Brief History of Castletown Geoghegan Hurling Club.

November 7, 2018

Brief History of Castletown Geoghegan Hurling Club.

The 1st record of hurling been played in Castletown goes back to 1911 when the Daly’s Ennis’s Gallagher’s Kelly’s and Hacket’s played hurling in Loughlum.  It was not on an organised basis but soon after a Kilkenny man Mick Byrne who worked with CIE at Castletown Station brought his skill and knowledge of hurling to the area.  In 1920 the 1st team was entered in the junior championship.  Mick was a Kilkenny man so the chosen colours were black and amber.  At this stage hurling had moved nearer to Castletown and the game was played in a field called the Planting.  This team won their 1st junior title in 1921 and a major breakthrough came in 1923 when they proved too strong for Castlepollard and brought the 1st senior hurling championship back to the village.

Emigration was rife in the mid 20’s and as a result at the A.G.M. of 1924 it was decided to disband. Joe Clarke, Pat Corcoran and Dan Leavy re-organised the club in 1930 and from that day to this the club has unbroken service in the county. The junior league and championship were won in 1933. The team was backboned by the Garvin, Corcoran, Clarkes, Kirby’s, Wald­ron, Dan Leavy and Paddy Reilly.

It was decided to carefully nurture the minors and in 1937, ’38 and ’39 the minor hurlers won the championship. Then, in 1940 the junior championship and league titles were annexed. In 1944 they again won the junior league but then they hit on lean times and it was not until eight years later that they won the junior league.

In 1953 they brought off the league/ championship junior double and these victories were the prelude to the golden era of Castletown’s hurling-story. They quickly established themselves in senior ranks winning the sen­ior league in 1954.

In 1955 they contested the senior final against Collinstown but were narrowly beaten.  The next 3 years proved very successful as they won 3 in row senior championships 1956, 57, 58.  They defeated Rickardstown, Collinstown and Castlepollard in the 3 finals.

The senior side was also successful in the 1960 and ’64 finals. Below are the names of the hurlers who featured in these successes: Jimmy Dalton(R.I.P), Christy Dalton, Peter Dalton(R.I.P), Mick Dalton, Michael Kirby, Sean Kirby, Eamon Kirby, Paddy Bolger(R.I.P), Tommy Bolger(R.I.P.), Stephen Bolger, Mick Bolger, Pat Jackson(R.I.P), Liam Jackson, Frank Jackson, Declare O’Sullivan, Louis Murphy, Dinny Kelly, Roger O’Brien, Noel Corcoran, Paddy Daly(R.I.P), Lar Daly(R.I.P), John Cowley(R.I.P), Ray Clarke, Niall Clarke, Sean, Seamus and Noel Stokes, Pat Treacy(R.I.P), Jack Treacy(R.I.P), Billy Dowling, Seamus Fallon, Mick Fallon, Patrick Clarke, Rev. Finn Egan, Rev. Tony O’Brien and the McLavins.

These men with their Kilkenny style of play were great crowd pullers and they rarely failed to please. Trainer Tom Muldoon was an inspiring figure and he helped mould the team into a really top class outfit. We have not been as successful since 1964 at senior level.  The club in the ’60’s and ’70’s has been quite successful in underage competitions with championship trophies in Under-14, 16, Minor and especially Under-21.

The present park was purchased on 24th January 1966 for the sum of £550.  The pitch was slowly but surely developed over the years into county standard and the stand was erected in 1986.  The club contested senior finals of 1965, 1968, 1970 and 1977 without any success but their breakthrough came in 1979 which was 15 years later, based on their underage success in the 70’s.  They went on to win again in 1982, 86 and 1990.  The club had to endure many fruitless years at senior level until the examiner cup finally arrived back in the village in 2004.  To date the club has 11 senior championship titles.

In the early 1980’s a juvenile club was reformed within the boundaries of the senior club to concentrate on under age matters.  This move has proved very successful as Castletown has captured titles in all grades U-12’s,  U-14’s,  U-16’s and minors and the proudest achievement came in 2007 when the club won the All Ireland Feile Na nGael Division 2 in Kilkenny.