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<span class="postTitle">The County Senior Hurling Championship - 2009</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 41-47

The County Senior Hurling Championship - 2009

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 41-47


The Dan Breen Cup

Thurles Sarsfields won their thirtieth county senior hurling title when they defeated Drom Inch by 0-14 to 0-5 in the final at Semple Stadium on October 18. Drom Inch, who were appearing in their third final, suffered their third defeat since 2005

It was expected to be a great final, with two Mid teams contesting it. Thurles Sarsfields may have been slight favourites, some of the thinking behind it based on their superior fire power. On the other hand Drom Inch were given a chance based mainly on their impressive defeat of Toomevara in the semi-final. As well it was their third final so any first-time nerves should be absent.It was expected to be a good game with free-flowing play and a feast of scores.

In stead it was one of the worst finals for years, a game that never sprang to life. Drom Inch were dreadful and Thurles Sarsfields not much better. Most of the players, bar Padraic Maher and Michael Cahill, seem to have been inhibited by the occasion. Sarsfields adopted the tactic of a hectic workrate that closed down the opposition and gave them neither time not space to hurl at ease. This was exemplified in the play of Michael Cahill, who stuck to Seamus Callanan like a leech and prevented him from performing. Since Callanan was the main hope on which a Drom Inch victory rested, preventing him from playing was the greatest contribution to a Sarsfields victory. On this basis Cahill probably deserved the Man of the Match, doing more than anyone on the field to prevent Drom winning.

At the end of the day the quality of the game didn't make a bit of difference to the Sarsfields players. Whereas playing the game and performing well may be the noble ideal, winning is why players go out to play and in the vast number of cases it doesn't make much difference to them whether it was pretty or not.

Winning captain Johnny Enright, touched on these matters in his speech afterwards. He had no argument about it being a poor final, but there was no apology either. 
He said: "It was, but I still felt our work-rate was phenomenal, we closed them down. We missed chances, they missed chances, but it’s all about getting that cup and taking the next step forward. We lost enough good finals – I remember one that finished 3-19 to 3-16, played great and lost. You win whatever way you can, and I thought our attitude and our work-rate was fantastic today. We felt if we could match them on work-rate we had the hurlers to come through, and that’s how it turned out. This one was huge for Thurles; everyone was talking about Drom & Inch having lost in 05 and 07, no title won yet, but we lost six finals this decade, four-in-a-row early on and then last year again, so this was as important to us as it was to them, though I know the pain they’re feeling now." 

Similar Format as in 2008

The format of the county senior hurling championship remained essentially the same in 2009 as it had been in 2008. It was divided into two competitions, the Dan Breen Cup and the Seamus Ó Riain Cup. All teams that made it to the divisional semi-finals qualifed for the former while all the remaining teams took part in the latter competition.

There was a bit of variation on 2008 with thirty rather than twenty-nine teams taking part, as 2008 intermediate champions, Templederry Kenyons, joined the senior ranks. Under the new structures brought in in 2008 any club had the right to enter the senior hurling championship. With the intermediate winners advancing to senior ranks every year there may come a day when there won't any longer be an intermediate grade! On the other hand any senior team had the right to be relegated intermediate if it felt it wasn't strong enough to be in senior ranks. As of yet there are no takers of this option.

Another change from 2008 was the granting of entry to the Dan Breen Cup to the finalists of the Ó Riain Cup. This was done in order to give greater stature to the Ó Riain Cup even though there was a belief in many quarters that the competition had proven itself in 2008 and Carrick Swans' success and the euphoria it generated had established the competition as capable of standing by itself, without the prop of qualification to the Dan Breen Cup.

As a result of this change it was necessary to find a way to bring the two Ó Riain Cup finalists into the Dan Breen Cup. In 2008 the eight beaten divisional semi-finalists played the eight divisional finalists in the first round of the Dan Breen Cup. The change made in 2009, in order to allow the entry of the Ó Riain finalists, was to give recognition to the divisional winners by excluding them from rounds 1 and 2 of the Dan Breen Cup. Round 1 therefore brought together the eight beaten divisional semi-finalists and the four beaten finalists in a playoff of six games. The six winners were joined by the two Ó Riain Cup finalists in Round 2 to produce four winners. The four winners played the four division winners in Round 3 to produce the semi-finalists.

As stated above thirty teams in all participated in the senior hurling championship 11 from the North, 8 from the Mid, 6 from the West and 5 from the South. The fourteen teams who didn't qualify for the divisional semi-finals entered the Ó Riain Cup.

First Round

The first round of the Dan Breen Cup was played on the weekend of the 12/13 September. Two games were played at Boherlahan on September 12 and resulted in victories for the two North teams over two from the South. Portroe defeated Ballybacon-Grange by 3-13 to 0-19 and Toomevara defeated Carrick Swans by 3-20 to 1-10.

Four games were played on September 13, two at Templemore and two at Cashel. At Templemore Upperchurch-Drombane defeated Cappawhite by 2-18 to 0-17, and Borrisoleigh defeated neighbours and rivals, Loughmore-Castleiney by 1-20 to 0-14. At Cashel, Killenaule proved too good for Golden-Kilfeacle on a scoreline of 1-21 to 0-11. while Thurles Sarsfields defeated Kickhams by 0-18 to 1-8.

Second Round

The six winners joined the finalists in the Ó Riain Cup, Kilruane MacDonaghs and Lorrha, for the second round and this produced four games. Two of these were played at Templemore on September 19. Upperchurch-Drombane defeated Portroe by 1-16 to 0-11, and Toomevara overcame Killenaule by 4-16 to 1-14. The other two games were played on September 20. At Dolla Thurles Sarsfields defeated Kilruane MacDonaghs by 2-22 to 1-10, and Borrisoleigh defeated Lorrha by 2-16 to 1-13 at Nenagh.


All was now set for the quarter-finals in which the winners of round two played the four divisional champions. All the divisional finals were played on August 23. In the Mid final at Holycross Drom-Inch retained their title when they weathered a great challenge from Upperchurch-Drombane, who were appearing in their first ever senior final, to win by 2-11 to 0-14 in one of the best finals of recent times.

There was also a first in the North final at Nenagh where Portroe were playing in their first North senior final. There was no dream ending for them as Nenagh Éire Óg bridged and eight-year gap to take the title comfortably on a scoreline of 2-24 to 2-12.

In the South final at Kilsheelan, Killenaule were dreaming of a third-in-a-row but had victory snatched from them in the final minute when Mullinahone sub, Donal Cody, sent over the bar for the winning point on a scorline of 1-17 to 1-16.

In the West final at Golden Clonoulty-Rossmore completed a hat-trick of titles, when they defeated Cappawhite by 2-11 to 0-12 in a game that appeared to be going Cappa's way at the interval, when they led by ten points to four.

Only one divisional champion came through the quarter-finals, which were played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of September 26/27. On the 26th Thurles Sarsfields defeated Nenagh by 1-18 to 0-18, chiefly through the good marksmanship of Pa Bourke, who hit ten points, six from play. Nenagh Éire Óg had the better of the exchanges in the first half, leading by 0-10 to 0-5 at the interval and looked likely to win, but Thurles were the superior outfit in the second-half.

Drom Inch were the only divisional champions to make it through to the semi-finals. It didn't look likely after forty-five minutes when their opponents and near neighbours, Borrisoleigh, led by 0-15 to 1-9 and looked poised for victory. But Drom Inch levelled with a goal soon after and Seamus Callanan's ability to get points when they mattered, helped them on to a 2-15 to 0-19 victory.

Toomevara proved too good for Clonoulty-Rossmore in their quarter-final. In a classy display they led by 1-10 to 1-5 at the interval, went further ahead on the resumption, were hauled back to level following a couple of goals by Clonoulty, but then reeled off some fantastic points to win comfortably by 1-24 to 4-8.

Upperchurch-Drombane made no mistake when they defeated Mullinahone by 3-23 to 3-17 to qualify for their first senior semi-final in history. It did take extra time after the sides finished 3-12 to 2-15 in normal time but Upperchurch came on strongly in the second period of extra time to run out deserved six-point winners.


The county semi-finals were played as a double-header at Semple Stadium on October 3. Drom-Inch drew the county champions, Toomevara, and went into the game as underdogs, on the basis of the brilliance shown by the North side the previous Sunday. However, the mid champions, the only divisional champions still in contention, proved themselves powerful contenders for ultimate honours by taking the scalp of the Greyhounds.

They led by 2 points at the interval, 0-10 to 1-5 and put in a great performance in the second-half to keep the county champions at bay. They fully deserved their 4-point victory on a scoreline of 0-19 to 1-12. The major contributor to the victory, as he was the previous Sunday, was Seamus Callanan, who contributed twelve points of the total, five of them from play.

The second semi-final was less gripping as Thurles Sarsfields showed too much class for Upperchurch-Drombane, who had shocked them in the Mid semi-final. Sarsfields led by 1-7 to 0-4 at the interval and were well ahead by 2-17 to 0-10 at the final whistle. Pa Bourke, with nine points, played a leading role for the winners..

The Final

And so it was on to the final at Semple Stadium on October 18, 2009. A crowd of close to 10,000 turned up for the occasion. The day was fine but dull and there was an expectation in the air that this might be a special final, because of the number of talented players on the field.

The tension between the sides broke out in a bit of argy-bargy between two of the centrefield players even before the ball was thrown in. And, eventually the game was on its way.

It never really took off. Drom never got moving. By the twelfth minute Sarsfields were 5 points to nil in front. Drom got their first score in the fourteenth minute. They made something of a fightback in the second quarter if you could term three points a fightback, but Thurles had four themselves to lead by 0-9 to 0-3 at the interval.

The second half brought no great change. The sides shared two points in a very poor third quarter and another two over the next ten minutes. Ger 'Redser' O'Grady, whose year had been dogged by injury, came off the bench in the closing stages to grab two great points for Sarsfields and give a lift to a very flat game.

Thurles finished nine points to the good. They had two stars in Padraic Maher and Michael Cahill, while Johnny Enright, Pa Bourke and Denis Maher deserve mention. It was a game that Drom Inch will want to forget as there wasn't a single memory from it that they will want to remember.

Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack, Kevin O'Gorman, Padraic Maher, Barry O'Dwyer, Liam Cahill, Michael Cahill, Stephen Lillis, Alan Kennedy, Michael Gleeson (0-1), Pa Bourke (0-4), Shane Ryan, Denis Maher (0-1), Richie Ruth (0-1), Lar Corbett, Johnny Enright (capt.), 0-5. Subs: David Kennedy for Shane Ryan, Ger O'Grady (0-2) for Richie Ruth, John Lalor for Liam Cahill, David O'Dwyer for Alan Kennedy, Michael Collins for Kevin O'Gorman. Also: Bill McCormack, Colm Rourke, John Maher, Patrick Leahy, Eoin Russell, Tommy Collins, Stephen Mason, Wayne Cully, Jim Corbett, Tony Ruth, Garry Mernagh, John Connors.

Drom Inch: Damien Young, Matin Butler, Edward Costello, Michael Costello, Donncha Kennedy, Paul Stapleton, Micheál Butler, James Woodlock (capt.), Seamus Butler, Eric Woodlock, Seamus Callanan (0-2), John Kennedy (0-1), David Butler, Michael Long, Johnny Ryan (0-2). Subs; Eamonn Buckey for Paul Stapleton, Declan Ryan for Michael Long, Matthew Ryan for Eric Woodlock, David Collins for Declan Ryan, James Ryan for James Woodlock. Also: Ciarán Hassett, Liam Ryan, Paddy Kennedy, John Lillis, Shane Delaney, Paul Collins, Philip Looby, Enda Walsh, Michael Everard, Tom Cantwell, Padraig Butler, Matthew McGrath, Paul Connors, Brian Costello, Kevin Butler, Paul Ryan.

Man of the Match Award: Padraic Maher.

Referee: Sean Bradshaw (Kickhams).

Attendance: Approx. 10,000


Country Senior Hurling Championship

Round 1

12/09/2009 Boherlahan Portroe 3.13 Ballybacon G 0.19 John Ryan Bob

12/09/2009 Boherlahan Toomevara 3.20 Carrick Swans 1.10 Richie Barry

13/09/2009 Templemore Upperchurch D 2.18 Cappawhite 0.17 Ger Fitzpatrick

13/09/2009 Templemore Borrisoleigh 1.20 Loughmore C 0.14 Noel Cosgrave

13/09/2009 Cashel Killenaule 1.21 Golden Kilfeacle 0.11 John Cleary

13/09/2009 Cashel Thurles Sarsfields 0.18 Knockavilla K 1.08 Seamus Roche

19/09/2009 Templemore Upperchurch D 1.16 Portroe 0.11 Keith Delahunty

19/09/2009 Templemore Toomevara 4.16 Killenaule 1.14 Johnny Ryan

20/09/2009 Dolla Thurles Sarsfields 2.22 Kilruane MacD 1.10 Paddy Russell

20/09/2009 Nenagh Borrisileigh 2.16 Lorrha Dorrha 1.13 Seamus Roche


Quarter Finals

26/09/2009 S Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 1.18 Nenagh Eire Óg 0.18 Seamus Roche

26/09/2009 S Stadium Upperchurch D 3.23 Mullinahone 3.17 Tommy Ryan AET

27/09/2009 S Stadium Drom & Inch 2.15 Borrisoleigh 0.19 Sean Bradshaw

27/09/2009 S Stadium Toomevara 1.24 Clonoulty Rossmore 4.08 Noel Cosgrave


Semi Finals

04/10/2009 S Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 2.17 Upperchurch D 0.10 John Cleary

04/10/2009 S Stadium Drom & Inch 0.19 Toomevara 1.12 Seamus Roche



18/10/2009 S Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 0.14 Drom & Inch 0.05 Sean Bradshaw


Seamus O Riain Cup

As stated above all teams that failed to make their divisional semi-finals qualified for the Seamus Ó Riain Cup, fourteen in all. Two teams, Moycarkey-Borris and Kilruane MacDonaghs, got byes to the quarter-finals, while the remaining twelve played first round games. These games were played earlier than in 2008 because of the need to have the finalsits ready to join the Dan Breen Cup in the third round.

Five games in the first round of the Ó Riain Cup were played on the weekend of July 18/19. Boherlahan-Dualla defeated Ballingarry by 1-16 to 0-10 at Cashel on the 18th. Two games were played at Templemore on the 19th. Moneygall defeated Holycross-Ballycahill by 1-16 to 2-8 and Lorrha defeated Cashel King Cormacs by 3-17 to 1-9. The remaining two games were played on the same day. At Nenagh Roscrea defeated Burgess by 1-10 to 1-7 and at the Ragg J. K. Brackens defeated Templederry Kenyons by 0-17 to 1-12.

The final game in the first round was played at Boherlahan on July 26 when Kildangan defeated Eire Óg by 1-15 to 2-9.


Three weeks separated the quarter-finals. Two games were played on August 1 and were won by 1-point margins. At Toomevara Roscrea defeated Moneygall by 4-8 to 1-16 and Kilruane-MacDonaghs defeated Moycarkey-Borris by 1-13 to 1-12 at Templemore.

The remaining two quarter-finals were played on August 22. Kildangan defeated J. K. Brackens by 1-12 to 0-12 at Toomevara, and Lorrha defeated Boherlahan-Dualla by 0-26 to 2-4 at Moneygall.


The stage was now set for the semi-finals, which were played on the weekend of September 12/13. At Toomevara Kilruane-MacDonaghs had little difficulty in disposing of Roscrea by 3-14 to 1-8. Three first-half goals gave Kilruane a 3-9 to 0-6 lead at the break and though Roscrea fought back well in the second-half they found it difficult to get through the stout defending of Seamus Hennessy at centre-back.

There was a lot of tension in the second semi-final between Lorrha and Kildangan over a refusal by Kildangan to accede to a Lorrha request to put back the starting time in order to allow three of the panel to return from a family wedding in Spain. As it was they returned early and missed the wedding. Lorrha had the better of the exchanges in the first half and led by 1-8 to 0-5 at the break. Lorrha went further ahead in the third quarter but Kildangan fought back and only three points separated the sides at the final whistle, Lorrha 1-16 Kildangan 0-16.


It was a case of second time lucky for Kilruane-MacDonaghs when they defeated Lorrha by 1-21 to 0-17 in the final of the Ó Riain Cup, which was played ar Borrisokane on October 11. In the previous year's final they lost to Carrick Swan. However, it was Lorrha who got off to the better start and were six points clear after ten minutes but some poor marking allowed Kilruane back into the game and they led by 1-10 to 0-11 at the interval. Kilruane confirmed their superiority in the second half, when Lorrha could only score six points. Many good point opportunities were wasted as players tried for goals. Kilruane thoroughly deserved their seven-point victory after a very impressive display.

Kilruane MacDonaghs: David Reddan, Brian Gaynor, Stephen Murphy, Gavin McAvinchy, Liam Gibson, Seamus Hennessy (capt.),0-1, Niall O'Meara (0-1), Mark O'Leary (0-2), Ray Moloughney (0-4), Kevin Quinlan (0-2), Brian O'Meara (0-6), Jonathon Cahill, Darren Killackey (0-1), Shane Quinlan (0-2). Subs: Diarmuid Cahill for Jonathon Cahill, Declan Barrett for Darren Killackey,, Denis Cahill for Shane Quinlan. 

Lorrha: Kevin Hough, Graham Houlihan, Rory Coen, Tadhg Nevin, Ciaran Hough, Stephen Hogan, Kevin Maher, Patrick Maher, Noel Hogan (capt.) 0-6, Michael Cleary (0-1), Ronan O'Meara (0-6), William Maher (0-2), Cian Hogan, Trevor Hogan, Ciaran Duggan (0-2). Subs: William Hough for Trevor Hogan, Donal Kennedy for Stephen Hogan.

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Boherlahan-Dualla).


Seamus O'Rian Cup


18/07/2009 Cashel Boherlahan Dualla 1.16 Ballingarry 0.10 Richie Barry 

19/07/2009 Templemore Moneygall 2.18 Holycross Ballycahill 1.16 Phil Ryan

19/07/2009 Templemore Lorrha Dorrha 3.17 Cashel King Cormacs 1.09 Tom McGrath

19/07/2009 Nenagh Roscrea 1.10 Burgess 1.07 Michael Cahill

19/07/2009 The Ragg JK Brackens 0.17 Templederry K 1.12 Keith Delahunty

26/07/2009 Boherlahan Kildangan 1.15 Eire Óg Anacarty 2.09 Martin Ryan


Quarter Finals

01/08/2009 Toomevara Moneygall 1.16 Roscrea 4.08 Willie Clohessy

01/08/2009 Templemore Kilruane MacD 1.13 Moycarkey Borris 1.12 Seamus Roche

22/08/2009 Toomevara Kildangan 1.12 JK Brackens 0.12 Seamus Roche

22/08/2009 Moneygall Lorrha D 0.26 Boherlahan Dualla 2.04 Paddy Russell


Semi Finals

12/09/2009 Toomevara Kilruane MacD 3.14 Roscrea 1.08 Sean Bradshaw

13/09/2009 Nenagh Lorrha 1.17 Kildangan 0.16 Johnny Ryan



11/10/2009 Borrisokane Kilruane MacD 1.22 Lorrha Dorrha 0.17 Johnny Ryan



<span class="postTitle">County Senior Hurling B Championship 2008 - The Seamus O'Riain Cup</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 49-50

County Senior Hurling B Championship 2008 - The Seamus O'Riain Cup

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 49-50


The second major element in the Fr. Sheehy Club's proposal was the creation of a new championship, which was the equivalent of a B championship. In order to give it an element of prestige and prevent it becoming a debased alternative, the county board was requested, in the course of the proposals, to arrange a prestigious trophy for the winners to be named after some former inspirational person in the association in the county. Former board president, Seamus Ó Riain fitted the profile and the trophy and the competition became the Ó Riain Cup.

In an earlier proposal for a B competition clubs were assigned on the basis of their results the previous year. Under the Fr. Sheehy proposals the results of matches in the current year decided which competition a club played in. It was agreed that all clubs who qualified for divisional semi-finals went into the Dan Breen Cup, while all who didn't qualified for the Ó Riain Cup. Every team as a result got to play in some county championship and there was no relegation. Under the new structures junior and intermediate clubs had the option of combining and affiliating in the championship. Any club had the option of applying the the county gradings committee to be graded as senior with the approval of their divisional board. Conversely any club had the option of being regraded from senior to intermediate. Later in the year the county board decided that players of junior and intermediate status could play in the Ó Riain Cup without losing their status. The winners of the intermediate championship would continue to be promoted senior.

Preliminary Round

Thirteen clubs qualified for the Ó Riain Cup, six from the North, four from the Mid, two from the West and one from the South. A preliminary round of five matches was used to reduce the numbers to eight. The draw protected the teams from the North and the Mid.

The first game in the preliminary round was between Carrick Swans and Lorrha at Boherlahan on August 1, with the South team winning easily by 3-17 to 3-8. Boherlahan-Dualla drew with Kickhams, 2-22 to 3-19 at Cashel on August 2, with Boherlahan winning the replay by 1-13 to 0-15 on August 14. Kilruane MacDonaghs had a facile win, by 5-18 to 0-9, over Cashel King Cormac's at Templemore on August 2. Holycross-Ballcahill defeated Portore by 2-22 to 1-12 at Toomevara on August 6. The final game, between J. K. Brackens and Upperchurch-Drombane was played at Borrisoleigh on August 19 with victory going to the 'Church by 2-22 to 0-18.

The first two quarter-finals were played on August 24. At Boherlahan Upperchurch-Drombane came from behind to defeat Holycross-Drombane by 0-20 to 0-16. Holycross led by 0-10 to 0-8 at the interval, increased their lead early in the second half, but Upperchurch came with a late surge to win by four points.

Moneygall proved too good for Boherlahan-Dualla at the Ragg, winning by 0-16 to 1-8. The game was fairly tight in the first half with the North side leading by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval but Moneygall dominated the second half and thoroughly deserved their five-point victory.

The two remaining quarter-finals were played the following week. Carrick Swans were much too slick and eager for Borrisoleigh at New Inn on August 28, winning by 2-20 to 0-15. Borrisoleigh, who had been many people's favourites to win the North title, went into this game as favourites but proved lethargic on the occasion. They were behind by 1-12 to 0-7 at the interval and eleven points behind at the final whistle.

Kilruane MacDonaghs got the better of a depleted Nenagh, Éire Óg side at Cloughjordan on August 28, winning by 3-12 to 1-16. The winners led by 1-9 to 1-7 at the interval and always seemed to have the edge on their opponents during the second half.


It took extra time for Carrick Swans to put away Moneygall in the first of the semi-finals, played at Littleton on September 20. It was the third North club Carrick met in the competition and while victory wasn't as easy as in the earlier two rounds, they yet deserved their two-point victory on a scoreline of 2-15 to 1-16. Carrick got off to a flying start with a goal in the opening seconds, led by 2-7 to 0-8 at the interval but had to endure a great fight-back by Moneygall, who were level at the end of ordinary time at 2-12 to 1-15. There was little scoring in extra time with Carrick getting three points to Moneygall's one to claim victory and qualify for the first Seamus Ó Riain Cup final. It was tough luck on Moneygall, who fought tenaciously to claim a place in the final of a championship named after one of their most distinguished members.

There were plenty of goals in the second semi-final between Kilruane-MacDonaghs and Upperchurch-Drombane at Templemore on September 27. Though the scoreboard would suggest a very comfortable win of eleven points for Kilruane, on a scoreline of 4-18 to 4-7, it wouldn't be the complete truth. Throughout the hour both sides enjoyed periods of supremacy and it was only over the final five minutes that the tide eventually turned in Kilruane's favour when they scored 1-4. The winners were in front by 2-8 to 2-6 at the interval.

The Final

The hurlers of Carrick Swans recalled the glory days of 1947 when they lifted the inaugural Seamus Ó Riain cup after serving up a stirring second-half performance to overcome Kilruane MacDonaghs by 1-14 to 1-11 at Semple Stadium on October 19. It was a great ending for Carrick, the sole South representative in the compatition and their fourth conquest of North teams in the course of the competition. The victory has to put a spring in their step for the 2009 championship.

Carrick Swans were way off the pace in the first half and were five points behind at the interval. The movement of Danny O'Hanlon, who was scoreless in the first half, to full-forward had a transforming effect on the team. O'Hanlon became the target man to aim for, brought the best out of corner-forwards Paul Diffily and Dwane Fogarty, and scored five points in his own right. As the second-half progressed the Swans reduced the lead, Fogarty's goal after five minutes a key element, and went ahead. Kilruane got their last score eleven minutes from time but there remained the threat that they might get the goal that would salvage the occasion for them. However, whether it was a greater hunger on the part of the Swans they held on for an historic victory and there were scenes of jubilation when referee, Denis Curtis, blew the final whistle.

The Seamus Ó Riain Cup was presented to the Carrick Swan captain, Gerry Walsh, by Eugene Ryan, representing the family, in the presence of county board chairman, John Costigan. The Man of the Match Award was presented to Carrick Swan corner-forward, Dwayne Fogarty, who scored 1-3.

Carrick Swan: Colm O'Sullivan, John Walsh, Jamie Sweetman, Gerry Walsh (capt.), Martin Russell, Kevin Lanigan, John Grace, Stephen Hahessy (0-1), Darren Fahey, Alan O'Sullivan (0-1), Danny O'Hanlon (0-5), Kieran Reade (0-1), Paul Difily (0-1), Alan P. Ryan (0-2), Dwane Fogarty (1-3). Subs: Bobby Ryan for Alan P. Ryan, Raymond Dunne for Alan O'Sullivan. Also: Mark O'Halloran, Anthony O'Donnell, Brian Grace, Jamie Power, Shane Hogan, Aaron Walsh, William Lonergan, Darren Waters, Jamie Kennedy, Keith Walsh, Johnny Cahill.

Manager: M. J. Collins. Selectors: John Grace, Willie Hahessy, Sean O'Shea, Derek Hogan. Coach: Shane Ahearne.

Kilruane MacDonaghs: Ger Corcoran, Diarmuid Cahill, Martin Walsh, Liam Gibson, Eoin Hogan, Stephen Murphy, Gavin McAvinchey, Seamus Hennessy, Kevin Quinlan (0-1), Mark O'Leary (0-1), Pat Williams, Shane Quinlan (0-1), Thomas Williams (1-0), Ray McLoughney (0-6), Mikey Costello (0-2). Subs: Brian O'Meara for Thomas Williams. Also: Liam Gibson, Kevin Ryan, Alan Ryan, Denis Cahill, Declan Barrett, Freddie Williams, James Williams, Timmy Walsh.

Selectors: Len Gaynor, Paddy Williams, Gilbert Williams.

Referee: Denis Curtis (Thurles Sarsfields)


Results of the Seamus Ó Riain Cup at a Glance


Preliminary Round

Aug. 1 at Boherlahan: Carrick Swan 3-17 Lorrha 3-8 (Ref: Richie Barry)

Aug. 2 at Cashel: Boherlahan-Dualla 2-22 Kickhams 3-19 AET (Ref: Keith Delahunty)

Aug. 14 at Holycross: Boherlahan-Dualla 1-13 Kickhams 0-15 (Replay) (Ref: Noel Cosgrove)

Aug. 2 at Templemore: Kilruane MacDonaghs 5-18 Cashel K.C. 0-9 (Ref: Denis Curtis)

Aug. 6 at Toomevara: Holycross-Ballycahill 2-22 Portroe 1-12 (Ref: Phil Ryan)

Aug. 19 at Borrisoleigh: Upperchurch-Drombane 2-22 J. K. Brackens 0-18 (Ref: John Cleary)



Aug. 24 at Boherlahan: Upperchurch-Drombane 0-20 Holycross-Ballcahill 0-16 (Ref: N. Cosgrove)

Aug. 24 at Ragg: Moneygall 0-16 Boherlahan-Dualla 1-8 (Ref: Richie Barry)

Aug. 28 at New Inn: Carrick Swan 2-20 Borrisoleigh 0-15 (Ref: Johnny Ryan)

Aug. 28 at Cloughjordan: Kilruane MacDonaghs 3-12 Nenagh Eire Óg 1-16 (Ref: Tommy Ryan)



Sept. 20 at Littleton: Carrick Swan 2-15 Moneygall 1-16 AET (Ref: Denis Curtis)

Sept. 27 at Templemore: Kilruane MacDonaghs 4-18 Upperchurch-Drombane 4-7 (Ref: J. Ryan B)



Oct. 19 at Semple Stadium: Carrick Swan 1-14 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-11 (Ref: Denis Curtis) 



<span class="postTitle">The County Senior Hurling Championship 2008</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 45-49

The County Senior Hurling Championship 2008

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 45-49


The following was the opening paragraph in the article on the senior hurling championship in the 1993 Yearbook: 'Toomevara bridged a thrity-two year gap when they captured the Dan Breen Cup for the first time since 1960 in a thrilling county final replay at Semple Stadium on November 8. In doing so they beat their opponents of over three decades ago, Thurles Sarsfields.' 

The 1992 victory was their eleventh senior title and since then they have won ten more, their latest on October 19, when their victims were Thurles Sarsfields once again by 2-14 to 0-17. In fact in their eleven victories in the seventeen finals between 1992 and 2008 inclusive, Sarsfields have been the victims on five occasions, in 1992 as mentioned, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2008. Two players, Terry Dunne, who played at centrefield, and Tony Delaney, who came on as a sub, were there for all the victories and won all 11 medals, still a little way back from Mickey Byrne's 14 during his lifetime.

The county senior hurling championship had a much different look in 2008 as a result of an important change in direction following a special county convention on structures held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles on January 22.

For some time there was mounting criticism of the existing structures, which allowed for relegation. Many clubs believed that the fear of relegation was inhibiting their performances so that they lined out in the senior hurling championship with nothing but negative thoughts on how to avoid losing their senior status. Hurling at this level was no longer a joy.

There was a second criticism. For a number of years the intent of the structures was to reduce the number of senior teams in the county, believing that the fewer clubs we had the better for senior hurling, with Kilkenny's success the model with twelve teams. This had resulted in the reduction of the number of teams in the South and West to four senior teams. Albeit both divisions were protected from further reductions in numbers it was difficult to organise meaningful championships with so few clubs.

These developments led to a desire for change which was reflected in the number of proposals which were put forward for the special convention on January 22. The proposal that found favour with the delegates was the Fr. Sheehy proposal, which envisaged a new championship, divided into two competitions, the Dan Breen Cup proper with sixteen teams and a secondary competition, later to be named the Seamus Ó Riain Cup, after the former president of the county board, for teams that didn't qualify for the primary competition. There was no relegation.

The backing of the new proposals by a two-thirds majority, 55 to 26, was greater than expected but it reflected an 'alternative point of view' prevailing in the county on the matter of relegation, which was pointed out by West chairman, Mattie Finnerty, at the convention. In fact so discredited was the status quo that it received only 12 votes at the meeting.

The essence of the new proposals was permission to as many clubs as wished to enter teams in the senior hurling championship. There was a return of power to the divisions who were given the right to run their championships as they thought fit, so long as they produced teams for the Dan Breen Cup by a certain date. The number of teams was four per division which equated to the semi-finalists in the divisional championships

The new structures released a new energy in the divisions as clubs felt they had been given back their freedom to express themselves and run their own affairs. Affiliations increased in the North to 10, as Lorrha were promoted by virtue of winning the intermediate championship, in the Mid to 8, as Moycarkey-Borris, who had been trying for a number of years to win the intermediate, decided to go senior, in the South to 5, as Ballybacon-Grange went senior, and in the West to 6, as Eire Og and Golden-Kilfeacle entered the senior championship. Given the freedom to run their championships as they thought fit the North and the Mid opted for two groups, while the South and the West went for single leagues. While the top four teams in the South and the West qualified for the semi-finals, there was a different system in the North and Mid. There the top teams in the goups went straight to the semi-finals, while the second a third teams played off in quarter finals, with the winners qualifying for the semi-finals.

Divisional Finals

The North final had an unusual pairing as Kildangan returned from sixty-five years in the wilderness to take the North title at Nenagh on August 24, defeating Burgess in the process. The result did not appear likely as the winners trailed by ten points with fifteen minutes to go but they manufactured an amazing turnaround to win by two points on a scoreline of 1-17 to 2-12.

Three finals were played on August 31. In the Mid, Drom Inch recorded their second success at this level in three years and their third in all when they defeated Thurles Sarsfields by 2-19 to 0-21 at Templemore. The winners had much more urgency and determination about their play and they got a major display from Seamus Callanan, who recorded a personal tally of 1-6.

In the South Killenaule retained their title and won their eighteenth championship in all, when they defeated Ballingarry by 3-15 to 1-10 at Monroe. Although the losers led by four points at the interval, Killenaule took complete control in the second half and had the game wrapped up long before the final whistle.

The West title was also retained when Clonoulty-Rossmore defeated Éire Óg by 1-13 to 0-9 at Dundrum on Sunday evening to take their twelfth championship. Clonoulty led by 0-7 to 0-2 at the interval and had control for most of the game even though Eire Óg, who were going for their ninth title, never gave up trying.

Dan Breen Cup First Round

All the teams that played for the divisional semi-finals qualified for the Dan Breen Cup. The eight teams that made the divisional finals were protected by being put in one side of the draw while the defeated semi-finalists were put in the other. The matches were played on September 13th, 20th and 21st.

Cappawhite defeated Éire Óg by 1-17 to 0-16 at Dundrum, and Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Killenaule by 2-13 to 2-10 at Cashel on September 13.

Four games were played on September 20. Clonoulty-Rossmore defeated Roscrea by 1-14 to 0-12 and Kildangan defeated Moycarkey-Borris by 2-14 to 0-19 at the Ragg. In the other two games at Dundrum Thurles Sarsfields trounced Golden-Kilfeacle by 6-16 to 2-12 and Drom Inch overcame Ballybacon-Grange by 1-15 to 1-10. The final two games were played o September 21. Toomevara defeated Burgess by 1-14 to 1-12 at Nenagh, and Mullinahone got the better of Ballingarry by 3-15 to 2-14 at Fethard.


The quarter-finals were played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of September 27/28, with two of the games played on Saturday and the remaining two on Sunday.

Tom Butler was the hero in Clonoulty-Rossmore's single point victory over Mullinahone on Saturday. It looked as if the game were going Mullinahone's way when Eoin Kelly pointed them in front in the final minute, but Butler came with his two late long-rangers, not only to bring his side level but to send them on to victory on a scoreline of 1-15 to 0-17. Mullinahone had seemed likely winners when they came from 1-8 to 0-5 down at the interval to take the lead near the end. The winners were helped by a resolute backline who conceded only eight points from play.

Although Loughmore-Castleiney won comfortably in the end they had to work hard for victory over Cappawhite in the second game. They led by by 1-8 to 0-6 at the interval and went further ahead soon after resuming. But Cappawhite came back with a goal from Paul Fitzgerald and got to within a point of Loughmore before levelling at 1-12 each in the forty-second minute. There was stalemate for a while until Loughmore gradually inched ahead after the fiftieth minute and Cappawhite's resistence was finally broken with a killer goal six minutes from time, when a McGrath delivery was touched to the net by Michael Webster, The final socre was 2-19 to 2-14 and it put Loughmore into the semi-final.

The games on Sunday were less close and less interesting. Toomevara proved much too good for North champions Kildangan, winning at ease on a score line of 1-22 to 1-13. The winners clocked up a six points to two lead in the first ten minutes. Kildangan came back into the game during the second-quarter and had a momentum going when the interval came and found them only a point behind on a scorline of ten points to nine. However the break did them no good and they weren't to score again until the seventeenth minute after resuming by which time Toomevara were nine points in front. They eventually won by this margin and revealed themselves as a very slick outfit with definite aspirations for another county title.

In the second game Thurles Sarsfields proved themselves much too good for Mid champions, Drom Inch, winning in a canter on a scoreline of 3-15 to 2-9 and reversing the result of the Mid final. The only time they looked threatened was in the seventh mionute when Seamus Callanan struck home a penalty and in the fifteenth minute when Michael Cantwell scored Drom Inch's second goal. By the break the Sarsfields were back in front by 1-9 to 2-5. In fact but for some horrific shooting they would have been much more in front. They scored 2-6 in the second half, while confining Drom Inch to four points and thoroughly deserved their nine-point victory. On the day's display they looked to be serious contenders for the Dan Breen Cup.


The Examiner described the first of the semi-finals, played at Semple Stadium on October 5, as 'passionless, lifeless, bloodless.' Another spectator described it as 'sleep-inducing'. It was incredible that two such talented teams, as Thurles Sarsfields and Clonoulty-Rossmore, could produce such a dreadful display. Clonoulty, at least, weren't fazed by the criticism. They went into the game as outsiders, at 10-1 at the bookies against winning the county final, while Sarsfields were even money, following their impressive display against Drom Inch the previous Sunday. Most of the scores came from frees with Pa Bourke getting 1-5 of his side's total of 1-9 and Timmy Hammersley getting 0-8 of Clonoulty's 0-11 during the first forty-eight minutes. Sarsfields led by 1-5 to 0-6 at the interval, kept in front until Clonoulty levelled with about six minutes to go, 1-10 to 0-13. Sarsfields raced ahead again with three points and it seemed curtains for Clonoulty but they came back with an answering three. In the sixtieth minute Sarsfield again hit the front when Lar Corbett pointed but Thomas Butler came back with a levelling point to send the sides to a replay on a scoreline of 1-14 to 0-17. The last twelve minutes redeemed somewhat a most forgettable game.

Many people looked forward to the second semi-final, between defending and Munster Club champions, Loughmore-Castleiney, and Toomevara, as the match of the year, but it turned out to be a damp squib and brought little entertainment to the crowd of less that five-thousand spectators. Loughmore stated brightly and had three points before Toomevara replied with three of their own. Loughmore went ahead again with three points but then Toomevara, having found their range after some bad misses, had a string of five points without reply. Each side then exchanged points to leave Toomevara in front by 0-9 to 0-7 at the interval. It had been disappointing fare and it continued so in the second half. The third quarter was a balanced affair with each side adding four points, but Toomevara came into their own in the final quarter as Loughmore wilted and became guilty of extraordinary bad wides. They scored only two points in this final period while Toomevara added a number of points to win by 0-17 to 0-13. It was poor scoring on a good hurling day, with goals never really threatened and a huge tally of wides on each side, Loughmore chalking up fifteen and Toomevara going two better at seventeen.

The replay of the Thurles Sarsfields-Clonoulty-Rossmore game took place at Semple Stadium a week later. A goal from Lar Corbett in the second minute of extra time helped Sarsfields to a hard-fought win. Clonoulty looked set to win as they led by five points with eight minutes to play. But Sarsfields, inspired by substitutes Johnny Enright and Richie Ruth, rallied to draw level in the third minute of injury time. Earlier Clonoulty had a goal on the stroke of half-time to take the lead on a scoreline of 1-7 to 1-6. They continued to have the upper hand in the second half and twice went five points clear but Sarsfields clawed themselves back and shot five unanswered points in the last eight minutes to bring the game to extra time on a score of 1-16 each. Clonoulty had the first point in extra time but then came Corbett's goal and Sarsfields led by 2-17 to 1-19 at the break. They finished the stronger side as the greater depth of talent in their panel began to make an impact and Clonoulty ran out of steam. In the second half of added time they added five points to Clonoulty's one to win comfortably by 2-22 to 1-20.

The Final

The final took place at Semple Stadium on October 19 on a blustery, overcast day that reduced the crowd to one of the smallest for years. The bookies couldn't make up their minds about the prospects of the contestants, with Celtic Bookmakers making Thurles Sarsfields favourites and Paddy Power fancying Toomevara. The majority opinion among the punters was a fancy for Toomevara, especially in the light of their recent history against the Sarsfields. There was also the belief that the replayed semi-final and the extra time against Clonoulty-Rossmore the previous Sunday would have taken a toll.

The game will be remembered for a wonderful individual display by Toomevara's number 12, Eoin Brislane, who scored 1-5 from play. He was effortless in everything he did, showed speed and efficiency in his striking and eluded his markers with grace and skill. He was lucky to have been left on for the hour after a reckless pull in the opening quarter of the game. His yellow card was one of seven dished out in the course of the hour in a game that had numerous indiscretions but provided some great passages of play as well.

Thurles Sarsfields had the better start with a five point to one lead after fifteen minutes, although playing against a strong breeze. Two minutes later Toomevara got an important break when a shot from Brislane saved superbly by the Sarsfields goalkeeper, was scrambled to the net by Willie Ryan. Toomevara had the better of the second quarter, were denied a goal from John O'Brien coming up to the break and had a number of points to lead by two at the interval, 1-6 to 0-5.

Thurles resumed the second-half with Lar Corbett on the forty but he got little space from Benny Dunne and the game developed around Eoin Brislane's performance at full-forward. He moved with ease around his marker and got some exquisite scores, his goal in the twenty-seventh minute the defining score in the game. Everything he tried came off and he was definitely deserving of the Man of the Match Award.

At the other end only Johnny Enright made inroads into the Toomevara backs, scoring thirteen points in all, six from play, most of them from well out the field. Sarsfields inside forward line had no answer to the teak tough, efficient Toom inside back line, who seemed to be able to clear the ball unchallenged whenever it came near their goals. In the end Enright's points kept Thurles at the races and they did come within three points of the winners by the final whistle but it served only to put a respectable look of the scoreboard and the final score was 2-14 to 0-17 in favour of Toomevara.

Toomevara: James McGrath, Patrick Tuohy, David Young, Paul McGrath, Padraig Hackett, Benny Dunne, Joseph McLoughney (0-1), Terry Dunne (0-1), Francis Devaney (0-2), Paddy O'Brien (0-1), Ken Dunne (0-4), Eoin Brislane (1-5), Michael Bevans (capt.), John O'Brien, Willie Ryan (1-0). Subs: John Delaney for Bevans, David Kennedy for O'Brien, Tony Delaney for Ryan. Also: Justin Cottrell, John Boland, Kieran Brislane, Darren Cuddihy, Barry Dunne, Paddy Grace, Denis Kelly, Thomas McCarthy, Kieran McGrath, Andrew Ryan, Ronan Ryan, Conor O'Meara, David Nolan.

Manager: Vincent McKenna. Selectors: Frank Devaney, Michael O'Meara, Owen Cuddihy. Trainer: Joe Quinn

Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack, Michael Coillins,Padraig Maher, Kevin O'Gorman, Michael Cahill, Liam Cahill, Tom King, Stephen Lillis, Shane Ryan, Wayne Cully, Lar Corbett (0-1), Johnny Enright (0-13), Pa Bourke, Ger O'Grady (0-1), Richie Ruth. Subs: Garry Mernagh for Shane Ryan, Jim Corbett for Richie Ruth (0-2), John Lawlor for Tom King, Tony Ruth for Ger O'Grady. Also: Bill McCormack, Barry O'Dwyer, Stephen Mason, David O'Dwyer, John Lillis, Tommy Collins, John Maher, Colm Rourke, Eoin Russell, Patrick Leahy, Tony Connolly, Michael Gleeson, Kevin O'Halloran,

Man of the Match: Eoin Brislane.

Referee: Noel Cosgrove (Marlfield)


Results of 2008 Dan Breen Cup at a Glance


First Round

Sept. 13 at Dundrum: Cappawhite 1-17 Eire Óg 0-16 (Ref: Noel Cosgrove)

Sept. 13 at Cashel: Loughmore-Castleiney 2-13 Killenaule 2-10 (Ref: Sean Bradshaw)

Sept. 20 at Ragg: Clonoulty-Rossmore 1-14 Roscrea 0-12 (Ref: Noel Cosgrove)

Sept. 20 at Ragg: Kildangan 2-14 Moycarkey-Borris 0-19 (Ref: Seamus Roche)

Sept. 20 at Dundrum: Thurles Sarsfields 6-16 Golden-Kilfeacle 2-12 (Ref: John Cleary)

Sept, 20 at Dundrum: Drom Inch 1-15 Ballybacon-Grange 1-10 (Ref: Phil Ryan)

Sept. 21 at Nenagh: Toomevara 1-14 Burgess 1-12 (Ref: Richie Barry)

Sept. 21 at Fethard: Mullinahone 3-15 Ballingarry 2-14 (Ref: Johnny Ryan)



Sept. 27 at Semple Stadium: Loughmore-Castleiney 2-19 Cappawhite 2-14 (Ref: Seamus Roche)

Sept. 27 at Semple Stadium: Clonoulty-Rossmore 1-15 Mullinahone 0-17 (Ref: Tommy Ryan)

Sept. 28 at Semple Stadium: Toomevara 1-22 Kildangan 1-13 (Ref: Johnny Ryan)

Sept. 28 at Semple Stadium: Thurles Sarsfields 3-15 Drom Inch 2-9 (Ref: Richie Barry)



Oct. 5 at Semple Stadium: Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-17 Thurles Sarsfields 1-14 (Ref: J. McDonnell)

Oct. 5 at Semple Stadium: Toomevara 0-17 Loughmore-Castleiney 0-13 (Ref: Seamus Roche)


Oct. 12 at Semple Stadium: Thurles Sarsfields 2-22 Clonoulty-Rossmore 1-20 (AET) (Ref: J. Cleary)



Oct. 19 at Semple Stadium: Toomevara 2-14 Thurles Sarsfields 0-17 (Ref: Noel Cosgrove)



<span class="postTitle">Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the G.A.A.</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 33

Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the G.A.A.

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 33



It was announced at Congress 2008 that the 125th Anniversary of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael would be celebrated at all levels of the association during 2009. A national co-ordination group under the chairmanship of Jarlath Burns was set up to prepare a calendar of events and their job is to ensure that all units of the association are focused on this milestone and are making plans to celebrate it in appropriate ways.

The expectation is that all provincial councils and county boards will set up special 125 committees to coordinate the body's anniversary plans. The national coordination group would like to hear of these plans, will also offer advice and discuss appropriate ways for celebrating the anniversary.

Before discussing the plans of the Tipperary G.A.A. 125 Committee, which was announced by county chairman, John Costigan, in July, it is interesting to recall the celebrations in the association on previous anniversary milestone.

The silver jubilee in 1909 wasn't celebrated at all! In fact it passed unnoticed both by supporters and critics of the association. According to G.A.A. historian, Marcus de Búrca 'Perhaps the omission on the central council's part is an indication of its forward-looking approach in 1909; in its work to expand the association it was now more concerned with the future than with the past.' Significantly by June 1909 all 32 counties had a board affiliated to the central council for the first time. In the same year the permanent transfer to Dublin of the annual congress marked a significant step towards the extablishment of a genuine 32-county G.A.A.

Golden Jubilee

The golden jubilee celebrations in 1934 were elaborate. The celebrations were inaugurated on Easter Sunday at the annual congress, held specially in Thurles. Before the start of congress there was a reception by the central council both for its own delegates and distinguished visitors, the presentation of congratulatory messages from the Government, the Catholic hierarchy, local bodies and cultural associations, a religous service conducted by the association's patron, Archbishop Harty and the unveiling of a plaque at Hayes's Hotel. Among the guests were three members of the victorious Tipperary team in the first hurling All-Ireland, Michael Cusack's son, John, and from the United States, John Quane of the notable Tipperary G.A.A. family of the 1885-1895 period.

Five months later the jubilee celebrations were held in Dublin. There was a parade through the city ot Croke Park, where a crowd of 35,000, which included a number of dignatories, watched a series of games played by school teams. The two Dublin daily newspapers published special supplements to mark the occasion and the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs issued a special commemorative postage stanp portraying a hurler in action.

The 75th anniversary celebrations in 1959 were less elaborate. The main event was the opening of the new Hogan Stand at Croke Park, a magnificent double-decker affair running along the entire west side of the stadium and free of all obstructive pillars, which had cost well over a quarter of a million pounds. It was formally opened on June 11 of that year in the presence of President Sean T. O'Kelly. After an historical pageant devised by the Kerry writer, Bryan MacMahon, in which units of the Army participated, the attendance was entertained by an interprovincial hurling match, the postponed 1959 Railway Cup final. Probably no more appropriate event than the opening of this stand, symbolising the growth and confidence of the G.A.A. and strengthening Croke Park's position as the finest sports stadium in Ireland, could have marked the 75th anniversary.

It is unnecessary to recall the many events that commemorated the centenary of the association in 1984, the most imporatnt of which was the staging of the All-Ireland senior hurling final between Cork and Offaly at Thurles. Tipperary people will remember other events such as the march of clubs before the county convention and the presentation of club histories in an exhibition. Also the numerous club histories that were written. There was also a national presentation of the history of different units of the G.A.A. in the RDS. And, there was the Centenary Cup, an open draw hurling and football intercounty competition.

125 Anniversary

The 125 celebrations will be on a smaller scale but they will be used to highlight the achievements of the association as well as to make the members more aware of its significance and its place in the history of the country.

Among the proposals of the county 125 Committee is the official opening of the newly refurbished Semple Stadium and the turning on of the floodlights by an t-Uachtarán, Nicky Brennan, in February. It is hoped to have this done in conjunction with a major National Hurling League fixture on a Saturday evening with a major promotion to maximise attendance. There will be half-time entertainment. 

From very early on a Michael Hogan Weekend in the middle of May at Grangemockler has been planned. This will include two inter-county games, between Tipperary and Dublin in football, and between Tipperary and Kilkenny in hurling. Other events would include Mass and a wreath-laying ceremony, the unveiling of a memorial honouring Michael Hogan and a public lecture on some aspect of G.A.A. history.

One of the highlights of the year will be the Munster hurling final. The county board has applied to the Munster Council for the provincial final to be played at Thurles, regardless of the teams that are in it. A major hurling festival at Thurles would coincide with the ocasion. There would be an RTE program such as Up for the Match, from Thurles.

Another intention would be the updating of the Tipperary G.A.A. Website, which would be enlarged to include all the records of all aspects of the G.A.A. in the county, such as all hurling and football records, including the teams that represented the county in all grades every year, handball, Scór, camogie, ladies football and rounders.

Related to this would be the encouragement of every club to have its own website. At the moment only 29 Tipperary clubs have their websites up to date. Also, only 27 clubs from the county are on the Croke Park Museum, Club Database. Many clubs have published histories up to 1884 but now need to be updated. Clubs without a history will be encouraged to get get them written.

It is envisaged that there will be a Club Day on April 26. This day will be free from official fixtures so that clubs can organise their own events to celebrate 125. What the events might be will be left to the imagination of individual clubs. There was a similar day in 1984.

Schools will also be involved in the celebration of the 125 anniversary. Various suggestions are being explored at the moment.

The year's events will be concluded with a major event on November 1. A meeting of the central council might be held in Thurles. There could be a lecture followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at Archbishop Croke Memorial in Liberty Square. Cumann na Sean Ghaeil might consider holding their presentation night to coincide with this date. Other ideas on how to celebrate the occasion will be welcome.

To date the committee has met three times and are still in the process of finalising a program of events. The committee is as follows: chairman, Seamus J. King, secretary, Liam Ó Donnchú, John Costigan, Ed Donnelly, Sean Nugent, Denis Floyd, Seamus O'Doherty.



<span class="postTitle">G.A.A. Publications - 2008</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 93-94

G.A.A. Publications - 2008

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2009, pp 93-94


The major publication event in the county has to be the pictorial history of the Mid board. Promised in 2007 it grew so big that it took much longer to produce than compiler, Martin Bourke, anticipated but is now scheduled for publication at the end of November or early December. It's a monster production in two volumes and will contain about six thousand pictures. Martin has scoured the highways and byways of Mid Tipperary and beyond to make the book as comprehensive and complete as possible. It is divided into sections and as well as including a large number of club team photographs, it also includes a large number of intercounty teams featuring Mid players. I understand it will retail for €50, which is cheap for about one thousand pages. It's the first part of the official history of the G.A,A, in Mid Tipperary. Already work is in progress on the volume containing the written history.

The Final Whistle

This is the story of referee, Paddy Russell of Emly, written in association with sports journalist, Jackie Cahill, and it has received more publicity than any sports book on the Christmas market. About 300 people turned up for the launch by President Elect of the G.A.A. Christy Cooney at the Thatch, Emly on October 16. Not only was the crowd huge but it was a great night as well. There were some very funny speeches, starting off with club chairman, Tom Joe O'Brien, who regaled us with stories of Paddy's prowess in football and revealed that Paddy might never have been a referee had his attempts with a band 'Radiation' been more successful. Another very funny speech was made by Pat McEneaney, a good friend of Paddy, who travelled all the way from Carrickmacross for the occasion. Having listened to all the compliments paid to Paddy he stated he was going to retire to Emly because he was regarded only as a b-----xs where he came from!

The occasion was as much a celebration of Paddy as the launch of his book, Particularly moving tributes were paid to him as a great family and club man as well as a referee by Munster chairman, Jimmy O'Gorman, and President Elect Christy Cooney. And, the book itself reveals this very ordinary man who became an extraordinary referee. Part of his strength as a referee comes from the kind of man he is who 'wouldn't do a wrong to anybody.' What also comes across is how hurtful the abuse of referees can be

The book is a wonderful read, a great tribute to the writing skills of Jackie Cahill, who got Paddy to reveal more than he did to anybody, and it gets us right into the controversy of the Paul Galvin affair in the Prologue, the last paragraph of which is: 'After the Galvin sending off, Kerry midfielder Darragh Ó Sé trotted past and remarked, 'You're having a stinker. You're evening is up.' That was the final straw as far as I was concerned. I rarely, if ever, engage in chat with players, and my quick reply surprised even me: 'You're having a stinker yourself.' Sometimes there's only so much that one can put up with. I had reached the end of my tether. Gaelic football was no fun any more.'.

The book is published by Mainstream Publishing, has 287 pages, an inset of 8 pages of pictures and retails for the incredibly low price of €13.99. A must buy!

A recent conversation with Seamus McCarthy gives the impression that the long-awaited, Galtee Rovers history is still on the way. 2009 is the 125th anniversary of the founding the the Gaelic Athletic Association and it might be a good year to publish the book. If Galtee were to win the county senior football championship there would be an even greater reason.

Next year is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of Clonmel Commercials. Well, it partly started as a 'flag of convenience' in 1932 but didn't enter championships until two years later. The club have spoken about doing something but no work as such has yet been done.

In fact clubs are encouraged to do something on their history for the 125th anniversary, just as many clubs did in 1984. It would be true to say that histories produced in the latter year now need to be updated. One of the initiatives suggested by the County 125 Committee is that clubs, who have websites update them, and those that haven't set one up. The committee are sending a template outlining the required information and if any club completes it and returns to Croke Park, it will get a website set up.

More Than a Sporting Experience

This is the title of a recently published book on thirty years of Gaelic Games in Luxembourg. The book tells the story of a most unusual G.A.A. club, which came into being through the goodwill of a growing Irish community and its friends in the city of Luxembourg 'who wished to have a sporting organisation that reflected ancient and deep-rooted traditions of the homeland.'

This is what makes it unique because the Gaelic Sports Club Luxembourg (GSCL) is much more than a sports organisation, catering for the games of hurling and football. The club has introduced European audiences to a much broader Irish cultural context bringing them Irish music and dancing as well as historical associations and links that resonate in places such as Fontenoy, Wurtzburg, Auxerre, Tournai, etc.

The authors, Eoghan Ó hAnnracháin and Cathal Davey, reveal a succession of Irish links with the Grand Duchy since the time of Willibrod. The parish priest of Saint Michel Church in 1712 was a Reverend Michael Corcoran. In the 19th century there were Irishmen in Luxembourg whose activities brought recognition to some of them. One of these was Thomas Byrne (1822-1884), an engineer who built bridges and tunnels of the northern Luxembourg railway line and was a co-founder of the Rodange smelting works. He is commemorated as a public benefactor by a street bearing his name in Hamm in the northern suburbs of the city of Luxembourg.

However, it was in the years immediately following Irish accession to the EEC in 1973 that substantial numbers of Irish men and women arrived in the Grand Duchy. Many of these worked in the services of the various EEC institutions. Ó hAnnracháin was a financial comptroller in the European Parliament. Others were employed in the wide range of banking, financial and related establishments. Still others set up their own enterprises.

Soon, small groups of Irish, as well as friends from other nationalities, assembled for céilis, for music sessions and for some hurling and gaelic football practice. Camaraderie and relaxation were the keynotes of the get-togethers which took place in fields near the airport and on land to the west of the city. As numbers grew and as a sizable Irish presence took root in Luxembourg, the need for a formal association became evident. Thus GSCL came into existence. The club's first competitive outing was played in Rome against the Irish Colleges on May 12, 1978.

The visit to Rome set the pattern for future visits by the club to other parts of Europe. While playing a game of hurling or gaelic football was the ostensible reason for a visit, the occasion was extended by visits to places with links to Irish saints and travellers. In the course of time, in association with the Luxembourg branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann, these visits were expanded to ensure a comprehensive cultural presentation in many European towns.

The book is peppered with accounts of these links to Ireland. For a small country the Irish connections are many and diverse. As part of the official celebrations GSCL played a hurling match at Fontenoy in 1995 on the occasion of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the battle. Irish army pipers also attended. The book recounts the many other places visited, old historical links renewed, occasions when Irish culture was exhibited on a broader stage and, above all, the story of our expatriate brothers and sisters, proud of their heritage, of the Irish contribution to the nations of Europe and confident of what they can contribute in the future.

On a local note the first winner of Poc Fada na hEorpa was Cathal Reddan, son of the famous Tony, who played with the Paris Gaels, and the second winner was Patrick Ryan, also from Tipperary, what part I don't know. The book is lavishly illustrated, many of the pictures taken in the brilliant sunshine one associates with the continent. For a copy contact Michael McLynskey

Hurling World

This is a new magazine that has made its appearance. A monthly, two editions have appeared to date. The man behind it is Frank Burke of Galway, who has been very involved in the production of video histories of many of the hurling counties, including Tipperary. He is also the author of 'All-Ireland Glory' pictorial histories of the senior hurling and senior football championships. These are beautifully illustrated magnificent achievements.

Through his work on these projects he has travelled the country, listening to a lot of people and learning much on the state of hurling. He believes there is a place for such a magazine in spite of the knowledge that the fate of magazines relating to Gaelic Games is not a happy one.

In the editorial to the first issue he states: 'We hope that this magazine will help in some small way to promote the game in all those parishes where it is played and also help it expand and grow in every parish where Celt and non-Celt appreciate the skill, courage and dedication required to play our national game.'

The magazine is a top quality production, professionally done and distributed by Eason's. It is illustrated with photographs from Sportsfile. In the first edition it had Ollie Canning reflesting on Galway's year, Paul Flynn reviewing his career, John Power warning Kilkenny against complacency, Brendan Cummins on the Poc Fada, a look back to the Quigley family in Wexford, and much more. In the second edition P. M. O'Sullivan has an excellent analysis of Kilkenny's hurling strengths, an interview with Johnny Dooley, who is the Westmeath hurling coach, a profile of Liz Howard by Gerry Slevin, John Mullane looking back aghast at Waterford's performance in the All-Ireland, two articles on Antrim hurling, what Mackey said to Ring in the famous Justin Nelson photograph, and more.

There is plenty in it to appeal to hurling followers everywhere. But, to survive it will have to be purchased. It's a monthly retailing at •5 an issue. There's a special introductory offer of •50 for the eleven issues that will appear in the year and it will be delivered post free through your letter box. Send your subscription to Hurling World, Knockdoebeg East, Claregalway, Co. Galway. It might be a handy present for the Christmas.

Through the Thatch

It's a long time ago since we made a subscription for 'Through the Thatch', the history of the famed Thurles Sarsfields club. Well, it appears there is white smoke at last and years of work are coming to fruition. Liam Ó Donnchú informs me that the first of two volumes will be ready during 2009 and will cover the history of the club up to the 1930s. The history of this club is much more than a mere club history as it impinges on the history of the county in a major way as well. It is a book that will be received with great interest.

Another book to look forward to is a history of the first All-Ireland hurling final by Paul Rouse. Paul, an Offaly man and a researcher with RTE, is passionate about the game of hurling and has spent a lot of time researching this topic. I understand the book contains thirteen chapters so it will probably leave very little to learn about the first All-Ireland after its appearance. I don't have the expected date of its publication.

I should like to mention two match programs. The first was produced by the Thurles Sarsfields club under the editorship of Ger Corbett, for the county senior hurling final. A top class production in full colour, not only was the content outstanding but the layout was superb. A definite candidate for a McNamee Award.

The second is the program produced for the Ladies Football All-Irelands. Again a very well produced program with all the necessary information on the six teams involved. It has great local interest because Tipperary were involved and won the intermediate final. The only crib I have is that it includes pictures of not only the Tipperary intermediate team, but of the under-14 and under-16 teams teams also that qualified for the All-Ireland B finals, and in no case does it name the players in the pictures. No team picture should ever be produced without names the players. The program was published by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, Cusack Stand, Croke Park, Dublin 1 and may be purchased for €6.35 inclusive of postage.

Finally, two further publications, one from Shannon Rovers and a second from Roscrea. They are annual publications, mainly devoted to juvenile matters and they are due in time for the Christmas market.



<span class="postTitle">Cashel Camogie Club Make History</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008, pp 153-154

Cashel Camogie Club Make History

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008, pp 153-154


Cashel became All-Ireland Club champions on November 18, 2007 when they defeated Athenry in the final at Limerick. It was a case of 'long threatening coming at last' as they fulfilled the expectations of their supporters and admirers. For many years they have been seen as the most likely Tipperary club to win All-Ireland honours but always fell short, most agonisingly against Na Piarsaigh of Galway by a point at home in 2001.

They deserved the tag of likely All-Ireland champions having so many players on the panel, who had excelled for the county. In fact the team that eventually made the breakthrough counted among them no ferwer than thirty-two All-Ireland medals! With such talent as Una O'Dwyer, Paula Bulfin, Philly Fogarty, Emily Hayden, Claire Grogan. Linda Grogan, Cora Hennessy and Jill Horan, who had played senior with the county, it's no wonder there were such high expectations. Most of the remainder of the panel had played with the county at other grades.

Every year the expectation was high. In 2005 and 2006, after winning county and getting through Munster, expectations were strong that this would be the year. And each year ended in disappointment, by Davitts of Galway in 2005 and by Freshford in 2006. When would Cashel make the breakthrough?

The year 2007 started off on a good note with easy victories in the first three games. Silvermines were dismissed by 8-19 to 0-1, Moneygall by 4-14 to 3-1 and Drom Inch by 5-14 to 2-4. The final brought Cashel up against Duharra and it was a tough, dour game that ended in a Cashel victory by 0-14 to 0-6.

The victory was Cashel's fourteenth county senior final since 1986, when they made the breakthrough for the first time. An impressive record indeed but progress afterwards was not as great as it might have been. Four Munster championships were won, followed by one appearance in the All-Ireland in 2001. The other Munster championship successes came in 2002, 2005 and 2006

Having won the county this year Cashel progressed to the Munster championship. This was an unusual competition in 2007 with only two teams competiting. Cork should have been there but were disqualified because they hadn't their championship completed in time. The result was that Cashel played Limerick champions, Killedy, in the final at Cappawhite, on October 20.

The final score was 3-16 to 1-10 but the score in no way reflected the closeness of the encounter. Until less than five minutes from the end, the game was up for grabs with either side having an equal chance of victory. In the final minutes Cashel scored 3-1, which flattered their efforts and did little justice to the losers. Cashel had trailed by 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval.

In the aftermath of winning the All-Ireland, manager, T. J. Connolly, was inclined to look back to this game as a kind of catalyst for the team. They were lucky to survive and they realised it. They also learned that all the great effort they had put in during the year nearly came to naught on the day. They were determined to improve their effort and realised that further success demanded much greater performances.

And, their performances did improve, none as much as their victory over O'Donovan Rossa in the All-Ireland semi-final at faraway Newry on November 3. On this day the girls were asked questions and they answered them brilliantly. They hit the ground running, established a good lead at halftime and held out against a determined performance by their opponents in the second half to win by 2-13 to 2-3.

They were now set up for the final against Athenry, the Galway champions, who had deposed the All-Ireland holders, Freshford, in the second semi-final. This game was played at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick on November 18 and Cashel showed their true class to take their first club title by the comprehensive score of 1-18 to 0-9, having led by 0-7 to 0-5 at the interval.

Cashel's halftime lead was soon increased. Within eight minutes of the restart they were 0-11 to 0-6 in front. The Galway girls, who would have been slight favourites before the game, were completely overwhelmed as a really hungry Cashel side scores 1-7 without reply. All they could muster were three points before the end of play to bring the final score to 1-18 to 0-9. The only thing that was left was for team captain, Sinead Millea, to collect the Bill O'Carroll Cup from Camogie Association President, Liz Howard, and to begin the celebrations.

The many losing experiences had stood them in good stead. As well the influence of T. J. Connolly, their dedicated coach/manager, was clear to see. He believed the girls needed to be physically stronger if they were to triumph in the top tier of club camogie.

'We wroked with the tackle bags. I felt the girls were missing that bit of steel needed to win an All-Ireland. I trained them they same as the men, If you can't take a hit you are in trouble,' he said.

And the girls responded brilliantly, doing everything in training their coach asked them to do. When he asked them to take the field at 7.45 am the Saturday morning after the All-Ireland semi-final, they answered his call without demur.

They also had the advantage of a wonderfully motivated captain in Sinead Millea. She came to Cashel in 2003 from St. Brigid's, Kilkenny, having won three All-Irelands and an All-Star with her native county, and she was a outstanding addition to the panel. The most focused of persons, she took the task of captaincy in a serious manner and encouraged and advised the members of the panel of the task in hand and the efforts required to achieve it.

The teams that played on this historic occasion were as follows:

Cashel: Helen Breen, Sarah Morrissey, Noelette O'Dwyer, Julie McGrath, Paula Bulfin, Una O'Dwyer, Sinead Millea (capt.), Philly Fogarty (0-3), Jill Horan, Linda Grogan (0-1), Mairead Morrissey (0-1), Cora Hennessy (0-2), Allison Lonergan (0-2), Emily Hayden (1-2), Claire Grogan (0-7). Subs: Libby Toomey for Lonergan, Deirdre Ryan for Sarah Morrissey, Kaiffe Moloney for Emily Hayden. Remainder of panel: Marie Horan, Karen Barry, Patreece Ryan, Sheila O'Donnell, Ciara O'Sullivan, Emma Williams, Tricia Bulfin. 

Coach/Manager T. J. Connolly. Selectors: Mickey Browne, Michael Lawrence, Anne Moloney.

Athenry: Stephanie Gannon, Katherine Glynn (01), Alice Poniard, Darelle Coen, Regina Glynn, Krystel Ruddy, Emma Costello, Sarah Donohue, Laura Linane (0-4), Jessica Gill (0-2), Therese Maher (capt.), Sharon Quirke, Mary Keogh, Nicola Lally, Noreen Coen. Subs; Deirdre Ward (0-2) for Nicola Lally, Katie O'Dwyer for Krystel Ruddy.

Referee: Frank McDonald (Armagh).

The victory was particularly sweet for Kaiffe Moloney, who won her first All-Ireland after twenty-one years of trying. She was on the first team from the club to win the senior county final in 1986 and she has been on all the fourteen county winning sides, an indication of her incredible dedication and commitment. It was only fitting that she was brought on as a substitute in the dying moments of the final and had the joy of winning the elusive All-Ireland on the field of play.

It was the first time since 1966 that a Tipperary club team won the All-Ireland championship. In that year a hugely talented bunch of girls from St. Patrick's, Glengoole won the competition for the second year in a row. They were captained by Ann Graham, one of a family of sisters, who were the backbone of the team. The previous year the team was captained by Ann Carroll, one of the star players of the period. Hailing from Ballintaggert, across the border in Kilkenny, Ann's father ran a joinery works and was a huge supporter of camogie. He donated the cup, named after him, which is still presented to the winner of the club championship. Ann's mother, Agnes, was the secretary of the Tipperary camogie board at the time. Coincidentally, Sinead Millea found herself sitting beside Anne Carroll at the All-Ireland hurling semi-final in Croke Park in August. Maybe it was an omen of things to come!



<span class="postTitle">G.A.A. Publications 2007</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008

G.A.A. Publications 2007

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008


Pride of place among the books published during 2007 must be taken by South Tipperary G.A.A. 1907-2007 by Micheal O'Meara. The title tells it all, the story of the G.A.A. in the South Division since it came into existence one hundred years ago. As early as 1901 the county had been split in two, orth and South, for the organisation of championships. In the days of the horse and brake it was a long journey from Carrick to Lorrha! Then in 1907 there was a division into three parts as Mid joined the other two, This situation continued until 1930 when the West came into operation, the situation which continues to this day.

On June 8,1907 the South Board was formed in Ryan's Hotel, College Street, Clonmel. The proprietor was, according to the author, Martin Ryan, an uncle of Sean, who became President of the Association in 1928. James Meehan, Clonmel, became first president, and Martin Brennan, Grawn, Ballingarry, who had been county secretary from 1899-1908, became the first secretary. From that year the board gathered strength and celebrated its century this year with pride and a great sense of schievement.

In another part of this book there is a fuller review of this huge book, which covers close to 800 pages. It is a great tribute to the work and dedication of Michael 0 Meara, for many years secretary of the board, who has a knowledge of clubs and G.A.A. affairs in the division equal to none .. He was helped in his task by a committee that included Seamus Leahy, Eddie Maher, oel Byrne, Vincent O'Meara, Tom Cusack and Sean O'Donnell.

The first chapter covers the period in the South before the board was formed. Whereas every chapter in the book has important information to offer, two, in particular, I found fascinating. Chapter twenty-three is entitled 'Club Profiles' and will be a blessing for future compilers of match programs, containing as it does vital information on the achievements of clubs. The second is chapter thirty, which contains profiles of players and administrators, a Mister Who's Who of the G.A.A. in the South over one hundred years. The author had to depend on individual contributors for most of these profiles and, unfortunately, there is an uneven quality about them, some of them even omitting to mention the club of the individual and a huge number of them forgetting about the individual's years.

But this is a small crib in a book of such size. It will take its place as the essential reference book for the South Tipperary G.A.A., joining the histories of the West and the North, which are already in existence, and the Mid, which is expected to appear during 2008. Printed by the Kilkenny People, the book retails at € 40.

The Mid Board are also celebrating their centenary in print. The approach is different. They are bringing out two volumes, the first devoted to a pictorial history of the division over one hundred years. Martin Bourke is the editor of this productionand it is to be launched in the Templemore Arms Hotel on December 11. Printed by the Leinster Leader it is another massive tome and it should be a unique collection of photographs, divided into sections devoted to different aspects of the division's history. Martin is a beaver when it comes to work and there is no doubt that this book will be the total pictorial record. Side by side with this production a special history committee are working away on the history of the board. Martin himself is involved and the book is expected to be published at the end of 2008.

The only club production this year, 'A Year in the Red', by Roscrea club is not yet to hand but is expected to be out by Christmas. It includes an account of club activity for the year. A look back twenty-five years to 1982, and other bits and pieces. For more information consult with PR.O.

Anybody interested in the schools' and colleges' scene will be delighted with Fifty-Five Years of The Croke Cup by Gerry Buckley, which was launched in the Anner Hotel, Thurles in January. The cup is presented to the All-Ireland Colleges A hurling winners. It was first presented in 1944 and continued to be presented until 1948. It was resumed again in 1957 and the book covers up to the 2006 competition, which makes up the fifty-five years of the title. Originally it was hoped to bring out the book after the fiftieth staging of the competition in 2001, but the author had to postpone the publication for various reason. (Incidentally, this competition is not to be confused with the Croke Cup competition in Tipperary.)

The book is a model for this kind of publication. The account of each year commences with the date and venue for the final, the referee and the lineout of the teams and the scorers together with the final score. There follows an account of the year's semi-final and final through the words of the captain or, in the case of five who were deceased, another player on the team. Each account includes a photograph of the captain, and the team with the players in it named.
On the day of the launch at Thurles all the captains or their replacements were invited and made a presentation. The very first captain, Fr. Jim Monigue of Bodyke, who captained St. Flannan's in 1944, was present, as was the last captain, Conor Connolly, who captained Dublin Colleges in 2006.

Unfortunately, Tipperry has a poor presence in this book. St. Kieran's, Kilkenny lead the way in the Roll of Honour with 16 wins, followed by St. Flannan's, Ennis with 14. The only Tipperary school to win honours was Templemore C.B.S. In 1978 and their captain, Martin Borke, was present at the launch. For the record the team was as follows: Pat Hassett (the only Laois man on the team), Martin Bourke, Peter Brennan, Richard Stapleton, Pat Cormack, Mick Ryan, Jim Maher, Pat McGrath, Mick Ryan, Brendan Russell, Pat Treacy, Noel Fogarty, Joe Bourke, Eamon Cotty, Bobby Ryan. The book retails at €20.

Another book of general interest (as well as personal, I might add!) is Classic Munster Hurling Finals by Seamus J. King. Published by Gill and Macmillan it was launched on October 19, it retails for €16.99. The book is about nineteen of the greatest finals since 1952, commencing in that year when Cork deprived Tipperary of four-in-a-row. Tipperary feature in eleven of the finals. As well as the one mentioned they are 1960, 1963, 1971, 1973,1984,1987,19901991,1997, and 2002. The book not only covers the final proper but gives the lead up through the other games in that year's championship, which helps to put the final in perspective. In the preface to the book the author explains that his choice of finals was determined by his belief that the games chosen were above the ordinary, in some way exceptional, contests that he considered to be somewhat memorable.
Also worth mentioning are a number of publications from Collins Press, Cork. There is a definitive biography of the greatest hurler of all time, Christy Ring, by Tim Horgan. It's a hardback and retails at €24.95. Also, the same publishers have brought out an updated paperback edition of @Croke Park: a History' by Tim Carey. It retails for €20. They also have a new book, 'Princes of Pig Skin', a book of interviews on Kerry football by Joe 0 Muirheartaigh and T. J. Flynn, which retails for €24.95.



<span class="postTitle">County Senior Hurling Championship 2007</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008

County Senior Hurling Championship 2007

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008


Loughmore-Castleiney won their second county senior hurling chammpionship when they captured the 2007 final with a facile win over a disappointing Drom-Inch side at Semple Stadium on October 21. It was a marvellous victory for the winners in the context of poor early season promise, close survival against J. K. Brackens in the Mid semi-final and defeat by Thurles Sarsfields the final. But then a transformation took place with a quarter-final victory over J. K. Brackens. It gathered momentum with a substantial victory over favourites, Borrisoleigh, in the semi-final and Loughmore showed greater class, determination and superiority in the final, so that the result was never in doubt at time in the game.

The format for the championship remained the same as in 2006, with just one change in the teams taking part. Galtee Rovers we're relegated and Eire 6g, Amnacarty were promoted in place of their fellow West men. There was a direct link between the divisional and county championships.

Round One took place in the divisions and it resulted in fourteen teams qualifying for the Round Robin as a result of losing their first-round games. The North provided five teams, Burgess, Portroe, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Roscrea, Moneygall, the Mid four, Holycross-Ballycahill, Dram Inch, Boherlahan-Dualla, Upperchurch-Drombane, the West three, Cappawhite, Cashel King Cormac's, Eire Og Annacarty, and the South two, Carrick Swan and Mullinahone.

Round Two saw the division of the fourteen teams into four groups and the play-off on a league basis to decide on four winners. Group 1, with three teams, saw Burgess come through over Holycross and Carrick Swan. Group 2 saw Drom Inch cone out on top over Portroe, Kilruane MacDonaghs and Cappawhite. Group 3 saw Roscrea come out on top of Boherlahan-Dualla and Moneygall. Group 4 saw Mullinahone doing a clean sweep over Eire 6g, Annacarty, Upperchurch-Drombane and Cashel King Cormac's.

Round Three was a play-off between the Round Robin winners and the defeated divisional semi-finalists. There were three of the latter, two from the North and one from the Mid. Drom Inch were given a bye, and J. K. Brackens defeated Burgess by 1-16 to 4, Roscrea defeated Kildangan by 2-11 to 2-10, and Toomevara defeated Mullinahone by 0-13 to 0-10.


Divisional Finals

The next stage was for the winners of Round 3 to play the divisional final rumners-up. The West was the first division to stage their final and Cashel was the venue for a repeat of the previous 'year's encounter between Clonoulty- Rossmore and Kickhams. The change in the twelve months was dramatic. Whereas Kickhams had pulled off a coup in 2006, it was Clonoulty who were very much to the fore on this occasion, winning comfortably by 1-18 to 0-11 in a disappointing final. The winners led by 1-10 to 0-4 at the interval.

The result was much tighter in the South final, which was played at Fethard on August 19. Killenaule came out on top over Ballingarry by 0-14 to 0-13 as a result of three points in additional time, and claim their seventeenth South senior hurling title. Ballingarry held a three-point advantage at half-time on a scoreline of 0-8 to 0-5.

The two remaining divisional finals were played on September 9. In the Mid Thurles Sarsfields gave a very impressive display in defeating Loughmore-Castleiney by 0-22 to 3-9 at Semple Stadium. In fact their victory, to claim their fortieth title, was much more comprehensive than the scoreline would suggest. They dominated the game right through, having led by 0-13 to 1-5 at the interval.

On the same date the North final, between Borrisioleigh and Nenagh Eire 6g, was played at Nenagh. In a close contest in which neither side could establish their dominance, Borrisoleigh led by a solitary point at the break, on a scoreline of 0-9 to 0-8, Nenaah having hit eight wides to their opponents' one during the period .. In fact they had a total of thirteen wides to Borrisoleigh's five in the course of the game. During the closing ten minutes the sides were level four times but, in a late surge, Borrisoleigh fired over three points to give them victory by 0-19 to 0-17 and their fourteenth title .

Round 4 brought the winners of Round 3, plus Dram Inch, into .opposition against the divisional final losers. These games were played on the weekend on September 15/16. Dram-Inch defeated Kickhams by1-25 to 0-15, and Nenagh Eire 6g defeated rivals, Toomevara, 1-18 to 0-14 at Semple Stadium. Roscrea got the better of Ballingarry by 1-9 to 0-10 at Boherlahan, and Loughmore- Castleiney overcame J. K. Brackens by 2-16 to 3-10 at the Ragg.



The quarter-final stage stage was now reched and it pitted the winners of Round 4 against against the four divisional champions. These games were played at two venues, Cashel and Semple Stadium.

Drom Inch defeated Clonoulty-Rossmore by 0-15 to 0-13 at Cashel on Saturday, and Killenaule overcame Roscrea by 0-15 to 2-7 at the same venue. The following day at Thurles Loughmore-Castleiney impresed in dismissing part-favourites, Borrisoleigh by 3-13 to 1-13, while Nenagh Eire 6g surprised the other favourites, Thurles Sarsfields by 4-17 to 3-17.

The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on October. 7. After the whole complexity of games the original twenty-five teams were reduced to four. Of the four teams involved KiIenaule were the only undefeated side. Drom Inch were first round losers, while Nenagh Eire 6g and Loughmore-Castleiney were divisional final losers. All four fancied their chances of a place in the final, though Dram Inch were slight favourites to beat Killenaule, while Nenagh Eire Og were rated slightly ahead of Loughmore-Castleiney.

First up were Drom Inch and Killenaule. The latter got a superb start and after twelve minutes were leading by 0-7 to 0-1 as a result of some great hurling and using the ball well. But once Drom Inch found their range, they began to score at will and, in the next eighteen minutes, registered 1-8 against just a point for Killenaule. At half-time the Mid men were ahead by 1-10 to 0-9, and Killenaule were wondering where had it all gone wrong. Inaccuracy was partly to blame.

Matters didn't change on the resumption. Seamus Callanan, who gave a great performance for Drom, scored four points within eight minutes and, following other scores, Drom were ahead by 1-17 to 0-11 within twelve minutes. Killenaule tried for goals when points could have been scored but they did begin to tack on points, and got five without replay to reduce the deficit to four. Drom had a point before Killenaule reduced the deficit to three points and then there was a real game. Resolute defending on the part of Drom deprived Killenaule of the goal they needed. In the final minutes there was an exchange of points to leave the final score 1-19 to 0-19 in Drom Inch's favour.

While Seamus Callanan inspired Drom Inch to their victory with a personal tally of 1-8, young Noel McGrath inspired Loughmore-Castleiney to their victory over Nenagh Eire 6g in the second semi-final. The sides were evenly matched in the opening half though, as the period progressed, Loughmore inched a bit ahead and were two points in front, 0-7 to 0-5, at the interval.

Nenagh were first to score on the resumption but Loughmore moved ahead to four points in front after ten minutes. A few changes on the Nenagh side freshened things up and three unanswered points had them reduce the deficit to one point by the 43rd mintes. However, some magnificent scores by Noel McGrath edged Loughmore ahead again and they were three points in frant with seven minutes remaining. Nenagh didn't die and with three points they had the sides level by the 59th minute. With a draw likely Noel McGrath delivered a great pass to substitute, David McGrath, who sent over for the Loughmore lead. In the remaining minutes, Loughmore defended stoutly and had one more point in the dying moments to give them victory by 0-15 to 0-13.

The Final

It was an unusual pairing for the final at Semple Stadium on October 21. There were two teams from the Mid and they were adjoining parishes also, and many of them school mates as well. As the game drew near it appeared that the rising tide of favouritism was favouring Loughmore-Castleiney. They were goiing for a second, to add to their first in 1988, while Drom Inch ere going for their first, having been beaten finalists in 2005 and beaten semi-finalists last year. Whereas the sentiment of neutrals might lean towards Drom, reality was directing towards the experience, strength and stout performers from Loughmore.

On the day it was a no-contest final, a game that never got going because one side failed to turn up.

It was one of the poorest finals for years in which Loughmore-Castleiney hit the ground running and never gave up, while Drom Inch failed to get started and were striving to get going for the hour. Loughmore thoroughly deserved their victory and final score does not do justice to their superiority. With six minutes remaining they led by 0-22 to 0-8 and that was a better reflection of their superiority than the final score of 0-22 to 0- 13 which flattered Dram's performance.

Drom-Inch has their only bright moment in the opening minutes when Seamus Callanan gave them the opening score. After that it was to be Loughmore all the way, inspired by a brillant display by half-forward, Evan Sweeney, who scored nine points, and wing-back, Tom King, who gave a splendid performance also. Loughmore led by 0-13 to 0-5 at the interval and Dram's poor performance is reflected in the fact that they scored only three points in the second half, until the last six minutes, when the game was all but over.

For Loughmore-Castleiney it was a brilliant victory and a fitting achievement for a club that is one of the most formidable in the county, as far as commitment and dedication to the games of hurling and football are involved. They had started the year poorly but built up a head of steam as the hurling season progressed and, despite a number of injuries going into the final, came through in brilliant style to win a well-deserved second senior hurling championship.

For Dram-Inch and all their hopes and expectations there is little consolation. They must have felt their chances were good and that the experience of the previous two years would have helped them. Instead they failed to deliver on the day and don't even have the alleviation of a decent performance to fall back on. It will be difficult for them to recover from such a defeat.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Johnny Gleeson (capt.), Alvy Stapleton, Derek Bourke, Paul Ormond, Eoin Ryan, David Kennedy, Tom King, Ciaran McGrath (0-2), Gary Sweeney, Paul Brennan, Evan Sweeney (0-9), Noel McGrath (0-6), Eddie Connolly (0-1), Michea Webster (0-1), Ronan Stapleton (0-3). Subs: David McGrath for BrelU1an, Tommy Long for Ronan Stapleton, Seamie Bohan for Connolly, Ger Morris for Long. Also: Jody Sweeney, Colm Campion, Johnny Campion, James Egan, John Paul Foy, James Connolly, Martin Ryan, Tommy Ormond, Diarmuid Brennan. Management: Eamon Sweeney, Frankie McGrath, Michael McGrath. Physio: Cathy Doran.

Drom Inch: Damien Young, Edward Costello, Eamonn Buckley, Kevin Butler (0-1), Padraig Butler, Donncha Kennedy, Thomas Cantwell, Paul Collins, James Woodlock (0-1), Matthew Ryan, Seamus Callanan (0-5), Johnny Ryan (0-2), Eric Woodlock (0-1), Seamus Butler (capt.) (0-2), Declan Ryan (0-1). Subs: Micheal Butler for Padraig Butler, Michael Cantwell (0-1) for Collins, Enda Walsh for Matthew Ryan, Liam Kennedy for Costello, Frank McGrath for Declan Ryan. Also: Paul Connors, Michael Costello, Martin Butler, Michael Long, Paddy Kennedy, James Ryan, Liam Brett.

Management: Pat Looby, Ramie Ryan, Seamus Fahy. First Aid:

Ena de Burca. Masseur: Rita O'Dwyer.

Man of the Match Award: Evan Sweeney. Referee; Tommy Ryan (Kildangan).


Results at a Glance County Senior Hurling Championship


22/09/2007 Cashel Drom & Inch 0-15 Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-13 Johnny McDonnell

22/09/2007 Cashel Killenaule 0-15 Roscrea 2-07 Denis Curtis

23/09/2007 5emple Stadium Borrisoleigh 3-13 Loughmore/Castleiney 1-13 Richie Barry

23/09/2007 Semple Stadium Nenagh Eire Og 4-17 Thurles Sarsfields 3-17 Seamus Roche



07/10/2007 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 1-19 Killenaule 0-19 Tommy Ryan

07/10/2007 Semple Stadium Loughmore/Castleiney 0-22 Nenagh Eire Og 0-13 Phil Ryan



21/10/2007 Semple Stadium Loughmore/Castleiney 0-22 Drom & Inch 0-13 TommyRyan



30/08/2007 Newport Cappawhite 3-15 Portroe 0-13 John Kelly

16/09/2007 Nenagh Portroe 1-13 Kilruane McDonaghs 3-11 Philly Ryan

08/09/2007 Dundrum Cashel King Cormacs 1-23 Upperchurch/Drombane 2-16 Paddy Ivors

16/09/2007 Boherlahan Upperchurch/Drombane 1-13 Eire Og Anacarthy 1-12 Tommy Ryan



29/09/2007 The Ragg Carrick Swans 1-15 Portroe 2-10 Paddy Russell

06/10/07 The Ragg Moneygall 3-15 Eire Og Anacarty 0-20 Brian Whyte



21/10/2007 The Ragg Portroe 3-12 Eire Og Anacarty 0-17 Willie Barrett




<span class="postTitle">Tipperary Minors Beat Cork in 1929 for the First Time</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008

Tipperary Minors Beat Cork in 1929 for the First Time

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2008


The first-ever meeting of Cork and Tipperary in the recently-established under-18 hurling grade took place in 1929. This championship commenced the previous year and Tipperary had only one game, which resulted in a heavy defeat at the hands of Waterford in the semi-final.

Having defeated Clare by 3-3 to 2-0 before a sparse crowd at Limerick on September 15 with a team, according to the contemporary report, 'drawn from Thurles, Roscrea, Newport and Boherlahan', they came up against Cork in the semi-final at Mitchelstown on October 27 in conditions anything but conducive to skillful hurling.

Tipperary had the better of exchanges in the first half and led by 2-0 to 0-1 at the interval. The second half was dominated by defenders on both sides. Cork, with a greater share of the outfield exchanges, threatened the Tipperary defence on numerous ocasions, but their finishing was poor. In the course of the half each side could manage but a single point to leave the final score 2-1 to 0-2 in favour of Tipperary.

The Tipperary team was M. Murphy (capt.), J. Ryan and E. Wade (Boherlahan), M. Kennedy (Inch), J. J. Maher (Roscrea), W. Long (Holycross), Jack Coffey and Jimmy Coffey (Newport), P. Russell, G. Heavey, J. Lanigan, J. Maher, T. Harney, J. Russell (Thurles), J. Riordan (Nenagh).

The only survivor from the team is Jimmy Coffey, who was 98 years on October 27. His brother, Jack, was also on the team. According to Jimmy 'the brother was a desperate character, who wouldn't train.' John Joe Maher of Roscrea was to give distinguished service as a hurler and later as an administrator to his club. Mick Kennedy from Inch went to work in Limerick at an early age but used to cycle home every Saturday night to play with his club. He was on the county junior team in 1930 that won the All-Ireland. Apparently he had some falling out with the county as a result of being dropped after a drawn game in the Munster semi-final and never played for Tipperary again. He declared for Limerick and went on to win three senior All-Irelands with the greatest team of the thirties.

The important thing to be said about the team was that they fielded illegal players. After the victory in the semi-final, the Cork minor selection committee were unanimously of the opinion that an objection should be lodged against Tipperary on the ages of five individuals. The objection was sent to the Munster Council and the Cork County Board debated on whether to proceed with the objection. The chairman, Sean McCarthy, said he was against the objection. According to him Cork had gained many successes during the year and in the interests of the harmony prevailing among the counties, he advised leaving the matter to the board's representatives on the Munster Council. Other delegates disagreed and thought they should proceed with the objection. Eventually it was put to a vote and it was decided, on a vote of 22 to 13, to withdraw the objection.

Asked if the Cork minor selection committee were right in their belief that five Tipperary players were overage, Jimmy 'Butler' Coffey has no hesitation in saying that they were. He himself was two years overage having celebrated his twentieth birthday on the day Tipperary defeated Cork at Mitchelstown! He is convinced there were four others though at this distance he isn't quite sure who they were.

Tipperary lost to Waterford by 7-5 to 0-2 in the Munster final, played at Waterford on November 3. Maybe the choice of Waterford as the venue contributed to such a huge defeat, though the referee on the occasion was Tom Keating from Fethard. Was it a case of 'you can have venue as long as we have the referee'?! One is inclined to believe, without much evidence I might add, that Waterford may have been flexible about the ages of the players, just as Tipperary were. At any rate Waterford went on to beat Meath in the All-Ireland.

Tipperary had their days in the sun the following year when they won the Munster and All-Ireland minor hurling finals. Seven of the 1929 team played, Eddie Wade, Jack Coffey, Jimmy Coffey, Ger Heavey, John Lanigan, Tim Harney and Jack Russell, who captained the side.

Tipperary and Cork have met in the minor championship on 54 occasions since 1929 with victory going to Tipperary 34 times to Cork's 20. According to these results we ought to be doing better that Cork at senior level! 



<span class="postTitle">Losing All-Ireland Hurling Teams</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 2008

Losing All-Ireland Hurling Teams 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 2008


I got a phonecall during the summer from a collector of photographs of All-Ireland finalist teams, who was looking for help with the Tipperary teams on his list. They included 1909, 1913, 1917, 1922, 1960, 1967, 1968 and 1988 All-Ireland losing sides. There was no difficulty getting the photograph of the losing side in 1988 as the cover of the 1989 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook carried it. Finding the others was to be much more difficult.

In the course of my searches for the photographs I came to the conclusion that supporters as well as players tend to shun losing teams. They definitely don't buy photographs of them. It is as if they hope that the bad memory of losing will go away if there is no image of the team left hanging around.

Also, the county has no archive of photographs from the earlier years. The County Yearbook didn't come into existence until 1970 and since then it has become an increasingly valuable archive of G.A.A. activity in the county. Understandably it has become a better source of such material as the production expanded and the quality of the production of photographs improved.

If one goes back before 1970 the archive is very poor. Canon Fogarty's history is very good on winning teams and we owe him a debt of gratitude for including such good copies of winning All-Ireland photographs. But, there are no losing teams in his publication. The local newspapers no longer keep an archive of photographs and it is significant that none of the papers had a copy of the 1967 or 1968 losing All-Ireland sides.



In the case of photographs discovered from the earlier years the problem was one of identifying the players. The 1922 picture was a case in point. With the help of Seamus Leahy we got the names of about thirteen or fourteen of the players. The others remained a problem until Donie Nealon got P. J. Maxwell's help and they were identified.

We don't know the actual lineout for this All-Ireland, which was played on September 8, 1923. The practice at the time was to give the captain, and then the goalkeeper, and it is difficult to decide in what order the rest of the players were named. From the match report in the 'Tipperary Star' it was possible to identify the subs, who were John Conway, Dan O'Brien, Phil Cahill, Bill Ryan and Martin Mockler. If one studies the picture closely it is possible to identify sixteen jerseys that were the same. Dan O'Brien, as well as the fifteen who played, are wearing them. Does this indicate that the number of jerseys in the set was sixteen and that the rest of the subs had to make do with their own jerseys?

The interesting thing about Phil Cahill is that it came as a surprise to some of the older generation that he was on the 1922 team. John Cleary, who poses a striking figure on the right of the second row, was later Parish Priest of Lorrha. He told me of his disgust at losing the final, by 4-2 to 2-4, and how he gave expression to it by dumping his hurley and boots into the River Liffey as he walked from O'Connell Bridge to Kingsbridge to catch the train after the match.

The names of the players who appeared in the photograph are as follows: Jack Power, John Conway, Pake Spillane, Jack Darcy, Pat Browne, John Joe Hayes, Martin Kennedy, Dan O'Brien, Phil Cahill, Joe Fitzpatrick, William Dwan, Johnny Leahy, Arthur O'Donnell, Jack Cleary, Jim O'Meara, Bill Ryan (K), Tom Dwan, Paddy Power, Martin Mockler, Stephen Hackett.



Losing in 1968 must have been a very bad memory because finding a photograph of the team was very difficult. Most of the usual expectations proved negative. A banker for such photographs, Sportsfile, didn't have a copy. They did send me on what they thought to be a copy but it turned out to be the photograph of the side that won the National League final in the same year. I was told that a picture of the team was in the clubhouse of Carrick Davins because there were three Davin players on the team, captain, Mick Roche, P. J. Ryan and Jimmy Ryan. However, my journey was in vain: there was a colour picture of the 1968 side but it was of the fifteen who played in the Munster final. Noel O'Gorman, who was sent off in the semi-final against Clare, wasn't eligible to play and was replaced in the final by Matt Stapleton. Noel was back for the All-Ireland final. Eventually I got a fine black and white picture of the full panel in Croke Park on All-Ireland day from Donie Nealon.

The bad memory that people may have had about the 1968 final may have been due to the nature of losing it. Tipperary led by 1-11 to 1-3 at half-time but Wexford, powered by Tony Doran, came at them with a great rally in the second half and went into the lead. A very late rally by Tipperary, that brought goals in the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth minutes, ran out of time and Wexford were winners by 5-8 to 3-12 at the final whistle. Until the two late goals Tipperary had scored a mere point in the half despite having a forward line of Babs Keating, Jimmy Ryan, Jimmy Doyle, Mackey Mckenna, Sean McLoughlin and Liam Devaney.

The names of the players in the photograph are as follows: Matt Stapleton, John O'Donoghue, Noel O'Gorman, Mick Burns, John Gleeson, Liam devaney, Mick Roche (capt.), Sean McLoughlin, John Costigan, Brian Kenny, Francis Loughnane, Jerry Doyle (assistant trainer), Ossie bennett (trainer), Len gaynor, John (Mackey) McKenna, Donie Nealon, Jimmy Ryan, P. J. Ryan, Patsy Roland, Seamus Shinnors, Michael (Babs) Keating, Phil Lowry.



I got the photograph of the beaten finalists of 1967 from Len Gaynor. Again, I had to ask a lot of people before I found a copy. Few of the team kept a copy of the photograph. Maybe they were so used to winning up to then that they didn't bother.

The 1967 final was another bad experience for Tipperary losing by 3-8 to 2-7 to Kilkenny on September 3. Not only was it galling to lose to a side that hadn't beaten us since 1922, the nature of the defeat was worse. Tipperary led by 2-6 to 1-3 at the interval and looked comfortable. However, in the second half, Kilkenny got on top at midfield, where John Feehan and Paddy Moran outhurled Mick Roche and Theo English. As a resultTipperary forwards were deprived of a supply of ball and succeeded in scoring only one point during the half. Added to that were severe probl;ems in the fullback line where Kieran Carey and Noel O'Gorman had a most unhappy hour. There was also the eye injury suffered by Kilkenny's Tom Walsh. All of these matters made it a game to be forgotten although beforehand it was hoped it would bring a ninth All-Ireland to the great John Doyle. Dermot Gilleese summed up matters well in his match report in the Daily Mail: 'Kilkenny proved beyond all doubt that hurling is a young man's game. The bitter truth which Tipperary must now face is that they had little chance of taking their 22nd All-Ireland with eight players over thirty in the side, and the result was that their oldest player, John Doyle, was deprived of a record ninth All-Ireland medal.' Four of the team, John Doyle, Kieran Carey, Tony Wall and Theo English, did not appear the following year.

The photograph of the 1967 is of the team alone: John O'Donoghue, Noel O'Gorman, Theo English, John Doyle, Kieran carey, Sean McLoughlin, Tony Wall, Michael Keating, Len gaynor, John Flanagan, Jimmy Doyle, Michael Roche (capt.), Donie Nealon, Liam Devaney, Mick Burns.



The photograph of the losing 1960 team also required some searching. The usual suspects proved negative. I then called in the services of Denis Walsh of the Sunday Times. Newspapers have ways of sourcing photographs that ordinary folk don't. Denis came back with the information that a photographer in Enniscorthy had a copy, and a fine photograph it turned out to be. It stood to reason he should have seeing that Wexford were there on the day and won.

This final was one in which our oponents led from the start and early in the third quarter it was plain to see that Wexford were heading for victory. They were in control at centrefield and had almost totally eclipsed the Tipperary half-forward line. The only time in the game when Tipperary looked like rising to the occasion was during a ten-minute spell before the interval when they scored four points to leave Wexford only two points in front at the interval. However, it was a revitalised Wexford rather than Tipperary that re-appeared after the interval and within a short time they were heading for their well-deserved 2-15 to 0-11 victory.

Interestingly there were only three changes on the team that narrowly defeated Dublin the following year in the All-Ireland. Donal O'Brien had replaced Terry Moloney in goals, Matt O'Gara replaced Tom Ryan at centrefield, while Sean McLoughlin replaced Billy Moloughney in the full-forward line.

The full panel of players was as follows: Billy Moloughney, Noel Murphy, Liam devaney, John Doyle, Michael Maher, Sean McLoughlin, Tom Moloughney, Kieran Carey, Donal O'Brien, Ray Reidy, Donal Ryan, Mick Burns, Theo English, Jimmy Doyle, Tony Wall, Donie Nealon, Terry Moloney, Matt Hassett, Liam Connolly, Tom Ryan.



We jump forward to 1988 when we lost to Galway after reaching the All-Ireland for the first time since 1971. We qualified as a result of beating Antrim in the semi-final, having gone into that match as red-hot favourites and relieved to win by eight points.

There were two major talking points coming up to the final. One was the decision by management to conduct most of the pre-final training behind closed doors, ostensibly to relieve pressure on the players.The second issue was the dropping of the captain, Pa O'Neill, who had captained Tipperary to victory in the National League final earlier in the year and in the Munster final.

In spite of these matters there was huge expectation when we played Galway on September 4. There was a great desire to avenge the defeat by the same opposition in the semi-final the previous year. In a medicore game before 63,545 spectators, Tipperary succumbed to Galway's superior physical strength, and were beaten by 1-15 to 0-14. And yet things might have been different had a John Leahy goal not been disallowed and had Galway's, John Commins, not saved a great shot from Pat Fox, both in the second half. At half-time, having played against the breeze, Tipperary were a mere four points behind on a scoreline of 0-10 to 0-6, and looked poised for victory. Instead there was nothing but frustration as Tipperary's forwards were stymied by the Galway backs, brilliantly policed by Tony Keady, who prevented them from getting clean possession.

The complete panel was as follows: Ken Hogan, Paul Delaney, Conor O'Donovan, John Heffernan, Bobby Ryan, Noel Sheehy, John Kennedy, Colm Bonnar, Joe Hayes, Declan Ryan, Donie O'Connell, John Leahy, Pat Fox, Nicky English (capt.), Aidan Ryan, Cormac Bonnar, John Leamy, Richard Stakelum, Seamus Gibson, Pa. O'Neill, Michael Cleary, Conor Stakelum, Austin Buckley, Conal Bonnar.


1909, 1913, 1917

Tipperary lost three more All-Irelands, all of them back in the early decades. The first final to be lost was in 1909 when the Thurles Blues selection lost to Kilkenny (Mooncoin) by 4-6 to 0-12 at Cork on December 12. It was the first time Tipperary failed to score a goal in a major final. The team lined out as follows: Tom Semple (capt.), J. O'Brien, T. Kerwick, P. P. Burke, J. Fitzgerald, J. Mockler, J. Moloughney, A. Carew, M. O'Brien, P. Fitzgerald, J. Mooney, R. Mockler, H. Shelly, T. Gleeson, J. Burke, P. Brolan, J. Hackett. Sub. E. Hayes.

A Toomevara selection were defeated in the 1913 All-Ireland. They lost to Kilkenny (Mooncoin) by 2-4 to 1-2 at Croke Park on November 2 in the first 15-a side final. Tipperary defeated Roscommon by 10-0 to 0-1 in the semi-final. The team was known as the 'Toomevara Greyhounds' because it was anchored by eight players from the famous club and captained by Wedger Meagher. They were strong favourites going into the final, having routed Kilkenny by 5-4 to 1-1 in the Croke Cup final a few months previously. As Tipperary were noted for their speed, Kilkenny trained as never before, and on the day were able to stay with their opponents. It was a wonderful game, played at a hectic pace. Kilkenny revealed a sharpness from the start while Tipperary were stale and lifeless, showing none of the zest they had displayed in the Croke Cup final. Kilkenny deserved their victory. It brought to an end one of the greatest eras in Kilkenny hurling during which they won seven All-Irelands between 1904-1913.

The losing Tipperary side was as follows: P. Widger Meagher (capt.), Jack O'Meara, Frank McGrath, Stephen Hackett, Jack Harty, Ned Gilmartin, Ned Cawley, Bill Kelly (Toomevara), Paddy Brolan, Hugh Shelly (Thurles), Jimmy Murphy, Bob Mockler (Horse & Jockey), Ed O'Keeffe (Templetuohy), Tim Gleeson (Drombane), Jack Raleigh (Emly). Sub: J. McKenna (Borrisokane).

Tipperary, represented by a Boherlahan selection, were defeated by Dublin (Collegians) in the 1917 final. Played at Croke Park on October 28, they lost by 5-4 to 4-2.. Dublin's victory was to usher in the greatest period of hurling in Dublin. Over a span of eleven years the county was to dominate the All-Ireland championship, playing in six finals and winning four. The county was strengthened by an influx of players from the country. There wasn't one Dublin-born player on the 1917 side, which included players of the calibre of Tommy Daly and Brendan Considine from Clare, Sean Hyde from Cork, Joe Phelan from Kilkenny, Bob Mockler from Tipperary and Dr. John Ryan from Wexford. Coming into the 1917 final they had a losing sequence of six All-Ireland defeats and Tipperary may have suffered from over-confidence going into the game.

The Tipperary team was as follows: Johnny Leahy (capt.), Jack Power, Willie O'Dwyer (L), Joe Nagle, Paddy Leahy, Jack Doherty, Dick Walsh, Willie O' Dwyer (Boherlahan), Hugh Shelly, Mick Leahy (Thurles), Tom Shanahan (Killenaule), Stephen Hackett, Jack O'Meara (Toomevara), Jer Collison (Moneygall), Joe Fitzpatrick (Two-Mile-Borris). Subs: Arthur O'Donnell, Paddy O'Dwyer, Paddy Power, Jack Gleeson, Dan O'Brien (Boherlahan), John Joe Hayes (Two-Mile-Borris).

As far as my researches go there is no photograph of any one of these three losing All-Ireland sides in existence. I should love to be proved wrong as it would be great to see their faces.


<span class="postTitle">G.A.A. Publications 2006</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2007, pp 83-84

G.A.A. Publications 2006

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2007, pp 83-84


I suppose the first thing to be mentioned in an article of G.A.A. publications in the county is the achievement of the Yearbook Committee in winning a McNamee Award for the best yearbook in the country. The citation that accompanied the win had this to say:

Seamus King, Tipperary, receives his G.A.A. McNamee award for "Best County Yearbook" from G.A.A. President Nickey Brennan at the 2006 G.A.A. McNamee awards, Burlington Hotel, Dublin

Seamus King, Tipperary, receives his G.A.A. McNamee award for "Best County Yearbook" from G.A.A. President Nickey Brennan at the 2006 G.A.A. McNamee awards, Burlington Hotel, Dublin

'This publication provides a colourful and comprehensive review of activities at every level of the association in Tiobraid Arann in 2005 - at club, intercounty , schools and even higher education, in hurling football, camogie, handball, Scor, and international hurling- shinty.  There is also an array of articles that are of interest to G.A.A. enthusiasts everywhere, giving a valuable insight into the relevance and importance of the activities of Cumann Luthchleas Gael locally, nationally and beyond in the present day.' 

Reason enough to crow a bit!

The first book on the list of publications for 2006 was published, in fact, in late 2005, too late for inclusion in last year's article. 'Playing With the Hill' is the title of the G.A.A. history of the parish of Ballinahinch and Killoscully, the colour cover carrying an image of the famous Keeper, with a line of the club jerseys drying in the sun at its base. The cover also includes pictures of high points in the club's history, teams that won junior hurling titles and a junior football, as well as Club of the Year Award in 2002.

John Ryan (left) the author of Ballinahinch G.A.A. club history "Playing with the Hill" receives a presentation from G.A.A. President Sean Kelly who launched the book and Ballinahinch Chairman John 'Rockie' McGrath.

John Ryan (left) the author of Ballinahinch G.A.A. club history "Playing with the Hill" receives a presentation from G.A.A. President Sean Kelly who launched the book and Ballinahinch Chairman John 'Rockie' McGrath.

Leafing through this comprehensive history, covering close to five hundred pages, one is struck by the thought that although it is a small club, in the context of titles and honours achieved, it is just as big as any club in its commitment to the G.A.A., in the intensity of its support for its teams, and in the endeavor of its players, when they don the club colours and take the field for the honour of the parish.

It is significant that President of the G.A.A., Sean Kelly, was present to launch the book, a statement in itself on the importance of every unit in the organisation, however small or, for that matter, however great they may be.

This book is a labour of love for the writer, John Ryan, who spent a number of years gleaning the records and extracting any information that could be found about the game in the parish, and the achievements of Knockmeal, Shallee, Killoscully and Ballinahinch , as well as teams in faraway places. There are also accounts of boys from the parish in neighbouring secondary schools, on camogie, juvenile s, handball, etc. The large list of sponsors and patrons listed in the back is an indication of how much such a book means to the people of the parish.

They got good value for money in the work of John Ryan. The book is no 'cut and paste' job as so many similar works tend to be, but a well-written and entertaining account.

The work is also enhanced by a thoughtful introduction by the author's brother, Martin, no mean writer himself, on the role of the G.A.A. in Irish society. A model for any other club thinking of writing a history.

A second club history was that of Cashel King Cormac's. In this case it was a second edition!  The 'G.A.A. History of Cashel and Rosegreen' was published in 1884 and covered the history of the club to that period . It missed out on the glory days that came after that year so there was a need to bring matters up to date. Seamus King, who wrote the original work, has done just that with, 'Cashel King Cormac's G.A.A History 1985-2005', which was launched by Justin McCarthy, who contributed so much to the club's breakthrough to a county senior hurling final in 1991, at Cashel on April 28. 

The book is a substantial work of over three hundred pages, and it includes over four hundred pictures. It has a sixteen-page colour section.  Part of its strength is a series of comprehensive profiles of some of the stars of the club, such as the Bonnars. Beautifully printed by Lion Print, Cashel, it retails at €20 and is available at Lar na Pairce as well as from the club secretary, Mattie Finnerty.

Two publications of great importance to the county will make their appearance next year. Both the South and Mid divisions came into existence in 1907, following a decision taken at the county convention that year. The North division had already been declared in 1901, and the West wasn't to make its appearance until 1930.

So, the South and Mid divisions will celebrate their centenaries in 2007 and it's understandable that both divisions would like to see their histories between covers. The result will be that all four divisions will have histories. As a result there should be no excuse for clubs not writing their histories. To date most of the groundwork for club histories has been done in the North and the West through the publication of their divisional accounts.

The work has progressed to the late eighties in a chronological order , and Michael has found that the nearer to the present one comes, the greater the amount of information is available, as well as the greater the number of competitions, but also greater is the amount of work involved sifting through it. Michael has a committee of beavering individ uals who are working away on pen pictur es of important players and administrators in the division, as well as activities such as scor, hand ball, Bord na nOg, etc. The work is expected to reach 700 pages and will be published in September next in time for the centenary celebrations.

Not so advanced is the Mid production, which is more ambitious. What set out to be a single volume history of the division, has evolved into two books, one of photographs and a second of text. It was hoped to have the book of photographs, an impres sive collection of about two thousand images, ready for the centenary, with the history itself coming on stream in 2008. However, at time of writing, there are concerns about the costs involved but, I understand, it is full steam ahead. The Mid are writing their history by committee, under the chairmanship of P. J. Maher and the editorship of Martin Bourke.  The completed work is keenly awaited.

A number of books that appeared during the year will be of interest to hurling fans. These include 'OLLIE - The Hurling Life and Times of Ollie Walsh' Written by Dermot Kavanagh, the book traces the career of one of the great goalkeepers of our time from his first success with Thomastown in 1947, when he was aged 10 years, to his last All-Ireland appearance in 1971. The biography is well served with photo graphs. It is published by Blackwater Press.

A slim volume is 'The Man from Carron ', a sho rt account of the life and times of Michael Cusack by a great admirer, Brother Sean McNamara, which was published to coincide with the centenary of the death of the founder of the G.A.A. Published in association with Coiste Cumarsaide an Chlair and Coiste CLG an Chlair, it is available from the Ennis Bookshop for €11 including postage.

Two books that made their appearance for the first time in 2005, reappear in new editions in 2006. Published by DBA, the company that produces the match programmes for the G.A.A., they are the 'G.A.A. Supporters' Handbook' , which claims to give all the information the G.A.A. supporter requires to know if he decide s to go to a match in Tuam, or any other venue. It
costs €9.95 post free. The second is 'The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games', which is a G.A.A. statistics book, containing all the records and facts that the G.A.A. follower need to know.  It costs 19.95 euros post free.

'The Championship ' by Brian Carty has been appeari ng since 1995 and the 2006 edition brings you all the facts and figures relating to the football and hurling champi onships. An all colour book it includes every match with all the relevant statistical details.

'Dublin v Kerry: The Story of the Epic Rivalry that Changed Irish Sport', by Tom Humphries, Penguin Ireland, €22 .99/ £17.99 brings new life to an old story, the great rivalry between Dublin and Kerry, and between Kevin Heffernan and Mick O'Dwyer in the seventies. Very well written, the book is enlivened by plenty of stories and anecdotes.

Gerry Slevin's book on Tipperary camogie from 1999-2005, called ' Years of Plenty ' was launched last December , too late for inclusion in last year's article. The book is lavishly illustrated by Bridget Delaney 's photograp hs. It captures the essence of these very successful years, which Gerry covered extensively for the 'Guardian '. The book highlights the great achievement of Tipperary in camogie 's Centenary year, when the county won the national league and the Munster and All-Ireland championships. Printed by the Guardian , the book retails for €20.

I want to mention two match programmes. The first is that for the county hurling final on October 22. Apart from the information on the teams involved in the minor and senior finals, there is a six-page spread on the Roscrea teams from 1968-1980, who were celebrated between the games on the day. For this alone it is a collector's item.

The second program was produced for the intermediate hurling final at Boherlahan on October 28. Compiled by county P.R.O. Ed Donnelly, it is chock-a-bloc with information of the teams involved, Eire Og, Annacarty and Moycarkey-Borris. Long after the game is forgotten, the program will be a source of plenty of reading.

Finally, I want to include 'A Year In The Red' for 2005, an annual publ ication of Roscrea G.A.A. Club. It might be a model for similar club publications. The twenty-page magazine reviews the year in the club for all grades from juvenile to senior. There is also a fine article on Kieran Carey and the notorious full-back line of the sixties, which included Kieran, and was famously christened 'Hell's Kitchen' . This year the magazine also features the camogie club and the Roscrea Hurling Club buffet dance in 2005. The magazine also reflects on the club members who died during the year, including Jim Sheedy, Billy Doran, Seamus Ryan, Sean Moloughney and Denis Hendrick.  The publication is priced at just €4, and the 2006 number will
probably be available in time for Christmas.





<span class="postTitle">Senior Hurling 2006</span> Tipperary GAA Yearbook 2007 pp 49-51

Senior Hurling 2006

Tipperary GAA Yearbook 2007 pp 49-51

Hot favourites, Toomevara, turned in a powerful second-half performance at Semple Stadium on October 22 to recapture the Dan Breen Cup. In doing so they became the first holders of third Dan Breen Cup, which was presented to the Tipperary county board by the Third Tipperary Brigade Old IRA, as a replacement for the second cup, which had been in circulation since 1972. During the first half Nenagh Eire 6g put in a spirited display to lead by 2-10 to 0-11 at the interval. But, already before the interval, there were signs that Toomevara were improving and they showed it in no uncertain manner, when they tore into the game on the resumption and confined their opponents to a mere four points during the half.

There was no change from 2005 in the format of the county senior hurling championship. The number of teams taking part was reduced by one with the decision of the Golden-Kilfeacle / Eire Og combination not to affiliate in 2006. There was one other change with the relegation of Templederry and the promotion of Burges. It meant there were twenty-five teams in the championship, nine from the North, Borrisoleigh, Kildangan, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Moneygall, Nenagh Eire Og, Portroe, Roscrea, Burgess and Toomevara, seven from the Mid, Boherlahan-Dualla, ]. K. Brackens, Drom Inch, Holycross-Ballycahill, Loughmore-Castleiney, Thurles Sarsfields, and Upperchurch-Drombane, five from the West, Cappawhite, Cashel, Clonoulty-Rossmore, Galtee Rovers and Kickhams, and four from the South, Ballingarry, Carrick Swan, Killenaule and Mullinahone.

Under the system there was a direct link between the divisional and county championships. Beforehand it was determined that there would be two semi-finals in the North and one from the Mid for county championship purposes, even though the divisions differed in their naming of rounds.

Round One

Round One proper took place in the divisions and it saw fourteen teams qualifying for the Round Robin as a result of losing their first-round games. The North provided five teams, Moneygall, Portroe, Nenagh, Burgess and Kilruane, the Mid four Thurles, Holycross, Loughmore and J. K. Brackens, the West three, Cashel, Cappawhite and Galtee Rovers, and the South two, Ballingarry and Carrick Swans.

These teams were divided into four groups two with three teams each and two with four.

Group 1 included Thurles Sarsfields, Cashel King Cormac's and Burgess, with the latter coming through.

Group 2 included Ballingarry, Holycross-Ballingarry, Nenagh, Eire Og and Galtee Rovers, with Nenagh coming through.

In Group 3 were Kilruane MacDonagh , Loughmore-Castleiney and Portroe, with Loughmore heading the group on points.

Group 4 included Moneygall, Carrick Swans, J. K. Brackens and Cappawhite, with Moneygall winning out on points .

The four Round Robin winners were drawn against the divisional semi-final runners-up. As there were only three semi-finalists, Nenagh Eire Og were given a bye to the next round. Borrisoleigh defeated Burgess by 2-12 to 0-16, Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Roscrea by 1-10 to 0-8, and Upperchurch and Moneygall drew at 2-19 each. In the replay Moneygall were convincing winners by 4-10 to 2-8

Divisional Finals

The next stage was the winners versus the divisional final runners-up. In the meantime the divisions had completed their business.

The West were ahead of the rest with their final taking place at Golden as early as July 9. This game, between Kickhams and Clonoulty-Rossmore, was one of intense commitment and saw Kickhams come out on top by 1-14 to 0-12 to take their seventeenth title. The winners led by 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval and celebrated their first victory out of five attempts since the arrival of the Millennium.

Drom-Inch bridged a twenty-two year gap when they won their third Mid title, defeating Boherlahan-Dualla by 3-13 to 0-16 at Holycross on July 30. The game seemed to be going Boherlahan's way in the first half when, with the aid of a strong breeze, they went on a point-scoring spree, but Drom had the capacity to get goals at vital stages so that Boherlahan had only two points to spare at the interval, when they led by 0-12 to 2-4. The game remained close in the second half until the introduction of Seamus Callanan nine minutes from the end, titled the game in Drom's favour and they went on to win by 3-13 to 0-16.

On the same day Mullinahone regained the South title when they defeated Killenaule by the minimwn margin, 2-14 to 1-16, at Clonmel. Ahead by six points with eleven minutes on the clock, Mullinahone were almost caught by a resurgent Killenaule side, who were determined not to lose the trophy they claimed last year after a fifteen-year gap. Killenaule led by 0-10 to 1-6 at the interval.

The North was the third final to be played on July 30. Toomevara were heading for their thirty-first title, when they took on Kildangan, looking for their first since 1943, at Nenagh.

Although they had the breeze in the first half, Kildangan were behind 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval. It looked set to be an easy victory for Toomevara as they went further ahead soon after the interval, but Kildangan came back against the odds to leave them only a point behind after fifty-five minutes. Sensing danger, Toomevara appeared to accelerate and went on to win by 1-15 to 0-12.

The losing divisional finalists had now to meet the winners that came through from the previous qualifiers. These games were played on the weekend of August 26/27. As if proving the difficulty teams have coming back from defeat, three of the four beaten divisional finalists were to lose. The exception was Kildangan, who defeated Moneygall by 0-16 to 0-15 at Nenagh on August 26, while Nenagh Eire Og got the better of Killenaule by 2-15 to 2-14 at Templemore on August 27, Loughmore-Ca stleiney defeated Boherlahan-Dualla at The Ragg by 2-18 to 2-8 on the same day, while Borrisoleigh defeated Clonoulty-Rossmore by 3-16 to 1-6 at the same venue, also on August 27.


The stage was now set for the quarter-finals, in which the above winners were pitted against the divisional champions. Three of the champion teams came through, the exception being West champions, Kickhams, who went down to Nenagh Eire Og at Templemore on September 23. In the second game at the same venue, Mullinahone came through by 1-14 to 1-12 against Kildangan. The other two games were played at Nenagh the following day. Toomevara got the better of Loughmore-Ca stleiney by 2-18 to 2-15, while in the local derby, Drom Inch pipped neighbours, Borrisoleigh, by 2-9 to 1-11.


The winners had two weeks to prepare for the semi-finals, which were played at Semple Stadium on October 8. The consensus going into these games was that Drom Inch should get the better of Nenagh Eire Og and that Toomevara would prove too good for Mullinahone . The games told a different story.

In the first game Nenagh Eire Og put an undistinguished opening quarter behind them to take control of the game. The player who helped them turn the game about was full-forward, Noel Maloney, who put them into the lead for the first time with his twenty-seventh minute goal, and he grabbed the limelight again in the forty-second minute with a second goal that clinched victory. Drom-lnch led by 0-6 to 0-3 after eighteen minutes but the North side dominated the second quarter to lead by 1-8 to 0-7 at the interval. Drom appeared to regain the initiative with two point s soon after the interval, but Nenagh regained control and, despite a Drom goal by Seamus Callanan in the fortieth minutes, which reduced the margin to the minimum, 1-11 to 1-10, Nenagh maintained the momentum and Moloney's second goal gave them a massive boost at a critical juncture sending them on to win by 2-14 to 1-13.

The second game saw Mullinahone , apparently heading for a surprise win, ambushed by a sucker goal in the final seconds of the game. Ironically, Mullinahone had come back twice from goals earlier in the game to regain the initiative, and then they had to endure a third killer goal when there was no time left for them to recover. When Tommy Dunne shot a goal in the tenth minute to put Toomevara ahead by 1-3 to 0-2, there was a fear that Mullinahone might crumble. Instead they responded well and led at the interval by 0-10 to 1-6. Toomevara re-started brightly, scoring 1-2 without reply, but again Mullinahone responded brilliantly and with five minutes remaining the sides were level. During this period Mullinahone showed

themselves at their best, scrap ping for every loose ball and challenging with renewed vigour. Eoin Kelly scored twice during this period and his side seemed heading for victory until Paddy O'Brien rifled his twenty metre free into a packed net in the third minute of added time. It was a dramatic win for Toomevara and a cruel, cruel ending to Mullinahone's aspirations.


So it was Toomevara and Nenagh Eire Og for the final at Semple Stadium on October 22. The previous all-North final in 1999 was also between the sides. Toomevara were playing in their eleventh decider over a period of fifteen years, losing only one, to Boherlahan-Dualla in 1996. During the same period Nenagh were contesting their fourth, losing to Toomevara in 1993 and 1999, and beating Boherlahan-Dualla in 1995.

Toomevara were general favourites before the final. The overall quality of their players, the strength in depth of their panel and their ability to win games when the chips were down, made them superior to Nenagh in the minds of most people. However, it was Nenagh who held the advantage in the opening half and led by 0-8 to 0-5 at the end of the first quarter. They went even further in front in the nineteenth minute, when Noel Maloney blasted to the Toomevara net following a good movement involving Hugh Maloney, John Kennedy and Paul Ryan. As if sensing danger Toomevara responded quickly and scored four points to Nenagh's one in a five-minute spell. But Nenagh got a new lease of life in the twenty-eighth minute when Michael Heffernan got their second goal to give them an interval lead on 2-10 to 0-11.

Whatever happened in the Toomevara dressing room during the period had a transforming effect on the side. Four unanswered early points showed they meant business but it wasn't until John O'Brien scored a delightful goal for them in the seventeenth minute that they went ahead, 1-17 to 2-13. Nenagh never recovered from that blow and in the closing stages Toomevara added to their advantage to finish comfortable four points clear at the end, on a scoreline of 1-21 to 2-14.

Thomas Dunne became the first man from the club since Martin Kennedy in 1930 and 1931 to captain two winning teams. By a strange coincidence, in 1931 the Dan Breen Cup was presented for the first time. On this occasion the Toomevara captain became the first man to receive the third Dan Breen Cup. John O'Brien received the Man of the Match award.

Toomevara: James McGrath, Barry Dunne, Tony Delaney, Paul McGrath, Terry Dunne (0-1), Benny Dunne (0-1), David Young (0-1), Eoin Brislane, Ken Dunne (0-7), Michael Bevans (0-2), Francis Devanney (0-2), Thomas Dunne (0-1) (capt.), Paddy O'Brien (0-1), John O'Brien (1-4), Willie Ryan (0-1).

Subs: David Kennedy for Brislane, Joey McLoughney for Young, John Delaney for Ryan. Also: Andrew Ryan, Brian McCormack, Kevin Cummins, Jamie Quigley, Paddy Tuohy, Denis Kelly, Thomas McCarthy, John Boland, Padraig Hackett.

Nenagh Eire Og: Michael McNamara, Stephen Ryan, John Brennan, Hugh Flannery, Hugh Maloney, Richie Flannery (capt.), Eoin Fitzgibbon, John Kennedy (0-1), John Flannery, John Slattery (0-1), Paul Ryan (0-4), Eddi e Tucker (0-1), Kevin Tucker (0-4), Noel Maloney (1-0), Michael Heffernan (1-0). Subs: Michael Hackett for Heffernan. Also: Sean Healy, Alan Kelly, Robert Tomlinson, David Hackett, Declan O'Meara, Conor Kirwin, Conor Brennan, Liam O'Gara, Brian Fitzgibbon, David Lawlor, Brian Maxwell, Brian Dillon, Eamon Hodgins, John Donnellan, Mark Flannery, Shane Maher, Patrick Murphy.

Referee: Richie Barry (Cappawhite).


<span class="postTitle">Recent G.A.A. Publications (2005)</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2006, p 65

Recent G.A.A. Publications (2005)

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2006, p 65


Quite a number of good G.A.A. books were published during the year. Probably the best of the crop is 'Last Man Standing' by Christy O'Connor. Not the same person as the golfer, but a goal keeper from Ennis, who played in two All-Ireland Club finals. He knows what he's talking about, and the title of the book is superb. The goalkeeper is the last man standing in defence and he is built in heroic proportions. Think of the courage shown by Brendan Cummins in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Cummins features in this book as do twelve contemporary goalkeepers. O'Connor succeeds in getting into their minds, their souls, and his book is outstanding. Published by O'Brien Press for €14.95, it contains over 300 pages.

Another book that is highly recommended is 'Foreign and Fantastic Field Sports : Cricket In County Tipperary ' by Patrick Bracken, who is a librarian in the County Tipperary Libraries. Bracken trawled through the newspapers of the nineteenth century and found that cricket was a very popular game, not only among the gentry, but equally so among the ordinary people. The high point was in the 1870s when there were over forty clubs in the county. Had the G.A.A. not come along it is likely that Tipperary would have become one of the outstanding counties in the game of cricket. On the other hand it might be said that the reason that Tipperary took the title the Premier County in hurling was because there was such a tradition for a stick game here. Published by the author the book costs €20 and has 200 pages

Eoghan Corry has written a book of unforgettable G.A.A. quotations called 'God and the Referee'. In more than forty sections, covering everything from the ancient games and literary lions to rough-ups and ruffians, the book encompasses the G.A.A. There are quotations from players and coaches, journalists and commentators, balladeers and mentors, and from hurlers on the ditch, who know the game better than anyone. One to give you the flavour of the book. The one about the Cork woman at the funeral of Christy Ring: 'It's a mortal sin to be burying a man like him.' The book, published by Hodder Headline Ireland, retails for €8.99, and has over 300 pages.

Making Connections: A Cork G.A.A. Miscellany' by Jim Cronin is what the title says a collection of pieces, mostly about the many people who have made a huge contribution to the G.A.A. and especially the G.A.A. in Cork. There are also pieces like 'Cork and Tipp', 'The Meat Tea', and 'Hurling in the Himalayas'.  Published by the author, it retails for €20 and has 365 Pages.

A completely different kind of offering is a short account of the life of P.N. Fitzgerald, the Cork Fenian and G.A.A. Pioneer. Published by the P. N. Fitzgerald Commemoration Committee 2004, it is written by Tomas O’Riordain, has 72 pages and retails for €15 . Fitzgerald was the President of the G.A.A. at the famous convention at Thurles in 1887 that led to a split in the Association. Chairing the proceedings that day he refused to take a proposal from Fr. Scanlan of Nenagh. After plenty of arguing, Fr. Scanlan and his followers withdrew from the meeting and called their own.

Damien Cullen, a journalist with the 'Irish Times', and a man with impeccable Loughmore Castleiney connections, brought out a unique book during the year. It was called 'The Penguin Ireland Guide to Championship 2005', and it was all of that, a guide not only to the hurling and football matches that were to be played, but also a guide to the towns and the stadiums to which the fans travelled. We don't travel to Clones often but if a follower has a ticket for a match there this 'bible' will tell him not only where the stadium is located but in what area of the stadium his seat is located. There is much, much more in this fascinating publication, which is in pocket size, has 250 pages and retails for €7.99 . Let's hope it's an annual addition to the library.

A similar book was published by DBA, the company with the franchise for producing all the programmes for the All-Ireland hurling and football championships. Called the G.A.A. Supporters Handbook, it is literally that. It includes maps of the various towns where the supporter may find himself, lists of hotels and restaurants, not forgetting the pubs either, how to get there if you haven't your own transport, and where to stay if you intend to make a week of it. Again a great addition. The book also includes all the senior county panels in hurling and football. It's publication was delayed because of the difficulty the publishers had in getting the panels out of reluctant county boards and team managements. Pocket size, the book sells for €6.99 and has 180 pages.

Mention should also be made here of Brian Carthy's annual publication, which should be in the shops in time for the Christmas market. It will be called 'The Championship 2005' and will be the most comprehensive record of all the games played in the senior hurling and football championships. This book has been appearing since 1995 and it's a credit to the author.

The next book to mention is one of mammoth proportions. It is 'The Gaelic Athletic Association in Dublin 1884-2000' edited by Willie Nolan. It contains three volumes in hardback in slipcase , 1440 pages, 360 photographs, and it sells for €90. It has to be the biggest G.A.A. book ever produced. Tipperary players played with Dublin. Two that immediately come to mind are Tommy Treacy and Jimmy Kennedy. Among the many fascinating details it contains is a detailed account of the events of Bloody Sunday and the identities of the casualties.

A new revised and updated edition of 'A History of Hurling' by Seamus J. King will be published by Gill and Macmillan in time for the Christams. First published in 1996 in hardback, a paperback edition came out in 1998, and this edition brings the story up to 2005.

Another book launched in November was the official biography of Davy Fitzgerald, the Clare hurling goalkeeper. Written by Cashel journalist, Jackie Cahill, who is Gaelic Games correspondent for the 'Irish Mirror', it is called 'Passion and Pride' There is no player takes such passion and pride out of playing for his county as Davy. The book has to be of interest
to Tipperary readers, who were often put off by the over the top shenanigans of Davy on the field of play. Published by Blackwater Press, the book retails at €14.99

In May 'Tipperary's G.A.A. Story 1985-2004' was published by the county board. Written by Seamus J. King, it updated the history of the county to the present. The achievements of the period are modest in contrast to the previous volume which covered the history from 1935- 1984. These achievements are reflected in the dust cover of the book which features the three senior winning captains, Bobby Ryan, Declan Carr and Nicky English, the two successful managers of the period, Babs Keating and Nicky English, as well as the county's star footballer, Declan Browne. Extending to nearly 700 pages, it sells for €20. (The book is reviewed elsewhere.)

At the Tipperary History launch in Thurles on left is Munster Council Chairman and a group, each of whom has already published books.  From left are Seamus King, Marcus De Burca, Martin Bourke, J.J.Kennedy, Bill Callaghan of Litho Press, Seamus Leahy and Liam O'Donnchu.

At the Tipperary History launch in Thurles on left is Munster Council Chairman and a group, each of whom has already published books.

From left are Seamus King, Marcus De Burca, Martin Bourke, J.J.Kennedy, Bill Callaghan of Litho Press, Seamus Leahy and Liam O'Donnchu.

Gerry Slevin, the former editor of the 'Nenagh Guardian', who has written so lovingly and comprehensively about camogie for years, has produced a book about the Tipperary senior team's achievements over the past seven years.  Called 'Years of Plenty' it tells the story of 1999-2005 in a heavily illustrated production. Printed by the Nenagh Guardian Ltd. it extends to 200 pages and sells for €20.

'Hurling: The Revolution Years' by Denis Walsh covers the period marked by the arrival of Clare in the mid-nineties and sets out to explore how the game of hurling changed since then. He focuses in on how Ger Loughnane and Liam Griffin revolutionised the preparation of teams, which became more and more professional under their managerial regimes. In the preparation of this book, Walsh did thirty-five original interviews with the people and players who were involved.
Denis Walsh is the chief sports writer with the Irish edition of the 'Sunday Times.' A native of Cork, hurling is his first love. The book, published by Penguin Ireland, has over three hundred pages and retails for €1 4.99.

'A Year in the Red - A Publication by the Roscrea GAA Club' reviews the year and is the first publication to appear since "The Red Years" in 1984.





<span class="postTitle">The County Senior Hurling Championship 2005</span> Tipperary GAA Yearbook 2006, pp 66-67

The County Senior Hurling Championship 2005

Tipperary GAA Yearbook 2006, pp 66-67

The success of Thurles Sarsfields in the county senior hurling championship was received with unbridled enthusiasm by their supporters. The crowd that massed before the cup presentation to hear their hero, Redser O'Grady, receive the Dan Breen trophy, was indicative of a huge wave of relief that victory had been achieved, as well as a great desire to return to winning ways after such a long time out of the limelight. The larger than usual crowd that came out on such a dull day was a sign that the supporters of Thurles Sarsfields believed that this was to be their day, and they wished to be there to savour and enjoy it.

Strangely enough there was even a desire among neutrals that the Blues had remained long enough in the wilderness and deserved to get back again to the winner's enclosure.

The county senior hurling champion ship virtually replicated the system in use in the running of the All Ireland hurling championship. It replaced the system in use in 2004 by excluding the connection between the county league, which supplied four teams for the county quarter-finals, and the championship. Instead it linked up the divisional championships into a system of county qualifiers , bringing about a seamless link between the county and the divisions that hadn't existed before. The changes were given the green light at a special county board meeting on January 17.

There was a separate county league divided into three divisions with twenty-two teams taking part. Four clubs, Cashel King Connacs, Kildangan, Loughmore-Castleiney and Holycross-Ballycahill did not participate. Borrisoleigh won the premier division and the Johnny Ryan Cup, defeating Nenagh Eire Og by 2-10 to 1-10 in the final on April 24. Boherlahan Dualla won division I and the Jim Devitt Cup, defeating J. K. Brackens by 2-9 to 0- 14 on April 17. Templederry came out on top in division 2 and won the Canon Fogarty Cup, defeating Kilruane Mac Donaghs by 2-14 to 1-9, also on April 17.

Twenty-six teams affiliated in the 2005 championship, seven in the Mid, nine in the North, four in the South and six in the West. Because of the uneven number of teams in the Mid and the North there were preliminary rounds in these divisions. The two losers in these games then entered to county championship round robin. Rounds One of the divisional championships was then played . This provided three games in the Mid, four in the North, two in the South and three in the West. The twelve games resulted in twelve winners and twelve losers.

The twelve losers joined the two from the preliminary round to play in a round robin series. The teams were divided into two groups of four and two groups of three. They produced four winners . These joined up with the beaten semi- finalists from the divisions, one in Mid, two in North, 0 in South and one in West, - four in all. They played off in round robin two to produce four winners, Kilruane Mac Donaghs, Kildangan, Mullinahone and Roscrea. Interestingly Kildangan were the only team from the losers in the preliminary and first round to come through. They beat West semi-finalists, Golden-Eire Og.

Divisional Finals

While round robin two was in progress, the divisional finals took place . All four were played on August 7th. At sun-baked Fethard a late, late point by Trevor Ivors grabbed a draw for Ballingarry against Killenaule on a scoreline of 1-19 each. It took extra time in the replay at the same venue on August 28 before the sides could be separated. Killenaule came out on top on a scoreline of 2-21 to 3-16 to take their first South senior title since 1991.

The Mid final between Thurles Sarsfields and Drom-lnch, played at Holycross, also ended in a draw. Favourites Sarsfields , down to fourteen men for the last twenty-two minutes , grabbed a draw with a late penalty special from goalkeeper Patrick McCormack. They scored 1-17 to Drom-lnch's 2- 14. Sarsfields made no mistake in the replay at the same venue on August 21, when they won by 1-17 to 0-13.

The West final between Cappawhite and Cashel was played at Golden. It was exciting enough for the opening twenty minutes, when Cashel were still in with a shout, but after that it was all one-way traffic as Capppawhite hammered home their superiority and routed Cashel by 2-20 to 1-9.

The North final, which was played at Nenagh, saw Borrisoleigh bridge a seventeen -year gap to capture the title by beating Nenagh Eire Og by 1-13 to 0-12. It was a fine victory for a team that had to field without some prominent players through injury.

The next stage in the county champ ionship was the meeting of the round robin winners and the divisional runners-up. Loughmore-Castleiney were comprehensive winners over Cashel at Semple Stadium on September 3. Giving a polished perfonnance they strode past Cashel after the first twenty minutes to win by 4-17 to 0-15. Toomevara were equally impressive when they defeated Ballingarry by l-25 to 1-14 at Semple Stadium on September I0. They led by 1-16 to 0-9 at the interval and were just too good for their opponents. On the same day and at the same venue Drom-lnch outhurled Moneygall by 2-17 to 2-11, having led by 1-9 to 2-4 at the interval. The fourth game in the series saw Nenagh Eire Og edge out Kildangan by 0-16 to 0-10 in the tight encounter at Nenagh on September 11. After a low-scoring first half, Nenagh had trailed by 0-4 to 0-6.


The stage was set for the quarter-finals. Three of the games were played at Semple Stadium on September 17th. There was a wonderful display by Thurles Sarsfields, who unexpectedly dethroned the champions, Toomevara , by 1-20 to 1-16. While the winners were helped by the dismissal of two Toomevara players, John O' Brien and Terry Dunne, in the course of the game, their victory was in no small way due to some great individual displays, particularly by Wayne Cully and Redser O'Grady, and to shrewd management from the sideline.

A great display by Micheal Webster at full-forward helped Loughmore-Castleiney to victory over Killenaule by 4-13 to 1-18. Killenaule had the better of the exchanges in the first half but their superiority was not reflected on the scoreboard which showed them trailing by 2-7 to 0-9 at the interval. They went into the lead seven minutes into the second half but two goals by Webster and Kieran McGrath put Loughmore clear by 4-11 to 1-13 with fifteen minutes to go. Killenaule tried very hard to bridge the gap in the final quarter but failed.

A late surge by Nenagh Eire Og gave them victory over Cappawhite by 4- 16 to 2-1 1. The winners led by seven points at the interval and by eight ten minutes into the second-half. A great comeback by Cappawhite at this stage brought them level with thirteen minutes to go. However, instead of going on to victory, it was Nenagh who surged ahead to score 2-5 in the final ten minutes for a comfortable victory.

The fourth game took place at the same venue a week later. Neighbours Borrisoleigh and Drom-lnch fought it out with the North side the people's favourites. In a dull encounter there were few scores to liven up the play. Drom-lnch got a great start with a goal by Seamus Callanan after four minutes, they led by 1-5 to 0-2 at the interval, and had four points to spare, 1-8 to 1-4, at the final whistle.


The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on October 2nd. Drom-lnch created their own bit of history when they qualified for their ftrst county senior hurling final after three failures in 1973, 1978 and 1984. They did so by scoring a comprehensive victory over Nenagh Eire Og by 2-17 to 0-14. Playing against the wind in the first half, they trailed by 0-6 to 0-9 at the interval. It was very much an open encounter at this stage. However, within two, minutes of the re-start, Drom-lnch had two goal from Seamus Butler and Seamus Callanan, and they never looked back after that, storming home to a nine point victory.

The second semi-final , between Thurles Sarsfields and Loughmore-Castleiney was the strangest of games. As someone described the match, ' it looked sickly after fifteen minutes, when Sarsfields led 1-9 to 0-2, looked dead at the break , 1-15 to 0-4, and looked buried seven minutes into the second-half, 2-16 to 0-5'. And then it had a Lazarus-like recovery because the final score was 2-19 to 2-14 in favour of Sarsfields. The strangness may have been due to a combinat ion of Sarsfields lethargy and over confidence, and Loughmore-Castleiney’s improvement.


Thur les-Sarsfields lived up to their pre-match favourites tag when they defeated Drom-lnch by 1-17 to 0-15 in the final at Semple Stadium on October I6th. In an entertaining but not very exciting final before an attendance of nearly thirteen thousand spectators, the closeness of the scoring kept the spectators entertained. Right up to about ten minutes into second half the outcome lay in the balance but after that victory for the Blues became more inevitable. At half-time Thurles led by 1-9 to 0-9, the goal coming in the eighth minute when the Drom-lnch goalkeeper let the ball slip between his fingers into the net. It came after Drom-Inch had cleared a few earlier more dangerous attacks and it put Thurles into the driving seat. Drom- lnch succeeded in reducing the margin to one point early in the second half, but they could never quite obliterate it, and Thurles went on to a well-deserved five-point victory. Drom-lnch kept in touch by some fine scoring from Seamus Butler, who emerged from the game with a personal tally of eleven points. Equally important to Sarsfields was the contribution of six points from Johnny Enright, as well as the three points scored and the leadership given by captain , Ger 'Redser’ O'Grady. The victory came as a huge relief to the club, their first in thirty-one years, and after the loss of four finals. For Drom-lnch there was consolation of getting further than most peoples expectations. Before their game against Borrisoleigh in the quarter-final they were quoted at 12-1, as complete outsiders for ultimate honours. But they continued to box above their weight and made it to the final in impressive style.

Thurles Sarsfileds: Patrick McCormack, Brendan O'Sullivan, Gary Mcmagh, Tom King, Stephen Lillis (0-1 ), Brendan Carroll, John Lawlor , Eddie Enright (0:I), Wayne Cully (1-2), Johnny Enright (0 -6), Ger O‘Grady (0-3), (capt.). Jim Corbett, Richie Ruth (0-3) Lar Corbett. Pat Lawlor (0-1). Subs: Stephen Mason for Stephen Lillis, Patrick Bourke for Pat Lawlor, Eoin Costello for Richie Ru1h, Eamon Walsh for Lar Corbett, Lee Shanahan for Tom King. Also: Jim Mackey, Kieran O'Connor, Shane Ryan, Aidan Dundon. Tommy Collins, David O'Dwyer, Tony Connolly. John Connors, Eoin Russell, Mickey Collins. Brian Graydon, Jamie Murphy , David Keams, Barry O'Dwyer.

Coach: Ger Cunningham.

Selectors: Tommy Maher Ger Corbett.

Drom Inch: Damien Young (capt.), Michael Costello, Eamon Buckley, Edward Costello, Donnach~Kennedy, Paul Ryan, Thomas Cantwell, Padraig Butler, James Woodlock (0-2), Micheal Butler (0-1 ), Macdara Butler, Matthew Ryan, Kevin Butler , Seamus Butler (0- 11 ), Seamus Callanan. Subs: Paul Collins for Kevin Butler, Liam Brett for Seamus Callanan, Frankie McGrath for Macdara Butler, Paddy Kennedy for Paul Ryan, Martin Butler for Donnacha Kennedy. Also: Johnny Ryan, James Kennedy, Enc Woodlock, Liam Kennedy, Edward Kinane, Paul Stapleton, Seamus Cahill, Declan Ryan, Jonathan O' Connor, Brian Costello, Michael Cantwell.

Coach: Paudie Butler. Manager: Martin Everard.

Selectors: Matt McGrath, Martin Fahy.

Referee: Brian White (Clonmel).

Man of the Match award: Seamus Butler (Drom-lnch).

There was a relegation element to the county championship. The bottom team in each of the four groups in the first round robin contested the relegation. There were semi-finals and finals, and the results were as follows:


Semple Stadium, Sept. 3rd: Clonoulty -Rossmore 0-16 Holycross-Ballycahill 1- 1 0

Semple Stadium, Sept. 9th: J. K. Brackens 1-15 Templedeny Kenyons 1-14


The Ragg , Sept. 17th: Holycross-Ballycahill 1-21 Templederry Kenyons 1-10. Templederry relegated to intermediate grade.

Senior Hurling Championship 2005

Results at a Glance

Quarter Finals:

Semple Stadium, September I7th:

Nenagh Eire Og 4-16 Cappawhite 2-11. Referee: Johnny Ryan (Boherlahan-Dualla)

Loughmore-Castleiney 4-13 Killenaule 1-18. Referee: John Cleary (Knockshegowna)

Thurles Sarsfields 1-20 Toomevara 1-16. Referee: Paddy Russell (Emily)

Semple Stadium, September 24th

Drom-lnch 1-8 Borrisoleigh 1-4. Referee: Brian Whiite (Clonmel)


Semple Stadium, October 2nd

Drom-lnch 2- 17 Nenagh Eire Og 0-14. Referee: Richie Barry (Cappawhite)

Thurles Sarsfields 2-19 Loughmore-Castleiney 2- 14. Referee: Johnny McDonnell (Roscrea) ·


Semple Stadium , October 16th.

Thurles Sarsfields 1-17 Drom Inch 0-15. Referee: Brian White (Clonmel)

<span class="postTitle">A Great Year for Rosegreen</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, p 187

A Great Year for Rosegreen

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, p 187


Rosegreen will recall 2004 as one of the greatest years in the history of the club. They achieved something never achieved before when they won their first adult county final. And, it might very well have been a double. The county final success came in junior A football, and the near miss in junior B hurling.
At the commencement of the year the club targeted some football success. They had won divisional honours in 2003 only to be denied a crack at a county title because of Fethard's refusal to accommodate a request for a postponement in the county semi-final. As a result Rosegreen gave a walkover though convinced they were good enough to qualify for a county final.
2004 was the year to make amends. The early part of the divisional football championship was played on a league basis. Rosegreen came through with flying colours, defeating Aherlow by 1-7 to 1-6, Clonoulty-Rossmore by 1-14 to 0-1, Solohead by 2-8 to 1-8, Cappawhite by 1-14 to 0-9, and Rockwell Rovers by 2-14 to 0-9.
This clean sweep got them to the West semi-final in which they had an easy enough victory over Rockwell Rovers, by 0-13 to 1-4. The final against Cappawhite was a different matter, and it took extra time to achieve victory by 1 -12 to 1-9.
Their opponents in the county semifinal were Drom-lnch, and they beat them by 1-9 to 1-4 at Dundrum. This gave them a final meeting with Commercials at Fethard. In this game they led by 0-8 to 0-2 early in the second half, and seemed set for glory. But, it was Commercials who got the bit between the teeth and scored six points without reply during the remaining period. The final score was 0-8 each.
The replay was at the same venue on December 4. On this occasion Rosegreen made no mistake and won by 1-9 to 0-8, thanks to a wonderful performance by all the players, but particularly to two outstanding saves by goalkeeper, John O'Grady.
The winning team was as follows: John O'Grady , T. J. Phelan, Robert O' Brien, Vinny Downey, Aidan Lonergan, Ryan Hennessy, Mark Harnett, James Walsh, Ger Looby, John Walsh, Joe Hennessy, Liam Sherlock, Trevor Downey, Eddie Walsh, Tom Shelly.
Subs: Fintan Ryan, David Quirke , David Brennan, Michael Corcoran, Frank Culleton, John Hennessy, Thomas Manton, Eoin McGrath, Steven O' Brien, Pakie Hallissey, Tony Corcoran.
The junior B hurling side didn't have as smooth a passage to the county final. In the league section of the divisional champion ship they drew with Solohead, 1-10 each in the first round, defeated Sean Treacy's by 1-14 to 1-11, and Golden-Kilfeacle by 2-13 to 1-4, lost to Eire Og by 5-12 to 3-5, and got a walkover from Arravale Rovers.
In the semi-final they drew with Eire Og, 0-11 to 2-5, but reversed the league result in the replay, winning by 2-16 to- 3-9. They had a convincing win over Sean Treacy's in the final, winning by 4- 14 to 3-9.
Rosegreen began to be noticed outside the club when they defeated Dromlnch by 2-11 to 0-13 in the county semifinal at Drombane. They scored a goal and a point in the last minute to win by four points. However, they failed at the last hurdle in the final , which was played at Templemore on November 28. The concession of five goals was more than the team could bear and they lost to Kilruane MacDonaghs by 1-7.
The team was as follows: Fintan Ryan, David Quirke, Liam Manton, Robert O'Brien, Aidan Lonergan, Michael Corcoran, Daniel Ryan, Ger Looby, Liam Sherlock, John O'Grady, Pakie Hallissey, Eddie Walsh, Cormac Ryan, Thomas Manton, Tom Shelly.
Subs: T. J. Phelan, Timmy Mo1oney, Frank Culleton, David Brennan, Steven O'Brien, Vinny Downey, Trevor Downey, Tony Corcoran.

As welI as the members of the two panels - and there was quite a cross-over of players between the two – there were others who contributed to the success of the club. Pride of place has to go to Pakie Hallissey who as coach imposed a discipline on the players and got the commitment and dedication to training required to bring success. Also important were the selectors Pat Cormack, Michael Fanning and John Walsh.

One has also to include the other back-up people in the club. For four players, the county final win was the culmination of many years of endeavour. Liam Sherlock, Michael Corcoran, Tom Shelly and John O'Grady played on the successful minor B team that achieved county success as far back as 1991. The thirteen years wait for a second county title was worth every minute of it.
The history books will include the name of Rosegreen as county junior A football champions of 2004. The bare syayistic will never be able to represent what a huge achievement it was for a small club, and what wonderful satisfaction and unbounded joy the victory gave to the players and everyone associated with it.



<span class="postTitle">Cashel King Cormac’s 1953 County Champions: A Major Breakthrough</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, p 69

Cashel King Cormac’s 1953 County Champions: A Major Breakthrough

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, p 69


Cashel King Cormac's victory in the 1953 county junior hurling final was a major breakthrough for the club. It was the first victory at that level, and it came as a surprise to many.

No Cashel team had won county honours in hurling or football before that year. The nearest a team from the parish came to winning was in 1910. In that year Racecourse won the county senior hurling final, but they had the match taken off them in an objection.

After the match the Racecourse captain, Dan Delaney, was interviewed and said: 'We went in to win. We are proud to be champions of Tipperary and to bring honours to Cashel.'

Toomevara objected, and Racecourse counter-objected. The matter was heard at a county board meeting on March 19. Both sides agreed to a replay, and this was fixed for Thurles on April 16. Racecourse decisively defeated Toomevara in the replay by 5-2 to 0-3.

Toomevara objected to the constitution of the Racecourse team. The objection claimed that certain players had lined out with other affiliated teams in the 1910 championship. One of these was Johnny Leahy. Racecourse denied the allegation but the chairman, Tom Kerwick, upheld it and awarded the match to Toomevara.

The verdict didn't go down well in Cashel. The correspondent of the 'Tipperary Star' commented: 'On the last occasion Racecourse won by fourteen points. In the face of this Toomevara will hardly claim to be the champion team of Tipperary. Such a claim would be preposterous, and medals for 'paper champions' would be ridiculous.'  But 'paper champions' or not, Toomevara are listed as the county senior hurling champions for 1910.

The 1953 Cashel King Cormacs County Junior Hurling Champions, pictured in the old G.A.A. grounds in Tipperary Town prior to their championship game with Solohead.  Front L/R. Mick Coady, Jim Ryan, Johnny Murphy, John Murphy, John Eakins, Mickey Murphy, Denis Hickey, Michael Gayson, Paddy O'Brien, Matty Gayson, Jim Devitt. Back L/R. Tom Devitt, Ger Ryan, Peter Looby, Christy Stack, Steedy Morrissey, Billy Hickey, Tom Twomey, Michael Davern, Monto Carrie, Dick lvors, Tommy Joy, Edger Morrissey, Michael Ryan, Tommy Prendergast.

The 1953 Cashel King Cormacs County Junior Hurling Champions, pictured in the old G.A.A. grounds in Tipperary Town prior to their championship game with Solohead.

Front L/R. Mick Coady, Jim Ryan, Johnny Murphy, John Murphy, John Eakins, Mickey Murphy, Denis Hickey, Michael Gayson, Paddy O'Brien, Matty Gayson, Jim Devitt. Back L/R. Tom Devitt, Ger Ryan, Peter Looby, Christy Stack, Steedy Morrissey, Billy Hickey, Tom Twomey, Michael Davern, Monto Carrie, Dick lvors, Tommy Joy, Edger Morrissey, Michael Ryan, Tommy Prendergast.


Cashel King Cormacs had a great run of victories in the thirties. The club won a West junior title in 1933, and senior in 1934, 1936, 1937, 1939 and 1940.  They reached the county final in 1937, 1939 and 1940, losing all three of them. Their opponents in 1937 were Moycarkey- Borris and the match was played at Thurles on September 19. It was described as the best county final for
eight years, with Cashel putting up a tremendous bid for the title. Michael Burke was the star and Tommy Parsons scored four goals, but Moycarkey still won by 7-6 to 6-2.

In 1939 Cashel came up against Thurles Sarsfields in the final, having beaten Rescrea in the semifinal. The game was played at Boherlahan on October 8, and again Cashel fell at the final hurdle despite putting up a better than expected performance. The final score was 5-3 to 2-4, and Cashel players, who were prominent, included Michael Burke, Stedie Morrisey, Florrie McCarty, Jim Barrett, Paddy Maher, and Geoff O'Shea.

Moycarkey Borris were once again Cashel’s opponents in the 1940 final, which was played at Thurles on October 13. One report had this to say: "The game was proof once again – if proof is needed – that the town team is at a big disadvantage when it faces fifteen tillers of the soil. Ball manipulation, quick striking and nippy playing, beautiful things in themselves, fail, more often than not, before rugged, sturdy style which has allied to it skill and field craft. One felt on Sunday that all the time the dice were loaded against Cashel, that Moycarkey’s natural advantage in weight and strength would prove Castle's undoing.  And so it was.”  Cashel were behind 4-7 to 4-2 at the end.  The team was: D. Boland, M. McCarthy, F. McCarty, P. Holmes, S. Morrisey, P. Maher, D. Ryan, M. Burke, G. O'Shea, J. Barrett, M. Ryan, W. Moynihan, E. Morrisey, M. Murphy, J. Maher.

Cashel seniors won the West twice during the 40s, 1945 and 1948. In the earlier year they lost by 5-7 3-3 to Roscrea in the county semifinal at Thurles on October 21. In the latter year they lost to Lorrha, 2-4 to 2-3 in the county semifinal at the same venue on December 19. Cashel got a £10 training grant from the West board for this game.


The junior team, which won the West in 1933, left the county semifinal to Bawnmore.  Abbey Rangers, a team from the parish came into existence in 1941, and lasted until 1949, won the divisional number 1 junior championship in 1945, but did not advance in the county championship, which wasn't played, as it had been suspended for some of the war years.

Cashel minor teams enjoyed divisional success in 1931, 1940, 1949, and 1952. In 1931 and 1940 divisional teams went forward to the County championship. In 1949 there was no inter- divisional championship. There is no record of advancement beyond the divisional state in 1952. 

By 1953, therefore, Cashel had failed to win a county final in any grade, with the exception of 1910, when a county senior hurling title was taking off Racecourse after winning it twice! There was no reason to believe in the beginning of the year that 1953 was going to change anything.  And yet did, in a dramatic way.


<span class="postTitle">The County Senior Hurling Championship (2004)</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, pp 51-53

The County Senior Hurling Championship (2004)

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, pp 51-53


Toomevara reaffirmed their status as the dominant force in Tipperary hurling, when they captured their ninth county senior title since 1992 with a deserved six-point victory over the combination of Golden-Kilfeacle and Eire Og, Anacarty at Thurles on October 10. Even though the game wasn't as one-sided as many of the pundits predicted, with the sides level at half-time, there was never any doubt about the final outcome.

Paddy O'Brien receives the Dan Breen Cup from County Board Chairman Donie Shanahan. On the left is Aoife Campion, representing the sponsors Cidona.

Paddy O'Brien receives the Dan Breen Cup from County Board Chairman Donie Shanahan. On the left is Aoife Campion, representing the sponsors Cidona.

There was a new kind of county championship for 2004. For the past number of years attempts have been made to give players more guaranteed games, and a format was devised this year of having a league-championship.

The county Games Development Committee devised a structure, which divided the teams into an A and a B section, with greater privileges for the A teams. This caused a furore among the B teams, sent them into a huddle, and they came up with their own version of a league- championship, which eventually got county board sanction.

The system devised was one of six groups, five containing four teams, and the sixth having five. They played off on a league basis with the top team in each group going forward to meet the winners of the divisional championships. Since this system produced ten teams, two too many for quarter finals, a scheme had to be devised to eliminate two of them. This was done by allowing the team that headed the five-team group into the quarter-finals, plus one of the other five, drawn from the hat.

Before the championship came to be played in May, there was a separate county league of three divisions of eight teams each. (The twenty-fifth senior team in the county, Cashel King Cormac's, declined to participate.)  Each group was divided into two sections, giving each team at least three games.

The top two teams played off for the winner . The divisions were called the Premier, Division 2 and Division 3, and there was a trophy for every winner.

Nenagh Eire Og won the Johnny Ryan Cup for the Premier Division, Borrisoleigh the Jim Devitt Cup for winning Division 2 and Drom Inch got the Canon Fogarty Cup for winning Division 3.


The league championship commenced in May, with regular games Sunday after Sunday. It ran reasonably smoothly and by early June had produced winners, through score difference where there were ties on points.  Mullinahone came through in the five-team group, and the other winners were Holycross-B llycahill, Toomevara, Moneygall, Drom Inch and Thurles Sarsfields. Holycross-Ballycahill drew the long straw and became the second team to go straight into the quarter-finals. In the draw for the playoffs between the remaining four teams, Toomevara drew Moneygall, and Drom Inch drew Thurles Sarsfields. In the subsequent games Toomevara proved
too strong from Moneygall, winning by 1-1 7 to 1-12 at Cloughjordan on August 29, and an unfancied Drom Inch ousted Thurles Sarsfields by 1-22 to 0-21 at Templemore on the same day, to qualify for the remaining places in the county quarter-finals.

There was only one hitch in the smooth running of the league. Thurles Sarsfields were deprived of the chance of heading their group with the decision of Newport to withdraw from the league before they played Sarsfields. As a result Portroe, another team in the group, had the better score difference. Sarsfields objected on the grounds that the failure of Newport to play deprived them of the chance of improving their score difference, and appealed to Munster Council. The council upheld the appeal but referred it back to county board for resolution. The board decided on a play-off between the teams, which Sarsfields won .


Three of the divisional championships were played on August 22. First off the mark was the North division at Nenagh in the afternoon. In poor weather conditions Roscrea overcame the odds when they beat hot favourites, Borrisoleigh, by the slenderest of margins on a scoreline of
0-13 to 1-9. It was their first victory in twenty-four years.

That evening in the West final at Dundrum, there was another surprise.  The combined forces of Golden Kilfeacle and Eire Og, Anacarty, who had performed so poorly in their first round match, overcame favourites, Clonoulty-Rossmore, in an engrossing second-half, with a point from a Conor O' Brien free, well into added time. The final score was 2-12 to 1-14.

On the same evening at Kilsheelan there was no surprise in the South final. Mullinahone confirmed their status as favourites, when the defeated Killenaule by 2-12 to 0-9, to take their third successive tit le in atrocious weather conditions .

The Mid final, played a week later at the Ragg, ended in a draw when Ger Flanagan pointed a controversial 65, three minutes into injury time to give Boherlahan-Dualla a draw with 1-10 to 0- 13 for Loughmore-Castleiney. Loughmore-Castleiney made no mistake in the replay at Semple Stadium on September 5. Much was expected of this game, but Loughmore Castleiney hit the ground running, were nine points up in ten minutes, 2-8 to 0- 6 in front at the interval, and convincing winners by 3-19 to 2-7.


Because Mullinahone were league winners, as well as divisional champions, they had no quarter-final opponents, and received a bye into the semi-final. Two of the quarter-finals were played on September 5. At Cashel the Combo, as they were now better known than Golden-Eire Og , continued to surprise when they defeated Drom Inch by 1-15 to 1-14. They led by 1-9 to 1-5 at the interval, but it took an injury- time point by David Fogarty from a fifty yard free to give them their one point victory.

On the same day at Templemore, Roscrea ousted Holycross-Ballycahill with a convincing 1-18 to 0-13 victory.  The winners held a four-point advantage, 1-9 to 0-8, at the interval.

The third quarter-final was played at Templemore on Tuesday, September 21.  (The choice of date was to give the winners five days before the semi-final.) A fine crowd turned up for this eagerly awaited clash, but it turned out to be a tough, dour encounter rather than a classic contest. Although they had the breeze in their favour in the first half, Loughmore-Castleiney led by only three points, 0-8 to 0-5, at the interval. They continued to hold their own for the early part of the second half, but then Toomevara took over and Loughmore went for fifteen minutes without scoring. At the end of this period Toomevara were three points in front, and they held on to win by 1-12 to 0-13.


The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on All- Ireland football Sunday, with a midday start. In the first of these the Combo continued to excite their supporters. They won comfortably even though there were only three points between them and Roscrea at the finish. Two late goals put a gloss on the North champions' performance. The Combo led by 2-9 to 0-5 at the interval, and were in front by 2-17 to 4-8 at the final whistle, the two goals coming from
veteran, John Quinn.

Toomevara proved too good for a disappointing Mullinahone, who seemed to lack a competitive edge. The game was really wrapped up with two goals from Toomevara, by Francis Devanney and Willie Ryan, on each side of half-time. The first of these gave the winners a 1-13 to 0-6 interval lead, and the second put them thirteen points ahead of the South champions. The latter brought the difference back to five points during the second half, but that was as good as they did and finished 2-19 to 2-14 adrift.


And so to the final, and the unlikely meeting of regular champions, Toomevara, and the team that were a hundred to one shot after their first round defeat. The Greyhounds were the hottest of favourites and few gave any chance to the Combo, in spite of the fact that they lived up to their West title showing by taking the scalps of Drom Inch and Roscrea on their way to the final.

All the doomsday scenario of the pundits seemed to be justified when the Combo found themselves in arrears of seven points after eight minutes, after the concession of two goals. But, they fought back in heroic fashion to draw level with Toomevara, 2-5 to 1-8 at half-time. However, they were hit by another body blow within thirty seconds of the resumption, when captain, man of the match , and leading scorer, Paddy O'Brien, had the ball in their net. For the remainder of the game The Toomevara men were dominant , confining the Combo to four points and a consolation goal in the third minute of injury time.  The final score was 4-12 to 2-12 in favour of a team that were winning a sixth county crown in seven seasons. For the Combo there was only the memory of the fighting first half, and the consolation that they hadn't been disgraced.

Toomevara Manager Sean Hehir congratulates Justin Cottrell after County Final win.

Toomevara Manager Sean Hehir congratulates Justin Cottrell after County Final win.

Eoin Brislane Toomevara examines his options in the Cidona Senior Hurling Final

Eoin Brislane Toomevara examines his options in the Cidona Senior Hurling Final

The winning team were as follows: Justin Cottrell, John Boland , Tony Delaney, Philip Shanahan, Terry Dunne, Benny Dunne (0-1 ), David Young, Padraig Hackett, Eoin Brislane (1-2), Ken Dunne (0-2), Francis Devanney (0-1 ), Tommy Dunne (1-2), Michael Bevans (0- 1 ), Paddy O'Brien (capt.), (2-3), Willie Ryan, Subs: Byron Duff for A. Shanahan, Barry Dunne for Terry Dunne, Denis Kelly for Ryan, Kevin Cummins for Bevans, Andrew Ryan for Hackett, James McGrath, David Kennedy, Brian McCormack, John Delaney,. Paddy Tuohy, Tomas O’Meara, John Kinirons, Stephen O’Meara.  
Referee: Willie Clohessy (Drom Inch)
Selectors: Sean Hehir (Manager ), Bartie Sherlock (Coach), Matt O'Meara, Sean Maxwell, Ned Murphy (Physio), John Tuohy (First Aid). 
Attendance: 8,300.



October 10, Semple Stadium
Toomevara 4-12, Golden-Eire Og 2-12
Referee: Willie Clohessy (Drom Inch)


September 26,Semple Stadium
Golden-Eire 6g: 2-17, Roscrea 4-8
Referee: Seamus Roche (Kilsheelan)
Toomevara 2-19, Mullinahone 2-14
Referee: John Ryan (Cashel)


September 21, Templemore:
Toomevara 1-12,
Loughmore-Castleiney 0-13
Referee: Willie Barrett (Ardfinnan)

September 5, Templemore:
Roscrea 1-18,
Holycross-Ballycahill 0-13
Referee: Richie Barry (Cappawhite)
September 5, Cashel:
Golden-Eire 6g 1-15, Drom Inch 1-14
Referee: Noel Cosgrove (Marlfield )

(Because Mullinahone were league and championship winners, they got a bye to the semi-final.)


The final of the relegation section was played at Nenagh on October 3, with John Ryan (Boherlahan) as referee. The result was Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-13 Newport 7-6. 

The intermediate final was won by Kildangan, who defeated Moycarkey-Borris in the final. Kildangan will play in senior ranks in 2005.)




<span class="postTitle">Recent G.A.A. Publications (2004)</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, p 193

Recent G.A.A. Publications (2004)

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2005, p 193


This column has been flagging the immediate publication of the Galtee Rovers G.A.A. Story for some years now. It has had the longest gestation period of any book I know, but I believe I can now give you the expected date of arrival, 2006! That is according to author, Seamus McCarthy, and fellow Galtee Rovers man, John Moloney. That year will see the publication of the book plus the official opening of the new reconstructed G.A.A. field in the parish.

There wasn't much of in the line of local publications during the year. I should like to draw attention to a number of books that will have a wider interest.

Croke Park -A History
by Tim Carey, a former curator of the G.A.A. Museum at headquarters, is a book of outstanding pictures and a fine evocative cover. Published by the Collins Press in large format, it runs to 200 pages and retails for €30.

One of the earliest photographs is of the Arravale Rovers football team in the Dr. Croke Cup football final, Jones's Road, on June 13th, 1897. It is taken from a contemporary supplement to the 'Gaelic News' , and is of outstanding quality. It is captioned as 'the earliest known team photograph from Jones's Road.'

There's an interesting juxtaposition of photographs on pages 44 and 45. In the first Eamon de Valera is throwing in a football at the start of a match there in April 1919, and in the second Michael Collins is doing the honours with a sliotar.

The book contains a detailed account of Bloody Sunday with a full-page photo of Michael Hogan of Grangernockler.

There is good coverage of the Tailteann Garnes in 1924, which, we are told , were followed by a Rodeo.

There is much, much more, and the many pictures and the text are interspersed by memories of great players, who played there. Interestingly the first game that D. J. Carey played in Croke Park was in football for Kilkenny Schools under-12 team in 1982.

Finally, the history tells us about the record crowd of 90,556 at the Offaly Down All -Ireland football final in 1961.  The gates closed at 1-45, locking out between 25,000 and 30,000 more trying to get in. Mind boggling!


From Dun Sion to Croke Park
Micheal O Muircheartaigh's autobiography, 'From Dun Sion to Croke Park' tells of his progress from his Kerry birthplace to his established place in Irish broadcasting. Published by Penguin Ireland, the book contains 257 pages and retails for €22.99.

One day in 1949, Micheal took part in a competition at Croke Park for an Irish-language commentator's job. He was just eighteen and had never seen a hurling match in his life, but he got the job, and the rest is broadcasting history.

He tells us that he set out to be him self in the interview, rather than ape existing broadcasters, and it worked .

He learned about hurling and came to admire the majestic technique of Christy Ring. He also writes about his love of greyhounds and golf, and the pictures include one of him in Augusta.

The book is as easy to read, as Micheal is to listen to, and is dedicated to the memory of Cormac McAnallen, the young Tyrone footballer, who died in March 2004.


I Crossed the Line - The Liam Dunne Story

Probably the most exciting book on a G.A.A. theme is 'I Crossed the Line - The Liam Dunne Story' with Damian Lawlor. Damian is the G.A.A. correspondent for the ‘Daily 'Star', and a
native of Kilruane MacDonaghs.

The book is a page turner from chapter 1: ' It's a story that needs to be told. I want to give you a look beyond the tunnell, an insight into what 16 turbulent years as an inter-county hurler were like, how you can isolate those close to you and instead build a life to revolve around sport. The game has thrown everything at me, good, bad and ugly.

Most of it has been my own doing too.  But not all of it. It's time to get some stuff off my chest.'

And that's exactly what Liam Dunne has done . He goes through his hurling life, faces up to his indulgence in alcohol, to his three successive sendings-off in championship hurling , his descent into hell and his redemption. The story is a great one, greatly helped by the writing skills of Damian Lawlor. The book, published by Sliabh Ban Publications, retails for €14.99

Cashel King Cormac's - County Junior Hurling Champions 1953

A much different kind of pub lication is a sixteen-page booklet entitled 'Cashel King Cormac's - County Junior Hurling Champions 1953', produced by the club in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of that historic occasion, that saw the club win its first county title. Apart from presenting a history of the games and the people that played them in that year, the book also includes some pictures taken at the presentation of medals in the old Town Hall. These add enormously to the value of the publication. It is available from the club for €5.

As welI as the above mentioned there are a number of other publications worth recording. Match programmes for division and county senior finals, as well as the county intermediate final, are well wort h keeping. Also divisional and county convention reports amass between their covers an amazing amount of relevant material. This year's county senior hurling final program included a four-page spread on the Thurles Sarsfields team that won the 197 4 county final.


<span class="postTitle">Recent G.A.A. Publications (2003)</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2004, pp 51-53

Recent G.A.A. Publications (2003)

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2004, pp 51-53


The number of G.A.A. publications for review in this article is small in comparison with other years, but they make up in quality what they lack in quantity. Pride of place must go to 'Kickhams: Gaelic Games in Knockavilla and Donaskeigh' by J.J. Kennedy, P.R.O. of the West division since 1982 and contributor of a G.A.A. commentary column to the Nationalist, under the penname "Westside" for a good number of years.

The history of Gaelic games in the parish of KnockaviIla and Donaskeigh is a high quality work of over 400 pages. One of the many things in the book that caught my attention is to be found under the heading of 1935. The big story in that year was one of unity at last, as the existing teams of Knockavilla, Donaskeigh and Dundrum coalesced into the one club that would represent the entire parish for the future.

And what was that club called! Yes, you've guessed: Kickhams! Not Knockavilla Kickhams, or Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams, but Kickhams. I have been preaching this for some time, but newspapers, program makers and a varied assortment of people have been calling the club by other names for many years. So, maybe people will start calling the club by the right name now that the authority on the history of the club has spoken.

According to the author, the famous meeting that heralded the arrival of Kickhams is said to have taken place in the newly built chaplain's house at the Convent Cross, an appropriate place within striking distance of Dundrum, Knockavilla and Donaskeigh.

The event wasn't reported and no minutes of the meeting remain in existence, but, according to the author, anecdotal evidence suggests that the list of those who attended included, Sean O'Dwyer, later West chairman, Jerry O'Dwyer, later West secretary, Willie O'Dwyer, Mick Ryan (B), Gerard O'Dwyer (Managh), Paddy Cleary, Con McCarthy, Paddy Morrissey.  An impressive line-up indeed.

As the three teams that coalesced in 1935 indicates, there was a G.A.A. life in the parish before that date. The book contains two chapters, which cover the history of the games in Knockavilla Donaskeigh, from the foundation of the G.A.A. up to 1930, when the West board was formed. The interesting thing is that the first chapter is called. "The Time of the Football", and it reflects the fact that football was the first game of the parish in the early days of the G.A.A., an era that subsequently became known in the parish as the time of the football. So, as the author points out, when the Kickham club was promoted to senior football for the first time ever in 1997 following the county intermediate win in 1996 it was in fact returning to its roots. The first official championship won by any team from the parish was a Mid junior football title, won
by Dundrum in 1927.

At the launch of the Kickhams Club History, left to right: Tom Hayes (Secretary), Seamus O'Dwyer (Chairman), Peter Quinn (who launched the book), J.J. Kennedy (author), Donal Shanahan (County Chairman), Sean Fogarty (Vice Chairman, Munster Council) and James O'Donnell (West Board Chairman)

At the launch of the Kickhams Club History, left to right: Tom Hayes (Secretary), Seamus O'Dwyer (Chairman), Peter Quinn (who launched the book), J.J. Kennedy (author), Donal Shanahan (County Chairman), Sean Fogarty (Vice Chairman, Munster Council) and James O'Donnell (West Board Chairman)

In the course of time Kickhams became a hurling club predominantly and had a most successful period between the midforties and 1960. During this period twelve divisional championships were won and, on the night of the launch – and what a great night it was with the hugely impressive past-president of Cumann Luthchleas Gael, Peter Quinn, doing the honours - the players who brought such honour to the club during that period were honoured. 

Pride of place in the distinguished company went to John Farrell, Co. Chairman; Sean Fogarty, the only player to win all twelve, plus five divisional minor titles in the preceding years.

Following that golden age the club declined and, even though juvenile success started to come in the eighties, it took a long time to be translated into senior success. This happened in 1997, when the club captured their first senior divisional championship in the space of thirty- seven years.

All of this is recorded by J. J. Kennedy in this book. The publication must be a model for all other writers of club histories. It is comprehensive and concise, containing all the information required without long-winded or boring accounts of matches long gone. J.J. has incorporated short excerpts from contemporary newspaper accounts to add flavour to his narrative. The appendices include a list of all divisional winning teams plus the club's roll of honour. If a fault is to be found in this excellent publication it might be the shortage of pictures. There is a good scattering of them through the text but in a visual age more would have been desirable. I can understand that the author was constrained by those at his disposal, especially in the earlier part of the book.

Overall, though, J. J. Kennedy has done his club an enormous service. He has produced a work of quality that is a delight to read, even for one from outside the parish. He has brought to the work a thorough knowledge of Gaelic games in the area plus a wonderful facility with language, which has allowed him to give us a most readable account of the history of the games in the parish of Knockavilla and Donaskeigh.  The book is w rth much more than the €20 asking price.

Celtic Times

The publication of a facsimile edition of Celtic Times, Michael Cusack's Gaelic Games Newspaper, by the Clasp Press, Ennis in conjunction with Comhairle na Mumhan , CLG, is an historical event.

Cusack published the paper during 1887 and it was revolutionary at the period, devoted as it was to sport. It was mostly produced by Cusack himself, with reports of athletic events and G.A.A. matches fed from a wide range of correspondents around the country . Events in County Tipperary are well covered in the paper, and in great detail as well. Cusack also used to paper to pronounce on whatever was bugging him at the time in the sporting area. Remember, he had severed his link s with officialdom in the G.A.A. at this stage, but he used the paper to support
and encourage the playing of Ireland's native pastimes and athletics. At any rate the paper was " lost".  For years it was believed that no copy of the paper existed. In 1969, Clare man, Brendan
MacLua, who founded the " Irish Post", in London in that year, was given a file of Celtic Times, by Tommy Moore, a legendary G.A.A. figure, who ran a pub in Cathedral Street, Dublin. MacLua took the file to London and forgot, about it as he got his new paper off the ground. Years later he told a few people about it and Marcus de Burca used it when writing the biography of Cusack, which appeared in 1989. When the National Library heard of the file they asked MacLua to donate it. So also did the Clare County Library. Eventually MacLua donated it to Cusack's, and his own, native county with a microfilm copy going to the National Library.

How Tommy Moore got the only surviving copy of the paper remains a mystery. It appears it may have been the publisher's own copy, as the file is bound and hard-covered. Whereas it will remain a mystery for some time to come, it is now possible for anyone to have a hard-bound copy of the file. What Clasp Press have done is to produce an extraordinary fine facsimile with the front cover carrying the masthead of the Celtic Times, plus the familiar picture of the bearded Cusack.

The facsimile includes numbers 8-53 of the paper, running from February-December 1887. It is missing the first seven numbers and the final two. The paper disappeared in mid-January 1888, simply because it was no longer able to pay its way. Cusack himself admitted that the circulation had fallen from 20,000 a week in May to 10,000 in December.

The paper sold for 1d for the benefit of the younger there were 240 of them in a pound. If you wish to purchase the 42 issues in this facsimile they will cost you €75. Dear indeed, but for an insight into the mind of Cusack, as welI as information on the progress of the G.A.A. in the year 1887, as well as a wonderful historical curiosity , welI w rth the expenditure.

All About Hurling

On a totally different scale is a 32 page publication from O'Brien Press entitled simply All About Hurling. Written by Irene Barber, and supported by Cumann na mBunscoil, it's a delightful publication for primary school students. The table of contents gives us the flavour: 
1) the history of hurling, 
2) the hurley, 
3) the sliotar,
4) the Gaelic Athletic Association, 
5) the trophies, 
6) Croke Park, 
7) camogie, 
8) Mick Mackey, 
9) Christy Ring, 
10) D. J. Carey, etc. 
in all twenty-three chapters, imaginatively illustrated. 

A lovely contrast may be seen in two chapters entitled: Then, Now, showing the changes that have taken place in the games over the years. For sale: €7.95.

A quick look at three programmes that appeared during the year. The first has to be the county hurling final program, which contained a 12-page insert on the celebrations for the 1958-65 All-Ireland players.  This was a wonderful production which was collated by county P.R.O. Ed Donnelly. Sadly, not enough copies of the program were produced. Four thousand were printed on the expectation of a crowd of 8,000 but over 10,000 turned up. Some people were left short.

Tipperary Institute hosted the Fitzgibbon and Ryan finals this year, and, incidentally, won the Ryan. They produced a bumper program for the event, and some are still available from the college for €3.

Liam Hogan and Ed Don nelly produced an all-colour program for the Kilruane MacDonaghs-Burgess county intermediate final, and the junior hurling A final replay between Burgess and Fennellys on the weekend of November 22/23. A beautiful production, and a credit to the Nenagh Guardian, who did the print work , it will become a trophy for the Kilruane MacDonaghs, as it saw them return to senior ranks, as well as for the Fennellys, who achieved a rare victory at this level.

Too late for review the 'History of Camogie in Tipperary' by Martin Bourke and Seamus J. King was launched by Meadhbh Stokes, the first player to captain a Tipperary senior camogie team to All- Ireland honours, at the Templemore Arms on December 3.

Containing almost 700 pages and over 300 photographs, the book traces the history of camogie in the county from the foundation of An Cumann Camoguideachta in 1904 to the end of 2003. It deals particularly with the history from 1932 onwards, when the first county championship was played.

As well as giving a detailed account of the story of the game, the book also includes an extensive statistical section devoted to results, winning teams etc. There are also chapters on the game in primary and secondary schools, profiles of clubs, poems and ballads, obituaries.

Selling for €25 it should prove excellent value and be a handy present for Christmas. It is the second county history to be produced - Cork published theirs in 2000 - and just in time for the Centenary of the Camogie Association in 2004.

Launch of History of Camogie: Front row (from left): Maeve Stokes, Marion Graham, Miriam O'Callaghan, President Camogie Association, Mairin Ni Chearnaigh, Munster President; Anne Newe, Tipperary Leader. Back row (from left): Sean Fogarty, Vice-Chairman Munster Council; Donal Shanahan, Co. Chairman, G.A.A. , Seamus King and Martin Bourke, authors, Stephen Fitzgerald, Chairman, Camogie Board.

Launch of History of Camogie: Front row (from left): Maeve Stokes, Marion Graham, Miriam O'Callaghan, President Camogie Association, Mairin Ni Chearnaigh, Munster President; Anne Newe, Tipperary Leader. Back row (from left): Sean Fogarty, Vice-Chairman Munster Council; Donal Shanahan, Co. Chairman, G.A.A. , Seamus King and Martin Bourke, authors, Stephen Fitzgerald, Chairman, Camogie Board.

<span class="postTitle">Senior Hurling Championship 2003</span> Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2004, pp 21-25

Senior Hurling Championship 2003

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2004, pp 21-25


There was much speculation leading up to the county senior hurling final on October 12, the earliest date for the final to be played since 1994. Would the worm turn for Thurles Sarsfields and bring them their first victory at this level since 1974, also the last year they defeated Toomevara in the senior hurling championship, or would the Greyhounds, stung by their one point defeat by Mullinahone in the 2002 semi-final, which deprived them of a chance of five-in-a -row, bounce back?

The sides followed impressive paths to the final. The North representatives came through unscathed with an impressive tally of twelve goals and ninety-six points to their credit. They did have two close encounters, surviving by the minimum of margins in their early round clashes against Templederry and Borrisoleigh.  They found their rhythm after that and scored impressive victories, conceding only three goals and seventy five points in their six games.

At first sight Thurles Sarsfields' path was even more impressive. They scored fifteen goals and ninety-three points along the way. It wasn't plain sailing, however. They lost to Loughmore-Castleiney by four points in the Mid final, and they conceded ten goals and eighty-five points in their six games. In fact, after their defeat at the hands of the Mid champions, they weren't expected to be in the finalshake-up, but an impressive victory over Mullinahone in the county quarterfinal silenced their critics.


It was the second year of the new championship format, with a series of qualifiers for defeated divisional semifinalists, and relegation for first-round losers. The South were not involved in the latter, having only four teams, the minimum regarded as necessary for divisional viability. In the other divisions, the North supplied five teams, the Mid four, and Clonoulty-Rossmore from the West, for the relegation pot. After two preliminary rounds, four semi-finals and two finals, Silvermines and Moycarkey-Borris lost out to Portroe and Clonoulty-Rossmore respectively, and will play intermediate hurling next year. 

This year's intermediate champions will be promoted to senior ranks, thus reducing the number of senior teams to twenty-five. The final game between Clonoulty Rossmore and Moycarkey-Borris at Holycross was one of the games of the year, attracting a bumper crowd. It provided an outstanding performance from veteran, Declan Ryan, who was mostly responsible for his side's survival in senior ranks. One of his admirers said after the match: 'They should erect a monument to him.'


In this round the eight divisional semi-final losers played off to provide four teams to play the losers of the divisional finals. The result was even enough with one team from each division,
Killenaule, Cappawhite, Boherlahan- Dualla and Moneygall, coming through.

Meanwhile the divisional finals were played, which didn't impinge too much on the progress of the county championship.

In the Mid an early Loughmore Castleiney blast floored Thurles Sarsfields, giving the winners their ninth title since their first in 1983. Played at Templemore on August 24, the final score was 3-14 to 2-13. In the South Mullinahone defeated Ballingarry by 3-14 to 1-10 in a stormy final, which erupted into ugly scenes early in the second half. Played at Clonmel on August 31, the winners led by 2-6 to 0-7 at the interval and sent out a clear signal that they were on course for a county double.

Toomevara did sufficient to win the North final at Cloughjordan on September 7, defeating a defence-frail Nenagh Eire Og by 3-12 to 0-16 on a day of persistent rain. On the same day at Sean Treacy Park, Tipperary, it took a pointed free by Galtee Rovers' Pa Morrissey, deep into added time, to keep their hopes of a first title alive against Kickhams. The latter made a great revival in the second half. Behind by 0-7 to 0-2 at the interval, and having Vincent Kelly sent off early in the second half, their chances looked slim, but they put together a great performance after that, and almost snatched victory. The replay was held at Golden the following week and the men from Bansha reversed the pattern of the drawn game. Behind by 0-7 to 0-5 at the interval, they produced a second-half display that left Kickhams floundering. In the end they thoroughly deserved their 2-15 to 1-11 victory and their first senior hurling title.


In this round the first-round winners were pitted against the divisional runners- up. The four winners were Moneygall, Thurles Sarsfields, Kickhams and Nenagh Eire Og. Ballingarry were the only divisional runner-up to be beaten, losing out badly to Moneygall. In the local derby between Kickhams and Boherlahan, the West men came through.


The field had narrowed to eight teams by this stage, and the results brought two surprises. Moneygall came through against Mid champions, Loughmore Castleiney, having two points to spare on a scoreline of 1-13 to 1-11. Thurles Sarsfields surprised many with their defeat of Mullinahone, who were being set up as likely opponents for Toomevara in the final. The latter sent out a clear signal of their intentions in their defeat of Kickhams.


Three North teams, plus Thurles Sarsfields, made up the semi-final pairings at Semple Stadium on Saturday, September 27. The Toomevara-Moneygall clash was a close one until the final ten minutes, when an Eoin Brislane goal for Toomevara put some distance between the sides. Toomevara led by 1-8 to 0-9 at the interval, the goal coming from Ken Dunne just before the break, when he raced through from forty yards and sent an unstoppable shot past Sean McCormack in the Moneygall goals. At times during the game it looked as if Toomevara would pull away, but Moneygall kept coming back, and it was only in the final ten minutes that the winners eventually put light between them and their dogged opponents. It was Toomevara's 13th county semi-final since 1989, and their ninth victory.

In the second semi-final Thurles Sarsfields had to survive a late Nenagh Eire Og rally. Sarsfields started off lively and were ahead by 1-4 to 0-1 after eight minutes. Nenagh came into the game, helped by Michael Cleary's accurate free-taking, and the score was 1-11 to 0-9 in favour of Sarsfields at the interval.

Nenagh's best patch was after the resumption and by the fortieth minute they had taken the lead, 0-15 to 1-11, for the first time. The game remained level until the final quarter when Sarsfields gradually pulled ahead with a substantial lead. However, there was a final kick in Nenagh and, in the closing minutes, they scored two goals to leave only two points between the sides on a scoreline of 3-17 to 2-18.

Nenagh Eire Og team - North finalists and County semi-finalists. Back row left to right: John Flannery, Richie Flannery, Noel Moloney, Michael Hackett, Eddie Tucker, Declan O'Meara, Hugh Moloney, John Slattery. Seated: Michael Cleary, Brian Darcy, Kevin Tucker, Michael McNamara , Robbie Tomlinson, Eoin Fitzgibbon, John Kennedy.

Nenagh Eire Og team - North finalists and County semi-finalists. Back row left to right: John Flannery, Richie Flannery, Noel Moloney, Michael Hackett, Eddie Tucker, Declan O'Meara, Hugh Moloney, John Slattery. Seated: Michael Cleary, Brian Darcy, Kevin Tucker, Michael McNamara , Robbie Tomlinson, Eoin Fitzgibbon, John Kennedy.


And so to Semple Stadium two weeks and a day later for the final, played in unprecedented dry conditions.  Toomevara were the bookie's favourites but there was a sneaking hope that Sarsfields wouldn't lose out for the fourth year in a row. There was a parallel with the 1960 final, when Sarsfields, after winning five in a row, were dethroned by Toomevara. Was it possible that Sarsfields might do the dethroning on this occasion?

The story of the game is easily told. Toomevara came on to the field like a team inspired. They showed hunger, pace, combination and determination in contrast to a Sarsfields outfit that was strangely lethargic. Their new look side, which should have exuded the confidence gained at minor and under-21 level, was inexplicably subdued. 

Toomevara commanded the field, led by 2-10 to 0-5 at the interval and, with five minutes of normal time remaining, had nine points to spare, 3-17 to 1-14. Only at this stage did Sarsfields erupt with an effort worthy of a county final. In the final minutes they scored 2-2 to 0-2, and nearly created a huge shock. The final score was 3-19 to 3-16 in favour of Toom.

Action from the County Senior final - Ger "Redser" O'Grady (Thurles Sarsfields), Tony Delaney (Toomevara), Johnny Enright (Thurles Sarsfields), and Eoin Brislane (Toomevara).

Action from the County Senior final - Ger "Redser" O'Grady (Thurles Sarsfields), Tony Delaney (Toomevara), Johnny Enright (Thurles Sarsfields), and Eoin Brislane (Toomevara).

In the aftermath there were many questions to be asked, even if few were answered. Did Toom take their collective foot off the pedal when they enjoyed a nine point lead? Was Sarsfields' last eight minutes their 'true' form , or was it allowed by Toom's relaxation? What would have happened had Redser's 20 metre free not whizzed wide of the post? What had Sarsfields not conceded an easy, early goal? The answers don't really matter because they won't change the result.

Toomevara are champions for the fifth time in six years and they possess a team of enormous talent. Their achievement now has to be an All –Ireland club championship, otherwise they will never be regarded as a great team. The only consolation for Thurles Sarsfields has to be their final ten minutes. In that period they revealed what they are capable of doing, and they have the consolation of knowing that they almost snatched a draw from a team that appeared to have all the answers. However, they will have also to face up to the question of why they played so poorly for so long in their most important encounter of the year.

The Dunnes from Toomevara celebrate the County Final win, from left: Ken (with man of the match award), Benny, Terry, Barry and Tommy.

The Dunnes from Toomevara celebrate the County Final win, from left: Ken (with man of the match award), Benny, Terry, Barry and Tommy.


Toomevara - Justin Cottrell , Benny Dunne , George Frend, Philip Shanahan, Brian Duff, Tony Delaney , David Young, Terry Dunne (0-3), Ken Dunne (0-6), Paddy O'Brien {1-1 ), Eoin Brislane (0-3), John O'Brien (0-2), Michael Bevans (capt.), Thomas Dunne (1-0), Willie Ryan (0-1). 
Sub: John Boland for Duff. 
Other subs: Tomas O'Meara, Francis Devaney , Padraig Hackett, John Kinnirons, Kevin Cummins, Barry Dunne, Denis Kelly , Andrew Ryan, David Kennedy, Tommy Carroll, Ken Hall, Brian McGrath Ronan Tynan, Ciaran Fitzpatrick, Patrick Tuohy.

Thurles Sarsfields - Patrick McCormack, Brian O'Grady, Tommy Maher (capt.), Tony Connolly, Brendan O'Sullivan , Stephen Mason, Lee Shanahan, Eddie Enright (0-1), Wayne Cully (0-3), Johnny Enright (0-6), Ger O'Grady (0-2), Tony Ruth (0-3), Lar Corbett (2-1), Eoin Costello, Shane Ryan. 
Subs: Brendan Carroll for Mason, Seamus O'Shea for Connolly , Richie Ruth (1-0) for Ryan, Eamon Walshe for Costello.
Other subs: Ciaran Carroll , Tommy Collins, John Connors , Barry Dwyer, Aidan Dundon, John Lillis, Jamie Murphy, David O'Dwyer, Matthew O'Dowd, Gerry Spain, Conor Stapleton, Eamon Tuohy.
Referee : Seamus Roche (Kilsheelan).






Round 1 [Eight defeated Divisional semi-finalists]

Killenaule 0-18 Cashel 0-13  Fethard   31/8/03   Ref. W. Clohessy (Drom-lnch)
Cappawhite  5-16 Carrick Swans 1-8   Clonmel  6/9/03   Ref. J. Ryan (Cashel K.C.)
Boherlahan 4-18 Newport  0-10   Dolla   7/9/03   Ref. W. Barrett (Ardfinnan)
Moneygall  1-15 Upperchurch/D 0-12   Templemore   7/9/03   Ref. R. Barry (Cappawhite)


Round 2 [Divisional runners-up v Round 1 winners]

Moneygall 4-12 Ballingarry 0-8   Templemore   13/9/03   Ref. J. Ryan (Cashel)
Th. Sarsfields 3-12 Killenaule 1-14   Boherlahan   14/9/03   Ref. J. McDonnell (Roscrea)
Kickhams 3-9 Boherlahan 2-10   Cashel   14/9/03   Ref. J. Sweeney (Thurles)
Nenagh E. Og 6-15 Cappawhite 0-10   Newport   14/9/03   Ref. W. Clohessy (Drom-lnch )


Quarter-finals [Divisional winners v Round 2 winners]

Moneygall 1-13 Loughmore C  1-11   Templemore   20/9/03   Ref. R. Barry (Cappawhite)
Nenagh E. Og  2-15 Galtee Rovers 2-10   Templemore   20/9/03   Ref. J. Ryan [Boherlahan]
Th. Sarsfields 2-19 Mullinahone 2-11   Cashel   20/9/03   Ref. J. McDonnell (Roscrea)
Toomevara  2-21 Kickhams 1-11   Templemore   21/9/03   Ref. S. Roche (Kilsheelan)



Toomevara 2-19 Moneygall 0-16   S. Stadium   27/9/03   Ref. W. Clohessy (Drom-lnch)
Thurles Sarsfields 3-17 Nenagh E.Og 2-18   S. Stadium   27/9/03   Ref. N. Cosgrove (Marlfield )



Toomevara 3-19 Thurles Sarsfields 3-16   S. Stadium   12/10/03   Ref. S Roche (Kilsheelan)



Preliminary Round

Drom/lnch  1-15 Borrisoleigh 2-11   Templemore   25/08/03   Ref. W. Barrett (Ardfinnan)
Roscrea 0-21  Silvermines 0-13   Toomevara   27/08/03   Ref. M Cahill (Kilruane MacD)

Round 1 [Semi-finals]

[1] Borrisoleigh 0-21   Silvermines 0-9  Nenagh   04/09/03   Ref. J. Sweeney (Thurles)
[2] J.K. Brackens 1-14   Portroe 2-7   Dolla   24/08/03   Ref. E. Browne (Kickhams)
[1] Holycross  1-16   Moycarkey 1-14   Boherlahan   25/08/03   Ref. R. Barry (Cappawh ite)
[2] Templederry 2-15   Clonoulty  2-11   Borrisoleigh   30/08/03   Ref. D. Curtis (Thurles)


[1] Portroe  5-17   Silvermines 6-11   Nenagh   10/09/03   Ref. J. Ryan [Boherlahan]
[2] Clonoulty/R 1-15   Moycarkey/B  1-13   Holycross   21/09/03   Ref. W. Barrett (Ardf innan )



Premier Division

Toomevara 0-23 Thurles Sarsfields 0-13   Templemore  28/06/03   W.Barrett (Ardfinnan)

Division 1

MoneygalI 2-12  Borrisoleigh 1-14   Templemore  08/06/03   N. Cosgrave (Marfield)

Division 2

Portroe 3-14  Boherlahan/Dualla 1-12   Dolla   15/06/03   R.Barry (Cappawhite)

Division 3

Templederry 1-14 Drom-lnch 1-11   Borrisoleigh   06/09/03   A. Moloney (Cahir)

Intermediate Hurling League

Gortnahoe/Glengoole 3-12 Moyne-Templetuohy 0-17  Morris Park   04/09/03   P. Shelly (Killenaule)