Galtee Rovers GAA
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|Fánaithe na nGailte|
|Club colours:||Red and White|
|Grounds:||Canon Hayes Park, Bansha|
|Senior Club Championships|
Galtee Rovers GAA is a Gaelic Athletic Association club located in the village of Bansha on the National Primary Route N24 in the shadow of the Galtee Mountains in west County Tipperary, Ireland. The club, founded in 1885, represents the parish of Bansha & Kilmoyler and enters gaelic football and hurling teams in the West Tipperary and Tipperary championships. The Club grounds - Canon Hayes Park - are named in honour of the founder of Muntir na Tíre, Very Rev. John Canon Hayes, Parish Priest of Bansha & Kilmoyler (1946–57), who was patron of the Club during his pastorship. The Club pavilion is named 'The McGrath Centre' in honour of two club members, the late John & Geraldine McGrath who died on New Year's Day, 1 January 2000. John Moloney, famous referee of six All-Ireland Senior Finals, was President of the Galtee Rovers Club at the time of his death on 6 October 2006. In addition to his lasting achievements at national level in the Gaelic Athletic Association, his greatest legacy at club level was his nurturing of the juvenile and under-age players whom he coached and organised for nearly 50 years.
Galtee Rovers is a traditional football club, however in modern times it has enjoyed a hurling renaissance from the late 1990s through the early years of the 21st century. The Club was one of the few dual (hurling and football) senior clubs for five years from 2001 to 2006. However, it lost its senior hurling status after defeat in the West Divisional and County championships in 2006. The club's main focus at senior level for the immediate future is expected to be in football, while continuing to compete in the Intermediate hurling championship. The club's endeavours in football were rewarded in 2008 when Rovers regained the County Tipperary Senior Football Championship after an interval of 27 years by defeating neighbouring Cahir, 0-7 to 0-5 in the final played at Cashel on Sunday, 26 October 2008.
Undoubtedly, the Club's greatest year of achievement in hurling and football at divisional level was in 2003, when all six major championships in West Tipperary were won, i.e., Senior Hurling & Football; Under-21(grade A) Hurling & Football and Minor (grade A) Hurling & Football. This is a unique record which is likely to stand for a considerable time as no other club in the West Tipperary Division seem to have the resources to challenge for the highest honours in all grades and in both codes for the foreseeable future.
- County Tipperary Senior Football Championship Winners: (6): 1949, 1950, 1976, 1980, 1981, 2008.
- County Tipperary Junior Football Championship Winners (1): 1946
- South Tipperary Senior Football Championship Winners (2): 1912, 1915
- West Tipperary Senior Football Championship Winners (24): 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1962, 1963, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008.
- West Tipperary Senior Football League (O'Donoghue Cup) Winners (8): 1973, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2005.
- West Tipperary Junior Football (A) Championship Winners (5): 1935, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1959.
- West Tipperary Junior Football (B) Championship Winners (2): 1997, 1998, 2007.
- County Tipperary Intermediate Hurling Championship Winners (1): 2001.
- County Tipperary Junior Hurling Championship Winners (1): 1999.
- West Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Winners (1): 2003
- West Tipperary Intermediate Hurling Championship Winners (4): 2000, 2001, 2008, 2009.
- West Tipperary Junior (A) Hurling Championship Winners (9): 1940, 1946, 1960, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1980, 1997, 1999.
- West Tipperary Junior (B) Hurling Championship Winners (1): 2000.
- South Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship Winners (1) : 1923
The Galtee Rovers Club was first affiliated to the Tipperary County Board of the GAA in 1885. The current parish club was preceded in earlier times by clubs who rejoiced in the names of Bansha; St. Pecaun's and Kilmoyler. The latter had the distinction of winning the South Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship in 1923.
One of the Club leaders in its formative years was Mr. John Cullinane, M.P. who was a native of Bansha and represented County Tipperary as a Nationalist member of Parliament at Westminster from 1900 to 1918. Mr. Cullinane refereed the first All-Ireland Senior Football Final between Limerick and Louth in 1887 and was the advance agent for the GAA's first international tour to the USA in 1888, which subsequently became known as the 'American Invasion'.
Another native of the village, Thomas St. George McCarthy (1862–1943), a police officer, was one of the Co-founders of the Gaelic Athletic Association. He was one of the four Tipperary men who were among the seven who attended the inaugural meeting of the Association at Hayes' Hotel, Thurles on 1 November 1884. He was educated at Tipperary Grammar School (The Abbey School), Tipperary Town where he learned the rudiments of rugby football. He moved to Dublin in 1877 and became a friend of Michael Cusack, who had a cramming school. He was coached by Cusack for a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) cadetship examination in 1882, in which he took first place. In 1881, he joined Trinity College Rugby Club and in January 1882, he played rugby for Ireland against Wales, thus becoming Bansha's first and to date only Rugby International player. Later that year, he won a Leinster Senior Cup medal with Dublin University (Trinity) Rugby Club. It is supposed that his friendship with Michael Cusack led to his presence at the inaugural meeting of the Association. At the time, he was a District Inspector of the RIC, based in nearby Templemore. He took a less prominent part in the affairs of the Association thereafter, although he was a frequent attender at Croke Park to where he travelled from his home in the Dublin suburb of Ranelagh where he lived. He died in 1943 and is buried in Dean's Grange Cemetery in South Dublin, though his sister, Kathleen McCarthy, is interred in the old village graveyard in Bansha.
In the past, Thomas was often mistaken as being a native of County Kerry. This was due to his name being near identical with that of his father, George McCarthy (1832–1902), Lieutenant of the Revenue Police, County Inspector of the RIC and a Resident Magistrate who was from County Kerry, though working in County Tipperary and residing in Bansha village, where his son was born and grew up.
- The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games (2005), Editor Des Donegan
- Tipperary GAA site
- The Parish of Bansha & Kilmoyler
- Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837 - Dr. Jane Lyons, Dublin
- Tipperary GAA Roll of Honour