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Founders of Killarney’s oldest GAA club remembered




Dr Crokes commemorated its founding fathers of 1886 by unveiling a plaque at the entrance to the Railway Road on Tuesday evening.

Brothers Philip Culligan and John Paul Culligan pictured with Noel O'Sullivan in Dr Crokes GAA Club House.

Catherine Coffey Des Hayes Bernadette O'Sullivan who are descendants of Michael O'Sullivan

Descendants and relatives of the 18 founding members of the Dr Crokes GAA Club pictured with President of the GAA Larry McCarthy Matt O'Neill (club chairman) and Fr. Tom Looney at the unveiling of new monument to commemorate the founding of the Dr Crokes Club in 1886.

Fr Tom Looney Brother Pat Bishop Ray Browne Mayor of the Killarney Municipal District Marie Moloney Matt O'Neill Chairman of Dr Crokes Patrick O'Sullivan Jackie Looney President of Dr Crokes Bishop Ray BrowneFr Paddy Eamonn Fitzgerald.Unveiling of new monument to commemorate the founding of the Dr Crokes Club in 1886

Matt O' Neill Patrick O'Sullivan Jackie Looney and Larry McCarthy unveiling the new monument

Matt O’Neill, club chairperson addressed the distinguished audience, which included Larry McCarthy, President of the GAA, assembled outside the Courthouse on a balmy sun -filled evening and paid tribute to the ‘18 Dangerous Dreamers’ as the founders were fondly known.
“These were young men, some as young as 16 years. These were brave men, who earned a free Ireland, governed by its own people. These were true Irish men, who wished to freely live their Gaelic culture and heritage and decided to express that ancient heritage through the medium of our Gaelic games and under the newly-formed banner of the Gaelic Athletic Association. They embraced a wonderful dream, a wonderful vision, aisling breá, aisling áilinn, aisling misniúil,” said Mr McCarthy.

Clrr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan is a staunch member of Dr Crokes and acted as M.C. for the historic occasion and excelled in the formalities in a professional presentation of the 55 minutes allotted.

He introduced the President of the GAA, Larry McCarthy, and Fr Tom Looney who captured the essence of the extremely dangerous times of the 1880’s in Killarney. It was a time of great turmoil due to the Land League and for the ‘18 Dangerous Dreamers’ who founded the club.
Sports journalist Éamonn Fitzgerald welcomed the special guests present, representing the descendants of the 18 founders. Several of the family descendants attended and one represented the families during the formalities. A total of 14 were there in person and four more were video-linked in from USA, Belgium, England, Australia.

The live streaming of the historic event was courtesy of club member John C . O’Shea.

Among the guests were John and Philip Culligan, formerly of Ross Rd, representing their mother, Nee Crowe, a relative of Archbishop Croke.
When the formalities concluded the attendees went to the Dr Crokes clubhouse at Lewis Rd. to join members in music, song and presentations.

Maggie McAuliffe, Club Events Officer and her many co-helpers provided an excellent array of various foods.

Genealogist Rachel Foley, who was very helpful in tracing the descendants, is also the club’s Cultural AND Scór Officer.
She presented her Scór teams for a half hour of wonderful entertainment.
Led by musical director Noel O’Sullivan, the entertainers included Liam Randles, Aoife O’Callaghan, Jean Foley, Saoirse O’Sullivan and Teegan O’Sullivan.

Sheila Dickson coordinated the celebrations in the clubhouse, where the descendants were presented with copies of the Dr Crokes History book.

One of the descendants said: “Thanks to your excellent research I found out more about my family here tonight than I never knew. Thank you Dr Crokes, you are a wonderful family and you do things so well.’
The President of the GAA, who had visited the club house and amenities earlier in the day and saw the U 11 and U 13 teams being coached on their regular Tuesday evening sessions, was highly impressed.

He stressed the importance of tradition and how Dr Crokes valued that. Jokingly, he said it was hard for him as a Cork man to instance the case of Evan Looney, a fourth-generation Dr Crokes player who was man of the match in the Munster U20 final on the previous evening.

President Larry Mc Cathy, left Lewis Rd to drive back to Dublin with memories of the beautiful tones of Scór winner Saoirse singing ‘The Parting Glass’.

The 18 founders of Dr Crokes (Descendants in brackets)
1 Jack Crowe
2 His brother Paddy Crowe, Railway men ( Tim Crowe, grandson and grand-nephew)
3Con Courtney, a merchant ( Sheila Mulcahy, Clochán, Caisleáin Griaire, granddaughter)
4Denny Courtney , ( Mike Looney, College Street)
5 Jim Galvin ( Galvin relatives, Boston)
6Mick Gleeson, a boatman( Bridget Healy (née Gleeson, golf star)
7 Dan Guerin (Áine O’Reilly,nee Kidney granddaughter from Cloyne)
8 Con Guerin, (Sarah Moore, nee Fitzsimons ,granddaughter, Oldcastle, Meath)
9 James Kissane, a French polisher ( John O’Donoghue, descendant Coolcaslough)
10 Martin Kissane, a French polisher( Martin Kissane, descendant Coolcaslough)
11 John Langford, Manager of O’ Sullivan’s farm at Killeen and two-years later a founding member of the Kerry GAA County Board. (Descendant Des Hayes, Tralee)
12 Mike Looney, a Railway man (Evan Looney, great great grandson. Kerry U20 star)
13 Jim McGuiness, Henn Street, a carpenter( Colin O’Driscoll relative, Belgium)
14 Michael Moriarty , High Street a draper. (Drs Denis and Michael Moriarty, Dublin)
15 Maurice Moynihan Pound Row ( Kayleen Kenvard, Australia)
16 James O’Leary (Sneem and College Street publican (Dónal/Bríd/Mike Cahalane, Sneem. Brian Dempsey ,Dublin)
17 Michael O’Sullivan, brother-in-law of Charles O’ Sullivan, Bishop of Kerry 1917-1929. (Bernadette O’Sullivan, Galway, great granddaughter)
18 Rob Roberts, Pound Row (Sean O’Donoghue, Killarney, great grandson)

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Top awards for innovative students

By Michelle Crean Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards. The five […]




By Michelle Crean

Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards.

The five members of ‘Operation Red’ in St Brigid’s Secondary School were celebrating this week after receiving a national Bronze Award for their project which is raising awareness about the lack of knowledge surrounding menstrual disorders. Their goal is to encourage open discussion on these issues, so no woman ever feels alone. The team will receive a prize bursary of €750, which can be put towards developing their idea and increasing the impact of their innovation.

Young Social Innovators is a non-profit organisation that believes in the power of youth. Its vision is to empower, equip and inspire young people to change the world for good. The girls’ project was one of 34 shortlisted from over 400 YSI groups around Ireland.

“As part of our project we’re in the process of developing resources for the SPHE classes in our school,” Transition Year student Anna Cashman told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We’ll try it here as a pilot project and branch out to other schools.”

She added that plans so far include educating students by putting an information booklet together using HSE and NHS advice.

“It’s important to have the right information as it’s a very under researched issue. We have had a positive response to it.”

Cait Fitzgerald Healy from YSI arrived to the school as a surprise to the group and presented the girls with their trophy towards the end of the online ceremony. There was huge excitement all round! Teacher and mentor Catherine O’Donoghue also received the ‘Let them Shine’ award for her involvement with YSI over the last five years.


Picking up the ‘Make Our World Safer Award’, a team from St Brendan’s College was recognised for its ‘One Punch Can Kill’ project, which aims to combat toxic masculinity and raise awareness amongst young men of the seriousness of ‘one punch attacks’.

When researching the issue, the team found that many perpetrators rarely reoffend and the percentage of male-on-male violence in society is extremely high. The group examined the route cause of the issue, which stems from a variety of factors, and wanted to raise awareness that spontaneous and random ‘one punch attacks’ can have serious and life-changing consequences.

Amongst its many actions, the team embarked on media outreach, designed and delivered student workshops, created a poster campaign, held an Anti Violence Week and is currently working on a children’s book in an effort to promote the important message that ‘One Punch Can Kill’.

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Pres footballers are in seventh heaven



The St Brigid’s Presentation Second Year footballers were crowned County Junior B champions on Friday last following a superb seven-goal victory over Mercy Mounthawk Tralee in the Ballymac sunshine.

The girls hit the ground running, bagging two quick goals from the boots of Lily O’Shaughnessy and Niamh Cantillon.

The Pres defence was solid and dogged throughout and managed to keep Mounthawk from breaching their goal for the duration. Abby Cronin scored three goals and a point to torment the oppostion and Niamh Cantillon scored a second goal plus a point to keep the Killarney school well in front.

Further scores from Muireann Healy and a final goal from Lara O’Neill gave us a final score of 7-4 to 0-11.

It was an excellent performance from the entire team, including the substitutes who all played their part. Captain Eve Culhane proudly accepted the cup on behalf of the team, and St Brigid’s, at the end of the game and joyous celebrations followed.

Congratulations to all the players and to their trainers: Mr Counihan, Ms Healy and Ms Brosnan.


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