Patrickswell GAA
















with Seán Casey

The "Well's" campaign in 1954 commenced with a challenge match against Ballybrown.

Mungret provided the opposition for the first championship game played in Patrickswell. The Well fielded a young team with Sean Casey (12 years of age) in goal and Phil Bennis and Eamonn Carey both in their thirteenth year. Youngest of all was Sonny O'Reilly at 12, who did not let his age stop him from scoring four goals in the County Final against Murroe.

The Mungret match was a tough encounter with Jerry Casey (R.I.P) who started at Midfield having to switch to Fullback to curb Full Forward Gerry Reynolds who was causing problems for the Well Defence.  However the Well carried the day and went on to meet and beat St.Patrick's in the semi-final of the City Championship in a tough game.  Incidentally, Gerry Reynolds became a Redemptorist priest and is now head of the Redemptorist order in Dublin.  Dan Collins from Crecora provided transport to the semi-final at Páirc na nGael in his lorry, which converted to a bus by fitting seats for the day.  A number of the “Well" lads played football with Crecora at the time!

The City Final was played at the Gaelic Grounds with Treaty Sarsfields providing the opposition.  City clubs like Treaty Sarsfields, St. Patrick's and Claughaun had a stranglehold on hurling at the time, they were dominant in both the City and County championships.  For the “Well” to pull off a City Championship would be a huge task—and a major upset!  The “Well” boys met at the "Big Tree" on Sunday, 15th August, 1954 and set off on bicycles for Páirc na nGael.  Before departing, Mike Touhy told the team that they had to “…do it for the Club".  The match was a cracker with  the “Well” winning by 3 - 3 to 3 - 2 thanks to a last minute point by John Barry.

The “Well” arrived home to a huge welcome with Captain Jerry Casey carrying the Cup on the Handlebars of his bike!  Jerry being the full age was one of the strongest players on the team and due to this the manager, Jimmy Carroll, (R.I.P.) developed a "move", whereby when the team had found its rhythm and built up a lead, Jerry Casey at No. 8 would switch with Jimmy O'Brien, the No. 6.  This move, which was regularly employed, became known as "The Switch".  "Fancy facing a half back line of Phil Bennis, Jerry Casey and Eamonn Carey".  Jimmy Carroll had a huge role in the success of this team, as he did with the development of many aspects the Club throughout the following years.

The semi-final against Dromin-Athlacca presented a dilemma for Liam Shinnors who was booked to go to Knock the same day.  However Liam (Vice Captain of the team) made the correct decision and the “Well” recorded an easy win in Kilmallock with transport, by car  on this occasion, being provided by  Tony and Jackie Harrington (who went on to become one of the finest amateur golfers this country has ever seen).

Its no coincidence that in the early ‘50’s Adare C.B.S. made a return to prominence in hurling, winning "the Leader Cup" in 1952, 1953 and 1955.  Six members of the “Well’s” famous juvenile team of 1954-- Joe Moore, Mike O'Brien, (R.I.P.) Jerry Casey, Liam Shinnors, Larry Tuohy and Sean Casey--were attending the Monastery at the time. Michael O'Brien (R.I.P.) a brother of Tony, (R.I.P.)  entered the Christian Brothers and wasn't available to the Juvenile team of 1954.

It was back to Páirc na nGael for the final with Tony Harrington again providing transport.  Murro-Boher provided the opposition.  The huge attendance witnessed Patrickswell make a shaky start. A goal for Murroe-Boher followed when the rebound from a saved 21-yard-free was buried in the back of the net. However, the “Well” settled and went on to record one of their finest victories, which set the wheels in motion for an unrivalled period of success in hurling, which has continued to this day.  A highlight of the game was a goal scored by Sonny O'Reilly who, standing on the end-line with his opponent on his shoulder, managed to connect sweetly with an overhead pull on a ball that had been sent goal-wards from midfield.

That this "Well" team won our first County Championship title was a great achievement but when you look at the group of players on the team and what they achieved in later life, both on and off the pitch, it certainly was no surprise victory.  Nine members of the team helped the Well to win our First Senior County Championship in 1965.


Players from that team went on to win:


5 County Junior Medals

24 County Senior Medals

6 County Junior Football medals


1 Senior All-Ireland: Phil Bennis.

1 Junior All-Ireland: Jerry Casey.

2 Minor All-Irelands: Eamonn Carey and Tony O'Brien.

2 National Leagues: Phil Bennis and Tony O'Brien.

2 Orieachtas: Phil Bennis and Tony O'Brien.

4 Railway cup medals with Munster: Tony O'Brien 


“Cúpla Focal”

A few words from Liam Shinnors 1954


A first is a first so the 1954 win was a historical occasion for the Parish in general.  The players were from a geographical spread, in fact two members of our panel were from the East Limerick division. As neither Fedamore nor Manister had a juvenile team, John Barry and Tom Sheehan were eligible to play for the "Well" (in the City Championship only--they would be ineligible to play when we met other divisional champions).

How come they played with the Well?  John Barry was a schoolmate of Paddy "Ginger” O'Neill (R.I.P.) at St. Munchin’s College and Tom Sheehan was his mate.  The late great Tony O'Brien (R.I.P.) was a graduate of St. Munchin’s later.  Three members of the team had tasted success in 1953 when Adare C.B.S. won the "Leader Cup".

Who was "Jimmy"Bogger" O'Brien?  His mother was a Begley from Croom, 3 boys and 1 girl lived with their parents in a small house in Rody Dawson Bog hence the name "Boggen" as there was and still is a lot of O'Briens in the Parish,  they later lived in a lodge in Attyflynn, from where they immigrated to G.B.  His father Jack was a staunch supporter of the Well.  Early Sunday mornings he would be on his bike and in company with Paddy O'Donoghue, Ter Brien and Bill Shinnors, they would be off to Killmallock or wherever the Well were playing and whether we won. lost or drew they would be home Late at Night Full of Spirit.           


with Oliver Mann

As chairman of CLG Tobar Phádraig, I have enjoyed many privileges over the last ten years.  Tonight is another addition to that list as I, on behalf of our great club, welcome the 1954 Juvenile Panel to the Golden Jubilee celebration of their historic achievement. While Patrickswell has had numerous victories at county and provincial level over the last 50 years the juvenile success of 1954 will always be remembered as Patrickswell’s first county title.

It has always been maintained in Patrickswell that to be successful at senior level, the underage section of the club must be properly looked after with regards to coaching and funding. If one needed proof that such a policy was necessary, all we have to do is look at the panel that we are honouring tonight and we will see that nine of these players were on the 1965 Senior Hurling Panel that brought the first Senior County Championship to Patrickswell.

The juveniles of 1954 were to go on and play a major part in the development of Patrickswell G.A.A club as players, coaches, club officers, committee members and general promoters of the Gaelic Athletic Association.  Some were also to play their part at inter-county and provincial level—thus, bringing further honour to their club.

On behalf of our club, I would like to thank you for your contribution to and interest in the wellbeing of various Patrickswell teams over the past 50 years.  It’s good to see so many of you at the matches and indeed your turnout tonight gives us all a great lift as we strive to honour your achievements by always aiming to be No. 1 in the County, just as you were in 1954.  I hope you enjoy our little get-together—and that you continue to enjoy the exploits of our club for many years to come! Thank you for setting us on the Championship Road and, no matter what the future holds, you will always be remembered as the first!   


Putting the ‘Well on the road

On 3rd. October 1954 Rickardstown beat Collinstown in the Westmeath Snr. Hurling Final.  Where are they now ?

On the same day Patrickswell beat XXXXXXX to win the Limerick Juvenile Hurling Final.  There are many things that make this victory of 50 years ago special.


  • It was the ‘Wells first ever County Final victory
  • In 1957 one of the boys, Gerry Casey went on to win an All-Ireland Junior title with Limerick.  Gerry later played Senior for Limerick contesting a League final.
  • In 1958 two of the boys, Eamonn Carey and Tony O Brien went on to win Munster and All-Ireland Minor medals with Limerick
  • The bulk of the team continued to play with the ‘Well and won their first Senior Final in 1964 going on to win many more over the following years
  • In 1971 Tony O Brien and Phil Bennis won National Hurling League medals with Limerick.  Tony had the honour of captaining that Limerick team who beat Tipp in the final by 3 – 12 to 3 – 11.
  • Tony and Phil not alone played for Limerick but went on to play for Munster
  • In 1973 Phil Bennis was a stalwart defender on the Limerick team that won Munster and All-Ireland finals (joined by the younger ‘Well brigade of Richie Bennis, Sean Foley and Frankie Nolan)
  • Phil also had a very successful reign as manager of Limerick Minors (All-Ireland champions in 1984); U-21 All-Ireland Champions in 1987) before leading the Limerick Seniors to League victory in XXXXXX


Other GAA Happenings

On the same day that the Well won that historic victory the following three events also took place.

Holycross Ballycahill with John Doyle, Pat Stakelum and John Haugh won the Tipperary Senior Final beating Roscrea by 6 – 5 to 2 – 3.  The match was refereed by Tom Semple (probably a son of the Legendary Tom Semple after whom the pitch in Thurles was named).

St. Vincents in Dublin qualified for the Dublin Football Final with Ollie Freaney, Kevin Heffernan (Heffo) and the young Jock Haughey on board.

Wexford, still striving for their long-awaited break-through beat Galway by 8 – 5 to 2 – 6 in the Oireachtas Hurling Semi-final.  They had great performances from the half-forward line of Tim Flood, Padge Kehoe and Paddy Kehoe and of course the star of the show Nicky Rackard.  However, they lost the Oireachtas final later that year to Clare in a replay.  The all important score was a late goal by Jimmy Smith.  That final was attended by 28,289. 

The All Ireland Hurling final of 1954, played on the first Sunday in September Cork defeated Wexford by 1 – 9 to 1 – 6.  The attendance was 84,856 and the paid a total of £10,661.  Ring won his eighth medal in that final, and scored 5 points in the game.  Himself and Bobby Rackard shared the Sports Star of the Week in the Irish Independent.

Meath, surprisingly beat Kerry by 1 – 13 to 1 – 7 in that year’s All Ireland Football final and a piece in the following day’s paper revealed that “Paddy O Brien at full back for Meath, although suffering from a carbuncle on the back of his neck had an outstanding game and was voted Sports Star of the Week”.


The War Children

1954 was just 9 years after World War 2, (or the Emergency as it was known in Ireland).  Therefore the boys who played on October 3rd. 1954 were born during the war.  Times were harsh, foodstuffs were rationed, we had compulsory tillage and travel was confined to walking or cycling as there were only very few cars knocking around.  The real problem in regards to cars was not that they could not be got but the price of them as the following list illustrates:


Ford Popular 1172 cc                                                  £350

Morris Minor 800 cc                                                    £429

Volkswagen Standard (air cooled) 1192 cc                   £449

Ford New Anglia 1172 cc                                            £454


The People in Power

Ireland had just had another change of Government when the second Inter Party Government took power in June ’54 under the Taoiseach (his second term) John A Costelloe.

The British Prime Minister was Sir. Winston Churchill.

The American President was Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Molotov was the President of the Soviet Union.

The German Chancellor was Dr. Konrad Adenhauer.

Sean T. O Kelly was President of Ireland.

Mr. Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden was Secretary of the United Nations.

Cardinal D’Alton was cardinal of All Ireland.

Pilgrims flocked to Oberammergau to the Passion Play.



An interesting article on the daily paper told us that “Nelson’s Pillar has claims to be one of the finest Dolic pillars in existence.  The Comhairle Ealion, The Arts Council, recommended that if changes are to be made they should only effect the figure and not the pillar”.  Clearly their recommendation had been forgotten by March 1966 and from then on Limerick people on their way to Croke Park had to appoint a new meeting place.

Diphtheria which up until recently had been the biggest killer amongst children had been greatly reduced thanks to immunisation.

Ireland’s leading golfers were, Harry Bradshaw, Joe Carr and Fred Daly from the North.

Lord Brookeborough, the Northern Premier in a speech sounded a warning to Mr. De Valera and Mr. Costelloe saying that “nothing they would say or do could accomplish Irish Unity.

Children found Curly Wee and Gussie Goose to read in the Irish Independent while the older folk could read the cartoon of Hopalong Cassidy.


What made the news 

The biggest event around that time happened to be a local event and a desperate tragedy.  On September 5th. 1954 a Dutch Airplane, a KLM Super- Constellation Triton crashed after take-off in Shannon resulting in 28 deaths.  The amazing newspaper report stated “3 minutes after take-off from Shannon Airport the Dutch plane crashed at 3.41 a.m. yesterday morning.  The plane had 46 passengers on board and a crew of 10.  The plane having cleared the perimeter fence seems to have plunged into the water about 2 miles from the end of the runway at a speed of 165 miles per hour.  28 people on board struggled free and used two dinghies to get to shore but had to wade for a half mile through the deep mud to make it to safety. The first news of the accident was not received until 6.00 a.m. when 3rd. Officer, Mr. John Tiernan staggered into the Airport covered in mud and wearing a life jacket”.

Obviously a lot of confusion followed and a widespread search was carried out for other survivors.  It was late the following evening before rescuers brought the 28 bodies out of the cabin of the plane.  While it was thought that drowning from water getting into the cabin was the cause of casualties, later at an inquest it was reported that the cause of death was asphyxia caused by the inhalation of petrol fumes.  People from the area will remember that Fr. John Casey, then the curate in Adare who was  great student of languages helped with the communications difficulties and even brought a small number of the survivors back to Adare for a few days.



The Cork team which won the 1954 hurling All Ireland

 D. Creedon


            J. O Riordan                             J. Lyons                       A. O Shaughnessy


            M. Fuohy                                 V. Twomey                  D. Hayes


                                    G. Murphy                               W. Moore


            W.J. Daly                                 J. Hartnett                    C. Ring (Cpt.)


            J. Clifford                                 E. Goulding                  P Barry


Sub.  T O Sullivan for P. Barry. 


The Meath team which won the 1954 football All Ireland.


P. McGearty


            M O Brien                                P O Brien                                 K. McConnell


            K. Lambert                              J. O Reilly                                E. Durnin


                                    P Connell                                 T. O Brien


            M. Grace                                 B. Smith                                   M. McDonnell


            P. Meegan                                T. Moriarty                               P. McDermott


The Limerick Minor team which won the All Ireland hurling final in 1958 (to claim the Irish Press trophy)


T. Hanley


            S. McDonagh                           S. Bresnan                                C O Connell


            S Guinane                                 T. Leonard                               M. Hanrahan


                                    B. Kelleher                               P. Hartnett


            P. Cobbe                                 L. Canty                                   P. Murphy


            E. Carey                                   S. Hayes                                  S. Sexton


Sub.  D. Dillane for Bresnan.


County Under 21 Champions 

1975 - 1976 - 1977



Patrickswell GAA Club - Cumann Tobar Phadraig

by Michael Fitzgerald


Few clubs have achieved so much in such a comparitively short period of time as Patrickswell. The club which was formed in 1943, functioned up to 1945 after which it was disbanded but was re-organised in 1947 and since then they have captured every hurling title in the county. Prior to 1943, of course, there was much hurling activity in the parish but, by and large, players from Patrickswell played with neighbouring clubs and helped them to many successes. The activities prior to 1943 are chronicled in detail by Timmy O' Neill in his history of the club titled "Up the Well", which is well worth reading.


The three men who conceived the idea of establishing a club in Patrickswell were Edward 'Bunty' Boland, Michael Fanning and Willie Ryan (father of Tom and Willie Ryan, Ballybrown). They arranged a meeting, held in Boland's shed, and Jimmy Carroll presided. Mick Graham was elected Chairman and Michael O' Brien Treasurer. The Committee for the year consisted of "Bunty" Boland, Tom Boland, Willie Curtin, Michael Fanning, Jackie Lynch, John Madden, Willie Ryan, and Joe O' Neill. Jimmy Carroll was the clubs City Board delegate. After its demise in 1945, the club was re-established at a historic meeting held on the 21'st of January, 1947. At the meeting, Jim McNamara, proprietor of what is now known as the Cu Chullain Bar was elected Chairman. Other officers elected were: Secretary - Willie Curtin; Treasurer - Dom Punch (who held the position for twenty nine successive years); Vice-Chairman - Michael O' Brien; Committee - Tom Boland, Jimmy Carroll, Johnny Foley, Mick Graham, Kevin Lynch, Christy O' Brien Snr., Paddy O' Brien, Willie O' Brien, Joe O' Neill, and George Riordan. From such beginnings started the great club we have today. 

The first Championship won by Patrickswell was the 1949 City Junior Hurling title. On the 2'nd of October of that year, a record City Board crowd saw Patrickswell defeat the holders Ballysimon Faughs 4 - 4 to 3 - 3 in the final. The club had its first County title success in 1954 when the juveniles beat Murroe in the final. In 1955 the club won the County Junior title under the captaincy of Sonny O' Brien, beating Pallasgreen in the final. A second County Junior Championship was won in 1957, South Liberties being the victims.

The big breakthrough in Senior ranks was accomplished in 1965 when the club won the first of its 18 County Senior Hurling titles. The club also produced some good football teams and County Junior Football Championships were won in 1964, 1970, and 1978. The club has a great record in the City Senior Hurling Championship winning 21 of the 33 championships played since 1971, including 9 successive titles from 1972 to 1980. The club has also won numerous titles at Bord na nOg level.

In the early fifties, the club acquired the present playing pitch. This, needless to say, was a most important development. The talents of many well known and dedicated players have been nurtured in this field in the fifty or so years it has been in use. On July 2'nd 1995, the field was dedicated to the memory of Tony O' Brien (R.I.P.), one of Patrickswell's greatest hurlers and sportsmen by Mr. Jack Boothman, then Uactharan Chumann Luthchleas Gael. It is now known as 'Pairc Antoin O' Briain'.

The success of Patrickswell GAA Club has been due to the wonderful people who have served it so loyally throughout the years. May the sod rest lightly on those who have passed on and may health and happiness be with those who maintain the tradition. 


History of Patrickswell Camogie Club

by Maureen O’Grady PRO  

Patrickswell Camogie Club has been well represented in camogie circles in Limerick over the past 50 years. In 1956 the Patrickswell camogie team won their first Senior County Title. The Team disbanded some years later but many local girls continued to play with other clubs and represented Limerick on many occasions. Carrie Gillane(Clancy), Phil Darcy(Mann), Bridgid Darcy(O’Brien), Joan Hayes (McNally) and Mary Hayes(Meade) all won Munster titles with Limerick and Bridgid Darcy and Carrie Gillane played on the team that won Limerick’s first Junior All Ireland camogie championship in 1977.

It was from this strong camogie background that the present club was set up on March 16, 1983. Present at this first meeting held in the Clubhouse were; Phil Mann, Byrdie Enright, Teresa Lynch, Kathleen Enright, Josephine O’Neill, Joan McNally, Rosemary Kelleher and Geraldine Leahy. Officers of the club were elected as follows: Chairperson, Phil Mann, Secretary, Rosemary Kelleher, and Treasurer, Byrdie Enright.

This meeting was joined by the then chairman of the senior club, Timmy O’Neill, who invited us to the next monthly meeting of the GAA Club. At this meeting on April 6, Patrickswell Camogie Club became a club within the parent club and were promised financial support, help with training and the running of the club .

Over the next 20 years the club went from strength to strength reaching many County Finals at all age groups and being successful on a lot of occasions.  The highlights so far being Intermediate County Champions 1995, U12C League Champions 2003, Junior League Champions 2003. 

We currently field teams at all the different age groups from U10 right upto Junior Level. Also, this year we had representatives on various County Teams U16, U18 and Junior. Christine Carroll a member of our current Junior Camogie team is the winner of 2 Minor All Ireland medals with Limerick.  On the refereeing scene, Rose Kelleher is a well known inter county referee who also does and has done a lot of work for camogie in Patrickswell.

Over the years the club has had many representations on the County Board, the most notable being Claire O’Herlihy (RIP). Claire was County Board Secretary for many years and did trojan work for camogie.




Copyright © 2004 Patrickswell GAA Club