Thursday, March 17, 2011

Galway Hurling Club Centenary Celebration

 One of Boston’s oldest clubs is celebrating 100 years this weekend.  Founded in 1909 by Joseph Coen from Ardrahan, the Galway Hurling Club of Boston is celebrating it’s centenary with a banquet next Saturday, March 19.  The banquet was sold out some time ago, and a crowd of 500 is expected to be in attendance.  Guests of honour include former GAA president, Joe McDonagh, and former Galway players Sylvie Linnane and Conor Hayes.  Hayes captained Galway to 2 All-Ireland titles in 1987 and 1988 and Linnane starred on both teams. 

Some of the prominent members throughout the club’s history include Joseph Coen, Jim Powers, Joe Kelly, Johnnie Monahan, Tommy Sheilds, Martin Barret, Paddy Hutchinson and Martin Qualters, John Hehir, and Sean Lyons.  The club experienced success in the 1930s having won back-to-back Massachusetts titles in 1930 and ’31.  Galway’s first North American final appearance was in 1960 in San Francisco’s Balboa stadium, after having won the New England Championship that year.  Their first national title eluded Galway however, as the tribe lost out to the home side San Francisco in the final.  Galway won several New England and 2 North American championships in the 1960s and ‘70s.  Galway’s next New England championship came in 1988, beating Cork in the final.  1991 and 1993 saw two more New England titles come to Galway, beating Fr. Tom Burke’s and Cork respectively. Galway’s junior team were involved in some epic North American encounters.  In 1996 the club won the senior and junior double, and the juniors lost to Harry Bolands in a triple overtime encounter in Chicago.  In 2001 the juniors were again involved in a tremendous North American Finals battle with Naomh Padraig’s of San Francisco and this time came out on the right side of a double overtime victory on home turf at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, Mass.  Galway experienced more success in 2001 and 2003, winning Boston and North American titles.

The event takes place at Florian Hall in Dorchester and proceedings begin at 7:30.  Dan Hallissey will provide the entertainment for the night.  It promises to be a night as epic as one of the those North American junior finals!

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