This year the current Newcastle West Camogie Club celebrates its 25th birthday, 25 years a-going, having been revived in 1988, two decades or so after its previous existence (also a revival) and expiry in the 1960s when such as Pat Condon, Stephen Donovan, Maurice McAuliffe were mentors and Bernie Bourke-Shire was a star player. Responsible for the revival were Patsy Curtin and Anna Brouder, married to Peter Curtin Snr., and the late Moss Brouder respectively. Patsy and Anna registered the club at a County Board meeting in Adare and the rest as they say is history.

Training started at the field during the summer of ’88 and a challenge game v Abbeyfeale at the field was among our first outings. The Abbeyfeale team was organised by Bridie Sullivan-O’Mahony, a Newcastle West player of the 60s who had retained a passionate interest in the game and maybe had hopes of growing it cois Féile. On the occasion of that famous game we wore black jerseys, borrowed from the Newcastle West GAA Club. Later we were very stylishly attired in a black and white striped set, stripes running from top to bottom, (these are now retired, but many of them are still hale and hearty and ready for action) long sleeved, acrylic, very washable, comfortable, cool in the summer, kindly sponsored by Peg Barry and Paddy Sammon. There was plenty of enthusiasm by players, mentors and administrators from the word go and teams from U16 down were early on the field and into competition. We contested county finals at U12/U14/U16 but didn’t taste success until 1997 when the U14s won the County B Championship. Mike Nash and Marion O’Sullivan both still involved, were the mentors. A first adult title, the County Junior League was won in 1998 (we defeated Galbally at Feenagh with Arthur O’Sullivan and Tom Kelly mentoring) it was our first success at adult level. Since then we have won county titles at all levels in A, U10/U12/U14/U16, minor, junior, intermediate, but have yet to win an A title at senior. Hopefully we’ll tick that box some day, though we know it won’t be easy and won’t be achieved without huge effort, dedication and commitment. However that’s for another day. In the meantime, this month, while we’re on a break from a busy season that started back in February and finished on Sunday last with the Minor A Final, we’re focusing on our 25 years a-growing and having a modest do to celebrate that quarter of a century promoting the beautiful game. The Do takes place at the Ballintemple on Sunday December 15th and will consist of a bit of history, a song or two, maybe a knees up, a bite to eat, presentations to chairmen and secretaries who led the revived club, a reunion, a gathering, a viewing of photographs, some nostalgia and renewing of acquaintances, the presentation of medals to this year’s winning teams, the cutting of the birthday cake etc. All who were involved with the club from 1988 to 2013 (and all who soldiered in the previous existences) are invited and hopefully many will make it. In the meantime here’s to another 25 agus go mbeirimíd beo ar an am seo – 2038- (when some of us could be pushing 100.