History

SHORT HISTORY OF ROCKWELL ROVERS

(parish of New Inn & Knockgraffon)

New Inn’s first association with the G.A.A. was in 1886. In 1887 one hundred and thirty clubs from Tipperary registered with the G.A.A. thus making it the strongest G.A.A. County in Ireland. Lagganstown, Poulmucka and the Racecourse all had teams in the hurling championship. The Rockwell branch of the G.A.A. was founded on the 20th October 1887 and the scroll prescribing this is displayed to this day in Rockwell College. Early details of hurling and football in the parish are sketchy, but of the 1000 clubs affiliated to congress in 1887 included were New Inn (Rockwell), Racecourse, Lagganstown, Poulmucka and the following year Knockgraffon was established.


It was in 1888 that Knockgraffon first appeared in the championships. They were drawn a gainst Clonmel in the first round of the hurling. They won their way through to the second round against Moycarkey. This was the hurling sensation of 1888. In the championships of 1889 thirteen teams entered the football competitions, and included in these were Knockgraffon and Poulmucka but they both went down in the first rounds. In 1895 both Knockgraffon and Rockwell Rovers contested the hurling championships. The Rovers were beaten in the first round by Tubberadora. The Knockgraffon team surprised Cashel in their first round.Knockgraffon made another appearance in the hurling Championships of 1895.In 1913 New Inn again affiliated to the G.A.A. for the Senior Hurling Championships along with eight other teams including Golden and Cashel who both reached the final.Hurling in Rockwell College had a vigorous awakening in 1923. The trophies they won were the Dr. Harty Cup and the colleges Championship of Ireland. They repeated the performance again in 1924. A number of other Harty cups were won in the years 1918, 1923, 1924, 1930 and 1931
The Rockwell Rovers Junior Football Team that defeated Aherlow in the 1960 West Final

(back row l. to r.) John Joe Cleary, Andy O'Dwyer, unnamed, Gus O'Donnell, Donal Moloney, Tom Nugent, Val O' Dwyer, Paddy O'Donnell (front row l. to r.) Pierce Farraher, Seamus O' Hanlon, unnamed, Hubert Heffernan, Tommy Bolger, Paddy Maher, Tom O'Dwyer.

At a meeting held in Rockwell College in 1926, almost all the clubs listed above came under the one banner and from that year to the present day the renowned Blue and White colours were worn.1930’s several Rockwell Rovers played in a combination with Golden.Rockwell Rovers came under the banner of West Board in 1930. Also in the 1930’s Rockwell Rovers affiliated in 1930, 1931 and 1934 in Junior hurling with the South Tipperary Board as was the case in 1913 (senior hurling).

Rockwell Rovers Hurling Team from 1950

(back row l. to r.) Denny McGrath, Val O'Dwyer, Tom Madden, Pat Lonergan, Johnny Hickey,Eddie Tuohy, Mick Looby, Sean Landers, Tim Coman (middle row l. to r.) Jim Griffin , Dick Nagle, Billy Fitzgerald, Christy Hickey, Andy Hally, Jimmy Murphy, (front row l. to r.) John Looby, Tim Hally.


1940’s Rockwell Rovers contested a number of hurling games and towards the end of the decade both football and hurling finals were contested especially in the early 50’s where they contested 5 senior West finals in a row. Unfortunately, all five were lost. Four to Galtee Rovers and one to Arravale Rovers. There were just a small number of senior teams in the West at that stage. In the 1950’s there were some great juvenile teams with 6 West Titles in a row and 2 County Football and one County Hurling. The 60’s brought the County Junior Football Title and West Hurling Junior Title and under 21 hurling while the early 70’s brought 1 West under 21 A Title and Junior Football. In the late 70’s, early 80’s 4 intermediate West titles were won and the year 1987 brought 2 County Titles to the Club, intermediate and under 21B plus a number of other trophies 3 junior huling B titles were won in 1990`s and 2002 together with an intermediate in 1998 and junior football 2002. The most recent County Title was won in 2005 Junior Football v’s St. Patrick’s Drangan with a 2 intermediate titles in a row plus a number of under 21 titles in the period 2005 - 2008.The field development was initiated by the club committee at the end of 1988 with the purchase of land near the village of New Inn. A very foreseeing decision was then made by the committee with the help of Tipperary G.A.A. officials to swap the original site for another more suitable one. Rockwell College also supplied our team with pitches over the years and deserve great acclaim for all the work they have done for our club, as did many other landowners.Also, the Roll of Honour includes all titles won by the Club over the years.

Club History


Since it's foundation, Rockwell Rovers G.A.A. club has served the parish of New Inn and Knockgraffon. For a club of it's size it's list of achievements over that time has been substantial, and it has fielded teams in hurling and football in all grades, Juvenile and Senior.
New Inn’s first association with the G.A.A. was in 1886 when the curate, Rev. P.W. Ryan, became actively involved. The following people from the New Inn area also joined the same year – John Cooney, Tom Dee and Pat Dalton. In 1887 one hundred and thirty clubs from Tipperary registered with the G.A.A. thus making it the strongest G.A.A. county in Ireland. The Rockwell branch of the G.A.A. was founded on the 20th October 1887 and the scroll prescribing this is displayed to this day in Rockwell College. Early details of hurling and football in the parish are sketchy, but of the 1000 clubs affiliated to congress in 
1887 included were New Inn (Rockwell), Racecourse, Lagganstown, Poulmucka and the following year Knockgraffon was established.
Success on the hurling field came early in 1888. Knockgraffon caused a major upset in the Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship when firstly they defeated a Clonmel selection and in the next round, after a rousing game defeated the famed Moycarkey in Cashel.

click here to read a report of the match from the "CASHEL SENTINEL"

In the 1895 county championships Tubberadora beat Rockwell Rovers but Knockgraffon went on to contest the later stages and defeated Cashel only to be beaten themselves by Suir View in the semi-final.
At a meeting held in Rockwell College in 1926, almost all the clubs listed above came under the one banner and from that year to the present day the renowned Blue and White colours were worn.

Hurling in Rockwell College had a vigorous awakening in 1923. The trophies they won were the Dr. Harty Cup and the Colleges Championship of Ireland. They repeated the performance again in 1924. Some years were to follow on the playing field until 1939 when the first West Tipperary junior hurling championship was won in glorious fashion. This feat was again repeated in 1950 and 1960. A West junior football championship, the first of many, was won in 1947. The first County Junior Football Championship was not won until 1963. Of course, one cannot forget the great juvenile teams of the 1950s in New Inn. In 1955 they were one of the only teams ever to win the county football and hurling titles in the same year. 1987 saw the other dual county win by Rockwell Rovers with victories in the County Intermediate Football and Under 21 B Football championships. The Minor Football C County Title was won in 1999.

FIELD DEVELOPMENT

The development was initiated by the club committee at the end of 1988 with the purchase of 11.5 acres near the village of New Inn. A very foreseeing decision was then made by the committee with the help of Tipperary G.A.A. officials to swap the original site for another more suitable one. This was done with the generous agreement of the owner of the alternative site on the main Cork-Dublin road, Eamon Barron. The new site had been previously used by Rockwell Rovers Club for many years with the kind permission of the then owner Edmond Barron (RIP), who worked tirelessly for the club for many years. Rockwell College also supplied our team with pitches over the years and deserve great acclaim for all the work they have done for our club, as did many other landowners. The present development now possesses a large natural bank for up to 8,000 spectators giving an excellent view of the pitch. The field complex also has the advantage of being beside the national school where we are grateful to our teachers and coaches who use it regularly. 

A confined draw in 1988, organised by the committee under the chairmanship of Walter O’ Donnell, began the fundraising which was then followed by a house-to-house collection. True to form the people of New Inn and Knockgraffon came up trumps and the development was well and truly on its way. A further four extremely well organised 300 draws held in 1991’92, ’93 and ’94, plus five successful yearly festivals in co-operation with the New Inn Community Council helped to break the back of the debt. We wish to acknowledge the help of New Inn Community Centre in fundraising. Members of the finance committee who helped raise the finance were Andy Moloney, Martin Peters, Willie Flynn, Tom Shine, Ger O’Connor, Tom O’Gorman, Kevin Barron, Secretary, Walter O’Donnell, Eamon Barron, Treasurer and Tom Buckley. Recognition is of course due to all the promoters who helped and put in a lot of work. 

Development of the pitch and the fencing of surrounds, together with the building of the dressing rooms and stand and its ideal location have ensured that the New Inn venue is now in a position to hold many important matches in the future. 

It is difficult to pick out any individual to attribute the success of the development to, as it was a true community effort with the people from all walks of life rowing in to ensure success despite difficulty at times. However, special mention should be made of Fr. Meehan (R.I.P.) who throughout his life in New Inn and other places, gave unsparingly of his time, effort and fundraising ability to help make the venture a success. 

2004 saw the completion of the latest stage in the development of the grounds when another two dressing rooms were added and the stand was enlarged. The car park was also further extended.

 


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