Great GAA Games

St Pats CY Mar News4

Down through the years Ringsend has produced many sporting personalities of all kinds; soccer, hurling, yachts men, skiff rowers, greyhound racers and boxers.

People marched in marching bands and Irish danced. The group I want to highlight are a GAA team. I became aware of them back in St Patrick’s BNS in Ringsend when our master Seamus Kavanagh told us a story from three to four every Friday afternoon. He brought GAA to the school, winning the Miller Shield in their first year and on one Friday he told us about the famous Isles of the Sea team or Inse Na Mara as Gaeilge.

The team all came from the Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount areas. They most likely had there premises in the area as well. It would appear they were competing in the 1890s, becoming Dublin champions in 1890. They beat Young Ireland’s 0-5 to 0-3. The winning team was captained by Charlie Thompson. Dan Holland, Tommy Dunne, M. Downes, Fran and Bartle North are names that might ring a bell for Ringsenders. The Norths had pubs on Bridge Street and Thorncastle Street. A son had a betting shop on the back street (Fitzwilliam Street), where the Regal Cinema was and the building is still standing there.

In 1895 Isles of the Sea won the Dublin Championship again with Tommy Dunne as the captain before winning it less than five years later in 1901 with Captain Dan Holland when they beat Ballymun Kickhams in the final. Having won three championships Isles of the Sea now qualified for the All Ireland Final against London Hibernians, winning 0-14 to 0-2 points. J. Darcy, Paddy ‘Cocker’ Daly and Val Harris who played soccer for Shelbourne played best for Isles. Captain of the opposing London Hibernians was Sam Maguire, for whom the All Ireland trophy would later be named.

No doubt this was an exciting time in Ringsend’s history. Isles of the Sea were again in the final in 1914 but lost to Bulfin 3-2 to 2-2. All three teams are listed below. Does anybody recognise grandfathers or great grandfathers amongst them? It would be great to hear any stories or see any photographs that some of you might have during this great time for Gaelic football in the area. It’s a long time ago but Ringsend left their mark on Gaelic Games. We respect you Isles of the Sea. I believe there is a cup in storage in Collins Barracks museum that Inse Na Mara won outright. C’mon the Paddy, C’mon the Stella.

1890: Charlie Thompson (Captain), Tommy Dunne, J.Joey, Fran North, Bartle North, Peter North, F. Rourke, T. Wheelan, Kevin Dunne, J. Reid, K. Fitzgerald, William ‘Punch’ Connolly, Phil McGrath, K.Byrne, J. Hennesey, M. Kearns, R. Lalor, Peter Hoare, D. Kennedy, M. Downes.
1895: Tommy Dunne (Captain), Denny Adams, M.Ward, Bartle North, J. Dunne, F. Wall, J. Whelan, J. Beehan, P. Rourke, J. Hoey, Charles Dunne, T. Knott, Peter Hoare, G. Murphy, M. Brien, William Connolly, K. Lawlor, P.Walsh.
1901: Dan Holland (Captain),J. Gaffney, Edwards, Gale, M. Whelan, John Whelan, T. Whelan, James Whelan, William Boland, J. Fitzpatrick, C. Kelly, Peter Byrne, Thomas Lawless, Dan Dunne, B. Connor.

By Jimmy Purdy