Castlegregory GAA

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Castlegregory
Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Caisléan Ghriaire
County: Kerry
Nickname: Castle
Club colours: Green and Gold
Grounds: Pairc an Caislean, Castlegregory
Coordinates: 52°15′32.59″N 10°00′55.14″W / 52.2590528°N 10.0153167°W / 52.2590528; -10.0153167Coordinates: 52°15′32.59″N 10°00′55.14″W / 52.2590528°N 10.0153167°W / 52.2590528; -10.0153167
Playing kits
Standard colours


Castlegregory are a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in the parish of Castlegregory in Kerry, Ireland. This is a Gaelic football only club, with no hurling played. The club is a member of the West Kerry division of Kerry GAA. They play their home games in the newly renovated surrounds of Pairc An Caislean located just outside the parish's main village of the same name.

The club fields teams at all age groups from U10 through to Senior and has an excellent record at underage level with regular representation on county teams from U16 - U21.

Many Castlegregory players have been honoured at Munster Colleges level with Tralee CBS and at Sigerson Cup level with various third level institutions. The success of the outstanding Micheál O'Shea with UCC stands out in the minds of most along witn Seán Mahoney with ITT.

History[edit]

Football was played in Castlegregory long before the GAA was founded in 1884. The game of Caid was played in the parish of Castlegregory long before, and even after, the foundation of the GAA in Thurles in 1884. Caid itself seems to have been a combination of rough and tumble football and cross country running - the contestants being teams from neighbouring parishes.

One such game took place between Castle and Cloghane in 1886 at Dowling's Big Field in Stradbally with both sides claiming victory. A replay finally took place 2 years later with Cloghane winning. A local balladeer recalled the game in a song called "The Kickers of Lios na Caol Bhuidhe" which contains the immortal line: " ..they'd kick all before them from here to Tralee" Another line recounts events when the game became a little too robust: "The referee, with his whistle, was up on top a tree".!!!

The first official GAA club of the parish was known as Castlegregory Allen - in memory of William Allen, one of the Manchester Martyrs Allen, Larkin and O'Brien. The club took part in the first Kerry County Championship played in 1889 in which they met a team called Ó Breannan. After two draws, the second replay was played in Castle on 10 April, but the game was abandoned after O'Breannan refused to continue when Castle scored a disputed goal. However, as you would, both teams retired to a local hostelry and had a night of singing and dancing.

The first recorded meeting of the club took place in October 1889 and Mr Thomas Moore was elected president and the officers elected with him were Silvester Egan, Hugh O'Flaherty. Michael Kelliher, John Fitzgerald, Eugene Foran and Michael O'Sullivan. John Foran and Thomas McCarthy were elected captain and vice captain respectively. Tom O'Flaherty from Fahamore soon became Honorary Secretary of the Kerry County Board and not long after Castle became a proper affiliated club

Competitions[edit]

Kerry GAA competitions are divided into two distinct branches - divisional and county. In divisional competitions, teams face off against their neighbours from within their own geographical area. In Castlegregory's case, this means that they play against other West Kerry clubs such as Dingle, An Gaeltacht, Lispole, St. Pats, Blennerville and fierce rivals Annascaul.

County competitions involve matches against opposition from throughout County Kerry and are independent of divisional championships.

Castlegregory also send players to form part of the West Kerry divisional team which competes in the Kerry County Championships at Minor, U21 and Senior levels.

Club Foundations: Bord na nÓg[edit]

All of Castlegregory's underage teams take part in similar county Gaelic football and divisional competitions.

Castle have regularly been strong contenders in their county league divisions, winning several titles at all underage brackets over the past 20 years or so, most notably a County Minor 3-in-a-row side in the mid 90's.

Senior[edit]

2009 Kerry Junior County Champions. 2009 Munster Junior Champions. Castle defeated Mountcollins of Limerick by a score of 1-20 to 0-4 on 13 December 2009. Great celebrations and speech making were seen in the village the night after the match especially by team trainer Ger Callaghan and team captain Adrian 'Sammy' Finn of the Maharees. Castle followed up this fine win in January 2010 by defeating Longwood of Meath in the All Ireland semi-final by a score of 1-16 to 0-8. Another fine win witnessed in Limerick by many who travelled from West Kerry for the game. Castle went on to meet Kiltimagh of Mayo in the final played on Valentine's Day, 2010. In a tight encounter the game finished level on a score of 0-12 to 1-9 after normal time so a 20 minute period of extra time was played. In extra time Castle came out on top and showed their superior fitness to become the first club from West Kerry to win an All-Ireland club title defeating Kiltimagh 0-15 to 1-14.

In 2009 Castle also won promotion from Division 3 of the county league.

Parish Leagues[edit]

As a large parish - end to end is about 30 miles - comprising many sizeable townlands and villages, early Castle teams suffered from logistical difficulties when it came to the organisation of training sessions.

To overcome this, a parish league was formed which pitted the best 15 from each or the larger townlands against each other. The main protagonists included teams from Cloghane, Stradbally, Aughausla, Camp, Maharees and Castlegregory.

As the local population declined many townlands had trouble finding 15 players, to the point where the parish league was disbanded.

In its place, we now have an annual once off game between the East of the Parish and the West of the Parish. These clashes take place every December, normally around St Stephen's Day. Often tough affairs, featuring a cameo or two from former greats who just doesn't know when to lie down, the matches usually draw a large crowd. Some things never change though and once the old scores are settled and rivalries renewed, it all ends with a trophy presentation and a pint in one of Castle's well known watering holes.

Notable players[edit]

Castlegregory has had some wonderful players through the years, many of whom never made it into a Kerry shirt but may well have been able to lay claim to one. Of those who did, Pat O'Shea and Tom Moriarty are two of the most notable. Both are featured in the book "Princes Of Pigskin", which chronicles the men and women who have made Kerry great.

  • Pat "Aeroplane" O'Shea
  • Tom Moriarty
  • Mick Moriarty
  • Kevin Maunsell
  • John Healy
  • Timmy Fitzgerald
  • Pat Dowling
  • Jack Dowling
  • Ger O'Donnell
  • Tom Kelliher
  • Micheal John O'Shea
  • Jason Wieboldt
  • Sean O'Mahony
  • Micheal O'Shea
  • Derek McNamara
  • Alan Lynch
  • Stephen Browne
  • Shane Henessey
  • JB Spillane
  • Thomas "The High Fielder" Rohan
  • Joe Scully
  • Alan Fitzgerald
  • Gavin o' Connor

Roll of honour[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]