Slieverue GAA



FIELD DEVELOPMENT                         Prominent Administrators.                 Brief History

The G.A.A. in Slieverue in the early days                     The making of champions




The club was founded in 1884.  As in most of the neighbouring clubs football was the only game played in the early years.

The first record, to hand, of a championship match played was on April Ist, 1887.  Slieverue were beaten by Kilmacow in football, the scores being Kilmacow 2-7, Slieverue 1-6.  The match was played in Piltown.

Also in 1887 the club was represented at a Convention held in Carrick-on-Suir by Walter McGrath and M. Wall.

The games have been played continuously in the parish since those early days of the G.A.A. As in most places the games were played in fields provided by local farmers and various pitches were used over the years.  Our club committees of the 1950's were far sighted enough to purchase and develop a club field.  We were then one of the few clubs in the region to have our own pitch.



1955       Land purchased from Walsh family. Area - 7.5 acres.


1956-59       Ditches removed, drains put in place.

This was a huge job and was done by club members voluntarily.


1960         First competitive match took place on July 5th between Slieverue and Mooncoin.  It was the opening match of the annual club tournament.  Slieverue won.


1961         The boundary wall by the roadside was built by Jackie Phelan, R.I.P..


1979       Dressing rooms were built.


1998         The dressing rooms underwent a complete refurbishment.


2000       Work underway in development of  a juvenile pitch.




   Paddy Buggy   National President G.A.A.             1982-1985

   Chairman Leinster Council                                    1978-1980

   Chairman Kilkenny County Board                          1990

   Jim Walsh   Chairman Southern Board                   1977-1980

   Siobhan O'Neill   Secretary Co. Camogie Board     1960

   Alice Hartley   Treasurer Co. Camogie Board        1962-1964



The G.A.A. in Slieverue in the early days


By Jim Walsh

DESPITE the fact that hurling had a long and high profile, it was football which was more popular in the early days of the Association in Co. Kilkenny.  It is generally accepted that the first match played under G.A.A. rules was a football match played in Callan on February 15th, 1885.  There are reports of huge crowds being attracted to those matches, 8,000 are stated to have attended a match, again in Callan, in 1886.'

A club was formed in Slieverue in 1884.  This is accepted as fact, though documentation or details are not available There exists records of oral reports of matches having taken place in various venues around the parish at this time.

The first Co. Kilkenny Convention was held on 30th January 1887. 15 clubs were represented but there wasn't representation from Slieverue.  Four teams were entered for the 1887 hurling championship - Mooncoin being the only one from South Kilkenny. 19 teams entered the football championship including a team from Slieverue.

Slieverue were drawn against Kilmacow in the first round.  This match took place in Piltown on March 25th and was won by Kilmacow, the scores being 2-7 to 1-6.  Kilmacow went on to win the championship, beating a Kilkenny City team, 1-3 to 0-0, after a replay y.2 The Slieverue panel was Watty McGrath, Dan, Stephen, Jack and Dick Walsh, all Kilaspy, the Walshes were brothers and first cousins of Watty McGrath, Willie Connolly, Jack and Dick Whelan (Phelan), James Fitzgerald, all Ballinamona, the Whelans and James Fitzgerald were first cousins, Paddy Hanlon (Glasshouse), Jim Larrissey (Slieverue), Jack Millea, Paddy, Jack and Nick Hearn (all Treanaree), Mickey Ryan (Peafield), Mickey Gorman (Kilmurry), Neddy Moore (Milepost), Willie and Will Vereker (Ballincrea), Michael Mulially (Nicholastown), Tom Foley (Giles Quay), Pat Murphy (Slieverue) and Peter Flannery.

On the Kilmacow team was Jamsey Walsh and his brother Watty and John.  Jamsey came to Kilmurry in 1900 where he settled down and his son 'Lynch' later was a prominent player for Slieverue, Carrickshock and Kilkenny.  Later still his grandson, Michael of Kilmurry, wore the Slieverue and Kilkenny jerseys with distinction.

Tournament and challenge matches seem to have taken place regularly at that time. The Waterford News of December 16th 1887 reported on a match between Slieverue and Mullinavat played at Ballaneeshage on December Ilth.  Slieverue won on the score, I goal, 3 ordinary points and 6 forfeit points to nil.  On that occasion the Slieverue team was W. McGrath, R. Walsh, R. Whelan, J. Whelan, W. Connolly, J. Hearne, P. Hearne, M. Foley, M. Gorman, M. Ryan, W. Vereker, P. Vereker, P. Grant, P. Hanlon, J. McGrath, W. Vereker Junior), J. Whelan, J. Larrissey, T. Larrissey.  J. Denn, M. Denn.

Slieverue club organized a tournament on their own in February 1888.  The Waterford News reported as follows:


A tournament held in Slieverue on Sunday was one well worthy of imitation in other parts of the county.  It was not an ambitious affair but the promoters of it showed that they might well be entrusted with the carrying out of a much more difficult undertaking.  The field obtained through the kindness of the owner, Mr. F. Shortis, is a very suitable one.  The great crowd was kept in good order by the energetic committee, and better than all, the utmost good humour prevailed.

Match I (Ferrybank) Thomas Sextons 1-3, (Butlerstown) Tim Healys 0-0 Ferrybank: Thomas Barry, Thomas Wallace, Michael Murphy, Joseph Harney, Martin Croke, John Lucas, Richard Cummins, John Halligan, Joseph Cummins, James Butler, James Healy, Edward Dreelan, James Henneberry, Michael Cronin, Richard Dea, Kieran Grant, Wm.  Kenneally, Wm.  Walsh, Robert Goulding, Patrick Goulding, P. Lawlor.

In the second match: Glenmore 1-3, Mooncoin 0-2.


Mr. Foley (President of Slieverue Club) discharged the duties of referee.


In the 1888 Championship, Slieverue beat Callan in the first round and Mullinavat in the second round.  They then met Ballyhale and again the match was reported on by the Waterford News:


A match in the Co. Kilkenny Championship was played in Mullinavat on Sunday.  The competitors were Ballyhale and Slieverue.  Ballyhale having won the toss elected to play with three such elements as the sun, the wind, and a fall of ground in their favour.  With these advantages they were not long to have 2 points to their credit.

Everything considered the Slieverue goal was splendidly defended, and before the first half expired Slieverue had scored a point at the upper goal.  In the second half Ballyhale played remarkably well and although they had the advantage of a clouded sun, it was generally admitted that they were playing an improving game to the end of the match.

At the finish Ballyhale were declared victors by 4 points to I point.


Kilmacow went on to win that county championship and then represented Kilkenny in the All-Ireland series.  They beat Laois (Ballinakill) and Louth (Dundalk Young Irelands) before they met Wexford (Blue & Whites) in the Leinster final.  This match was played in New Ross on September 22nd and was much talked of in advance.  The pubs and eating houses all closed for the day!  Did they anticipate trouble?  Kilmacow won after a robust match, the score being 1-4 to 0-2.  The Kilmacow team and supporters had to leave Ross without refreshments but were well attended to in Rocketts, Slieverue, on the way home.' Slieverue were invited to take part in a football tournament in Tramore in January 1889.  However, due to the short notice, Mr. Queally, the Slieverue Club Secretary, failed to get a team to travel.' The opposition was to be Fenor.

Ballyhale won the football championship of 1889.  We do not have details of Slieverue participation.  We do, however, have a report on a tournament played in Mooncoin on St. Patrick's Day 1889.  Slieverue played Mandevilles (a team from Templeorum).  The Wate@ford News report as follows:


In the Mooncoin tournament Slieverue played the Mandevilles in what would be an interesting game but for the perversity of many of the players to indulge in wrestling matches.  The Slieverue team had all the best of the play scoring 6 points as to their opponents I point.

Slieverue Team: Walter McGrath (captain), Richard Walsh, Patrick Hearne (goal), Michael Gorman, John Phelan, Richard Phelan, James Denn, Martin Denn, Michael Ryan, James Phelan, James Larrissey, P. Cummins, Thomas Barry, Michael Lyons, Patrick Murphy, Laurence Phelan, Patrick Walsh, Michael Kelly, Patrick Hanlon, Michael Mullaily.  Goal Umpires: Mr Ed.  Grant and Nick Hearn.  Field Umpire: Wm.  Queally.


No further details of this tournament are available  

Kilkenny, The G.A.A. Story, p. I 1.  ·                  Ibid. p. 13. ·                  Information from Willie Walsh. ·                  Waterford News, January 5th, 1889.


It is evident from the above reports that football was the principal, or only, game played in the first years of the G.A.A. in Slieverue and locally.  According to Mick Cuddy, formerly from Gorteens, the first time hurling was introduced to Slieverue after the formation of the G.A.A.was in 1903.  He recalled that Jamsey Walsh, referred to previously, arrived in Glasshouse one Sunday afternoon with 2 hurls and a ball.  Glasshouse was the meeting place for the young men of that part of the parish at the time.  They used the hurls and approved of the game.  The following Sunday, Tommy Gleeson brought a bag of hurls and all joined in!  


Sliabh Rua    A History of its People and Places.



The Making of Champions


By John Hartley


This story deals in the main with the golden era of Slieverue hurling prowess spanning the decade 1946-1956.  However to set the scene one must go back another decade in order to create a more meaningful perspective for the task in hand'.

It all began away back in 1932 - incredibly sixty eight years ago in this the year of our historic millennium 2000.  Club Cuman lomana & Peile Sliabh Ruadh reached the Co. Junior Hurling Final that late autumn, suffering defeat at the hands of Danesfort by a 5 point margin.  I understand our key player of the time, Willie 'Lynch' Walsh of Kilmurry, was absent from the team through illness.  Such was the hurling fervour in the area during this period that the geographically and numerically small parish of Stiabh Ruadh held the unique distinction of sustaining two separate hurling clubs!  In 1934 Sliabh Ruadh were drawn against Raheen Rovers, domicilied in the Glasshouse/Bellevue area with the Railway serving as the dividing line.  The teams met in the first round at Irish's field at the Creamery, Slieverue winning by 7 points after a very tense game.  One of the spectators that day, Willie Grant of Rathpatrick, tells me the supporters of both sides were 5 deep around the total pitch!  In 1935 Sliabh Rua reached the Co. Junior Hurling Final beaten by Bennetsbridge by 8 points.  However 1936 saw the two parish clubs successfully join forces to win the Co. Intermediate Final, defeating Bennetstown by 14 points.

The years 1937-46 saw the parish without either a field or a hurling club but all this was corrected in 1946 with the arrival to the parish of the late Rev.  Dr. D. Hughes C.C. 'The Doctor', as he rapidly became affectionately known, brought a new spirit and enthusiasm to the village and the area, and the clubs first hard-working and dedicated secretary was the late Johnny Hokey of Kilmurry.  The team progressed with limited forces to the Southern Junior Final but succumbed to Clogga by 4 points. 1948 saw them beating Glenmore by 8 points in the Southern Final - played in Waterford!  The team went on to beat Bennetsbridge in the County Final but due to an objection lost the replay in February 1949.

The tempo was now hotting up and the breakthrough came in 1950 when the Club won the County Junior Hurling Championship defeating Urlingford in the Final at Nowlan Park.  This was truly a most sweet and remarkable victory as Sliabh Ruadh was trailing by 4 points with one minute of extra time already played.  The late Stephen Hoban, Belmont Road, whipped over a point, the sliothar broke around midfield from the puck-out, was delivered to Tom 'Builder' Walsh (R.I.P.) who soloed goalwards and raised the green flag.  Sliabh Ruadh supporters were now delighted at the prospect of a belated draw but became truly delirious when the late John Barron raced to a ball at the corner flag, evaded his marker, and from that most acute angle blasted over the winning point!  I was one of the youngsters privileged to watch that day and it is said that John Barron's winning point took paint off the inside of both uprights on its way to victory.  Others still hold that Rev.  Dr. Hughes' infectious enthusiasm rubbed off higher up in the skies!  For good measure our under 14's with the help of some Ferrybank players won the Co. Final of the Roinn A Schools League the same year.

The seeds were now sown and the scene set for more serious successes as the Club had deservedly gained senior status and under-age material was also showing promise.  However, success was not immediate as the new fledgling seniors went out in the first rounds of'51 and '52, losing to Carrickshock and Bennetsbridge respectively, both of whom progressed to become Senior County Champions in their respective years.  The year 1953 saw the senior team reach the County Final but had to succumb to Bennetsbridge by 5 points.  Our minors were now coming through, we blazed the southern trail to become 1953 South Champions but went down to Dicksboro in the County Final.

And so 1954 was almost upon us.  The County Board at the end of '53 decided to introduce 'The Parish Rule' to the Senior Championship, resulting in each parish being confined to players from within its own geographical boundary.  At the outset this seemed a disaster for the Club, as being geographically a very small area we had been enjoying the invaluable services of 5 players whose domiciles were in all cases a mere stones throw from the parish boundary.  To lose one third of our dedicated players seemed an insurmountable disaster but 4 players from the '53 minors, who were also to become '54 Kilkenny Co. Minors, were drafted on in early spring and successfully established themselves with our more mature experienced peers.  After many successful challenge and tournament games the sibling minors seemed ready for the fray and so it turned out to be.  We easily overcame John Lockes of Callan in the opening rounds and accounted for Gleni-nore in the County Semi-final, both games played at Thomastown.  Bennettsbridce, as already mentioned, were by now a dominant force both within and outside the County and famed Tullaroan were also still a much respected force of long standing reputation.  When Tuilaroan deservedly accounted for 'the Bridge' in the other semi-final the scene was set for an historic Sliabh Ruadh v. Tuilaroan Final.  To put it mildly we were not given much of even an outside chance in this David & Goliath situation, but on the 10th of October 1954 we travelled hopefully and confidently to Nowlan Park, and with tremendous Slieverue, southern and neutral support, won our very first Senior title on the score of 6-5 to 4-3!

There was much understandable celebrations and an euphoric atmosphere prevailed in the parish for many months.  The established seniors played a vital role that day and all the year and the four County Minors already referred to were Tommy Walsh of Luffany and Sean Griffin, Michael Murphy and John Hartley all from 'the Village'.  All team members played 'out of their skins' on the day and Sean Griffin made history by scoring 5 of our goals!.  This remarkable record has stood the test of time and with the pace, competitiveness and intensity of modern-day hurling is unlikely ever to be equalled, let alone surpassed.  The team and the entire parish will forever be eternally grateful to the aforementioned long-standing players who lost out to the parish rule.  These were John Barron R.I.P. and Paddy Doyle R.I.P. both of Smartscastle, Johnny & Jimmy Phelan both of Coolnaleen and the late Jimmy Doherty of Davidstown.  Without any doubt the 4 minors of the day clearly recognise how fortunate we were to reap what those men had sportingly and unselfishly sown.

The team unsuccessfully contested another County Final in 1957 going down to John Lockes of Callan on the day.  Our hurlers of that era contributed many members to various county teams, the most successful of course being the All Ireland winning trio of Paddy Buggy, Mick Walsh and Dick Rockett in 1957.  Dr. Buggy, as covered comprehensively elsewhere in this publication, went on to be president of C.L.C.G. 

In conclusion, I was privileged and honoured when asked by the editorial team to endeavour to re-capture the sequence of events leading to 'The Making of Champions'.  In oing so, I wish to acknowledge the tremendous and unselfish help of Paddy Grant, Luffany, without whose contribution this article would not have been possible.


John Hartley was Secretary of Slieverue Hurling Club in 1957.

D. O'Dwyer (Capt.)                        John Hokey (R.I.P.)                                    Mick Walsh immy Walsh                        PaddyGrant                              Paddy BuggyDick Rockett                        Pat Irish
  Gerry Buggy   John Hartley      Michael Murphy
   WiIlie Cahill (R.I.P.)   Mick Mahony (R.I.P.)               Sean Griffin.


Substitutes: Tom 'Builder' Walsh (R.I.P.), Martin Buggy, Andy Irish, Martin Dowling, Larry Roche.




 Sliabh Rua    A History of its People and Places.




committees fixtures Results Web site created by Paul Grant for Slieverue GAA ©