Buckets and barrels of GAA medals

    Stalwarts of Ballyhale GAA Club Áine Fitzgerald and Mary Harrington

    By Jimmy Rhatigan

    Pics: Donal Foley

    IF THOSE who had won senior hurling All-Ireland medals and or senior county championship honours were to throw their badges of honour into one pile then there would not have been a bucket big enough  in the greater South Kilkenny area to hold them all.

    The very same could be said for any farmyard barrel the length and breadth of the proud area that is Ballyhale.

    Shamrocks stars rally to the cause

    Such was the high sporting standard at a GAA launch during the week that one had to doubt if there would even be a rival for any pride of the parish award.

    No doubt there were sliotars flying as those who would have fallen into the category of old friends are best as present and past pupils of a mighty GAA club came from several corners of our country to support a community initiative.

    Had anyone decided that the time was right for a stroll down the memory lane of local hurling lore then by the time all stories of yesteryear were swapped it would certainly have reached the midnight hour and maybe well into the early hours of the following morning.

    But on an evening of positivity, progress and initiative, there was no time for turning back the clock on this occasion.

    Focus at an information session in Carroll’s Hotel, Knocktopher was on the future and more especially on a novel draw to raise funds for the purchase of land for a pitch for the local young guns of the game.

    Hurling with the Stars was the theme as adult men and women and a good sprinkling of male and female stars of the future heard plans to work in tandem with the greater GAA family to raise funds, not only for the Shamrocks but for every single club that would become a partner in what locals might fondly term a draw to rival the Euro Millions.

    Love of one’s special knows no bounds and a licence of exaggeration is always an option.

    You could photograph the enthusiasm, goodwill and community spirit at a meeting that epitomised all that is good in what the late Charles J Kickham called the little village.

    All this is by way of introduction to our Shamrocks Special on Pages 22&23 today where, along with details of the fund-raiser, Reporter readers will find two pages of pictures of a memorable night in the heart of Shamrocks GAA country.