Gala launch of history of Creggs GAA

The fluctuating sporting fortunes of a small rural GAA club were discussed in Creggs on Saturday night as ‘Sporting Times’: A History of Creggs GAA was launched in Creggs NS.

  Joint Roscommon football manager Kevin McStay performed the launch in front of a large crowd in the local school hall. Guests were welcomed to the event by club President Seamus Keane who praised the efforts of all involved in compiling the club history. Guests at the launch also heard from County Board Secretary Brian Carroll and incoming Chairman Seamus Sweeney, who spoke of the importance of the club structure in GAA and the way in which people of a locality identify with their local club.

  Much of the research for the book was conducted by Martin Duffy of Milford, Creggs, who now lives in Limerick. He spoke of meeting some of the elder statesmen of Creggs GAA at a function in the historical centre in Creggs where the subject of doing a history of Creggs GAA was discussed. As a follow-up to this meeting he arranged to meet Sean Keegan and the subsequent three-hour meeting laid the foundation of Mr. Duffy’s research on the book.

  Because no records existed from the early days of Creggs GAA, Mr. Duffy was forced to rely on reports in local papers and in this he was greatly aided by the staff in Roscommon County Library and in particular Librarian Richie Farrell and local woman Lorraine Conlon from Creggs. His research took place over the course of many years.

  Club Chairman Sean Brandon also addressed guests. He thanked publishers of the book, Roscommon People and in particular Martina Hegarty and local man Harry Crean of Speciality Print in Dublin, who ensured an excellent quality print finish on the book. He also thanked Pauline Scott for her contribution to the editing and layout of the book.

  Joint Roscommon manager Kevin McStay recalled his early days in Ballina when he first encountered the men from Creggs when Creggs RFC used to visit Ballina. He used to go along to those games in the company of his then girlfriend, now his wife of many years.

  Before going on to discuss the book, Mr. McStay gave guests an outline of how his tenure with Roscommon football is progressing over the past eight weeks. He said that, along with Fergal O’Donnell, work is progressing on building the team, with training taking place this weekend on Friday evening, Saturday morning and Sunday morning. He said they were pleased with the efforts and dedication of squad members to date. He appealed for people across the county to support the team in coming months.

  In reviewing the book, he praised the meticulous research of Martin Duffy and also praised the format of the book, which he said made it very readable and enjoyable. Among the features he noted were the senior title won by United Stars in 1960, and he praised the innovation which saw a combination team emerge from Creggs and Oran. He also noted the efforts made to secure a home for the club in the 1980s and the fundraising efforts which saw club members organised a Mayor of Creggs competition and trips to England in an effort to raise funds.

  More recently, he recalled the three-game tussle with Roscommon Gaels in 1992, which is recounted in the book and recalled being part of the celebrations that followed Roscommon Gaels’ eventual win on that occasion.

  He highlighted some of the memorable pull-out quotes from the book, including one former player’s memory of a supporter shouting from the sideline ‘hit him again, he’s no relation’. Concluding, he praised all involved in the production of the club history and noted that while Castlerea’s Danny Burke had suggested that it was time for Creggs to win another Junior title, he felt that the club should aim even higher in the seasons ahead.

  The launch of the book was supported by joint sponsors FBD and John Madden & Sons Ltd, Ballinrobe, while the production of the book was supported by a large number of local advertisers.

  The formalities of the launch were brought to a close by club stalwart Sean Keegan, with two recitations, the first of which centred on Creggs winning the Newbridge Bikes tournament in 1949 and the second which related to the place of commentator Micheál O’Hehir in GAA memories.