Wednesday, 31 July 2013

GAA Facts and Folklore

In the mid 1860's a hurling game was played at Kyleragranagh Hill, Cloneen, Co.Tipperary overlooking the present day Anner Park, which is the grounds for the local GAA club, St.Patrick's. The teams were from Cashel and Carrick-on-Suir, and were big brawny men. They wrestled before commencing the hurling and fighting broke out. Peace was restored and the hurling commenced, but fighting again broke out with the result that the game was stopped for a while. During this stoppage many of the spectators went to the Thatch pub in Cloneen for refreshments. The game recommenced and continued until darkness. Many of the spectators spent up to three days in the area before departing for home.

Clonmel native, Mick Kennedy, played on the Tipperary minor hurling and football teams in 1953. He played for the Tipperary senior footballers in the mid fifties. He played with a South Tipperary selection in the Tipperary senior hurling final of 1957 when they were beaten by Thurles Sarsfields. Having moved to Dublin for employment, as a member of the Dublin team he took part in the All-Ireland senior hurling final in 1961 when they lost by one point to Tipperary. He was a Dublin senior hurling selector in the late eighties.

Niall Quinn
When Mick Kennedy played on the Tipperary minor hurling team in 1953 he partnered Billy Quinn of Rahealty, Thurles, at mid-field. Billy was then playing in his third consecutive year for Tipperary minor hurlers. Billy made his debut with the Tipperary senior hurlers who beat Galway in the National Hurling League semi-final played at Thurles on the last Sunday of April 1954. His direct opponent that day was Colm Corless of Kinvara and Galway. On the following Sunday, May 2nd., Billy Quinn scored three goals from the full forward position in Tipperary's 3-10 to 1-4 victory over Kilkenny in the National Hurling final played at Croke Park. His direct opponent on that occasion was Pat "Diamond" Hayden. In the latter part of the fifties Billy Quinn emigrated to London for employment. He later returned to reside in Dublin, and played with Dublin senior hurlers for a short while. His son Niall, who played with Dublin minor hurlers in the 1983 All-Ireland final when beaten by Galway, went on to gain over 100 caps while playing with the Republic of Ireland international soccer team. The aforementioned Mick Kennedy won a Railway Cup hurling medal with Leinster in 1962.

The Clonmel GAA pitch situated alongside the Western Road, had it's official opening in June 1930. Two hurling games were played on the day. In the first, Waterford beat Limerick by 6-5 to 1-1, and the referee was Tom Keating of Fethard. In the second, Cork beat Tipperary by 4-5 to 2-1, and the referee was Willie Walsh of Waterford.

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