6/11/08 Sean Gael Award for John Donovan by James Holohan
Down through the years there were many great players and administrators who gave outstanding service to their Club. With the passage of time their exploits would go unnoticed especially by the younger generation. Credit the County Board who some years ago set about rectifying this, with the initiation of a Scheme called the Sean Gael Awards to be presented to those veterans.
This week we salute our own John Donovan who was one of those who will have this honour bestowed on him. John came from Killurney and began learning the skills of gaelic games in the playground of the local National School. He had good company in the Coffey, Morrissey and Keyes families, and not forgetting Dick Strang, who were instrumental in putting our Club on an upward curve. He lined out with the Junior Hurling team in 1957 and for many years his best position was at midfield John’s motto was “pull first time and let the ball do the work” and he also adopted this approach to the football team very effectively.
Success on the field was slow to come. His persistence paid off in 1964 when he captained the team to win the South Title for the first time. In the County Semi Final they were unlucky to lose to the Donie Nealon led Burgess side who went on to easily win the Title. In the same year he also helped Kilsheelan to victory in the Junior Football championship. For some years after he was a permanent fixture on the team in both codes and also captained the 1970 Intermediate Hurling winning team.
When his career was over he turned to coaching and played a big part in further successes on the hurling field. He was also a Selector with the Kilsheelan Fethard combination namely St Augustines culminating in winning the South Senior Title in 1982 when they defeated the Mossie & Brian Carroll led St Mary’s side. John’s skills in coaching also went further afield and he went on the serve a number of Clubs in this capacity even outside the County.
Indeed, one could say, that John was a most versatile sportsman. In the early ‘60’s road walking races were very popular. Clonmel Athletic Club were the instigators. In his first race over an eleven mile circuit, from Clonmel to Kilsheelan and Gambonsfield and back to Clonmel he came home in 3rd place out of eighteen starters. Now bitten by the bug he took part in a twenty six mile event and was a clear winner. This was followed by a three day race which attracted a large number of competitors. John won two of the stages and at the end of the gruelling event he had twelve minutes to spare over his nearest rival. In the following years he travelled all over the country and in doing so he took home a large number of trophies.
Later still he took an interest in ladies football which was in its infancy and he formed a team locally which included girls from Killurney, Kilsheelan, Ballypatrick, Ballyneale and Killusty areas. John played his part in getting this sport on a firm footing in the County. When Tipperary won their first ever All Ireland Title in 1974 John was a Selector/Coach. He held similar positions when they repeated this success in 1975 and 1980. Once again John showed his versatility and was in great demand to referee matches both far and near.
Thankfully John is still hale and hearty and continues to farm in Thorneybridge. A great man to reminisce about those great days and he could talk into the night as if time stood still. From this small insight, it is quite obvious that he is a very worthy recipient. The presentation will take place at Bru Bru in Cashel on this Sunday 9th November at 6pm. Anybody who would like to attend this event should contact Miceal O Meara at 052 22929 immediately as tickets are limited. Congratulations John and enjoy the celebrations.
5/10/08 Kilsheelan has lost a great Gael – William Robinson by James Holohan
On Sunday morning 5th October, the inhabitants of Kilsheelan village and further afield woke up to hear the shocking news that William Robinson had passed away while on holiday abroad. William was born on 3rd April 1946, son of the late Tom & Biddy Robinson.
From an early age Gaelic games took a hold on him and it held a vice like grip on him throughout his all too short life. Living only a stone’s throw from the sportsfield where the seeds were sown as he pucked a sliothar and kicked football with his school friends, he quickly became a valued member of underage teams.
In 1966, a number of players from the Club including William played U/21 Football for Fethard under a gentleman’s agreement and they went on to achieve South and County honours. It should also be noted that William’s late brother Cyril was on the team as well and was a major contributor to the Club’s success in the following years. In that U/21 County Final William gave a tremendous display when scoring eight of the winner’s nine points, possibly William’s best ever display on the field of play. He soon caught the eye of the County Selectors and over the following years he played for the Junior and Senior teams. In 1971, he was on the Tipperary side that won the Division 2 National league Title. This day was extra special for Kilsheelan as Dick O’Gorman and Dick Strang were also on the team.
Arguably, the greatest day in William’s sporting life was on Sunday 17th November 1968 when Kilsheelan confounded the odds by defeating Ardfinnan to win their first County title in 35 years. He also had the honour of being Captain of the team. Four years later he was also on the team that regained the Title and in 1970 he played in the team that took the South Title.
William was no mean exponent with a hurley either and was part of the Club’s Divisional Junior success in 1980 followed by the Intermediate Title a year later. He also played Senior Hurling many times for the Kilsheelan-Fethard combination called St Augustines.
Football in the County had a special place in his heart. He also coached the County Junior and U/21 Football teams for a number of years. He was a coach with our Club teams on a regular basis and in fact he was a current Selector with our Intermediate team which has qualified for the County Semi Final. Over the years he found time to coach other teams in the Division.
William was a very able administrator. He took the role of Secretary of the Club in 1966 and remained in the post until 1974. Later still he became Treasurer of the Club. He went on to serve as Vice Chairman both of the Club and South Board and for a number of years was a member of the Appeals Committee.
He took up refereeing at a young age and little did we realise that he would be still involved in this area until his untimely passing. His talents as a referee ensured that he was in demand all over the county and outside it when he was selected to referee National League matches. William believed in using the whistle as little as possible which made for a more free flowing game. When Tommy Lonergan and Seamus Roche took up the whistle he was a very familiar figure as he played the role of umpire while he acted as linesman on many occasions also. He had then acquired a wide knowledge of refereeing matters and was appointed as a Referee Assessor. William was the Referee Co-ordinator for the County Board and Munster Council and those responsibilities often necessitated attending meetings in Croke Park. Even the regular GAA fan would not know the input required in this task. When one travels to the many venues around the County, Semple Stadium and indeed County grounds throughout the province William would be a familiar figure on the sideline at the players entrance thus ensuring officialdom was in order for the game.
While William breathed and lived GAA affairs every day of his life, he also found time to play his part with his local community. William’s contribution to the Kilsheelan Tidy Town movement was considerable. For years he had the difficult task of cutting the grass on the grotto, and everyone associated with Kilsheelan were so used to seeing William on the summer evening out working the spade and attending to the flower beds. William’s love and pride in his own village saw him grasp every opportunity to promote Kilsheelan wherever he ventured. On winning the National Award, William was to the fore organising the celebrations.
William spent over 40 years working as a Clerical Officer with Tipperary County Council until his retirement last year. He was the ideal candidate for Chairman of the Social Club, and even with retirement, he continued to assist. As John O Mahony in his descriptive and eloquent tribute stated “William was the Unelected Councillor”. A person’s rank never made any impression on William. His outgoing and positive character would see him equally at ease in the company of dignitaries as chatting with some friends in his local. The card game on Friday nights was a must.
While many pass through life often without appreciating the wonderful gift life is, William lived life as it should be lived – to the full. Can anyone remember a time when William did not play some significant part in their lives, or at least remember an occasion that William did not grace it with his presence? And what a presence William had, whether it was on the GAA playing fields as a player or referee, off the fields as an Administrator, at work with the Co Council, attending a function of dignitaries, meet William in passing on the street or in his local pub, Robinson’s, William always found time to converse or have something worthwhile to contribute and most especially he found the time to listen to you. William always made time often just to say hello but more importantly would sit down and have a long chat, a memory cherished now by so many. The kind and genuine word was his hallmark. One wonders was it William who coined the phrase “One kind word can warm three winter months”
His commanding presence saw him often tower over so many naturally, yet he was so gentle, such a loveable figure, such a huge loss to his close family, dear friends and all his relations. As one local youth aptly put it when asked did you know William, “William knew me” was the reply.
William experienced his share of sadness, the sudden loss of his brother Cyril is still such a fresh memory, his sisters-in-law and most of all his wife Bridie. Bridie was simply the best, a mother not just to Liam and Roisin but was a mother to so many within the village. How many children growing up in the locality would love to spend their evenings in the company of Bridie on route home? Well, if we acknowledge Bridie as the mum in Kilsheelan, William was surely the father figure. Whatever the occasion, William was there with sound advice, always had the time to lend a comforting ear to our problems, seldom if ever mentioning any of his own concerns as he journeyed through life. Nowadays, nobody appears to have any time, yet William always made time for everyone.
It was so wonderful and fitting that someone like William who loved life so much once again found comfort and contentment in life when he met his partner Isobel. The deep shock we felt at home on hearing of William’s passing must be mild in comparison to what Isobel witnessed. When life appeared to be blossoming for both William and Isobel, tragedy struck. Sometimes life is just not fair.
Sean Nugent’s moving tribute summed it up outlining, we had all lost a great and loyal friend and Sean’s detailed narrative left all present easily visualising William lifting the County trophy aloft after a gap of 35 years.
John Costigan, County Board Chairman, in his tribute referred to Kilsheelan’s huge loss.
William, as Fr Jim stated was known beyond Munster and so it is thus we have come to say goodbye to a wonderful, loyal and trusting friend.
The Captain, sadly, has taken his leave. The vast crowds that attended both removal and burial was a testament to William’s popularity, indeed one could say that it was a who’s who of the GAA world with Nicky Brennan President of the GAA also present. Earlier this year, William on sympathising with relatives at the removal of a good friend remarked “Today”, said William “we have lost a great Gael”. Little did we think we would be returning such an honourable statement to one of life’s truly great friends so soon?
To William’s son Liam who played for the Club for many years and is living and working in Cork, his daughter Roisin, who got married recently, and is living in Clerihan, William’s sister Marie, close family relatives, vast number of dear friends and to Isobel we tender our deepest sympathy and share in William’s loss.
JIM KEHOE – HALL OF FAME AWARD – MARCH 2009 By James Holohan
We congratulate Jim Kehoe who received a Hall of Fame Award recently. This is a presentation to players from the South Division who gave distinguished service to Club and County in the past.
The Kehoe Family is synomous with our Club since its foundation in 1924. Johnny (Jim’s father) was a prominent player and a Selector on that historic team in 1968. He was Chairman from 1964 until 1986. His brother Philly also played for the Club. According to the Club’s History there was one amusing event concerning Jim’s uncle. Carrick Swan objected to Kilsheelan on the grounds that Philly Kehoe played with Millvale Rovers in the Waterford Championship. Jim’s father insisted that this could not have been possible as on the day in question his brother was in Moyglass sorting out cattle for the fair in Fethard and that was the end of that.
Jim showed great promise from an early stage and played for Club and County at underage in both codes. He quickly made the transition to Senior level.
It was unfortunate that an accident in 1982 interrupted his career but with typical grit and determination he defied the odds to come back and assist his Club Kilsheelan in many vital championship ties. He showed a special talent in his minor days and went on to represent the County in all grades. He was a regular member of the Premier County Senior Hurling and Football teams in the seventies and he represented Munster in both codes, winning Railway Cup Hurling medals in 1976 and 1978 and a Football medal in 1975. He was unlucky in the sense that his arrival on the County hurling scene coincided with a lean period for Tipperary and he never won the Senior All Ireland Hurling medal which his talents deserved. He did win an All Ireland Intermediate Hurling medal in 1972, and National Hurling League honours in 1979 when he helped Tipperary to victory over Galway . In that match he had chalked up 1-6 when midway through the second half he had to go off injured. Throughout his career, it could be said, that he was often dogged by injury. While in the process of leaving the field on this occasion the ball came his way and he promptly returned the ball over the bar. In that period the B & I Company had monthly GAA Awards and for the month of May he received this accolade while another was awarded to him as “Sport Star of the Week” by the Irish Independent.
In the meantime, back at the Club, he was very much the leading figure in our hurling and football teams. In 1970 he became very much an integral part of our Senior Football team. In the South Football Semi Final Fethard led Kilsheelan 1-7 to 1-5. Jim came to the rescue with a goal at virtually the last kick of the game. Kilsheelan defeated Commercials by 1-7 to 0-7 in the Final and Jim got the only goal of the game after seven minutes. To crown a great year for the Club the Intermediate Hurling Title was added to the honours list where Jim was again the star of this team and for good measure his brother Michael was also on the side.
In 1972 Kilsheelan had victories over Fethard and Aherlow in the County Football championship. In the Semi final Kilsheelan defeated Moyle Rovers and Jim contributed eight of the fifteen points for his side. Jim contributed 1-5 of the Club’s 1-11 in their victory over Ardfinnan in the Final. His exploits did not go unnoticed by the United Sports Panel as he won the Cidona Award that year for Football and he also received a similar honour in Hurling in 1977. In the following years Kilsheelan did not have any major success, however, this was not any fault of Jim’s as he continued to be an influential part of our teams.
He won the first ever South Tipperary Hurler of the Year awarded in 1978 and again in 1982. In the late 70’s the Intermediate Hurling team enjoyed a less successful period and sought regarding to Junior ranks. In 1980 the team got a few wins under their belt and this was coupled with a renewal of interest. In the Final against Marlfield, Kilsheelan came from behind to win by 2-10 to 2-6. Jim notched four points of this total while his brothers Jerry scored 1-1, Michael 0-3 and John also lined out. In 1981, back in Intermediate ranks Kilsheelan were again a force to be reckoned with and were South champions with Jim contributing handsomely
During most of Jim’s career he was also part of the Kilsheelan-Fethard combination namely St Augustines. Now in the twilight of his career, in 1982, it all came right. Despite an impressive run to the Final, the Combo travelled to Davin Park very much the underdogs when they took on St Mary’s side, led by the Carroll brothers Mossie & Brian of Limerick fame. On this occasion they tore the form book to shreds when they defeated the Clonmel side by 4-12 to 2-7. Jim’s tally on the day was 2-3 and there were also major contributions from brothers Michael, John and Jerry.
In the same year the Club set about retaining their Intermediate Title. Again Jim played a large part in his side’s victories over Skeheenarinky and Ballybacon. Unfortunately for Jim he received a broken leg in a traffic accident and was unable to play in the Final. This put paid to their hopes of retaining that Title and having drawn with Fethard they lost the replay by five points. Overcoming those obstacles Jim was back for the 1985 hurling championship and played a leading part in victory over Ballybacon-Grange in the Final. Now with the legacy of injury taking its toll Jim continued to feature. Kilsheelan reached the Final but lost out to Killenaule. In the 1986 Intermediate championship Kilsheelan were down ten points down at half time against Fethard but turned matters around after the interval with a three point victory. At this time Jim was in America , but on a visit home, he lined out and played a major part in this victory. They reached the Final but lost out to Cahir.
In the later years of his illustrious career Jim was employed as a Truck Driver and drove extensively on the continent. Later still he emigrated to New York and worked in forestry operations. He moved to San Francisco where he once again took up long distance driving. He soon saw an opportunity to start his now very successful haulage business with the help of his brother John. Jim’s interest in the GAA scene manifested itself in his work as he was one of the persons involved in the re-development in Gaelic Park in that city
When the Club was formed 75 years ago many exceptional players gave great service to the Club. Nobody could be in any doubt that Jim was up there with the best of them. His great determination motivated those around him. Despite running up large scores in matches he was very much a team player and was quick to play the ball to a better placed colleague. A feature of his play was the high catch in both codes. He had a deceptive way of eluding an opponent. Another speciality of his was his ability to score goals and his trait was to place the ball just inside the posts. His arrival on the scene brought thoughts of emulating Tom Larkin’s honour of bringing an All Ireland Senior Hurling Medal to the Club. Tipperary ’s lean years and Jim’s injuries put paid to that dream.
We again congratulate him on this Award and he will always be remembered as one of the best to put on the Blue & Gold jersey whether it’s for Club or County.
7/9/08 – 50 YEARS SINCE TOM LARKIN’S ALL IRELAND MEDAL WIN by James Holohan
Does the date 7th September 1958 ring a bell? If not – Clue No1 – it was a Sunday. Clue No2 it was the 1st Sunday in September. If you still have not worked it out it was the occasion when the 1st and only All Ireland Senior Hurling medal was won by a player from the Kilsheelan-Kilcash Club. While it was an historic day for the Parish, it was an unforgettable day for the Larkin family and for Tom, it was indeed the highlight of his hurling career.
Since the Club was founded in 1924, the Larkin family have been synonymous with it. Tom’s late father Paddy helped bring Senior Football Titles to the Club in 1930 and 1933. In later years he was Chairman from 1953 to 63. It was fitting that his sons Percy, Tom and Liam would go on to have distinguished playing careers. It was as a footballer that Tom first came to the notice of the County Selectors . He was a sub on the County Junior Football team who won the Munster Title in 1952 and became a regular in the following years.
In 1956/57 the South Division were allowed to field a team from Junior Clubs to compete in the Senior Hurling championship. Tom and Liam were key members of this team and Tom’s performance commanded the attention of the County Senior Hurling Selectors. There was a perception, at the time, that a player from the South would need to be exceptional to make the County team. This came to fruition in 1958 when he was a sub on the team that played Limerick in the first round of the Munster championship. The game was played in torrential rain and at half time Limerick led by four points. Early in the second half Tipperary introduced Tom Larkin and Liam Devanney. Tom played a key role for a Tipperary goal as they went on to win by 2-10 to 1-5.
Tipperary had old rivals Cork as opponents in the Semi Final in Limerick . He was now on the starting fifteen and was marking Cork ’s Jimmy Brohan. He later moved outfield and notched over a point. After a tense match the Premier County won by 2-6 to 2-4.
The Munster Final against Waterford was played before 42,000 spectators in Thurles. Tom’s presence on the team was creating an ever increasing interest in the Parish resulting in a big exodus to Thurles. Tipperary were quickly two goals up. Tom also got on the scoresheet as they went on to win by 4-12 to 1-5.
Following this result, whispers of an All Ireland medal coming to the Parish grew louder. They still had to overcome the stumbling block of champions Kilkenny in the All Ireland Semi Final. In the week before the match Tom was struck down with flu and was unable to start. However, he was introduced in the second half, and contributed two points, one a fine effort from out near the sideline, as Tipperary went on to win by 1-13 to 1-8. With 53,000 spectators present Jimmy Doyle chose the occasion for one of his greatest displays for his County.
When asked about the training regime for the All Ireland Final against Galway , he said they trained three nights a week with much of the time given to ball work and innumerable rounds of the pitch. There was less emphasis on the physical training that is the norm today. Players were also expected to train on their own and there was no training after Tuesday night on match week to ensure that they were fresh for the big day. In the week preceding the Final the same hype was not evident probably due to the fact that TV or local radio had not yet become a reality in this country.
Early in the week Tom was selected at centre forward and this heightened the interest further in the Parish. On the Sunday morning of the Final against Galway Tom assisted his father with the milking, then went to Thurles where he joined up with the rest of the team. They went to Mass followed by breakfast at the Glenmorgan House, which was a renowned GAA hostelry at the time. They took the train to Dublin and occupied themselves by playing cards. On the way to Croke Park they were greeted by many well wishers.
Running out on the pitch to a deafening crescendo of cheers would be an abiding memory. The match itself did not live up to expectations. Tipperary put down a marker early on and went on to win by 4-9 to 2-5 with Tom contributing a point in each half. On hearing the final whistle it was time for celebration and the first to embrace Tom was his old friend the late Eddie Prendergast.
The team stayed in Wynns Hotel and celebrated well into the small hours. On Monday morning the daily papers with the match reports were eagerly sought. With all the usual protocol out of the way they boarded the train for the traditional homecoming to Thurles where they received a rapturous reception. Tom along with Theo English and the late Liam Connolly lost no time in getting the train to Clonmel where they were greeted by a very large crowd including many from Kilsheelan thus ensuring there were many there who would be proud to take him back to where it all began. Getting back to Kilsheelan was foremost in Tom’s mind. He arrived to a carnival atmosphere in the village where he was led in by the local St Brendan’s Ceile Band. It was a night to remember for him as he was given a hero’s welcome. Celebrations went on til “late” – let’s just say that the pub licensing laws were not enforced for this unique night.
Nowadays players who reach stardom often get jobs in financial services. Playing with the County team also had its rewards for Tom was offered a job with Esso as a driver which he carried out diligently until his retirement.
He continued to line out with the County team throughout the National League and was on the side that defeated Waterford by 0-15 to 0-8 in the Final at Nolan Park. Again Tom contributed a point in this victory.
As League winners this entitled them to travel to New York to take on the home side for the St Brendan’s Cup. There was much less emphasis on foreign travel in those far off days and a trip to New York for him was an opportunity of a lifetime. Early in the match Tom shot the opening goal. However, it was quickly from the ecstasy to the agony when he received a fractured leg and due to his immobility he spent the remainder of the tour with his uncle before returning home with his victorious teammates.
In 1961 he was persuaded by former Swan player and County Selector John Fleming to line out with the County Intermediate Hurling team. They lost to Wexford in the All Ireland Final but they made amends two years later when Tom collected a medal having beaten London in the Final. The team then included the upcoming Mick Roche and Babs Keating.
Now in the twilight of his career he continued to play for Kilsheelan in both codes. They made a breakthrough in 1964 when they won the Divisional Junior Hurling and Football Titles. In Tom football was on the side beaten by Moneygall in the County Final after a replay. In hurling they were very unlucky to lose to a Donie Nealon backboned Burgess side who went on to easily win the County Title .
On his retirement he trained the team that confounded the odds by defeating Ardfinnan in the 1968 County Senior Football Final. This was also a memorable occasion for his late father who was on the team that achieved this honour in 1933. He went on to say that winning the All Ireland Title was a great occasion but winning the County Title was even better as he grew up, went to school and played with most of the players and doing it “for the little village” was something special.
Aside from the GAA, Tom has a particular interest in coursing and especially horse racing. He loved to attend race meetings with his friends and it also gave him the opportunity to meet former players, many of whom played against him and later became good friends.
He is now in his mid 70’s and despite having heart surgery and a hip replacement he is still hale and hearty and very much part of the local community. He said he had great admiration for the County players who put in a super human effort to achieve their goals. He would also like to see an upturn in the Club’s fortunes in the coming years. This can only be achieved by putting in the long hours of dedication on the training field.
We wish him many more years of good health and I am sure one of his “ambitions” would be to relinquish the tag of 50 years, that of being the only player to achieve All Ireland success in the Kilsheelan-Kilcash Club.
Thanks for the memories Tom. A night of nostalgia was held and a presentation made to Tom in Robinson’s Lounge on this Thursday 4th September 2008 .
SEAMUS ROCHE'S TRIP TO SIGNAPORE – (September 2005) By James Holohan
The year 2005 will be one to remember for referee Seamus Roche. An active year on theInter County front culminated in he refereeing of the All Ireland Final. To put the icing on the cake he was nominated to travel to Singapore to referee the match between the 2004 and 2005 All Stars last January. Seamus also had the opportunity of taking his wife Eleanor with him.
In this interview he gives his thoughts on the trip.
J.H: What differences did you notice when refereeing overseas?
S.R: The match was played on a pitch normally used for Polo. The type of grass was unusual and was much coarser than the norm probably something to do with the soil and climate. The weather was very humid, the rain towards the end of the game was a relief rather than a hindrance. We were informed before the match that thunder storms are very prevalent at that time of year. In the event of this happening we were told the procedure was that a siren would go off and everyone was to leave the pitch at once. The match lacked the intensity of competitive fare. Despite this it commanded the curiosity of the natives in the one thousand plus attendance.
J.H: What did the visit of the All Stars mean to the Irish community?
S.R: The match was staged by the Singapore Lions GAA Club and was eagerly looked forward to by the Irish people living there. Meeting the Irish contingent so far from home made them proud to be Irish. Among the organisers was Padraig Mc Grath, (a son of former All Ireland referee P J from Mayo) also Cormac O Muircheartaigh (son of Miceal). Cormac is a surgeon and married to a Singaporian. We were greeted on arrival and then taken to the home of the Irish Ambassador.
J.H: To what extent are gaelic games played there?
S.R: As the number of Irish people living there is small it is hardly surprising that there is little activity. Our native games are more a bringing together of Irish people and the playing of the games merely a social outlet.
J.H: What were the highlights of the trip?
S.R: Following the match I was presented with the Vodafone Award for Referee of the Year by the then President Sean Kelly. Mixing with the players was great. It was a change to meet them away from the heat of a championship match. Wives and girlfriends were also part of the group and it gave Eleanor the chance to enjoy their company. It was great to see so many Tipperary people in the group. Philip Maher, Eamon Corcoran, Eoin and Paul Kelly also Con Hogan and his wife, Michael O’Brien and his wife, who joined the party for one night while on holiday there, Sean Nugent, Paul Collins from Today FM and Vincent Hogan from the Irish Independent.
J.H: Who were the characters in the party?
S.R: The Waterford contingent entered into the spirit of the occasion in a big way with John Mullane’s witk ensuring that there was never a dull moment. Niall Gilligan’s skill with the hurley was equalled with his ability to sing, Davy Fitzgerald showed that there was a humorous side to him when he discarded his hurley. The antics in the swimming pool are best left to the imagination and I had to be most vigilant when returning from the game lest I was earmarked for an early plunge!!!
Photographer Ray Mc Manus entertained with his witty expressions. UTV’s Adrian Logan, who conducted an auction of GAA merchandise, left the audience in hysterics.
J.H: Did you get much opportunity to do some sightseeing?
S.R: We were taken to a race meeting which had a very important featured race the Singapore Guineas. Yes it does rain outside Ireland as we experienced one of those electric thunderstorms.
It is a beautiful country. We got plenty of opportunities to explore it and we were not disappointed. There is also a hectic nightlife there and the visitor is spoilt for choice.
J.H: One final question, is there any rule changes you would like to see implemented?
S.R: While there is no advantage rule as such, provisions should be made that where the referee lets play go on where a foul has occurred that he can call back play for a free when there is no advantage gained during that passage in play. Apart from this I think the hurling rules are fine as they are.
FOOTBALL MEMORIES OF KILSHEELAN By Bill O ‘Keeffe
Full twenty years my thoughts go back to times of long ago
When as a boy carefree I roved where Suir and Anner flow
And clear against the skyline stood out Lordly Slievenamon
To guard with pride a valley fair as e’re the sun shone on.
Where often in the evening when the day’s hard work was done
We gathered into Christys for a chat or bit of fun
We played “fifteen” or “twenty five” to help us pass the night
And trees we felled and cut in logs to keep the home fires bright
T’was here a thought was born to have a Football Club
So we talked and talked at Christy’s and sometimes in the pub
Bill Cummins, Andy, Christy, “The Bunk” and Michaleen Burke
Jim Fleming, Larkins, Coadys, all helped in the good work.
A team we strung together and to Ballyneale we went
A victory to our credit then for honours we were bent
At Clonmel, Fethard, Carrick, Cloneen and Templemore
The “Blues” raised high their standards and added to their score
Mick Doyle, a man of judgement stood then between the sticks
He saved our bacon often this little man of tricks
And then in front stood Michael Strappe, a stone wall stout and strong
His fifties saved us more than once and seldom he did wrong
Pat Larkin and Bill Reilly then flanked him on each side
Their speed and clever footwork oft filled our hearts with pride
Tom Kennedy from Ballydine at centre half was game
He caught and kicked some lengthy balls and always played the same
Jack Commins and Bill Larkin were dashing stringy men
Faith you would’nt find their equal then, in mountain-home or glen
The Cahills, Will and Tommy, who inches perhaps did lack
But when the knocks came good and hard, Tom always gave one back
Jack Cullinane and bold “Ebby” were men to do and dare
And when the ball came high to Jack, he fisted in the air
Jim Fleming and Jim Mitten were swift, and clean and neat
They drove the leather smoothly on, for both had lovely feet.
“Sticky” Reilly was a trier, an when the game was done
Looked fresh as newborn daisy just opened to the sun
The “Rajah” for his cuteness was famous far and wide
As the goalman sought the leather, “Rajah” slipped it past his side.
The lad from Toor was hard to beat, he feared not friend or foe
And when he rose to field the ball, the shout was “style Kehoe”
The Keeffes who led the forwards, were quick and crafty too
And Jerry’s left was deadly as he banged the leather too.
The “Mot” was then a nipper, not big, and yet not small
In later years he proved to be the daddy of them all
Con Lonergan, God rest him, was as good a man and bold
As ere travelled with the Village to don the blue and gold
We did’nt travel swanky, in those golden far-off days
We had just Jack Culley’s lorry with rough seats and wooden stays
Dick Cahill was proud to take the wheel, and as he rode along
We talked about our prospects or broke into rousing song
My thoughts roam now to training days, when nights fall dark and chill
As we cantered passed Jack Daniels Cross and down the Chapel Hill
Then later on we sprinted down a stretch of Dick Burke’s land
With two carbide lamps to guide us for you could’nt see your hand
Now “Shackleton” our trainer kept us fit as men could be
And he prided in our conquests, for a sterling gael was he
The Chairman too, Jim Coffey, kept a strict and careful watch
While Bill Toole with holy water blessed the boys before a match
I feel I must remember too those men of older days
Who never failed to give support and cheer us on our ways
“Mauk” Cahill with his merry laugh, John Coady and Jim Strappe
The “Dee” from Kilsheelan, Tommy Kelly in his trap
We won the County championship and Fr Synott’s League
We played matches oft in midweek, but ne’er suffered from fatigue
I think of all the teams we met to combat in those days
The gallant men of Powerstown were our worthiest foes always
Now some of those old stalwarts never left their native home
While some have wandered far away and some have crossed the foam
Some too, have found an early grave in Mother Erin’s breast
May God have mercy on their souls and grant Eternal Rest.
A TRIBUTE TO THE PRIMARY SCHOOL TEAM THAT OWN THE SOUTH HURLING TITLE IN 1947
By Eddie Cummins
There’s a village in South Tipperary in its
Centre a small school house stands
From whence came a primary school team
Known as Kilsheelan all over the land
The goalman P Hennessy was Captain
No better small man could be found
He could save any ball coming his way
Let it be in the air or on ground.
The fullback line had everything needed
To stop every ball was their bent
It consisted of three brilliant young hurlers
Tom Hennessy, Tom Larkin and Nugent.
The half back line also was dashing
Our followers they did enthral
With Matt Landers and also his flankers
Determined to get to each ball
If you were watching them playing
And see the play the midfield pair served up
You’d feel like going to Lynch or Con Cottrell
And say it was time they gave up
The six that are left for to mention
Are forwards in every sense
And when their attacks are repulsed
It’s done by a stubborn defence
Now one word of praise for our Trainer
James Pender our Hon Secretary
For he did everything in his power
To see we were up to the teeth
And now that we are South Champions
Ballylooby and Crough we did beat
We hope that the spirit will still be the same
In the year nineteen forty eight
KILSHEELAN SOUTH SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS
By James Holohan
The 13th September being the date of the year
Kilsheelan met Commercials who thought they had no fear
The venue, of course, was Kilsheelan’s own ground
Where the new South Champions were about to be crowned.
A big crowd turned up on a fine day, but cold
There were very few who favoured the boys in blue and gold
Now all was ready for the start of the game
The referee was from Clogheen, John Fleming was his name.
The game opened lively when Kilsheelan were into their stride
It was only five minutes old when they goaled with great pride
It was William Robinson’s great centre, we will never forget
Who found Jim Kehoe, to bang it to the net.
When half time came around, Kilsheelan were four points to the fore
Their supporters started chanting like never before
Then in the closing stages Commercials went to attack
They got very close but Kilsheelan did not crack.
When the final whistle sounded, we all jumped for joy
Racing onto the pitch to carry our heros shoulder high
Three cheers for Commercials they put up a good show
They’ll be back again next year, sure don’t we all know.
In goal was Johnny Dempsey, who was very hard to beat
Next we had Driscoll, Halloran and Cahill who would’nt hear of defeat
Then we had Halloran, Gorman and Fitzy who gave the ball great length
At midfield were Gorman and Moriarty both a power house of strength
Now a look at the forwards, the Robinsons, Strang and Lark
They pointed from all angles in nothing did they lack
Then there was Kehoe and Power, who helped no little in this win
Fair play too, of course to sub Nugent, who also came in.
Make no mistake, this win it will tell
For subs, supporters and selectors as well
Next year we look forward to further success
All opposition will be out to beat us I guess.