The chequered history of Granagh-Ballingarry G.A.A.
Granagh-Ballingarry G.A.A. club is situated In West Limerick in the shadow of Knockfierna Hill, only 17 miles from the city. There is no record of when the first G.A.A. club was formed in either Granagh or Ballingarry. The first match on record was played on St Patrick's Day 1895 when a side from Ballingarry beat Croom 0-6 to 0-4. The boys from the garden town had a juvenile team in 1895 and we find them beating Rathkeale 2-4 to 0-0 to mark Ballingarry town as a leading stronghold of the caman The first big honour came to the parish was when Ballingarry won the West Limerick Senior Hurling Championship in 1904 when they beat Rathkeale in the final by 4-3 to 0-7. Ballingarry went on to reach the Senior County Championship Final, not played till 13th August 1905; the game resulted in a win for Cappamore on the score of 3-7 to 1-5. Ballingarry were back five years later to win the County Intermediate Championship when they had a fine 9-0 to 1-2 win over Ardpatrick in the final. After winning the county intermediate tItle that year Ballingarry went on to win the County Senior Hurling Championship, defeating Fedamore 4-2 to 1-2 in the final.
It was in the early years of the 20th century that a club was first formed in the Granagh side of the parish. The first big honour for them was the winning of the County Junior A Hurling Championship in 1914, followed by winning the title again in 1916. The Granagh club went out of existence after those great years with players from the club helping neighbouring clubs, but in 1932 the club was formed again with Fr. Kelly CC as chairman. The winning of two West titles helped keep interest alive. The minor hurlers won the West Limerick Championship in 1939, beating Cappamore in the county serru-linal, and won the county final, beating Treaty Sarsfields with some of the minor players now in junior. Granagh had to wait till 1942 to win their next major title, the Junior A Hurling Championship, with a good win over Hospital. Granagh were in senior grade in 1943 but after a good game with the mighty Ahane at Croom, Granagh had to accept defeat, and the following years were no better
So in 1945 Granagh merged with Ballingarry, who had won the County Junior A Hurling Championship in 1944.
Granagh Ballingarry GAA Club formed for the first time in 1945, but prior to joining together, Granagh in 1942 were county junior A hurling champions. Ballingarry also had victory at this level. 1944 was there year of wins in that period. In 1945 the combine parish teams produced a senior team Granagh-Ballingarry that could take on any of the top teams throughout the county and victories were recorded over such high standard teams as Fedamore, Kilmallock and St. Patrick's who were fancied to take the title that year. But Ahane, of course, that legendary team of hurling giants, was the biggest test of anyone contemplating winning the county senior hurling trophy.
-The local followers were proud of the fine performance against the greatest club team of the era
In the county final on 30th September 1945. ; Ahane scored 5-9 and GranaghBallingarry 3-2. That 1945 Granagh-Ballingarry side consisted of Paddy Tierney, Paddy Noonan, Paddy Power, T Walsh, Paddy Browne, Chris Daly, M Sheehy, Mick Mullane, Tom Morrissey, Michael Quaid, M Chawke, J Daly, D Noonan, S Chawke and T O'Grady.
The next two years were lean ones for the parish club, so in 1948 we saw separate teams each side of Knockfjerna Hill for the next seven years which were rather lean for both clubs.
In 1955 Granagh and Ballingarry again joined up and entered the West Limerick Junior Hurling Championship but as West champions they failed to beat South Liberties in the 1957 county semi-final.
In 1958 Granagh-Ballingarry minor team captained by Sean Cagney beat Feenagh 3-3 to 1-4 in the West Final, while the junior team won the West Championship for the second year running, beating Knockaderry 5-4 to 1-4 after a replay in the West Final.
They reached the county final but lost by a goal to Pallasgreen. This was a close contest, even closer than the scoreline suggests, as Granagh-Ballingarry had a goal disallowed early on.
That 1958 side was M O'Brien, P Daly, G O'Brien, M Quaid, P Browne, T Burke, J Hannon, J Sheehan, M Sheehan, P Stapleton, J Collins, J Fitzgibbon, N Hickey, P Ho,gan, W Cagney, P O'SullIvan. The next seven years were lean years for the combined club. For 24 years separate teams each side of Knockfierna Hill existed once more and they were glory years. for both clubs. In 1966 Ballingarry won the West Limerick junior hurling title, beating neighbours Rathkeale 2-2 to 0-6 in the final. Three years later they won the junior title again, beating Killeedy 4-9 to 2-3 in the final, and collected West and County titles in U16 hurling in 1969 and minor hurling in 1971 along with a West U21 title in 1974 which was also a glory year for Granagh. After losing the 1973 junior final, to Monagea by 3-8 to 2-8; they went on to make hurling history by winning the West Junior A Hurling Championship three years running, 1974-76, along with the county title in 1976. Ballingarry were back on the glory trail in 1978 when they won the county junior A hurling title, beating Feenagh-Kilmeedy in the final. So in the 1980s both Granagh and Ballingarry were at senior level with neither side registering much success; Granagh were re-graded to junior in 1985 and Ballingarry in 1986. Again neither side registered any success at Junior although there was success at Gaelic football when Ballingarry won the West and County Junior B Football Championship in 1989.
After being separate clubs since 1966 at adult level, Granagh rejoined Ballingarry on 12th January 1990, calling themselves Knockflerna Gaels, at a meeting in the Ballingarry clubhouse. The officers elected were presidents Willie Lee and Tom Burke, chairman Mossie O'Connor, vice-chairman Willie Power, secretary John English, assistant secretary Conor O'Keeffe, joint treasurers Gerry O'Donovan and Tom Burke. At the AGM in January 1993 it was agreed to revert back to the original;
idea of mentioning both sides of the parish in all activities as players, and followers felt that Granagh Ballingarry was a more accurate description of the club than Knockfierna Gaels. Since our re-formation in 1990 thanks to the Trojan work being done by our officers and mentors at both adult and Bord na nag level the club 'has gone from strength to strength, winning numerous West and County Championship titles in both hurling and football.
We have a vibrant camogie club, having won 24 county senior championships, 7 Munster titles and three All Ireland senior club titles. 2005 saw the formation of a ladies' football team in the parish. Granagh-Ballingarry also competes in both Scor na nag and Senior Scor, with Joan Sheehy of Granagh in 1997 successful at divisional Munster and national level in the recitation competition.
All Ireland medalists
Senior: Ballingarry can claim three All-Ireland medallists: John Reidy and Jim Catherall in 1898 won with Kilfinane, representing Limerick, and Paddy Doody in 1938 won with Dublin. He also won two Railway Cup medals with Dublin. Granagh can claim a senior All-lreland medal winner in the late Ned Chawke who won with Limerick in 1940. Junior: Billy Daly and Paddy Doody of Ballingarry won with Limerick in 1934, John Skipper Scanlon of Ballingarry won two with Warwickshire in 1969 and 1973, Paddy Walsh of Granagh won in 1941 and Mickey Sheehan of Granagh won two in 1954 and 1957. U21: Michael Clancy won in 2001 and 2002, Donal O'Grady 2001 and David Condron 2015.
Minor: Paddy Murphy won with Limerick in 1940.
Over 40s: Conor O'Keeffe and Billy O'Connor 2000. Wheelchair hurling: Maurice Noonan in 2013 and 2014. Masters handball: Billy O'Connor 2004.
The club's successes in the last 27 years have been phenomenal with Donal O'Grady, Michael Clancy and David Condron winning Munster and All-Ireland medals. Conor O'Keeffe and Bily O'Connor over-40s All Ireland medals, Denis O'Connor a Munster intermediate medal, Niall Kennedy a Munster U21 and Harty Cup medal, Donal O'Grady leading Limerick to Munster Senior Hurling Championship glory in 2013, Sean O'Connor winning the All-Ireland Feile Skills trophy in 2014. The club has been playing' senior/ intermediate hurling since winning the county junior title in 1998 and was awarded West Limerick Club of the Year for 2016. The evidence is there from the success achieved since 1990. There is a united approach to building a strong Granagh-Ballingarry club at both Bord na nog and adult level through our club's plans to last well into the 21st century.
Club officers 2017
Chairman Conor Snow, vice-chairman David Clancy, secretary/PRO John Lynch, assistant secretary Liam Carroll, treasurer John O'Keeffe, registrar John Carroll, insurance officer Niall Carroll, Irish officer John O'Riordan, children's officer Jimmy Chawke, games and coaching officer Donagh McCarthy, IT officer James Flynn, health and wellbeing officer Aine Healy. Bord na nOg committee: .chairman David Clancy, secretary Graham Russell, games and coaching officer Donagh McCarthy, children's officer Jimmy Chawke.
U21 McNULTY CUP FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
Congratulations to our own Edward Sheedy and the Limerick U21 footballers who beat Laois I-8 to 0-6 in the Peter McNulty Cup semi final but unfortunately went under to Clare by 3 points, 1-12 to 0-12 in the final at Pairc na nGael on Sunday.
TRIP TO CROKE PARK
Limerick County GAA Board Health and Wellbeing committees are organising a trip to Croke Park on Wednesday February 15th for senior citizens. It is not necessary to be involved in the GAA at present to qualify. The trip will cost €20
Ballingarry club/school coach
Granagh/Ballingarry GAA Club are looking for a responsible adult who has a passion for Gaelic games and the ability to organise and coach activities to their target audience to take on the role of club and school coach. It would be suitable for someone who works part time or is a student. The role comprises coaching hurling, Gaelic football and camogie in Ballingarry Primary School for a minimum of sixteen weeks. The role is jointly funded by Granagh/ Ballingarry GAA club and Limerick County GAA Board. If interested contact coaching officer Donagh McCarthy at 086-3123772 for further information. .
€16500 jackpot on Monday .
There· was no winner of the €16,400 jackpot in the Granagh/Ballingarry GAA Club lottery draw in Barrett's bar, Ballingarry on Monday January 30th. The numbers drawn were 8,28,29,30.Lucky dips of €20 each to Joe Condron, Evan fox, Joe Daly, Derry Lyons and Michael Shortt. The next draw is on Monday February 6th for a jackpot of €16,500. We thank: all our punters for their continued support.
Draw brochure launch
The launch of the new Limerick County GAA Club Draw for 2017 will be held at the Woodlands House Hotel Adare tomorrow Thursday February 2nd at 8pm; all are welcome to attend.
Thursday February 2nd: Granagh/Ballingarry GAA club reconvened AGM in Ballingarry clubhouse at 8pm followed by special general meeting launch of new Limerick County GAA Club Draw brochure at the Woodlands House Hotel, Adare at 8pm
Mon Feb 6thWest Limerick GAA Board meeting in the Devon Inn, Templeglantine at 8pm.