REMEMBERING KELLY HALPIN’S FIELD…. A TALK BY CON WOODS…. 28TH AUGUST 2021
The field was once the property of James and Anne Kelly Halpin, hence its name. Here where the Blues played from the mid twenties until 1934 when the Fr Murphy Park was opened, Con Woods St Flannan’s and Blues hurler, trainer and teacher, present owner gave a talk on the pitch and those who played there. Almost fifty people were present and the talk lasted over one hour and a half.
The Blues were in the ascendancy at the time having won the county Championship in 1926, ’27, ’28, 30 and ’31. In 1928 the Clare Champion Cup was first introduced and the Blues won it in ’30, 31,’32,’33. The 1930 Cup final was played here, Ennis the opponents , the score 4 goals 7 points to 2 goals 4 points. To celebrate Garda Larry Walsh filled the cup. Joe his son was present to savour the memory.
Con introduced us to the personalities of those who made Newmarket hurling great and their descendants were present to take pride in the account. The Hound Mack received special mention. A modest man yet he could boast of running Larry Blake off the pitch. Newmarket beat Toomevara Greyhounds in a practice match where the visiting team had an exceptional goalie called Skinny O’Meara. Con concluded his account by quoting from Jim Hehir, trainer of the 1914 All Ireland winning Clare team said the 1930 Cup final was of a better standard than the recently played Dublin Co final.
Men took pride in their self made hurleys and some of these including Bob Doherty’s were on display as was the 1886/7 GAA banner depicting Dr Croke by D. Hourigan the first of its kind nationally. A picture of John Fox who has family connections in Knocksaggart was passed around to be signed by all present and given to Seanie McMahon for the club. An ash tree purchased by Con was planted outside the field gate by Máire Ní Ghruagáin and Lewy Halpin. Prominent among the attendance were The Woods family, P J Reidy, John O’Loughlin, Ashling Halpin, Bernie Gregan and Molly O’Donnell, Cora Chaitlín club members, including Pat Corry and Colm Liddy, club historians, Thomas Ryan, team manager, John O’Leary from the ‘60s and 70’s reign of the Blues, John Power and Seanie McMahon. Names of relatives and hurlers:
Mick Flannery Sixmilebridge & Sheila McGrath Ballinacragga / Paddy and Mick Malone Umurka;
Pat Carmody and Pat Corry / Andy Callinan Ballinacragga;
Pat, Esther and Rory Murphy/ Monty Murphy and Tim McNamara
Vera and Kevin Arthur/ Tom and Mick Arthur;
John, Claire, Stephanie McMahon & grandchildren Seán & Aidan / Mick ‘the Mower’ and Joe ‘Edgy’ James Warren / Mick Doherty Mooghaun.
Mary Lehane /Tony Nealon Newmarket.
Noel & Dessie Hayes/ John Hayes Rathfolan.
Eugene Conroy / ‘Martin Bocky Conroy;
Paddy MacNamara /Patrick ‘The Hound’ Mack Newmarket.
Emily Crimmins / George O’Dea Newmarket.
Pat Lynch /Ignatius ‘Icy’ Clune from an earlier team, Lislea.
Con wishes to express his gratitude to all those who attended.