MÍSEAL JUVENILE CLUB
The assembly at the Naomh Eoin G.A.A. Dinner Dance of 1974 heard a passionate plea from the then Parish Priest Fr. Hayden for help with juveniles in the area. The response to this plea saw the beginning of Míseal Juvenile Club as we know it today. Of course juveniles were participating in competitions from as far back as October 1934 and had contests going between different schools. There are some records of juvenile games that took place in the fifties and sixties but the newspaper headlines at the time were devastating “Myshall Crushed” being just one example. A new curate in the area Fr O’ Shea (now Parish Priest), had the attitude that they should “keep playing at any rate in a sporting manner and enjoy themselves for they would become the men of tomorrow”.
By 1969 Myshall boys were participating in all grades in hurling and football all organised by the Co. Juvenile Board. There were no divisions then and the town teams dominated but training went on in the Ranch using the bushes as dressing quarters and there are great memories of Fr. O’ Shea’s overloaded green Volkswagen car and a hold-all containing green and gold jerseys and a football.
The year 1974 spawned a new era because after that plea of Fr. Hayden’s a couple of interested adults volunteered to tackle the juvenile problem and Míseal was born. The disappointments of the past were forgotten when in that very year the fledgling club won their first U-14 Hurling title and as Co. Carlow Champions they had the honour of representing the parish and the County in the Féile na nGael championship held that year in Limerick. The club’s first set of black and amber juvenile jerseys were bought and had to be collected in Kilkenny on the way to Limerick. The black and amber brigade was on its way and wearing their new jerseys for the first time took part in the parade through Limerick city.
Since then the club has represented Carlow in Féile na nGael on 10 occasions
and was most successful in 1996 finishing runners up in the Division 3 Final
beaten by Derry. Some panel members were sons of the boys who were suffering
huge defeats in the sixties! The club also took part in Féile Peil in Tipperary
in 2001 and also in 2002 when Carlow were hosts. “Splendid Myshall Victory”
“Another Myshall Double” “Magnificent Míseal” – these were the headlines in the
late 1980’s early 1990’s completely reversed from twenty years before.
Thirty years have passed, individuals have sparkled, teams have triumphed, but some things have really dominated – sportsmanship, perseverance, hard work and commitment. Dedication from club officials and mentors has been tremendous. In Míseal Juvenile Club’s infancy the Priests and Primary school teachers were most influential but the senior club has always been supportive with the skill and experience of past and present players adding a huge dimension to the club. The contribution of parents has been outstanding too attending matches, buying and selling tickets, driving their cars laden with equipment and of course there are the Ladies. How can thanks be given to them for catering for years at prize-winning functions in the Community Centre, washing hundreds and hundreds of jerseys, hosting boys from clubs from all over Ireland or helping in so many other ways that only mothers, wives or girlfriends can? Local businesses too have been a tremendous help to the club sponsoring jerseys, socks, kit-bags etc. as well as prizes for the numerous fund-raising events that have taken place over the years.
Aerial view of new G.A.A. pitch
A super-club was born in 1974 that now caters for about 100 boys from ages U-8 to U-16. We are proud that we have maintained interest in our traditional games, and proud that we are providing opportunities to young people in an era when anti-social behaviour and peer pressure can dominate and with the facilities that are now available in the village of Myshall we are ready for any challenges the future may bring.