St Patrick’s GAA club in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny, has organized a week end of celebrations (May 31/June1), incorporating La na gClub, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of its foundation.
St Patrick’s won their first county junior hurling title in 1978. Another was added in 2011 and the team, captained by Kieran Delaney, went on to win Leinster and All-Ireland honours.
The club also won the intermediate hurling championship in 1979 and have been Kilkenny county finalists and semi finalists, at that grade, in the last two years.
The footballers currently play in the senior championship, having won the junior (2010) and intermediate (2013) county titles.
St Patrick’s also has a thriving Bord-na-nOg section, which ensures that young players learn the basics and benefit from constructive coaching. The club was thrilled when Robert Doheny won the recent Kilkenny Feile under-14 hurling skills competition.
Among the club’s best known players are Jimmy Phelan (1939) and Matt Ruth (1975, 1979 1982) All-Ireland senior medal winners with Kilkenny.
In recent years, Joe Brennan, Geoff Brennan, Michael Brennan, Kevin Kelly, James Gannon, Liam Lacey, Eoin Bergin, Kieran Delaney, Geoff Morrissey and Seoirse Kenny have been involved with county hurling teams at various levels. St Pat’s have also provided several players for the Kilkenny senior football team, with J.J. O’Sullivan (goalkeeper), Liam Brennan and Sean Mooney among the consistent performers.
On Sunday Mass will be celebrated for deceased club members in St Patrick’s church, Ballyragget, by Canon Tom Murphy PE, club vice-President and an All-Ireland senior medal winner with Kilkenny in 1963 and 1969. The intermediate team will entertain the Faughs hurlers from Dublin at 2 pm and a competitive encounter is anticipated.
Faughs have a long association with St Patrick’s because Tommy Moore (1890-1973), who achieved fame as an All-Ireland medal winner with Dublin (1917 and 1920) and served that club for decades as a player and administrator, was a native of Fier, Lowhill, in the parish of Ballyragget.
The cup for the All-Ireland senior club hurling championship, which bears his name, was presented to the GAA by Faughs in 1974.
The St Patrick’s secretary, Geraldine McGrath (087 9568258) is the person to contact for those interesting in joining the fun. The club extended a special invitation to all of its former players and members to attend and enjoy the week end of celebrations.