FESTIVAL OF HURLING
A casual visitor coming in to the village of Mullinahone last weekend had to notice the riot of colour around the village streets made up of flags, banners and bunting. The riot of colour was to welcome the 600 or so young hurlers who came to Mullinahone for the weekend to enjoy the festival of hurling. Sixteen of the teams were U/12’s while another 12 were U/10. Both girls and boys were involved. The U/12 teams came from clubs representing 14 counties. Represented on the double were Tipperary (Mullinahone and St. Mary’s, Clonmel) and Antrim (St. John’s Belfast and O’Donovan Rossa, Belfast). Also from Ulster we had Kevin Lynch’s, Derry, Castleblaney, Monaghan and Eoghan Ruadh, Dungannon, Tyrone. From Connacht we had Galway and from Munster, Cork, Waterford, Clare and Limerick. Leinster supplied us with Kilkenny, Carlow, Offaly and Dublin. The U/10 teams were of a more local nature but we had a number of outside counties also. The bunting told the story around the Square with the different G.A.A. flags of the country being displayed. The festival began on Friday night with the Ulster visitors arriving in the area and many of the boys staying with local families. On Saturday morning the teams all wonderfully kitted out, marched behind the Carrick-on-Suir Pipe Band from the Knocknagow Community Centre to the C.J. Kickhams G.A.A. field. Here the festival was declared open by the Uachtaran elect of the G.A.A. Liam O’Neill. The President, the players and the supporters were welcomed to Mullinahone by the Chairman of Mullinahone Juvenile CJK, Declan McNamara. Dick Egan, Chairman of South Tipperary G.A.A. also spoke while Fr. John McGrath P.P. blessed the venture. Then the games began. Before the curtain fell nearly sixty games were played at four different venues around the village. The organisers are grateful to the local Soccer Club and to the landowners who helped them out. While the playing of the games was the important thing it was extra special for those teams who came out on top. At U/10 level the ground hurling final was won by Ballingarry who defeated John Lockes, Callan. The Shield was won by Fermoy (Cork) who just got the better of Mullinahone. The U/12 winners were Division 4 Clare (Clooney-Quin), Division 3 St. Mary’s Clonmel. Division 2 St. Johns Belfast and in the top final of the day it was the case of an Ulster final with Kevin Lynch’s Dungiven, Co. Derry defeating O’Donovan Rossa, Belfast, Co. Antrim 3-5 to 2-2. In memory of local great Gael and Mullinahone supporter Tess McNamara who passed away recently, her family presented a lovely Cup in her memory to the underage committee. The Tess Mac Cup was presented to the winners of the Division 2 final. The local team made a gallant effort to win this Cup and were only beaten in the semi-final after extra time. Once again the weather was kind for this the 10th Festival of Hurling which began as a four team local tournament in 2002. A first class programme was produced for the festival giving details of all the competing teams. I wonder if 10/15 years from now some of the young hurlers on the programme will be as famous as Paul Curran, Paul Kelly, Eoin Kelly and Lar Corbett who were in great demand signing autographs, jerseys etc. for the young hurlers. For some the highlight of the weekend was the Hurlers Mass on Sunday morning attended by all the teams who were staying in Mullinahone and attired in their club colours. A special word of thanks to the cooks who fed the over 600 hurlers during Saturday and kept all the energy levels up. Just a special word of thanks to the team and volunteers under Declan McNamara and Pat Fitzgerald who made the 10th Festival of Hurling the best yet.
Our U/12’s will be taking part in the County Go games finals in Thurles on Saturday. The following weekend it is the South finals.
James Maher, Jamestown would like to thank everyone who sponsored him in his triathlon. James raised E1,100 for the South Tipperary Hospice movement.
No morning Mass on this Thursday, September 1. Adoration in St. Michael’s Church on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Congratulations and thanks to all those who made the Hurlers’ Mass on Sunday last such a wonderful success.
Our Juniors who had a weakened side went down badly to St. Pats in the South Tipp semi-final in Monroe on Saturday night last. Our Minors are to play Moyle Rovers in Cloneen on Saturday next in the South Tipp semi-final.
Best of luck to Captain Eoin Kelly, full back Paul Curran and the rest of the Tipp team on Sunday.