County History: Camogie in Limerick
The first mention of Limerick in camogie was in 1912 when they were represented at the annual convention at Dublin’s Mansion House. Thomond, Ballinacurra, Treaty, Claughaun, Kilmallock, Kilteely, Young Ireland, Gaelic League, Colmanswell, Ballingaddy, Pallasgreen, Ahane, Limerick City, field teams in the early twenties and in the West Limerick the game flourished.
In 1922 Newcastle West represented the County in the Munster championship. They played Clare, Kerry and Tipperary in 1922, 1923 and 1924.
The game lapsed for a period and was revived in 1932 with Nora Foley and Mary Cussen as Secretaries. Other officials were Miss Daly, Ballingarry, Miss J. Cagney, Newcastle West, Miss J. Stokes and Bridie O’Connor Templeglantine. Clubs that affiliated were Adare, Ardagh, Askeaton, Ballingarry, Ballysteen, Croagh, Foynes, Kildimo, Killoughteen, Monegea, Newcastle West, Pallaskenry, Attyfin, Shountrade, Templeglantine, Tournafulla and Glin. In the East with Miss Coll as secretary, Ballylanders, Bruree, Fedamore, Pallasgreen, Castleconnell, Kilteely, Doon and Kilmallock were prominent.
In 1937, Limerick had 13 affiliated clubs. They did not compete at inter-county level. In 1939, Limerick affiliated to Ard Chomhairle. Camogie almost came to a standstill during World War 2. In 1947, Mary O’Halloran and Kathleen O’Leary from Antrim, held a meeting at the National Hotel, Limerick to re-organise the game in the county. Sean O’Duffy, general organiser and Sheila McAnulty Monsignor Hamilton, Jack O’Connell and Mickey Fitzgibbon, County Board GAA and many other interested were in attendance. This was the start of the Limerick Camogie Association as it is today.
The game declined in the early fifties but in 1953 the game again gained in strength. Limerick entered the provincial championship. County players of note in the fifties were: Anne Shanny, Carry Gillane, Mary Kennedy, A. Butler, Margie Moroney, J. Murphy, P. Stokes, M. Whelan, A Houlihan, C. Hanley, P. Stokes, S. Moran, Teresa Quaid, Bunty Shire, T. Hannon, M. O’Connor, Bridie Giltenane, B. Sheehy, A. O’Neill, R. Fitzgerald, A Houlihan, M. McMahon, S. Gallaher, E. Hanly, M. Hartnett, M. Riordan, M. Cotter, E. Neville, and M. McDonagh.
The game again went into decline in 1958 and 1959 but in 1960/61 the County Board was again reformed due to the efforts of Chris Ni Chonaill, Carrie Gillane and Eithne Neville. While progress was slow at the start, due mainly to lack of transport, poor communication, little finance, but also due to the lack of encouragement given to females to take part in such games. Thankfully this attitude has changed very much for the better. Now Camogie is on a strong footing, and the County Board has continued without interruption since those days in the early 60s. It has very able administrators, and parents, schools and the general public are all now more involved. More girls play the game and are well catered for in all the competitions being held as follows: Under 12, 14, 16, 18, 21 Leagues and Championships, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Leagues & Championships, Feile na nGael and Schools Competitions.
Limerick has contributed to Munster Council and Ard Chomhairle in the positions of officer ships down the years, Chris Ni Chonnaill, Carrie Clancy, Eithne Neville, Peggy Duffy, Brid Stokes, Bernie O’Dea, Vera Mackey to name a few. Chris Ni Chonnaill was elected President of the Camogie Association in 1962. Chris served as chairperson of the Limerick Board and was a member of the well known Limerick City GAA family that served St. Patrick’s club and the City Board. Agnes Purcell (nee Hourigan) who played with the Ballingarry team who won the County Limerick Championship in 1935 was elected President of the Camogie Association from 1976 to 1979. Eithne Neville, who was Secretary of the County Board and later Chairperson, was Secretary of Munster Council for twenty seven years.
The Limerick team that won their first All-Ireland Junior Championship in 1977:
Helen Butler, Anne Meaney, Liz Hayes, Geraldine O’Brien, Margie Neville, Bernadette O’Brien, Vera Mackey, Helen Mulcair, Bridget Darcy, Carrie Clancy, Pauline McCarthy, Brid Stokes, Kitty Ryan, Anne Sheehy, Dolores O’Brien, Marion Doyle.
1995 All Ireland Junior Champions:
Team: Breda O’Brien, Helen Clifford, Agnes Sheehy, Anne Lenihan, Liz Leonard, Elizabeth O’Riordan, Mairead Cagney, Mary Burke, Anna Marie Stack, Kay Burke, Pauline McCarthy, Vera Sheehan, Niamh Cregan, Bernie O’Brien, Deirdre Sheehan, Carol Murphy
Limerick Players who hold Senior All-Ireland Medals:
Agnes Purcell (Hourigan) of Ballingarry won with Dublin in 1938
Eithne Neville Kilfinny won with Dublin in 1957.
Inter-County Roll of Honour:
All-Ireland Senior Championship
Runners-up: 1980 (after replay)
All-Ireland Intermediate/Senior B Championship
Champions: 1996, 2007, 2014
Runners-up: 2000, 2002, 2013
All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship
Champions: 1977, 1995
Runners-up: 1988, 1994
All-Ireland Junior A Championship
All-Ireland Minor A Championship
All-Ireland Minor B Championship
Champions: 2009, 2011
All-Ireland U16 B Championship
Champions: 2001, 2002, 2011
Runners-up: 1978, 1979, 2002
Division Two/Junior National League
Champions: 1991, 1992, 1996, 2007, 2013
Division Four National League
All-Ireland Club Senior Championship
Croagh Kilfinny 1975
Granagh Ballingarry 1998, 1999
Ahane 1968, 1969
Granagh Ballingarry 1996, 2004
Féile na nGael
Division 1 Winners:
Croagh Kilfinny 1978, Granagh Ballingarry 1991
Helen Cagney 1985, Michelle Casey 1993, Aoife Sheehan 1998, Caroline Scanlon 2006, Caoimhe Costello 2010