Wednesday, February 12, 2014

G.A.A. Street League 1936

Reading through notes on the G.A.A. in Athy in preparation for an article on a man regarded as the greatest footballer to come out of Athy I got side tracked when I came across details of a street league held in 1936.  I was intrigued as I read the handwritten notes I had taken down some 15 years ago of the arrangements made for the holding of the local footballing competition.  The President of the Club was E.T. Mulhall [otherwise Edward Mulhall] of Barrowbridge House and the Club Chairman was Willie Mahon of Prussellstown.  The joint secretaries and treasurers were Barney Dunne and Tommy Mulhall, two young playing members of the Club.  The Club Committee met on 27th February 1936 and decided to hold a street league, following which teams were invited to register for Leinster Street, Offaly Street, St. Joseph’s Terrace, Nicholastown, William Street, represented by the Starlights, Barrack Street, Castlemitchell and the local firm of I.V.I.  Each were to register 20 players and by agreement the members of Athy Senior Football Team were to be shared amongst the different street league teams.

At the following meeting lists of players were handed in and the draw was made for the first round which was to be played on 15th March.  Almost inevitably two teams claimed George Comerford, a County Clare Garda then serving in Athy who was a Club member as well as being a county and inter-provincial G.A.A. player.  Both the Starlights and the Barrack Street teams disagreed over which team should have players from Duke Street where Comerford was based in the local Garda Station.  The Club Chairman in the absence of any agreement ruled that Comerford could not take part in the League and that the rest of the Duke Street players would be shared equally between the two disputing teams.

Two of the first round matches ended in victories for Leinster Street who defeated Castlemitchell and Nicholastown who defeated the I.V.I.  My notes do not give me the other match results or indeed the eventual winners of the League.  After the elapse of 68 years the results are less important than the names of those young men who togged out to play in the street league matches.  The panel of players were listed as follows. 

                STARLIGHTS TEAM
            D. Taylor, J. Moriarty, T. Buggy, T. Whelan, M. Mullery, J. Cunningham, P. Day, J. Rochford, M. Brophy, P. Ryan, T. Ryan, J. Day, P. Day, C. Cummins, V. Thornton, M. Davis, Thomas Davis, P. Aldridge, T. Supple, Michael Nolan, J. McInerney, D. Walsh.

                BARRACK STREET TEAM
            G. Roche, J. McEvoy, J. Carey, J. Lawler, J. Ryan, Tom Doyle, D. Pender, C. Alcock, M. Mulhall, M. Day, G. Ryan, M. Cunningham, P. Chanders, D. Chanders, W. Chanders, T. Germaine, J. Looney, J. Cahill, T. Corcoran.

                I.V.I. TEAM
            Frank Bramley, Patrick Timpson, Thomas Hickey, Patrick Hickey, John Moran, Patrick Leonard, John Rochford, Laurence Cullen, William Supple, James Kelly, Joseph Murphy, Tony Dillon, James O’Keeffe, Patrick O’Toole, John Kenny, James Malone, Patrick Dargan, Christy Howard, Edward Dooley, Michael Condron, Thomas Timpson, John Hannon.

                ST. JOSEPH’S TEAM
            J. McEvoy, M. Keogh, P. O’Neill, D. Kavanagh, P. Kavanagh, J. Kavanagh, P. Kelly, J. Kelly, M. Kelly, P. Doyle, P. Dunne, C. Dunne, J. Dunne, D. Hurley, T. Brennan, J. Murphy, J. Loughman, D. Loughman, P. Easton, J. Birney, M. Birney, J. O’Neill, P. Bowden, C. Kelly.

                LEINSTER STREET TEAM
            M. Mulhall, Thomas Kelly, Matt Murray, M. Fingleton, B. Dunne, J. Campbell, A. Kelly, J. Gibbons, T. Kelly, M. Kelly, L. Murray, C. Rowan, J. Kelly, P. Keogh, M. Lawler, P. Dooley, J. O’Brien. S. Reynolds, Joe Doyle, Tim May.

                NICHOLASTOWN TEAM
            C. Leigh, P. Leigh, P. Bolger, J. Donovan, J. Leigh, P. Donovan, N. Heffernan, D. Donovan, Joe Leigh, T. Cullen, D. Cogan, T. Wall, M. Cogan, J. Dunne, T. Page, M. Keating, M. Leigh, J. Bolger, Patrick Leigh, P. Doyle, P. Scully, Joe Coogan.

            William Pearse, John Corcoran, John Kelly, James Byrne, Thomas Byrne, Joe Wright, Daniel Moran, James Connor, Christy Myles, Joe Bermingham, Denis Bambrick, Pat Donnelly, John Owens, Gerry Byrne, Mick Webster, Ned Maher, Ned Young, Pat Doogue, Jim Hendy, Joe Condron.

            Andrew Webster, Martin Walshe, James Eaton, Anthony Deering, Thomas Mulhall, John Maguire, Paul Matthews, Patrick Garrett, Denis Fox, Joseph Murphy, John O’Brien, Patrick Breen, James Dargan, Michael McHugh, Thomas Doyle, James Kavanagh, Denis Bergin, Thomas Walshe, Patrick Chanders, John Dillon, John Higgins, Patrick Mulhall, Robert Webster.

No doubt many of those listed will be remembered today but as you can see most of the young player’s first names were not given in full.  I can safely say that the T. Buggy on the Starlight team was Tommy Buggy, and that the J. McEvoy listed on the Barrack Street team was Johnny McEvoy.  Many of the other names cannot be similarly identified with any degree of confidence.  A book prize to the first person to identify for me the football players of 1936.

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