THE underage street leagues
were a pre-cursor to underage club football in Carlow. U12 and 14
teams from Park, the Crescent, the country and the town were the
earliest with Graiguecullen eventually joining.
The semi- finals and finals
were played on the sports field in St Dympna's Hospital.
"You could get 2000 at those
games," said Ber Hennessy of Pairc Mhuire.
"I remember The Nationalist
reported that there were nearly 3,000 at a final between ourselves
The driving force from the
competition came from Brother Shelley and in later years from
Brother Rogers of Bishop Foley CBS. Even then the dividing lines
were being drawn.
"Crescent would have been a
nursery for O'Hanrahan's and Park for Eire Og. Some players crossed
but not too many," recalled Hennessy.
Kerry midfielder Jerome O'Shea
was a travelling representative in the area and he refereed two
finals around that time.
After the final whistle was
blown the players went to the local shop where Barney Fitzpatrick
(father of Seamus and Eamonn) bought ice pops for both teams.
"Jim Hoare's parents used to do
same," said Ber.
Hennessy had the distinction of
winning with two teams.
"Crescent were very short in
1956 and Brother Shelley asked Michael Brophy, Padraig Bolger and
myself to play with them.
You can imagine the slagging we
got when we beat our own team," he said.
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© 2001 County Carlow