St Mary’s GAA Club – A Proud Tradition

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Back row left to right: Thomas Flynn (selector), Niall Gibbons, Michael O‘Halloran, Niall Quinn, Stephen Byrne, Sean Dooley, Declan Connolly, Gerard O‘Halloran, Gary O’Brien, Joe Burke, Michael Mitchell, Luke Madden, Gary Maroney, James Divilly, Thomas Divilly

Front Row left to right: Martin Whyte (manager), Ciaran Cleary, Kevin Maroney, Conor Fanning, Daniel Hanlon, Keith Loughnane, Ailish Lawless, Thomas Flynn, Colin Whyte, Dara Loughnane, Conor Burke, Mark Hannon, Aengus Farrell, Robert McHale, Michael Gillhooley.

History was made in Athenry GAA this year when we won our first Under 12 county hurling championship.

There were further celebrations shortly after when our Under 12s won the “B” football championship. To the unaware outsider this would appear to be an achievement by a club with a modest history. However, further analysis would reveal that the club has won almost every hurling trophy possible and that this year’s victory was the icing on the cake. Founded in 1885, Athenry GAA has seen three county senior football titles (Athenry De Wetts), three All-Ireland club hurling titles (1997, 2000 and 2001), seven senior county hurling titles. The club has won at least twenty underage titles in both hurling and football in the last ten years. We have had four All-Star awards and the club has won numerous national awards in the last five years. We have contributed numerous players to county teams of all grades and levels and continue to do so today.

However, despite all this success, it is not what makes members of St Mary’s GAA club immensely proud. Rather, it is the contribution the club has made to its local community. Every week the club provides training facilities for up to three hundred and fifty under age players, providing the youth of this parish with much needed outdoor activity that is so lacking in today’s world.

Back Row left to Right: Alan Murphy, Sean O’Halloran, Cathal Keane, Conor Kindregan, Eanna O’Reilly, Jack Carr, Conor Caulfield, Damien Fahy, Dale Conlon, Eoin Donnellan, Dean Healy, Dara Hynes

Front Row left to right: William Dooley, Nathan Madden, Michael Mullins, Jack Gibbons, Padraig Hynes (captain), Daragh Glynn, Thomas Flynn, Keith Loughnane, Mark Hannon, Aidan Higgins

Our commitment to providing these players with the best of facilities has been highlighted by the development of our new clubhouse and playing fields at Carnaun. This provides our players with a state-of-the-art gymnasium, sauna and dressing rooms. It also has a medical room and meeting room. This clubhouse was built through the goodwill of the people of the Parish who so generously contributed to its development.

The ethos of this club has never only been to make its players physically fit. Its purpose is also to educate its players in good sportsmanship on the field of play. It also teaches them to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory. As l am sure you will all agree, a great preparation for life. We endeavour to develop friendships between players, mentors and club members that last a life-time.

The club also contributes to its Parish in other ways. It is always only too delighted to get involved in local activities when asked. ln addition, it has always had a policy of contribution to worthy organisations in the community, having contributed €20,000 to local charities and voluntary organisations in the last seven years.

As this Journal goes to print, our club has reached the County Senior Hurling Final, the County Junior A Hurling Final and the County Junior B Football Final. This is testament to the continued success of the club.

St Mary’s GAA club is a voluntary organisation that reaches out to all members of our community whether they are young or old. To all new members of our community, we encourage you to get involved by either contacting one of the officers of the club or attending one of our matches in the near future. It is a great way of getting involved in your new community.

For more details contact 086-8339884.

We would like to wish all members of our parish a Happy Christmas and New Year.

Mark is a local businessman and son of Gerry Nevin, Newline, Athenry

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About this record

Written by Mark Nevin

Published here 28 Dec 2023 and originally published Christmas 2004

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