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The newly established committee of the Athenry Snooker / Billiard Club have successfully completed their first year. The meeting was held in the Canton Hall in October 1999. The Canton Hall houses two of the finest tables in Connaught and this has been the view of many of Irelands top players over the past twenty-five years. Our committee comprised of: –

President: Rev. John Fennelly. CC

Chairman: Kevin Devally

Secretary: Finian Gardner

Treasurer: Paul Fitzgerald

Caretaker: Paddy Mitchell

The first task for the committee was to have both tables re-covered and return them to the standard of excellence that has made them the envy of all other clubs. We employed lreland’s leading experts the Petrosa brothers from Dublin, to carry out the work which cost £750. This was offset by membership of the club, sponsorship, and from table lights.

Membership is as follows, Family: £20. Senior: £10. Junior: £5.

l would like to say a very special thank you to our sponsors who without their assistance the task would be much more difficult. They were: Brendan Lynskey, The Fields Bar, Jim Kelly, Chemist, Tommy Coppinger Draper, Bob Reilly Flower Shop, Brian Fahy Bookmaker, Colm & Bernie Fitzgerald Grocer, Flannery’s Painting & Decorating, Barney Carroll Butcher, Fahy’s Supermarket and Martin Maloney Hardware.

Our senior snooker and billiard team were unlucky in not winning the interclub tournament. They have dominated this event for the past seven years winning on five occasions. The under 19 team showed their class when they won the inter club competition; they defeated the Eglington club from Galway city in the final. The team was made up of Donal Foran, Fergal Foran, John Brady, Colin Conneelly, Matthew Murphy.

Matthew Murphy won the last junior competition played; he defeated Paul Gardiner in the final. Mickey Quinn and Conor Judge were the beaten semi-finalists.

The Annual general meeting for the season 2000/2001 was held last October.

This year’s Committee is as follows:

President: Rev. John O’ Gorman CC.

Chairman: Kevin Devally

Secretary: Matthew Murphy

Assistant Secretary: Finian Gardner

Treasurer: Joseph Maloney

Assistant Treasurer: Paul Fitzgerald

Caretaker: Stephen Murphy

The first task for this season is to have the interior of the club redecorated. We would like to see more senior members joining the club. Our Membership fee is the same as last year. Many people,  including myself, can remember the amount of dedicated senior players who brought glory back to the Athenry club going back over the past thirty five years. There are a number of valuable trophies and cups in the club’s display cabinet, which will be played for the coming season. There will be both Snooker and Billiard competitions for juniors and seniors.

We are inviting both business and private sponsors who would like to be associated with one of our competitions to contact any member of the committee. The club is open Monday to Saturday 07-30pm to 10-30pm under the strict supervision of caretaker Stephen Murphy. As the majority of our members are juniors, we decided to make the club non-smoking one. This rule is strictly enforced and to date we have had no difficulty in having it complied with. The care of our tables both brushing and ironing is in the hands of Gerry Sweeney who generously gives of his time to ensure that they are maintained to the highest standards. We would hope in the future to extend the opening hours of the club, this will depend on our financial position, and the dedication of our members.

I would like also to say a special thank you to Canon Anthony King PP, Rev John O’ Gorman CC, Rev John Fennelly CC, and our new priest Rev Pat O’ Connor CC, for their co-operation in allowing us to run the club on it’s own merit.

A leaflet was delivered to each house in the Athenry area over the past six weeks outlining our membership. A special thank you to An Post for their co-operation in delivery, and also to Padraic Judge at Autographics who printed the leaflets.

I look forward to Athenry Snooker/Billiard club going from strength to strength over the coming years, and hopefully reaching the high standards achieved in former years.

For further information on any aspect of the club please contact me or any member of the committee.

Kevin Devally

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Written by Kevin Devally

Published here 11 May 2023 and originally published Christmas 2000

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