It was only in early December 2011 that St. Patrick’s launched their souvenir publication ‘’Bally Boys Abu’’, to celebrate the club’s victory, in the Kilkenny Junior Hurling County Championship.
Since then the club has won the Northern & County Kilkenny Under 21 Roinn ‘A’ hurling titles for the first time and added the All Ireland Junior hurling crown to their Leinster success .
In the previous publication, a memorable story was unfinished, due to printing deadlines, so ‘’Maroon Days’’ brings a wonderful few months up to date and ends on a successful note.
The club’s Communications Committee –Geraldine Mc Grath, Jim Delaney, Carmel Walsh Kenny, Pat O’ Neill, Noel Cummins and Seamus O’ Doherty ( Editor) – has produced another welcome addition to the Kilkenny GAA library. This publication,in Perfect Bound A 5 size , complete with glazed cover, extends to 104 pages and contains a significant amount of information on all of the games, with previews, reports ,analysis and post match comments a plenty. There is also an impressive array of photographs to complement the articles.
This edition concentrates on the All Ireland Junior victory and the Under 21 success, but there is plenty more of interest for club members , supporters and hurling lovers generally.
The front cover has an eye catching photograph of the 35 man Junior squad , Club Officers ,Mentors and Back Room staff celebrating in Croke Park, after the cup had been presented to Kieran Delaney, by the GAA President Criostoir O’ Cuana.
The foreword is written by Kilkenny County Chairman ,Paul Kinsella , while Club Chairman Philip Kenny looks back with pride on the golden era .There is a detailed diary of the Junior team’s activities from early January until just before throw in at Croke Park, along with a report on the emotional welcome home with the All Ireland Cup.
Carmel Walsh Kenny contributes a poem in honour of St. Patrick’s and another for a most impressive, sporting and gracious Charleville club. She also writes about stories and memories shared with her hurling supporting neighbours and explains how the current club crest was acquired. Carmel took soundings from older Gaels about the change of club jersey colour from green to maroon and shares her findings.
Jim Delaney-the club statistician- provides some interesting facts and highlights items, which were making the news in Ballyragget, following the club’s foundation in 1954. He also reports on the Junior team’s championship games that season .
There are some words of praise for people who have supported the club’s progress and the sponsors/contributors to the All Ireland training fund are formally acknowledged.
Geraldine Mc Grath and Jim Delaney compiled the detailed match previews, reports and analysis articles of the Junior games. Club Secretary and Junior team Liaison Officer ,Noel Cummins, provided all of the information requested from his official records and he subscribes faithfully to the maxim ‘’If no one else does it –the Secretary must’’.
The Primary School children’s entries in the club’s All Ireland Final poster competition are also included. Many different and unusual ideas – but always a local win ! The respective winners of the competition were Eoin Ryan at St. Ciaran’s and Chieu Phelan, at Scoil Bhride.
Pat O’ Neill writes, as Gaeilge, about the experience of watching the team playing in Croke Park, the joy of victory and the satisfaction of the parishioners with the outcome . Bhiomar ag ceiliuradh le fada !
The historic Under 21 Roinn ‘A’ success is covered extensively by Seamus O’ Doherty, who also interviewed the team captain, James Morrissey .Seamus highlights previous St. Patrick’s teams, which played in Northern & County Finals in the grade, starting with the men of 1979 . Interestingly, the only existing photograph of that squad was located by Aidan Brophy, who played against Young Irelands in the Northern Final and is currently a member of the club committee.
There are many other items of interest to enjoy and at only € 7, ‘’Maroon Days’’ represents tremendous value.Copies are available at the business premises in Ballyragget, at ‘’In Touch’’ , Market Yard ,Kilkenny, or direct from Jim Delaney on 087 804 3203.As there will be a big demand for this publication, the club recommends purchasing your copy without delay.