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The Early Years

            1950- Glenealy win the Camogie trophy

                                   (The Wicklow People report on the Game)

                                        Glenealy —8 - 3 Ballyrichard 0-1

This seems a hopeless "cricket score' which Glenealy girls recorded against Ballyrichard at Glenealy on Thursday evening of last week in the final for the O'Byrne Camogie Cup, but really on the play especially in the last quarter hour, the less experienced girls from the southern area fought a grand battle against their "veteran'' opponents. Their prin­ciple fault lay in marking their opponents; they left the long-shooting and straight- shooting Glenealy players altogether unmolested at times with every chance of bringing the ball into the front line. From here it was good to see the two Douglas girls —on the opposite wings—render such a good account of themselves. The heroine of the hour was J. Doherty, in the Ballyrichard goal. With marvellous, coolness and judgment, she whipped ball after ball away from the net, and particularly in the final attacks of the last quarter hour, she rendered grand service to her team. Ahead of her was M. Carthy, a very useful and dependable full-back; on the wings J. Doherty was probably the swiftest of the right-hand trio, — and B Carthy the best of the three opposite. Centerfield, A. Clancy and P. O'Neill fought a very- hard battle against the ex­perienced Kavanagh girls, three of them in a row who knew ever thing about craft and guile to dominate this all-important point of the field. As a result, K; Steadman, centre-forward and B Conroy full-forward, had very little to do, very rare opportunities to show that they might have been able to bring the scores up to a better level. Glenealy were deservedly the victors of the game and winners of the Cup, for they had in their play given a nice combination of camogie, even though some of them were " off form' due largely to the lack of practice. The two Douglas girls, ' as already mentioned, with B.Doyle full-forward, and M. Doyle their centre-half, were a grand quartet in finishing the innumerable services of the Kavanagh trio, Cafferty and Morley. In the defence, the backs were seldom called upon, and when they were, they beat all efforts to reach the net. As it was M. Ryan and S. Byrne pressed forward most of the time, and kept the attack up with the others, leaving their goalie, K. Merrigan, to while away the time as best she could and try to keep herself warm in an exceptionally cold breeze. Miss M. Lynch proved a very capable referee, and thanks to the Glenealy club the ground was nicely marked-out for this important match.

The "Richards'" pressed from the outset got over a wide, but after that Glenealy took over control. After a wide, Sadie Douglas opened the scoring with a well-judged ground hall that beat J Doherty. Carthy for "Richards" showed strong fielding, but receiving from K. Douglas, M. Doyle shot through for a second goal. K. Kavanagh, Morley and K. Douglas penetrated the backs, Carthy saved cleverly ' but on the return from midfield K Douglas got through for the third goal. Doherty deflected a sharp shot to grant a"25," which was sent wide. A twofold missing of a free on a long-sustained attack by Glenealy and from the third effort to raise the ball properly, M. Kavanagh sent over the bar. Just as the whistle went; J Doherty displayed one of her spectacular saves, and the half-time score left Glenealy comfortable, with 3 goals 1 point to nil .

S. Douglas got away from the throw-in; B. Doyle came tearing along to attack, and K. Douglas made her contribution—all efforts failing to score—to the number of four wides. K. Douglas's next attempt was slammed aside by the goalie; in from the wing the ball came three different times for this girl to save every time, and at the fourth penetration of the backs. S. Douglas got through to the net. A long shot by K. Douglas got over the bar. P O'Neill set a good movement on foot for Ballyrichard Doherty and Steadman came to her assistance, but the chance was spoiled by a wide. Beating off Glenealy successfully from another attack "Richards" essayed another effort, and O'Neill sent into Glenealy territory. Centre field played up well, and getting a free P. O'Neill sent nicely over the bar, their first and only score which was generously applauded by the spectators. This little reward encouraged the team, and from this to the end they played a much better game, despite the fact that Glenealy continued to mount up the scores.

From a very close-in tussle B.Boyle got a goal, and a moment later passed over, the goal line for a sixth goal. In a good spurt, Ballyrichards beat their way through all opposition, Clancy, O'Neill, Carthy, Ivanoff, Steadman, all contributing; a grand shot by Conroy seemed to have beaten the: a , Glenealy goalie; the referee consulted with the umpires, but apparently the goalie had successfully kept outside the goal line, and no score was recorded. Again they tried hard, this time coming in from the right wing per Delaney, Doherty and Donovan, but it was hard for Conroy and Steadman to break through the Kavanagh trio, and instead their own goal came under attack - in and out, repeatedly - for the goalie and her backs to save numerous shots. A wing shot by K. Doug­las went straight and true to the goal, and after many more escapes and good saves, A. Kavanagh sent a free over the bar and from the wing the scoring was concluded with the eighth goal secured by S. Douglas. Later on the cup was formally presented to the Glenealy team.

Teams; Glenealy

K. Merrigan (goal), M. Kavanagh(Capt.), M. Ryan, A. Kavanagh, S. Byrne, M, Morely, K. Kavanagh; K Kavanagh; K. Douglas, M Doyle, S. Douglas and

B. Doyle.

Ballyrichard—J. Doherty (goal), M. Carthy M. Nolan, A.- Clancy, L. Delaney, B Carthy O. O'Neill (Capt.), J. Doherty, M. layoff, K. Steadman, C. Donovan and B. Conroy.


                    CAMOGIE CONVENTION 1952

 The annual Co.  Wicklow camogie  convention   was   held   in   the   I.N.F. Hall.  Delgany. on    Sunday,  24th Feb.Mrs. C. M. O Broin. who presided said that another year in the  annals of  camoguidheachi   in  Co. Wicklow had passed, and while they could not claim to have made great progress, 'they could indeed claim to have held their own. There was a comparatively strong  organisation about 30 years ago, but it faded out in the early thirties, and it was only in the past, dozen years that the present organisa­tion  took  shape.     They  had improved their position year by  year, and had always fulfilled their inter-county fixtures.    Many of the Dublin players they met in Ashford last August, admitted they were  very lucky to win, and the greatest player of them all expressed the opinion that they only won by a fluke. Dublin defeated Meath in the Leinsier final, won the All-Ireland semi-final, and had an easy triumph over Antrim in the All Ireland. On the other side of the ledger they had done none too well.  Teams were lackadaisical in fulfilling their fixtures, and while there was great crowd, when they met Dublin in Ashford, attendances at their own competitions were sparse, with the result that they got no "gates" and their finances were very low, so that players and officials had to pay their own   way   to   inter-county   matches, and to meetings of higher bodies, but they  would  not  worry  about  this  if   they  had  sufficient funds  to  develop the game in the county.   She appealed to the delegates, the clubs and supporters to change all that. She believed if they  got co-operation they’d go far this year. If they got the competitions going at once, the selectors would soon get to know their best players and she was confident they  could  reach  the  All Ireland Final, and probably win it.


The Secretary reported that those who were at the last annual meet­ing would remember that their balance sheet showed the unique posi­tion that they had neither assets nor liabilities, and so they were able to make a clean start finan­cially this year. Last year they got into the Leinster final, defeating Meath and Wexford on the way, and were beaten by Dublin in the Leinster final.  Dublin, of course, won the All-Ireland, so they were no worse than any other county, and better than the majority.

In 1951 they were drawn against Wexford in the first game and agreed to play them in Wex­ford Park, but Wexford changed the venue to a place called St. Leonards which they told them was a few miles outside Wexford town, but when they got there, they found it was nearer twenty-five miles. They triumphed over Wex­ford. Within a week to their am­azement' they learned that Wexford had lodged an objection, on the grounds they were late and to their further, amazement the Chairman of the Leinster Council upheld the objection and awarded the match to Wexford. They appeal­ed to the Central Council who aw­arded them the match. The objec­tion and appeal caused a long de­lay, with the result that both Coun­cils insisted that the final be play­ed in three days' time and they met Dublin in Ashford the follow­ing Wednesday before a record crowd who saw the best Camogie match ever seen in Wicklow and one of the best in Ireland, Dublin just beating them.  They were short of K. Douglas, who was injured in a previous game, and was un­able to field out. Had they been given a little more time she would have been fit, but her inability to play lost them the match, and Dublin went on to add another in their long list of Leinster and All-Ireland championships.

They entered for the special Leinster League, and so far had a good victory over a strong Laois team at Mountrath, and also triumphed over Meath after a hard match at Ashford, and on that in a double League, Laois would have to come to play them in Wicklow and they (Wickiow) would go to Meath. It was understood Wexford was still in it and that meant a home and away match. Louth and C'arlow en­tered but withdrew. If they can overcome Meath next time, and they were four points, they should win the league, as Dublin stood down. Of course, that all depended on getting their own competitions going immediately as the old adage has it that " practice makes per­fect.'' so that they would have to arrange that day to get their com­petitions going. If possible, they should make some fixtures so that they could get the competition going in March.

All the competitions referred to put a  big financial strain on the officials and it was only by the help of Ceilidthe they were able to pay for transport by special bus to Dublin, Laois and  Wexford, and they were left with no time to or­ganise more clubs or to finish their league. They were only honorary of­ficials and they appealed to delegates to assist not only in keeping their own clubs alive and active, but helping to organise clubs in their areas.

Officers For 1952—Cathaoirleach. Bean C. M. O'Broin; Leas-Cathaoirleach Mrs. McElheron; Runaí agus Cistoir, Maire Nich Charthaig. Claraihoir. Caitlin ni Dhubhghlais.


                                  WICKLOW CAMOGIE LEAGUE 1955

                                       6th November 1955

                                    Glenealy 6-2 Donard 0-0

The first round of the Wicklow Camogie League, between Glenealy and Donard, took place on the grounds of the latter on Sunday, and resulted in a clear-cut victory for the visitors (6—2 to 0-0). The winners were the more experienced and seemed to brave the weather conditions to greater effect as com­pared with the Donard cailíní, who were more or less from the younger school. Although they battled to the last, they proved no match for their opponents who had matters much their own way at the finish.

It certainly speaks volumes for Secretary, Miss M. Stanley, for her herculean work in essaying to keep the sport alive in their village, and with plenty of more match play as a unit, this Donard team will con­tinue to improve with every outing. Outstanding for the winners were; Misses A. Kavanagh, E. Porter and the Douglas sisters. For Donard Misses T. Lynch, K. Neill, J. Grace and Mrs. S. Conran were hard workers.


                            CAMOGIE LEAGUE FINAL - 18th May 1956

                                    EASY WIN FOR GLENEALY

Played last Friday evening at Ballyrichard, in a field kindly given by Mr, Patrick Carthy,  the camogie league final ended in an easy win for the holders, Glenealy, who beat Ballyrichard by 4—3 to nil.

With their long record of succes­ses, the game was not so exciting to Glenealy and their supporters, as to the young Ballyrichard girls and followers who were looking forward eagerly to their- most important contest ever, and with bright hopes of winning. The Ballyrichard girls held Glenealy scoreless in the first half, when they were seen to ad­vantage in exchanges with the noted Glenealy players, such as May and Kathleen Kavanagh, Sadie and Kay Douglas, Martha and Ada Ryan and E. Porter, who have won honours for the county and helped to bring Wicklow into the Leinster final.

It speaks well of Peg Neill. Mar­garet Nolan. F. Earls and B. Lawlor, (in goal), that they were able to do so well for Ballyrichard. The loss of the league final should be not a disappointment, but an encouragement to this up-and-coming team.

The game, especially in the first half, was one of the best played in the county for a long time.

From the start the pace was a 'cracker" and the standard of hurling was excellent all through. There was very little between the .earns as the blank Scoreboard at, half time indicated. Both sides missed chances, but-then both de­fences were sound.

Betty Lawler saved the net for Ballyrichard on several occasions, and in fact the team's strong point was the defensive line, where the county player, Peg Neill, with B. Carthy as her able assistant, for long defeated Glenealy's best efforts.

At the interval, Glenealy had a word of advice from Joe Byrne which soon proved advantageous, as

K Douglas rammed home two goals in as many minutes. Real do-or-die efforts by Ballyrichard produced exciting play, but they could not break through Glenealy's stonewall defence, led by M. Kavanagh, and finally gave way before the skilled and experienced Glenealy attack.

J. O'Neill's two additional goals finished all prospects from the challengers. The closing minutes saw Glenealy take over command, K. Douglas adding two points and A. Kavanagh. a point from a free.

Glenealy— M. Ryan. M. Kavanagh. (Capt.. A. Ryan. A. Kavanagh. P. Neill, Mary Kavanagh, E. Porter. Jean Neill. S. Douglas. K. Kavanagh. B. Manly, and K. Douglas.

Ballyrichard— Peg Neill, Margaret Nolan. N. Nolan. A. Clancy. K. and Josie Fitzgerald. Betty Lawlor. B, Carthy. L. Brennan, E. Murphy; F. Earls, K. Roche,


                                         LEINSTER CAMOGIE CHAMPIONSHIP

                                                     9th July 1950

                                             Wicklow 3-1, Meath 2-1.

A determined rally, which produced a goal and a point in the closing stages of the game, gave Wicklow victory over Meath in the Leinster Camoguidheacht Championship at Inchicore yester­day. The game was highly exciting,

particularly in the second half, andthe standard of play was a credit

to both teams.

Wicklow deservedly won, but they missed three seemingly certain goals in quick succession. On the other hand, Meath had a goal disallowed.

Meath were quickly on the offensive and after five minutes their efforts were rewarded when A. Murphy scored a goal. Then came a Wicklow free which K. Kavanagh sent to J. Hannon who sent a rasper to the net. Soon afterwards K. Douglas scored Wicklow's second goal. Just before the interval A. Murphy put Meath level with a goal, and they led when M. Byrne, from 25 yards added a point.

Early in «the second half Meath created the impression that they would win easily, but the Wicklow defence was solid.

The tide eventually turned and Wicklow in one of their many raid went ahead when K. Douglas scored a goal and just before the end M. Fitzipatrick added a Wicklow point.

Wicklow meet the winners of the Carlow-Wexford tie in the next round

Miss J. Dublin - (Dublin) refereed.

Wicklow— N Lynch, M. Lynch, B Fitzgerald (Arklow.), M. Carthv P O'Neill (Ballyrickard), M. MacDonald, E. Bouciiier, E. Byrne (Barndarrig), M Fitzpatrick (Coollattin), J. Hannon (Bray)" K. Douglas, S- Douglas, N. Kavanagh, A. Kavanagh. K. Kavanagh, M. Ryan, B. Doyle (Glenealy).



                    Extract from Irish Independent September 20 1954

                            Leinster Beat Ulster In Jubilee Camogie Game

                        There were 3 Glenealy Players on the Leinster team

                                Leinster ......... 8.3; Ulster........ 5-3

FIFTY years ago the first inter-club camogie match was played at Navan when two Dublin teams save an exhibition in the Co. Meath Agricultural Grounds. Yes­terday, to mark the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Cumann Camoguidheachta na nGaedheal, Leinster played Ulster at Navan and won by 8-3 to 5-3.

In no way perturbed by the heavy rain, which fell for most of the game, the two teams gave an admirable display.

In spite of conceding- an early goal , Ulster had the edge in the early stages, when they were faster to the ball and showed a sound sense of combination that was sometimes lacking among their opponents.


By the end of the first Quarter Lein­ster were trailing two goals behind, but their forwards then began to wake up and with Misses Kathleen Mills, U. O'Connor, and S. Sleator getting down to it they reduced the arrears and changed over just one point behind.

On the resumption they quickly caught the Ulster defence on the wrong foot and Una O'Connor shot them into the lead with a grand goal. She and Miss Mills continued to be a thorn in the Ulster defence for the rest of the game, and though the losers staged a grand rally towards the end when they again went into the lead, Leinster were well on top at the finish. In the closing minutes they consolidated victory with goals by Misses O'Con­nor and Mills.

Both Miss Mills and Miss O'Con­nor had first-class games. The latter was particularly prominent near the end, as was the full for­ward, Miss K. Douglas, who had however, to work very hard before she got the better of the Ulster full-back, M. Ford. Miss E. Bourke was one of the best of the Leinster forwards in the first half though she may have been outshone by Misses Mills and O Connor in the second, she still did well and it was she who put them back lead in the closing stages with a picture goal.

The Leinster backs, like the forwards improved as the games went on, and under great Ulster pressure towards the end they showed their true mettle. At this stage Miss A. Kavanagh stood out, as did A. Corrigan and E. Kearns.

For Ulster Miss Carrie Rankin and M. Gilroy were most prominent, though Miss P. McCloskey. D. O'Gorman and P. O'Brien also put in much good work.

Scorers for Leinster in the first half — K. Mills (1-O), E. Bourke (1-0), U. O'Connor (1-0), K. Douglas (0-1), and A. Corrigan (0-1). while D. O'Gorman (1-1), P. McCIoskey (1-1), I. O'Reilly (1-0) and P O'Brien (0-1) replied for the losers. After the Interval U. O'Connor (2-0), K. Mills (1-1), K. Douglas (1-0) and E. Bourke (1-0) scored for Leinster; M. Gilroy (1-0) and P McCloskey (1-0) netting for Ulster.

 Leinster— E. Duffy: M. Kavanagh; E Kearns; A. Kavanagh; M. Durnin; A Kearns; A. Corrigan; K. Mills; U. O'Connor; S. Sleator; E. Bourke; K. Douglas.

Ulster— C. Kearns; M. Ford: T. Halferty C. Rankin. K King; M; Gilroy. M. Denneher; I O'Reilly : P McCloskey, D O’Gorman C Hughes P O’Brien.




                    Meet the Gaels :   The Wicklow People 1967

THIS week we present one of Glenealy's camogie stars of the golden fifties—a girl who won honours at county and provin­cial level, and one of a family who gave much to Gaelic games in the Garden County.

Kathleen Douglas was one of the greats in the camogie game, and won a record ten cham­pionships with her native Glenealy. She wore the Wicklow jersey for more than a dozen years, and topped off a long spell in the game by gaining provincial honours with Leinster.

She was only one of four of the Douglas clan who made G.A.A. history. Her sister, Sadie was a camogie star with Glenealy and Wicklow. Her brother Bob had a long spell with the Wicklow County hurling team and helped them to win the Leinster J.H.C. in 1954, and was a leading light on the Glenealy team that made hurling his­tory with a great senior cham­pionship treble in 1957/58/59.

Another brother, Kevin, also shared in Glenealy's hat-trick and had a few outings at county level. Suffice to say that Mr. and Mrs. Douglas, with four star performers on the Gaelic scene had hurling and camogie for breakfast, dinner and tea.


Kathleen talked about the great Glenealy team that swept all before them for a decade. She named the late Mrs. C. M. Byrne as the founder in chief, and she went back to the Tailteann games in 1920 for the tradition that inspired the Glen­ealy revival in 1940.

In 1920 a Co. Wicklow camogie team won big honours at the games and among the side were a few girls from the Glen­ealy area. In the fifties, Glen­ealy was the backbone of the Wicklow county team—at one time there were nine girls from Glenealy on the team.

She mentioned the great club spirit that existed among the Glenealy team in those years. When she listed the names the reason was apparent—there were a remarkable number of sisters —Martha and Ada Ryan, Mary and Ita Cooney from Kilcandra, the three Kavanaghs from Rathnew, Peg and Jean Neill, and Ann and Eileen Porter.

How did Glenealy make such progress in the game? Kathleen put down to hard training by the girls, and expert coaching by Rathnew footballer-hurler, Joe Byrne. She mentioned that the experience gained by playing matches with the then Glenealy minors—they were mostly the boys who went on to gain the three senior titles in 1957-59— on the local pitch was invalu­able.


Like many another camogie star, Kathleen's hard luck story was her failure to win a Lein­ster medal. "Dublin pipped us time after time," she said, "and there were at least two or three occasions when we could have won, and no other county would have stopped us from an A1I-Ireland."

She named Kathleen McDon­ald, Barndarrig, as the outstand­ing Wicklow player, but she also paid tribute to Ada Ryan, Glenealy, Jean Hannon and Eileen Windsor, Bray, and all her Glenealy colleagues.

Apart from her Wicklow championship trophies, Kathleen also collected a few at inter-county level. She remembers in particular a Wicklow win over Cork, and she also had medals for Leinster championship run­ner-up awards. She has many memories of a long and suc­cessful career on camogie fields all over the country. She was an outstanding player and a dedi­cated fan, and Glenealy folk will ever remember her contribution and that of her sister and brothers.

Yes indeed, few families on the Gaelic scene could match the Douglas family of Kilnamanagh.


1966 extract from The Wicklow People