St. Patrick’s ( Ballyragget ) GAA Club
Oldtown, Kilkenny Road, Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny
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
Robbie Healy 6/5/1993
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.
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.
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.
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)
At Clara, on September 17th , St. Patrick’s 2-16 Bennettsbridge 1-8
At Clara, on September 25th ,St. Patrick’s 1-16 Thomastown 1-10
At Nowlan Park, on October 2nd , St. Patrick’s 1-20 O’ Loughlin Gaels 2-9
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
At Carlow, on October 29th , St. Patrick’s 2-17 Carlow Town (Carlow) 0-6
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 ;-
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
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
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.