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Féile na nGael 1996


Back Row (L – R): Enda Glynn, Niall Ryan, Mathew Murphy, John Madden, Martin Sheridan, Cormac Cloonan, George Higgins, Padraic Quirke, Joseph O’Brien, Senan Coffey, David Carroll, Ollie Freaney, Colin Connolly, Wayne Connaughton, Liam Howley.

Front Row (L – R): Owen Cahill, Joseph Kelly, Brian Farrell, Noel Ryan, Gearóid Hearty, John Brady, Christy Cannon, Micheál O’Donovan, Sean O’Brien, Kieran Coffey, Daragh Kavanagh, David Duane, Brendan Kelly.

Athenry captured their fourth County U 14 title this year and the Joe Salmon cup, on June 2nd, by beating Craughwell. They reached the final by defeating Loughrea and Kiltomer. It was a tough final and Athenry were the better team and won on a score-line of 1-9 to 0-10. On the way home we received a great welcome. Many people had bonfires lited and there was also a reception in Athenry.

By winning this final we qualified to represent Galway at Féile na nGael in Waterford. Féile na nGael was held in Athenry in 1992 and 1993. A panel of twenty eight travelled to Waterford on the 20th June as well as our four mentors – Vincent Madden, Paddy Kelly, Sean McGovern and Tom Cloonan. St. Olivers of Aglish was the club that hosted us.

On Friday morning We played St. Olivers and beat them by 1-4 to 1-1. We had great support at all our matches. Our second game was against Glen Rovers of Cork Athenry put up a great fight but Glen Rovers were a stronger team. On Friday evening our opposition was Lismore but we were unfortunate to lose after a day of top-class hard hurling and beautiful weather.

On Saturday we took part in the Féile Parade in Waterford city. We wore our new track suits and after the parade Mass was held in Walsh Park for everybody in Féile na nGael. We went to Tramore afterwards to spend some money. On Saturday afternoon we said goodbye to the People of Aglish and left. We watched the final in Walsh Park. James Stephen’s of Kilkenny won it. Everyone was tired on the way home, but were happy after a great weekend.

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Written by Cormac Cloonan

Published here 05 Jan 2023 and originally published August 1996

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