Former Boyle GAA Chairman, Barry Feely, says he can trace his connection to the club all the way back to his grandfather’s time when he won a championship medal in 1890.
Barry’s father also has a championship medal from 1926 while Barry said his “hardest won” medal arrived via the Boyle Street Leagues.
Referencing his father Henry’s playing career, Barry says: “It’s extraordinary that his grandson Mark O’Connor and his great-grandson Luke McGrath are now on the panel”.
Barry himself has had a lifelong involvement with the club and served as its chairman in the 1970s.
“GAA has been in my blood because my father brought me to matches and fortunately my wife is into the football so we now go to all the matches. There’s nothing that gives me bigger joy than to see a Boyle team play, whether it’s the ladies or the men,” he said.
“The ladies of course have won the intermediate championship and the boys are now on the cusp of winning the senior championship which would be just incredible. I despaired at times as to whether it would be won in my time”.
Barry says that Boyle has continued to develop as a club since the 1970s and has been very lucky to have dedicated members throughout that time.
“It’s a wonderful club now. They have a brilliant pitch which we bought in the ‘70s through the prompting of a friend of mine, the Limerick hurler, PJ Keane. He was one of the organisers along with John McGowan and Tony Conboy, a great GAA man down through the years,” he said.
“Boyle has continued its development under different chairmen and then of course we had the great fortune to have the likes of Sean Young here for many years. He had a passionate interest in football and trained many of the present team, including the Smiths. John McGowan was a wonderful secretary of the club. In more recent times we’ve had Aidan Lavin as chairperson and many outstanding people over the last number of years,” he said.
Barry believes this year’s campaign is the product of many years of hard work on and off the field and that the current Boyle crop can end the 95-year famine.
“Championship wins don’t happen by chance…it’s down to hard work and the club has been building all those years. They are now in the throes of getting a second pitch due to the number of teams that tog out,” he said.
“It’s the blossom of all that great work down through the years which has produced this team”.