Official Ticket
 Official Poster
 Dinner Menu (Cover)
 Dinner Menu (Inside)
 Cards & Letters

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On the 25th October 2009 Ballingarry AFC staged their 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee Celebration Ball at the Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Co Limerick. It brought to a close a day long series of events to celebrate this particular milestone in the clubs history that also included the blessing of the grounds, the official opening of the grounds and the official naming of the premises. It took months to organise with a special sub committee appointed to organise the events which in the end was a huge success and which left no one in any doubt that the club is now very much an integral part of the fabric of the parish of Ballingarry. The committee charged with this task was: Pascal Moynihan, John Clancy, Cristina Clancy, Ann Higgins, Seamus Burke and John Cronin.

Guest of honour at the function were: Mr John Delaney CEO of The FAI, Mr Michael Hanley Chairman of the Junior Council Of Ireland and Chairman of The LDFL and his wife Nora, Fr. Dan Lane PP Ballingarry/Granagh, Mr Seamus Kelly Chairman Limerick Desmond Schoolboy/girl League and his wife Mary, Mr John O' Hara Chairman of The Irish Referees Society West Limerick Branch and his wife Patricia, and Ms Marie Hoare and Ms Kathleen Broderick Chairperson and Secretary of the Limerick Desmond Ladies League.

During the run up to the occasion Ballingarry native Jim Hartnett produced an hour long documentary titled "From The Supper Room to the Paddocks" which was aired on local radio station West Limerick 102FM on Friday 23rd and Monday 27th of October. Included in the programme were contributions from Pascal Moynihan Chairman Ballingarry AFC and James Clancy Secretary of Ballingarry AFC while club President Moss Doody and several players, past and present were interviewed. These included Mike Condron, Noel Hayes, Fiona Hickey, Shane Hartnett, Liam Casey, present A team manager James Higgins, former A team manager George Quinlivan, John Murphy, Noel Forde, present under 12 B team manager Rob Thompstone, present junior ladies manager Darragh O Grady, and Ned Cagney.

Limerick radio station Live 95 fm also aired interviews with Pascal Moynihan and James Clancy during the week prior to the function.

At the celebration ball, a photographic compilation titled “Ballingarry AFC 25 Years in Pictures” was projected on screen during the meal with over 200 photographs spanning the clubs 25 years on view. Also on display were all the trophies won by Ballingarry junior teams over the 25 year period including the Premier division trophy and Desmond Cup and all the trophies won by the club during the previous season.

Over 250 guests attended the gala with live music followed by an 80s disco provided by "Keep in Touch".

After the meal Mr Pascal Moynihan, Mr Mike Hanley and Mr John Delaney delivered speeches before various awards were presented by Mr Delaney.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Eddie Houlihan.

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At 12.30 pm Pascal Moynihan introduced Fr. Dan Lane who then commenced to bless the grounds and buildings. Readers included: Moss Doody Club President, Aoibhlinn O' Connor, Marie Quaid, Brian Healy, Patrick Keating, Rob Thompstone, Colm Kiely, while the gift bearers were Ned Cagney, captain during first game who presented a club jersey, Emma O' Grady representing the ladies team, who presented a football and Mark O' Kelly, captain of the under 10 side who presented the under 10 cup won the previous season, representing the under age players.

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At an Extraordinary General Meeting held in the clubhouse on October 12th 2009 the name “The Paddocks” was chosen as the official name of the clubs grounds. The name “The Gardens” was also proposed on the night but was defeated in a secret ballot.

The proposal to name the grounds “The Paddocks” was as follows:

To Whom It May Concern.

I wish to propose that Ballingarry AFC grounds are named "The Paddocks".

The site on which Ballingarry AFC has located their grounds was once comprised of five allotments owned by five different owners. This area was known to those who resided in Ballingarry before the club took ownership of the site as "The Paddocks" and when speaking to residents of a certain vintage in Ballingarry today they remember the area as being known as "The Paddocks".

Since the club moved to the site it has ceased to be referred to as "The Paddocks" but instead referred to as "The Soccer Pitch".

I feel to restore the historical and traditional name to the site would be appropriate and would rekindle the link that existed prior to the purchase of the site by the club to the past and ensure that the name of the area i.e. "The Paddocks" was not lost to Ballingarry through the passage of time.

Yours Sincerely

James Clancy, 2nd October 2009.

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Pascal Moynihan invited the congregation to step outside the grounds while Mike Hanley would cut the ribbon and declare the Paddocks officially open.


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Pascal Moynihan then invited the gathering to re-enter the grounds where Mike Hanley would unveil the plaque and declare the official name of the grounds as “The Paddocks”.

Before the ceremony Mr Hanley in his speech said he was delighted to be invited to complete the honours at the Paddocks on this day. He complimented Ballingarry AFC on their magnificent facilities and said that it was always a pleasure to visit the club in any capacity.

The club he said and the manner in which they conducted their business was the benchmark from which the league and the member clubs referred to when looking for a model to develop the game in the league.

Finally he congratulated the club on the great strides they had made to promote soccer in west Limerick and then he unveiled the curtain to declare the official name of the grounds “The Paddocks”.

There followed two games featuring the first Ballingarry squad versus the present over 35squad. A novelty game followed which featured past and present players, male and female. The games were refereed by former Ballingarry player and former referee Aidan Lynch.


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A huge crowd descended on The Woodlands House Hotel for what developed into a wonderful evening’s entertainment. Fr. Lane delivered grace and following the meal the various speakers were invited to speak.

Ballingarry AFC Chairman Pascal Moynihan’s speech began proceedings, as follows:

"Distinguished guests, Reverend Father, ladies and gentlemen. I’m delighted, on behalf of Ballingarry Soccer Club, to welcome you all here tonight to this celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of our Club. In particular, I’d like to welcome our distinguished guests – Mr. John Delaney, Chief Executive Officer of the Football Association of Ireland, Mr. Mike Hanley, Chairman of the FAI Junior Council and Chairman of the Limerick Desmond Football League, and his wife Nora, Mr. Seamus Kelly, Chairman of the Limerick Desmond Schoolboys League, and his wife Mary, Ms. Maria Hoare, Chairperson, and Ms. Kathleen Broderick, Secretary, of the Limerick Desmond Ladies League, and Mr. John O’Hara, Chairman of the Irish Soccer Referees Society, Limerick West Branch, and his wife Patricia. We’re delighted that ye accepted our invitation to this celebration and your presence significantly adds to this occasion. Without people like yourselves, we wouldn’t have structure, proper competitions and proper rules and procedures.

Twenty five years is quite a long time, though I’m sure many of you here tonight are wondering where the last 25 years have gone. Over that period, the club has had considerable success, especially considering that Ballingarry is a relatively small town, some might say village. Our Junior team have won a number of trophies in those 25 years, the most notable being the Premiership title in the 2003/04 season and our two Desmond Cup successes in 2002 and 2007. Our B team, reformed just last season, won the Division Three title at the first time of asking and our Ladies team, formed in 2004, has won a series of trophies, including the league title and the Desmond Cup. At underage level, we have also had considerable success on the field – the most recent being the Under 17 Desmond Cup, Under 16 Desmond Cup and the Under 10 Desmond Cup, all won last season.

It’s always nice to win trophies and every team that takes the field wants to win and that’s how it should be. However, to measure success simply by the number of trophies won is, in my view, a very limited impression of success. And Ballingarry soccer club has had other successes aside from winning trophies. The participation of so many people in playing soccer for Ballingarry is a success. And, at present, we have about 300 people, at all levels, playing soccer with Ballingarry. And it’s a source of great satisfaction and pride for those involved to visit the soccer pitch almost any evening during the season and see the amount of people training, or to visit on Saturday or Sunday and see our teams in action.

To have so many people playing the game is good for those playing, good for our community and good for society as a whole. Sport is very important in people’s lives and the playing of soccer plays a significant role in young people’s development. Soccer is a team game and team sports not only test our physical capabilities, but mental capabilities as well. It helps young people to learn respect, discipline and teamwork.

For the adults, sport is an important part of our lives and I’m sure most, if not all, of us have made lasting friendships through sport and it’s a great way to meet people and make new friends. Participation in sport also brings about great experiences which, in time, become fantastic memories and I’m sure there will be many reminiscences here tonight.

Aside from the numbers playing the game, there have been some notable events organised by the soccer club over the years. One of the most memorable was our trip to Maryland in the USA in 2004 when over 70 people hopped on board a bus to travel to Shannon and onward to Baltimore Airport. Everyone who was on that trip really enjoyed it and our American hosts marveled at how good our command of the English language was, and learned some new phrases like a sliced pan a full Irish Breakfast. Though the full Irish breakfast pales in comparison to an American breakfast!

There was also our trip to Croke Park two years ago, almost to the day, when our Under 15’s were the ball boys for the World Cup Qualifier between Ireland and Germany in front of a crowd of 70,000 people.

There were also the trips to the European Championship finals in Germany in 1988 and the World Cup Finals in Italy in 1990 – events which I’m sure are fondly remembered by all those who travelled. And there have been other events, memories of many of which I’m sure will be evoked tonight.

Now all these achievements and successes, both on and off the field, haven’t come about by accident. Behind the actual playing of the game and the other events that I mentioned, is a huge voluntary commitment by a lot of people. This voluntary commitment is the life blood of the club and, without it, the club would not survive. Very soon, as part of these celebrations, we will be making awards to a number of people. These awards are in recognition of the outstanding contribution made to the club by those individuals and groups of people, but they also represent an appreciation to everyone who has voluntarily contributed to the club. Many people have made sacrifices in terms of their own time and, in many cases, at their own expense for the good of the club.

Matches don’t just happen, pitches and facilities don’t just appear, transport doesn’t just materialize. There is a huge volume of work to be done – preparing the grounds, developing the facilities, organizing training, arranging insurance, sorting out transport, managing teams. All of this is done on a voluntary basis. There has to be organization – we need managers, funding and people to work tirelessly behind the scenes. Luckily, we have an abundance of those people in Ballingarry who are willing to make sacrifices for the good of the club.

There are other people who support, or have supported the club – our lotto agents and subscribers, our sponsors, people who wash the playing gear , who tidy the clubhouse, tend the grounds, who take teams to and from games. Matches would not be possible and people would not be playing the game but for the efforts of all those who contribute, or have contributed, to the club in any way. To all of those people, on behalf of the club, I want to say thank you.

Of course, playing the game with Ballingarry is helped by the fact that we have such wonderful facilities. We have one of the finest facilities in Limerick and we are rightly proud of these facilities.

They have not come about by accident either. They have come about because of the hard work, diligence and perseverance of people. And it’s an acknowledgment of the local input to the club, and the club’s sense of community, that today we formally named our playing facilities “The Paddocks” in recognition of the history of the venue. The site of our pitch was once comprised of five allotments owned by five different owners. The area was known to those that resided in Ballingarry before the club took ownership of the site as “The Paddocks” and it’s fitting that we have formally retained that title as the now official name of our grounds.

Of course, there always has to be a beginning and it’s that beginning 25 years ago, and the continuation of the club in those 25 years, that we are celebrating tonight. It’s fitting then that we pay tribute to those people who founded the club, who formed the first committee, who played in that first season. And we also pay tribute to all the people who have persevered over the last 25 years, some on a continuous basis, some who have made major contributions and moved on. We have come from playing football in a makeshift ground to the fine facilities we have now. We have come from having a junior team alone with 21 players on the original panel to now having two junior teams, a Ladies team, an over 35’s team, youth team and underage boys and girls teams. To all the people who have helped make this happen, I wish, on behalf of the club, to say a very sincere thank you. The first 25 years have left us with a legacy that we can be proud of – the challenge now is to ensure that the next 25 will see improvements, both on and off the pitch, on the same scale.

I am loathe to mention anyone in particular who has made the club what it is today. However, I feel I must mention James and John Clancy who have been involved with the club from the very start and who have put in an enormous amount of work down through the years.

Before I finish, and on the day that’s in it, I would like to acknowledge the people who have made this day happen. First of all, once again, I would like to thank our special guests here tonight. I would like to thank Fr. Dan Lane for his lovely ceremony today and thank all those who participated in the ceremony. I’d like to thank Mike Hanley for formally opening our facilities. I would also like to acknowledge the huge amount of work done by the 25th anniversary celebrations organizing committee of Ann Higgins, Christine Clancy, John Cronin, Seamus Burke and John Clancy. Also Kevin Kiely for his technical work in setting up the video show tonight and James Clancy who is an absolute repository of information in relation to the club. Finally, I would like to thank Eddie Houlihan, our MC, for his usual excellent job.

So, thanks again to you all for coming tonight. I sincerely hope you enjoy the night and here’s to seeing you all again in another 25 years."

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In his speech Mr Hanley said it was indeed a great honour for him to attend such a meticulously prepared function which followed a great occasion at the club grounds earlier in the day. He said he remembered well the first occasion that a delegation from Ballingarry attended a Desmond District League meeting to apply for admittance to the league and little did he think at the time that he would be in the company of the club 25 years on to celebrate their Silver Jubilee. Ballingarry AFC was the benchmark used by the league and it was obvious from what they had achieved in their history and from the huge gathering that a great community sprit and a great affection for the club exist in Ballingarry. He said that he had forged friends in Ballingarry through the soccer club in James and John Clancy and that it was a reflection on the manner in which the club conducts their affairs and the way they prepare their teams to represent their club that it is a rare occurrence they are summoned to a league meeting.

On the many occasions that the league has approached the club for the use of their premises for various cup finals and playoffs that they have found the club most accommodating while they could be assured that the grounds would be expertly prepared for any occasion.

He finished by congratulating the club of completing their first 25 years in football and wished their management, players and their supporters every success in the future and looked forward to the next 25 years.

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During his speech the CEO of the FAI John Delaney spoke highly of the club remembering his first visit to Ballingarry two years previous to view their premises. He said he recognized then what a forward thinking and well managed club it is from the high standard of the facilities developed.

He mentioned the foresight of the clubs first management committee to set about developing their site so early in the clubs existence and by way of rewarding them he said he would like them as his guests at the forthcoming Ireland/France play-off game in Croke Park on November 14th. He noted that the club had over 20 teams in all ages groups both male and female which he said represented a membership of almost 300, a huge number in such a compact area and he also said that it was also very evident to him from the huge crowd in attendance that there is a strong bond between the club and the community of Ballingarry.

The importance of promoting underage football could not be stressed enough and as a gift to the club for their efforts in this area he gave 25 underage tickets to either the World Cup playoff or the Ireland / Argentina fixture at the opening of the Aviva Stadium in August 2010.

He humoured the crowd with a tale from the Jack Charlton era and an incident during the Ireland versus Northern Ireland World Cup qualifying fixture at Windsor Park in 1993.

He recognized the contribution made by the players to the success story of Ballingarry AFC saying that players such as James Higgins with 363 appearances and Padraig Forde with 124 goals, Liam Casey being the clubs first goal scorer right up to the present day with Anthony Forde following a career path in football that all began with Ballingarry was something the club can view with pride.

He gave a brief summary on the direction the FAI was heading now having almost completed their stadium and in particular the senior squad under the guidance of Giovanni Trapatoni. He finished by wishing the players, management and supporters of Ballingarry AFC well for the future and looked forward to being present when the celebrate their 50th.

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First Junior Panel 1984/85.

John Clancy, James Clancy, John Murphy, Noel Hayes, Noel Forde, James Cronin, Joe Burke, Davy Fitzgerald, Mike O' Connor, James Higgins, Ned Cagney, Liam Casey, Shane Hartnett, Tommy Cronin, Aidan Lynch, Pat Cagney, Liam Fitzgerald, Billy Hayes, Anthony Quaid, Pat Lynch, Mike Carmody.

First Junior Managers 1984/85:

Moss Doody, Moss McAuliffe.

First Club Management Committee 1984/85:

Moss McAuliffe (Chairman), Noel Hayes (Secretary), John Clancy (Treasurer), James Clancy, Joe Burke, James Cronin, Denis Hayes RIP The award was accepted on behalf of Denis Hayes by his nephew James Hayes.

Most Appearances:

James Higgins - 363

Most Goals Scored:

Padraig Forde - 124

First Goal Scorer:

Liam Casey (During first competitive fixture)

Ladies Contribution Award:

Marie Quaid

Schoolgirl Football Award:

Martha O' Connor

Longest Serving Committee Members:

John Clancy, James Clancy - 25 years

Dedication & Loyalty Award:

John Shiels

Main Sponsors since 1984:

PJ & Rita Barrett

Schoolboy Contribution Award:

Benji Kelly, Eddie Houlihan

Commemorative Plaque for first Premier League winning team:

George Quinlivan (manager), Aidan Barrett (player)

In Appreciation:

Mike Hanley (LDFL), John Delaney (FAI)

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Official Opening and Blessing of "The Paddocks"
The matches
The Function

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Copies of West Limerick 102FM Documentary "From The Supper Room To The Paddocks" & "Ballingarry AFC 25 Years in Pictures" DVD can be purchased through the Club Secretary.

You can now listen to the "From The Supper Room To The Paddocks" documentary by clicking here (opens in pop up window)
You will need Adobe Flash Player to listen to the clips, which you can download here.

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