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Inter county GAA set to return

posted 1 Apr 2021, 00:33 by Edenderry GAA

GAA inter-county senior teams are to resume collective training from April 19, with a return to competitive action just around the corner.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin this evening addressed the nation on the new Covid-19 restrictions which are to come into place over next month, confirming the Allianz Leagues will start some time in May.

In further good news for the GAA, the government will permit underage non-contact training in pods of up to 15 on April 26.

However, there has been no update on when inter-county U20 and minor sides can return to play.

"From 19th April, some additional high performance training will be permitted, including senior inter-county GAA training to facilitate national league competitions, starting in May; as well as training for certain high performing athletes approved by Sport Ireland in a range of other sports," Martin said in a live address at government buildings.

"From April 26th, outdoor sports training for under 18s can begin again, golf and outdoor tennis can be played."

1 year since GAA first suspended activity due to COVID-19

posted 16 Mar 2021, 02:03 by Edenderry GAA

March 12 2020 was the day that the GAA, the LGFA and the Camogie Association announced that they were calling a halt to all games and training because of the worsening Covid-19 situation.

Earlier the same day the then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had informed the nation that schools would shut that evening.

At the time the GAA said activities would be suspended until March 29 but it was actually over three months later, at the end of June, when on pitch training resumed.

Just 14 weeks later all club games were cancelled on October 5 after a number of county finals saw behaviour which broke Covid-19 health guidelines.

As we reach the one year anniversary, club players have had just over three months of competitive action allowed in the last 12-months.

(Article courtesy of

Happy 30th birthday Mark Young

posted 4 Feb 2021, 04:00 by Edenderry GAA

Birthday wishes are sent to former Edenderry senior footballer and underage child prodigy Mark Young.

Mark enjoyed unprecedented underage success with the club and St Mary's Secondary school before going on to collect two Dowling Cups in 2011 & 2015.

Despite missing a crucial penalty in the closing stages of the 2011 final vs Clara, a then 20 year old Young celebrated the win in style for the following four years and received many a free pint of stout from local publicans once he explained to them "do you know who I am"?

Regarded by many as the second best player of his generation after Daniel 'Red' Ryan and widely known as "The Face of Copper Face Jacks", Mark is a highly decorated and dedicated member of the Irish Defence Forces.

Unfortunately, Mark has hung up his playing boots in order to concentrate on his first love, his job.

Sigerson & Fitzgibbon cups cancelled

posted 13 Jan 2021, 07:48 by Edenderry GAA

The GAA has confirmed that there will be no Third Level competitions in this academic year.

The decision was expected with the current Covid restrictions seeing the window that the competitions were due to be played in lost.

Both competitions were scheduled to take place before intercounty action resumed at the end of February.

DCU claimed the 2020 Sigerson title last January with UCC winning the Fitzgibbon Cup final on 12 February 2020.

Inter-county training postponed until February

posted 5 Jan 2021, 06:08 by Edenderry GAA

The GAA has announced that no collective training for inter-county teams will be permitted for at least the remainder of January.

January 15th had been the date set out for inter-county teams to resume training with the National Leagues set to commence at the end of February.

However, in a letter sent out to all county board secretaries this morning, GAA Director General Tom Ryan cited the “the current exceptional rise in infection rates of Covid-19 and the increased risk of community transmission” as the reason why teams cannot go back to collective training this month.

Mr Ryan added that club and county gyms must also stay closed until further notice and that breaches of these provisions will be dealt with under Rule 7.2 (e) of the officials guide, which is the rule that refers to misconduct considered to have discredited the Association.

"As you are aware the current Level 5 restrictions in the South will run until January 31at which point the GAA will review the current situation and any further advice in this context will be provided," Mr Ryan’s letter reads.

"Finally, it is important to note that outdoor gatherings on GAA property are not permitted – the only current exemption to this is for walkways (which may stay open for use by the community with social distancing in place) and for clubs registered for the 'Ireland Lights Up' walking initiative.

"I fully appreciate the frustrations these additional restrictions may place on our inter-county players and management teams," the DG writes.

"However, the safety of everyone in the game and indeed the broader community has to be our primary focus.

"It has never been more important for our players, coaches and officials to follow both the Government guidelines and our own provisions around training."

Club Webinar

posted 15 Nov 2020, 00:36 by Edenderry GAA

8pm MONDAY 16th November 

In advance of the Club AGM to be held on Sunday 29th November the Club will host an Informative Pre-AGM Webinar that is targeted at Parent, Players & Supporters.

In advance of the AGM the out-going Executive wish to highlight the challenges Covid have brought and our plans for 2021.

The meeting can be accessed from by CLICKING HERE at 8pm Monday 16th November. 

Offaly beaten by Kildare

posted 11 Nov 2020, 02:33 by Edenderry GAA


Offaly senior footballers were beaten on Sunday in O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, in the Leinster SFC quarter final by Kildare. On the panel from Edenderry are Cian Farrell, Rory Egan, Mark Abbott, Eoin Dunne while Kevin Guing served as a selector.

Offaly - P Dunican (0-1f); E Rigney, D Hogan, N Darby; E Carroll, J Moloney, C Doyle; J Hayes, C Mangan; A Sullivan (0-1), R McNamee (0-2), P Cunningham; C Farrell (0-7, 2f, 2'45), N McNamee (0-3f), B Allen (0-1). Subs: J O’Connor (0-1) for J Hayes, R Egan for P Cunningham, C Stewart for C Mangan, C McNamee for R McNamee, A Leavy for B Allen.

Offaly v Carlow Leinster SFC

posted 29 Oct 2020, 02:53 by Edenderry GAA

Best wishes to the Offaly senior footballers who began their Leinster football championship campaign this weekend against Carlow.

On the panel from Edenderry are Cian Farrell, Jordan Hayes, Mark Abbott, Rory Egan and Eoin Dunne with Kevin & Jack Guing members of the management team.

On this day in 1995: Edenderry crowned senior champions

posted 15 Oct 2020, 12:32 by Edenderry GAA

25 years ago today:

Ciarán Reilly   

Twenty-five years ago today, 15th October 1995,  there was an outpouring of emotion as Edenderry won the Dowling Cup for only the sixth time beating Clara, 2-10 to 1-10 in the Offaly Senior Football Final.  This piece is offered as a personal reflection of that day and I hope it will rekindle fond memories from supporters and players alike. 

But let’s rewind slightly first.  

It was the long hot summer. Club games were put on hold as Offaly hurlers made their way to the All Ireland final aiming to make it back to back Liam McCarthy wins. Clare had other plans of course, as the curse of Biddy Earley was broken.  

The weather was so hot for so long that summer. It seemed endless and GAA pitches throughout the country resembled a desert. The pitch in Edenderry was no different and was so badly damaged from the sun and cracked that it was deemed unplayable. To change things up a bit the senior team trained in the bog on a few occasions in the long lay-off between the last group game on 9 July and the quarter final on 27th August. On these hot summer evenings, I remember helping out by having buckets of water filled with cups and as the players finished sprints you filled a cup for them (so much for Covid regulations!) 

The path to the 1995 final had been a long one for many players. There were a couple of near misses in the late 80s but despite renewed optimism in the early 1990s the team always came up short. In 1991 a semi-final was reached but ended in defeat to Clara; 1992 a semi -final reached but a one-point loss to Ferbane and in 1993 the semi-final  was once again reached but a three-point defeat to Ferbane followed in an eight-goal thriller.  Then 1994 - disaster with the first round defeat to Belmont, then just up from Intermediate. The dug out that day resembled Emerson’s Waiting room but Belmont were worthy winners on the day. Anyways the players regrouped from the defeat it could have gone either way, but they played the remaining league matches and applied themselves. Only the players themselves and management will know what work was put in that winter under the guidance of Kildare man, Ray O’Sullivan. However, a personal memory of that winter is seeing the players training in small groups around the five mile and down the canal.  

Commencing collective training February the panel of thirty trained hard and opening league wins including an 0-11 to 0-7 win over Ferbane signalled brighter days ahead. Despite playing well there were many nerves as Edenderry faced Kilcormac-Killoughy in round one on 30 April, but the issue was soon settled and the Reds ran out 4-12 to 1-3 win over Kilcormac Killoughy winners. Next up was Ballyfore in a repeat of the epic battle in 1993. Finishing 1-10 to 1-9 only a late Tony Kenny salvo, as he jinked his way along the end line, was the difference. A third victory on 2 July with two points to spare over Tullamore (1-11 to 1-9) saw Edenderry clinch a quarter final place with one group game to spare. That final group game was played one week later in Clara against Doon but despite the glorious sunshine the reds suffered a 1-12 to 3-9 loss. The long layoff as the county hurlers took centre stage allowed the team the knuckle down and in the six weeks that followed the hard yards were put in. An easier than anticipated win over St Carthages/Mucklagh 1-17 to 0-9 in the quarter final  meant that Edenderry faced Gracefield in the Semi-final which was played on the Sunday evening after the All Ireland Football Final between Dublin and Tyrone. Again, a sterner test was expected from a fancied Gracefield team but Edenderry ran out easy winners 2-13 to 0-5. After three semi-final defeats from 1991-93 Edenderry had finally reached a final. 


Although Edenderry had defeated Gracefield on 17 September they would have to wait another three weeks before Clara defeated Tullamore by a single point, 2-8 to 2-7, in what the Offaly was described as a ‘bruising battle’. Almost at once, there was controversy as the preparations for the final commenced. Clara were aggrieved with the quick turnaround and angered that they were expected to play a county final six days later. The final was initially fixed for Saturday because of the clash with Offaly’s National Football League fixture, a home game against Tipperary. However, Edenderry objected and Tom Reilly, secretary, fought the clubs case maintaining that the final would not be played as it would rule Cillian Farrell out of contention. Farrell had been sent off two weeks previous in a junior hurling match and his suspension was due to end at midnight on the Saturday. In the end, the game was put back twenty-four hours to Sunday, but with the earlier throw in time of 12.45 to allow time for the National League fixture.  

None of this of course detracted from the teams preparations and the build-up was electric. Crowds gathered to watch the team train and the town was bedecked in red and white for the first time in a decade.  

After a nervy first half Edenderry held a slight two point advantage going into half time with late points from Ciaran O’Connell, Cillian Farrell and Declan Flynn confirming the Reds dominance. However, it was a blistering start to the second half which would prove decisive.  

Eight minutes into the second half Edenderry looked to half both hands on the cup and led by 2-8 to 0-5. Goals from John Mason and Niall Comerford had Clara on the ropes. But then the comeback started and Clara started to ask questions of the would-be champions. It looked as if would be anyone’s game as Clara score five points on the trot. Then up stepped Cillian Farrell who kicked a majestic point from out on the left into the scoreboard end to stem the Clara tide and from there on in it was frantic stuff as Edenderry tried to hold on to the lead. David Reynolds tapped over when he could have gone for goal to leave three points between them. Eddie Dunne’s whistle sounding the end of the game was met by an outpouring of joy. Young and old rejoiced.  

There was anger though that the supporters were not let out on the field because of the impending National League fixture. The gates were locked and I remember supporters doing their best to break them down. In the end, the presentation was a shambles held in the corner of the pitch near the old Tunnel as Declan Farrell received the Dowling Cup from Brendan Ward, chairman of the county board. Declan didn’t care though as he got his hands on the cup.  

Ever the consummate professional Finbarr Cullen made his way to play for Offaly against Tipperary, a game that was delayed because of the celebrations. Lining out at corner forward he scored three points in a 3-14 to 1-7 victory. Most of the 4,000 crowd had left by that stage and there was more interest from an Edenderry perspective in the evening to come.   

Later that evening as darkness set in the team arrived at Killane Bridge. No one expected the numbers which lined out to greet them as the players were bundled onto to the back of Grady’s lorry. The celebrations continued long into the night with several hundred packed into the GAA pavilion. 

Of course, I was much too young to enjoy the celebrations properly but I remember the following day my father making a speech in Byrne’s Pub which was packed to the rafters. Thanking those who had made the day possible, not least the players he ended quoting Van Morrison: ‘my momma told me they’d be days like this!’ 

A long week of celebration followed, culminating in a civic reception organised by the Towns Commissioners on Friday 20 October in the Town Hall. Later that night the Dowling Cup was guest of honour at Cathal’s 21st in the rugby club. With most of the players present, it was little wonder then that Edenderry’s opening game in the Leinster Club championship two days later was a difficult assignment. Making the trip to Wexford and after a lacklustre display the reds were victorious in Gorey on a score line of 2-6 to 1-4, thanks mainly to a Peter Brady penalty.  Killinerin, backed by Mattie Forde would have revenge four years later at the same venue.                                                

The drama of 1995 wasn’t finished there. There wasn’t much time to draw breath from  the victory over the Wexford champions as Edenderry prepared to face the Dublin champions Ballyboden two weeks later in Tullamore. Backed by Dublin midfielder Paul Bealin, who scored two points, Ballyboden emerged 2-8 to 0-10 winners. Almost as soon as the game was over there was more controversy as Edenderry joined Dublin’s Erin’s Isle in lodging an objection against Ballyboden on the grounds that Bealin had already played championship football that year for his club St Kevin’s Kilnamanagh before transferring to Ballyboden. The appeal from Erin’s Isle and the objection from Edenderry rumbled on for days but was eventually dismissed by the Leinster Council but not before they issued a statement claiming that Ballyboden had ‘breached the spirit of the rules of the association’ but they would allow them continue in the competition.  

Anyways, back to the 15 October 1995. Reporting on the outcome of the game Eddie Rogers in the Offaly Independent believed that it had been Clara’s shooting that let them down but praised Edenderry who were the more balanced side. It was a sentiment shared by Peter Carter in the Offaly Topic, which carried the headline ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’. It was the start of four senior football championship victories in six years.  A magical day. A quarter of a century ago today.  


RIP Tommy Cullen 1939-2020 - One of the all time greats

posted 6 Oct 2020, 08:39 by Edenderry GAA

It is with deep sadness the club learned of the sad passing of former Edenderry and Offaly footballer and hurler Tommy Cullen (81).

Tommy was highly regarded as one of Edenderry's finest and toughest ever footballers and in 2011 he was named at left half forward on Edenderry's 'Best 15' as voted for by supporters alongside his son Finbarr who was named at centre back.

While still a minor, Tommy won a senior county medal in 1957 as Edenderry beat Clara while also playing for Offaly minors in both the Leinster football and hurling finals that year.

It is sixty three years to the day (6/10/57) since Tommy made his debut in the green white and gold of Offaly as he played in the National League vs Louth wearing the number 15 jersey at just 18 years old. The following May, 1958, Tommy made his championship debut in a 7-8 2-5 victory over neighbours Laois which was followed up by a memorable one point victory over Kildare 2-9 2-8 before losing out to Louth.

The infamous Offaly breakthrough came in 1960 when Offaly won their first ever Leinster championship and Tommy starred at full forward in the semi final victory over Dublin 3-9 0-9. Following a Leinster final win over Louth, Offaly faced off against Down and it took a replay to separate the sides, but unfortunately it was Down's day as they went on to win Sam Maguire beating Kerry in the final.

The following year Offaly did go on better as they beat Roscommon in the All-Ireland semi final but once again they were thwarted by Down and cruelly lost the All-Ireland final by one point, 2-8 3-6.

He continued to line out for Offaly until June 1968 and in total he represented the Faithful county on 58 occasions, 23 times in the championship and 35 times in the league.

Back at the club scene, Tommy played a role in Edenderry's rise to the senior ranks of Offaly hurling as they captured the junior championship in 1962 and the intermediate championship the following year in 1963.

Following his retirement from the game Tommy stayed involved in many different capacities over the years serving both the club committee and as selector on many teams, including the 1985 senior football team that bridged a twenty eight year gap since the 1957 victory that Tommy played in.

Thankfully for Edenderry GAA Tommy passed on his sporting prowess to his children with his son Finbarr highly regarded as one of if not Edenderry's greatest ever player, capturing four senior football medals (one as captain) as well as captaining Offaly to Leinster glory in 1997, a National league title in 1998 and representing Ireland in the International rules series vs Australia. Following in her father and older brothers footsteps, Orla was also an inspirational leader in her time playing for the reds and captained Edenderry to a senior football title in 2010 as well as a Leinster title, the only team in the club history to do so.

(The late Tommy cullen pictured along with the late Mick Brady in 2011)

Everyone at Edenderry GAA extends their deepest sympathy to the Cullen family on Tommy's passing, his loving wife Mary, sons Pat, Finbarr and Thomas, daughters Neasa, Orla and Siobhan.

Ar Dheis Dé go raibh an ainm dilis. 

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