Ballyporeen has a long and proud footballing tradition in Tipperary

Club was formed shortly after foundation of GAA

Jonathan Cullen

Reporter:

Jonathan Cullen

Email:

Pro.tipperary@gaa.ie

Eddie O'Gorman

Eddie O’Gorman, Ballyporeen with his wife Mary, as well as Paul and Sinead O’Gorman along with Kyle, Kayla and Sadhbh, when he received his Sean Gael award two years ago

Club Name: Ballyporeen GAA Football Club

Eircode:  E21YP99

Football: Senior

Club colours: Red and black

Main sponsor: O’Connor Machinery Contractors.

Club officers

President- Ed O’Gorman

Chairman-Tom O’Gorman  086-3850725

email: ogorman_thomas10@yahoo.ie

Secretary- Mag O’Donoghue  086-3362116

email: secretary.ballyporeen.tipperary@gaa.ie

Treasurer- Kevin Kenneally 086-8502377

email: kevinkenneally1@gmail.com

PRO: Billy Macken  087-2147985

email: billymacken64@gmail.com.

Social media

Twitter:  @BallyporeenGAA

Facebook: Ballyporeen GAA Club

Instagram: @ballyporeengaa

Club history

The GAA was founded in 1884 and Ballyporeen’s football club was formed between 1885 and 1890. 

This shows how involved the parish was in the formative years of the Association. In those days, the club was known as the Templetenny Rangers. 

In the early 1900s Ballyporeen had some great battles with Clonmel Shamrocks, one of the top teams in the county. The club had to wait until 1928 to win the county junior football championship.

The early 1950s produced one of the best teams in the county. Unfortunately, lady luck did not shine on them, as they were two points down in the south final of 1953 against Drangan when they were awarded a penalty in the last few minutes. The shot hit the crossbar and Drangan went on to win the county final. 

Michael Walsh (The Rock), an accomplished footballer who played inter-county football for Dublin, trained that 1953 team.

Football in Ballyporeen went through a lean period in the late 1950s and the present club was reformed in1963. 

In 1964 Ballyporeen reached the south Tipperary junior B final. In 1966 the minor team won the south championship and were beaten in the county final by Arravale Rovers. Many of that team were to form the 1969-70 teams that won two south finals and lost two county finals by slender margins.

In 1972, 1973 and 1978 Ballyporeen won the U14 south Tipperary rural football championships. 

In 1977 Ballyporeen lost to Newcastle in the south intermediate football final by a point. The club was relegated to junior in 1983 and won the south junior championship in 1985. 

In 1986 the  minor team amalgamated with neighbours Fr Sheehy’s under the name Brian Borus and went on to win the county minor B final. 

The club won the U21 county final in 1990 and the south title in 1994.

After a gap of 59 years Ballyporeen beat Arravale Rovers in the county junior football final of 1987. The team was now flying and the following year won the south intermediate title and were only denied a county final win against Nenagh after a last-minute penalty was awarded against them.

Ballyporeen lost the following three south Tipp finals before coming good again in 1992, winning the south final against Fr Sheehys and the county final against Aherlow. 

In Ballyporeen’s first spell  in the senior ranks the club’s  finest hours were beating Clonmel Commercials in the championship and beating them in the Clonmel Oil league 1994-1995. 

The club went back to intermediate again and  had to wait until 2007 to win another south title. 

They won the U21 C county final in 2001 and a minor C championship in 2006, as well as  a south U21 B championship in 2004. 

Probably the club’s finest senior team was built on the success of 2011 when Ballyporeen won both minor and U21 B County finals. 

The  intermediate team won south and county honours again in 2013 to go senior once again and they remain there to this present day. 

Over the years Ballyporeen have produced many players to represent the county teams. 

But the recent success of Tipperary winning a Munster title and the club’s very own Conor Sweeney captaining the side to that success will stay long in the minds of every Ballyporeen supporter.

Field development

In 2018 a field development committee (FDC) was formed with the goal of upgrading and adding to the club’s current facilities. 

The FDC comprises  members from Ballyporeen football, Skeheenarinky hurling, Ballyporeen ladies football, Ballyporeen handball, Ballyporeen and Skeheenarinky juveniles and community representatives.

The  existing facilities are the product of a huge amount of work by previous committees as far back as 1995, when the dressing rooms were built. 

Following from that the main pitch was realigned, fenced and ball-stop nets placed behind both sets of goals. 

This was followed  by installing match standard lighting, making it one of the few pitches in south Tipperary suitable for night-time games. 

The club  also completed a full-sized training pitch within the time period of 1995 and 2010.

These facilities are a credit to the men and women who put in countless hours fundraising so that the club can have the current facilities, of which it is immensely proud. 

It has been ten years since any meaningful work, bar general maintenance, was carried out to the facilities, so it was felt it was time to look at improving the grounds further.

A community meeting was called, along with members from all clubs, to set about a plan on how best to proceed. 

Following several more FDC meetings a ten-point plan along with a funding scheme were agreed upon, with a general timeframe of three years for the works.

Although the plans were formed with both the community and clubs in mind, they are primarily club-driven. 

With each club’s fundraising efforts eaten up by annual running costs, an alternative method of raising funds for the development purposes only was proposed. 

To this end the club is hoping to avail of the approved sports bodies’ tax relief scheme, allowing donations of €250 or above annually as a tax deduction purpose. 

The favourable tax treatment allows for either the club to benefit from a top- up from the state, or depending on whether you’re self-assessed or PAYE a possible tax rebate. 

The club hopes to be launching leaflets with all the details of the scheme to every household in the coming weeks.

This summer will see the first major works taking place, with the construction of a ball wall. The wall will be 27 metres long by five metres high and will be dual-faced. 

The north side will be used as a hurling ball wall with an astro pitch  and the south side as a three one-wall handball championship-sized court, with a concrete apron, which is a fabulous addition to the superb handball facilities.

To follow up this construction, the club plans to develop a 1.8 kilometres walking track, encompassing both pitches in a figure of eight pattern to encourage the health and wellbeing for all within the community.

Partial funding for the ball wall has already been secured through a sports capital grant and the club will leave no stone unturned in securing additional funding where possible. 

But every household will still be urged to give serious consideration to signing up to help provide facilities that will be the envy of many a club in the county.

The club appreciates that the people it is asking to contribute already do so generously, but they are acutely aware of the great tradition in the community to band together when needed, and to raise funds whether it be for the church restoration, community hall extension or other similar projects.

Above: The Ballyporeen team that won the county intermediate football championship in 2013. Picture: Michael Boland

Fundraising

The club’s main source of income is Ballyporeen Football Club Lotto, which is  held every fortnight with a current jackpot of €10,000. It is supplemented with an annual golf classic and a gala fundraising dinner was to be held last April.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions neither the gala dinner nor the golf classic took place.  The pandemic also had a negative impact on the Lotto draws, with many having to be postponed. Indeed, the club will be playing catch-up on its 2020 draws well into 2021.

Despite all the setbacks the club had a huge response from players and the wider community in the draws it did manage to hold.

While the fundraising efforts in 2020 are well down on previous years, the club is  incredibly grateful to those who supported it in difficult times. 

The club has recently activated an online lotto, which will facilitate easy access to purchase tickets, especially with the physical sale of tickets so restricted now. Tickets can be purchased via the clubforce account on the following link -https://play.clubforce.com/play_newa.asp?ll_id=2099#Anchor

Eddie O’Gorman is Mr Football

Eddie O’Gorman has always been known as Mr Football in Ballyporeen and it is not an exaggeration to say that  without Eddie O’Gorman football in Ballyporeen would be in a poorer place.

One of the best-known GAA personalities in south Tipperary and indeed throughout the county, Eddie has dedicated his life to his club and county.

His love for football goes back to his school days and he played minor football with Tipperary in 1962 and U21 in 1965.

When Eddie’s playing days came to an end, he immersed himself in administration in his beloved Ballyporeen GAA club. He held the office of chairperson and attended south and county fixture meetings. 

He became involved in all grades of football and held positions as either manager or selector of many successful teams. 

Eddie was always to the fore when it came to fundraising for the club, always the first to sell tickets and travel miles to get sponsorship. 

He played a major role in the development of the clubhouse and both playing pitches. 

He also fundraised heavily to secure the money needed for the floodlights, which are used now on a regular basis for club and county.

Eddie O’Gorman played a major part in overseeing his club progress from junior to intermediate and to the present-day senior club that Ballyporeen now has. 

Eddie is also involved with the Friends of Tipperary Football and is again a great fundraiser for this organisation. 

While Eddie is a passionate supporter of his club, he is also a passionate follower of the county football teams. 

On any given Sunday he can be seen in Clonmel supporting his county or indeed in Cavan or Armagh. Eddie never lets distance get in the way of supporting his county.

Still to this present-day he remains involved at juvenile level  and is the current president of the club, as well as being on the committee and on the lotto committee. 

Two years ago Eddie was a worthy and popular recipient of the Laochra Gael award for his outstanding contribution to the GAA in both his club and county - a truly well-deserved award. 

Whenever football and Ballyporeen is spoken about, Eddie O’Gorman’s name always comes to the fore. 

The club hopes to have Eddie involved for many more years to come.

Thanks to Conor Sweeney, November 22 was historic day for the parish

While 2020 will be a year many people will want to forget because of Covid, that’s not the case for the people of Ballyporeen. 

November 22 will be a day that will  live long in the memory, as Tipperary beat Cork in the Munster football final to win the senior provincial championship for the first time in 85 years, led by the club’s own Conor Sweeney.

While the match itself was a nail-biting affair given Tipperary people’s investment in it, the truth is that Tipperary were the far sharper team, none more so than Conor. 

He led from the front, taking his opportunities whenever they arose, just as he had throughout the championship leading  to the final.

It was a just reward for Conor and indeed all the Tipperary footballers who have given us some brilliant days over the past 10 years.

To see them crown all their hard work and sacrifice by lifting the cup on that November day was truly special.

Ballyporeen can be rightly proud of Conor. 

A captain both on and off the field, he is willing to give up his time whether it is to help out at summer camps or presenting medals to the future players at juvenile level.

Conor Sweeney is a  gentleman to all who know him and no doubt we will have many more great days supporting Conor and the Tipperary footballers.

Conor achieved another great milestone last week when he won Tipperary’s third All Star award in football for his outstanding performances last year. 

Gratitude expressed  to members and remembering those who have passed on 

To all its members past and present, Ballyporeen GAA club says that  without them they  would not have the club that they have at  present.  

They are all  thanked for their contributions,  advice,  help and especially their time.

Sincere sympathy is extended to all  the family, friends and members the club has lost in these Covid-19 times.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-ainmneacha dílis.

For more Tipperary sport see Aishling Moloney can't wait for GAA season to resume