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A note on Gaelic Games in Edenderry from the Kildare Observer March - April 1933 - Oct 2010

posted 24 Jun 2011, 06:47 by Serva sport

The Kildare Observer newspaper which catered for Kildare and its hinterland was predominately, before Independence in 1921, a Unionist newspaper and continued in circulation into the 1930s. Over a two week period towards the end of March and the beginning of April 1933 the paper provided a little insight into the history of both hurling and football in Edenderry. The writer of the piece is not identified nor is the reason behind the publishing of the two articles. One suspects that it was perhaps a call to the hurlers and the footballers of the club to recommit themselves now that a new field (the present location of the club) had been secured. Here is the piece from 25 March about hurling:

Father Kearney's generous act in placing a practice field at the temporary disposal of the Edenderry Gales enables the hurling and football teams to resume work after a long period of inactivity - the first inactive spell of the local GAA history of 33 years constant and fruitful effort. Until the final decade of the last century, strange to say, there was no branch of the GAA in Edenderry, cricket being the principal local game up to that time. 
The formation of the hurling club by a number of young men- Messrs Seamus Beatty, Hugh Donaghue, Sean O'Connor, Jimmy Nolan, Paddy Carroll, Jack Campbell and Matt Mangan are still active propagandists and supporters, but alas no longer hurlers- caused great local stir and there was no difficulty in recruiting members. The trouble came later on when there was a split in the ranks due to political differences; this trouble however did not last long and a merging together of all sides give Edenderry one of the strongest and most active clubs in the midlands. From the colour of the jerseys the team became known as 'The Reds'. 'The Reds' were dogged by cruel fate which unmindful of their wonderful enthusiasm and great efficiency on the pitch, never once permitted them- so far as this writer can recollect- to don the mantle of championship. Again and again after Herculean struggles with doughty rivals they entered the final- only to be beaten and frequently by pure bad luck alone. But these disappointments had absolutely no effect on their enthusiasm and ambition all through the long years that followed 'The Reds' mighty in battle, dogged by bad luck kept the standard flying and established a tradition of fealty to hurling which distinguishes the Gaels of Edenderry to this day. Next week the story of football in Edenderry will be told.

The football article on 1 April 1933 read: 
Today we are glad to say that the game is making the most satisfactory headway and stands in abetter position that it has been for many years. Several hurlers are also footballers and the unity and cooperation between the two clubs is a distinct help to both, but especially to the football club. The latter has a very enthusiastic and hard working committee and its membership roll is satisfactory. Practice, thanks to the kindness of Fr Kearney in providing a field, are held regularly and frequently and there is every hope that the coming year will witness a great improvement in the conditions which govern the future of the team and club. The first team was called John Boyle O'Reillys and after this they were known as Sarsfields and enjoyed more notable success and keeping the spirit of football alive. Since then the game has been making good progress and in 1927 the junior team won the county championship of Offaly a distinction that not even the most ardent supporter would have believed possible from the previous history of the club. That they will succeed in making a name for the team is the hope of everyone.