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It may come as a surprise to many people, that organised competitions for schools is only a recent development. Hurling competitions are on the go for 25 years and the football only got under way 7 or 8 years ago.
Carnaun School has been active in these competitions, especially in the hurling, in recent years. The competitions are played in a league / championship system so as to guarantee schools a number of games.
Carnaun’s best run was in 1989 when the hurling team reached the County Final in a competition in which 26 schools participated. Indeed the team was most unlucky not to have won outright—beaten by one point in the final by Castlegar School. The outstanding players on that team were Emmet Morrissey, Michael Treacy, Kevin Quirke, Alan Feeney, Noel Hynes, Shane Qualter, Paul Rabbitt, Rory Gill and Emmet Caulfield.
The fact that outright victory eluded Carnaun in these competitions should not be too great a worry as participation at this level is the priority.
Like the other schools in the area, Carnaun has been, and still is a ‘nursery’ for the local clubs. Some outstanding past pupils come to mind: Paddy Fahy and Frank Coffey (Turloughmore) and Sean Hynes (Athenry) represented Galway at Senior level. Sean Hynes also had the distinction of captaining the Galway Minor hurling team in the 1970 All Ireland Final against Cork. Leo Gardiner (at minor and senior level) and his brother Gabe (U.21) were others who reached inter-county level.
At club level a number of hurling families with Carnaun connections are linked with the Cussane teams of the past—Finn, Ruane, Higgins, Coen, Mullins, Williams, Greaney, Cullinane are some of the hurling names I remember.
This tradition of Carnaun School is alive and well today and the Athenry club has benefitted from the recent past pupils. The Treacy brothers, John Conway, O. Caulfield as well as boys mentioned in connection with the school team are playing their part with the Athenry club. Several have collected County Championship medals at underage level.
Some of the Carnaun pupils of course live in Lackagh parish so the Turloughmore club has a keen interest in the school also.
I have been present at some of Carnaun’s school matches and one very important thing is obvious -the Carnaun boys enjoyed those games and enjoyment is surely the name of the game, be it hurling or football, at primary school level.
Written by Tom Cloonan
Published here 05 Feb 2021 and originally published 1991
Page 280 of The Carnaun Centenary Book
The Carnaun Centenary
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