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Ardmore GAA Club, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland.

The Men Of ’65

This article was composed on the 30 year commemoration of the club on the 14th October 1995.

It is said that to have a future you must have had a past and Cumann Peil is Iomáint Deuglán Naofa Ardmhór has had a very proud past indeed.

In 1886 the historic club took its first faltering steps at a time when our organisation was in its infancy.

After competing in the football championship for some years when teams were made up of 17 players a side they reached a Western Final in 1902 only to lose out to Blackwater Ramblers of Lismore by a single point when Lismore scored a late dramatic goal. Fate was to deal us a similar blow sixty two years down the line.
After this final no success came the way of Ardmhór and due to immigration and the affects of the civil war numbers declined and the club was unable to field a team.
In 1927 Con Downey together with friends Henry Reilly, Mick Carlton, Jack Conway, Pierce Foley Mickie Ryan, Paddy Flynn, Mickie Fitzgerald, Richie Troy etc., following a meeting in Bob Drohan’s house revived the club and they had some great years.

Then came 1950 and a great Western Final victory over Cappoquin only to lose the county Final to an up and coming Kill team boasting many big names. These were the men of 1950; Henry Curran, Paddy Mansfield, Jimmy Morrissey, Paddy Mulcahy, Jim Keevers, Tommy Hallahan, Jimmy Mansfield, Mickey Costin, Jim Cullen, Billy Allen, Paddy Foley, Jimmy Allen, John Carey, John Keane, Tommy Power, John Burke, Muiris Cullen, Billy Connell and Mick Mullaney.

The club again having lapsed for a few years in the fifties was revived in 1957 when the glory years for Cumann Deuglán Naofa began. Reverend William Phelan was at the helm. John Keane was vice chairman, Secretary was Paddy Foley with Richard Lincoln as Treasurer. Our committee was Jimmy Rooney, Paddy Prendergast, Paddy Foley (Dysart), Paddy Mansfield, Jim Prendergast, Kevin Coughlan and Sgt. Frank Farrelly. Dan Grady and Willie Mulcahy were later co-opted.

Having lost the Western Final of 1959 to Valley Rovers we were back to take the title the following year and to win a great County Final at the expense of Newtown. Many of the men of 1965 figured prominently here (bí said ag teacht).

We had a great run in 1961 our first year in senior ranks and our young team was commanding respect amongst the elite of Waterford Gaeldom.

1964 came and that heartbreaking defeat in the closing stages of a great final that we had dominated until the 59th minute when Kilrossanty scored a last minute goal.
You cannot keep a good team down however and as you must lose one to win one , back came Ardmore the following year to write a glorious chapter in Club History by taking our first senior football title, beating the fame Cnoc Sion who had never lost a County Final in a great decider.

Bonfires blazed in the ancient village of Saint Declan on that memorable evening when a proud local community welcomed home its heroes.

In John Colbert we had a top class goalkeeper who was destined to guard the county net for many years. Donal O’Brien affectionately known as The King was a classy defender of the first order. The great Eddie Mooney was a tower of strength at full back who starred many times on the county team. Maurice Colbert , brother of John, was strong and dependable at No 4 and he was later to play hurling for Sligo and his son is presently wearing the white of Kildare. The immaculate Paddy Carlton at wing back was outstanding he possessed so much skill he too was destined to play for his county. At centre back was the multi-talented Noel Power, who was later to star for Austin Stacks of Tralee and to wear the green and gold of the Kingdom.

Captain of team, Bertie, played at left half. Bertie was a rangy talented defender who also wore his county colours with distinction. At No 8 we had the supreme stylish, the high fielding, Donal Lenane who we know is very close to us tonight. His partner, and what a partner for anyone, the great Tommy Power who was surely the most talented footballer in the county and one of the few Waterford men to wear the blue of Munster.

A right half forward was probably pound for pound the best dual played around at the time the skilful and talented Jim Rooney. Leading our attack was the unassuming Thomas Hallahan. Thomas was the supreme opportunist. At left half forward we had the hard hitting, never say die John Joe Carlton – the tormentor of any defence. Inside on his right was his brother Mick who was proving that a good man can play anywhere and “Harry” was great. At full flight our full forward was a joy to behold, a class player in any company, the supreme stylist, Finbarr Hallahan. Completing our line up was the fourth Carlton brother and baby of the team, the speedy and determined, Anthony Carlton. Waiting on the wings and ready to serve were the talented Matty Cronin, Pat Prendergast, Austin Flavin, Michael Troy and Jimmy Flynn, go ndeine Dia trocaire air.
Let us salute the men of 1965 !

Our Juvenile Club is now riding on the crest of the wave winning western and county titles year after year. The strength of our Juvenile Club lies in the dedication of its hard working officers and committee and the training skills of yet another Waterford and Munster footballer of the recent past, the great Johnny Hennessy. Chairman of this successful outfit is the genial John Joe Conway with long serving Pádraig Ó Fhoghlu as Runaí and an impressive line up of willing helpers. We are so lucky to have the ever loyal John & James O’Donnell, Pat Prendergast, Austin Flavin, Michael Supple etc., who are always ready to attend to their Clubs needs.

A Club’s main assets are its players and we, in our Club, are lucky to have so many talented young players who are proud to wear the blue and white and who we hope will one day lift our adult teams out of their present slumber.

On behalf of the Organising Committee I would sincerely thank Liam Ó Loinsigh, Cathaoirleach an Cumann for his unstinted loyalty and support.