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Durlas Og - Tipperary Star Notes

posted Dec 20, 2014, 11:26 AM by John Smith
The following notes were published in this weeks Tipperary Star:

Reflections - How  the club  began and developed.

Our President and a founder member, Mick Carroll shares some memories on the founding of Durlas Óg in 1979.

Prior to the establishment of the club, there was a major lack of interest in hurling and football among the youth of Thurles.  Rather than sit back and criticise the situation, in 1978, a group of like-minded GAA people met in Hayes Hotel to discuss the problem, and following a few further meetings  it was decided to form a new Juvenile Club.  The sole aim of  the club was to promote hurling, Gaelic football and other activities associated with the Gaelic Athletic Association.  

In our early years we depended on the goodwill of the Christian Brothers Primary and Secondary schools for playing facilities and meeting rooms for Club activities,  and for this we are ever so grateful.  Initially we were very successful withl under 11 and under 13 hurling and football leagues organised for Saturday and Sunday mornings. Each team had a manager to look after them, this was long before team managers at club and county level became the norm.  The Club had a very successful start  on the playing field, in its first year winning three Mid titles and one County title. Mid titles were won at U12 hurling, U12 football and U14 football and under 12’s rounded off a memorable year by winning the county hurling final.

From the outset the aim was to have our own playing facilities and various options were examined and discussed over the years. When the present grounds came up for sale in 1985, a few members of  the club were instructed to  inspect the land and assess its suitability. It was decided that we purchase the ground for £31,000, plus costs, which was considered a huge sum of money at that time. Such was the Club’s stature in the community that people loaned monies for the purchase of the grounds. Interest free loans were received from Club members and the public.  Having no money of our own the club undertook the mammoth task of fundraising, which was widely supported by the public, and in addition the club received grants from the GAA and from other sources which were a great help.

Having paid off those generous, free loans, the next target was to build a clubhouse. Once again  fundraising was required for the project and in this regard  we were greatly helped by a grant of £25,000, received from the National Lottery.  We were the first GAA club in Ireland to receive a Lottery grant. The fulfilment of an eleven year old dream was the official opening of Páirc na nÓg, on June 20th, 1990. The other major development was the erection of a Hurling Ballwall in 2008, following on from this was the construction of an All-Weather ‘astro-turf’ pitch, a few years later.

While hurling and football has been the main focus of our club, there is more than this to the club, we have also participated successfully in Scór na nÓg and other cultural activities. In our efforts over the years we have received great support from the teacher s in all the primary schools across the parish and the Christian Brothers Schools.  We have also got tremendous support and encouragement from the parents and especially form the ladies whenever refreshments were required for our visitors, and we are very grateful for their help with the preparations of competitors for Scór  and other cultural activities

Since its formation the club has made an enormous impact on hurling and football in the Cathedral town, and the club is now established as one of the most active Juvenile GAA clubs in the county. This achievement is due to the many dedicated club officers, committee members, mentors and volunteers that we have been privileged to have had over the years.

The job of looking ager Juveniles is an ongoing one and the need for parents to become involved is as great as ever. It must be said   that the recreational interests of the children must be the concern of the parents and, catering to that interest cannot be left to the same people all the time. Why not come forward to help us? We would welcome help from any interested parents.