Austin Stacks GAA Club News

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STACKS 100: We continue to remind all club members that our Award Winning Stacks 100 website is now available to view – check out club memories, matches & podcasts – a great way to spend an enjoyable few minutes or hours and hours and hours . . .

COMMUNITY COVID 19 RESPONCE: Austin Stacks continue to support Kerry Co Council’s coordinated Covid-19 response.

Anyone seeking assistance is asked to phone the Kerry COVID-19 Community Helpline for non-emergency and non-medical assistance: Need a delivery of fuel? Need a delivery of food/groceries? Need a delivery of medical supplies? Need other advice or support? Pick up the phone and ring 1800 807 009.

Elma also informs us that she has received an update stating that our club grounds must remain closed except for essential maintenance until July 20th and a reminder that the player injury insurance scheme is suspended and specifically that players participating in online training programmes are not cover by the GAA injury insurance scheme should an injury occur. Wayne has circulated this message to all our senior players over the weekend.

HURLING TEAM OF THE LAST 30 YEARS: When voting was completed a few weeks ago to choose the best Stacks Hurling team of the last 30 years Ger Scollard went one further when he asked a chosen number of past players to pick their team of the last 30 years. One of the former players chosen was Brian Neenan.

Brian, however, has scripted an outstanding piece (see below) giving his reasons why he couldn’t do this and it’s getting rave reviews on our Club’s website and beyond.

The following, in full, is what Brian has outlined…

Peter O’Regan, Ronan Gilsenan (Pip), Trevor Barrett (RIP), George Jordan (whose career lasted longer than anybody I know), Andrew Morrissey,Ger Scollard, John McCarthy, Seán King, Brian Shanahan, Joseph Brennan, Peter Doyle. Kieran McCaughley – the list goes on and on – could I leave any of those boys out? Not a hope.

Call me Chicken if you want but a Soldier never forgets his comrades who fought with him in the trenches and a General never forgets his army who once marched to his command. So for that reason I’m out.

I’ve been of the belief all my life that Hurling is more than a game, much more. Hurling is your life, it’s in your blood, it’s quintessentially Irish, it’s not about medals, cups, championships or trophies. It’s about family, about passion, about standing shoulder to shoulder with your own kind, about going toe to toe with the enemy and about NEVER backing down.

There are no friends on the Hurling field. Friends come later.

I have been in the dressingroom with all of the abovementioned players and many more besides. Yes, some were more talented than others but they all gave 100% to the jersey on their backs.

I was there when Matt Carey gave a speech and before he finished our late Club President, Fr. Mícheál Galvin moved away from the door because he feared he would be knocked down in the stampede to get out on the pitch.
I was there one day when Peter O’Regan came in at half time – things were not going according to plan  – Peter wouldn’t be known to say much but the look in his eyes turned the whole dressingroom into ice. It was a different story in the second half.

So I’m not going to chose a best 15 (lockdown fun or not). I have way too much respect for all who shared the dressingroom with me, but what I will say if I was going to the Somme in the morning and I was allowed to bring two wing men with me then I would look no further than Padraig Teahan and Peter O’Regan.
Maybe tis me who should be locked (up or down) – I don’t know. (Ends).

Well done Brian – in these challenging times it’s a breath of fresh air to read something like that.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING: There will be an Executive Committee Meeting (by Video Link) on this coming Friday night (22nd May) at 8pm.

THE LATE DES HURLEY: Because of the current Health & Safety Regulations Club Chairman, Billy Ryle could only organise a small gathering of Club members and friends of the late Des Hurley at Rath Cemetery last Friday (15th May) afternoon to say a final sad farewell to a great Rock man.

As well as Billy the Club was also represented by Máiréad Fernane, Adrienne McLoughlin, Tadgh McMahon, Eddie Barrett and Martin Collins. Des’lifelong swimming friends, Tom Baker, Paddy Kissane and Simon Foley were also present. Billy gave a very heartfelt graveside oration and placed a bouquet of flowers on the grave in Des’ memory.

The Group then collectively sang that great Irish rallying song – Oró sé do bheatha abhaile – after which  Máireád recited the famous poem by Ned Drummond ‘The Boys from the Top of the Rock’.

Observing social distancing the Group chatted around the grave for a while where they informally exchanged happy memories of Des.

SYMPATHY:  Sincere sympathy is offered to the families of the following who died recently – Anna Sheehy (nee Healy), St. Brendan’s Park; Michael J. Cotter, Knockbrack, Knocknagoshel and Tralee (father of Kevin who, along with his wife Fiona, continue to be one of the Club’s great sponsors through their Brogue Inn business; (Pauline O’Shea (nee McDonnell), Clahane, Ballyard and formerly Castle Countess (mother of Kerry, one of the Club’s great workers down the years, serving in various capacities, including pro., county and town board delegate and, of course, more recently one of the authors of our centenary book); Tom Foley, Kerins Park (brother of Jimmy, former Chairman of The Tralee Town Board); Michael P. Barton, New Jersey (USA) and formerly The Kerries (Uncle of Michael O’Donnell, Austin Stacks Street & Mural Artist); and Maria Considine (nee Burrows), Killarney and formerly Tralee (sister of Seánie, former Mitchels and Kerry footballer).

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