Issue 7 – Spetember 2012
Welcome to the sixth issue of BSJ30.
Aras Naomh Eoin Official Opening – by Gerard O’Donnell
Ladies Football – by Mary Kenny
Sumer Camps by Nora Stapleton
Please contribute to the next Issue.
Please send all your old photos, cuttings, articles and videos in to
or tell us about them and we’ll scan and return them.
Any errors spotted please let us know at the same address.
Aras Naomh Eoin Official Opening
by Gerard O’Donnell
Sunday the 8th May 2005 was a red letter day in the history of Ballinteer St Johns. On that morning the Taoiseach of the day travelled to Ballinteer to officially open our new Clubhouse, Aras Naomh Eoin.
Just to rewind a little bit construction of the Clubhouse was completed in 2003 and it first opened its doors for business in December of that year. Full details of the search for a suitable site, fundraising and construction can be found in an earlier edition of the BSJ 30 newsletter. However the occasion of the official opening was something that we as a club wanted to get right and a lot of painstaking planning and preparation went into organising the events which finally came to pass on the weekend of 6th/7th/8th May 2005. It was indeed a memorable weekend and, may I say, an extremely proud one for me personally to hold the office of Chairman on such an historic occasion for the Club.
The celebrations kicked off with the annual Club mass for deceased members on Friday the 6th May and ended in a lather of sweat and pumping adrenaline in the very early hours of Monday the 9th as the last dancers left the floor after a long night of music and entertainment. In the 50 or so hours in between a fantastic programme of events provided something for everybody. After the mass entertainment geared towards our teenage members was provided by local band ‘Cans in the Living Room’ featuring some of our own members including Padraic O’Connor, and Paddy and Tommy Desmond. Outdoor entertainment commenced early Saturday morning with a full programme of activities for the juvenile members of the club in Marlay Park. There was something for youngsters of every age here including mini games, penalty shoot outs, tug-o-war, kick and puck fáda, skills competitions and much more. This was followed on Saturday afternoon by two inter county games, the first such occasion that inter county competitions came to Marlay Park. The first game was camogie and featured Dublin versus Tipperary. This was followed by a ladies senior football match between Dublin and Waterford. Saturday was rounded off with a supper dance for all clubs mentors and their spouses and partners in the function room that night.
The big day arrived on Sunday and with so much to pack into the day an early start was required. It started with an ecumenical blessing of the premises by our local clergy of various denominations. Then the highlight of the festivities, the arrival of An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD to perform the official opening, accompanied by our two local Ministers the late Seamus Brennan TD and Tom Kitt TD. Also in attendance were other local public representatives and dignitaries including Uachtaráin elect of the GAA Nicky Brennan as well many other special guests from far and wide and of course a huge gathering of our members and their families. Following the various speeches the Taoiseach cut the ribbon, ably assisted by juvenile club members Kevin Mc Cabe and Laura Mc Mahon, and declared Aras Naomh Eoin officially open. There followed a reception for all and sundry in the function room. In the afternoon it was back to Marlay Park again for more inter county action. This time it was the under 21 hurlers of Dublin against Limerick followed by Senior football featuring Laois and Roscommon. On Sunday night we had the Gala Opening night dance which was a very fitting finale to a hectic weekend of activity.
It was, as I said earlier, a very proud occasion for me to have the honour of being Club Chairman at the time of the official opening. However it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the tremendous foresight of my two immediate predecessors as club Chairman, namely Tom Hayes and JJ Duffy. Without their drive, determination and vision for a permanent home for the club, there would not have been a clubhouse and consequently there would not have been an official opening to organise and celebrate!
Opening speeches An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Tom Kitt TD in the foreground. In the background Canon Battelle PP Ballinteer, Michael Hand, Michael Wren, JJ Duffy, Gerard O’Donnell, Frank Sullivan.
An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern cuts the tape with Laura McMahon and Kevin McCabe. Also in picture Gerard O’Donnell, the late Seamus Brennan TD and Michael Hand.
An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern shaking hands with JJ Duffy while Michael Hand Gerard O’Donnell and Tom Kitt TD look on.
Huge crowd in attendance for opening ceremony.
Flower arranging for Opening Ceremony: L to R: Anne O’Donnell, Elaine Dolan, Maura Duffy, Yvonne Dolan and Angela Coffey.
Dublin U 21 Hurling Team with manager Sean Lane. Also included BSJ players Cian Morrissey, Keith Nolan, Cormac O’Brien, Oisin Chambers and Sean Lane Jnr.
Dublin Ladies football team including BSJ’s Angie McNally
Dublin vs. Limerick
Laois vs. Roscommon
by Mary Kenny
About 17 years ago the executive asked Phil Kenny to set up a Ladies football team. It was with much trepidation and curiosity that the training sessions were started on Sunday afternoons in Broadford. Some had to learn the basics of catching and kicking the ball. Others had already played football. The first match arrived and the team togged out and presented themselves on a very slippery slope on the side of the mountain to play Stars of Erin captained by Sue McDonagh. The new kit sponsored by the Coach House looked well at the beginning of the match but had a greenish tinge and a smell of sheep at the end. This didn’t bother the girls too much as they had won their first match and were elated. We finished fourth in the league in our debut season. A few new players joined for the second season. With a step up in fitness training, we won some and lost some and eventually ended up third in the league. The following season saw training starting earlier as the all-weather pitch was now available. By now, there was a panel of 25 girls and the big panel helped the team reach the quarter final of the championship. The league was up for grabs and with grit and determination they went for it. After suffering a first defeat of the season, there was a chance to undo the damage with a return match the following week in Loretto. They did. On the night of the final match of the season, they were presented with the Senior Division 3 League Cup and so the celebrations started. The first season in the second division was tough and we did well to survive. Over the next few seasons the team played well together and reached the final of the championship. However, they were beaten by a point on a cold, wet miserable day in Parnell Park. Not having a juvenile structure in the club was a big draw back and so it was decided that Julie Kenny would start with a team of juvenile girls. They played steadily in the first season and won their championship final. Improving in leaps and bounds at this stage some have played on the senior team. They reached the final of the shield three years ago and the semi-final of the championship two years ago. They also won Division 2 and got promoted to Division 1. The interest in ladies and girls football has made it the fastest growing sport in Dublin. We now have five juvenile teams from under 10 to under 16. A nursery for 6-8 year olds is held every Saturday in St Attracta’s school
Although having only two teams in the club for a few years, we have had great representation on Dublin county teams. Angie McNally captained the county team and was awarded an All Star in 2003. She has played in the two All Ireland Finals. Eileen and Trish McNally played for the junior county team. Audrey Kearon played with us for a few years. She studied and worked in England where she transferred to London and last year was awarded an All-Star in London. Our juvenile section has been well represented on county teams as well. Kate Hogan represented the club for two years on the under 16 panel. Julie-Anne Forbes played with the under 14 Dublin team. This team reached and won the All Ireland final – the first All Ireland medal for the club. Emma Irwin and Laura Funge were on the under 12 Dublin panel. Phil and Mary Kenny managed the senior team for the first few years. Kenny O’Toole took over for the next year. Eddie Byrne and Paddy McNally took it on for the next year. Eddie Byrne continued on coaching with help from Angie McNally. Last year Fintan O’Curry and Mary Kenny managed the team. Eoin Richardson and David Butler are the present management team and we wish them well for the coming season. Julie Kenny having started the juvenile team then handed management over to Mary Kenny who ran it with coaching help from Audrey Kearon. Fintan O’Curry took on the coaching role full time two years ago. This year Fintan O’Curry and Eddie Byrne are running the team. Eileen Mc Nally started with an under 10 team. The team is now playing under 14 and Eileen is still at the helm. Dermot McMahon ran the under 11 team and helped Eileen McNally with the under 12 team last year. Frank Sullivan, Sue McDonagh and Fintan O’Curry managed the under 10 team last year and they won the shield final. This was a great achievement as some of these girls are still playing under 10 football this year. The under 10 team is now being managed by Sue McDonagh and Mary Kenny. Anyone interested in joining any of the above teams please contact Frank Sullivan at 01-4945351.
Under 14 & U16 Championship May 2004:
The Ladies team were the 1st Senior Team in the club. Julie-Anne Forbes was the first player to win an All Ireland medal in the club.
First Under 10 Girls team with Julie Kenny having beaten Ballyboden in their first match 1998.
Ladies Football 1999 Division 2.
Ladies Football Division 3 1998
Angie McNally October 2003. Angie is now back coaching the Senior Ladies team. She also previously coached the Dublin Junior team.
Angie McNally with Tom Hayes and Julie Kenny at championship medal presentation
Angie McNally with Sarah and Sinead Scallan
Angie McNally with Cliodhna McCaughy who currently plays with the Senior taem.
Angie McNally with Maeve McDonald and Emer Naughton
Enjoying the sun at the summer camp in Broadford.
Ballinteer St Johns Summer Camp
by Nora Stapleton
The summer proved to be very active up and around Ballinteer St Johns this year. July provided 3 weeks of enjoyment for the players while August saw the annual Club Summer Camps in full flow.
First up were the two Drop-In Camps at the beginning of July. For the third year in a row the club have decided to run these camps. For many, they are a great way of keeping the kids active during the summer months. For others it’s easier to attend as it means they don’t have to commit for the whole week. The camps only run from 11.00-1.30pm so it means that the day is still free to do other things. Between 50 and 80 children came out to the camp every day. Such Bwas their enjoyment that 90% of these then did the usual full week camp afterwards.
The Kellogg’s GAA Cul Camp was held in the last week of July and proved to be very popular. With over 150 children participating it was great to see the park looking so vibrant. With multiple games and activities being used the children learnt lots of skills for Football and Hurling/Camogie. Each child also received a fantastic Kellogg’s GAA Cul Camp Kit which consisted of a jersey, shorts, socks and a back pack (which can be seen on a huge percentage of the children walking to school these mornings). With Kellogg’s continuing their sponsorship next year I’m sure this camp will continue to grow in numbers. Especially with the generous discounts that families received if they collected the voucher number from Kellogg’s cereal boxes.
The annual Ballinteer St Johns GAA Club Camps were held in the middle of August this year. Again, these are the traditional weeks that members attend the camps. One week was dedicated to football and the other hurling. Both were very well attended with over 120 at each. Running alongside these in another venue were the Advanced Camps. Here you had the U13-U16 teams being put through their paces by very high quality coaches. All coaches came from an Inter-county background and so had huge experience of training at the highest level. The Dundrum Credit Union continued their sponsorship of the St Johns Camps and so each player received a training t-shirt to take home.
While the weather might not favour us in Ireland we can still go out and enjoy ourselves and that’s what the camps in St Johns is all about. A huge thanks to all the coaches and helpers who were involved with looking after and training the players over the summer. Without them non of this would be possible. They are also often seen helping out with underage teams in the club throughout the year ensuring that they gain lots of experience for coaching children of all ages.
Have a look at the photos to see what’s been going on during the camps. Maybe you’ll be able to see yourself in one of them!