29 Jun 2022

Trip down memory lane as Kilkenny club get visit from their 2011 All-Ireland final opponents

From this week's Callan Notes


Paul Morrissey John Lockes and Eamon Brosnan Meelin GAA Cork swapping jerseys on the occasion of the Meelin clubs visit to John Locke Park

Two proud GAA clubs shared a memorable moment recently, with an impromptu down memory lane after a chance visit to Kilkenny by a group from Cork.

Word came through the John Lockes club’s social media page that members of Meelin GAA club would be in Kilkenny on a stag party and were interested in visiting the club that they encountered in Croke Park in that 2011 final.

February 2011 was a momentous time for John Lockes GAA club. The adult hurlers graced the hallowed field of Croke Park in the Junior All-Ireland hurling final.

Their opponents, and eventual conquerors, were Meelin from Cork, a small village near the Limerick and Kerry county boundaries. Today Meelin is best known for its hurling team and the heroics of 2011 when they won the All-Ireland club championship. That was a club highlight but they have remained in the intermediate grade in Cork while the John Lockes have experienced a yoyo run of form, going from intermediate to junior grades.

A rematch was contemplated, a skills competition suggested, but considering the circumstances of the Cork boys’ weekend, a simple breakfast roll, coffee and a chat were in order on Sunday morning last at the clubhouse in John Locke Park.

The visit was part of Eamon Brosnan’s stag party - Eamon had played at corner-forward in the All-Ireland in 2011. Eamon failed to find the net in the final from a penalty and goalkeeper for the Lockes that day reminded Eamon of the fact he missed a penalty on the day.

Paul Morrissey’s brother Alan was high in the Hogan Stand that day with a powerful telescopic lens camera and recorded the lead-up to the penalty and the shot. Paul presented Eamon with a collage of three photos of that specific event.
The visiting group from Meelin GAA pictured at John Lockes clubhouse with club members on Sunday last

There was some gentle teasing from his companions on the stag party but Eamon, who recently retired from hurling, was really thrilled with the photos and said it will be a valued trophy in his household. He also thanked the John Lockes for their hospitality. Club Officers and past players joined them for a chat, with the Meelin boys impressed with the fine facilities they witnessed in John Locke Park.

Before leaving Callan the Meelin men first paid a visit to local hostelry the Cosy Inn, where they met some more John Lockes past players.

Before departing, Eamon Brosnan and Paul Morrissey swapped commemorative club jerseys to mark the occasion, while an open invite was left for any Callan team or member to pay a visit to the North Cork Club anytime in the future, which will certainly be availed of. No doubt in 2022 there will be bus trips to Meelin for juvenile games between the two clubs.

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