Reproduced with thanks from The Annals of Churchtown
Prior to the formation of the GAA in 1884 (when hurling pitches
were generally referred to as 'goaling fields'), Barra or 'field
hurling' was locally popular and was likely played in the 'goaling
field' at Leap. Churchtown later provided a number of Scoubeen players
to Ballyhea who engaged Charleville in some legendary encounters.
Affiliated to the Cork County Board as early as 1890; the Churchtown
GAA club was officially founded in 1894. Its original officers were:
President, Reverend P. Murphy, Chairman R. Roche, Secretary, J.
Flannery, Treasurer, E. Flannery and Captain P. O'Mahony. The Minutes
of the 1928 Annual General Meeting of Churchtown GAA over which
Mr M Thompson (Chairman) presided are as follows:
'Mr Frank O'Brien (Treasurer) on behalf of the club,
presented the chairman with a silver cigarette case as a token of
appreciation of his work done for the GAA locally during the year.
Mr Thompson, who is sailing for Australia on January 9th ,
in returning thanks, said he was sorry to be leaving Churchtown
Hurling Club, but he hoped to be back again in time to come, and
wished the club success for the year 1929. Over sixty members having
paid their subscriptions for the coming year, the following officers
were appointed to the committee:- President - Reverend Father Roche,
C.C. Churchtown. Chairman - Mr M. Donovan, Vice-Chairman - Mr T.
Wall, N.T. Hon. Secretary* - Mr J. O'Mahony, Hon. Treasurer** -
Mr F. O'Brien, Captain - Mr T. Buckley, Vice-Captain- Mr D. Relihan,
Representative on Board - Mr .T Buckley, Proxy - Mr J. O'Mahony,
Mr D. Manning, Mr M. O'Keeffe and Mr T. Treacy. Selection Committee
- Mr T. Buckley (Capt.), Mr D. O'Sullivan, and Mr D. Relihan. Vice-Captain
- Mr J. O'Mahony, Hon Secretary Mr M. Donovan. Chairmen Mr J. Flannery
and Mr T. Treacy. Finance Committee - Mr T O'Brien, Mr F. Flannery,
Mr M. O'Keeffe, and Mr N. Simcox. Mr M. Donovan, the newly-appointed
chairman, returned thanks to those present for the honour conferred
on him by electing him to the chair, and said he would do his utmost
to try and bring honours to the club for the coming year. He also
paid a high tribute to the outgoing chairman, and wished him a safe
voyage and a happy and prosperous time in Australia. Mr Thompson
having again suitably returned thanks, the meeting ended'.
* Thomas Wall became Chairman at some point during
the year 1929
** Jack O'Mahony followed T. Wall as Secretary. Jack was also a
Churchtown's first major success at any level came
in 1929 when its hurling team took the North Cork Junior title.
In the semi-final at Buttevant on 2 September, Churchtown defeated
a strongly-fancied Ballyhea side by 5-0 to 0-1 and survived keen
competition to reach the final. The team that defeated Killavullen
by 5-3 to 3-1 in the final at the Deerpark, Charleville on 3 November,
was selected from the following panel: Tim 'Thady' Buckley (Capt.),
Jim Cahalane, Dick Galligan, Frank Flannery, John Flannery, Billy
Fitzpatrick, Tim Hedigan, Jim Kearney, Dave Manning, Frank O'Brien,
Mick O'Keeffe, Paddy O'Keeffe, Pat M. O'Keeffe, Tom O'Keeffe, Maurice
O'Mahony, Dan Relihan, Bill Relihan, Pad Relihan and Nat Simcox.
The officials connected with the club's success included Thomas
Wall, NT, (Chairman), Tom Treacy, (vice-Chairman) and Jack O'Mahony
The club staged a competition in September 1929 for a trophy which,
according to Batt Thornhill (Buttevant, Avondhu and Cork), was known
as 'The Churchtown Egg-Cup' and the event was won by Mallow. The
Cork Examiner, Monday 23 September 1929, in giving the result of
a match in the Tournament, which was refereed by Jack O'Mahony (Churchtown)
- Buttevant 5-1, Banteer 1-4) - adds that 'The North Cork Junior
Hurling League' match fell through and Ballyhea were awarded the
game when Meelin failed to appear. During this era the parish had
a second team known as the 'Black and Reds' (after their colours).
It featured players who were unable to gain a regular first-team
place. This side played several matches at Annagh. Pat O'Brien states
that his father (Tom) was a member of the 'Black and Reds' and relates
how the second fifteen had the pleasure of beating the champions
in a challenge match there.
Ballyhea, thirsting for revenge after their shock defeat in the
Championship, took their opportunity at a Tournament at Freemount
on 6th October, 1929, in a game that was marred by the broken leg
suffered by Churchtown's Tim Hedigan. The result provided an amusing
exchange of poetry between the 'Bard of Ballyhea', Con O'Brien and
Churchtown's Jack O'Mahony, Club secretary and team selector, and
a brother of one of its stars, Maurice. The first poem, by Con O'Brien,
published in the Cork Weekly Examiner, was as follows:
The very name of Freemount is music to my ears,
I have not seen that little town,
For quite a score of years.
But Gaelic spirit stirs my blood,
To travel there to-day,
For Churchtown Gaels will cross camáns with famous Ballyhea.
It's the Final for the Medals,
And crowds on every side,
Are filling up the village street,
From districts far and wide.
But mark the group of smiling youths whose laugh rings loud and
And mark my words you'll see them,
Swing the field for Ballyhea!
In Buttevant, a month ago,
They met their Waterloo,
When Churchtown did, what Churchtown tried
For fifty years to do.
But that defeat just rouses the blood of men in Ballyhea,
And they have come to wipe it out,
In Freemount here to-day.
The toss is won by Churchtown;
A gale blows down the field,
They have their chance with wind and sun,
To make their rivals yield.
But, No! though wind and sun give aid.
The half-time figures told;
Four scores for dashing Black and White,
And two for Green and Gold.
Ah, Churchtown! now your chance is gone,
When change of sides took place,
With wind and sun assisting,
You failed to keep the pace.
The tide is now against you,
And the Boys of Ballyhea
Are fleet as deer to finish out
This tournament to-day.
Up goes the ball and smacking shots,
Like bullets pass us by.
The Churchtown posts are peppered hard,
By balls hit low and high.
The score runs up, the goals are eight,
The points exactly four,
Go easy boys!, we don't require
To beat them any more.
Twelve scores to two the final count,
So said the referee.
The medals come to Ballyhea,
And proud the boys may be.
And Tyler, Linehan and Hawe,
Will yet dash through the fray,
In many a field to raise a flag,
For dashing Ballyhea.
The Pigotts and Doherty, too,
With Desmond and O'Brien,
And Geary, Mooney and O'Callaghan,
All fit to toe the line.
The Ryans and Carrolls will be there,
To play as men can play,
And raise the name of ancient fame,
Of good old Ballyhea'.
Such a satirical broadside deserved swift response
and Jack O'Mahony replied the following week, with all guns blazing:
Last Thursday in your column,
You gave some verses gay,
As to how the boys of Churchtown
Were beat by Ballyhea
You say the name of Freemount
Brings music to your ears,
To me it does the opposite;
It fills my eyes with tears.
You're careful not to mention
Some items of the game.
To make your poem more popular,
I think 'twould be a shame,
For you to quote the broken bones,
Which marred the play that day
And how the match was really won
By your stars from Ballyhea.
You say that in the Buttevant pitch,
Your Waterloo ye met;
Well that's a fact, five goals to nil
Is a record, you may bet!
You state it took us fifty years
To make your brave team yield,
But, remember, Con, we beat ye once
Upon your father's field.
Twelve years ago we whacked ye here,
In Mr Murphy's ground,
And also up in Cullig,
Before us ye went down.
We'll meet again next year, I hope,
And have another day,
And then we'll prove who are the best,
Ourselves or Ballyhea.
Excuse me Ed., I did not mean
To keep you half so long,
But let me have a handsome prize;
I want it as much as Con.
And when Christmas comes I need not sigh,
I'll spend a jolly day,
I'll treat the boys of Churchtown,
And this is what I'll say:
Success to all the local Gael,
Both daring, true and bold,
Who fought their way through many a fray,
In their colours, Green and Gold.
May you sweep North Cork again next year,
And be ready for the day
When you'll get the chance, the Buttevant dose,
To repeat for Ballyhea'.
The team began to break up soon after their 1929
success and although the club affiliated a team up to 1932, it seemed
that interest for the moment had waned. Two or three Churchtown
players assisted Liscarroll until 1939 when the Churchtown club
was reformed. Although championship success eluded them in those
days they did have some tournament success. Players associated with
the club during this period included: Jimmy Buckley, Ben Cremins,
Father Mossie Donovan, Jimmy Doyle, Patie Fehan, Jerry Fitzpatrick,
Willie Fitzpatrick, Bill Gaffney, Jim Grady, Jim Kearney, Denis
O'Sullivan (Village) and Christy Stack.
Tim Sullivan, now domiciled in Kerry, tells of a challenge match
between Annagh and Granard at Annagh in 1940. Refereed by Jim Irwin,
it was a keenly contested affair in which Granard emerged victors.
Tim has recorded in verse the names of some of those who featured
including: Beechinor who 'sent the white flag floating proudly in
the breeze', Jerry Brislane, Dick Bowles, Pat and Bill Carroll,
Doyle (Annagh's 'brightest star'), 'Flanagan', who 'hit the highlights,
his followers to please', Arthur Kavanagh, Jerry O'Sullivan, Jack
Roche, the four Stacks - Dan, Denny, John and Tim and 'brave Walsh
at centre field'.
In the late 1940s the club was again reformed with Paddy O'Keeffe
as the driving force and trainer. The hurling field was located
at Sherlock's, Egmont, and it was considered an excellent surface.
Emigration was affecting the parish at this time and consequently
there was a shortage of young men to don the Green and Gold. To
help get the club started, several who had retired from active hurling
turned out including: Jerry Brislane, Mick O'Connell (Ballyhea),
Willie Joe Condon, Patie Fehan, Eddie Galligan, Jim Grady, Eddie
Guiney, Denny Hawe, Jerry Jewitt, Tom Murphy (Tom always shed his
boots), Joe O'Sullivan, Jim Sampson and Christy Stack.
Others who played in that era included Ben Fehin, Jimmy Gordon,
Mick Relihan, Christy and John Sherlock, and Brendan Wall. Although
they met with little success, a large following attended their every
match, many of whom used Dorney's lorry as transport to the game.
Some epic encounters with Liscarroll - notably in Ballyhea and Buttevant
- were recorded during this period. Following the success of his
'Cottage Rake' in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the owner, F.L. Vickerman
donated the 'Cottage Rake' trophy for a tournament. Participating
teams included: Ballyhea, Buttevant, Charleville, Doneraile, Mallow,
Milford, Shanballymore and St Patrick's (Limerick). Charleville
were the last winners of the Cup.
About this time and attempt was made to form a Camoige club. Bridget
'Birdie' Flynn was a leading member of the club. Unfortunately,
after playing a few matches the interest waned and the club lapsed.
Patrick Kavanagh recalled the following poem, entitled Annagh versus
Granard by Tim Sullivan ('Flanagan'), about a match between Annagh
and Granard from 1940 that goes as follows:
'Jim Irwin threw the leather in to start the friendly
The Annagh boys came sweeping on with Doyle their brightest star,
Jack Roche held our net intact tho' stormed by many a shell,
And what he'd be worth between the posts the boys from the Marsh
Jack Stack in the full back line the bulwark of the side,
Each time he cleared those deafening cheers were heard oe'r far
Dick Bowles was on the left and Pat Carroll on the right,
With Tim Stack, Bill Carroll, and Brislane conspicuous in the fight,
John Stack and Arthur Kavanagh an inch they did not yield,
To brave Walsh and Jerry Booney in the centre of the field,
Up in the mid air they pulled on that ball and many a rush they
Their great display this glorious day throw's Blackrock's in the
When Denny Stack raised the green flag it was a glorious sight,
We saw the dawn of victory break above us with delight,
And Beechinor's sent the white flags floating proudly in the breeze,
and "Flanagan" hit the highlights his followers to please,
The Fitzpatrick Brothers came along with such a speed and straight,
Tim Connell from the background yelled they'd win the Galway Plate.
The sands of time are rushing down the hour glass slow but sure,
The Annagh boys come sweeping on vital scores to secure,
Hark! there's the final whistle gone and Annagh's hopes are sank
and Granard boys ascend the throne by Awbeg's mossy bank,
We raise our hats to those Granard boys, we hail them everywhere,
As champions of this great game may they long their laurels wear.
The parish was very proud when in 1950, Christy
Sherlock (Egmont) was selected as goalkeeper on the Cork Minor Hurling
team. Christy recalls an incident during a championship match against
Waterford; the referee (a substitute referee who specialised in
officiating at football games) awarded Waterford a 'penalty' - although
at that time, there was no such provision within the hurling code
for such an award. Christy faced up to the 'penalty' which, to his
relief, the surprised free taker blazed over the bar.
In 1961 the Under-14s won the North Cork Final with a fine victory
over Castletownroche. Club Officials were: Chairman; Ned Dorney,
Secretary; Bill Flynn and Treasurer: Ned Guiney. The team was jointly
trained by Maurice O'Mahony (of the 1929 winning team) and Pat O'Brien.
The team (with subs.) was: Michael Browne, Ned O'Donovan, John Doyle,
Tommy Duane, Gerry Horgan, Johnny Horgan, Patsy Larkin, Denis Linehan,
Michael McMahon, Seamus McMahon, Thomas O'Brien, Johnny O'Connell,
Eddie O'Donovan, Kevin O'Leary, Denis O'Mahony, Paddy Joe O'Mahony,
Donie O'Sullivan and Tan Simcox (Capt.). Ben Dorney was team mascot.
November 1969 saw a major North Cork title return
to the parish after a lapse of forty years. On a day when atrocious
weather made stylish hurling virtually impossible, the wearers of
the Green and Gold denied Ballygiblin by 0-6 (all six scored by
Paddy Behan) to 1-2 at Kildorrery, to bring the Novice trophy home
to an ecstatic village welcome. Ned Dorney was a selector and Tim
Griffin, trainer, of the team. The victorious panel was: Paddy Behan,
John. Bowles, Mick Carey, Paddy Joe Cronin, Paudie Doyle, Joe Egan,
Patsy Flynn, Gerry Hallihan, Ned Hawe, Donie Jewitt, Michael McMahon
(Capt.), Paddy Joe McMahon, Pakie Morrissey, Jim O'Brien, Mossie
O'Callaghan, Kevin O'Leary, Denis O'Mahony, Paddy Joe O'Mahony,
Billie O'Sullivan, Danny Relihan and 'Tan' Simcox.
Helen Morrissey has captured the essence of the struggle and the
exuberance of victory in the following poem:
The green parks of Churchtown where strong grows
Have always known hurlers of courage and dash.
The great men who lived by the Annagh's swift flow
We remember so well from the long years ago
In November their boys to Kildorrery came
Ballygiblin to meet in a fast, thrilling game
That was voted by all scientific and fine
In the final North Cork of nineteen sixty-nine.
Danny Relihan minded our goal-posts that day
Full-back Kevin Leary was Churchtown's main stay.
Jim Brien, Jerry Hallihan, Paddy Joe at his side,
John Bowles and Mick Carey withstanding the tide.
Outside centre-field Tan Simcox and Ned Hawe,
Our forwards likewise were six men without flaw.
Donie Jewitt, Pakie Morrissey, Bill Sullivan full.
Mick McMahon, Pat Behan, Denny Mahony pulled.
The game it was thrilling but bad for the heart
For some ground they oft forced us to yield at the start,
And even at half time our spirits were low
But Tim Griffin, our trainer, then set us aglow
We went back for the second half hopeful and bold
Determined to honour our own green and gold
And the saves of Danny Relihan soon thrilled the crowd,
Supported by Leary and his wingers proud
But up in the front we were near a breakthrough
As Simcox and Hawe up in centre-field drew,
Sending up to the six in our gallant front rank,
To resist - Ballygiblin would have needed a tank,
McMahon and Morrissey gathered around,
Jewitt, Sullivan and Mahony came with a bound.
Behan pointed a winner, we shouldered them up,
To the town of Kildorrery holding the cup.
Now tonight here we mention their names with great
As up go the glasses and down goes the beer,
We remember the Gaels not alone of today,
But all the good men of the years passed away.
And toast that the future may to us extend,
Good hurlers great honours unto us send,
Like the lads in whose praises we all of us join,
Who won the North Cork in 1969.
Churchtown National School team won the South Limerick
Schools Final in 1983 beating Anglesboro at Knockainey. The team
is shown as picture 127 at Part 6 of this book. Front row: Michael
Doyle, James Crowley, Patrick O'Connor, Dermot Carroll, Catherine
Lynch, Declan Crowley and Michael Sheahan. Middle Row: Frank Flannery,
Padraig Morrissey, Tony O'Flaherty, Pat O'Connell, Paul Crowley,
Adrian Corbett and Kevin Flynn. Back Row: John Carroll, Michael
Broderick, Michael Lynch, Robert Dorney (Capt), William Murphy,
Robert Murphy, Paul Carey and Finbarr Buckley.
Football followers in the parish had to wait until 1985 - and then
it was a dual success - at Under-14 and Under-16 level! The Under-14
team took the North Cork Grade 'C' Championship under the watchful
eye of trainer Kevin O'Leary. The team (with subs) was: Paul Carey,
Dermot Carroll, John Carroll, Adrian Corbett (Capt.), Declan Crowley,
James Crowley, Robert Dorney, Michael Doyle, Tony O'Flaherty, John
Gaffney, Dan Jones, Michael Lynch, Padraig Morrissey, Robert Murphy,
William Murphy, Pat O'Connell, Patrick O'Connor, James O'Sullivan,
Maurice O'Sullivan, Christopher Scott,.
The Under-16 panel was: Ger Carey, Paul Carey, Dermot Carroll, John
Carroll, Colm Conroy, Declan Crowley, Liam Crowley, Thomas Crowley,
Robert Dorney, Michael Doyle, Jimmy Fisher, John Gaffney, Gerard
Hedigan, Ger Jones, Tom Jones, Michael Lynch, William Murphy, Pat
O'Connell, Pat O'Connor, Seamus O'Connor, Christopher Scott and
Having taken the South Limerick School's Football Championship in
the 1983-84 season, Churchtown ran up a string of successes: 1989/'90,
North Cork School's Hurling Championship and North Cork School's
Football Championship; the double was again completed in 1991/'92
and repeated in 1992/'93. The North Cork School's Hurling Championship
was again won in 1994/'95, as was the North Cork INTO Mini-Sevens
Hurling Championship. The North Cork Football Title returned to
Churchtown NS in 1995/'96.
Further success arrived in 1990 when the Junior 'B' North Cork Football
Championship was won for the parish. Mentors Christy Stack and John
O'Mahony worked with a panel that included many of the successful
1985 Under-16 Champions. The panel included: Paul Carey, Colm Conroy,
Liam Crowley, Michael Doyle, Gerard Hedigan, John Hedigan, Michael
Hedigan, John Keane, Michael Lynch, John Matthews, Anthony McMahon,
Neil O'Callaghan, Michael O'Connor, Patrick O'Connor, Seamus O'Connor,
John O'Mahony and Billy Sherlock. Team Mascot was Paul McMahon.
The year 1987 proved a watershed in the history of Churchtown GAA.
In that year after nearly one hundred years of Gaelic sporting activity
in the parish, the club acquired a permanent home. The name of one
man in particular must forever remain synonymous with the acquisition
of that splendid playing surface - Father Patrick J. Twohig - Parish
Priest of Churchtown 1986-2001. Father Twohig was engaged in protracted
negotiations with local landowners before finally setting his sights
on Simcox's field adjoining the Maryfield churchyard. Having established
a rapport with Nat Simcox during negotiations, Father Twohig enquired
as to the lowest acceptable offer that might be entertained. On
being presented with this figure, Father Twohig concluded the meeting
and promised to return to the negotiating table. Imagine Nat Simcox's
incredulity when at the beginning of their next meeting the West
Cork priest made an offer for the field below that which Nat had
indicated as the his bottom line! Happily, the two men enjoyed a
mutual respect, and a deal was brokered shortly afterwards.
The grounds were speedily developed and a state of the art sporting
facility, the envy of clubs not only in North Cork, but throughout
Munster, now lies with a couple of hundred yards of the centre of
Churchtown village. Capital investment by Churchtown GAA since purchasing
its village grounds up to 2004 exceeds €735,000: €185,000
in sports field development and a further €550,000 in completing
the 500-seater spectator stand with its two dressing-room, three
shower-room and ancillary facilities.
An unsuccessful attempt was made in the early 1990s to reform the
camoige club, and although the team experienced some success, interest
waned after 1995.
The Under-12s presented the parish with both a Hurling Championship
and a Football League Title in 1995. A composite list of both panels
included: Ann Marie Breen, Jason Carey, Wesley Carey, Adrian Carroll,
John Crowley, Patrick Crowley, Kieran Curtin, Michael Daly, Denis
Fehan, Diarmuid Fisher, Mark Flannery, Cathal Hawe, Bertie Óg
Hawe, Joe Herlihy, Paul McMahon, James Murphy, Brian Nolan, James
O'Callaghan, Brian O'Donovan, Ian O'Flynn, Lorraine O'Halloran,
Brian Quinn and Joanne Quinn.
The Under-14s also brought hurling and football glory to the parish
in 1995 by winning the Football Championship and Hurling League.
The composite panel included: James Breen, John Breen, Adrian Carroll,
Thomas Crowley, Kieran Curtin, Neily Daly, Denis Fehan, Thomas Fehan,
Diarmuid Fisher, Mark Flannery, John Howard, Paul McMahon, Joanne
McMahon, James Murphy, Brian Nolan, David O'Brien, Mark O'Brien,
Thomas O'Brien, Anne O'Donovan, Brian O'Donovan, Thomas O'Flaherty,
Ian O'Flynn, Michael O'Halloran, Anita O'Herlihy, Joe O'Herlihy,
Brian Quinn, John Quinn and Noel Quinn.
The Under-16 Footballers completed a bumper year for the parish
in 1995 by completing the North Cork League and Championship double.
The twenty-one -member panel was: Brendan Breen, James Breen, John
Breen, Kieran Crowley, Kieran Curtin, Neily Daly, Paddy Daly, Thomas
Fehan, Diarmuid Fisher, John Howard, Anthony McMahon, Paul McMahon,
David O'Brien, Mark O'Brien, Thomas O'Brien, Brian O'Donovan, Thomas
O'Flaherty, Michael O'Halloran, Kieran O'Sullivan, John Quinn and
While under-age success continued through the late 1990s, in 1999
the club finally broke the County Title barrier when they defeated
St Mary's (Ballineen) in the County Minor Hurling decider.
The Liam McCarthy All Ireland Hurling Trophy and the Bob O'Keeffe,
Leinster Senior Hurling Trophy were seen by Churchtown residents
on 30th July 1997 during a presentation at the Community Hall by
former Wexford All-Ireland winning captain, Tom Dempsey . It came
as no surprise when after the presentation, Churchtown's adopted
Wexford-man Jimmy Gordon, filled the Liam McCarthy. Micheál
Ó Muircheartaigh also attended this event in the Community
Centre which coincided with a self development workshop based on
the principals of Stephen Covey presented by Maurice O'Grady and
organised by the Churchtown Village Renewal Trust.
Churchtown's Under-21 footballers won the North Cork championship
in 1998 beating Grange in Buttevant in the final. Kieran Brennan
was captain and the team was managed by Colm Conroy. The panel included:
Kieran Brennan (Capt), Denis Crowley, Kieran Crowley, David Murphy,
Nat Simcox, Kieran Sullivan, John Quinn, Noel Quinn, Thomas O'Flaherty,
Thomas O'Brien, Thomas Fehan, John Howard, John Breen, John O'Sullivan,
Brendan Breen and James Breen.
Churchtown's GAA Under-21 hurlers won the North Cork championship
in 2000 beating Shanballymore in Charleville. Anthony McMahon captained
the team. The panel included; Noel Quinn, John Quinn, Kieran O'Sullivan,
Michael O'Halloran, Thomas O'Flaherty, Brian O'Donovan, Thomas O'Brien,
David O'Brien, Paul McMahon, Anthony McMahon (Capt), John Howard,
Diarmuid Fisher, Thomas Fehan, Ciaran Curtin, Brendan Breen, John
Breen and James Breen. The selectors were Michael Relihan, Dick
Matthews and Paudie Doyle.
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Jim McDaid, TD, visited the
village and turned the first sod at the GAA spectator stand and
dressing rooms on Tuesday, 23rd
Sunday 8th of August 2004 is a day destined to enter the realms
of the folk-history of the parish. This was the long-awaited day
when the hurling side emulated the heroes of 1929 and 1969 in bringing
a Championship to Churchtown. The weather (as in '69) was not conducive
to good hurling, and their opponents Doneraile, aided by a blustery
wind, led at half-time by 1-6 to 1-4. In the last quarter Churchtown
went a few points ahead and Kieran Curtin's late goal decided the
issue. Having lost two finals in the previous three years, supporters
were understandably jubilant when the long whistle sounded.
When the team arrived at the outskirts of the village they were
escorted by a piper to the village square. A celebration went on
for some time and never was 'My Village of Churchtown' rendered
with more fervour than on that wonderful night - especially at O'Briens'
- proud sponsors of the Green and Gold. Trainer Henry Greensmith
and selectors William Relihan and Michael McMahon (captain of the
'69 team) were justly proud of their charges: The winning Championship
panel included John Breen, Kieran Brennan, Colm Conroy, Kieran Curtin,
Joe Delee, Michael Doyle, Thomas Fehan, John Howard, Anthony McMahon,
Paul McMahon, Pádraig Morrissey, Brian O'Donovan, Thomas
O'Brien, Tony O'Flaherty (Capt.), Brian Quinn and John Quinn.
to GAA home page ...