Slieve Bloom GAA

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Slieve Bloom GAA
Sliabh Bladhma
Founded: 1947
County: Laois
Colours: Orange and White
Grounds: Deerpark
Coordinates: 53°01′57.27″N 7°30′03.27″W / 53.0325750°N 7.5009083°W / 53.0325750; -7.5009083Coordinates: 53°01′57.27″N 7°30′03.27″W / 53.0325750°N 7.5009083°W / 53.0325750; -7.5009083
Playing kits
Standard colours

Slieve Bloom GAA is a Gaelic Athletic Association hurling club in County Laois, Ireland.

Overview[edit]

The club was founded in 1947 and the club colours are orange and white.

The club grounds are located two miles from Mountrath off the mountain road to Clonaslee. The townland that the field is located in is called Deerpark and the grounds were once part of the Deerpark estate. The club obtained the grounds from the land commission when the estate was divided. Previous to that the club had operated from the sportsfield at Clonin, Mountrath and also from Rushin, Mountrath.

In recent years the grounds have undergone extensive much needed improvements. The playing pitch was leveled and a perimeter fence was erected. Ballstoppers were erected at each end. The dressing-rooms were built and now stand proudly overlooking the countryside. Most recently a scoreboard was erected and a new road going all around the grounds was laid.

The current committee consists of: Chairman-Ken Holmes, Secretary - Chloe Farrell, Treasurer-Sean Breen, PRO-Anthony Phelan, Vice-Chairman-Joseph Heffernan

In 1947 Slieve Bloom won the Laois Junior Hurling Championship but had to wait until 1983 to repeat that success. The Captain of the team in 1983 was Thomas Cuddy as the Slieve Bloom men beat Ballypickas in the final. That team was trained by Tim Keenan. The Junior Hurler of the Year award the same year went to Ger Campion from Rushin who played at centre back.

Their only other championship title came in 1999 when Benny Conroy captained them to the Laois Junior "B" Hurling Championship title with a memorable 2-4 to 0-7 win over neighbours Castletown. This time the team was trained by another member of the Keenan family, Tim's brother Frank. Hurler of the Year in the Junior B grade that year was Michael Delaney from Lacca who played at full forward.

Slieve Bloom also won the Laois All-County Hurling League Division 4 title in 1999 with a repeat win over Castletown and added the Laois All-County Hurling League Division 3 title in 2002 when Lorcan Phelan was the team captain.

At underage level the club amalgamates with Castletown GAA club. In 2008 a new juvenile club was set up between Castletown and Slieve Bloom called Naomh Eamonn in honour of St. Edmund after whom the parish church in Castletown is named. At Minor and Under-21 level the club is joined with Castletown.

In 2009 a new gaelic football club was formed between members of both Slieve Bloom and Castletown. This new entity was a short lived union.

In early 2015 the decision was made to part ways with the senior amalgamation and Slieve Bloom entered a team in the Junior A championship and Division 3 league. James Young from Clonaslee was appointed as the team trainer, his first such role.

On 9 October 2016, Slieve Bloom won their first Junior A championship in 33 years beating Rathdowney-Errill in the final by 2-24 to 2-6, an 18 points win.

Slieve Bloom's Laois senior hurler Ben Conroy scored 1-15. The team captained by Enda Conroy showed great determination as each and every one of the players showed unbelievable commitment to their team. The last surviving player of the first Slieve Bloom team in 1947 was even there to witness his 2 grandchildren play outstanding, this mans name is Jack Lowry. In 1947 he was wearing the number 2, and now his grandson Gearóid mans that number.