St. Mary's GAA Club History


1974 Club Officers
Club Officials and guests at the Club's Annual Social 
Front Row: (left to right) Anthony Freaney, Gerald Corbett, Fr. John D. Flannery, Pake Ruane. Back Row: (left to right) Jackie O'Shea, Mattie Healy, Michael Morrissey, Christy Kelly, Frank O'Shea and James Corbett.

Athenry qualified for the final of the Carnmore Tournament with victories over Spiddal and Ballindereen. In the final against Turloughmore they emerged winners by 3-6 to 1-l after a tough struggle. Gerry Kelly was Athenry's outstanding player at full back particularly in the closing stages. After the game Tom Lenihan presented the tournament trophy to Athenry Captain P. J. Molloy. To coincide with the All-lreland Camogie semi-final against Buffers Alley Athenry played the same club in a senior hurling challenge at Monamolin and were successful by 2-9 to 1-6. The Wexford side did not however include Wexford star player Tony Doran. Athenry continued their great run of success in the County League competition defeating Ballindereen, Ballinasloe and then Kiltormer by 2-8 to 0-7 in a splendid game at Killimor. Liam Mellowes surprised Athenry but further wins over Moycullen, Meelick/Eyrecourt and Gort put them into the County Senior League Final.

Played in April the following year at Ballindereen Athenry let County Champions Kiltormer off the hook in an eight points each draw. It was Athenry who made the entire running but the champions never put a foot wrong in the second half and were lucky to escape with a draw. Later in the year Athenry were declared League Champions after Kiltormer were suspended for incidents during the County under 21 Final.

Team: Mark Donnellan, Noel Kelly, Finbarr Kerrigan, Willie Cummins, Luke Glynn, Tom Cloonan, John Donnellan, Gerry Dempsey, John Burke, Gerry Holian, Stephen Cloonan, Michael Donnellan, Basil Holian, Ray Glynn, P. J. Molloy.

Athenry were again bitterly disappointed at losing the first round of the senior hurling championship to Carnmore at Pearse Stadium by 1-14 to 2-9. An early goal for Carnmore put them ahead and thereafter they concentrated on scoring points and held on at the end despite a strong Athenry challenge.

Team: Mark Donnellan, Gerry Kelly, Anthony Freaney, Willie Cummins, Michael Treacy, Tom Cloonan, Sean Hynes, Stephen Cloonan, Basil Holian, Luke Glynn, Ray Glynn, P. J. Molloy, Gerry Holian, John Donnellan, Michael Donnelan.

The Clubs under 21 hurlers started the championship with a fine win over a fancied Carnmore side. A delay of over a month before the next game caused this promising team to become disorganised and they lost to old rivals Turloughmore by the narrowest of margins 2-8to 2-7. The failure of the Club to field a minor team showed the total lack of interest by the team mentors who accepted the job but made no effort to train or prepare a team.

Juvenile teams fielded in all games including the very successful Connacht Tribune Bicycle Tournament for under 14's. Athenry lost to the eventual winners Killimordaly but would certainly have had a better chance of success had their team included Pascal Healy, James Farrell and Seamus Kearns. The Club Chairman Fr. John D. Flannery suggested at the Club's Annual General Meeting that every effort be made to include each member in some Club activity. He also suggested that control of teams be left to one man who could pick his advisors which he hoped would lead to greater harmony within the Club and avoid disputes regarding selection and training teams.

Wolfe Tones junior football team continued to improve and in the Division three league, after drawing with Oranmore/Maree in the first round, went on to record wins over Monivea, Claregalway, Ballindereen and Clarinbridge. Finishing with nine points out of a possible ten they qualified for the final against Gort. Played at Ballindereen Tones were forced to lineout without P. J. Molloy and Stephen Cloonan but nevertheless a. spirited display and some fine individual performances saw them take the title.

Team: Michael Mullins, John Quinn, Frank Brody, Willie Fahy, Pearse Coffey, Tom Cloonan, Tommie Fahy, Pat Kilkelly, John Burke, Frank Joyce, Gerry Holian, Luke Glynn, Gerry Connaughton, Mike Burke, Jarlath Cloonan.

In the County Junior Championship Williamstown defeated Tones but the minors defeated Claregalway before losing to Loughrea.

A classy Athenry senior camogie team won their second County Championship with an ipressive 5-9 to 1-1 victory over Oranmore at Ballindereen.

Teresa Duane opened Athenry's account with a point, which was followed by another from Mary Daly. Lengthy deliveries by Athenry's backs set up several scoring chances for their forwards and eventually Teresa Duane hammered in a goal. Athenry were on top at the interval by 1-4 to 1-0 but their superiority was far greater than the scores showed.

Athenry were far more determined after the break, and it was Marian Freaney who broke the deadlock. Her strong shot to the net opened the floodgates and Athenry continued to pile on the scores, with further goals by Ann Morris and Marian Freaney (2) to secure a well-deserved victory.

Best for Athenry were team Captain Ann Duane and her sister Teresa, Midge Poniard, Ann Donoghue and Marian Freaney.

Team: Breda Coady, Noreen Treacy, Greta O'Brien, Ann Duane, Anne Poniard, Olive Coady, Midge Poniard, Anne Donoghue, Marion Freaney, Mary Daly, Anne Morris, Teresa Duane.

Athenry easily defeated Roscommon Gaels in the Connacht Final, which was played at Athenry. They qualified for the All-Ireland Club Final by defeating Ulster champions Creggan by 7-2 to 3-3 at Creggan. "Airborne Athenry make history" reported the Irish Independent as Athenry had travelled by air to Creggan, thus making history, by being the first camogie team to travel by air to play a game. The first half, which was very well and evenly contested, ended level at 2-1 each. The visitors took the initiative after the interval and, making light of the inclement weather conditions, gave a wonderful display of skilful camogie to run out easy winners.

The trip to Nolan Park, Kilkenny for the All-Ireland Final against St. Paul's was a disappointing one for Athenry. They were well and truly beaten by the Kilkenny side, 6-3 to 1-3. Still on the day they had some fine displays from goalkeeper Breda Coady who could not be faulted for the goals. Noreen Treacy was always reliable at full back with Gretta O'Brien unquestionably their star of the day. 

1976 Under 14 Team
 Athenry Under 14 Hurling team 1976
Front Row: (left to right) Michael Waldron, Michael Coppinger, Pat Higgins, Michael Loughnane, Adrain Ruane, Pat Hansberry, Dermot Kennedy, Sean Keane, Pat Kavanagh, John Kennedy. Back Row: (left to right) Tommy Fitzpatrick, Sean Finn, Michael Cahalan, Louis Murphy, Pat Flaherty, Gerry Waldron, Billy Caulfield, Vincent McDonagh, Michael Burke, Vincent Kelly, Joe Hansberry and Joe Healy.
 1976 Presentation College Connacht Champs
Presentation College - Connacht Champions and All-Ireland Colleges Finalists 1976
Front Row: (left to right) John Ryan, Dermot Lally, Christy Kilkelly, Gerry Dempsey, Pascal Ryan, Pat Hurney, Phillip Powell, Back Row: (left to right) Gerry Naughton, Gerry Hardiman, Michael Delaney, Martin Duffy, Richard Walsh and Jody Connolly.
 1976 Tom Coffey Wolfe Tones Secretary
Tom Coffey Wolfe Tones Football Secretary


GAA Publications in Digital Flipping Book Format

1976 Galway Senior Hurling Final Programme