This photo was August 1977, at the 50th anniversary of Graiguecullen
GAA returning to Laois. Four of the original team from 1927 are in
With Tom 'Busy Man' Haughney, John Hennessy,
Ducksie Keating, Christy Brennan, Fr. Byne, Fr. Kelly, Tim O'Brien,
Johnny Kearns and Matt Callinan.
Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Graiguecullen GFC is a Gaelic Athletic Association club that plays in
County Laois, Ireland but the village from which it takes its name is
actually mainly situated in County Carlow. The club were winners of thirteen
Carlow Senior Football Championship Titles (the last of which was in 1925)
and twelve Laois Senior Football Championship titles, the last of which was
The club has produced many famous Laois football players including
Tommy Murphy, Willie Brennan, Mick Haughney and Andy Fennell. History
Founded in 1898, the club colours are green with a red hoop and white
shorts. The club originally competed in the Laois championships but changed
to Carlow for a brief period before being expelled in 1926 following an
incident in the County Final against Milford in Rathoe. In 1927, they were
invited to join the Laois Championship and they have remained there ever
During its time in Carlow GAA the club was extremely successful
winning no less than 13 Carlow Senior Football Championship titles before
returning to compete in the Laois championships in 1927.
- The Club grounds are called Fr. Maher Park.
Note from Michael Purcell
The first meeting of The County Carlow GAA ,( Football and Hurling ) was
held in the YMCA in April 1888. Officers representing Graig were affiliated
to the Carlow County GAA Board in 1903. The team was known as Young
Irelands. They played and won their first game in 1905. In 1926, then known
as Graiguecullen. They played their last game with Carlow against Milford in
the Final Senior Championship. 7 minutes from the final whistle Milford was
leading by four points when an incident occurred and the game was abandoned.
There are accounts of hurling being played in Graig in 1786, I think such
accounts are posted on this site.
For many years past the Graiguecullen teams have been outstanding. We
should never forget them or their supporters who included all the people of
the parish and great numbers from the neighbouring parishes. Jack Kelly was
a wonderful football trainer. There was nobody more dedicated than he. He
gave from his own pocket to help, and in order to bring honour to Graigue.
He made his own rules for everything. He was like a father to all
Graiguecullen youth. No one would say no to his bidding. His house smelled
of embrocation and Sloan’s Linament for sprains and swelling. He’d talk
football for twenty years back, every kick of the game.
Tom Moran, Maher Road, played for Graiguecullen. Christy Lawlor,
sixty, a great mouth-organ player, married Miss McDarby. He was the big
drummer in the pipe band and a great supporter of football. Sergeant Major
Denis Moran helped everybody. Rexie McDonald, ploughman at Knockbeg was
captain of the Laois team in the All-Ireland and U.S.A. He was very strong
and very well liked. Tommy Murphy, the world idol, the greatest footballer
Ireland produced. Everyone in Ireland and U.S.A. liked him and called him
the boy wonder. His father, Andy Murphy, Knockbeg steward, formerly of
Tinryland won high acclaim as a footballer in his day. He cheerfully helped
every person in need.
Barney Hennessy, the idol of Graigue in his day. One
of his hobbies was greyhounds. His sons have the great dance band.
Image below -
Carlow - Graigue Young Ireland G.F.C. 1908-09
Fr. Sean McWey C.C. and his brother Brendan were outstanding Laois
players. Mick, Cutchie Haughney, a great Graiguecullen and Laois footballer,
was also a good clubman for Graiguecullen. Uncle of Fr. Denis Haughney now
in U.S.A. Ned Hogan, Chapel St., on the Henry St. corner was the father of
Willie Hogan, red-haired, and Martin Hogan, both good footballers who made
football history with Graigue. Jim Nolan, Henry St., a good organiser for
G.A.A. and parish funds is now chairman of Carlow U.D.C. Paddy, Brownie,
O’Rourke who lived at St. Clare’s Road, wrote pleasing poetry. A great
worker for the club and St. Fiac’s Hall, he was highly esteemed.
The teams trained in Knockbeg in 1936 when they went to the
All-Ireland final and to U.S.A. Then in 1937/8, Fennells gave their field
for football. Martin Comerford’s family were Connemara pony-buyers who gave
the name Connaught Well Lane in Sleaty; their ponies used to drink there.
The Fitzgeralds of Dwyers’ Hill were basket-makers and great chair-makers.
Martin McDarby the mechanic is well remembered.
Dan Brennan had his forge on the corner of Killeshin Road and Chapel
Street. Dan had a cheery kindly word for the many people he met. Paddy Byrne
now of Castle Hill was known as the Nipper, as he was the youngest on the
junior football team. Barnie Hennessy, of Chapel St. played rugby at one
time. He was renowned for his long fifties; they were generally 60 or 70
yards long. He was greatly encouraged by his sons who used to shout: “Over
the bar, dad.” He was a legend in football all over Ireland. Tommy Murphy:
famous All-Ireland footballer, formerly of Knockbeg, now of St. Lazerian’s
Terrace. Cutchie Haughney, Mick, who lived at the Numbers was a great
Graiguecullen and Laois footballer. Captain of the senior team, he rallied
the team that beat Stradbally in the final. He played with Laois in U.S.A.
Busyman Haughney, Tom, played for Graiguecullen and Laois. Captain Ned
Price, of Chapel St. was a great footballer and the idol for years of the
team. He specialised in long kicks.
Mike S.A.B. McDarby, blacksmith, of Maryboro’ St. even at 70 was a
great athlete and dancer. He was a talented staff thrower. He was major of
the Fife and Drum Band. He was a great friend of Eamonn De Valera, Taoiseach
and Uachtaran. When Mike was ill, Mr De Valera visited him. Desie Connolly
of Ballyfoyle was a noted Graiguecullen and Laois player. Eddie O’Neill
lived in Henry St.; his son Miley is a Laois footballer. Tommy Proctor of
Church St. is a Graiguecullen player.
Ned Hogan, Chapel St., father of Willie and Martin, Bunter Hogan, Ned,
of Henry St., a strong supporter of the junior team. Sergeant-Major Denis
Moran of Sleaty St. is very talented. Jack Harte of St. Fiacc’s Terrace is
highly esteemed. Jack Kelly of Sleaty St., well-known football trainer lived
for football. He read, talked and argued about football with the players who
crowded into his house each night. He organised the Graiguecullen teams who
used to practise in Knockbeg. Brownie, Paddy, father of Seamus O’Rourke of
the Nationalist was a talented poem-writer.
Church St., with its white-washed houses, with a stone outside each
door was noted for its good men and also for the number of pigeons and
goldfinches that were sold there. The statement that the birds that were
sold were back the following day need not be taken too seriously. The
Fennell family are often mentioned in Graiguecullen. They were expert
farmers, the best of neighbours and the best friends the Graiguecullen teams
had. Their main outside interest was football, especially the Graiguecullen
Many of those named in these notes have gone to their eternal reward.
They were wonderful people; we should pray for them and hold their names in
honour. R.I.P. We thank Liam Bolton and Tommy Whitney for their valuable
help in compiling these notes.
Source: 'The Parish of KILLESHIN, Graiguecullen'.
1972. by P. MacSuibhne.
- Graiguecullen Boys
National School U15 of 1938
The recent death of Mr. Sean O’Leary,
former principal of Graiguecullen Boys National School,
brought to light the above picture of the Graiguecullen
under 15 football team of 1938 which defeated
Portarlington in Laois county final. Mr. O’Leary is
pictured on the extream right of the second row. The
photograph was provided courtesy of Graiguecullen GFC,
through Mr. Dick Ryan. Included in the photo are: front
row (l to r.): Tom Byrne, Michael McCartney, John
O’Brien, Ned Hayes, Leo Harte, and Jim Moran; middle row
(l tor.): Denny Moran, (trainer), Eddie Whitney, Paddy
Dooley, Paddy Kavanagh, Jim Dowling and Mr. O’Leary;
back row (l to r.): Michael Scully, Stephen Quinn, Danny
Butler, Hooker Dowling, Charlie Geoghegan and Willie
- Source: 1998 Nationalist & Facebook
- End of an era!
- December 9th 2006 will go down as
a grey day for the Graiguecullen club following their
relegation from the senior ranks for the first time in their
102 year history.
- The club are fifth in the
all-time list of club titles in the country, but have not
sampled success since the mid-sixties and although they
competed in a couple of finals in the eighties, success has
eluded them ever since.
- Last Saturday, they faced
Clonaslee/St Manman’s in the relegation play off and heart
achingly for Graiguecullen, they lost out by the narrowest of
margins on a score line of 1-7 to 0-9.
- Graiguecullen have the
distinction of winning county titles in both Carlow and Laois,
but the club has gone through a barren spell in recent years.