Athenry GAA 'Teams of the 1960's'

Foreword Message from Club Chairman Sean Keane I wish to avail of this opportunity, on behalf of the club, to pay tribute to the extraordinary contribution of the players and officials of the 1960’s. Their achievements on the field were matched by their ability to help establish the club as a united local identity and a prominent position in the parish of Athenry. On this special occasion, fifty years later, we are delighted to record in this publication our appreciation of all involved and we hope it will bring back good memories of great days. Gaelic games have been played in Athenry since the foundation of the GAA but the Club in it’s present format is only in existence since 1966. The success we have enjoyed, including winning three All-Ireland Club Hurling Titles and eight County Senior Hurling Championships, was built on a solid foundation in the early days which the players and mentors we honour today can be very proud of. I wish to acknowledge the role many of them played, in different ways, in those successes and thank them sincerely for their involvement. Sadly, some of our players, mentors and supporters are no longer with us, we fondly remember them and their valued contribution, enthusiasm and dedication. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.  The introduction by the Galway County Board of the ‘Parish Rule’ in 1966 saw the emergence of new teams throughout the county. The dominance of a few larger clubs faded and, with a whole parish to pick from, success came quickly for Athenry’s under age teams. This would not have been possible without the dedication and skill of a remarkable group of players, their mentors and the leadership of club officers. Winning the club’s first and three county minor hurling titles, a first under 16 title and North Board football titles at under 16 and minor was the perfect start for the club. It displayed what it could be achieve with teams representing Athenry parish. Success at senior level narrowly eluded the club in the 1970’s. However, inspired by the great P.J. Molloy, and after over a century of endeavour, on 18th of October 1987 the first county cup victory was secured. Several of the players we are honouring represented Galway with distinction, winning awards and All-Ireland Medals in both codes. As we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of that era and acknowledge the achievements and legacy, we can also celebrate the remarkable successe of the Club since then. St. Mary’s GAA Club leads the hurling honours list for that period and is the only Galway club to win county hurling titles in all grades. Today the club continues to draw it’s players, hurling and football, from the parish and it enjoys wonderful support from the local community. A new bright future beckons if the success of underage teams in recent times is any guide, the most recent in under 16 hurling. The thrills and excitement of competitive hurling and football and that all consuming will to win displayed in the past continues in 2017. HURLING All-Ireland Club: 1997, 2000, 2001 (3) County Senior: 1987, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004 (8) Connacht Senior: 1987, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004 (8) County Intermediate: 1998 (1) County Junior A: 1993, 2004, 2011 (3) County Junior C: 1996, 2006 (2) County Under 21: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2007, 2014 (10) County Minor: 1966, 1967, 1969, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2010 (10) County Under 16: 1968, 1985, 1986, 1994, 1996, 2005, 2017  (7) County Under 14: 1984, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2016 (7) County Under 14 Féile na nGael: 2014. 2015, 2016 (3) County Under 12:  2004 (1) County Under 21B: 1982 (1) County Minor B: 1981 (1) County Under 14B: 1982 (1) FOOTBALL County Under 16: 1996 (1) County Under 14: 2006 (1) County Junior B: 2004 (1) County Minor B:  1984, 1985, 1995, 2004, 2009 (5) County Under 16B: 1985 (1) County Under 14B: 2005 (1) ATHENRYCLUB ROLLOF HONOUR 1966 - 2017 (July) COUNTY MINOR 1966 Tom Long 1967 Anthony Poniard 1969 Gerry Kelly 1986 Martin Fitzpatrick 1987 Gerry Keane 1988 Paul Hardiman 1993 Donal Moran 1994 Brian Higgins 1995 John Feeney 2010 Jack Gibbons COUNTY UNDER 16 1968 Johnny Gannon 1985 Gerry Keane 1986 Paul Hardiman 1994 Donal Keane 1996 Shane Donoghue (H) - David Glynn (F) 2005 Keith Jordan 2017 Donal Parr Championship Winning Captains Minor & Under 16 (A) since 1966 First county minor winning captain Tom Long (1966)

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