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SILVERWARE BOOSTS SUPPORTERS OF HURLING IN KILDARE

Leinster Leader 16/10/2008
 
SILVERWARE BOOSTS SUPPORTERS OF HURLING IN KILDARE
BY
LIAM KENNY
 
Hurling has often been seen as the ‘Cinderella’ of Gaelic games in Co. Kildare in contrast with the attention lavished down through the years on the football side of the Gaelic code. However the late autumn of 1958 brought a boost for the hurling activists in the county with the arrival of three items of silverware. As the Leader report noted ‘ Three trophies added to the fine cup presented by Mr. David Dennis, for the under 14 years league, and a set of medals for a minor league by Mr. Tom Dooley, hurley manufacturer of Mountrath made 1958 a memorable year for the hurling board.’
The cup for the senior championship was donated by the Kildaremen’s Association in Dublin. The Chairman of the Association, Mr. Burchill, travelled from Dublin to make the presentation, and addressing the County Board meeting, he said that with other members of the Kildare Association who were present at the County Convention earlier that year, he was delighted with the evident keenness the Hurling Board showed in their efforts to promote hurling in Kildare. On discussing with the Kildare committee in Dublin the results of the Hurling Convention it was decided that the Kildare men in Dublin would take a practical step to promote the game of hurling in the county.
The need for a trophy gave them an excellent opportunity to be associated with the promotion of the game, and, through the generosity of their members who contributed to its purchase, it was a happy occasion for him to be able to present the cup for the senior championship. He hoped that it would prove to be an incentive to the youth of the county to take part in the game, and, maybe some day in the future bring All-Ireland honours in the code to Kildare.
The cup was accepted on behalf of the Hurling Board by the Chairman, Lieut. T. N. Leyne, who thanked the Kildaremen’s Association for the gift of such a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. He called on all football clubs to consider entering a hurling team in the Juvenile or Under 14 competitions of 1959. He said that most of Kildare’s present hurling lineout are better known as footballers, which is sufficient evidence of the value of one game to the other.
A very fine cup for the junior championship was handed over to the Hurling Board by the GAA County Board chairman Mr. Liam Geraghty who had received it from the Officer Commanding Curragh Training Camp, Col. A.T.Lawlor, who in turn had donated it on behalf of the Army personnel in the Curragh Camp.
In the unavoidable absence of the donor, Mr. John Mahon of Claregate Street, the County Board Chairman also presented the Hurling Board with another exceptionally fine cup for the minor championship. The Chairman thanked Mr. Mahon for his gift which would be very much appreciated by the minors in the county and should prove a great incentive to clubs to enter teams in this grade. Mr. Mahon who is an ardent football supporter, had taken a keen interest in hurling during the past few years especially in the minor and juvenile grades.
And even the most knowledgeable GAA supporter in Kildare might have been surprised to learn that a senior All-Ireland Final had taken place in the county. This occasion was recalled when there was a proposal that the County Board should promote a 50th anniversary game of the 1908 All-Ireland final between Tipperary and Dublin which had been played at Athy. It was unanimously agreed that a commemoration would be of immense value to hurling in Kildare and it would be a great honour to a ‘weak’ hurling county such as Kildare to have the All-Ireland champions give an exhibition. It was also a happy co-incidence that Dublin’s 1958 hurlers were almost at the crest of a wave at that time having the most promising team in years so that a fitting commemoration game would be a certainty.

In his regular Leinster Leader feature 'Nothing New Under The Sun', Liam Kenny recounts how Kildare hurling received a welcome boost in the Autumn of 1958, with the arrival of three items of silverware.


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