Organisation : Waterford County Museum
Article Title : Ardmore Memory and Story - Traditions
Page Title : Ardmore GAA Club
Page Number : 7
Publication Date : 06 November 2013
Expiry Date : Never Expires
Category : Ardmore

The G.A.A has had numerous ups and downs in the parish, from the Holy Terrors who were pre G.A.A to the 1898 team the first team to play under G.A.A. rules. The members of the first 17-aside team are enumerated in Paddy Foley's article in the 1984 edition of The Ardmore Journal. However, it was a lean period even though Martin Hurley provided a clubroom in Johnie Mulcahy's old house near the Boathouse and drove supporters to matches in his lorry.

In the 50's things began to perk up. In 1950, Ardmore won the Western Junior Football Final and were unlucky to be beaten by Kill in the county final. An amusing story of this match concerns my late husband's hat (Richard Lincoln) and it was remembered as recently as this year, when two of the Cullen brothers from Tramore spoke of it to Paddy Foley. Apparently Dick was on the sideline anxiously watching the match, his hands behind his back holding his hat. When the match was over, the hat had got such handling that it was completely unwearable and of course, was a great cause of hilarity among his companions.

In 1957, the club having lapsed, a public meeting was held and a new committee elected. Jimmie Rooney made a field available free of charge and Frank Nugent gave the use of a room at the college as a clubroom. In 1958 the departure of Fr. Phelan and the death of Richard Lincoln were serious blows to the club, but however, in 1960, the first Junior county final was won by Ardmore, so the tide was turning. Paddy Foley remembers Joe Curran being the person in charge of a flour bag full of jerseys at the match, furze bushes had been used as sideline markers in the late 40's and 50's, until Mamie Curran made sideline flags. In 1961 Ardmore won the county final and went on to win county finals in 1965 and in 1977 along with many other titles.

A field was purchased in 1982 and this of course was a most wonderful achievement. It was officially opened in 1984, by Mr Buggy, the President of the G.A.A.: 1984 was the centenary year of the founding of the G.A.A. In 1987 President Hillery landed there by helicopter when he came to open the enlarged Halla Deuglán. Cardinal Ó Fiaich was also in Ardmore during the same period for the 150th anniversary of the building of the churches in the parish and he unveiled a plaque to Michael O'Brien at the gable-end of the clubhouse.

In the early 90's there was a concentration of interest in the juveniles and that is now bearing fruit, with the under 10's, under 12, under 14 and under 16 teams and a minor one as well, under the watchful eye of John Hennessy, who has represented Waterford in football at both county and provincial levels. Billy Harty, John Donnell and Paddy Foley are the other angel guardians.

We are of course very proud of Mary O'Donnell who played with the boys team along the line and has now played several times for Waterford Ladies Football in Croke Park, though only 17 years old.

Other fairly recent distinctions in G.A.A. circles in Ardmore were:-
1997 Paddy Foley was elected Vice-Chairman of Waterford Co. Bord na nÓg.
1997 Michael Supple was voted young footballer of the year in Waterford.
1998 Séamus Prendergast was voted young hurler of the year in the County. He is presently a member of the Waterford Senior Hurling Panel.

I am indebted to Paddy Foley for what is just a summary of G.A.A. affairs in Ardmore, to the present day. See Ardmore Journal 1984 for fuller details.

A soccer club was founded in 1982 and is getting on well, according to the account given by Declan Barron, but it is not bound up with the sporting traditions of the locality, as is the G.A.A. However, in spite of rules and regulations there seems to be quite a cross-over between followers of the two sports.

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