Fr Fitzgerald Cup 2016- 50 bliain ag fás

posted 15 Mar 2016, 12:34 by Kenneth Fox

This St Patrick's Day is a special occasion as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Fr Fitzgerald Cup. The competition has endured through that time with the odd interruption. It began as a competition between the five parish schools, which at that time consisted of three 3 teacher schools, Moycullen, Tullykyne and Baile Nua and two 2 teacher schools, Tuairíní and Loughwell. As Moycullen school expanded and Loughwell closed and the other schools numbers remained the same, the strict schools based competition became increasingly unbalanced although the smaller schools did overcome the odds occasionally.
The competition was re-constituted as a hurling competition for primary school children (boys and girls) living in the broad Moycullen/Killanin catchment area and it has thrived in this format for over half of its 50 year history. In recent years, popularity has been such that the competition has expanded into two competitions, one for Senior Classes and one for Junior Classes. As we have had for several years, on Thursday, we expect to have 4 teams in each competition with the the Senior Competition achieving 15-a-side on occasion.
It is hard to imagine, what the original organisers would have thought standing in Donohue's Field in Clooniffe (which now seems tiny to adult eyes) on that first Patrick's Day, if they had known that in 50 years time their fledgling competition would be played by 80-100 children on two full sizes pitches; children, who had long traded the frugal comforts of Hanley's hayshed for state of the art dressing rooms. Occasions like these are welcome reminders of the journey we have traveled and how far we have come. No doubt next Thursday, Lá Fhéile Pádraig, those about to experience a wonder for the first time will mingle with the usual suspects for a great annual tradition and usually a great occasion.
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