Down through the years the Catholic clergy has played a huge role in promoting GAA affairs in clubs and schools. Fr. Paddy Browne’s story provides an interesting vignette to this history.
Fr. Paddy was born in Ballingarry in 1941 and played his first match for Ballingarry in 1954. He played for three years with the juveniles and four with the minors. The highlight of these years was in 1958 when Granagh/Ballingarry minors defeated Feohanagh/Castlemahon 3-3 to 1-4 in the West Final – a long overdue success in this grade.
That winning Granagh/Ballingarry side read: Seán Cagney (captain/Granagh), Christy Murphy (Coolrus), Jim Fitzgibbon (Kingsland), Pierce Stapleton (Knockfierna), Bertie Hanley (Kilmacanearla), Paddy Noonan (Ballyelan), Paddy Bowen (Caherhennessy), Pa Hogan, Seán O’Grady, both (Ballingarry), Seán O’Sullivan (Doonbeirne), John Carmody, Pat Daly and Ian Daly all Ballingarry, Pakie Sheahan (Granagh) and Kevin Kelly (Ballingarry).
They lost the county semi final 8-4 to 2-2 to St. Patrick’s who were the powerhouse of the Limerick team that had just won the All Ireland Minor Hurling Championship. The following year, 1959, Paddy Bowen of St. Munchin’s College, Limerick, captained their hurling team and Tony O’Brien (Patrickswell) was vice captain. They won the O’Meara Cup after a replay against Limerick CBS. Later in ’59 he entered Maynooth seminary and by 1965 was house captain for hurling. His class team won the college league five years in a row and he had the honour of accepting the Cumann na Sagart Cup from the then president of the GAA, Alf Murray. Paddy was ordained on June 19th 1966 and said his first Mass in Ballingarry the following day. He maintained his hurling contacts with Ballingarry and played centre field in 1966 when Ballingarry defeated neighbours Knockaderry in a terrific West Junior A Hurling Championship semi final. For him it was a special victory and special occasion as later that Sunday he left to minister at St. Peter’s Church, Woolwich, London. In his absence Ballingarry won the West Championship Final defeating neighbours Rathkeale 2-2 to 0-6 in the final.
Paddy Healy, a Ballingarry mentor, ran him that evening with the good news and he remembers mixed emotions: joy that Ballingarry had won, and disappointment that he could not have been with them. However, it was not long before his hurling services were required by Young Ireland’s GAA Club in London and his first match weas in New Eltham. Paddy remembers playing a match in Dogenham and displaying some skilful hurling stroke, he heard an almighty roar from the side line “Up Ballingarry”. The supporter was Eddie Hogan, another great Ballingarry Gael.
It was a nice co-incidence when Fr. Paddy returned and renewed his connection to Ballingarry GAA Club helping them win the West Junior A Hurling Championship in 1969 defeating by Killeedy 4-9 to 3-7 in the final.
Squad: Seamus Costello, Bertie Meehan, Stevie Roche, Mike Roche, Jim Carmody – all Ballingarry, Martin Enright, Frankfort, Jackie Condron (Ballyneale), Jim Kennedy (Ballingarry), Fr. Paddy Bowen (Caherhennessy), Donie O’Grady, Ballingarry, Peadar Daly, Ballingarry, Mike O’Sullivan, (Ballingarry/Castletown), Mike McAuliffe (Ballingarry), John Quille (The Downes), Paddy Kiely (Lisamota), Pat Molone captain (Ballingarry), Tony Hartnett (Ballyneanle), John Scanlon, Pa Hogan both (Ballingarry), Seán O’Sullivan, (Doonbeirne).
Ballingarry lost to eventual county champions, Mungret, in the county semi final. Fr. Paddy returned to London again and drifted out of competitive hurling. Since his final return to Ireland he has coached juveniles, boys and girls over the years. He also involved himself in club affairs being chairman of Monaleen GAA Club for a number of years. His hurling life began in his dad’s yard, hitting the ball over the barn door. It is interesting to note that many of his contemporaries in St. Munchin’s played an active role in the GAA and others who became priests were, John Carmody, Seán O’Grady both Ballingarry, Joe Noonan, Ballyelan, Tim Donovan, Rathkeale, Declan Kelly, Croagh, Pat Wall and Jim Geary, Kilmeedy and Pat Cagney, Banogue.
Pat was a garda from Killemardaly, Co. Galway and transferred to Ballingarry in 1965. He was an excellent hurler and footballer having played minor hurling with Galway in 1957 with his native club. He won the East Board and County Galway Junior Hurling Championship in 1962 and both again at intermediate level the following year. He also won the East Galway Senior Cup five years in-a-row as well as the Reeve’s Cup in 1966 and 1967. Whilst stationed in Ballingarry he had travelled home to continue his hurling with his club. In 1966 he trained the Ballingarry junior team to victory in the West Junior A Hurling Championship. He then transferred to Ballingarry and helped them win the 1969 West Limerick Junior A Hurling Championship title. In 1971 he moved to Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo and quickly became involved with Ballinrobe GAA Club. As a coach he helped teams win titles at divisional and county level. With Ballinrobe Hurling Club he won the Mayo County Senior Hurling Championship titles in 1973, 1976 and 1977 when he was voted Western People Sports Star of the Year for hurling. He won an All Ireland Garda title in the mid-70s with Galway West. He also played inter county with Mayo from 1972 to 1978 and played in Croke Park in the National Hurling League Division 3 Final against Armagh. He died in April 2014. Pat Molone is remembered with great affection by all who knew him in Ballingarry and Granagh.
All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi Finals
Waterford 2-27, Kilkenny 2-23.
Limerick 0-27, Galway 0-23.
All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi Finals
Kilkenny 2-10, Cork 1-11.
Galway 1-11, Tipperary 0-8.
All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi Final
Hearty congratulations to the Limerick senior hurlers and our own Donal O’Grady, a member of the management team, on their hard fought 3-point victory over Galway at Croke Park on Sunday to qualify for their second All Ireland Final in 3 seasons against Waterford on Sunday 13th December in Croke Park at 3.30pm. The boys in green and white will be aiming for their 8th title and first since 2018 and Waterford their third and a first since 1959.
Congratulations to Denis Noonan c/o Granagh/Ballingarry GAA Club on winning 4th prize of €1,000 in the Limerick County GAA Club draw on Saturday 28th November. The other winners were:
1st €10,000 John and Michelle Fox, Ballylanders. 2nd €3,000 Liam Lenihan, Tournafulla, €100 Denis Noonan, Granagh/Ballingarry, 5th Exclusive star prize of a two-nights hotel spa with bubbly in the room and dinner served later.
The monthly tempting spa treats for two people was won by Denis Fitzgerald, Na Piarsaigh,
6th to 9th €500 Carmel Kenny, Croagh/Kilfinny, Christina Aherne, St. Kieran’s, Dave Goode, Fr. Casey’s, Roger and Mary Cusack, Crecora, 10th to 13th €250 Seán O’Dwyer, Rathkeale, Eddie and Helen Heffernan, Mungret/St. Paul’s, Ger Fahy, Galbally, John Conway Glin,
14th to 30th 100 Ciarán Crowe, Patrickswell, Damien O’Neill, Oola, Michael Scanlon, Feohanagh/Castlemahon, William Sheehan, Templeglantine, Geraldine Meade, St. Senan’s, Kieran Maloney, Staker Wallace, the Stapleton gang, Doon, Aoife Ryan, Knockane, Jerry O’Connell, Rathkeale, Dermot Lenihan, Croagh/Kilfinny, Johnny Ward, Tournafulla, James and Mary Rose Hayes, Ballylanders, Ger Malone, Crecora, Jimmy Walsh, Effin, John Condon, Camogue Rovers, Audrey Myers, St. Patrick’s, and Seamus Ryan, Na Piarsaigh.
Thank you to all the members who have already joined the Limerick County GAA Club draw through the Granagh/Ballingarry GAA Club.
The 8th and 9th Limerick County GAA Club draw will take place on Saturday 12th December with exclusive prizes for each draw being 500 worth of vouchers from Timmy Macs, Elvers, Off the Bone Costa, Limerick Greyhound Stadium, Kenneally Jewellers, Scanlan’s Menswear, Irish County Hotel Group and Marie Keating, Photography. To rejoin for this double December draw, please visit – limerick-drawsignup/ or contact local club promoter, Stephen Stapleton.
Remember if you’re not in you can’t win.
The AGM of Granagh/Ballingarry GAA Club will be held on Friday 18th December at 8.30pm in the clubhouse depending on Covid restrictions. If however we are able to hold it there we will move to online. In this case all paid up members who wish to receive a link to join the meeting must send a text to An Runaí at 087 2912356 or email with your email address by Wednesday 9th December.
John Lynch, secretary, in his 29th successive annual report states that the year under review due to the impact of Covid 19 has had and continues to have a massive effect as we know on all aspects of life and specifically led to a pause on all our club games and activities on two occasions from Thursday 12th March to Monday 19th June and Monday 5th October. Until further notice Adrian Farragher will give the treasurer’s report and Andrew Holmes the chairman’s address. The AGM is the place for members and players to air their views on club affairs over the past year. The aim and ambitions for 2021 will be high on the agenda and it will take people with time, vision and energy to maintain the club’s place among the top dual clubs in the county. All club members are asked to attend, particularly players as the debate and discussion as always should be lively.
Note: nomination and motion papers can be downloaded on Facebook and must be returned directly to the secretary John Lynch, The Bungalow, Granagh, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick on or before this Friday 4th December. Any club member who may not have access to email/Facebook can contact the secretary on 087 2912356 to receive a hard copy of notice/nomination and motion papers.
We urge people all over Granagh/Ballingarry and beyond to put out their green and white flags in support of Limerick for Sunday 13th for the All Ireland Senior Hurling Final against Waterford in Croke Park.
There was no winner of the €10,700 jackpot in the Granagh/Ballingarry GAA Club lottery on Saturday 28th November. The lucky dips of €20 each went to Sean and Kate O’Gorman, Joe Carroll, Donal Mulcahy and Johanna O’Shea. The next draw is on Saturday 5th December for a jackpot of €10,800. We thank all our printers for their continued support.
Saturday 6th December
All Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Semi Final Cork v Galway in Parnell Park at 1.30pm.
All Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi Final Mayo v Tipperary in Croke Park at 3.30pm.
Sunday 13th December
All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final Limerick v Waterford in Croke Park at 3.30pm.
Saturday 19th December
All Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Mayo/Tipperary v Dublin/Cavan in Croke Park at 5pm.
Sunday 20th December
All Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Final Dublin v Cork/Mayo in Croke Park at 5pm.