History in the making at Clanna Gael Fontenoy

Clanna Gael Fontenoy group on a trip to Belgium and the town of Fontenoy, from whence the club takes its name.

By Felix O’Regan

Minors make history 

Together with some mentors and parents, members of our minor squad travelled recently to Belgium to link up with Fontenoy to make a presentation to the town from which our club takes its name.  

Fontenoy was the scene of a battle on the 11th May 1745 and was part of the War of the Austrian Succession between the French on the one hand and the British and Dutch on the other. The latter were assured of victory, or so it seemed, until the Irish Brigade – fighting for the French – made one last charge. To the cry of ‘Remember Limerick’ – a reference to the long defence of Limerick from the Williamites – the Irish Brigade, led by Lord Clare, Charles O’Brien, routed the British and Dutch forces and won the day. 

The Celtic Cross Memorial, erected at Fontenoy by nationalists, was unveiled there by the Lord Mayor of Dublin on 25th August 1907. It’s reported that the Irish Brigade comprised a good many from our club’s hinterland, so when the first meeting took place at 20 Bath Avenue on 7th October 1887, the name Fontenoy was proposed for the new club and adopted.

The final formation of the club as we know it today took place in 1968 with the amalgamation of Fontenoy (hurling) and Clanna Gael (football) which had been founded in 1929.  

From the town of Fontenoy, it was onward to Ypres for an insight into the history of World War 1. The trip also saw the group get a guided tour of the Belgian Parliament, make a visit to Autoworld for a history of the automobile and enjoy a puck around with members of the Craobh Rua Brussels GAA Club in Parc Cinqantenaire.  

Intermediate footballers win promotion

Key among the highs of the summer season was our Intermediate footballers winning promotion from Division Four with a fine win in Sean Moore Park against St Monicas from Edenmore.  

Although the two teams occupied opposite ends of the league table, the game was well contested throughout the opening stages. But Clanns corner forward, Ricky Joyce, soon demonstrated the difference in class with some fine scores, bringing his tally to eight points in the first half alone – a major contribution to their half-time lead of 0-11 to 0-5.

Any notion the visitors had of getting back into the game in any meaningful way were dispelled early in the second half by a scintillating goal from Evan Caulfield. Sean Rimmer, Kenneth Lyons and David Meehan also contributed nicely to the Clanns scoring, while Eoin O’Mahony and Fergal McNamara were especially impressive in the central defensive roles. 

The Clanns 1-18 to 1-8 win guaranteed promotion to Division Three, much to the delight of players as well as the management/backroom team of Michael Fitzgerald, Des Markey, John Diveney and John Dodd. 

Team Manager, Michael Fitzgerald, professed to be delighted and relieved to have achieved promotion. “They are a fantastic group of players and well deserved their success. They have worked really hard over the past two seasons and now all credit should go to them as they have gone about their business in a very professional manner night after night in training. They now have a platform to build on for further future success.”

Darcy delivers five-in-a-row

Clanns man and Dublin selector, Declan Darcy, made history in helping Dublin senior footballers to a historical five All-Ireland titles in a row with a well-earned victory over Kerry in this year’s final. A former successful inter-county footballer with both Leitrim and Dublin, Declan has combined his management of the Clanns U16 girls and U12 boys’ teams with his Dublin duties. Congratulations, Declan.  

Junior hurlers vie for promotion 

After a season’s 11 games which saw them win seven, draw two and lose just two, our junior hurlers prepare for a promotion play-off match against Ballyboden St Endas. Win that and they’ll be playing in Division Four next season. Lose it and they can still feel rightly proud of reaching that position in a league that presented some really tough opposition – as can their coaching and management team of Colly Reynolds, Ciarán Murphy, Ronan Murphy and Jimmy Barnes. 

The game that clinched the play-off spot was played against St Finians of Swords in Ringsend Park. Clanns never looked to be in danger of losing, but still they were made to work hard. Some great free taking from Patrick Hogan which produced two cracking goals as well as a bevy of points was the key highlight of the game. Des Duggan and Sean Rimmer were also among those who chipped in with some fine points, while Austin Dodd produced a solid performance around the midfield area.  Victory was achieved on a score line of 2-16 to 2-7. 

Goals also featured aplenty for Clanns in their game a week earlier against Realt Dearg from the Drimnagh area. This time it was Sean Rimmer who hit the net twice. Karl Morgan, Des Duggan and Patrick Hogan were among those who contributed some fine points in what turned out to be a particularly high-scoring game that finished 3-18 to 2-12 for Clanns. Down the other end of the pitch, Dean Fitzpatrick brought off some great saves in goal at critical times.