Ballymore Eustace through the Years
The First Chronicle
In 1953 we saw the first Ballymore Eustace and Hollywood Chronicle.
This publication gave a flavour of the area. The next publication was Christmas 1958 when we had a pamphlet.
In 1972, we had another Chronicle. In 1984, the Football Club brought out a book to mark the centenary of the GAA. In 2000, Michael Ward was the driving force behind the third Chronicle marking the new Millennium.
The most recent book is “Ballymore Eustace: Portrait of a Village”. This was published by our local history society in November 2009 and has loads of invaluable photos in it.
From 1974 to 1982 we had the Ballymore Echo. This was followed by the Ballymore News. From 1994 to date we have had the Ballymore Bugle.
Ballymore Eustace’s great win in the County Senior Football championship of 1953 may have prompted the first Chronicle. That year Kildare won the two All-Ireland junior hardball titles for the first time. Bill Lawlor won the singles and partnered by Paddy Monaghan he also won the doubles.
The Christmas 1958 pamphlet deals with the filming of “Shake Hands with the Devil”, the retirement of teachers Donal and Noreen Gallagher, an article by Rev. Wm. Hawkes on the parish of Ballymore Eustace in 1791(a Rev. W. Hawkes was Curate in Hollywood from 1936 to 1941 – the same one?), the opening of Scoil Mhuire and a Pioneer Outing to Curracloe. Almost thirty years later I got my copy of this pamphlet from Clare Doyle at a sale of work in the Ardenode Hotel.
The three Chronicles were very helpful in recording the history of Ballymore Eustace since 1953. The 1953 one had many articles and photos in it. This had photos of Altar Servers, the Band, Boxers, Classes and Dancers.
The 1972 Chronicle had articles and photos. Additionally, it had part of “The Judgment of Ballymore” supplied by Tom Nugent of Bishophill. The 1953 Chronicle concluded with a poem called “The Millionaire” provided by Peter Kealy (now The Elms Furniture & Antiques) of Punchestown. In the 1972 Chronicle I took over from Tom Lynch in doing an article on handball.
Between 1972 and the new Millennium we had no further Chronicles. Michael Ward saw the need for one. Michael was the Editor of the Ballymore Bugle at that time. The Millennium Chronicle gave us a feast of articles and photos.
Did you know we had snow for a week in January 1982? On the first working day, I walked the six miles to and the six miles back from work – think that would be beyond me now! On two evenings that week it took me two hours to drive home from work. In 2010 we also had a prolonged period of snow which came to us before Christmas. Thanks to YouTube I gather, but had forgotten, we also had snow in January 2010.
In 1982 Dick Lyng of Wexford won the 60 by 30 Top Ace while John Sabo of the U.S.A. won the corresponding 40 by 20 competition. In February of that year the All-Stars Dinner Dance was held in the Downshire Hotel.
Sean and Greg
Sean Byrne died in March. Sean was the brother of Greg Byrne who had a Grocery Shop and Pub where, in more recent times, we had the Anvil. Later in life Greg could be seen seated at the Square. Sometimes he was joined there by Peter McLoughlin of the Truce Road.
Mick and Joe
In September Mick Mackey died. Mick was a great Limerick hurler and was spoken of with the same reverence as Cork’s Christy Ring. About that time I had regular handball sessions with Joe Marshall.
I recall on one occasion breaking into song. The song was Chris Rea’s 1978 hit called “Fool if you think it is over”. As I cannot sing it must have been somewhat off putting for Joe! W-e-l-l! Let’s put that another way. It was meant to be. Did it work? I cannot remember. Mind you, it did bring a smile to Joe’s face!
© Matt Purcell (2013).
© 2023 Created by Gerry Regan. Powered by
Let's all sing along
Matt..great memories.! Would love to see more on the history of handball in Ballymore, and the champions it produced. Also, wasn't it the scene of an epic battle in the movie Braveheart.?
Would you believe I did no less than 13 pieces on the history of handball sometime ago.
I believe there was a real battle in Ballymore some 225 years ago. Re Braveheart they were in Maura McDermott's field (next to Mountcashell) filming for a long time. Bugle had regular pieces re same but these were not done by me.