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How it all began

Gaelic Games at juvenile level in Thurles was at a very low ebb in the winter of 1978. In the same year  Scoil Ailbhe won county Under 11 titles in both football and hurling. If the school teams could be so successful why not the club teams?  A group of dedicated men got together and came to the conclusion that the only way to revive hurling and football in Thurles was to have one strong club that would cater for all the boys in the town. At the conventions of the adult clubs in 1978, the idea was put to the clubs that they hand over responsibility for juvenile affairs to a new juvenile club to be formed, and that this new club would have the backing and support of the adult clubs. Prime movers in the behind-the-scenes negotiations at this time were Michael Murphy, Sarsfields stalwart of the sixties and Tipperary All-Ireland captain of 1964, and Tommy O'Dowd, an official with Fennellys who also had strong connections with Kickhams.

From time to time in the years prior to ’78  juvenile clubs flourished in the parish of Thurles. Thurles Crokes back in the sixties won a county Under 16½ football championship; Sarsfields also won juvenile honours, and Rahealty brought county honours to the "Cradle Town". The arrival at Scoil Ailbhe in the mid 1970’s of Brother Connie Higgins, a Corkman with a tremendous love for the games was also to play a major role in the revival of gaelic games at juvenile level in Thurles.  

After much behind the scenes activity in late 1978 and early 1979 a meeting was held in Hayes Hotel on 2nd February 1979 with a view to forming a juvenile hurling and football club. After it was formally proposed by Brother Connie Higgins and seconded by Michael Murphy that the club be formed the officers and committee were elected.

President: Bro. Lombard
Chairman: Bro. Higgins
Vice-Chairman: Michael Carroll
Secretary: Tommy O'Dowd
Treasurer: Phil O'Mara
Registrar/P.R.O.: Michael Dundon
Committee: Pat Stakelum, Michael Murphy, P.J. Grace, Dick Coppinger, Michael Grogan, Jack O'Brien, Jimmy Coppinger, Brendan Maher, John Ryan, Larry O'Connor, Michael O’Dwyer, Sean Russell, Gerard Corbett.

The club was to be called Durlas Óg and the club colours were red and white.

Three juveniles namely, John and Pat Dorney and Peter Mullen attended the first meeting.

The involvement of the Christian Brothers was a major plus for the Club. Wonderful G.A.A. men like Brother Michael Keane, Brother Daithi Fitzgerald, Brother Lombard, Brother Frank Walsh, Connie Higgins and John Hickey and many more ensured that gaelic games were played in Scoil Ailbhe and the young boys of Thurles were well able to wield the caman when they went to hurl for the club. The Christian Brothers were most generous in the early years of the club of placing their facilities at our disposal and well can we say, where would we be without them.

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