Liam Mellows, county champions

We know that hurling was played in the Bohermore area 200 years ago. Several different clubs operated around there at different times — Galway City, Bohermore 98s, College Road, Thomas Ashe, etc. Players would occasionally transfer from one club to another so it was natural for them to join the new club that was formed on February 11, 1933. The club was called Liam Mellows after the patriot who led the 1916 rebellion in Galway.

A number of Galway county players who had already won National League medals were among those who joined at the beginning — Mike King, Miko Cunningham, and Jack Deeley. The club won their first senior County Championship within two years and they repeated this victory in 1942, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1954, 1955, 1968, and 1970. In 1971 they won the first Connacht Club Hurling Championship.

They had many fine hurlers down through the years... ‘Inky’ Flaherty, Seán Duggan and his brothers Paddy and Jimmy, Jimmy Hegarty, and Johnny Kelly to name a few, and they have also been very lucky with many great supporters like the Ellwood family, the Hughes family, and the Keville family. Another avid supporter, James Casserly, wrote a very good history of the club in 2007.

The year 2017 was a great one for Galway hurling and was topped off for city fans when Liam Mellows were victorious in the County final, their 10th time winning. Our photograph today is of the last Mellows team to raise the trophy, the men of 1970. They are, front row, left to right: Willie Concannon, Pat Harrington, Mick Lally (captain ), Paddy Murphy, Jimmy Duggan, Jim Bishop, and Gerry O’Mahoney. At the back are Tom Ryan, Pat Larkin, Paddy Kearns, Bernard Diviney, Seamus Hogan, Matt O’Malley, Paddy Ryan, and Jimmy Hegarty.

This is one of the many illustrations in the latest edition of St Patrick’s Parish magazine. Edited by Willie Henry, it has a number of interesting articles such as ‘The May Day Tradition’, ‘The Wren Boy Tradition’, and ‘A History of Rabbitt’s Bar’ in Forster Street. There are also some profiles of local people. It is well worth the €5 price tag and can be purchased at Cameron’s Post Office in Bohermore or Hynes’ in Forster Street.

Finally, a special thanks to all those who supported this column with photographs, stories and suggestions throughout the year, and to all our readers “Bliain Nua fé shéan is fé mhaise daoibh ar fad.”

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