Saturday, December 27, 2008

Positive response to call for new CDA committee members but we still need a couple more!!

Hi all,
I am delighted to be able to inform you that at the time the Bugle went to print three people had volunteered to join the Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association (CDA) committee. We really appreciate the fact that these people took time out to consider if they would like to input to our community by way of joining the CDA and inevitably decided they would.

We still need a few more committee members so I would encourage anyone who may be interested in becoming a CDA committee member to contact me. There are no prerequisites of being of a certain age group, being from a local family who have lived here for generations, having previous community work experience, having been on local committees before (though of course, we would be more than delighted to have people who have been on the CDA committee in the past or indeed any other local committees) etc.

Even if you are not entirely sure that it is for you – please ring me and we can have a chat and maybe with some aspects clarified, it will be easier for you to make a decision.

Check out the last edition of the bugle for the range of activities the CDA has worked on during the last year. If you are interested in these activities or feel that the CDA should be working in some other areas, then become a committee member and put your suggestion on the list – the CDA is open to all new suggestions all of the time – the CDA works on YOUR behalf!

This is our community – your community, it is your Community Development Association and should be working in a way to develop the community in a way that you feel is beneficial and positive to the people who live in Ballymore Eustace.

Please take a chance and get involved – meetings only occur once a month and you only have to commit for one year.

Fiona Breslin
Ballymore Eustace CDA

Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association (CDA) AGM/Information night is going to be held on Thursday 6th November in the Resource centre from 8-9.30pm with refreshments served afterwards.

Ballymore Eustace’s Proud Handball Record
Part 5

Four generations of the O'Rourke family have been involved in Ballymore Eustace handball. Ned O'Rourke, Senior, helped with the building of the 60 by 30 alley and he also served on the committee of the newly formed Club. His son Peter was an ideal partner for Tommy Leahy and had a powerful service. Unfortunately for Peter, Tommy Leahy was already a sick man when they teamed up to play for the 1936 Kildare senior hard doubles title.

I understand that Thomas O'Rourke has shown ability as a handball player performing well in school's handball. Nowadays, I understand Thomas is in Australia. Tom's father, Tom (Senior) was to the forefront in the building of the 40 by 20 alley while his mother Rita has held the keys of the alleys for a long number of years. All of Tom's brothers and sisters played handball at one time or another and they and their spouses were mega supporters of Tom during his 18 years of playing glory. During those years, in addition to his Ballymore Eustace Supporters, Tom had a loyal band of Blessington Supporters.

Bobbie Grattan in the space of four golden years fulfilled all his handball ambitions by winning All-Ireland hardball titles in junior singles, senior doubles and senior singles. His first success in junior hard singles was in 1947. In 1949, Bobbie and Jim Bolger teamed up to win Ballymore Eustace's first senior hard doubles title under IAHA rules. Bobbie reached the height of his career in 1950 by winning the senior hard singles. On the way he became the first Leinster senior hard singles champion. The All-Ireland final was by all accounts a tough match that went to the seventh game with Bobbie eventually beating Cork man, Billy Walsh.

At the Ballymore Eustace All-Stars Awards in 1972, Bobbie was a deserving recipient of the "Hall Of Fame" award. This award was a recognition of not only his prowess as a player but also of the service Bobbie had given to handball as a Club and County Board official. For many years he was Treasurer of both bodies and held various other positions as the need arose. He helped with the raising of the walls of the 60 by 30 alley in 1953. No job was too menial. If the alley needed cleaning or the lines needed painting Bobbie did it without hesitation. As one of the first car owners in the area his club mates were often dependent on Bobbie to get them to their match venues.

Jim Bolger had a short but successful hand­ball career. He had an economical left hand serve which was very effective especially in doubles matches. Jim followed in Bobbie Grattan's footsteps in 1948 when Jim too won the All-Ireland junior hard singles. As already indicated in 1949 Bobbie and Jim teamed up to win the senior hard doubles title. Unfortunately, Jim was lost to handball when he immigrated to England and while he returned many years later he failed to recapture the form that enabled him to win a senior All-Ireland medal. Jim's children - Danny, Mark, Gary, Siobhan and Sharon - all played handball for a time but mainly for recreation purposes.

© Matt Purcell (September 28, 2008).
Tommy Archibald Memorial Tournament – 2008

A fantastic tournament once again this year, wonderfully supported by Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare players. Some legends of the game were included in the 18 players who showed up on the day. Paddy Archibald and son Daniel, representing the Archibald family, presented the prizes and indeed refereed and marked many of the matches. Injury prevented Paddy from playing this year.

Tom O’Rourke and Mick O’Donnell won a tremendous tournament. Despite a very tough draw - they had to play 4 matches - Tom’s craft allied to Mick’s fitness levels made them a very formidable pairing.

This tournament has steadily grown in popularity over the past few years and is a fitting tribute to Tommy. A quick glance at the names show you that the tournament brought together multiple All-Ireland winners, World Champions and every age group from under 20 to over 70. I think Tommy would be impressed!

Caroline Deegan and her daughter Niamh did the shopping and provided sandwiches throughout the day. Daragh Ward kept the tea/coffee pots boiling! The event was kindly sponsored by Paddy Murphy.


First Round

Tom O’Rourke/Mick O’Donnell beat Stephen Carroll/Ivan Carroll

Quarter - Finals

Martin Ward/Billy Doran beat John Browne/Ivan Byrne

Ollie Deegan/Jamie Travers beat Christy Browne/Myles Carroll

Daragh Ward/John Carroll beat Gerry McGrath/Noel Winder

Tom O’Rourke/Mick O’Donnell beat Moggie Murray/Jamie Balfe

Semi Finals

Ollie Deegan/Jamie Travers beat Martin Ward/Billy Doran

Tom O’Rourke/Mick O’Donnell beat Daragh Ward/John Carroll


Tom O’Rourke/Mick O’Donnell beat Ollie Deegan/Jamie Travers.

© Matt Purcell (September 23, 2008).

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