointed P.P. of Caherconlish in 1869 and resigned from there in 1889. It seems that he didn’t get on well with Cleary, possibly more to do with Cleary’s involvement with the G.A.A. than his politics. Cooney was no lover of Archbishop Croke and the dislike was mutual. The Archbishop described him as ‘rough, big and uncivilized, though strange to say, conscientious, sober and correct.’ He was a staunch patriot and was prominent in the Tenant Right Movement, when he was curate in Moycarkey. It would appear that his issue with Cleary may have been his involvement in the G.A.A.
more than anything else.

At any rate Fr. Cooney sacked Cleary from his job as principal of Inch St. Lawrence N.S., Caherconlish. After losing his job, Cleary was employed as an agent to the Prudential Assurance Company, which worked well as a cover for his secret job as a travelling I.R.B. organiser. His involvement in the I.R.B. helped his spectacular rise through the ranks of the G.A.A.

The G.A.A. was rent by divisions at the time, which had their origins in the political situation that existed. The ‘New Departure’, a move to bring about an alliance between the parliamentary agitators and the advocates of physical force, for a common national approach, was not fully accepted by the latter group and the conflicting views found their supporters within the G.A.A. The physical force group of Fenians gained dominance on the Central Council and some counties, including Limerick, had two county boards representing the different viewpoints, an official one and a breakaway band of people not prepared to accept the Fenian policy.


Elected General Secretary of G.A.A.

At the convention of the ‘official’ county board in Limerick, in 1888, P. R. Cleary was elected secretary of the board, which indicated that his sympathies were with the Fenian side. He was a delegate to the Annual Congress of 1888, held in Thurles in January 1899, and was elected general secretary of the Association. His fellow Limerick delegate, Anthony Mackey, was elected treasurer. At the following Annual Congress in November, Patrick Cleary was elected for a second term. He served until the next convention, when he was succeeded by Maurice Moynihan of Kerry.

His two years in office were beset with difficulties. A number of counties refused to recognise the Central Council and would not take part in the All-Ireland championships. However, Cleary succeeded in completing the intercounty championships although with reduced participation by counties, eight in both hurling and football. He organised the games and refereed some of them himself. Dublin beat Clare in the hurling final and Tipperary beat Laois in the football in 1899.

Cleary’s refereeing achievements included being in charge of the Munster semi-final at Mallow on July 27, 1889, in which Cork defeated Kerry by 0-2 to 0-1. In the same year he refereed the two semi-finals of the Munster hurling championship in which Tipperary defeated Clare by 3-0 to 2-2 but lost the match on an objection, and Kerry beat Cork.

All in all Patrick Cleary proved to be an active secretary and, considering the limiting circumstance in which he was operating, his performance was satisfactory. He continued to take an active interest in the G.A.A. in Tipperary and was acting chairman of the county board for a time in 1902.  According to his obituary notice in the Tipperary Star ‘His interest in the fortunes of the G.A.A. was maintained all through his life and until comparatively lately when the weight of years was telling on his splendid physique. He travelled to all the principal hurling and football events in the southern area and was a familiar figure at Croke Park.’


Knew Tom Clarke

He was a member of the old Irish Republican Brotherhood and was on terms of warm personal intimacy with Tom Clarke and John Daly. He was no less ardent in the later phases of the National struggle and in 1920-1921. His house was raided several times by the Crown Forces. A man of fine personality and of no ordinary intellectual attainments, he was a most interesting conversationalist, while his warm good nature won for him the affectionate regard of everybody who knew him.

In May 1891 the Cleary family were living at Kilmallock and by mid-1892 were settled in Killarney, where it was noted by the Dublin Castle authorities that ‘he was received by the leading suspects of the place.’ When O’Donovan Rossa visited Kerry, P. R. Cleary took a prominent part in organising reception committees. Tragedy hit the family in April 1895 in Killarney, when his eldest child, Michael Patrick, died from valvalar disease of the heart.

By 1895 the family were back in Limerick, living in Thomondgate, where his youngest son, Michael Patrick Cleary, was born. The move back to Limerick was seemingly dictated by his new job as an agent for a Bordeaux wine firm, in which capacity he was enabled to travel all over Ireland promoting the I.R.B. cause.

His wife, Mary Anne Dooley, died in St. John’s Hospital, Limerick in September 1896 at the age of twenty-nine years, apparently of cancer, and he was left to bring up the three young girls by himself.

By 1901 he was back in Tipperary, living in the village of Bansha with his three young daughters and continued to move around the country as an agent for the French Wine Firm.

By 1911, he and his family had moved into Tipperary town, to Emmett Street, where he was now employed as a County Council land surveyor.

He designed the Maid of Erin statue, which was unveiled on March 10, 1907. He died at Emmett Street on July 8, 1933 and was interred in Kilfeacle Cemetery. A plaque to his memory was unveiled there by former G.A.A. president, Seamus Ó Riain, on August 15, 1990.

County Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship 2016 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2017, pages 61-63

County Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship 2016

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2017, pages 61-63


Thurles Sarsfields won their thirty-fifth county senior hurling championship when they completed a hat-trick of titles by beating Kildangan by 0-27 to 1-15 at Semple Stadium on October 16. The winners were strong favourites to win the title but some fancied that Kildangan had a chance on the basis of their retention of the North title and an impressive display against Drom Inch in the county quarter-final.

As events transpired this was a no contest final. The losers were hit by an avalanche of scores in the opening minutes as Sarsfields ran riot in a ‘Croppy, lie down’ display and led by nine points to one after as many minutes. Kildangan did their best to salvage some honour during the rest of the hour but they had no answer to a rampant Sarsfields side that confirmed the opinion of many that they are well ahead of any challenge that can be thrown at them within the county.


No Change

Thirty teams contested the senior championship for the Dan Breen Cup, sixteen of them in Roinn 1 and fourteen in Roinn 2. There was only one change in the running of the championship from 2015. Any team that qualified from the group stage had to do so on its own merits and could not qualify through backdoor methods. Under this rule the teams that came first and second in Roinn 1 groups and first in Roinn 2 groups qualified for the play-off stage of the competition. Divisional winners , if they hadn’t already qualified, were given recognition by playing off against the Roinn 2 winners in a round before the preliminary quarter-finals

The groups in Roinn 1 were as follows: 1. Killenaule, J. K. Brackens, Drom Inch, Upperchurch-Drombane; 2. Eire Óg, Thurles Sarsfields, Roscrea, Borrisileigh; 3. Kilkdangan, Nenagh Eire Óg, Mullinahone, Templederry Kenyons; 4. Clonoulty-Rossmore, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Portroe, Lorrha.

The groups in Roinn 2 were as follows: 1. Burgess, Moyne Templetuohy, Holycross-Ballycahill, Toomevara; 2. Carrick Swan, Moneygall, Moycarkey-Borris; 3. Loughmore-Castleiney, Borrisokane, Kickhams; 4. Ballina, Silvermines, Ballingarry, Clonakenny.



The qualifiers from the group stage were as follows: Roinn1 – In Group 1 Killenaule won and Drom Inch got the runners-up spot; in Group 2 Thurles Sarsfields came out on top with Borrisileigh in the runners-up position; in Group 3 Kildangan got top spot with Mullinahone in second place; in Group 4 Clonoulty-Rossmore won and Kilruane MacDonaghs got the runners-up spot.
In Roinn 2 only the winners qualified and they were Burgess, Carrick Swans, Loughmore- Castleiney and Ballina respectively.

In the meantime the following teams had won the divisional championships, Loughmore-Castleiney (Mid), Kildangan (North), Mullinahone (South) and Clonoulty-Rossmore (West).
As all four teams had already qualified for the play-offs there was no need for another round between them and the winners of Roinn 2.


Preliminary Quarter-Finals

The preliminary quarter-finals pitted the runners-up in Roinn 1 against the winners of Roinn 2. These games took place on the weekend of September 25. Kilruane MacDonaghs showed no mercy when destroying Carrick Swan by 5-26 to 0-6 at Holycross. It was a closer affair between Mullinahone and Ballina at Templetuohy with the South champions coming through by 0-19 to 0-16. Borrisileigh got the better of Burgess by 1-17 to 1-13 at Dolla. Drom Inch had to minimum to spare over Loughmore-Castleiney at Holycross on a score line of 1-16 to 0-18 in a match that ended in controversy because of the paltry amount of added time allowed.



The quarter-finals were played on the weekend of1/2 October at Semple Stadium. Killenaule, who had been defeated by Mullinahone in the South final gave a fine display and held out against a late charge by Kilruane to win by 2-20 to 1-20. Their display was capped by a superb performance from John O’Dwyer, who contributed thirteen points of their total, seven from play. In the second game on Saturday Borrisileigh were no match for Thurles Sarsfields, who cruised to a 2.22 to 0-13 victory.

The major talking point after Sunday’s games was the shock delivered to Drom Inch by a very determined, highly motivated and pacey performance by the North champions. Kildangan were in control of the game from early on and never let it slip from their grasp. In fact they probably  deserved better than their four point margin of victory on the score line of 2-18 to 1-17.

In the fourth game Clonoulty-Rossmore had a comfortable 1-18 to 1-10 victory over Mullinahone in a rather pedestrian encounter. The South champions suffered the loss of Eoin Kelly during the first quarter and this didn’t help their cause, but they were overall well off the pace in the game.



The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on October 9. Thurles Sarsfields proved too good for Clonoulty-Rossmore and won easily on a score line of 1-22 to 0-15. The West champions kept pace with Sarsfields for the first twenty minutes but then the eventual winners took off and scored six of the last seven points in the half to lead by 0-13 to 0-8 at halftime. By the end of the third quarter the contest was decided. A Richie Ruth goal in the twelfth minute and a missed Timmy Hammersley penalty effort put paid to Clonoulty’s chances of a fight back and when Sean Maher was re-carded six minutes from time, it was the end of the road for them.

In the second game Kildangan came through with nine points to spare on a score line of 2-16 to 0-13. Much was expected of this contest but it was a very lacklustre performance. The winners were no way as impressive as they were in the quarter-final and the performance of some of the Killenaule players seemed at times to verge on the disinterested. The winners led by 1-9 to 0-8 at the break and the contest was still open entering the last quarter with only three points, 1-11 to 0-11, between the sides. Joe Gallagher got Kildangan’s decisive second goal in the fiftieth minute and they had the better of the exchanges in the final minutes for their eight-point victory.


The Final

The final contest was a David versus Goliath affair, with Kildangan striving the win their first county senior title and Thurles Sarsfields chasing their thirty-fifth. The bookies didn’t expect the contest to be anything but an uneven one and installed Sarsfields as red-hot favourites to make it three-in-a-row. The sides had met once before at this stage of the championship on the only occasion when Kildangan got to the final in 1938. Sarsfields won easily by 7-7 to 2-2 on that occasion. That was a long time ago and Kildangan took encouragement from a more recent meeting during the group phase of the 2015 championship when they registered a 3-15 to 0-12 win over the favourites.

It is probably fair to say that Kildangan didn’t do themselves justice on the occasion. Whether they were overawed by the occasion or not is difficult to decide but they appeared transfixed during the opening quarter as Sarsfields took off in a blitz of high-powered, top-quality hurling that was well nigh impossible to cope with. By the time they found their feet the game had gone past them and they spent the remainder of the match trying to catch up.

The did fight back and came within seven points of their opponents at one stage, but Sarsfields were always able to motor ahead once again and one felt that if danger threatened from a Kildangan revival, they could always lift their performance to a new level to offset the danger. The winners led by 0-15 to 0-6 at the interval and were comfortably on top by nine points at the final whistle on a score line of o-27 to 1-15.

Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack, Stephen Maher (0-1), Ronan Maher (0-2), Michael Cahill, Stephen Lillis (0-1), Padraic Maher, Denis Maher, Stephen Cahill, Billy McCarthy, Tommy Doyle, Aidan McCormack (0-6), Pa Bourke (0-9), Conor Lanigan (0-2), Lar Corbett (0-1), Richie Ruth (0-5). Subs: Rory Dwan for Denis Maher, John Maher for Conor Lanigan, David Kennedy for Lar Corbett, Kevin O’Gorman for Richie Ruth. Also Kevin Smith, Cian Treacy, Pa Dunne, Mikey O’Brien, Jack Derby, Michael Russell, Kevin O’Gorman, Barry O’Dwyer, Cathal Moloney, John Lawlor, Kevin Dunne, David Corbett.
Team management: Tommy Maher, Paddy McCormack, Connie Maher.

Kildangan: Barry Hogan, James Quigley, Hughie Flannery, Fergal Hayes, David Sweeney, Alan Flynn, Darren Moran, Johnny Horan (0-1), Martin Minihan, Joe Gallagher (1-1), Darragh Egan (0-6), Ruairi Gleeson (0-2), Willie Connors (0-3), Paul Flynn (0-1),  Tadhg Gallagher (0-1). Subs: Jack Loughnane for Martin Minihan, Eoin Kelly for Johnny Horan. 
Also Paddy Coen, Andy Loughnane, Gary Byrne, Jim Minihan,  Shane Seymour, Eoin Meagher, Ciaran Kelly, Tommy Connors, Eanna Gleeson, Kian Hayes, Dan O’Meara, Gerry Slattery, Eoin Gleeson.
Team management: Dan Hackett, Sean Treacy, Martin McLoughney.

John Quirke Jewellers Man of Match Award: Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields.

Referee: John McCormack (Kickhams), Standby Referee, Fergal Horgan (Kickhams), Linesman, Sean Bradshaw (Kickhams), 4th Official, Padraig Skeffington (Cashel K.C.), Umpires, Adrian Crosse, Pat McCormack, Paul Ryan, John Hadnett (all Kickhams).


Results at a Glance

Preliminary Quarter-Finals
25/09/2016 Holycross  Kilruane MacDonaghs  5.26  Carrick Swans  0.06  Fergal Horgan
25/09/2016 Templetuohy   Mullinahone  0.19  Ballina  0.16 Sean Everard
25/09/2016 Dolla Borris-ileigh 1.17    Burgess 1.13  Ciaron Timmons
25/09/2016 Holycross  Drom & Inch   1.16  Loughmore Castleiney 0.18  Johnny Ryan

Quarter Finals
01/10/2016    Semple Stadium    Killenaule 2.20 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1.20  Kevin Jordan
01/10/2016    Semple Stadium    Thurles Sarsfields 2.22 Borris-ileigh  0.13   John O’Brien
02/10/2016    Semple Stadium    Clonoulty Rossmore 1.18 Mullinahone 1.10  Philip Kelly
02/10/2016    Semple Stadium    Kildangan 2.18    Drom & Inch   1.17  John McCormack

Semi Finals
09/10/2016    Semple Stadium Thurles Sarsfields    1.22  Clonoulty Rossmore  0.15   John Cleary
09/10/2016    Semple Stadium    Kildangan 2.16    Killenaule   0.13    Fergal Horgan

16/10/2016    Semple Stadium  Thurles Sarsfields 0.27   Kildangan  1.15  John McCormack





G.A.A. Publications 2016 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2017, pages 50-52

G.A.A. Publications 2016

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2017, pages 50-52


A number of club histories were published during the year. One of the most impressive was Kilruane MacDonaghs 1970-2013 – Heirs to a Proud Tradition by Gilbert Williams. Canon Whyte published the club history in 1985 and brought the story up to 1970 so this work takes the story almost to the present.

It’s a big book of almost 550 pages and is produced in hardback, retailing at €30. It was printed by the Nenagh Guardian.

It covers that great period in the club’s history, which saw it win four senior hurling titles between 1977 and 1985 as well as an All-Ireland club title. The latter success becomes an even bigger achievement as the years go by. Kilruane club stands with Roscrea and Borrisileingh as the only Tipperary clubs to achieve the highest honour in club hurling and no other club in the county has emulated their achievement since the eighties.

Also in the period covered by the book is the senior football title won by the club in 1975, a rarity in North Tipperary and, perhaps, not among the priorities of the club, but a nice addition to the club’s escutcheon.

The book is a detailed account of club activity in hurling and football during the years covered. There is a logical progression in each chapter, starting with the club AGM and giving an account of the fate of all teams from senior down to under-12 in hurling and football. It is easy to follow and the information can be clearly sourced.

There is a good Roll of Honour section at the end of the book, which includes not only championships won but also individual honours won at county level in every grade, and an impressive list it is also.

I understand there are 400 pictures in the book and the author has recognised the importance of the visual in including so many. It will give people the chance to see how they looked at the club dance thirty or forty years ago!

Gilbert Williams has done his club a great service. His article on Christiaan de Wet, the Boer general after whom the club was named in 1901, is an interesting addition to the publication. The book is a valuable record of achievements over the period and will be an importance reference work not only for members of the Kilruane-MacDonaghs club but for outsiders as well.

Betwixt the Arras and Lough Derg: A History of Gaelic Games in Portroe 1884-2015 by Seamus J. King was launched in the Parish Hall by Fr. Seamus Gardiner on October 30. A large book, extending to 600 pages, it was printed by Guardian Print and Design and retails for €20.
The parish is a small place with one church and one school but the Portroe G.A.A. Club makes up for lack of size with a huge dedication and commitment to success. As the author says of the club players ‘When they wear the green and gold they are lifted to a higher plane and driven to greater heights of endeavour.’ And the supporters are no less passionate.

The book traces the successes and failures of the club over 130 years and gives prominence to two major years in that history, 1990, when they achieved senior status after many years, and 2012, when they won their first North senior hurling championship.

As well as an account of club activities in hurling and football, the book gives generous coverage to juvenile games, Scór and camogie, as well as to an interesting athletic involvement in the 1950s.

There is also a comprehensive statistical section in the book as well as a number of articles on the industrial past of the parish. In fact quite a bit of the social history of the parish is covered, making the book much more than a sporting record. There’s a good selection of pictures and thirteen profiles of prominent individuals and families who contributed significantly to the story of the G.A.A. in the parish of Portroe.


Another Update

St. Mary’s, Clonmel have updated their club history. The original volume was published in 1990 and the updated version, which was launched in the G.A.A. Centre, Clonmel on November 12, includes the untouched earlier volume of 244 pages plus an additional 200 pages covering the years 1990 to 2015.

The title of the book is St. Mary’s Hurling & Camogie Club 1929-2015. It is printed by Naas Printing Ltd and it retails for €25. The author is Sean O’Donnell, who was also author of the original book and who is also the author of two historical works on the town of Clonmel.

The original work opens dramatically with the arrival of Charles Stewart Parnell to Clonmel on 21 January, 1891 ‘only two months since the O’Shea case came to court, six weeks since those M.P.s in Committee Room 15 had ousted him from party leadership and less than a month since the crushing defeat of his candidate in the North Kilkenny by-election.’

The  rest of the story isn’t quite so dramatic with more triumphs than failures rising to intermediate success in the early seventies. The seniors had a period in the limelight in the early eighties but they were desperately avoiding relegation at the Millennium. The following extract gives the flavour of the time as well as the author’s succinct style: 

‘We lost to Cashel at New Inn at the end of October and the following Sunday we travelled to the Ragg more in hope than confidence. Our players dug deep, however,  and to the surprise of many, we played with great resolve and beat Kilruane, who only a few years earlier had been All-Ireland club champions, by 3-10 to 1-13. For the second year in succession we had avoided relegation by a whisker.’

Probably the best part of the story is in the final chapters, the titles of which give one the flavour. There were Signs of New Growth between 2008-2010, Better Times 2011-2013 and New Heights 2014-2015. Unfortunately the cut-off point is the end of 2015 with the result that the retention of the county title by the minor hurling  A team  couldn’tt be included. Also deprived of mention is Seamus Kennedy’s winning an All-Ireland senior medal in September, when he joined Donncha Fahey, who won in 2001, in the winner’s enclosure.

One of the great strengths of this book is the inclusion of club panels of club teams in senior, junior, under-21 and minor, as well as juveniles, in addition to mentors between 1990 and 2015, Also included is a list of St. Mary’s players, who were on Tipperary hurling teams for championship matches from 1930 onwards. As well as the year and grade, the position played in is included and the outcome (win, lose, draw). This section includes those who served on the club committee during the period of the book, as well as club players who featured in teams outside the county.

Sean O’Donnell has done a great service to the club in bringing the St. Mary’s story up to the present. He has brought to the work his renowned historical skills and all players, mentors and supporters of the club will be grateful to him for the result.

At the end of 2015 the Kildangan G.A.A. Club published A Centenary History, too late for inclusion in last year’s article. It appeared in its centenary year and told the story of the club’s ‘humble origins its growth to maturity, its triumphs and its failures.’ It also gave recognition to now defunct junior teams in the parish, Ballycommon, Carney and Lahorna, ‘teams that operated on the lowest rung of the hurling ladder but nevertheless brought immense pleasure and satisfaction to many people.’

The most successful period in the club’s history occurred since the Millennium when they won three North intermediate titles, plus a county in 2004, and three North senior titles. However, the county senior remains elusive.

Among the club’s county senior medal holders are two of the best forwards to ever play with Tipperary, Martin Kennedy, who was an outstanding goal-getter and who, according to one rival ‘never scored the same goal twice.’ and Jimmy Kennedy, one of the greatest point-getters that ever lined out for the county.

In chapter 3 we read about the birth of Kiladangan Club, the form of the name preferred by the authors,  Danny Grace and Seamus Hogan, to the more common, Kildangan. The event took place in Kiladangan Boys School on November 18, 1915 and a list of the people associated with the foundation is given. We are told that ‘King (Ned) McGrath was the last surviving founder member of the club’ and he died in November 1984 at the age of 87 years.

In their account of the earlier years the authors give a list of Kiladangan players, who played in senior championship matches over a period of five years, rather than giving an account of individual matches. This system does have its advantage as it enables to reader to see at a glance how many games a player played over a period of time.

Overall the authors have given and extensive account of the story of Gaelic Games in the parish over the period covered, with the information given in the later years the most comprehensive, An important addition are the lineouts given in Bord na nÓg finals, with the townslands of the players included. An important record for the future.

The book was printed by Guardian Print and Design.. It contains 400 pages in flexicover and retails for €20.

Just barely arriving in time for mention is Dermot Kavanagh’s, The Story of Interprovincial Hurling. This is a great addition to one’s G.A.A. Library, being the history of the now dead, and waiting to be buried,Railway Cup competition, but also the long disappeared Railway Shield and Tailteann Games provincial competitions.

The strength of this publication is its record section, containing as it does the dates, scores, and teams that participated in the competitions. The pictures are fascinating particularly that of Munster, Railway Cup champions 1976 with the tall Noel O’Dwyer, dwarfed in the back row by the likes of Pat Hartigan, Joe McKenna and Ray Cummins. The book was launched in Langton’s Hotel, Kilkenny on December 8 and retails at €20


Annual Publications

A few clubs publish annual accounts of their activities. These can vary in size from simple newsletters to more ambitious productions. 

Roscrea Club have produced A Year in the Red for a good number of years and this year feature the Spooner brothers who gave distinguished service to the club. 

Liam Hogan produces and ambitious account of activities in the Shannon Rovers Club, called the Shannon Rovers Review and thgis year’s production has 56 pages.

Moycarkey-Borris Club  produce an annual newsletter.



Tipperary Rule the Roost between 1958 & 1968 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 2015 pages 84-85

Tipperary Rule the Roost between 1958 & 1968 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 2015 pages 84-85


(The Tipperary 1964 & 1965 teams were honoured in Semple Stadium on October 26, 2014)

Tipperary dominated the hurling scene during the years from 1958 to 1968, contesting eight All-Irelands. They won in 1958, 1961, 1962, 1964 and 1965 and their three losses came in 1960, 1967 and 1968 to Wexford, Kilkenny and Wexford respectively. 

The first of Tipperary’s victories was over Galway in 1958, after beating Kilkenny in the semi-final. Tipperary were hot favourites and only 47,000 attended the final, the lowest number since 1944. Although playing against the breeze in the first half, Tipperary led by ten points at half-time, two early goals shattering Galway’s chances.  However, Galway changed goalkeepers and put up a better performance in the second half before going down by 4-9 to 2-5. Following this defeat Galway made their debut in the Munster championship and this arrangement stood until 1969.

Tipperary were expected to beat Dublin easily in the 1961 final because of the latter’s record in the championship since 1948. They beat Wexford sensationally in the Leinster final but not many gave them a chance against Tipperary in the All-Ireland, the first hurling final to be televised. Although Tipperary led at half-time Dublin went ahead in the second-half and looked likely victors. Two events halted their progress. The first was the sending off of the inspirational Lar Foley and the second a brilliant save by Donal O’Brien in the Tipperary goal. In the end Tipperary were very lucky to win by a point.

A year later Tipperary’s opponents in the final were Wexford, who unexpectedly defeated Kilkenny in the Leinster final. This game was a thrilling encounter. It was nip and tuck right through with the lead changing on numerous occasions. Tipperary’s superior freshness in the closing stages ensured their two-point victory on a scoreline of 3-10 to 2-11.

Having lost sensationally to Waterford in the 1963 championship, Tipperary were back with a bang in the 1964 campaign and their progress to the final was uninterrupted and spectacular.  Kilkenny were their opponents in the final and were slight favourites following impressive displays in the Leinster championship. In fact they went down to Tipperary by 5-13 to 2-8 and suffered their greatest defeat since the 1937 loss at Killarney.

Tipperary’s progress to the 1965 final was equally impressive. They inflicted a crushing defeat on Cork in the Munster final and were favourites against Wexford in the All-Ireland final  The foundation of Tipperary’s success were laid by two goals by Sean McLoughlin in the first quarter and an impregnable inner line of defence.  In the end they won by 2-16 to 0-10.

In the five finals Tipperary amassed a total of 14 goals and 64 points and conceded 7 goals 46 points. Three players. Donie Nealon, Jimmy Doyle and Liam Devaney, played in all eight All-Irelands. This great period of dominance came to an end for Tipperary with the 1968 defeat.  There was to be one more flash of brilliance in 1971 but after that the ‘famine’ arrived and the county had to wait for eighteen years for the next All-Ireland success.


The Achievements of the 1964 & 1965 Players, who were honoured in 2014.

Path to Glory in League, Championship and Oireachtas

National League 1963-1964
Sept. 29, Nenagh: Tipperary 9-14 Galway 1-4
Oct. 13, Ennis: Tipperary 5-7 Clare 2-8
Nov. 10, Thurles: Tipperary 3-14 Cork 1-3
Mar. 22, Kilkenny: Tipperary 2-12 Kilkenny 3-9 (draw)
Apr. 19, Nenagh (SF) Tipperary 3-16 Limerick 2-5
May 10, Croke Park (HF) Tipperary 5-12 Wexford 1-4
May 31, New York (F) Tipperary 4-16 New York 6-6

Munster Championship
July 5, Limerick (SF): Tipperary 6-13 Clare 2-5
July 25, Limerick (F): Tipperary 3-13 Cork 1-5
Sept. 6, Croke Park (F): Tipperary 5-13 Kilkenny 2-8

Oct. 4, Croke Park (SF): Tipperry 2-11 Dublin 2-4
Oct. 18, Croke Park (F): Tipperary 5-7 Kilkenny 4-8

National League 1964-1965
Nov. 22, Nenagh: Tipperary 8-10 Clare 2-4
Nopv. 29, Cork: Tipperary 4-8 Cork 2-12
Feb. 7, Ballinasloe: Tipperry 4-12 Galway 0-9
Apr. 4, Thurles: Tipperary 5-7 Kilkenny 7-10 (defeat)
May 9, Croke Park (SF): Tipperary 2-18 Waterford 1-9
May 23, Croke Park (HF): Tipperary 3-14 Kilkenny 2-8
Sept. 19, New York (1): Tipperary 4-10 New York 2-11
Sept. 26, New York (2): Tipperary 2-9 New York 3-9 (defeat)
Tipperary win on agregate by 6-19 to 5-20.

Munster championship
June 27, Limerick (SF): Tipperary 5-8 Clare 3-3
July 25, Limerick (F): Tipperry 4-11 Cork 0-5
Sept. 5, Croke Park (F): Tipperary 2-16 Wexford 0-10

Oireachtas (Tipperary had free passage to final.)
Oct. 17, Croke Park (F): Tipperary 2-12 Kilkenny 2-7

Analysing these scores is a fascinating exercise. Tipperary played 24 competitive games in the two years, winning 21, losing 2 and drawing 1. They won the National League the All-Ireland Championship and the Oireachtas (when it was a major tournament) in both years.

They scored remarkably the same each year, 51 goals and 154 points in 1964 and 52 goals 148 points in 1965. Combined this worked out at an average of approximately 4-13 per game for the 24 played. They conceded 27-69 in 1964 and 24.94 in 1965 which combined averaged out at 2-7 per game, or approximately half of what they scored themselves.

One indication of Tipperary's strength at the time was the number of players picked on the Munster Railway Cup team in 1965, 10 in all: John O'Donoghue, John Doyle, Kieran Carey, Sean McLoughlin, Mick Roche, Babs Keating, Liam Devaney, Theo English, Tony Wall and Jimmy Doyle. 
The full list of players involved was as follows: Michael Murphy (Capt. 1964), Jimmy Doyle (Capt. 1965), Mick Burns, Kieran Carey, Liam Devaney, John Dillon, John Doyle, Paddy Doyle, Theo English , Len Gaynor, Michael 'Babs' Keating, Larry Kiely, Michael Lonergan, Seamus Mackey,Michael Maher, John 'Mackey' McKenna, Sean McLoughlin, Donie Nealon, John O'Donoghue, Noel O'Gorman, Peter O'Sullivan, Mick Roche, Pat Ryan, Tom Ryan, Tony Wall.


Clean Ireland Recycling County Senior Hurling Championship 2014 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2015, pages 42-44

Clean Ireland Recycling County Senior Hurling Championship 2014

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2015, pages 42-44


Thurles Sarsfields won their 33rd county senior hurling title at Semple Stadium on Novemeber 2 when they defeated the defending champions, Loughmore-Castleiney, by 2-22 to 3-11. The twenty four scores for the winners to fourteen for the losers accurately reflected the superiority of the Blues on the day. Loughmore-Castleiney, who had the better form coming into the final, and who were some pundits' favourites, just didn't show up on the day, Their star players, Noel McGrath and John McGrath, were well and truly shackled by their opponents.

Change in Format

Earlier in the year it was decided to halt the growth in the number of senior teams in the county by introducing relegation. When it existed previously the number of senior teams had been reduced to twenty-four but then a new management team was introduced, which favoured senior teams and the hated relegation was done away with. The result was the number of senior teams had climbed to thirty-two and there was the prospect of forty-two teams in ten years time if the system continued. All these senior teams had emasculated the intermediate championship, which was heading for decimation. It was also producing very bad hurling matches.

Something had to be done and the plan proposed for the 2014 championship was to provide the answer.

There was another problem with the senior hurling championship, too many meaningless games. There was a need to introduce some kind of filter in order that the cream would come to the top and that the best teams would reach the last sixteen and play for the Dan Breen Cup. The plan proposed dividing the thirty-two teams into two Roinns based on the 2013 championship placings. There was further filtering within each Roinn. Roinn 1, or the top sixteen teams, were further divided into four groups following seeding. In Roinn 2 the sixteen teams were divided into two seeds of eight teams.

Roinn 1, 16 teams
The seedings in Roinn 1 were as follows: 1st seeds – Loughmore-Castleiney, Nenagh Eire Óg, Borrisileigh, Kildangan;
2nd seeds – Killenaule, Drom and Inch, Clonoulty-Rossmore, Eire Óg Anacarty;
3rd seeds – Toomevara, Silvermines, Carrick Swans, Roscrea;
4th seeds – Burgess, Moycarkey-Borris, Templederry Kenyons, Upperchurch-Drombane.
The draw produced the following groups: 1. Nenagh Eire Óg, Clonoulty-Rossmore, Roscrea, Templederry-Kenyons. 2. Kildangan, Killenaule, Carrick Swan, Upperchurch-Drombane. 3. Loughmore-Castleiney, Eire Óg, Nenagh, Toomevara, Moycarkey-Borris. 4. Borrisileigh, Drom Inch, Silvermines, Burgess.

Roinn 2, 16 teams
1st seeds – Ballingarry, Kickhams, Mullinahone, J. K. Brackens, Cappawhite, Portroe, Holycross-Ballcahill, Kilruane MacDonaghs.
2nd seeds – Boherlahan Dualla, Borrisokane, Carrick Davins, Lorrha Dorrha, Moneygall, Thurles Sarsfields, Cashel King Cormacs, Ballina.
The draw produced the following groups: 1. J. K. Brackens, Kickhams, Lorrha, Carrick Davins. 2. Kilruane MacDonaghs, Holycross-Ballycahill, Boherlahan-Dualla, Cashel King Cormacs. 3. Ballingarry, Mullinahone, Ballina, Borrisokane. 4. Portroe, Cappawhite, Thurles Sarsfields, Moneygall.

Relegation and Promotion
The system favoured performance and penalised failure. The bottom team in each group in Roinn 1 was relegated to Roinn 2 in 2015.

The top team in each group in Roinn 2 was promoted to Roinn 1 in 2015. The last placed team in each group in Roinn 2 played off in an open draw, knockout game with the two losers relegated to intermediate level for 2015. The winning team in the intermediate championship was promoted to Roinn 2 for 2015.

Following the playing of the group games the four top teams in each group in Roinn 1 and the four top teams in each group in Roinn 2 qualified for the preliminary quarter-finals. The remaining eight teams were to be the four divisional champions and the four runners-up in each group in Roinn 1. An open draw would decide on the pairings. In the event of a divisional championship winner finishing 1st or 2nd in Roinn 1 or 1st in Roinn 2, that team would be replaced in the preliminary quarter-final by the next highest, non-qualifying team in the same group.

The Result

There was a general opinion that the championship was too unwieldly and offered too many back doors to teams. There were too many matches in the normal course of events but in a year when Tipperary took the long route to the All-Ireland and then had to replay it, the number of Sundays available were too few for the number of games involved. On top of that there was the problem of the dual clubs, six in all, three from the Mid, two from the South and one for the West. This fact aggravated an already crowded program.

The proponents of the system anticipated that there would be crowding and incorporated a clause in the championship regulations which stated that 'Extra time [would be played] in Preliminary Quarter-Finals, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals if required to meet with provincial deadlines.' As it happened the senior hurling championship made the deadline by the skin of its teeth only as a result of delaying the completion of the senior and intermediate football and intermediate hurling championships, which prevented these competitions from making the provincial deadlines.

It will come as a surprise to many to learn that the total number of senior hurling games played in the 2014 championship (sic) was one hundred and two! This was made up of 39 divisional games, broken down as follows: North 23, Mid 11, South 7 and West 8, and 63 county games, broken down as follows: Roinn 1 (group stage) 24, Roinn 2 (group stage) 24, preliminary quarter-finals 8, quarter-finals 4, semi-finals 2, final 1.

The four teams demoted from Roinn 1 to Roinn 2 for 2015 were Roscrea, Tomevara, Silvermines and Carrick Swan. The four teams promoted from Roinn 2 to Roinn 1 for 2015 were Lorrha, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Ballina, Thurles Sarsfields.

The two teams relegated to the intermediate championship in 2015 were Carrick Davins and Cashel; King Cormacs. The team promoted from the intermediate championship was Moyne-Templetuohy, who defeated Thurles Sarsfields in the final.


After eighty-seven games the stage was set for the knockout part of thecounty championship.The four quarter-finals werer played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of October 18/19. Two of the games went to extra time.

On Saturday Mullinahone gained a place in the semi-final at the expense of Kildangan as a result of two goals in the last six minutes of extra time. Mullinahone led by 0-10 to 0-6 at half-time. A goal by Michael Dunne after 49 minutes had them eight points clear and looking unbeatable. However, two Kildangan goals in two minutes from Tadhg Gallagher and Willie Connors turned the game on its head and, with the game going into injury time, Kildangan were ahead by a point. In the third minute of added time Eoin Kelly levelled the score, 1-15 to 2-12, with a 60 metre free.

At half-time in extra time, Kildangan were ahead by a point, 2-15 to 1-17 and three minutes after resuming were five points clear following a Willie Connors point and a Paul Flynn goal. It appeared the end of the road for Mullinahone but Eoin Kelly stepped into the breach with two goals in the final six minutes to give Mullinahone victory by 3-17 to 3-16.

There was also a point between the sides at the end of the second game between Loughmore-Castleiney v Clonoulty-Rossmore. The defending champions had the advantage on a scoreline of 0-17 to 2-10. This was a game Clonoulty should have won,. They led by 2-5 to 0-10 at the interval, thanks to goals from Timmy Hammersley and John O'Neill but eleven second-half wides proved their undoing against a Loughmore-Castleiney side that registered 5 unanswered points in ten minutes at the start of the last quarter to go three points clear with four minutes to go. In these final minutes Clonoulty scored three points to leave a point between the sides at the final whistle.

There was less excitement at the Sunday games. The Nenagh Eire Óg v Thurles Sarsfields game was a close encounter that went to extra time but was overall a disappointing contest. The sides were level at 0-14 each at the end of normal time. Nenagh had a point advantage midway through extra time, 0-18 to 0-17, but Sarsfields levelled and then in the last minute Aidan Cormack converted a 95 metre free to give Thurles Sarsfields the narrowest of victories on a scoreline of 0-20 to 0-19.

Burgess were fancied to beat Templederry Kenyons in the fourth of the quarter-finals but a powerful display by Adrian Ryan, who bagged eight points for the Mid side, gave them a place in the semi-finals by 0-24 to 0-17.


The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on October 26 with victory going to Thurles Sarsfield over Templederry Kenyons and to Loughmore-Castleiney over Mullinahone. They were two dreadful games with many spectators wondering about the prospects for Tipperary hurling. Referee, Fergal Horgan, who was in charge of the second game, must have felt the same way, only giving an additional 4 seconds of added time!

Thurles Sarsfields beat Templederry by 0-18 to 1-11 and while the Blues were no great shakes, they were better than four points over their opposition and should have won by much more. They led by 0-9 to 0-5 at the interval, inspite of playing with a stiff breeze. While Templederry opened with a point immediately after the interval, Thurles hit four unanswered points and appeared to be cruising. However, Templederry ressurrected their act and were only three points behind going into the last quarter. Thurles went ahead again with four points to put seven between the sides and a late goal by Gearóid Ryan wasn't enough to make a difference.

The second game between Loughmore-Castleiney and Mullinahone was a very one-sided affair in which the south representatives were out of their depth. Eoin Kelly was suffering from an injured hand and didn't make the impact expected. Even with the breeze in the first half, Mullinahone struggled to get into the game and trailed by 1-12 to 0-7 at the interval. The second half changed nothing and at the end of it Loughmore were way ahead by 3-22 to 0-14. In spite of the poverty of the opposition Loughmore impressed their supporters with their pace and fluency and gave them the confidence to meet the Sarsfields.


The final was a big disappointment never reaching the level of performance expected.. From the outset Thurles Sarsfields were very much on their game and freely scored points to lead by 0-8 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter. Loughmore-Castleiney came more into the game during the second period and a goal by Liam McGrath in the twentieth minute gave them hope. However during the remainder of the half Sarsfields shaded it to lead by 0-13 to 1-6 at the interval.

The four-point margin didn't adequately reflect Sarsfields' first-half dominance but they increased the margin in the first five minutes after the interval with 1-1, the goal coming from Michael O'Brien.This put them comfortably ahead by 1-14 to 1-6. Loughmore were given renewed hope with a goal in the fortieth minute from John McGrath.

The goal, however, brought a quick Sarsfields response and during a brillinat seven-minute spell they extended their advantage to 1-21 to 2-8. This was increased further with a Pa Bourke goal in the fifty-fourth minute to put Sarsfields 2-22 to 2-10 in front. In the final minutes Loughmore tacked on 1-1, the goal coming from Evan Sweeney, but it was too little, too late, and barely dented the dominance of Thurles Sarsfields.

The winners were outstanding on the day and thoroughly deserved their comprehensive win. They dominated centrefield, where Stephen Cahill gave a man-of-the-match preformance. They had strength all over the field. Denis Maher, Lar Corbett, Aidan McCormack and Pa Bourke made good use of a steady supply of ball to the forwards. Patrick McCormack in goals and Ronan Maher, Michael Cahill and Michael Gleeson kept the Loughmore- forwards in check. Above all the work rate of all the players was top class and they were in control all the way.

Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack, Stephen Maher, Michael Cahill, Ronan Maher, Padraic Maher, Michael Gleeson, Stephen Cahill (0-2), Billy McCarthy, Denis Maher (0-5), Aidan McCormack (0-5), Conor Lanigan (0-1), Michael O'Brien (1-0), Pa Bourke (capt.), (1-3), Lar Corbett (0-2), Subs: Richie Ruth (0-4) for Michael O'Brien, Ger O'Grady for Aidan McCormack, John Maher for Billy McCarthy, Pa Dunne for David Maher, Kevin.O'Gorman for Michael Gleeson. Also: Kevin Smith, David Corbett, Tommy Doyle, David Kennedy, Paul Maher, Barry O'Dwyer, Rory O'Shea, Michael Russell, Eoin Russell, Cian Treacy.

Team Management: Tommy Maher, Paddy McCormack, Martin O'Brien, Connie Maher, Jack Griffin.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Shane Nolan, Lorcan Egan, Derek Bourke, Joseph Hennessy, Aidan McGrath (0-1), David Kennedy, Tom King, Ciaran McGrath, Tomás McGrath (0-1), John McGrath (1-1), Liam Treacy (0-1) Noel McGrath (0-5), Liam McGrath (1-1), Evan Sweeney (1-0), Cian Hennessy (0-1). Subs: Joseph Nyland for Tomás McGrath, John Ryan for Liam McGrath, Tommy Maher for L Treacy. Also: Craig Cleary, Willie Eviston, Tom Long, Johnny Campion,  Bill O'Connell, Diarmuid Brennan, Henry Maher, Paddy Moynihan, Denis Brereton, Brian McGrath, Shane Hennessy, Eddie Connolly.

Selectors: D)eclan laffan, Seamus Bohan, Pat McGrath. Trainer: Alan O'Connor. Physio: Cathy Doran, Equipment: Kieran Kiely, Kevin Stapleton.

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Boherlahan-Dualla).

Man of the Match: Stephen Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields.

Attendance: 5,600



Recent Publications 2014 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 2015 pages 84-85

Recent Publications 2014

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 2015 pages 84-85


C. J. Kickham's G.A.A. Club Mullinahone did justice to the 'little village' with the launch of their club history, The Green Above the Red, in their clubhouse on  August 22 last. Also, they got a larger than life Matt the Thresher to do the honours in the person of Micheal Ó' Muircheartaigh. 
It was a great night for the members of a club, which is one of the oldest in the county, having been founded in 1885. Originally a football club when the name of Mick Cahill was legendary on the football fields of Munster and beyond, it became a hurling force in the late 1980s when the equally legendary John Leahy stroke the hurling fields of Ireland like a colossus.

In the course pf his speech, history editor, Ricky Sheehan explained the book's title anf the club's motto, The Green above the Red. The original club colours were red but during a period of nationalist fervour, the players were travelling to a match when they decided they wanted the Irish green above the British red and so the new club colours were born.

Rickie added that Mullinahone had given 'soul' to the G..A.A. and there was no doubt that the village was Knocknagow in Kickham's famous novel and that generations of Mullinahone people had followed the example of Matt the Thresher by doing their best 'for the credit of the little village,'

He also proudly recalled the part played by Mullinahone players on Bloody Sunday in 1920. On that day in Croke Park there were six players from the club on the Tipperary team in and, as Mick Hogan lay dying on the field, it was Mullinahone player, Jimmy Egan, who brought him a priest, who was also from the village, Fr. Crotty.

The book,designed and printed by Modern Printers, Kilkenny, is a massive tome of 640 pages. As well as Rickie Sheehan, the committee responsible for its production included Lance Vaughan, Dick Egan, Neil Thompson, Joe Tobin,Tommy O'Sullivan and Sean O'Meara. The vast number of the pictures included are reproduced to the highest quality and the book would be memorable for this alone.

It is also a comprehensive account of the 127 years of the club's history, 1885-2012. One of the features of the book is the extensive use of match reports from the pages of the Nationalist. I would have preferred had many of them been synopsised rather than reproduced at length. The editor showed his ability in many places of being able to comprehend much in a very succinct and able manner. There is a good example in his summary of 1986:

When the history of the CJ Kickham Club comes to be written, 1986 will hardly go down as the best of years nor the worst of years. It is probably best to say that it was a year in which the flag was kept flying. Our AGM came and went. The meeting itself caused little excitement. The circumstances surrounding the holding were somewhat livlier, though they are now in the past. In the end there was no change, Dick remained in the chair, John kept the purse and Ricky the pen. John Croke also remained as hurling manager, Dick Egan replaced Jimsy Kelly as football supremo. Amalgamation was discussed but in the end it was the old story, i.e. Eire Óg in senior, under-21 snd minor hurling and football. As in previous years the amalgamation only worked in fits and starts, more so at underage level than at senior level.

In My Own Words by Paul Galvin

Paul Galvin's autobiography, published by Transworld for €16.95, will be of interest to many people, not only for his career in football. He was also a teacher and there was a famous incident in 2010 in which he accidentally hit a student with a duster. In the book he admits the incident was 'irresponsible' and damaged his reputation. In April last year it was reported that Galvin and the board of management at the school paid €8,000 to the pupil, who sued them jointly after the incident. Following the incident, Galvin admits he had enough of teaching and felt it was time to move on 'Repetition and routine wasn't for me.'

He was abviously an unusual teacher, and very agile, as the following incident recalls:

'My room in the SEM was number 11. One day out of sheer boredom as I waited for my next group to enter the room, I climbed on my desk and pulled myself up to the steel beams, that ran overhead along the ceiling. Clinging on with my arms and legs, I stayed up there as the first few kids came in. No one noticed me.  More arrived until, eventually,  the class was almost full. They took their seats and ducked into their bags for books and copybooks, as kids do, before coming up for air., back down then maybe for the pencil case before burrowing in that for their best pen and pencil. Whatever they were at, nobody noticed me clinging to the beam like a bat. Thinking I was out of the room, a din of noise erupted before I dropped to the floor.
'Open your books, guys, let's go, time for class,' letting on like it's the most normal thing in the world to drop from the ceiling. The look on the boys' faces was priceless.
'Jeeeeeeesus, he just came down from the ceeeeeeeilin' '.......

' That got their attention.'

The History of the G.A.A. In New York by Fergus Hanna, is approximately 550 pages long and has just been published. The author is from Belfast and the book was printed in Northern Ireland. It will sell for €24.95 and it is hoped to have it available at a number of outlets in the Republic, including Lár na Páirce. It has a section on every year since the New York GAA began in 1914, and also every inter-county, and club final played is included. The lineouts and scorers of all the NY finals are included in a very comprehensive section and should be of interest to anyone from Tipp who has played in a final over there.

Tipperary people should have more than a passing interest in the new publication. While the Premier hurlers have, not surprisingly, been the most successful club in the championship there, until the mid 1930s they were also the leading football side in the Big Apple. 

One of the saddest chapters in the book centers on the 1927 football series when Tipp were in opposition to Monaghan at Celtic Park. During the course of the game, Tipperary forward Pat McGrath (a native of Templemore) collapsed when play was at the opposite end of the field. Team manager, Jack Quane, realised that something serious had befallen his player. Play came to a halt, and the 8,000 in attendance knelt to say the Rosary as doctors battled to save young McGrath’s life. Their efforts proved to be in vain, and after an ambulance has taken him to St. John’s Hospital he was pronounced dead. 

Pat had served with the Fighting 69th Regiment of the U.S. Army during World War 1 and had been gassed while in the trenches in France. The effects of  the chlorine gas had seriously damaged his lungs, and this was determined to have been the cause of his untimely death. 
Married just one year earlier to Catherine Purcell, the couple had been the proud parents of a baby born to them three weeks prior to this tragedy. 

One of the saddest funerals to be witnessed by the Irish community in New York, the body was carried to its final resting place in Calvary Cemetery by the members of the Tipperary club.  
In the 1940s and 1950s the Tipperary hurlers captured 8 of 10 senior hurling championships, and were by all accounts as formidable a selection as some of the top inter county teams from Ireland. 

The role of New York GAA President has been filled on a number of occasions by men who hailed from Tipperary, and the county has also been recognised for its contribution to the association in New York with the prestigious Guest Of Honour bestowed on no fewer than 6 people from Tipperary.

Captains of the Premier Ship by Noel Dundon was launched in St. Patrick's College, Thurles by Nicky English on November 15. The book of 320 pages charts the careers of Tipperary's twenty-one – a number of them were multiple captains – All-Ireland winning captains with interviews and stories telling tales about their achievements. The group includes such legendary figures as big Jim Stapleton, the man who was given the sobriquet 'Captain' Johnny Leahy, the youngest captain, Jimmy Finn, right up to the contemporary, Eoin Kelly. I expect the book will initiate discussion on the many outstanding players who were never captain. Noel Dundon has filled a big gap in our G.A.A. Knowledge in the county and is to be complimented on his initiative. All profits from the sale of the book are going to the mental health charity, Aware.

Not strictly a G.A.A. book. the Parish Review of Templemore, Clonmore and Killea has something for G.A.A. readers. Stretching to 350 pages, most of which is devoted  to what happened in the parish during 2014, it also includes some historical pieces that give is an additional dimension of interest. These include articles on parish activities in 1914 and 1939, but also two pieces that will be welcomed by readers ofthis column. The first of  these is on the Bracken Family and the second on Tommy Treacy.

The latter, by Martin Bourke, is particularly welcome because there is so little available on the hurler from Killea, who strode the playing fields of Ireland like a colossus from the late twenties to the early forties. Physically a towering figure,  he played some great matches at a time when there were few. The iconic image of him is from the 1930 All-Ireland when, following a flake on the head, he was bandaged up and played on. The incident was remembered thus:

The work done by Treacy at midfield was grand,
And the cheers for the hero that came from the stand,
Will live in our memory until we are dead,
And the crimson stained bandage he wore around his head. 


Martin Bourke introduces his lengthy article in this manner:

When hurling men sit down to talk they say that the true Tipperary hurler is the man who is not afraid ‘to go in and pull’. He is fearless and tireless on the field of play and he never gives up until the final whistle is blown. Such a man was Tommy Treacy. His speed, his stickwork and his boundless courage made people apply to himthe old saying, ‘He’d put his head, where another
would not put his camán’. 

I will just mention a few other books that may interest readers. Dalo: The Autobiography by Anthony Daly is published by Transworld Books for €21.50. Hell for Leather: A Journey Through Hurling in 100 Games by Ronnie Bellew & Dermot Crowe is published by Hachette Ireland for €24.99. Tadhg Kennelly: Unfinished Business is published by Mercier for €19.99. True Grit by the Clint Eastwood of hurling, Sylvie Linnane, is published by Irish Sports Publishing for €15.99.

Finally, in the year that Cashel King Cormacs were relegated to intermediate level for the first time since 1933, it was only natural that the club should remember more glorious days. In 1988 and 1989 Cashel won back to back county minor A hurling titles and the club celebrated the golden jubllee of these golden days with an event in October. To mark it Seamus King produced a 24-page booklet celebrating the highlights of these years.


Clean Ireland Re-Cycling County Senior Hurling Championship 2013 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2014, pp 53-59

Clean Ireland Re-Cycling County Senior Hurling Championship 2013

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2014, pp 53-59


Loughmore-Castleiney won their third county senior hurling championship at Semple Stadium on October 13, when they shaded the final by the minimum of margins, 1-17 to 1-16, against Nenagh Eire Óg. It was an occasion for great emotion and jubilation and it gave particular pleasure to a team that had gone into the contest as underdogs and which seemed to be justified when they were led by six points after twenty minutes. However, the game began to turn in their favour during the final ten minutes before the interval as they tacked on two points and Nenagh failed to score. Victory was eventually achieved through a tremendous second-half performance, particularly by a very effective half-back line and an outstanding display by Noel McGrath.The victory was all the more appreciated in that it was achieved twenty-five years after their first victory in the grade and on a day when that team was being honoured at Semple Stadium.


The format of the championship was the same as in 2012 with the 32 senior teams playing in their respective divisional championships down to semi-final stage. The 16 teams that qualified went straight into the Dan Breen Cup. The remaining 16 went into Round 1 or a qualifier for the Dan Breen Cup, with the 8 winners qualifying and the 8 losers going into the Seamus O'Riain Cup. The 4 losers in the first round of the latter played in the relegation competition.

The 8 winners of Round 1 of the Dan Breen Cup joined the 8 losing divisional semi-finalists in an open draw with repeat games avoided for Round 2. The 8 winners from Round 2 played off among themselves in Round 3 and the winners joined the four divisional final losers in Round 4. The 4 winners played the four divisional final winners in Round 5 or quarter-finals.

Round 1

Seven of the eight games in Round 1 were played on the weekend of the 15/16 June, with the final game played on the 19th. Roscrea, Holycross-Ballycahill, Kilruane-MacDonaghs, Portroe, J. K. Brackens, Templederry Kenyons, Nenagh Eire Óg and Burgess came through.

Round 2

The 8 teams joined the 8 beaten divisional semi-finals in an open draw and the games were played between June 21 and July 8. The teams that came through were Borrisileigh, Toomevara, Moycarkey-Borris, Templederry-Kenyons, Roscrea, Nenagh Eire Óg, Upperchurch-Drombane and Burgess.

Round 3

The eight teams played off among themselves between July 27 and August 17 with Nenagh Eire Óg, Roscrea, Borrisileigh and Toomevara successful.

Divisional Finals

In one of the best South finals for years Killenaule defeated Carrick Swans by 1-22 to 2-16 at Clonmel on July 27. The game will be remembered for the 14 points scored by John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer and the goal scored by former county player, Pat Kerwick, two minutes from the end which sealed the game. The Swans led by the minimum, 2-7 to 0-12, at the break and were unfortunate not to get a draw.

In contrast the North final at Nenagh a day later was a completely one-sided affair in which Kildangan produced a big display to trounce Silvermines by 5-15 to 0-8. The game was over at half-time when they led by 5-7 to 0-3.

Eire Óg upset the odds with a clear victory over six-times champions, Clonoulty-Rossmore, in the West final played at Dundrum on August 10. Clonoulty went into the game as favourites to make it seven in a row but, after the opening twenty minutes there was no doubt as to the destination of the O'Dwyer Cup as Eire Óg went on to win by 4-17 to 1-17.

A three-goal blitz by Drom Inch between the twentieth and twenty-fifth minute of the first half decided the destiny of the Johnny Leahy Cup in the Mid final played at Boherlahan on August 11. They led by 3-10 to 0-4 at the interval and there was no way back for Loughmore-Castleiney, who were behind by 3-10 to 1-11 at the end.

Round 4

Round 4 matched the winners of Round 3 with the runners-ups in the divisional finals and these games were played on August 24 and September 7.Nenagh Eire Óg defeated Silvermines by 1-21 to 0-8 at Cloughjordan and Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Roscrea by 0-21 to 2-11 at Templemore on the same day. The remaining two games were played at Holycross on September 7. Borrisileigh defeated Carrick Swan by 1-17 to 2-8 and Clonoulty-Rossmore got the bestter of Toomevara by 1-23 to 2-16.


The quarter-finals were played on the weekend of September 14/15. Three of the four divisional champions bit the dust on the weekend. At Templemore Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Killenaule by 2-17 to 1-15 and Nenagh Eire Óg defeated Drom Inch by 1-15 to 2-11. At the Ragg Kildangan and Clonoulty-Rossmore drew, 0-14 to 1-11, while Borrisileigh defeated Eire Óg by 2-16 to 1-11.

In the replay of thedrawn game, played at Dolla on September 21, Kildangan defeated Clonoulty-Rossmore by 3-13 to 2-13.


The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on September 29. Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Borrisileigh by 1-17 to 2-12. For most of the game the winners set the pace. Playing against the breeze in the first half they led by 1-5 to 0-7. The game remained close during the third quarter but then Loughmore-Castleint opened up a five-point lead, 1-15 to 1-10 with nine minutes to play. Borrisileigh had the best of the exchanges during that period, reducing the lead to two points and they even had a last-minute chance to shade it had Brendan Maher's effort not gone narrowly wide.

The second game, between Kildangan and Nenagh Eire Óg, ended in a draw, when Kildangan forced a replay thanks to a fine comeback. With a quarter of the match to go Nenagh Eire Óg led by 4-11 to 1-11 and seemed home and hosed. However, Kildangan resurrected their act to outscore their opponents by 1-8 to 0-2 in the final thirteen minutes, culminating in an equalising point by Ruairi Gleeson in the first minute of added time.

The replay of the drawn semi-final was played at Semple Stadium on October 6, with Nenagh Eire Óg coming through by 1-17 to 0-12. Not a memorable game the result was never in doubt after the first twenty minutes. A Richie Flannery goal in the twenty-first minute gave Nenagh the decisive edge. They held an interval lead of 1-10 to 0-6, looking slicker and making better use of possession. Kildangan needed a goal in the second half but it never came and Nenagh were comfortable winners by 1-17 to 0-12 at the final whistle.

The Final

And so, everything was set for the final at Semple Stadium on October 13. Nenagh Eire Óg were installed as favourites on the basis of the scalps they claimed during the campaign, the most notable being holders, Thurles Sarsfields, and Mid and North title holders, Drom Inch and Kildangan.They appeared to have grown in stature with every game. They also had a hunger based on a long famine since their first title in 1995, with the team containing one player, Kevin Tucker, from that side as well as the manager. Liam Heffernan.

Their opponents, Loughmore-Castleiney, looked anything but county final material, when they were swamped by Drom Inch in the Mid final. They got themselves back into contention with victories over Roscrea, Killenaule and eventually Borrisileigh, some would say the easier side ofthe draw. They suffered the loss of staunch defender, Eddie Connolly, in the semi-final and were regarded as a team with lesser hurling capacity than Nenagh. However, they did have a great ability to punch above their weight and to have a steely determination and never-say-die spirit when it came to tight clashes.

Nenagh justified the favourites tag in the opening quarter as they raced into a 1-5 to 0-2 lead and had Loughmore-Castleiney on the back foot, the goal coming from Paddy Murphy. However, they appeared to relax after that and Loughmore outscored them by 0-4 to 0-2 in the second quarter to be only four points adrift at the interval on a scoreline of 1-7 to 0-6. When it is realised that Loughmore hit eleven wides during the period, they were still very much in the game.

With the help of the breeze Loughmore took the game to Nenagh in the second-half. Noel McGrath began to have a grwing influence on the game. John Meagher began to wield a powerful influence, especially in the final quarter. The game began to go Loughmore's way and they drew level, 1-15 each, with five minutes to go. As Loughmore had done in the first half, Nenagh hit a few bad wides. Loughmore edged ahead and in a nail-biting finish Nenagh laid seige to the Loughmore goal and had a couple of chances of grabbing the equaliser but heroic defending saved the day for Loughmore and when the final whistle sounded they had a point to spare on a scoreline of 1-17 to 1-16.

Loughmore Castleiney: Shane Nolan, Tommy Long, Derek Bourke, Joseph Hennessy, Aidan McGrath (0-2), John Meagher, Tom King, Ciaran McGrath (capt.), (0-1), Tomás McGrath (0-1), John McGrath, David Kennedy (0-1), Noel McGrath (0-7), Liam McGrath (1-2), Evan Sweeney (0-1), Cian Hennessy (0-2). Sub: Micheal Webster for David Kennedy. Also: John Scully, Willie Eviston, John Ryan, Lorcan Egan, Johnny Campion, Tommy Maher, Henry Maher, Brian McGrath, Denis Brereton, Shane Hennessy, Paddy Moynihan, Eddie Connolly, Liam Treacy.

Selectors: Declan Laffan, Seamus Bohan, Pat McGrath. Trainer: Alan O'Connor. Physio: Cathy Doran.

Nenagh Eire Óg: Nichael McNamara, Mark Flannery, Noel Maloney (capt.), John Brennan, Daire Quinn, Hugh Maloney, Billy Heffernan, Barry Heffernan, Kevin Tucker, Pearse Morris (0-3), Michael Heffernan (0-8), Tommy Heffernan (0-1), Andrew Coffey (0-1), Paddy Murphy (1-2), Ritchie Flannery (0-1). Subs: Paul Ryan for Andrew Coffey, Donncha Quinn for Billy Heffernan, Johnny Slattery for Paul Ryan. Also: Kevin Flynn, Sean Geaney, Adam Gratton, Killian Gleeson, Alan Kelly, James Mackey, Conor Ryan, Donncha Heffernan, David Hackett, Niall Cahill, Eoin Fitzgibbon, Gary Howard, Michael Collins, Brendan O'Brien, Philip Hickey, Darragh Walsh, Daire Gleeson.

Manager: Liam Heffernan. Coach: John Fitzgerald. Selectors: Enda Costello, Noel Coffey. Physios: Paul Dillon,Eddie Hynes.

Man of the Match: Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

Referee: John McCormack (Kickhams)

Attendance: 7,195.


Clean Ireland Re-Cycling Seamus Ó Riain Cup

The 8 teams defeated in Round 1 of the Dan Breen Cup contested the Seamus Ó Riain Cup. The quarter finals were played on the weekends of June 21 and 28, with victories going to Borrisokane, who defeated Golden-Kilfeacle by 3-13 ro 2-14, to Thurles Sarsfields, who defeated Boherlahan by 2-20 to 1-7, to Lorrha,who defeated Moneygall by 3-16 to 0-12, and to Carrick Davins, who defeated Cashel King Cormacs by 0-15 to 0-14.

In the semi-finals Carrick Davins defeated Lorrha by 3-18 to 2-14 at Templemore on July 20, and Thurles Sarsfields defeated Borrisokane by 1-24 to 2-16 at the same venue on July 26.

The final was played at Clonmel on August 18 and Thurles Sarsfields made history when they won the Ó Riain Cup for the first time. They also made history by becoming the first club to win the Dan Breen and Ó Riain Cups.

Fielding no more than five of their regular senior team the winners had little difficulty in claiming the spoils of victory. Davins, with the breeze in their favour, led by 0-5 to 0-3 at the end of the first quarter and held their own in the first half to trail by just a point, 2-7 to 1-9, at the interval, their goal coming from Ger Robinson just before the break.

Sarsfields showed more urgency in the second-half and dominated the game, adding 1-11, while confining Davins to 0-4, to leave the final score 3-18 to 1-13 in their favour. Afterwards captain, Michael Cahill, received the cup from county board chairman, Sean Nugest.

Thurles Sarsfields: Kevin Smith, Pa Dunne, Kevin O'Gorman, Barry Dwyer, Michael Cahill (capt.), David Corbett, Aidan Ryan, Stephen Cahill (0-1), Tommy Doyle, Jamie Stapleton (1-1), Jim Corbett, Pa Bourke (0-10), Cian Treacy (0-4), Pa Crone (2-2), John Maher. Subs: Michael Dwyer, Rory O'Shea, Eoin Russell, Kevin O'Gorman.

Carrick Davins: M. Hackett, K. Condon, L. Mackey, S. Cronin, W. O'Dwyer, R. McGrath, M. Ryan, P. Harris (0-2), A. Foran (0-1), J. J.Butler (0-4), N. Butler (0-2) G. Robinson (1-2), S. Moroney (0-1), J. J.Ryan, S. Butler (0-1). Subs: O. Power, J. Moroney.

Man of the Match Award: Cian Treacy (Thurles Sarsfields)

Referee: John McCormack (Kickhams)


Clean Ireland Recycling Relegation Playoff

The four teams beaten in the first round of the Seamus Ó Riain Cup battled out the relegation playoff. The two semifinals were played on July 14. At the Ragg Moneygall defeated Cashel King Cormacs by 1-14 to 0-10, and at New Inn Boherlahan-Dualla and Golden-Kilfeacle played a draw, 2-12 to 1-15.

The reply of this game, also at New Inn, on July 26 was abandoned because of a serious injury to one of the players and was eventually played at Holycross on August 9. Boherlahan-Dualla defeated Golden-Kilfeacle by 1-19 to 2-12.

The final,between Cashel King Cormacs and Golden-Kilfeacle, was played at New Inn on August 18. The game was expected to be close but it turned out to be quite one-sided. A pair of goals at either side of the interval propelled Cashel into a commanding lead and Golden had no answer to the pace and intensity of their play. In the end Cashel were ahead by 3-13 to 0-9, having led by 1-10 to 0-7 at the interval.

Cashel King Cormacs: Owen Quirke, Paddy Morrissey, Ross Doyle, Brian Minogue, Michael Killian O'Dwyer, John Darmody, Simon Delaney (0-1), Edmond O'Dwyer (0-1), Dylan Fitzell, Michael Coleman (0-1), Lee Burke (0-1), Philip Taylor (0-1), Robert Anglim (1-1), Adrian Cummins (1-1), Jonathan Grogan (1-6),. Subs: James Cummins for Robert Anglim, Jonathan Walsh for Lee Burke.

Golden-Kilfeacle: Declan Donnelly, Chris Ryan, Aidan O'Connell, Kevin Moloney, Brendan Moloney (0-1), James McCarthy, James Hayes, James O'Connell, Daithi Bargary, James Casey, Josh Keane (0-7), Damian Fogarty, John Colohan, Paddy Ivers, Seanie O'Halloran. Subs: Cathal Hayes for James cCarthy, Christopher Ryan (0-1) for Johnlohan, Aidanarty for James , S.Stapleton for D. Bargary, S. Ryan for S O'Halloran.

Referee: Pat Gibsom (Burgess)

Results at a Glance



Clean Ireland Recycling Senior Hurling Championship

Round 1

15/06/2013 Templemore Roscrea 3.16 Cashel King Cormacs 0.11 Martin Ryan

15/06/2013 Templemore Holycross Ballycahill 0.18 Moneygall 0.15 Phil Ryan

15/06/2013 Toomevara Kilruane MacDonaghs 0.16 Borrisokane 0.09 Kieran Delaney

16/06/2013 Borrisoleigh Portroe 3.23 Golden Kilfeacle 0.09 John Butler (M)

16/06/2013 Moneygall JK Brackens 3.13 Lorrha Dorrha 0.09 John O'Brien

16/06/2013 The Ragg Templederry Kenyons 6.20 Boherlahan Dualla 1.07 Fergal Hickey

16/06/2013 The Ragg Nenagh Eire Óg 0.15 Thurles Sarsfields 0.12 Fergal Horgan

19/06/2013 Boherlahan Burgess 1.17 Carrick Davins 0.13 Willie Clohessy


Round 2

21/06/2013 The Ragg Borris-ileigh 5.18 JK Brackens 0.09 Phil Ryan

22/06/2013 Nenagh Toomevara 3.21 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1.26 Anthony Sherlock

22/06/2013 Borrisoleigh Moycarkey Borris 1.14 Portroe 1.12 John McCormack

23/06/2013 Templemore Templederry Kenyons 3.21 Ballingarry 0.10 Fergal Horgan

23/06/2013 Templemore Roscrea 2.14 Knockavilla Kickhams 2.11 Willie Clohessy

28/06/2013 Boherlahan Nenagh Éire Óg 1.18 Mullinahone 0.09 Johnny Ryan

30/06/2013 The Ragg Upperchurch Drombane 1.19 Holycross Ballycahill 0.15 Kieran Delaney

08/07/2013 Newport Burgess 0.22 Cappawhite 1.11 Johnny McDonnell


Round 3

27/07/2013 Templemore Nenagh Éire Óg 2.18 Upperchurch Drombane 1.17 John McCormack

04/08/2013 Templemore Roscrea 1.12 Moycarkey Borris 1.11 Fergal Horgan

10/08/2013 Nenagh Borris-ileigh 1.24 Burgess 4.12 Johnny Ryan

17/08/2013 Nenagh Toomevara 0.24 Templederry 2.17 Pat Gibson


Round 4

24/08/2013 Cloughjordan Nenagh Éire Óg 1.21 Silvermines 0.08 Johnny Ryan

24/08/2013 Templemore Loughmore Castleiney 0.21 Roscrea 2.11 Pat Ivors

07/09/2013 Holycross Borris-ileigh 1.17 Carrick Swans 2.08 John O'Brien

07/09/2013 Holycross Clonoulty Rossmore 1.23 Toomevara 2.16 Noel Cosgrove


Quarter Finals

14/09/2013 Templemore Loughmore Castleiney 2.17 Killenaule 1.15 Ger Fitzpatrick

14/09/2013 Templemore Nenagh Éire Óg 1.15 Drom & Inch 2.11 John McCormack

15/09/2013 The Ragg Kildangan 0.14 Clonoulty Rossmore 1.11 Keith Delahunty

15/09/2013 The Ragg Borris-ileigh 2.16 Éire Óg Anacarty 1.11 Johnny Ryan


Quarter Final Replay

21/09/2013 Dolla Kildangan 3.13 Clonoulty Rossmore 2.13 Paddy Ivors


Semi Finals

29/09/2013 Semple Stadium Loughmore Castleiney 1.17 Borris-ileigh 2.12 Fergal Horgan

29/09/2013 Semple Stadium Nenagh Éire Óg 4.13 Kildangan 2.19 Johnny Ryan


Semi Final Replay

06/10/2013 Semple Stadium Nenagh Éire Óg 1.17 Kildangan 0.12 Keith Delahunty



13/10/2013 Semple Stadium Loughmore Castleiney 1.17 Nenagh Éire Óg 1.16 John McCormack



Clean Ireland Recycling Seamus O'Riain Cup


Quarter Final

21/06/2013 Templetuohy Borrisokane 3.13 Golden Kilfeacle 2.14 Noel Cosgrove

21/06/2013 Holycross Thurles Sarsfields 2.20 Boherlahan Dualla 1.07 Pat Gibson

23/06/2013 Cloughjordan Lorrha Dorrha 3.16 Moneygall 0.12 Philip Kelly

28/06/2013 Fethard Carrick Davins 0.15 Cashel King Cormacs 0.14 PJ Nolan


Semi Final

20/07/2013 Templemore Carrick Davins 3.18 Lorrha Dorrha 2.14 Willie Clohessy

26/07/2013 Templemore Thurles Sarsfields 1.24 Borrisokane 2.16 Michael Murphy



18/08/2013 Clonmel Thurles Sarsfields 3.18 Carrick Davins 1.13 John McCormack



Clean Ireland Recycling Co. Senior Hurling Relegation


Semi Final

14/07/2013 The Ragg Moneygall 1.14 Cashel King Cormacs 0.10 John O'Brien

14/07/2013 New Inn Golden Kilfeacle 1.15 Boherlahan Dualla 2.12 Philip Kelly


Semi Final Replay

26/07/2013 New Inn Golden Kilfeacle 0.00 Boherlahan Dualla 0.00 Keith Delahunty



09/08/2013 Holycross Boherlahan Dualla 1.19 Golden Kilfeacle 2.12 Johnny McDonnell

Final Replay

18/08/2013 New Inn Cashel King Cormacs 3.13 Golden Kilfeacle 0.09 Pat Gibson