Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When the Rags were county winners

Although the current generation of The Rags probably don't want to be reminded of it, it's a hundred years since Kilcullen GAA won a Junior county championship, writes Brian Byrne.

So when Mary Orford read out an account of that match at the recent 'Action Replay' sporting memories event in Kilcullen Library, it was more than interesting. Maybe a challenge to the current club.

Mary had found the report in the online archives of the long-defunct 'Kildare Observer' newspaper, about the Junior 1914/1915 Final of Kilcullen v Ballymore.

There were a number of familiar Kilcullen family names in the team list, including A Nolan and G Nolan, and a Bagnall among them. The game was played in Naas, with a 'splendid attendance' according to the Observer's correspondent 'Sean'. "He was obviously the equivalent of today's Tommy Callaghan in the 'Leinster Leader'," Mary suggested.

But 'Sean' had a completely different turn of phrase than Tommy uses in these modern times, as he would probably acknowledge. There was an initial downpour of rain which caused the 'marquees to be taxed to their capacity'. But 'Sol' came through with weather that 'cleared off beautifully' for the game itself, he reported. "Both teams turned out in the pink, and presented the appearance of being trained to perfection," the correspondent went on. "and Kilcullen played with vim and dash."

And won. "Maybe if Kilcullen can get back that vim and dash, we might see them win again," Mary concluded.

As 'Sean' might have written, 'let us draw a veil over further comment on a sensitive matter'.

NOTE: As there was so much material and memories at the 'Action Replay' organised by Julie O'Donoghue and Mary Orford, the Diary is reporting from it in a series of stories over the next week or so.