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In my Fathers Time

(An interview with Walter Heaney)

Garrymore (known then as Ballyglass), organised their first team in the year 1918. The first game that has been recalled is a game between Lissatava and Ballyglass at Killeenreavgh. Prominent members of the Ballyglass team were Peter, Michael, Stephen and James Fitzpatrick ( all brothers from Carnageehy); Michael Turner, Ballindine; John Flannery, Creevagh; Patrick Moran, Mattie Fitzpatrick, John Mullen, Michael Kelly (Killeenreavagh); Matt Murphy, Nick Ruane, Patk Heany, Walter Heaney, Willie Coyne, William Varley (famous for his long ‘thumps’ of a ball); Willie Brannick, Ned Cunningham, Joe Heany, (Garrymore); Mike Nolan ( Ballyheeragh); Peter Prendergast, and a certain John Joe Hudson ( a showman), who llinked up with the team; Mick Flannery and Paddy Devanny. Other teams that Ballyglass competed against were Claremorris, Miltown, and Kilcreevanty.

The first set of jerseys were purchased in Claremorris by Paddy Coyne and were black with a yellow hoop. Training was done in Gill’s field at Ballyglass, and Terence Heany’s but, occasionally, some negotiations had to be done with the owners for the right to use the fields. Matches were played at John Hession’s field and at the Heath. A tournament was played at the Heath, and instead of trophies or medals, the prize was money. Ballyglass beat Milltown in the semi-final but as darkness was falling it was decided to divide the money between the finalists, Ballyglass and Hollymount. Goalposts, as we know them now, were seldom used. Instead, two long sticks which could be easily transported, and which, eventually, led to many disputes were used.

When the ‘Troubles’ broke out in the early ‘twenties’, the team was disbanded temporarily and when it was re-organised a couple of years later, some of the above-mentioned retired and gave away to some younger, more stylish players.