Tarbert North Kerry Champions 1973,50 years on

This Friday night in the Swanky Bar Tarbert, a group of men and their families will come together to mark a special occasion as the North Kerry senior champions of 1973 Tarbert will mark 50 years since they beat Ballylongford in their own backyard on a scoreline of 3-07 to 2-05, meaning a 5 point win for Tarbert for those of you not familiar with the GAA scoring system.

The team is now spread across the world with people coming from many parts of Ireland as well as a few travelling from further afield to mark what a real milestone. Only one man won’t be in attendance and that is the late Patsy ”twin” O Connell.

I only know this group of men since there playing days ended but from what I am told by ex team mates and opposition players is this was a good tough group of men. They played an attractive brand of football but were teak tough with men like Johnny Wren and John Mc Ginley in the ranks.

You had men like Gerald “yank” O Sullivan and Tommy O Donnell in the ranks also, two men who of course wore the Kerry jersey with Tom O Donnell winning an senior All Ireland in 1969 and Gerald winning three Under 21 All Ireland medals and I have been told only for Eoin”Bomber” Liston, Gerald would have been in that famed Kerry side to win numerous All Ireland’s through the 70s and 80s.

This evening will bring the stories flowing back for all and you can be sure the game will be replayed and some of the scores will be recreated “Mind the windows lads”. Huge credit to John Stack and Joe Langan ”Town” for bringing this together and marking a special point in the lives and sporting endeavours of these men.

The Tarbert Team that lined out that day was :

1 Paddy Hanlon

2 Tom Mc Carthy

3 Con Kennelly

4 Patsy ”twin” O Connell

5 Johnny Wren

6 Tom O Donnell

7 Ned Hanlon

8 John Mc Ginley

9 Ger Scannell

10 Joe Langan “Town”

11 Mossy Carrig

12 John Stack

13 Ambrose Lanigan

14 Mike Mulvihill

15 Moss “twin” O Connell

16 Peter Lavelle

17 Tom Stack

18 Pat Keane

19 Micheal Lanigan

20 Gerald O Sullivan

Denis Kiely had played up to the semi-final but injury ruled him out of the big day in Ballylongford. Of course the 2023 North Kerry Final is on Sunday at 2pm in Ballyduff. Nice to mark Tarbert’s win 50 years on the same weekend the 2023 final is taking place…

Tarbert County Final 2023

Tarbert will play in a first county final since 1995 on Sunday when they face Reenard in the Kerry Junior Club Championship Final in Austin Stack Park with a 1pm throw in time. This is a special occasion for the club who in recent years have had plenty of success at under age level as well as a promotion to division 3 of the County League for 2024.

The last trophy to come through the gates of Shannon Park at Senior level was the North Kerry Championship in 2010. Tarbert have played very well throughout the year securing promotion from division 4 to 3 in the County League after a strong campaign. They also contested the North Kerry League Final only losing out by two points to Moyvane.

They have been under the management of Cathal O Connor and Jamie Diggins for the past few years and will have the experience of ex Kerry defender and All Ireland winner Shane Enright to call upon from the centre back berth on Sunday, this team has built there good form up by being very effective defensively and being efficient in attack when the chance arises.

It has been a long time between meals for Tarbert at county level but there are back in a county final and will look to put the icing on the cake by defeating Reenard. We have seen Listowel Emmets win a county title in the last 24 hours and both Tarbert and Duagh will get their chance to claim further glory over the next few weeks. It’s great to see North Kerry getting back to finals at different grades in recent times, long may that continue.

The work being done by several people over the past 10 to 12 years at underage level is beginning to pay divides. Looking to Sunday this is a great chance for a group of hard working players to put their names up in lights and join the great Tarbert teams of the past who won titles at county level.

Another thing will be having the chance to play in Austin Stack Park, this should help give the team the chance to go an express themselves on what will be a pristine surface. As I mentioned previously Tarbert have done well this year beating Beale in the semi-final of this competition in September.

Looking to Sunday, it’s a chance for everyone to come out and give the panel the support they deserve because they achieved one of the stated goals at the outset of the year and the year isn’t over yet !!!  Tarbert County Champions 2023 has a nice ring to it, Go well men and all the very best on Sunday…..

Amy O Connor Cork Camogie

Amy O Connor Cork Camogie

Hi Amy, It’s great to get the chance to speak with you.


Take me back to the start, how did you start playing camogie ?

It was pure chance really that I started playing camogie. My cousin had joined and his Mam bought him all the gear and he quit after a couple of weeks. So instead of the gear being thrown out, my aunt asked my mam would I give it a go and I did. And I’ve loved it ever since.

Having won 4 All Ireland’s to date, what else do you hope to achieve with Cork ?

I hope to be the best I can be and help bring Cork Camogie back to the top. It looks as though it might take us awhile to get there at the moment as we have had to bring in a lot of new faces and young players. But it is a challenge that we are looking forward to over the next few years.

Away from sport, what do you like to do ?

I like to go out for dinner, go to the cinema, and go for long spins, weekends away and holidays

What sort of improvements would you make to camogie to speed the game up ?

I think the new rule changes will help this. More flow to the games instead of a stop-start nature.

If the opportunity ever came up to play sport professionally, would you like to give it a go ?

It would all depend on a lot of factors. For me, i enjoy sport and if it became my job then i don’t think it would be as enjoyable for me to play. I enjoy having a job that has nothing at all to do with sport and having different things going on in my life.

Who are your biggest inspiration’s ?

My boyfriend, My family, the people in my club and some of the people I have been lucky enough to play with – Orla Cotter, Gemma O’Connor, Jenny O’Leary and Rena Buckley to name a few.

Does the fact your just finished in College, did it help to keep you focused over the last few years ?

It did, It allowed me to switch off from sport as it was something that I needed to give my full attention to. But then when I played sport – it was great to switch off from college and enjoy the freedom of playing and training.

What was it like for you to do college work and train as well  ?

It was good – I feel that they complimented each other and I was never overly focused on one because I also had the other.

Having played International Football at underage level for Ireland, how did it feel to get your international cap ?

It was great, a very proud moment for myself and my family.

When did you chose to concentrate on camogie and was it a tough decision to make ?

I chose to concentrate on camogie before the All Ireland semi final in 2014. At the time I thought it was the hardest decsion in the world to make but looking back, it was an easy one because I always knew I would go down the camogie route as it was the one I enjoyed and loved most.

Lastly Amy, what are the plans for 2020 and beyond ?

To continue enjoying playing camogie and to have a happy and healthy 2020 with my family.

Thank you for taking the time out to chat to me Amy..

5 In A Row Achieved

The mythical “5 in a row” has been achieved after Dublin beat Kerry in yesterday’s All Ireland Final replay with a 1-18 to 0-15 win at the second time of asking after a draw two weeks ago. Kilkenny and Kerry both tried to reach this magical milestone in the early 80’s for Kerry and in the late 2000’s for Kilkenny who were beaten by Liam Sheedy’s Tipperary in 2010.

What Dublin have managed to achieve is special and this group will now go down in the annals of GAA history as the first team to win the “5 in a row”.  This loss will sting in the Kingdom for a few months but when they look back on making the All Ireland Final they will realise how well the year went. It is tough to look back at this point but give it a few weeks and you will then realise how well Peter Keane and this young group did to reach the Final.

There is always next year although that won’t be any consolation at this stage, Kerry showed how well they are capable of competing but like most sides since Kerry last won the All Ireland in 2014 this Dublin team has proven to be a class apart from all contenders since 2015.

The 2nd half yesterday was very reminiscent of another team sponsored by AIG, Dublin were extremely clinical in everything they did after Eoin Murchan stroke in the opening minute of the 2nd half. The work done by Dublin in possession was a sight to behold and even though it upset the Kerry support it won’t matter to Dublin this morning as they are the All Ireland champions for a record 5th time in a row. Like Donegal in 2012 the way in which the win was achieved will only concern the beaten team.

Dublin will be thankful to key men like Stephen Cluxton, Jack Mc Caffrey, Ciaran Kilkenny, Con O Callaghan and Dean Rock all hit the right notes yesterday where in the drawn game they failed to make a telling mark in the contest. Yesterday was a different story as the much famed possession game was in full view in the 2nd half of the contest.

Jim Gavin has done very well to continue to work that was started by Pat Gilroy and Paul Caffrey. He and his management team have moulded a team with a huge work rate and appetite for success. The 5 in a row has been reached and now the clamour for the “surge for 6” will begin. Jim Gavin has said he will speak to the Dublin County Board in the near future about his own future and his management team will surely all speak to him about their own futures.

The “5 in a row” has been achieved, I am lucking to have live through a period where many sporting records have been broken, Ireland beating New Zealand, the grand slam being won and now the mythical 5 in a row has been achieved. Not since 1982 was this close to being done but now Dublin have managed it and will want to continue their impressive record into the 2020 season. For now though they can bask in the glow of their win yesterday.

For Kerry, it will take time to recover from this set back but with time they will be back to challenge again in 2020….