East Kerry GAA
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|Colours:||Red & White|
|Senior Club Championships|
The East Kerry Divisional Board is made up of 13 football clubs and 1 hurling club. Some of the clubs cater for both football and hurling.
The East Kerry Board was founded in 1925 following a decision to sub-divide Kerry into a number of divisions. The first chairman and secretary were football legends Dick Fitzgerald and Paul Russell. The first meeting of the new Board was attended by delegates from eiight clubs; Currow, Farranfore, Firies, Headford, Kenmare, Killarney, Kilcummin and Killorglin.
In 1931, Ballymacelligott, Cordal, Currow, Farranfore and Scartaglin broke away from the Division and joined with Castleisland to form the Castleisland District League. In 1947, Laune Rangers, Castlemaine, Milltown, Tuogh and Glenbeigh broke away with Beaufort to form the Mid Kerry League.
Legend has it that a hurling game between the Fianna and the Tuatha De Danann took place in the countryside between Fossa and Glenflesk over 1,000 years ago. Legend aside, however, we have to go back roughly ninety years at least for the first mention of an East Kerry side in the County Hurling Championship at senior level at least. In 1910, a Killarney team defeated holders Tralee Mitchells and went on to defeat Kenmare in the semi final. However, a Kenmare objection stating that Killarney had illegally played players from Kilgarvan was upheld and Killarney was thrown out of the competition. Killarney also took part in 1911 and 1912, and in 1918 a team from Rathmore reached the semi finals.
In the following decades Killarney took part in the county championship with varying degrees of success as follows:
1920s: Killarney took part in 1928 and East Kerry in 1929
1930s: East Kerry took part in 1930, 31, and 32. Killarney reached the semi final in 1933 while Rathmore took part the following year, receiving a walkover from East Kerry. Killarney represented the area from 1935 to 1940.
1940s: Teams from the area took part in the early 1940s; however Killarney were back from 1946 to start a 26-year unbroken run in the championship.
1950s: The fifties heralded a very successful period for hurling in the East Kerry area. Under the guidance of Laois man, Ben Campion, Killarney won 3 Minor County Championships in a row between 1950 and 52 and were beaten by Crotta in the senior final in 1951. Building on that base they went on to contest the Senior championship with a greater degree of success. 5 players played in all 3 finals during Killarney's unprecedented run of success winning 3 Co. Minor Championship in a row: Liam Brosnan, Paddy O'Shea, Patrick O'Donoghue and Michael Looney of Dr. Crokes together with Legion's Johnny Culloty.
1960s: Johnny Culloty brought the first All - Ireland hurling medal to East Kerry when he was on the Kerry team that defeated London in the 1961 All Ireland Junior final.
Success at last - Unlucky to be beaten by two points at the Quarter final stage in 1968, Killarney took the championship by storm in 1969 defeating Causeway, Kenmare, O'Dorney and Austin Stacks (in the final) to take the County Senior Hurling title for the first and only time completing a Championship double with East Kerry Footballers. Killarney were back in the final the following year defeating O'Dorney and Ballyduff (Semi Final) before going under to Kilmoyley in the final with a score of 2-12 to 4-4.
Killarney - 1969 County Champions. The team that defeated Austin stacks by 2-6 to 2-5 were as follows: Mikey Culloty, Eamonn Fitzpatrick, Bill Moloney, Mickey Culloty, Ultan Breen, Dan Kelleher, Denis Russell, Tadhgie Fleming, Derry Crowley, Brendan Lynch, Tom Prendergast, Johnny Culloty, Pat Lynch, Mick Spillane, Con O'Meara (captain).
1970s: Successive defeats by Ballyduff in 1971 and 72, followed by walkovers to the same opposition in 1973 and to Austin stacks in 1974 heralded the demise of hurling in the Division. It would be another 17 years before a team from the division would contest the Senior Hurling Championship.
1980s: in 1982 St. Patrick's E.K Hurling Club was set up to cater for hurling in the division.
The Board currently includes 13 football clubs: Cordal, Dr. Crokes, Currow, Firies, Fossa, Glenflesk, Gneeveguilla, Kilcummin, Legion, Listry, Rathmore, Scartaglin and Spa. (Some of these clubs also have hurling teams) The only hurling teams playing in the County Championships are Dr. Crokes and St. Patrick's.
East Kerry field a Divisional side in the Kerry Senior Football Championship, including players whose clubs do not play at County Senior Championship level. East Kerry are 6th on the list of Kerry Senior Football Championship winners, with victories in 1999, 1998, 1997, 1970, 1969, 1968 and 1965. They also reached the finals of 1964, 1966 and 1995.
Current East Kerry team and players from the Division
The East Kerry Divisional Team reached the quarter final of the County Senior Football championship in 2007, losing by a single point to Kilcummin (themselves a club within the East Kerry Board). Players on the team include Séamus Moynihan and Donal Daly. There are a number of current Kerry senior footballers from the East Kerry division, such as Paul Murphy, Colm Cooper, James O'Donoghue, Brendan Kealy, Jonathan Lyne, Brian Kelly, Fionn Fitzgerald, and Johnny Buckley
The board runs its own competitions for clubs within the division. The most important is the O'Donoghue Cup which is awarded to the winners of the East Kerry Senior Football Championship. Most adult clubs in the division compete for this cup, even if they are playing at junior or intermediate grades. The competition has been dominated by Dr. Crokes.
Roll of Honour
The East Kerry Junior Football Championship is a Gaelic football competition for teams affiliated to the division. All 13 clubs in the division must compete with their 'B' (Junior) team. A 'B' player is defined as any player who is not a member of the Kerry inter-county panel at senior, junior or under-21 level in the current year, or a player who starts on the first 15 of his club’s O’Donoghue Cup (East Kerry Senior Football Championship) team in the current year. The competition has been dominated by 3 teams, Dr. Crokes (6 wins), Firies (5 wins), and Kilcummin (5 wins). The winners receive the O'Sullivan Cup.
Roll of Honour
|2007||Cordal||1-10||Dr. Crokes'B'||0-10||17/11/2007||Fitzgerald Stadium|
|2005||Glenflesk||---||Legion||---||28/01/2006||Glenflesk Awarded Game|
|2003||Currow'B'||1-12||Dr. Crokes'B'||0-7||02/11/2003||Fitzgerald Stadium|
|1999||Dr. Crokes'B'||3-15||Cordal||2-7||17/11/1999||Fitzgerald Stadium|
|1998||Dr. Crokes'B'||1-10||Firies||1-9||13/12/1998||Fitzgerald Stadium|
|1993||Kilcummin||2-15||Dr. Crokes'B'||3-9||24/11/1993||Fitzgerald Stadium|
|1976||Cordal||1-6||Dr. Crokes'B'||06||21/11/1976||Fitzgerald Stadium|
- "Gooch and Brosnan make it a perfect 10 for Crokes". Irish Examiner. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "East Kerry GAA – Coiste Chiarrai Thoir C.L.G | Coiste Chiarrai Thoir C.L.G.". eastkerrygaa.com. Retrieved 26 September 2016.