November 8th, 2007
Between 1954 and 1959, there was an inter-factory hurling league organised in Galway. It included teams from The Hat Factory ; The GPO ; McDonoghs ; O'Gormans ; The ESB ; CIE ; Stuarts who were a Glasgow firm engaged in building the Regional Hospital ; The Mineral Waters, a team which involved players from Young's Mineral Waters, The Connacht Mineral Waters and also McNamara Maxwell of Williamsgate Street. Sadly this league petered out, though there were occasional challenge matches between companies.
In May 1968, a large and representative group met in the Claddagh Hall, and set up an Inter-Firms Committee. Jimmy O'Connor was the first chairman and Christy FitzGerald the first secretary. Kevin Blayney of McCairns Motors became the first sponsor. Initially it was Gaelic Football that was played.. Many players from other sports lined out for their companies as the organisers turned a blind eye to 'the ban' It became an instant success with 12 teams taking part The first final was played in the Sportsground between Crown Control and Roadstone.
Some years later a hurling league was introduced and was equally successful. Handball competitions were very popular, with 93 sets of doubles players competing in 5 divisions in one year. These games were played in St. Enda's which had 4 alleys.The finals were always played in the alley in UCG which had viewing facilities. They seemed to be always blessed with fine weather, and often had exhibition games featuring world champions preceeding these finals.
Other Inter-Firms competitions included music and recitation, debating, ballad singing and Trá na gCeist or Question Time, with Christy Tyrrell as Quiz Master. This latter competition usually took place either in the Castle Hotel or the Atlanta. In later years they moved to the Great Southern. These events were hugely popular and drew great crowds.
Today, the hurling and football competitions are still running (in their 40th year) and provide a terrific service to many of Galway's workers. They bind staff together and create a good team spirit within the company. The employers of Galway owe the Inter-Firms Committee a deep debt of gratitude.
This year, the junior football competition comprised 5 divisions. The final, between Gardai and Boston Scientific was played under lights, a new first for Inter-Firm. Our photograph today is of the hurling team who represented T.O'hUiginn of Shantalla. They were Division 1 champions in 1974 and 1976.
They are, back row, left to right; Gerry Glynn, Castlegar ; Joe Daly, Killimordaly ; Tim Murphy, Rahoon ; Dennis Heffernan, Rahoon ; Mike Carr, Rahoon ; Seamus Griffin, Rahoon ; Tom McGrath, Rahoon.
In front are Mike Mulcair, Rahoon ; Mike Kelly, Rahoon ; Gerry Hernon, Rahoon ; P.J.Coen, captain, Killimordaly ; Jimmy Francis, Castlegar and Stephen Coen, Killimordaly. Missing from the picture is Tommy Small from College Road who often played in goals for this team. Our thanks to Mike Carr for this photograph.
The Galway Archeological and Historical Society are hosting what promises to be a fascinating lecture tonight at 8pm in the Harbour Hotel. It will be a power point presentation, given by Patrick Guinness, of his studies on DNA and how it relates to Irish surnames. He will talk about the history of his own family, and examine the DNA of Connacht and it's prominent pattern attributed to Niall Noigiallach. He will argue that the bulk of the population has been here since before the introduction of farming. All are welcome.
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