Unveiling of plaque in memory of Ardrahan

The 1896 hurling champions of Connacht, Ardrahan GAA.

The 1896 hurling champions of Connacht, Ardrahan GAA.

A plaque will be unveiled at Keighrey's junction, Bullyboy, Ardrahan, this Friday August 26 by County Council Cathaoirleach Michael Connolly.

It will be erected in memory of the Adrahan hurlers, who donned the famed blue jersey from 1884-1920. During that period, Ardrahan won a total of seven senior hurling county championships, but have since been able to capture four more, bringing their trophy haul into double-digits.

"The event will commemorate championship wins and Connacht championship wins of Ardrahan teams of 1894, '95, '96, when they won both Connacht and county championships," said local councillor Michael Fahy, who has been heavily involved with the project. "They trained at this location from 1884 up until the early 1920s, and in memory of those and their great achievements, a plaque will be erected."

Former county hurling icons are expected to attend the event en masse, and Cllr Fahy is hoping for some big names. "Some of the hurlers who we are hoping will attend are Ned Quinn, who played against Cork in the 1953 All-Ireland final, in which Cork won. Micheal McInerney who played with Galway in the National League in 1952 and '53, and thereby with Josie McInerney and Tighe Kelly of Gort who were members and outstanding hurlers in south Galway at that time. We are hoping that Micheal, who was 90 years earlier this year, will be able to attend, Ned, who is at present a patient in Kilcolgin nursing home, is also invited to attend."

The land on which the plaque will be placed has been in the possession of Ardrahan hurling families for generations, and is a fitting tribute to the local community. "All hurlers past, present, and future are invited to attend the historical event. This event alone marks a milestone in the history of Ardrahan and Galway hurling," added Cllr Fahy. "I would also like, as a local councillor and whose granddad was a member of that team, to express my gratitude and sympathy to Joe McDonagh, the former president of the GAA who passed away earlier this year, and to one of the great hurling stalwarts of Ardrahan who passed away this year, who played in the 1974, '75, and '78 hurling championships, John Joe O'Dea."

The ceremony will commence with one minute's silence, before the plaque is blessed by local priest Fr Joe Roach. Cllr Fahy thanked everyone involved for their support throughout the planning process, and wanted to acknowledge the work of Micheal Howley, Shane Quinn, Sharon O'Neill, and the Ardrahan Heritage Committee, who have all "done marvellous work". The unveiling ceremony will begin at 6.30pm this Friday, and all are welcome to attend.

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