OOLA GAA CLUB NOTES
We hope that all our members are keeping well during these strange and unprecedented times.
As part of the healthy clubs initiative that Oola Gaa is taking part in this year that we are running a charity event “Dash to Croke Park and Back” it takes place on Monday next June 1st, entailing a virtual walk/cycle/run. All proceeds go to GROW and circle of friends.
Our tribute to the late Davy Quirke:
When Davy Quirke first started to play football, little did he realise the part the GAA would play for most of the rest of his life. He became a dual player, playing football at inter county level and hurling at senior club level. He was also coach, trainer and manager to club and county teams.
Davy combined this broad range of roles with being Secretary of Oola GAA Club and he was also a referee for a number of years. As if this was not enough, he was Limerick Leader GAA correspondent for all East Limerick games.
Davy’s first championship success was Oola’s East Limerick championship win in 1957, followed two years later by an East minor football championship medal. He was also on that year’s Doon county minor hurling winning team. During those years he played with St Flannans and the Abbey CBS. He then went on to play at third level with St. Patrick’s Teacher Training College in Drumcondra. In 1961 he won his place on the Oola senior football team and won his coveted county senior football medal.
Davy’s distinguished inter county playing career started in 1963 when he played on the Limerick under 21 team beaten by Kerry in the Munster championship. Later that year he started an athletic club in Oola mostly for cross-country running, which he chronicled in the Christmas 2018 edition of the Oola Voice. This was very popular for a few years with most of the Oola players participating. It improved the fitness levels, especially among the younger players and definitely was a major contributor to helping Oola win many county championships in the late sixties. It also improved Davy’s fitness because in 1964 he won a county senior hurling title with Cappamore and was selected for the Limerick senior football team which won their division in the National Football League and was narrowly beaten by Kerry in the Munster quarter final.
During the league, Davy had built up a very good midfield partnership with John Ahern and in 1965 they were in fine fettle. After beating Waterford comfortably in the Munster quarter final, they caused a shock by beating Cork in the semi-final in Killarney. The final against Kerry was played in Limerick and the home team dominated the first half and led at halftime. The Kerry selectors paid the Limerick midfield the ultimate compliment when they switched Mick O’Connell to centre field for the second half and this made all the difference. The game was close until the last few minutes when Limerick tired and Kerry got a late goal to seal victory. Later that year Limerick were playing against all the top teams in the first division of the league and although they did not win many matches were competitive throughout and Davy more than held his own against the best in the country.
In 1967, Davy decided to go back to college part-time and reluctantly withdrew from the Limerick set-up, even though he was still in his prime. Luckily for Oola, he kept playing club football and got involved in coaching and training underage teams and was instrumental in the great success enjoyed by Oola, winning three under age county championships in 1967 – under 16, 18 and 21 – for the first time. In the following years, Oola won four more county titles at underage level.
In 1970, Davy was captain of our senior football team and was now playing at full forward. Oola got to the county final, only to be beaten by Claughaun. The following year it was the same story with Claughaun coming out on top again. Davy then retired from playing but after a few years was coaxed back to play with the juniors. In 1975, he helped our second string to reach the county final where they lost by a few points to Na Fianna. He then retired and got involved as a selector with the senior team which bridged an 18 years gap to bring the county senior football championship back to Oola, to Davy’s great delight.
In the 1980s, as Davy was working and residing in Tipperary, he got involved with Arravale Rovers when his own children started to play and they enjoyed great success. In the nineties, he was back again as manager of the Oola senior football team that won a county league. He then became Limerick Junior Football manager and after a year was appointed Limerick Senior Football manager. In 2017 he helped to organise the Golden Jubilee reunion for the 1967 teams and was delighted with the event’s success.
Davy Quirke leaves a lasting legacy to Oola GAA Club and to football in Limerick, one that increases and is more appreciated with the passing of time. He was part and parcel of the great days for Oola football over the past 60 years.
Oola GAA Club extends our sincere sympathy to Davy’s wife Pauline, daughter Norma, sons Alan, David and Paul, grandchildren, brother Bertie, sisters Anna and Colette, and his extended family.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.