|Colours:||Green and Gold|
|Senior Club Championships|
Ballysteen GAA is a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in the village of Ballysteen, Limerick, Ireland. The club participates in competitions organized by Limerick GAA county board.
- 1 Notable Players
- 2 Parish GAA History
- 3 1880s-1930
- 4 Early Rivalry
- 5 Early years of Askeaton GAA
- 6 County Final Loss to Commercials
- 7 Formation of Ballysteen GAA
- 8 War of Independence
- 9 1930s
- 10 Askeaton Field
- 11 Camogie
- 12 First West Football Championship Success
- 13 First Junior Hurling West and County Championship Success
- 14 Third West Junior Football Title
- 15 Parish Tournament
- 16 Suspension
- 17 1940s
- 18 Medal Controversy
- 19 Hurling in the Parish
- 20 Two Ballysteen Football teams qualify for West Final!
- 21 First Junior Football County Title
- 22 City Board Competitions
- 23 Famous Victory against 12th Battalion
- 24 Askeaton AGM
- 25 Western Gaels Senior Hurling Team
- 26 Footballers play under Askeaton name for a year
- 27 1950s
- 28 Foreign Games Rule
- 29 Football Loss
- 30 Slashers League!
- 31 Field Purchased
- 32 1960s
- 33 The Golden era of the Sixties
- 34 First Senior Football title
- 35 Champions Again
- 36 Hurling in the Sixties
- 37 Only Woman in the Country on a GAA Executive
- 38 Three in a row
- 39 1966 Dinner Dance
- 40 1970s
- 41 Suspended for a year
- 42 Senior Football Champions
- 43 Ballysteen 1979 Junior County Champions
- 44 Askeaton County Senior Football Final Defeat
- 45 Handball
- 46 1980s
- 47 West Senior Final Parish Derby
- 48 Askeaton West Senior Football kingpins
- 49 Hurling Comeback
- 50 North Kerry/West Limerick Senior Football Final
- 51 Lost Centenary Senior Football Final
- 52 Intense Rivalry
- 53 Cois Sionna Hurling Club
- 54 1990s
- 55 Ballysteen Junior West Champions
- 56 Askeaton Intermediate Football County Champions
- 57 Parish Senior Football Derby Match
- 58 Ladies Football
- 59 Askeaton/Ballysteen Bord na nÓg
- 60 Askeaton Hurling Success
- 61 Relegation
- 62 21st Century
- 63 The Church Field Opening Match
- 64 Five Cups in One Year
- 65 Desmonds
- 66 Pallaskenry Tournament
- 67 Askeaton and Ballysteen Join Forces
- 68 Hurling Silverware
- 69 2008 County Intermediate Football Champions
- 70 Controversial Fourth Junior A West Hurling Title
- 71 West Senior Football Champions
- 72 West Junior B Football Champions
- 73 2015 West Junior B Football League Final
- 74 West Minor A Football Champions 2013 & 2015
- 75 Ballysteen Roll of Honour
- Pa Ranahan
Parish GAA History
A Brief history of the GAA in Askeaton/Ballysteen Parish By Paul Anglim
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In the years prior to the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884, Ballysteen and Askeaton played games of Caid or ‘rough and tumble’ against each other on a regular basis. This was a game which was popular with the Irish peasantry at the time. They used a ball made of farm animal skins with an inflated bladder within, giving it an oval shape. There were 21 players on each team and players showed their team colours by wearing bands around their shoulders. The ball was thrown up halfway between Ballysteen and Askeaton at Sheehys Hill, in the townland of Moig North and from then until the end of the game the aim was to get possession of the ball and run for home which was the church gate of their respective parishes. The game was played cross country over fields and hedges, and tripping, pushing and wrestling or ‘handigrips’ were all recognized methods used to try an impede the progress of opponents. Fast runners were often placed on the outside of the large crush of men wrestling for the ball to enable them to gain ground quickly when their side succeeded in moving the ball out to them. There was no time limit and many of these games went on until nightfall.
Early years of Askeaton GAA
By 1888, Askeaton Desmonds had enough players to field two adult hurling teams. The two teams played in a hurling tournament in nearby Barrigone. The matches were played in the meadow under the shadow of Dysert Castle. The Foynes National Fife and Drum Band played some national airs before the first match which started at 2.45. Askeaton Desmonds Senior hurling team defeated Foynes Shannon Sweepers by 1-3 to nil and won a beautiful silver cup. The second match was played by the local Mount Pleasant Liberators of Barrigone and Askeaton Desmonds Junior hurlers. In a hard fought match the Liberators came out on top and captured a silver watch which was the prize for the winners. Askeaton played Kildimo Sarsfields during this period in O’Shea’s field in Kildimo with the prize for the winners being a horse. The Sarsfields wore green and gold jumpers while Askeaton wore red and blue jumpers. There was a large attendance and the Askeaton band played before the game. The Sarsfields ended up winning by 3 goals. Mount Pleasant Liberators had many players from Askeaton parish on their team and there was a big rivalry between both teams. Mount Pleasant beat Askeaton in Shanagolden for a set of medals during this period in what was a very tempestuous affair. Midway through the second half Jim Griffin made a tremendous save from the Askeaton maestro, Dan McNamara. Shortly afterwards McNamara struck Tom Sheehy with his hurley after the latter had deliberately fouled him. As a result of this unsavoury incident, the game had to be abandoned with the Liberators leading by one point. The Askeaton hurling panel at this time was Captain- Mike Halloran (Main Street) Goalkeeper-Tom Riordan (Mussel Lane) Bill Marshall (Moig South) Dan McNamara (Courtbrown) Bill Cussen (Aughinish) John Kennedy (Nantinan) Jim Cahill, John Cahill, Mick Cahill (Ballyhomin) Dick Costelloe (Church Street), John Neville (Church Street) John Lynch (East Square) Simon Madigan (Church Street) Michael Somers (Moig North) James Farrell (Ballycullen) John Fitzgerald, John McMahon (Snr), John McMahon (Jnr), Neddy Sheehy, J. Somers, J.Scanlon. In 1890, Askeaton GAA club is mentioned in a Crime Branch Special report as being in the Constitutionalist camp when the GAA in Ireland was split in the early days between Constitutionalist and IRB supporters. Askeaton GAA club ran an important senior hurling tournament in 1891 in which South Liberties beat the Shannon Sweepers who were a well known Foynes team. Earlier South Liberties played Askeaton Desmonds in a place called ‘The Sugarfield’ (The Field beside Timmy Hanly Seniors house)in Hough’s land in Moig South in a 21 a side-hurling match, which Askeaton won by one goal and one point. The same Desmonds team met Kildimo Faughs in the Newcastlewest Tournament and won 2-4 to 0-6 and brought home a silver cup.
County Final Loss to Commercials
Askeaton had one of the top football sides in the county in the first decade of the century and reached the final of the 1905 County Senior football championship losing to the famed Commercials side by 1-5 to 0-1. Commercials had won their second All Ireland Senior football title eight years previous. This county final was not played until October 1907. In the preview of the match in the Limerick Leader the reporter describes the men from the Abbey town as a ‘pretty tough combination to tackle’ Askeaton had beaten the best combinations in Limerick and they also defeated teams from Clare and Kerry in challenge games throughout the year. The report of the match states that the ‘Commercials played with great dash and determination and won by the substantial score of 1-5 to 1 point for Askeaton who fought a very plucky match throughout’. The attendance was large not withstanding the disagreeable nature of the weather. Mr. Johnny Sweeny of Young Ireland Hurling Club was the referee on the day. The Gate receipts were £13 16s. During this period Askeaton played Foynes in football and Stonehall in hurling on the same day at the Sugarfield in Moig South. They had the same panel of players for both matches and won both. The Askeaton players at this time were Captain-Mick Scanlon (Conigar) Pat Egan (Moig South) Willie Quaid (Glin) Jim McDonnell (Moig South) Paddy McDonnell (Moig South) Jack Fitzgerald, Mick Fitzgerald, Paddy Fitzgerald (Church Street, Painters) John Egan (Moig South) Jack Stack (Mount Pleasant) Harry Conway (Coolrahnee) Mickey Mulligan(Mussel Lane) Mike Guerin(Church Street) Danny Guerin(Church Street) Paddy Cronin (The Quay) Jim Hanley (Moig South)Tom Fitzgerald (Station House) Paddy O’ Shaughnessy, Willie O’Shaughnessy, Jim Ryan (Clareen), Paddy O’ Halloran, Patrick J. Collins,(East Square) Edmond Naughton(The Quay), James Canty(Main Street). Askeaton was the only club in West Limerick to have their own clubhouse. They had their meetings in an old house in the New Line, the rent was sixpence a week and it was decorated by the professional painters, Jack, Mick and Paddy Fitzgerald who were members of the team. Askeaton had both Senior hurling and Senior football clubs competing in the West and County championships during this period.
Formation of Ballysteen GAA
It was not until around 1890 that Ballysteen had a full team on the road. It was mainly the neighbouring parishes that they played against in the early years. Michael Ranahan of Ballycanauna, Ballysteen is one of the men credited with introduction of the GAA to Ballysteen. Willie Casey was also heavily involved in the early days. A field in Somers land in Issane was used and this was referred to locally as The Goaling Field. Ballysteen also played matches against Askeaton at Willie Casey’s field, (The field in Front of Kit O’ Shaughnessy’s old cottage) Kildimo at O’Donnell’s field and Pallaskenry at Naughtons Hill. Ballysteen played Pallaskenry on May 13, 1906 in Ballysteen and defeated them by 3 points to 2. Best for Ballysteen on the day were Casey, Doran, McKnight and Kenrick. Michael O’Shaughnessy Junior of Tubermurry Cottage, Pallaskenry was the referee. After the matches there was a major social gathering of all the players and supporters. A half-barrel of porter was provided in the house beside the church which was owned by the local Blacksmith, Jack Noonan and a dance followed in the Library. A major achievement of that period for Ballysteen was beating the famous Commercials of Limerick city in a friendly match at Ballysteen in 1917. Dan Holland originally from Lower Ballinvoher but working in Cannocks in Limerick and living in the city was a member of the Commercials club and it was this connection that brought the famed Commercials out to Ballysteen. They cycled the 25 Kilometres from the city out to Ballysteen and when they arrived both teams togged off in the library and marched to the pitch at Naughtons Hill to the sound of music from Mr. Donnelly, a piper from Cappagh. It was a great occasion and a thrilling match with Ballysteen finally defeating Commercials by a single point.
War of Independence
During the period of the War of Independence, many of the football matches were interrupted by the arrival of the Black and Tans. Players and supporters were searched regularly on the pitch. On one occasion in Copsewood college during a match between the College and Ballysteen the Black and Tans arrived and fired shots across the pitch. The match had to be abandoned. Between 1919 and 1920, Ballysteen played fifteen matches, losing only one to Abbeyfeale. On the night of 17 April 1920 which was the night before the Abbeyfeale game, members of the Ballysteen ‘D’ Company of the 4th Battalion, West Limerick Brigade IRA carried out a raid for arms in the townland of Castletown. One of Ballysteens star players, Lieutenant Dan Neville was shot dead during this raid. To avoid drawing attention to the death of a member of the team, killed in covert paramilitary action, the rest of the team decided to go ahead with the match the following day. Ballysteen footballers in the first 30 years of the club included Pat Holland,Tom Holland, Ned Holland (Upper Ballinvoher) Jack Somers (Ballyvaddock) Joe Somers (Ballyvaddock) Jim Casey (Ballyvaddock) Dick McKnight (Ballinacourty) Mick Doran (Ballynacourty) Paddy Meskell (Ballinvoher) Dan Meskell (Ballinvoher) Jack (Boney) O’Shaughnessy (Ballycanauna) Dan Holland(Lower Ballinvoher) Tom Mann (Ballyaglish) Dan Neville (Ballyaglish) Tom Walsh, Paddy Walsh, Henry Walsh (Drominycullane) Paddy O’ Shaughnessy (Ballinvoher) Michael Kenrick(Ballycanauna) Jack Shaughnessy. Still Separate In 1927 Askeaton hurlers took part in a Hurling tournament at the Ferrybridge. Askeaton were playing Shamrocks from the city and Croom played Kilfinny in the other match Admission to the field was 1 Shilling. In December of the same year there is mention of a Ballysteen hurling team when they played Askeaton in Mr. T. Kelly’s field in Askeaton. Askeaton defeated Ballysteen on the scoreline of Askeaton 1-4, Ballysteen 1 Goal in a match that the reporter referred to as a clean and thrilling display of scientific hurling. Askeaton and Ballysteen were still separate in 1929 when Askeaton defeated Ballysteen in a football friendly by 2-1 to 2 goals.
The two clubs in the parish joined forces in the early 1930s and this was to prove a catalyst for unprecedented success for both the footballers and hurlers of the parish. Askeaton organised the hurling while Ballysteen ran the football. The 1930s was the first decade when the GAA clubs in the parish won the Divisional and County cups.
Askeaton was starting to become a major venue in the West and Newcastle beat Adare in the West senior hurling final at Askeaton in 1932. There was 4,000 spectators at it and they arrived by rail and road. The Adare notes in the Limerick Leader praise the committee of Askeaton Gaels for making sure that everything ran well.
Camogie was re organized in West Limerick in 1934. Ballysteen, Kildimo, Pallaskenry, Foynes and Askeaton all formed clubs at this time. The first convention of the West Limerick Camogie Board was held at Newcastlewest on the 28th February 1934. Both Askeaton and Ballysteen clubs were in attendance. Askeatons first championship match in camogie was against Rathkeale and it ended in a draw of l goal each. The match was played in Askeaton. The Askeaton team was L. Doupe, Capt., B. Crowley, Goal, B. Hayes, M. Guerin, J. Guerin, J. Shaughnessy, K. Shaughnessy, K. Doupe, G. Wallace, J. Doyle, J. Walsh, M. Nolan. The Ballysteen Camogie panel was Nelly Sheehy, May Sheehy, Lizzie Sheehy, Annie O’ Keefe, May Gallagher, Myra Sheehy, Mary Naughton, Peg Naughton, Mary Sheehy, Kathy Sheehy, Mag Holland, Josie Gallagher, Minie Nealon, J. Walsh, Maura Culhane, Maura Holland, Lily Ranahan, Sile Moran. The Ballysteen club colours were navy and yellow. Thirty members were present at the 1935 Askeaton Camogie AGM, which was held at the Askeaton Library. The following members were elected unanimously. President Miss M. Sweeney, Vice President Miss E. Sheehy, Treasurer Miss E. Halpin, Secretary Miss G. Wallace. These together with Misses M. O’ Donaghue and K O’ Shaughnessy made up the 1935 Committee. The Captain was Miss M. Nolan and Miss K. Doupe was Vice Captain.It was proposed to start practice immediately and to enlist the help of the local GAA club trainers. Limerick played Cork in the Munster Camogie Final in Ballingarry on August 9, 1936. There was a large contingent on the panel from the Askeaton Ballysteen parish with Sile Moran, M. Sheehy and Nelly Sheehy of Ballysteen and M. Nolan, J. Guerin, L. Bourke and C. Purcell of Askeaton.
First West Football Championship Success
Ballysteen captured their first West Junior football Championship when they won a replay against Shanagolden at Rathkeale sportsfield in 1932. Ballysteen proved the superior combination on the day and won on the score of 1-2 to nil. Mr. P. Flaherty was the referee. The Ballysteen panel was John McDonagh, Bill McDonagh, Jackie Kenneally, Mickie Kenneally, PJ Ranahan, Jimmy Ranahan, Ned O’Keefe, Tom O’Keefe, Jimmy O’Donnell, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack Fitzgerald, Mick Sheahan, Pat Sheehy, Jimmy McKnight, Jack Neville, Eddie O’Shaughnessy, Charlie Carroll, Jack Gallagher.
First Junior Hurling West and County Championship Success
The AGM of the Askeaton hurling club for 1935 took place in the Hall in front of a huge gathering. The officials for 1935 were President Rev. John Wilmott, CC, Vice President, Mr. T. Foley, Treasurer- Mr. James Collins, Secretary- Mr. Pa Ruttle, Captain A Team-Michael Kennelly, Vice Captain- Denis Jones. Askeaton had won their first championship in 1934 when they won the West Junior hurling Grade B.
Askeaton won the 1935 West Junior hurling championship when they defeated Feenagh by 4-2 to 4-1. Askeaton led by 3-2 to 1-0 at half time. Mr. Hough was the referee. The Askeaton team that brought the first West Junior hurling title to the banks of the Deel was Jackie Purcell, Michael Kennelly, Paddy Kennelly, Jackie Kennelly, Bill McDonagh, John Moran, Paddy Hackett, Henry Hackett, Mick Hackett, Michael ‘Tyler’ Madigan, Jack Gallagher, Mick Guerin, Denis Jones, Johnny Purcell, Con Murphy, Tom Nolan, J.J. Egan. Askeaton defeated Hospital in the county semi final and the 1935 Junior County hurling final was decided at Croom in the month of April 1936 when Askeaton defeated Cappamore in a great match. A number of special buses brought parties of enthusiastic supporters from both Askeaton and Cappamore. The weather was ideal with a strong sun shining throughout the afternoon with a fresh easterly breeze. At the interval Cappamore led by 4 points to 2. Askeaton defeated Cappamore in this sensational match when the Desmonds got a last minute goal to take the lead for the first time in the match and capture the first and only county Junior hurling title that has come to Deelside. The final score was Askeaton 3-4, Cappamore 1-7. The team that lined out was Jackie Purcell, John Moran, Michael Kenneally, Bill McDonagh, Paddy Hackett, Paddy Kenneally, Jackie Kenneally, Jack Gallagher, Tyler Madigan, Henry Hackett. Mick Guerin, Johnny Purcell, Con Murphy, Denis Jones, Mick Hackett. Tyler Madigan was the hero of the hour when he switched with Denis Jones at half time and got 3 goals from full forward in the second half.
Askeaton got promoted to Senior hurling as there was no Intermediate grade at this time. In Askeatons first championship match in senior hurling they played the West senior champions who were Kildimo. Askeaton lost out in what was a thrilling match on the scoreline 6-5 to 3-5. Askeaton were best served by Mick Kenneally, Johnny Walsh and Tom Nolan. Askeaton went back down to Junior again in 1938.
Third West Junior Football Title
The West Junior Football final of 1936 was not played until April 1937 and it was decided at Foynes where Ballysteen defeated Athea for their third West on the scoreline of 1-3 to 0-3. Tom Naughton of Foynes was in charge and handled an incident in the early stages of the game with much tact as his task was rendered difficult by the interference of some over zealous supporters.
In 1939 Ballysteen had enough players to have a tournament of their own. All players interested were invited to put their names in a hat and three teams were picked from these names. The three teams were called Barrys Owen, Brian Borus and Sarsfields and the captains were John McDonagh, Bill McDonagh and Bill Leonard. The final was said to have lasted for three hours at Naughtons Hill with Paddy Kenrick kicking the winning goal.
The thirties ended sourly for Ballysteen club when they were suspended for six months. They received the suspension after a Junior football match was called off by the referee Garda M. Kelly of Ardagh ten minutes after the start of the second half. At the time Foynes were leading 1-6 to 0-1 for Ballysteen. Right from the start the spectators were inclined to get out of hand and before the encroachment that led to the abandonment the game there were a number of scenes and scuffles. The West Board decided to suspend Ballysteen for six months after these incidents despite the protestations of Mr. McKnight who was chairman of the club and John McDonagh who was secretary. Mr. Gallagher of Foynes said that Ballysteen should be suspended for twelve months while John McDonagh of Ballysteen appealed to the chairman not to suspend Ballysteen as if that were done he said it would be impossible for them to again field a team again. Denis Jones of Askeaton asked if it would be possible to deal individually with those responsible for the unseemly conduct and not to suspend the whole Ballysteen club. The suspension would also affect Askeaton Club as members of the Ballysteen club played hurling with Askeaton.
Ballysteen bounced back from the 1939 suspension and won the 1940 West Junior football championship. They won three Wests in a row in 1942, 1943,1944. John McDonagh accepted medals on behalf of the Ballysteen GAA club in 1942 at a West Board meeting and Bill Sheahan from Rathkeale who was Vice Chairman of the West Board said that 'Ballysteen always was and still is the home of Gaeldom.' Ballysteen were suspended for a technical offence in 1945 and Mr. Michael McCarthy in his secretary's report at the 1945 West Board Convention said that 'Ballysteen were a big loss to the board as their standard of football was very high and great crowds used always patronize their matches.'
Askeaton had not got their 1935 west medals because of a motion passed at the 1936 County Convention which was to the effect that two sets of medals would not be given in one season This would mean that Askeaton having won the county championship, was not entitled to receive a set of medals as divisional champions. Askeaton club were still fighting for these medals seven years after the West final when they had a proposal for the 1943 Annual Convention of West Limerick Gaels which was ‘That Askeaton J.H. Club be awarded the 1935 Western Championship medals.
Hurling in the Parish
James Blackwell won an All Ireland minor hurling medal in 1940 when he helped Limerick defeat Antrim in Croke Park scoring 2 goals from corner forward. Limerick Seniors also won the Senior final on the same day defeating Kilkenny. In 1946, four adult hurling teams operated in the parish of Askeaton/Ballysteen. They were Askeaton A and B hurling team, Southern Chemicals and the Ballysteen Lodge Rangers. This was a great achievement for a parish where football was also very popular. The Lodge Rangers officers in 1946 were as follows- Chairman- Mattie Carroll, Vice Chairman- Maurice Hayes, Secretary-Willie Gallagher, Treasurer- Paddy Culhane. The Captain of the team was John Sheahan and Vice Captain was Maurice Hayes. The Committee was Bill Sheahan, Bill Ranahan, Michael Sheahan, John McDonagh, Bill Leonard, Mikey Hayes.
Two Ballysteen Football teams qualify for West Final!
Two Ballysteen junior football teams took part in the 1946 West Junior Football championship. They were called Ballysteen Number 1 and Ballysteen Number 2. Ballysteen Number 2 had an easy win over Croom in the West Junior semi final played at Ballingarry. They had little difficulty running out winners by a comfortable margin 3-4 to 1-2. Sheehy, Kenrick, O’ Halloran and O’ Keefe were best for the winners. Ballysteen Number 1 defeated Abbeyfeale in the 1946 West Junior Semi Final by 4-3 to 0-3. This match was to prove to be the west final as Ballysteen Number 2 informed the West board secretary James Brennan officially that they were withdrawing in favour of Ballysteen Number 1. The Board accepted this decision.
First Junior Football County Title
Ballysteen beat Galbally at Croom on the score 3-3 to 1-3 in the 1946 County Junior Semi Final to qualify for the county final. Ballysteen finally won their first County Junior Football final in 1946 when they defeated Oola at a rain sodden Gaelic Grounds, Limerick by 1-3 to 0-2 on Sunday 22 December 1946. Paddy Fitzgerald who played hurling for the county got the important goal on the day after scoring direct from a sideline kick thirty yards from the goals five minutes into the second half. The day was wet and cold and the club entertained both the players and supporters in Hogan's Restaurant, Limerick afterwards. The panel of players that won the county in 1946 were as follows: Tom Mann, Dan Ranahan, Mikey Hayes, Mike Mann, Bill Ranahan, Jimmy McKnight, Paddy Gallagher, Denis Naughton, J.J. Egan, Jimmy Fitzgerald, Maurice Hayes, P.J. Ranahan, Bill Leonard, Paddy Fitzgerald, Peter Mc Gough, Stephen Gallagher, Jackie Holland, John Kelly, Jimmy Hanley, Mick Sheehy, Jack Ranahan, J.J. Maher. W. Lawlor was the referee. Prospects for the future of hurling and football in the parish looked great at this time as Askeaton won the 1946 West Minor football championship and also won three minor hurling West championships in 1945,46,47.
City Board Competitions
An interesting fact around this time was that the GAA teams of the parish entered into Competitions run by the City Board for a few years even though they were still in the West Divisional Championships. Askeaton hurlers had a great win in the belated 1947 Junior Hurling New Ireland Shield final which was played at Adare in February, 1948 against Treaty Sarsfields. Askeaton beat Treaty Sarsfields by 3-2 to 3-1. The New Ireland Shield competition was organized by the City Board and sixteen teams entered it in 1947. Enthusiastic scenes marked a closing ceremony in the local hall in Adare when Tommy Murphy, the Askeaton Captain was presented with the Shield and medals. Eddie Corbett thanked the City Board on behalf of Askeaton for inviting them to compete in the competition. The Askeaton team that lined out was Pete Fitzgerald, Paddy Manning, M. Murphy, P. Kenneally, Eddie Corbett, M. Fitzgerald, M. Foley, Tommy Murphy, J. McCarthy, S. Barry, Paddy Fitzgerald, M. Noonan, K. Kelly, D. Flaherty, J. Ryan. Askeaton are the only team from the West Division to have won the New Ireland Shield title. There was a parish derby hurling match when Askeaton who were the holders defeated their fellow parishioners Lodge Rangers in the 1948 New Ireland Shield competition played in Askeaton. The Rangers after being six points down at the interval had come within a point of Askeaton with less than twelve minutes to go, 1-5 to 2-1 but Askeaton with a few soft scores ended up winning 4-8 to 2-1. Ballysteen Senior Football team entered the 1947 Gleeson Cup which was a Senior Football Competition run under the auspices of the City Board. St. Patricks defeated Ballysteen by 4-6 to 2-2 to knock them out of this competition. Ballysteen also entered teams into the Junior Football Kerryman Cup in 1948. One of the motions passed at the 1950 City Board Convention was to affect hurling and football in the parish. It was the confining of all competitions to clubs under the Boards jurisdiction. This meant that Askeaton and Lodge Rangers would no longer be allowed to enter the Junior Hurling Competition called the New Ireland Shield. It also meant that Ballysteen could no longer take part in the Gleeson Cup or the Kerryman Cup.
Famous Victory against 12th Battalion
Ballysteen had a great win in the 1948 Senior Football championship when they defeated the 12th Battalion. This Army side was built around the great Simon Deignan who won an All Ireland medal with Cavan in 1947 at the Polo Grounds, New York when they defeated Kerry. After a shaky start Ballysteen went on to defeat the Army men on a scoreline of Ballysteen 3-2, 12th Battalion 0-8. Denny Naughton kicked two goals for Ballysteen with goalie Tommy Mann keeping the Army men out at the other end.
Fr. David Rea presided at the AGM of Askeaton GAA club, which was held at the Library on 27 January 1949. The club President Fr. Rea said that looking back on the past year they had every reason to be satisfied. In the early spring they won the New Ireland Shield competition and later on the seven a side football team in the County Limerick Tournament. The secretary Eddie Corbett congratulated Paddy Fitzgerald on winning a National League medal and Tommy Murphy on winning a Munster Junior hurling medal. The treasurer Mr. J. Kelly said that the income for the year was £165 9s and the outlay £157 9s thus leaving a credit balance of £8. Paddy Fitzgerald, county hurler and footballer and former Munster Railway Cup player was the recipient of a presentation, suitably inscribed on the occasion of his marriage. The following were the officers and committee elected for the year. President, Fr. David Rea, Chairman, Denis Jones, Treasurer, J. Kelly, Secretary, Eddie Corbett, Committee, Mick Madigan, J. Ryan, Mick Sheehy, Tommy Murphy, D. Flaherty, Steven Foley, M. Fitzgerald, Captain Junior Hurling Team- Thomas Murphy, Vice Captain Paddy Fitzgerald.
Western Gaels Senior Hurling Team
Askeaton and Lodge Rangers had 5 players on the Western Gaels Senior hurling team in 1949. These were Mike Mann in goals from Lodge Rangers and Askeaton’s Steven Foley, Paddy Manning, Paddy Fitzgerald and Tommy Murphy.
Footballers play under Askeaton name for a year
Ballysteen informed the County Board in 1949 that they would not be able to field a Senior football team. The footballers of the parish played in the West Junior football championship of 1949 under the name of Askeaton. They went back under the Ballysteen name again in 1950.
The 1950s was a fairly bleak era for the GAA in Askeaton and Ballysteen. Due to suspensions, retirements and emigration the clubs were weakened and it was not until the late fifties when Askeaton won the 1959 Minor football West and County that things started to improve.
Foreign Games Rule
Rugby was getting popular in Askeaton during this period and it was having a big effect on the GAA club. Askeaton Rugby club had quite a strong outfit during this period. The Limerick GAA County Board suspended two of Askeaton’s best hurlers, Paddy Fitzgerald and Tommy Murphy at this time under the foreign games rule. It was stated at the meeting that both players appeared as members of the Askeaton Rugby Football Club in a photograph, which was recently published in the press. In 1950 Mr. T. Foley represented Askeaton club at a West Board meeting. He said that he ‘came here to see if we could affiliate a junior hurling team.’ The club they had in 1949 failed to function. He said that ‘we have a good field and it is back again in GAA hands. You are all aware rugby is creeping in and to stem the tide of same the united efforts of all are required to keep the old flag of the GAA flying and if we are allowed to affiliate we will put a good team on the field.’ The Chairman of the West Board, Fr. Dermot McCarthy said that ‘Askeaton have a lot of difficulties to contend with and they deserved sympathetic consideration. There being no objection, Mr. Foleys request was granted. Mr. Foley thanked the board on behalf of his club. Things did not improve and Askeaton withdrew from the 1950 West Junior hurling championship at the last minute.
Ballysteen drew with St. Senans in the 1952 West junior semi-final played before 2000 spectators in Rathkeale Gaelic grounds. The score ended Ballysteen 1-0 St Senans 0-3. Ballysteen went out to St Senans in the replay of the 1952 Junior Championship by 2-5 to 3-1 in a very exciting game. Ballysteen were left to rue some late good scoring chances. This match was to prove the beginning of the end for a lot of the players of the great Ballysteen team of the forties.
There was a Junior hurling competition for a set of medals in 1954 in which there was to be no rising but all ground hurling. Askeaton Junior hurlers took part in this league which was aptly named Slashers League. Askeaton were drawn against Croagh Kilfinny in the first round. Adare, Knockaderry, St. Itas, Castletown, Croom, Granagh, Dromcolliher, Feohanagh, Newcastlewest and Killeedy also took part in this league. The footballers of the parish played under the Askeaton name for a year in 1954 but reverted to Ballysteen again in 1955.
1958 was a momentous year for Askeaton Gaels when they realised a long cherished ambition by purchasing the local sports field which they had long rented for the playing of hurling and football games. The active committee under the presidency of Fr. Patrick O’Dea successfully negotiated the purchase. An ambitious scheme of general improvement was planned and earnest workers like the Walsh brothers, Chris and Jimmy, Eddie Corbett, Jimmy Lenihan, Pa Ruttle, Mick Guerin, Mick Sheehy, Timmy Mann, Michael D. Ryan and the secretary Larry Nestor had big plans for the new venue. The fund raising projects were the organization of a top rate Junior hurling Tournament for which a beautiful silver trophy, the Double Diamond Cup was donated by the Dundalk Brewery, Messrs Macardle, Moore and Co. Ltd. The clubs that participated were Croagh Kilfinny, Kildimo Pallaskenry, Granagh Ballingarry, Coolcappa Ardagh, Barrigone, Askeaton, Newcastlewest and Adare. A parish under fourteen League was established and the winning team received ‘The Shannon Arms Cup’ which was presented by the Limerick city hotel proprietor Steve Foley. Askeaton GAA ended the 1950s well as they won the Junior hurling Grade B in 1958 and captured the 1959 minor football county after defeating Croom.
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The Golden era of the Sixties
Kildimo/Pallaskenry were suspended for 5 years in 1959 after incidents in a match against Ballybrown and some of their players joined Ballysteen after this. This was a boost to the Ballysteen club and they went on to have a Golden era in the 1960s. The Askeaton minor footballers went on to win two more county titles in 1960 and 1961 and in 1960 Ballysteen bolstered by some of these Minors won the Foynes Tournament in front of a huge crowd beating Newcastlewest after a replay. Eddie Corbett’s 1961 secretary’s report said that ‘the parish affiliated three clubs and fielded seven teams. Ballysteen catering for the junior football team.’ He said that ‘Ballysteen deserve to be congratulated on their resurgence and in the manner in which they contested the western final. The club football teams served up high fare and it can be said that football in Askeaton parish is sound. The hurling teams failed miserably in all games except in juvenile. Only on one occasion did the junior hurlers show any promise and unless more interest is taken by the players this team will disappear.’ Ballysteen were the 1961 West Junior champions after beating Fr. Casey’s by 2-4 to 2-2. The 1961 Junior football county final was not played until March 1962 at Bruff where Ballysteen defeated the city champions Monaleen. Ballysteen were leading by 0-1 to nil at halftime and at full time the final score was 1-6 to 1-2. The Ballysteen panel was as follows - John Downes, John Connolly(Bank Official) Donie Nestor, Liam O ' Shaughnessy(Pallaskenry) Eddie Walsh, Basil Fitzgibbon, John McMahon, Tony Fitzgerald, Mike Ranahan, Francie Kenny, Michael Kenneally, Tommy Carrig, Pat Neville, Peter Neville, Brian Neville, John Kenneally, Mike Walsh, Dave McMahon, Ned Nealon, Michael Allen, Paddy Walsh, Fr. Jim Byrne. Western Gaels which contained 12 Ballysteen players lost the 1961 County Senior football final to Oola. Ballysteen beat Claughaun 2-4 to 0-0 to capture the 1962 County Senior Football Cup which was not played until May 1963.
First Senior Football title
Ballysteen became County Senior Football Champions for the first time ever in 1964 when they defeated St. Patricks at Pairc na nGael by 3-12 to 1-2. The Ballysteen team on that famous day was Bobby Walsh, Liam O’Shaughnessy(Pallaskenry) Tom Perryman(Listowel) Donie Nestor, Basil Fitzgibbon, Tony Fitzgerald(Captain) Eddie Walsh, Tommy Carrig, Pat Reidy(Ballyhahill) Michael Allen, Francie Kenny, Pat Chambers(Bank Official), Michael Ranahan, Paddy Carrig, Michael Walsh. The selectors were Jack Buckley, Tom Downes, Jack Barron and Fr. Dermot McCarthy. Ballysteen went on to meet Shannon Rangers of Kerry in what was the first ever Munster club football championship. Ballysteen and Shannon Rangers were level on 3 points each at half time but the Rangers put in a whirlwind display in the second half to defeat Ballysteen by 5-9 to 0-4. Shannon Rangers went on to win the first ever Munster Football Club title in 1965
Ballysteen GAA club accumulated some debt in 1964 after winning the county. It was small by today's (2014) standards but it was decided that Askeaton GAA club would take over the running of football in the parish in 1965. The same bunch of players captured their second title in 1965 and the Limerick Leader described how ‘police protection was needed to escort a Treaty Sarsfields player to his dressing room after a rough and tumble county final mud bath at the Ennis Road where Askeaton triumphed after withstanding a determined second half rally by Treaty.’ The Askeaton team that defeated the men from Thomondgate 3-3 to 1-5 was Bobby Walsh, Liam O’ Shaughnessy(Pallaskenry) Paddy Carrig, Donie Nestor, Basil Fitzgibbon, Tony Fitzgerald, John O’Donnell, Tommy Carrig, Francie Kenny, Hugh O’Boyle(Copsewood) Paddy Reidy(Ballyhahill), Mike Ranahan, Minie Allen, Peter Neville, Tomas Sheehan. Tom Perryman(Listowel) for Tomas Sheehan injured.
Hurling in the Sixties
Askeaton were also going well in the Junior hurling in 1966. While Granagh Ballingarry defeated them in the West Championship by 3-3 to 1-5, Askeaton won the Pallaskenry tournament after beating a strongly fancied Ballybrown fifteen.
Askeaton, Kilcornan and Kildimo Pallaskenry combined to form a senior hurling team in 1966 and they were called Shannon Gaels. They were defeated on their Senior hurling championship debut by a strong Old Christians team on the scoreline of 5-9 to 2-5.
Only Woman in the Country on a GAA Executive
The Limerick Leader had an article on Mai Collins in 1966. Mai Collins was a member of the Askeaton GAA committee and the only woman occupying a position on an executive body of the GAA in Ireland. Mai got a gold and black plaque after the 1965 county victory. It was a replica of those distributed to the team except for the inscription which says ‘1965 presented by Fr. Dermot McCarthy, Chairman, Limerick County Board to Mai Collins.’
Three in a row
In 1966 Askeaton captured the senior football title when they defeated Claughaun by 2-4 to 1-2 in a rip roaring encounter that was witnessed by an attendance of about 2000. Askeaton lined out as follows - Bobby Walsh, Liam O’ Shaughnessy(Pallaskenry) Pat Carrig, Donie Nestor, Eddie Walsh, Tony Fitzgerald, Basil Fitzgibbon, Tommy Carrig, John O’ Donnell, Mick Ranahan, Francie Kenny, Ted Shiels, Tom Perryman(Listowel) Peter Neville, Tomas Sheehan. Sub John Shiels. Askeaton captured the 1966 County Senior Football Cup when they defeated St Patricks by 4-4 to 0-5 in a match that was not played until November 1967.
1966 Dinner Dance
Trophies were presented to the County Senior Football Champions at the annual dinner dance and social of the Askeaton GAA club at the Shannon Arms Hotel, Limerick. The Vice Chairman of Askeaton Fr. Dermot McCarthy handed plaques to members of the club team who defeated Claughaun in the 1966 county final. Garda J. McGough chairman of the club presided. Fr. McCarthy said that ‘we are now the senior county football champions for three years in a row and very few parishes in Ireland can boast that honour.’ The twenty- one trophies were specially ordered by the Central Council, and they commemorated not only the 1966 win but also the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Fr. McCarthy also paid tribute to Brother Hugh O’ Boyle of Copsewood College Pallaskenry for giving the Askeaton team access to the College playing grounds, training facilities and dressing rooms. During this period Fr. McCarthy referred to ‘the dash of Basil, the drive of Eddie Walsh, the magic of Tommy Carrig, the style of Tomas Sheahan, the reliable Bobby Walsh, the accurate Minie Allen, the magnificent Donie Nestor, the dedicated Michael Walsh and the Prince of Football, Tony Fitzgerald.
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Suspended for a year
Askeaton club had a bad start to the Seventies as they were banned in 1971 after incidents following a county semi-final defeat to Oola in 1970. The registered officers of the club selectors on the day of the game and the team and substitutes on the occasion were suspended for a year. No senior affiliation was accepted from the club in 1971.
Senior Football Champions
The last Senior county football title came to the parish in 1973 in what was the belated 1972 final when Askeaton defeated Newcastlewest in Limericks Gaelic Grounds. The match was not played until August 19, 1973 and Askeaton won out easy winners on the scoreline of 2-13 to 0-5. The Askeaton team was Michael J O’ Donaghue, Tom Perryman, Paddy McMahon, Donie Nestor, Dick Costello, Tony Fitzgerald, Michael Ranahan, Terence Madigan, Tommy Carrig, DJ Daly(Pallaskenry) John O’Donnell, Noel Ranahan, Mick McMahon, Tommy Corrigan, William McMahon. Sub Francie Kenny. Askeaton won their first senior football west championship in 1973 when they defeated St Kierans by 1-6 to 0-6. The Seventies was turning out to be quite a successful decade for Askeaton as they won two County Minor Football Championships when they defeated Ahane and Kilmalloock in the county finals.
Ballysteen 1979 Junior County Champions
Ballysteen broke away from Askeaton in 1977 and formed a Junior Football club. By 1979 Ballysteen had reached the Junior County final and they drew with Bruff on the scoreline of 1-5 to 0-8. The team on that on that occasion was Mick McMahon, John Neville, Paddy McMahon, Vincent Fitzgerald, Gerard Ranahan, Dominic Hayes, Pete McDonagh, Maurice Fitzgerald, Donal Moran (capt.) 0-1, Johnny Sheehy, Anthony Moran, 1-4, Seamus McDonagh, Michael Cussen, Paudie Walsh, Willie McMahon. Subs, Donal Neville, Jim Holland. The replay was played at the Gaelic Grounds and Ballysteen defeated Bruff by 0-8 to 0-3 for their third ever Junior County Crown. The Ballysteen team was Mick McMahon, John Neville, Paddy McMahon, Vincent Fitzgerald, Gerard Ranahan, Dominic Hayes, Pete McDonagh, Donal Neville, Maurice Fitzgerald, Donal Moran (capt.) 0-1, Paudie Walsh, 0-1, Anthony Moran, 0-5, Michael Cussen, Willie McMahon, Seamus McDonagh, 0-1. Sub Jim Holland.
Askeaton County Senior Football Final Defeat
In 1979 Askeaton Senior footballers got to the senior county final but were beaten by Oola by 10 points to 2 on 28 October at the Gaelic Grounds. The team on the day was Terence Madigan, John O’Donnell, Declan Barron, Michael Ryan, Tommy Carrig, Jim O’Donnell, Finty Ryan, Ken Hanley, Michael J. O’Donaghue, Noel O’Donaghue, Seamus O’Connell, Joe Carrig, Dick Costello, Paddy Ivess, Tom O’Connell, E.McDaid.
In the early years of the GAA there was a handball alley near Culhanes Cross in Ballysteen. There was a handball club in Askeaton in 1979 and it had 30 members. M.McMahon, M.Moran and C.Healy were in the committee.
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West Senior Final Parish Derby
Ballysteen went up senior after their 1979 Junior County win and they met their fellow parishioners Askeaton in the 1980 west senior football final which was played in front of a huge crowd at Askeatons Gaelic Grounds. The first game ended in a draw after Finty Ryan equalized for Askeaton with a late free. Ballysteen 1-3, Askeaton 0-6. The replay was an anti-climax with Askeaton running out easy winners on the scoreline of 1-9 to 0-1. The teams on the day of the replay lined out as follows. Askeaton - Haulie Ryan, Ter Madigan, Paddy Ivess, Seamus O’Connell, Pat Madigan, D. Foley, Tom O’Connell, Paddy Barrett, John O’Donnell, Malachy McDaid, Noel O’Donaghue, Finty Ryan, E. McDaid, Ken Hanly, Joe Carrig. Ballysteen - Mick McMahon, Jim Holland, Paddy McMahon, Vincent Fitzgerald, Ger Ranahan, Dominic Hayes, Pete McDonagh, Donal Neville, Donal Moran, John Neville, Willie McMahon, Anthony Moran, Seamus Ranahan, Michael Cussen, Seamus McDonagh.
Askeaton West Senior Football kingpins
Askeaton added 3 more West Senior football championships in the eighties when they defeated St Kierans in 1982, 83, 85. Askeaton beat St Kierans in the 1983 West senior football championship final after a replay on the scoreline of 2-8 to 1-3. The victorious team was Ter Madigan, Eamon McDaid, Paddy Ivess, Declan Barron, Enda McDaid, Tom Connell, Eunan McDaid, Paddy Barrett, Donal Moran, Anthony Moran, Finty Ryan, Ken Hanley, Ray Neville, Mick Fitzgibbon, Cormac Ryan. Sub, John O’Donnell.
There had not been a hurling team in the parish since the late sixties but in the GAA centenary year of 1984 the clubs in Askeaton and Ballysteen decided to field hurling teams again. It was the first time since Lodge Rangers in the early fifties that Ballysteen had a hurling team. Askeaton won the Novice hurling West in 1984 after beating Broadford in the final. The Askeaton team was Cormac Ryan, Dan Neville, Mike Ryan, Pakie O’Donaghue, Eamon Murphy, Dick Costello, Seanie Barry, Seanie Kelly, Fintan Ryan, Gerry Cantillon, Ken Hanley, Ray Neville, Mike Hennessy, Mikey John O’Donaghue, Jimmy O’Donaghue.
North Kerry/West Limerick Senior Football Final
Askeaton Senior Footballers went down by 3 points to Ballydonoghue in the North Kerry/West Limerick Senior Football Final for the Tim Daly Perpetual Cup which was played at Askeaton on 8 January 1984. The final score was Ballydonoghue 1-8, Askeaton 1-5.
Lost Centenary Senior Football Final
Askeaton had a very strong senior football team in the eighties but could not make the breakthrough and win the county. They came very close in the Centenary final of 1984 but Claughaun defeated them on the scoreline of 1-7 to 1-3. The Askeaton team on this occasion was Ray Kelly, Declan Barron, Paddy Ivess, Dan Neville, Eunan McDaid, Tom Connell, John Horrigan, Paddy Barrett, Enda McDaid, Eamon McDaid, Don Ryan, Malachy McDaid, Finty Ryan, M.J. O’Donague, Cormac Ryan. Sub, Garvan McDaid. Paddy Barrett received the Man of the Match Trophy.
An interesting fact that was evident when Ballysteen played Askeaton in the 1983 first round of the senior football championship was that Ballysteen lined out with 7 players from the Askeaton side of the parish while Askeaton had 4 from the Ballysteen side. Askeaton defeated Ballysteen by 3-8 to 1-4. The rivalry amongst the two senior football teams in the parish during this period reached epic proportions. The goalposts were even cut down in Askeatons Pairc na Gael in 1984. Tensions sometimes spilled over during this period and Ballysteen club received a lengthy ban from the GAA in 1985 arising out of incidents that happened in one particularly heated derby match. Ballysteen never recovered from this and when the suspension was up Askeaton and Ballysteen joined in 1987. Askeaton/Ballysteen were defeated by Claughaun in the 1987 county senior football championship semi-final. Southern Chemicals won the 1987 Junior Inter Firm Football All Ireland final defeating Donnelly Mirrors of Naas in Askeaton. The Southern Chemicals team was backboned by players from Askeaton and Ballysteen. The minor footballers won two West football championships in 1989 and 1990.
Cois Sionna Hurling Club
In 1989 Askeaton/Ballysteen and Kilcornan joined to form Cois Sionna. The officers of the new club were Chairman-Michael Ryan, Vice Chairman- Liam Meade, Secretary-John O’Gorman, Joint Treasurer-Dick Gleeson, Donnie Maher, Registrar-Pat Buckley, PROs- Michael Ryan, John O’Gorman, Delegates to West Board-Liam Meade. This team won the West Junior League and Championship and won the county Junior B final against Staker Wallace on the scoreline of Cois Sionna 3-11, Staker Wallace 1-10. The Cois Sionna team was Cormac Ryan, Dan Neville, Liam Meade, Pakie Donaghue, Aubrey Bourke, Eamon Barry, Pat Mullins, Andrew Kett, Seanie Barry, Fintan Ryan, Joe Roche, Joe Rushe, Paddy Ivess, John Neville, P.J Molyneaux. Subs used, Dave Barry, Dick Costello, Bobby Foley.
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Ballysteen Junior West Champions
Askeaton/Ballysteen got knocked out of the 1991 Senior Football Championship after suffering a heavy defeat to the Southern Divisional side, Glenacurrane Rovers. The following year, Ballysteen under the guidance of Michael Ranahan Snr, Patrick Holland and Tom McDonagh broke away from Askeaton to form a Junior Football team. This team after only a few months in existence sensationally won the 1992 West Junior Football final which was played in Askeaton. St. Senans were their opponents and the first match ended up a draw at 0-5 each. Ballysteen won the replay by 0-11 to 0-7 and Dan Neville lifted the cup to joyous celebrations. The players used over the two days were Davy Mann, Barry Sheehan, Dan Neville(Captain) Vincent Hewson, Seamus Ranahan, John Neville, Paddy Neville, John Hewson, John Finucane, Anthony Moran, Noel Sheehan, Ray Neville, Clem Hewson, Donal Moran, Mike Neville, Mick Fitzgibbon, Donal Somers. Ballysteen went on to defeat Treaty Sarsfields in the county quarter final but went down heavily to Ballylanders in the county semi-final.
Askeaton Intermediate Football County Champions
Askeaton who had now lost the Ballysteen players dropped down from senior football in 1992 and won the intermediate county on their first attempt defeating Galtee Gaels by 2-9 to 1-9. The Askeaton team and scorers was as follows, Bernard Burke, Cormac Ryan, Paddy Ivess, Sean Fitzgerald, Tom Hayes, Enda McDaid, Don Ryan, Tom O’Connell, Fintan Ryan(Captain) 0-1, Sean Barry 0-2, Albert Burke 1-2, Dave Barry 0-1, Donie O’Gorman, 0-1, James McMahon 0-1, Pat Fitzgerald, 1-1. Sub Eunan McDaid for O’Gorman. Fintan Ryan lifted the cup on that day.
Parish Senior Football Derby Match
In Askeatons first year back senior they were defeated in the first round of the senior football championship by Western Gaels which was a bizarre combination of their fellow parishioners Ballysteen and Athea. In what was a very exciting match played in Rathkeale, Western Gaels won by 0-10 to 0-9.
A Ladies football club was started in Askeaton in 1993. This club catered for both underage and adult teams. They were trained and managed in the early years by the former great Askeaton and Limerick footballers Tommy Carrig and Paddy Ivess. They won the Novice title in 1995 defeating Glin by 9-6 to 1-0. Claire Holland was the Captain. The panel of players for 1995 was Joanne Sheehy, Teresa Kenny, Bridget Hayes, Toni Donovan, Deirdre Gallagher, Marie Ranahan, Pam Somers, Orla Carrig, Catriona Fitzgerald, Claire Holland, Diane McGrath, Tracey Sheehan, Helena Carrig, Michelle Maune, Jean Boyce, Ann Marie Stokes, Ellen Conway, Patricia Madigan, Melissa O’Brien, Sinead O’Kane, Sinead Maune, Olivia Carrig, C.O’Shea, Mags O’Donaghue, T.Kelly, E.Madigan, Nicola Hanifin, Rachel McDonagh, M.Sheahan, Ellen Fitzgerald, Niamh Lehane, A.Murphy, Samantha Carrig, E.Lynch, Ella Fitzgibbon, Liz Shanahan, Louise Shanahan. This club is alas no more.
Askeaton/Ballysteen Bord na nÓg
Askeaton/Ballysteen Bord na nÓg club was founded in 1995. Limerick hosted the Féile na nGael that year and the Askeaton/Ballysteen club were hosts to the London team. The first piece of silverware that the new Bord na nÓg club won was when the under 16 hurlers defeated Ballybricken in the County final for the Kennedy Cup in 1995. In 1998 Askeaton/Ballysteen hurlers and footballers won both the County hurling Féile na nGael and football Peil na nÓg finals. They went on to represent Limerick in Wexford for the hurling and Donegal in the football. Both the adult clubs of Askeaton and Ballysteen are indebted to the work of volunteers in making sure that the adult clubs are supplied with new young players every year.
Askeaton Hurling Success
Askeaton won two West Junior B hurling Championships in 1993 and 1994 defeating neighbours Kilcornan in both finals. Askeaton failed to win the County Junior B in 1993 and 1994 but the club took the brave decision to go up Junior A in 1995 and they had instant success. Askeaton met Knockaderry in the 1995 West Junior final after defeating Croagh/Kilfinny in the West semi-final. It was their first appearance in the Junior hurling final since 1941. The first match ended in a draw. Askeaton 4-7, Knockaderry 2-13. Askeaton bridged a sixty-year gap and won the replay on the scoreline of Askeaton 1-10, Knockaderry 0-5. The Askeaton team and scorers was Sean Barron, Aidan Burke, Mike Neville, Pa Ruttle, Haulie Kenny, Seanie Barry, Eamon Barry, Sean Fitzgerald(Captain) 0-2, Brian Costello 0-3, Dave Barry, Albert Burke 1-2, Peter Harty 0-2, Mike Neville 0-1, Finty Ryan, Cormac Ryan. Sub Gary Noonan for Brian Costello. Seanie Fitzgerald was the captain. Askeaton went on to defeat St. Patricks and Croom but went down heavily to Dromin Athlacca in the County final which was played in Ballingarry on the scoreline of Dromin Athlacca 4-11, Askeaton 1-6.
Askeaton Senior footballers ended the nineties badly and were relegated in 1998 from senior football after losing to Monaleen in the relegation final and played the 1999 season in intermediate football.
Askeaton had a successful start to the millennium winning both Minor A football and Hurling wests and adding a county Minor A football when they defeated St Senans.
The Church Field Opening Match
Ballysteen and Askeaton played a very entertaining Junior B West League match in 2000 in what was the opening game in Ballysteens newly rented field known locally as the Church Field. Ballysteen led for most of the game but Peter Harty kicked a late winning goal to defeat the home side.
Five Cups in One Year
Ballysteen had a very successful year in 2001 when they won five Cups in the one season. The same panel of players won both the West Junior A and B league, the West Junior B Championship where they defeated Castlemahon in the final and the County Junior B football Championship final against Bruff in Ballingarry. Ballysteen beat Bruff on the scoreline of 0-16 to 2-4. The Ballysteen team and scorers was Mike Neville (Ballyaglish), Vincent Hewson, John Neville, Donal Somers, Pa Ranahan, Fergal O'Donaghue, Clem Hewson, Ray Hayes, Shane Gallagher 0-1, Brian Ranahan 0-1, Mike Neville 0-11, Maurice Somers, Shane Hallinan 0-2, Martin Neville, Cathal Anglim 0-1. Sub- Donal Moran. The Ballysteen team that defeated Ballybricken in a replay of the County Junior A League final by 3 points in Askeaton on a Saturday morning in December to capture their fifth Cup in a season was as follows - Mike Neville (Ballyaglish) Vincent Hewson, John Hewson, Donal Somers, Pa Ranahan, Fergal O’Donaghue, Clem Hewson, Raymond Hayes, Shane Gallagher, Paul Anglim (Captain) 0-2, Mike Neville(Beagh)0-6, Maurice Somers 1-3, Shane Hallinan, Martin Neville 0-2, Cathal Anglim 0-1. Sub –Brian Ranahan.
In 2001 Desmonds who were Askeaton/Ballysteen and Kilcornan lost both the football and hurling county premier minor finals. Desmonds won the 2003 West u21 Premier football final against Newcastlewest and defeated Pallasgreen in the county final. Desmonds won the 2005 West under 21 A hurling championship when they defeated Granagh Ballingarry.
Askeaton fielded two Adult hurling teams from the late 1990s and the Junior B hurling team was very competitive for many years providing the odd shock in West Junior Leagues and Championships. The Bees finest hour however was when they defeated near neighbours Kilcornan to annex the 2003 Pallas Tournament Cup. Captain Clem Hewson lifted the Cup on the night. The Askeaton Junior B hurling team disbanded in 2012.
Askeaton and Ballysteen Join Forces
Askeaton football was not going well from the late nineties and in 2002 Askeaton lost the intermediate relegation final to Croom. There was now the situation in the parish whereby there was two Junior A football teams. Both Ballysteen and Askeaton clubs had talks to see if they could come to an arrangement and join forces for the first time since 1991.The agreement that they came to was that Ballysteen would run the adult football club and Askeaton would look after the adult hurling club. Ballysteen football club played in the 2003 Limerick intermediate football championship. They won the 2004 West intermediate football championship after defeating Cappagh at Askeaton and lost out to Pallasgreen in the 2005 Intermediate County football final.
Askeaton won the West Junior A hurling league final defeating Knockaderry in 2003 and in 2005 captured the Division 5 County League when they defeated Castletown/Ballyagran after a replay.
Askeaton Junior hurlers won the club's third West Junior hurling championship in 2006 when they defeated Monagea in Newcastle on the scoreline of 2-18 to 0-10. The Askeaton team and scorers on this occasion was Conor Ranahan, Paul Fitzgerald, Robert Whelan, Paul Anglim, Roger Somers, Anthony Burke, Mike Griffin, Mike Neville 0-1, Philip Prendiville 0-1, Shane Gallagher 0-1 Ray Hayes, Brendan Hayes 0-4, Maurice Somers 0-11, Pa Ranahan(Captain) 1-0, Dervan Gallagher. Sub Kevin Purcell 1-0. Askeaton defeated Effin and Caherline but got beaten by a strong Mungret St Pauls team in the county final played in Bruff on the scoreline of 4-14 to 2-15.
2008 County Intermediate Football Champions
Ballysteen won an epic 2008 Intermediate County football Final against St. Patricks by two points on the scoreline of 0-13 to 0-11.The team and scorers on that momentous occasion was Conor Ranahan, Cathal Anglim, Shane Gallagher, Eamon Murphy, Pa Ranahan 0-1, Brendan Hayes, Roger Somers, Ray Hayes, Matt O Meara 0-1, Mike Neville 0-3, Shane Hallinan 0-1, Anthony Ryan (Captain) 0-2, John Collins, Maurice Carrig 0-5, Maurice Somers. Subs used - Mark Ranahan, Padraig O' Shaughnessy.
Controversial Fourth Junior A West Hurling Title
Askeaton Junior A hurling team added a controversial fourth Junior A title to their roll of honour in 2010. The West final was played in Feenagh against St Kierans. With Askeaton 2 points in the lead, St Kierans got a goal in the dying moments of the match but it was scored by a substitute who was St Kierans 16th man on the field. St Kierans thought that they had won the West but Askeaton objected. The West Board ordered that the match should be replayed but St Kierans would not play. Askeaton were then awarded the 2010 West Junior A Hurling title. The West final team and scorers was Conor Ranahan, Paul Fizgerald, Roger Somers, Anthony Burke, Mike Griffin 0-2, Ray Hayes, Mark Ranahan, Paul Anglim 1-4, Shane Gallagher, Pa Ranahan 0-1 Mike Neville (Captain), Brendan Hayes 1-1, Mossy Kenrick, Matt O’Meara 0-2 Tom Kelly. Sub. Dervan Gallagher 0-1. Askeaton defeated Crecora in the county quarter final but lost out heavily to Effin in the county semi-final.
West Senior Football Champions
Ballysteen won the 2013 West Senior Football title after defeating Fr. Caseys at Foynes by 1-6 to 0-7. The victorious Ballysteen team and scorers was Danny Fitzgerald, Roger Somers, Shane Gallagher (Captain) 0-1, Kevin McMahon, James O’Meara, Ray Hayes, Pa Ranahan, Padraig Vaughan, Matt O’Meara, Sean Whelan, John Collins 0-1, Mike Neville 0-1, Shane Hallinan 0-1, Brendan Hayes 1-2, Anthony Ryan.
West Junior B Football Champions
Ballysteen Junior B team had no success since the All Conquering Junior B side of 2001. They got to a West Final in 2009 but lost to a strong Dromcollogher Broadford side before losing to Blackrock in the county quarter final. The 2014 Ballysteen Junior B team upset all the odds and had a fantastic West Championship win when they defeated St Kierans after a replay at Coolyroe on the scoreline of 10 points to 9. The team and scorers was Ian Ranahan, Conor Enright, Eamonn Murphy, Mick Boyce (0-1), Enda Gallagher, Alan O’ Shaughnessy, Declan Somers, Corey Flynn, Barry McMahon (0-1), Emmet Whelan, Mark Murphy (0-2), Jack Neville (0-5), Alan Kehoe, Conor Barry (0-1), Steven Carrig. Subs- Pakie Neville, Mike Griffin, Seamie Fitzgerald, Maurice Hayes, John Blackwell, Shane Carrig, Marcum Fitzgerald, Dervan Gallagher. Ballysteen were knocked out by Ballybricken/Bohermore in the County quarter final.
2015 West Junior B Football League Final
Ballysteen defeated St Senans in the 2015 West Junior B League final on the scoreline of Ballysteen 2-14 to St Senans 3-7 in an exciting match played at Foynes. The Ballysteen team and scorers was as follows - Ian Ranahan, Declan Somers, Eamonn Murphy, Enda Gallagher, Jamie O’Sullivan 1-1, Alan O’Shaughnessy, David Holland, Emmet Whelan 0-1, Corey Flynn 1-0, Alan Kehoe, Declan Guerin 0-3, Mick Boyce, John O’Shaughnessy 0-4, Mark Murphy 0-1, Darragh Ranahan 0-4. Subs- Eoin Cuddihy, Steven Carrig, Dervan Gallagher,Joe Guerin, John Blackwell, Maurice Hayes, Shane Carrig, Jamie Moran.
West Minor A Football Champions 2013 & 2015
Ballysteen joined forces with St.Senans and won the West Minor A Football Final in 2013 beating Feale Rangers on a scoreline of 1-14 to 2-6. Team on the day was Dara Fennessy, Daniel Conroy, Eoin Cuddihy, Sean Finucane, Seamus McSweeney, Stephen O' Connell, Conor Enright, James Naughton (0-4), David Holland, Declan Guerin (0-1), Richard Hayes (0-3), James Bridgeman, Jack Neville (0-3), Adam Kearns (1-0), Paul Maher (0-2). Subs used Stephen Carrig (0-1).
Ballysteen won the West Minor A final in 2015 beating Athea/Mountcollins on the scoreline of 1-18 to 2-13.
Ballysteen Roll of Honour
County Senior Football Championship - 1964. County Intermediate Football Championship – 2008. County Junior A Football Championship - 1946, 1961, 1979. County Junior B Football Championship – 2001. County Junior A Football league - 2001. County Minor B Football 2008. County U21 B Football -2012. County Senior Football Cup-1963. West Senior Football Championship -2013. West Limerick Intermediate Football Championship - 2004. West Junior A Football Championship -1932, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1961, 1992. West Junior B Football Championship – 2001, 2014. West Junior A Football League - 2001, 2002. West Junior B Football League - 1997, 2000, 2001, 2015. West Minor B Football- 2008. West Minor A Football -2015 and 2013 as Ballysteen/St Senans West U21 B football - 2011, 2012.