Bid to host reunion of the Na Piarsaigh hurling team
FORMER Na Piarsaigh Hurling Club, Drogheda, player, Patrick Loughnane is planning a 2018 reunion of the team to mark the 50th anniversary of their success in the Louth Junior Hurling final of 1968.
But the big question he needs answered is: Where are the players now?
‘We were formed in late 1967, with meetings in The Horse and Hound Pub when the Landlord/ Landlady were Oliver and Eithne O’Carroll. We disbanded in 1973/74 when a number of us left Drogheda,’ Patrick explains.
‘We were a bunch of blow ins to Drogheda,with the exception of Tommy Hanratty (Scarlet Street Pub) and Francie Meade..both from Drogheda. We were from various counties, Galway, Kerry, Cork, Offaly, Tipperary, Wexford etc.’
The panel consisted of 20/22 players and the Chairman was Brother Ryan of CBS Drogheda and they used their pitch opposite College Rise for training.
The team featured seven gardai, two Christian Brothers, four bankers (Patrick worked in the AIB on West Street), a teacher in the CBS and a baker with Peter Lyons.
‘ We won 3 County Louth Championships in succession..1968, 1969 and 1970: National League Division 3 for Louth in 1969 and at that time 14 of the 15 representing Louth were from Na Piarsaigh and the other member of the team was Patsy Murphy of Clanna Gael Hurling Club, Dundalk...a great achievement,’ he explains.
The side were unbeaten for three years and members used to train the Gormanston College Hurling team.
The ball has begun to roll already on the reunion with a meeting in Cork of Patrick, Peter O’Brien and Michael Barry and they now want all the players to get in touch.
Other individuals that were associated with the Hurling Club included Olan Allen (Accountant), Jimmy Carroll, Colman Carroll (Brother), Dominick McQuillan, Tom Murphy, Con McGinley, Mel Barry, Charlie McGrath, Sean Foley, trainer Padraig O Thuama, Patsy Cole, Brian and Martin Quinn, Charlie and Frank Kelly, and Tommy Leddy and his band who played at most of the fund raising dances in Bettystown Golf Club and countless others.
‘We also had a very close association with Newtown Blues Football Club and some of their duel players were Liam Leech, Michael Leech and some of our hurlers played football with The Blues.’
Matt Downey (former garda) and Tommy Hanratty, both based in Drogheda, have agreed to be the contact people in the Drogheda area.
Patrick can also be contacted at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 91a Station Road, Cogenhoe, Northampton NN7 1NG.
The Louth Junior Hurling Final in Knockbridge in June/July 1968. Back Row..Left to Right: Gerry Clifford, Matt Downey, Mick Fanning: Mick Luddy: Sean Maguire.: Paddy Moran Pat O’Neill): Ollie McEneaney: Joe Carley. Front Row.. Left to Right: Brian Moroney: Paddy Loughnane.: Tom Hanratty, Frances Meade: Andy Whelan: Brendan Raftery: Michael Barry: Peter O’Brien, extreme right, unknown, but could be Ger Costello.