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St Marys and Spa - A little bit of History 2015-10-17 17:32:00

Spa & St Marys clash in the Castleisland Mart Intermediate Final
Sunday is a big day for Spa and St Marys when they go head to head in the Castleisland Mart Intermediate final in Fitzgerald Stadium (throw in 2pm). Spa are of course appearing in their second final in a row having been beaten by Ardfert in last year’s decider. They last won the title in 2009 when they went all the way to the All Ireland final only to lose to Cookstown of Tyrone and in 2012 they were defeated in the county final after a replay by Finuge. On their way to the decider they accounted for Annascaul in Round 1 by two points and then they played out a high scoring quarter final draw with Kenmare at the end of April before doing well to win the replay by three points in Kenmare. Both of those games could have easily gone the other way but five months later they had six points to spare over John Mitchels when the sides met in the semi final in Killorglin.
St Marys had a very successful run in the Junior Championship of 2010 which resulted in County, Munster and All Ireland titles coming to Caherciveen and since then they appeared in the Intermediate final two years ago where they had to give second best to Currow. They opened this year’s campaign with a good seven points victory over Emmetts in Listowel and then also had seven points to spare in their local derby win over Waterville. Desmonds were many people’s favourites to lift the Fenian Cup this year but after a terrific high scoring contest, St Marys it was who had that two point advantage at the end.
So it’s all to play for this weekend and the stakes could not be any higher for two sides who between them have had to taste the bitter pill of defeat in the finals of the last two years. Extra time will be played in the event of a draw.

St. Marys Caherciveen – A little Bit of History
by Junior Murphy

The first report of an organised football match involving Cahersiveen appears in the Kerry Sentinel on February 23rd 1889. The game was between Cahersiveen and Waterville. A regretable feature in connection with this game was the frequent and oftentimes acrimonious disputes. For the first time Cahersiveen affiliated with the County Board in 1890 and were pitted against Dr. Crokes in the first round. The game ended in a draw but as the Cahersiveen men were engaged in the mackerel season it was impossible for them to muster a team when the replay finally took place, Killarney were victorious.
On the 10th of December 1890 the Cahersiveen players met at the Carneige Library for the purpose of reorganisation. The team was named after the illustrious and immortal Liberator Daniel O’Connell. The colours of the O’Conells were to be black and amber. The O’Connells were very fortunate to receive the services of Pat McGillicuddy, a native of Renard, who trained as a National School Teacher, and showed his football preness with Erins hope in the Dublin County Championship. Before leaving Dublin Pat and his fellow classmates were personally told by Michael Cusack to form and develop Clubs in every Parish. Pat McGillicuddy took up Principalship of Knockeens National school and brought with him a great knowledge of scientific Gaelic Football as laid down by the recently founded G.A.A. The Cahersiveen O’Connells were beaten in the 1895 County final but were successful in 1896 when Pat McGillicuddy captained the team to its first County title. Pat had also won a County Championship with Laune Rangers in 1890. With the formation of the South Kerry Board in 1903 O’Connells, the first champions of Iveragh, and in the next 30 years O’Connells were champions on six occasions.
In April 1929 Cahersiveen C.B.S. applied to the South Kerry and County Boards to affiliate a team in the South Kerry Junior Championship. The request was granted and so the St. Marys Club came into being. Having captured the South Kerry Championship in 1929 St. Marys now joined the O’Connells in the Senior Championship of 1930. The star of the young St. Marys outfit was P.J. “Peachy” O’Sullivan who won minor and senior All-Irelands in 1931. The youthful St. Marys team were emerging as the Kingpins of football in Cahersiveen and the O’Connells with most of their players now regarded as Veterans. In 1934 Cahersiveen could only field one team and St. Marys with their distinctive blue jerseys and a white sash becase the team to represent the town of Cahersiveen in the future.
A great concern for the St. Marys Club in the 1930’s and 1940’s was the lack of a permanent headquarters. However in 1947 information reached officers of the Club that a stretch of land, to the west of the town, was to be offered for sale. The wide awake mentors, Messers Jackie Walsh (Chairman), Seamus O’Shea (Secretary) and Michael O’Shea (treasurer), immediately approached the owners of the property and a deal was quickly clinched for a sum of £650. For the first time in its history the Cahersiveen Club came into possession of a field it could call its own. Despite the fact that the playing surface was not fully completed until 1950 the South Kerry Championships of 1948 and 1949 were played at St. Marys new headquarters. It was the unanimous wish of the Club to dedicate the new Park to the memory of Con Keating, the first man to die in the Easter Rising of 1916. The Con Keating Park was declared officially opened on August 6th 1956 before the largest attendance ever seen at a sporting fixture in South Kerry. The game between Kerry and Wexford ended Kerry 1-8, Wexford 0-7.
St. Marys have had remarkable success on the playing field since its inception in 1929. It holds 30 Senior South Kerry Chamnpionships; County Junior Final in 1982 and 2010; All Ireland Junior Champions 2011; Intermediate County Champions 2001; County League Division 1 title holders in 2003.
Since 1924 Club Members have won 22 Senior All-Ireland medals Jack Murphy 2; P.J. “Peachy” O’Sullivan 1 ; Jerome O’Shea 3; Gerald O’Sullivan 2; Jack O’Shea 7; Maurice Fitzgerald 2; Bryan Sheehan 5; . Both Jack O’Shea and Maurice Fitzgerald have been honoured as Footballer of the year- Jack on four occasions, 80, 81, 84 and 85, and Maurice on one occasion 1997. Jack O’Shea received six All Star awards 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, and Maurice Fitzgerald 3 awards 88, 96, and 97. Bryan Sheehan received an All Star in 2011.
It’s hoped that the standards set by Mentors and Players of the past will be followed by future generations and that more success will be achieved to add additional chapters to the tradition and deeds of the famed St. Marys Cahersiveen.

Spa GAA – A little bit of History

Spa /Lissivigeen area has a long tradition with GAA dating back to the early 1900. Initially the current club was known as Lissivigeen with a team from Lissivigeen NS catchment area being affiliated to the Kerry Co. Board and to the East Kerry Board after its formation in 1925. Two players from Lissivigeen namely Denis & Thado O’Keeffe were regulars on the Kerry senior team in 1901 & 1902, but for the fact that they emigrated to Australia prior to 1903 they would have figured on the Kerry team which won the first senior title for the county in 1903.
Lissivigeen club continued to compete at junior level in East Kerry where they enjoyed their share of success. However it was a rather fragmented arrangement as the players from around the Tiernaboul NS catchment area gave their allegiance to the Killarney town teams mostly Legion & players including the O’Leary’s, Cahill’s and Casey’s figured on many of the Legion winning teams of the 1940’s.
Due to emigration and retirements the Lissivigeen club became defunct in 1947 which led to the formation of the current Spa club in 1948. In its first season in existence it won the junior East Kerry title and a year later when promoted to senior grade it defeated Headford in 1949 to win the first senior title for the club.
Spa enjoyed a good run of success during the 1950’s but as happened to Lissivigeen emigration and retirements and the lack of a solid under age structure Spa was defunct for a four year period 1959 to 1963 when it was again revived with an amalgamation with Glenflesk at minor level. Spa /Glenflesk won the 1963 East Kerry minor competition. In 1966 a decision was taken to affiliate a senior SPA team again and as happened in 1948 this side achieved a notable victory over Kilcummin to win the club’s their first O’Donoghue Cup title. This victory led to further O’Donoghue cup success during the 1960’s, 1970’s & 1980s. This could well be regarded as the most successful era for the Spa club when as well as winning East Kerry championship titles it also won the I974 County Intermediate title and Division 1 County League title which gave the club eligibility to compete in the county senior county championship where they enjoyed much success. It was also notable for the fact that players from the club including Donie O’Sullivan, Mick Gleeson, Paudie O’Mahoney and Pat Casey were members of the Kerry seniors teams of that era and September 1970 was indeed a very historic occasion for the club when Donie O’Sullivan as captain of the senior Kerry team brought the Sam Maguire to Spa for the first time. Mike McAuliffe and Frances Doherty won minor All Ireland medals with Kerry while Brian O’Sullivan -Darcy who won an All-Ireland U-2I minor Hurling medal with the county in I998.
The link with the county teams has been carried on by current players Liam Kearney, Dan O’Donoghue who won both minor and junior titles as well as Mike Foley and Evan Cronin who were members of the 2015 Kerry Minor winning side.
Current Spa manager Sean Moynihan trained a Kerry Junior team to All Ireland Glory which included Andrew Garnett, Michael O’Donoghue and Niall O’Mahoney with Willie Cahill as a selector. Sean has also led Spa to an All-Ireland Intermediate final narrowly losing to Cookstown, Tyrone in Croke Park in 2009. While the club has achieved much success on the playing fields it also has been successful in the promotion of culture including Scór and over the years has won East Kerry, Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Scór titles and much of this success is due to the many people who devote so much of their time to the development of culture in the club.
A very successful Spa /Muckross community games club has been in operation for many years and members of this club also have achieved much success at county and national events over the years.
Since it purchased its current playing field in I974 major developments have taken place during the intervening period and today Spa has excellent facilities which included two playing pitches, a sports hall and functions rooms. The club is currently in the process of developing an all-weather pitch to facilitate off season training.
We wish our team the best of luck in today’s final against a formidable St Mary’s side and hope they make the journey to Croke Park and make amends for 2009.