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20 Dec 2007 by Sinead Prout

Kilruane MacDonaghs had a Camogie Club in the early 1940’s.  The players were mostly from the Kilruane area and included the following: Anna Dunne, Bridget Ryan, Nora O’Meara, Annie O’Meara, Julia McGrath, Peg Hyland, Mary A. McKenna, Una Kelly, Peg Culhane, Nell Minogue and others.  This team remained in existence for four or five years but did not have much success on the playing fields.

In 1969 the first North Tipperary Camogie Board was established with the late Michael Brophy of Lorrha as Chairman.  The following parishes had clubs at the time: Lorrha, Knockshegowna, Nenagh, Borrisoleigh, Newport and Roscrea.

The new Kilruane MacDonagh club was formed one Sunday afternoon in the Parochial Hall, Cloughjordan, in the summer of 1969.  Fr. L. Murray C.C. was new to the Parish and invited those interested to come to that special meeting.  It was decided to start a camogie club; training and coaching began immediately in the New G.A.A. Park and in Dwan’s field in Kilruane.  Ann Minogue was an established player and was playing with Nenagh.  Soon she transferred to her native parish.  A few others did likewise.

Fr. Murray was the driving force behind the new venture.  He had established teams in Killanena, County Clare and Castleconnell, County Limerick, in earlier years.  These two teams won County Championships in their respective counties.  Killanena, Castleconnell and St. Mary’s (Whitegate) came to Cloughjordan when the local club was formed, and played exhibition matches.  The Kilruane girls were quick to learn and very soon were first class exponents of the game themselves.

Soon Marie Slevin of Borrisokane, Breda Treacy of Moneygall and Anne Foy of Templemore joined the club and were a great help to the local girls.  (There is no parish rule in Camogie).

Kilruane’s first match was against Nenagh, and although beaten, they put up a very good show.  The panel of players at this early stage was: Mrs. Philis O’Meara (Goals), Anne Foy, Marie Slevin, Breda Treacy, Betty Treacy, Dympna Dwan, Nuala Dwan, Mary Minogue, Margaret Minogue, Anne Minogue, Anne McCarthy, Kathleen Rohan, Breda Costello, Chrissie Hayes, Sadie Moyles, Kathleen Horrigan, Mary Ryan (Ballydonagh), Lilly Williams, Helen Deane, Mary B. Ryan (Kilruane), Peggy Morkan, Pauline Morkan, Peggy McCormack, Lilly Myles, Mabel Conroy, C. Dwan, Marian Kelly, Mary Peters, Maura Dwan, Teresa Moyles, Tessie O’Meara and Chrissie Hyland.

The Lorrha club staged a Camogie Tournament, which Kilruane won and got their first medals.  Ahane and Kilruane met on a number of occasions with honours about even.

In the final of a Tournament for the Ann Frazer Cup, Thurles beat Kilruane at Ballyskenagh, Roscrea.  Two teams were entered for the North Tipperary Championships of 1969, Senior and Juvenile (u16).  The Senior team got to the North Tipperary final.  The Nenagh Guardian of 31 October had this to say: “MacDonaghs are new Queens of North Camogie”.

This final was played at Borrisokane on 25 October, 1970.  It rained all through the previous night and the pitch was wet and heavy.  In spite of the elements a magnificent game was enjoyed by a large and enthusiastic crowd.  The Lorrha girls were odds-on favourites to win.  They had just been beaten by Thurles in the County Final by 2-9 to 1-2.  However, the Cloughjordan girls were well trained and coached.  They knew their strong points and their limitations and played the heavy ball on the ground all the time.  The back line was outstanding, while the forwards took their scoring chances well.  Sadie Moyles was deadly on close-in frees.  Ann Minogue gave the Lorrha star, Deirdre Lane, a very hard time.  Nuala Dwan cleared her lines on numerous occasions.  Mary Minogue, Betty Treacy, Mary Peters, Chrissie Hayes and Kathleen Rohan (Capt.) all played well.  The final score was Kilruane 2-5; Lorrha 1-0.

The Kilruane Team: Mary Peters (Goals), Betty Treacy, Margaret Minogue, Sadie Moyles, Ann Foy, Nuala Dwan, Mary Minogue, Chrissie Hayes, Breda Treacy, Ann Minogue, Breda Costello and Kathleen Rohan.  Subs: Marie Slevin, Mary B. Ryan and Terry Gleeson.  At a later stage Maura Hogan of Kildangan played with the Kilruane team.

The Club Officicals included: Chris Whelan, Fr. L. Murray, Kathleen Rohan, Pauline Hennelly, Breda Costello, Nora Dwan and Mick Murphy.  A hurling and camogie tournament was played in Enniscorthy in in the summer of 1971.  The hurlers and camogie players were invited and they all travelled by bus to the County Wexford venue.  The tournament was a great social occasion.  There was another big outing to Cork where Kilruane took on St. Finbarr’s in camogie.  This team lasted until 1974.

The Juveniles of Kilruane (u-16’s) won the North Tipperary Final in 1969.  Nuala Dwan was captain of the team and recalls receiving the cup and medals.  The Nenagh Guardian of 8 November 1970 said: “ MacDonaghs victorious in thrilling final”.

Kilruane and Roscrea had finished with equal points and so had to play-off for the title.  This final was played in Cloughjordan on 2 November, 1970.  The day was dry and very cold.  Both teams gave a delightful display of camogie at its best.  Kilruane took an early lead and held on to it, in spite of a spirited late Roscrea rally.  The final score was 3-0 to 0-0.  Margaret (Dooley) Minogue was Kilruane’s captain for this match.  Jimmy Carroll of Roscrea refereed.

Kilruane’s team and subs: Margaret Minogue, Dympna Dwan, Nuala Dwan, Ann Lawlor, Bernie Doheny, Mary O’Meara, Lil Moyles, Ann Haverty, Ann Lillis, Martina Tanner, Ann O’Meara, Annette Doheny, Eilish O’Meara, Mary O’Meara, Marion Carroll and Margaret Hutchinson.  The team lasted until 1973.


Early in 1983 the girls of Ardcroney started playing Camogie once again and formed a club.  They were lucky to have a really good playing pitch at Congor on which they could train, practice and play their home matches.  This field was very kindly given to the sporting organisations of the parish by a local farmer – John Hogan.  John was a playing member of the Congor hurling team between 1935 and 1945.

There was a small dressing room on the site.  This had been a class-room at Ardcroney school and was very useful.  John Hogan gave a perpetual cup to the camogie players.

During 1984 the Junior Camogie players took part in ten games.  They won seven and lost three.

In 1984, the following areas in North Tipperary had Camogie Clubs: Roscrea, Newport, Portroe, St. Cualainns, Ardcroney, Templederry, Toomevara, Borrisokane, Kildangan and Ballina.

The Ardcroney Junior Camogie players included the following: Margaret Cahalan (Goals), Deirdre Cahalan, Margaret Cleary, Colette Hogan (Capt.), Mary Coonan, Ina Doheny, Bernadette Darcy, Bernie Doheny, Noeleen Spillane, Alice Cahalan, Nancy Slevin, Marie Heffernan, Geraldine Cleary, Brigid Cleary, Mary Nevin, Michelle Tooher, Ann Clarke, Caroline Foote, Colette Cleary, Noreen Foote and Noelle Cleary.

Club Officials:
Chairperson:                          Bernie Doheny
Assistant Chairperson:       Bernadette Darcy and Deirdre Cahalan
Secretary:                               Ina Doheny
Treasurer:                               Mary Coonan
First Aid:                                   Noel Mulcahy
Trainer:                                     Pat Foote

This Ardcroney Camogie Club could boast that they had over fifty young girls playing the game in 1984.

The following were some of the juvenile players: Stella O’Reilly (Goals), Colette Cleary, Yvonne Heffernan, Alice Cahalan, Michelle Tooher, Ann Teefey, Ann Clarke, Noeleen Spillane, Michelle Heffernan, Helen Heffernan, Caroline Foote, Mary Nevin, Marie Cleary, Bernadette Cleary, Deirdre Cleary, Elizabeth Foote, Emer Cleary, Ann Slevin, Mairead Ryan, Ann Marie Nevin, Ann Marie Ryan, Marise Egan, Jacinta Egan, Paula Nevin, Bernie Heffernan, Fiona Cleary, Sharon Mulcahy, Fiona Spillane, Margaret Mary Ryan and Elizabeth Comerford.  Trainers: Brian O’Reilly (Snr.) and Pat Foote.

In the seven-a-side County Camogie League held in Littleton on Sunday 4 November, ten local girls put their names in the Centenary Book.  This panel of ten set out with little hope of honours.  New to the seven-a-side game Ardcroney got off to a bad start, losing to Borrisokane by 3 goals to no score.  But they came back with full co-ordination, determination and comradeship to beat Roscrea 1-1 to 1-0.  The taste of victory spurred them on to beat Knockavilla Kickhams 1-2 to 1-0 in the next match.

At the end of the day Kickhams and themselves had two games each won, which placed both teams in the final.  Ardcroney put their three strongest players in a set position, which were Deirdre Cahalan, goalie; Colette Hogan in the backs and Bernadette Darcy in the forwards, and substituted in and out the remainder of the panel.  After a tough game the result was 1-2 to 0-0 in favour of Ardcroney.  Each player had played her part but especially Colette Hogan who played brilliantly throughout the four matches and it was well justified when she was awarded “County Player of the day”.  The panel was: Colette Hogan, Deirdre Cahalan, Marguerite Cleary, Mary Coonan, Ina Doheny Bernadette Darcy, Bernie Doheny, Margaret Cahalan, Brigid Cleary and Alice Cahalan.