Clongeen GAA

My father Richard Cullen played for Clongeen GAA as well as running for Horetown.  He also played hurling one year for Ballymitty.

Amongst the notes Dad still has is this poem (scanned via OCR so will correct it)

"This epic poem commemorates a famous hurling match played in Gusserane on 17th June 1945.
Many of the participants have since passed on to their eternal reward.  A team of very youthful hurlers steeled by a few hardy veterans was organised by Willie Kane of Garryrichard to become a very powerful combination. Their opening game — outlined in this poem — proved a bit of a disaster — but because of the commitment of those involved with the “B” Team, it has become a milestone in Clongeen sporting folklore.

And why not? It is not only the victorious who deserve to be celebrated in song These immortal lines were written by that outstanding Gael — Willie Treacy, of Leegaune and London — who with genuine modesty has neglected to acknowledge his own huge part in the “B” campaign. In Verse Ten; this unfortunate omission has been corrected by a contemporary bard.
The following year, 1946 proved far more successful for our “B” Specials. They defeated Camross “B” in the opening round of the New Ross District Championship in a truly hectic game played in Newbawn. After that match, Captain Willie Kane mounted the ditch and praised his heroic teammates to the high heavens.

These gallant “B” boys were subsequently beaten in the championship by a brilliant Camross ‘A” team who went on to win many county titles.  

The last verse of Willie’s poem was a later addition by Jack McCutcheon (a close friend of the poet). Jack includes two other great stalwarts of Clongeen hurling the late Brian Kavanagh and the irrepressible Nicky Cullen."

You Gaelic sportsmen from Clongeen
Just listen for a while,
I’ll sing for you a verse or two
‘Twill cause you all to smile.
About our hurling “B” team;
And our recent game with Ross,
With a team that was selected
From the field at Doran’s Cross.

A captain was duly elected
By the players with right good will,
He was Willie Kane, a sturdy man,
From down in Foulk’s Mill.
When some players skipped training;
Our captain he got cross,
Saying “if you don’t train you’ll not be playing
Against the boys from Ross”.
B. Team

‘Twas on the 17th of June,
To the park we did set out
To play against the townie boys
We weren’t knocked about.
Says Willie “Now lads mark your man
Take heed in what I say
We’ll surely make the history books
If we can win to-day”.

When the game it was started,
Our hurleys we did wield
John Delaney and Pat Butler,
Lined out at centre-field.
Jimmy Cullen a fast winger,
Led our forwards to attack;
Seamus Sullivan from Newcastle
Shone out at centre-back.

(5) 6
The half-back line was sound and strong,
They wielded well the ash —
The Cullen brothers from Bryanstown*,
Showed vigour, speed and dash.
Mick Kelly was outstanding in the corner,
As soon as he got goin’
While Aidan Ranlon at right full back
Had matters all his own.
*Dickje & Jim
Jim Walsh who was our goalie
Stopped many a rasping shot,
But when the Ross boys starting scoring
The pace got very hot;
Pat Butler pulled on dropping balls
As down the field we blazed,
And the way the lads stood up to ‘Jugs’,
Had everyone amazed!

Jimmy Purcell was our outstanding man
Sure he hurled like a giant,
‘Twas in the twentieth minute
That he scored our only point!
When the half-time whistle blew
Some minerals we were brought
Says Kane to Ben* “we’re 15 men
Without a single fault”.
*Ben Byrne N.T.

“I’ve got no chance of scoring
I cannot find the range,
I think I’ll go and play full back
So I’ll have to make a change”.
The game was nearly over —
With the Ross score 13— 10,
Our captain he tore out the field
l’o rally all his men.

Saying “Now B-lads do all you can
Though we scarcely have a chance,
If only we’d score another point
I’d do a merry dance —
With Horetown men to the fore again
As all good hurlers go,
Slick Sonny Sane, our Postman Pat*,
And dashing Henry Kehoe.
*pat Doyle Round 0.
Our full back was Big Bill Treacy
Who left those Ross men sore,
That famous gent of awesome strength
Cleared many a ‘certain’ score;
‘Twas the siege of Ross all over again,
And the Battle of Horetown —
Butourheroes belditmustbetoid-
Never let the Parish down:

What if we were defeated
Our heads we still held high,
Next year’s Junior Championship
We must win or die.
Three cheers for goalman Jimmy Walsh
Who guarded well the net,
Aidan Hanlon and Mick Kelly
Their equals were not met.

Seamus Sullivan from Newcastle
Who never let us down,
And the gallant Cullen brothers
From the Bridge of Bryanstown,
John Delaney and Pat Butler
Were always in the fray,
With little Jimmy Purcell
How well he played that day!

A word about Brain Kavanagh
You will hear his praises sung,
And the brilliant Nicky Cullen
That High Street lad so young;
So enils th~ ta1e~which~iie’er~shallfaii,— -
To fill our hearts with pride,
Of Kane’s B-Team from sweet Clongeen
Who the might of Ross defied!

The Clongeen Hurlers 1953

"The formidable band of Hurlers was snapped by the late Jack McCutcheon before a game in the Sportsfield at Longraigue in the summer of 1953.  They are proudly supporting the Black & Amber.

Team (back) :

Tom Murphy (Castle/Ballymitty), Jack Connick, Willie Kane (†) Martin Doyle, Owen Cullen, Paddy Wall, (Longraigue, Matt’s son), Tom Fardy, Gip (?) Wall, Dickie Cullen (Bryanstown), Paddy Doyle, Thomas Kelly (†) Dick Crosbie (Stoneen), Paddy Kelly (†)(builder) and Robert Crosbie.

Team (front) :

Matt Fanning (†), Nicky Cullen, Phil Murphy (Mrs Purcell’s (†) nephew), Danny Murphy, (Ballybrack), Jimmy Purcell (†), Nich (?) O’Sullivan, Sam Wall, (Ballyliamgow), Sonny Jane (†) and Rich Doyle (Foulkesmills)"

Early days 

"On Aug 4th, in the year 1905 the 1798 Monument was unveiled in the Bullring in Wexford.  The Parish of Clongeen was proudly represented by it’s recently formed G.A.A. club and their impact was described in the free press…  


…“as the best turned-out and most compact club in the parade.  Sixty members marched in their Green and White colours – carrying hurleys and led by their curate – the Rev. D Kavanagh.” S. Ó C" 

* The above was taken from a page Dad had - unsure who wrote it.