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Best Wishes to St. Patrick’s Ballyragget

By Mary Morgan Wed 8th Feb

St. Patrick’s ( Ballyragget ) GAA Club

 Oldtown, Kilkenny Road, Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny

Founded 1954
Club colours – maroon jersey/white trim, white shorts, maroon & white socks
Change – Green jersey/white trim, white shorts , maroon & white socks

Club personnel

 President – Michael Mc Craith

Vice Presidents – Canon Peter Grant and Canon Tom Murphy P.P.

Chairman – Philip Kenny   

Vice Chairman – Pat Gannon  

Secretary- Noel Cummins

Treasurers – Jim Mooney and Tomas Healy

 Committee – Jim Delaney, Seamus O’ Doherty, Geraldine Mc Grath, Martin Mc Grath, John Mc Grath, Gerry Mc Grath, John Lacey ( Leinster Council Representative), Michael Foley, Seamus Butler, Kieran Delaney, Frank Brennan, Martin Bergin, JJ O’ Sullivan,Tom Phelan, Aidan Brophy, Michael Foley, Sean Lawless, Joe Brennan (Snr), Frank Brennan.

 Bord na nOg – Chairman – Lar Mc Evoy

–          Secretary- Oliver Holohan

–          Treasurer- John Glennon

–           PRO – Gerry Mc Grath

 Team Management  – Maurice Aylward ( Bainisteoir), Matt Ruth ( Coach) ,Tom Phelan & Mark Swan ( Selectors)

 Para Medic- Cathal Foley 

Physiotherapist -Brian Oxley

Maor Uisce  Martin Mc Grath, Niall Dowling & John PhelanPanel

Michael Gannon           22/11/1988
John Mooney          4/4/1991
Geoff Morrissey                  28/12/198
Steve Staunton            10/9/1991
Kieran Delaney        20/7/198
Geoff Brennan                  15/8/1991
Stephen Roberts             11/3/1980
James Gannon                   26/7/1991
Brian ( Brook ) Phelan          22/10/1980
Michael Brennan      8/12/1992
Seoirse Kenny                 6/9/1989
Jody Phelan                   4/1/1978
Joe Brennan             18/4/1990
Bill Staunton                         4/10/1990
Kevin Kelly                1/10/1993
Liam Lacey                  11/5/1991
Brendan Dooley                         29/4/1980
Paddy Cahill                               24/11/1986

Robbie Healy                                  6/5/1993
Paddy Mc Evoy                             15/1/1993
JJ O’ Sullivan                                 6/10/1983
Dermot Brophy                              10/12/1988
Brian Mulhall                                28/5/1990
James Morrissey                     1/6/1990
Alan Ruth                              23/9/1988
Conor Delaney                       17/4/1984
Sean Mooney                          31/5/1988 ( Injured in Leinster Final last November )
Conor Foley                              4/11/1992
Eoin Bergin                              26/3/1994
John Holland                          18/11/1989
Brian (Tom) Phelan                   21/7/1979 
Conor Bolger                             28/4/1994
Enda Mooney                          1/5/1990
Domhnall Brennan                  10/1/1991
Mark Staunton                        24/4/1993
Maurice Walshe                        16/7/1982



 Two important matches !


On September 16th last – the day before the Junior Championship first round game against Bennettsbridge  two players and former team captains were married and naturally were unavailable for hurling duty the next day. Paddy Cahill was married to Niamh in Oola, Co Limerick while Brian (Tom ) Phelan was in Callan for his wedding with Barbara. The team was divided on that occasion, but the next day there was unity of purpose as Steve Staunton and Bill Staunton replaced the newly weds and St. Patrick’s won by double scores. The two benedicts returned to action in the  later  stages of the Kilkenny Championship.


Jackpot !


Speaking of doubles, the team captain’s ( Kieran Delaney) wife Afra, presented him with twin girls , Mia & Ellie, late on Friday night September 30th, The county semi final against O’ Loughlin Gaels was played on October 2nd  so Kieran’s week end received the best possible start .


Bally Boys Abu


On Friday December 2nd last the club launched its 48 page full colour Souvenir Publication to celebrate the County Junior Hurling victory. In front of about 100 members at the clubhouse, the book was formally launched by parish native , team Coach and All Ireland medal winner ,Matt Ruth. The first copy was presented to Club President Michael Mc Craith, and the second to team captain Kieran Delaney. Filled with reports and stories of the year, photographs of players, supporters and other events in the club’s season, it is selling well at only 5 euro. The Kilkenny PRO, Conor Denieffe, represented the Co. Board and praised the club for its splendid publication.


Galmoy gold


The north east Kilkenny parish of Galmoy has been associated with mining for many years, but its GAA club struck its gold on March 28th, 2005, when they won the All Ireland Junior Hurling title. The club beat Oran ( Roscommon)   by  2-19 to 0-9 at Semple Stadium and the team manager was St Patrick’s Jimmy Ruth – former player ,coach and trainer with the maroon and white . Jimmy is Matt’s brother ( as are Ted and Eugene who all played on the St Patrick’s Junior County Final winning team of 1978 ) and the father of current player, Alan.


Family tradition


When St Patrick’s played Piltown in the 2003 JHC decider our youthful left corner back was James Staunton . Defeat was our lot in a replay (1-11 to 1-8) so there was an element of closure, when the same teams met in the 2011 County Junior Final as James’ brother Steve , at twenty years of age, held down the No 4 slot successfully. Their father Brian was the main contractor for the new St. Patrick’s clubhouse ,which was built between 2003/2004.


Team of the week


There was much media coverage of the Kilkenny footballers failure to score in an Allianz National Football League Division 4 game against Leitrim at Ballyragget, on Sunday, February 20th,  2011.

The host club coped very well with the bad weather and had the pitch in excellent condition for the game. Leitrim won by 3-16 to 0-0. St Patrick’s was represented that day by JJ O Sullivan in goal, Seoirse Kenny at centre back and Sean Mooney who came on as a substitute,   while John Mc Grath was a selector. The Irish Daily Star ( 4/4/2011) selected JJ O’ Sullivan as goalkeeper, in their team of the week –following  his  clean sheet against Roscommon on April 3rd.


Path to the All Ireland Final

Kilkenny JHC    ( Sponsored by JJ Kavanagh & Sons)


Round 1 

At Clara, on September 17th , St. Patrick’s  2-16  Bennettsbridge 1-8

 Quarter Final

 At Clara, on September 25th  ,St. Patrick’s 1-16 Thomastown 1-10

 Semi Final

 At Nowlan Park, on October 2nd , St. Patrick’s 1-20  O’ Loughlin Gaels 2-9

 County Final

 At Nowlan Park, on October 16th  ,St. Patrick’s 0-14 Piltown 1-8

 Team – Michael Gannon, John Mooney, Geoff Morrissey, Steve Staunton, Kieran Delaney ( Captain) Geoff Brennan, Stephen Roberts, Brian ( Brook) Phelan, James Gannon, Jody Phelan , Seoirse Kenny, Kevin Kelly, Michael Brennan, Bill Staunton, Joe Brennan. Subs.Conor Delaney for Jody Phelan (44m),  Paddy Cahill for S teve Staunton ( 48 m), Eoin Bergin for Bill Staunton (51m) Brian ( Tom ) Phelan for Michael Brennan ( injured 53 mins)

 AIB Leinster championship

 Round 1

 At Carlow, on October 29th , St. Patrick’s 2-17 Carlow Town (Carlow) 0-6

Semi Final

At Ballyragget on November 13th , St. Patrick’s 2-18 Brosna Gaels ( Offaly) 1-4


 At Portlaoiseon November 27th  ,St. Patrick’s 0-20 Ballyfin ( Laois) 1-7


Team  – Michael Gannon, John Mooney,Geoff Morrissey,Steve Staunton, Kieran Delaney (Captain), Geoff Brennan, Stephen Roberts, Brian ( Brook) Phelan, James Gannon,Jody Phelan, Seoirse Kenny, Kevin Kelly, Michael Brennan, Bill Staunton, Joe Brennan. Subs. Conor Delaney for Geoff Brennan ( Injured 41 mins),Paddy Cahill for John Mooney ( injured 48 Mins)

Sean Mooney for Seoirse Kenny (55 mins), Alan Ruth for Sean Mooney ( injured 61 mins).


All Ireland Semi- Final 

At Nenagh  St. Patrick’s Ballyragget  0-17    Ballygar (Galway) 1-10 

 In addition to the Kilkenny JH Championship , St Patrick’s ( Ballyragget) also won the Northern Championship ( knock out tournament) and reached the quarter finals of the All County JH League. The club won the 2010 Junior Football Championship  beating John Lockes , Callan in the final ,on March 1st 2011

Club roll of honour



Participated in Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship  1980-1985 inclusive.

County Intermediate Hurling   1979

 County Junior Hurling 1978 & 2011

 Leinster Junior Hurling  2011

 Northern Junior Hurling 1978, 2003 & 2011.

 County ‘B’ Junior Hurling League  2003 & 2007.

 North ‘B’ Junior Hurling Championship 2006.

 North ‘B’ Junior Hurling League 2007 2010

 North Junior Hurling League Div. 2   2003

 County Under 21 ‘A’ 2011

 Northern  Under 21 ‘A’  2011

 County Under 21 Hurling  ‘B’   2008

 Northern Under 21 ‘B’  2007 & 2008

 County Under 21 Hurling ’ C’  1997

 County Minor Hurling  ‘B’  1983 & 2007.

 Northern Minor Hurling ‘B’  1983  &1997 .

 County Minor Hurling   ‘C’  1995 , 1999 & 2006

 Northern Minor Hurling ‘C’ 1982,1995 & 1999.

 Minor Hurling League  ‘C’ 1982, 1995 & 1996.

County Under 14 Hurling ‘B’  1965, 1988, 2004 & 2007.

 County Under 14 Hurling ‘C’  1980, 1983 & 1993.


 Co. Senior Tournament ‘B’  2004   ( 11 a side).

 Intermediate Football  – County Finalists  2011 (Replay against Conahy Shamrocks to be arranged).

 County Junior Football  2010  ( Finalists 2006 & 2009)

 County Under 21 Football – ‘B ‘ Finalists 2006

 County Under 16 Football ‘B’  – 1990 & 2001

 County Under 16 Football League ‘B’  2001.

 County Under 14 Football ‘B’ 1988

 County Under 14 Football League- Division 2  2005.

 Fathers and sons

 The following players from the 1978 Junior County title winning team had sons in the successful 2011 squad ;-

1978                     2011

 John Lacey            Liam

Philip Kenny            Seoirse

Pat Gannon             Michael & James

Michael Dooley        Brendan

Jimmy Ruth             Alan

Tommy Phelan (RIP) Brian

Ned Brophy              Dermot

John Walshe             Maurice

Lar Mc Evoy              Paddy

John Holland              John

Family affairs

 In the present squad there are many family ties. Included are –

 Brothers –     Michael & James Gannon.

–          Geoff , Joe & Michael Brennan.

–          Brian ‘Brook’  & Jody Phelan , also cousins to Brendan Dooley.

–          Kieran & Conor Delaney.

–          Bill & Mark Staunton

–          Sean & Enda Mooney


 Players & officials – Seoirse Kenny and his father Philip is Chairman

–                      Michael & James Gannon and their father Pat is Vice Chairman

–                      John Mooney and his father Jim is Joint Treasurer.

–                      Liam Lacey and his father John is a Leinster Council Representative.

–                      Conor Foley and his father Cathal is the club’s Para Medic.

 General notes re club men

 All Ireland  Hurling Medal winners

 Senior-    Matt Ruth    – All Ireland Senior medal winner with Kilkenny  1975/79/82    Played for Limerick in 1974 All Ireland Final v Kilkenny and won Intermediate All Ireland honours with Tipperary, in 1972.

Jimmy Phelan – Played in 1939  ( Thunder & lightning ) All Ireland Final for Kilkenny v Cork and scored 2-1  . He died in 2006 ( RIP).

 Shem Downey ,although a Conahy Shamrocks man, played with Ballyragget and still lives there. Shem won a Senior All Ireland with Kilkenny in 1947 and celebrated his 90th birthday on January 5th last.

Canon Tom Murphy PP , a native of the Rower, won All Ireland medals with Kilkenny in 1963 & 1969.

 Minor-    Kieran Carroll 1973, Kevin O’ Shea 1975, Pat Gannon 1977, Joe Brennan , Liam Lacey ,Geoff Brennan & James Gannon, 2008  Kevin Kelly & Michael Brennan 2010

 Under 21-  Shem Brophy 1974

 Junior-      Pat Gannon 1988

 Intermediate-  Seoirse Kenny 2010

 Other achievements

 James Gannon captained St Kieran’s College to victory in the All Ireland Colleges Final ( Croke Cup ) against Ard Scoil Ris Limerick in 2010. Michael Brennan was also a scoring forward on the team.

 Kevin Kelly won the Man of the Match Awards for his performances in the Leinster Minor Hurling Final (v Dublin ) and the All Ireland Final (v Clare ). Michael Brennan was also a key player in those victories .

 Kevin is currently preparing for his Leaving Certificate examinations at Heywood Community School, where one of the teachers is his team captain Kieran Delaney.

 James Morrissey captained the club to the Northern and County Under 21 ‘A’ hurling titles on December 4th and 11th 2011.It was the club’s first success at that level. Sean Mooney led the club to the Under 21 ‘B’ Northern & County double in 2008. Seamus Lacey was the victorious captain when the Under 21 Roinn ‘C’ county title was won in 1997.

 Seoirse Kenny won a Leinster Intermediate hurling title with Kilkenny in 2011 and also played in the All Ireland Final loss to Clare. Kieran Delaney and Geoff Morrissey were also in the squad.

This pack was compiled by the Club Communications Committee of Seamus O’ Doherty ( Editor), Geraldine Mc Grath, Carmel Walsh-Kenny, Pat O’ Neill, Jim Delaney and Noel Cummins.


By Mary Morgan Wed 8th Feb

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