Friday, November 10, 2017

History of Ballymore GAA should fascinate sports fans

A history of Ballymore Eustace GAA will be launched on 23 November, written by a man who was a player with the Junior and Intermediate teams in the mid-80s.

'From Leahy’s Field to Bishopslane' details the ups and downs of the Club's fortunes from 1887-2016, the highlight of which was unique distinction of being the only Kildare club to win Junior, Intermediate and Senior championships in consecutive years in the early 1950s.

It will be launched at the Avon Ri Lakeshore Resort in Blessington at 7.30pm.

Like most rural GAA clubs, Ballymore Eustace GFC has survived economic recession, lack of development and emigration, factors that impacted on the club’s sporadic rise and fall in changing times. Yet the club has undergone massive development in recent decades with the purchase of a second juvenile pitch, upgraded sports facilities and spectator stand at the grounds. This year, the club claimed the Tom Cross Junior county title but disappointingly lost out to Erin Rovers in the Leinster quarters.

The 1986 team.
The 750-page book has been a 'labour of love' by Henry For the past six years. In his research he interviewed players and mentors, and travelled the length and breadth of Ireland to meet opponents of Ballymore’s most famous wins.

There are also chapters on the development of Ladies GAA in Ballymore and the success of Oliver Plunketts under the management of Eugene Gilroy (father of former county player, Jarlath) assisted by the late Seamus Kelly. There is a significant chapter on handball also, another sport well associated with Ballymore.

The book is dedicated to the late Eddie Hubbard, one of the most influential, hard working and progressive members of Ballymore Eustace GAA ever and well known in county GAA circles.

A pharmaceutical operator at Pfizer in Newbridge, Henry and Noelle have two adult sons, Stephen and Harry. The couple support and participate in many clubs and events in Ballymore Eustace. The book is printed by Naas Printing Ltd.