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100 Years Ago Today

posted 21 Feb 2016, 03:15 by Edenderry GAA   [ updated 21 Feb 2016, 03:16 ]
On this day 100 years ago the Gaels of Edenderry came together for their Annual Ball, a major event on the social calendar of the Town at the time. Only weeks before the Rising the Edenderry Hurlers Annual Ball was held in the Town Hall. We have a copy of a ticket below that belonged to Mick Synott a cabinet maker with Alesbury's. Mick was originally from Kilkenny and was an apprentice cabinet maker in Edenderry with Alesbury Bros, whom later
went on to work and hurl with Banagher, Birr, Limerick and Cork. 



The Annual Hurlers Ball ran from 1909 up until the 1920's and was a highlight on the social calendar at the time.

In 1909 the first Annual Ball was held by Edenderry Hurling Club.  Quoted in the Tale of the Reds, Joe Carthy remembered it as a young boy;

    "It was a big night every year in the Town Hall.  It would be 6 o'clock in the morning when it would finish.  The     hall would be decorated to the last.  My mother served tea along with other women."

In those far-off days each lady on entering the ballroom was given a programme which contained the names of the dances to be played during the night.  These dances would be numbered from 1 up to whatever number of dances would be played until the ball was over.  Each man would, on looking down the list, ask the lady of his choice for number so-and-so dance, whereupon she would write his name opposite.  Ladies got great satisfaction from filling their dance cards.  Another custom at the times was that the gentlemen would wear white gloves so as not to spoil the ladies dresses. 

The event was seen as the premier reunion of its kind in Edenderry.  Supper would be served in the early hours of the morning 12.30am and music usually provided by large bands from Dublin and a mix of local musicians.  

We have no account of the 1916 dance, only the ticket, but in 1917 the Leinster Leader described the ball as follows;

    "Right royal enjoyment followed, no stiffness, formality or attempt at swank, for these things always mar a re-        union  as democratic as the Hurlers' Ball.  The Local String Band of Richard Matthews, piano, J Maher, P.         Davy and D. Maher on the violins.  Edward Maloney MC, discharged his onerous duties in splendid fashion.      It was as great a success as usual, a capital night's amusement."

On the field the Hurlers were beaten in the 1915 North Final but it was played in October 1916.  It was played before the Leinster Semi Final game between Offaly & Kilkenny. Rahan were the better team on the day and ran out easy winners on a score-line of 4-03 to 0-01. Tm Collins with the only score for the Reds.  The games was characterised by unnecessary roughness and at a meeting in December J. Sheil of Rahan got £4 compensation while Tom Collins of Edenderry got 30 shillings.  Mick Synnott the owner of the Hurlers Ball ticket was togged out that day.

The team that played that day was;
John O'Shea, M. Synnott, P. Stapleton, John Byrne, D. Sheil, P. Grattan, B. Byrne, S. Reid, T. Collins, John Beatty, James Brereton, D. Corrigan, E. Connell, T Connor & James Daly. 

Below is a picture of the Hurling Team from 1912 with many of the men of '16 on it. 



In August 1916, both the Seniors and Juniors were knocked out of the 1916 Championship in Clonygowan by Tullamore. 

Watch out for up coming announcements on some lectures the club intends to host covering events around this period. 
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