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Terrace Talk

Listowel Emmets celebrated their 125th anniversary with week long activities in Frank Sheehy Park from Monday 21st June to Sunday 27th June.

The first event held was Weeshie Fogarty's Terrace Talk broadcast live from the Clubrooms of Frank Sheehy Park. Vincent Carmody and Tadhg Moriarty opened the show with Vincent giving a brief outline of the history of the club with particular emphasis on its founding and early years and Tadhg giving a run down on the redevelopment of Frank Sheehy Park. This section of the show was wound down with a beautiful rendition of the Ballad of Robert Emmet sung by Derry Reen and accompanied by his son Eoin on guitar.

John Molyneaux trustee of Frank Sheehy Park regaled the audience with tales of Frank Sheehy, his accomplishments and legacy he left to the G.A.A not alone in Listowel but to the county as whole while he was chairman of the county board. The club were very proud to have current chairman of the Kerry County Board Jerome Conway in residence as he wished the club a very happy birthday and outlined the numerous people from the Emmets that held key positions within the club since its foundation.

Kevin Lynch and Norah Browne Chairman and Secretary of Emmets Coiste na nÓg were next to take the stage, where Weeshie was entrigued by the huge number of Juveniles involved in the club with 150 boys and girls competing in the U8 and U10 John B Keane League. The importance of schools within the town was also discussed, Norah Browne outlined that they play a very important role in promoting gaelic games and with Brendan Guiney involved with Scoile Realta na maidhne, John Mulvihill St. Michael's, John James Buckley and Graham Shine with the Gaelscoile and Jennifer Ryan and Kate Sayers with the Convent Schools we have an ever increasing membership with the most important thing being that Kids are enjoying playing football.

Kevin Lynch outlined that his job was made a whole lot easier with the wonderful foundations that were made by those who had gone before him and in particular Garda Paddy Healy who rejuvenated the Bord na nÓg in the 1970's and got Emmets back on track, proceeding him was Tommy Dalton, Sean Moriarty, Billy McElligott, Christy Walsh and Eamonn O'Connor. All of whom have helped structure the strong vibrant club we have today. Emmets coiste na nÓg have now in place a coaching policy, code of ethics and fair play rules and solid base which will allow them to develop and flourish further.

It was then onto our Senior Club and its All Ireland Senior Medal holders, Weeshie was amused that Stephen Stack was the oldest surving member of the club with a senior medal. A great piece of footage was played as an introduction to this section with Michéal O'Heir commentating on the All Ireland Final of 1979 where Tim Kennelly received the Sam McGuire and pointing out that it would make a great Race week in Listowel.

Brendan Guiney and Noel Kennelly continued to speak about the importance of the club and what it means to be part of it. Tadhg Kennelly then received an early wake up call at 4am in Sydney to tell us all what the Emmets mean to him, he outlined that Club had helped him tremendously throughout his career and welcomed him back with open arms last year as he fulfilled his life long dream of winning his coveted All Ireland senior medal.

The Ladies Club were next to take to the stage with Gemma Hannon and Rose Wall Chairperson and Secretary of the Ladies Club and Billy Keane President of Emmets Ladies Club. Weeshie remarked that it was great to see the “blowins” doing such sterling work for the Emmets with Rose Wall from Canovee in Cork, and Gemma Hannon from Templemore in Tipperary. It is well documented how successful our Ladies Club has been since its foundation 9 years ago. The Ladies pointed out that they have strong coaches in all areas of the club and this has helped promote gaelic games in the urban area. Emmets Ladies are fortunate enough to have access to a pig pool of players from Listowel and they have many structured link between clubs such as Duagh, Moyvane etc. In 2009, Emmets Ladies competed at Senior level for the first time in its history, winning the Junior B League and Championship. This year they compete with Feale Gaels which is the district team comprising of Emmets, Duagh and Moyvane.

This section ended with a lovely piece of music provide by the Emmets Scor group of Rebecka Garvey, Fionnula Trench, Robin Doyle and Sarah Moriarty.

It was then the turn of the ever jovial Bert Griffin, Tony Guerin and Eric Browne who regaled the crowd with some highly entertaining stories of town leagues gone by and the ferrous competition between neighbours and best friends when each player wore their respective team jerseys, with everything at stake from bragging rights to women!!
Bert enthralled the crowd with his illustrious GAA career, a Garda by trade; he played in a number of counties and in numerous competitions completely illegally. In jest he referred to himself as the original Paul Galvin and recalls staying on the field in a Leinster championship for less than 5 minutes!!

Tony Guerin recalled his time with the Kerry seniors as goalkeeper and of the great men that were involved in the club at the time such as Gerald Lenihan ,  Mick O’Shea father of  3 OShea’s, Jaques Guerin, Tony Chute,  Jimmy Murray, Fr. Teddy Molyneaux.

In bouts of laughter from the crowd, Eric told a story of town league semi final where as Eric and Junior Griffin (described by Eric as the sweetest, man you would ever come across in your life) were sent off after an off the ball shimosaul resulting in the two boys being sent off. Eric continued to describe it as one of the loneliest times in his life!! 

To finish the segment on the Town Leagues Karen Trench sang a beautiful version of the “Mighty Greenville Team”

The Lord Mayor of Listowel Tom Walsh attending his last function as Mayor spoke of the importance the club has been to the town and what it has done for both the young and the old.

The Grand finale of the night was to the Senior Club represented by Mike Kennelly Club Chairman, John Hartnett Hon. Secretary and Fergus Reen Senior team captain. Mike Kennelly thanked all club sponsors, McCarthy Brokers, Garvey Supervalu and Centra for all their support. He acknowledged the contribution of the club officiers who work tirelessly for the Emmets and in particular the very hardworking men who look after Frank Sheehy Park – Martin Scanlon, PJ Kelliher and Mike Sammon.

Fergus Reen spoke of his role of captain within the club and of the recent successes of the senior team, B team and C team and what an honour it was for him to be a part of such a tremendous organisation.

The night concluded with the whole place singing the Emmets anthem “Lovely Listowel” lead by Karen Trench.

A huge thank you must go to Tadhg Moriarty who organised the entire event with Radio Kerry and to the Terrace Talk crew Weeshie, Eileen and John who were a pleasure to deal with on the night.

Mile buiochas.

125 Committee