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Oranmore/Maree GAA Club

Club history

1967 - Birth of a club

The Oranmore Maree GAA Club was founded in 1967 with the enforcement of a county bye law. Two adults clubs were in existence until 1967 while juveniles up to minor level played with Oranmore. Junior and Senior hurling teams reached the finals that year but unfortunately neither were successful.  The line out of the senior team beaten by Castlegar was as follows: Front Row Martin Sheridan, Pat Holland, Kevin Hanniffy, John Furey RIP, Andy Fury, Michael Healy, Brendan Furey.  Back Row Peter Cosgrove, John Greally, John Higgins, Bernie O Connor, Michael Costello, Michael John Carr RIP, Padraic Keane, Pat Sheridan.

The club won the u14 championship in 1967 and two years later (1969) Oranmore Maree won an u16 county final and secured a trip to Dublin sponsored by Player Wills tobacco company.  The 1967 u14 team comprised of: W.Commins, M.Bannon, J.Walsh, D.Dooley, P.Murphy, T.Fahy, S.Grealish, P.Commins,B.McGrath, M.Kelly, G.Hanniffy, B.Quinn, E.Dooley, J.Cannon, M.Melville, M.Hanniffy, E.Flannagan. In 1969 the u14 were also successful at county level. The majority of this u16 group of players went on to achieve success at minor level in 1970 and back to back u21 championships in 1972 and 1973. The late Pascal Hanniffy (RIP) was honoured with selection on the county minor team of 1969.

In the late sixties and early seventies, Tony McGrath and Pascal Hanniffy played Minor and u21 hurling for Galway and Pascal also played on the county Minor and u21 football teams.  The picture beneath features Tony McGrath (back row far left) and Pascal Hanniffy RIP (back row second from left).  This picture also includes former Ireland and Lions captain Ciaran Fitzgerald in his familar head band.

In 1970 Oranmore Maree won their first county minor title under the management of John Furey. The club was well represented on the minor panel that reached the All Ireland final in 1970. Gerry Hanniffy, Donal Dooley, Seamus Grealish and Willie Cummins played leading roles that Galway team.  The first success achieved by the club in football was a minor West Board League title in 1971. In 1972 the club won an u21 title for the first time. Michael Kelly won an All Ireland u21 medal with Galway in 1972 win over Dublin. This was followed up with another u21 title in 1973 while the seniors were unsuccessful at semi final stage where Ardrahan scored a last minute goal and then went on to win the final. In 1973 Micheal Hanniffy scored 0-6 and Eamon Dooley scored 1-1 for the Galway minors which were beaten by Kilkenny on the score line 4-6 to 3-7. The Oranmore Maree centre back Seamus Grealish was Galway u21 captain in 1974.  The Galway minor team of 1975 was trained by John Furey while John Finn played corner back on the team that year. Michael Hanniffy was the Galway u21 goalkeeper in 1975 and 1976 as well as being on the senior panel. In the mid seventies, Billy Glynn returned to work in Galway and pursued his interest in hurling by training teams in the parish.  Andy Furey coached after school hurling in Oranmore and teamed up with Billy in the under age club. Martin Keane, headmaster, also had a great interest in hurling. Jim Doyle and John Furey continued their trojan work at underage level.

Success at Junior A hurling was achieved in 1980 where Oranmore Maree beat Pearses in the final. This team comprised of: N.Rodgers, B.OConnor, M.Grealish, E.Grealish, M.Kelly, M.Carr, J.Fahy, P.Reilly, J.Furey, A.Furey, M.Hanniffy, D. Greally, T.Fahy, J.Reilly, G.Finn, M.Melville, P.Greally, P.Sheridan, M.McGrath, M.Burke, D.Jordan, J.Bishop.  This team was managed by Mossy Fahy. This success was followed by a win over Sarsfields at Junior B level in December 1981 with a team comprised of P.Costello, J.Greally, M.Bannon, J.Hanniffy, W. Killilea, J.Keane, G.Martyn, T.Keane, B.Bannon, P.J. Holland, S.Hanniffy, T.Greally, J.Costello, L.Hanniffy, P.Carr, M.Bannon, T.Flannagan, K.Quinn, M.Greally, G.Bannon. This team was managed by Pat Cormican with Mansey Donnellan and John Carr his two selectors.

A lot of juvenile teams were trained throughout the 1980s by Andy Furey, James Keane, Billy Glynn and Patch Holland.  In 1981 Oranmore Maree participated in the Feile na nGael competition. 

Success at gaelic football was achieved when the club won the Minor West Board League in 1981.  This team comprised of S.Toole, S.Grealish, D. Dooley, O.Flannagan, M.Fahy, D.Flannagan, M.Melville, P.Cummins, B.McGrath, E.Dooley, M.Hanniffy, V.Carroll, P.Carroll, G.Finn, R.Burke.

Relegation from senior ranks to intermediate occured at the end of 1982 and the club made great efforts to regain senior status the following year only to be beaten by Clarenbridge in the intermediate final.

In 1983 the u14 hurling team were victorious in the B division. Oranmore Maree almost regained senior status immediately only to be beaten by Clarenbridge in the county intermediate final. Pat Malone achieved an All Ireland Minor Hurling medal this year (where Galway defeated Dublin) and followed up with u21 (1986) and All Ireland Senior Hurling medals in 1987 and 1988 where Bernie O Connor was a selector.  He also achieved a Connaught Minor Football medal. Tony McGrath was a selector on the 1983 minor team while Bernie O Connor was the Galway senior manager in this year. In centenary year (1984) Oranmore Maree were u16B Cómortas Feisialta winners.  In 1985 Oranmore Maree won the Minor B hurling championship with James Keane as manager and Billy Glynn, Peter Martyn and Michael Mulhall his selectors. The footballers won the West Junior League title in that year. In 1986 the club won both hurling and football at county minor level.

Young club players on parade in Salthill - Feile na nGael 1984.

In 1986 the footballers won the West Board Junior League and Championship beating Moycullen in both finals. The club also achieved success at Minor B level.  The majority of this team went on to achieve success at Junior A level in 1990.  This team comprised of D.Keane, D.Flannagan, W.Burke, M.Heraghty,G.Fahy, J.Hanniffy, R.Burke, P.Malone, T.Rabbitte, P.Burke, P.Keane, C.Burke, D.Hanniffy, D.Pender, J.Burke.

In 1988 an u14 A Championship and an u16 West League wins were secured. During the eighties many of the clubs players represented county and vocational school teams.  These included Pat Malone, Martin Holland, Richard Burke, Sean Holland, William Burke, John Brennan and Pat Keane.

In 1989 the club won the Minor A championship as well as the u21 B title. The minor team is shown below as: Back row: D Furey, P Grealish, A Furey, S Holland, B Farrell, D Keane, D Hanniffy, S Hanniffy. Front row: W Burke, M Herity, C Conole, M Holland, T Diviney, T Rabbitt, L Furey.  This team was managed by Pat Cormican and trained by John Furey.  The selectors were Sean Hanniffy and Andy Furey.

From 1989 Tony McGrath, John J Furey and Mattie Egan has some success with good runs in various championships. Castlegar beat Oranmore Maree at u14 in the Feile na nGael semi final. 

The photograph above shows an Oranmore Maree u12 Hurling team at their county final appearance in 1989.  Back Row: Ray Grealish, Ian Casey, Justin C, John O Callaghan, Michael Qualter, Oliver Grealish, Gearoid Hanniffy, Niall McEvoy.  Front Row: Colm Dooly, Niall Bishop, Kevin Furey, Michael Greally, Tom Turley, John Greally, Peter Carr.  The managers of this squad were John Carr (RIP), Jim Bishop, Denis.

In 1990 Oranmore Maree won the Feile na Coirbe while in the same year, the u16 team lost to Clarenbridge in the semi final replay.  In 1990 Oranmore Maree regained senior hurling status as they defeated Portumna in the county final. The footballers won the county Junior A and Minor B Championships. The picture below shows the Intermediate Hurling Champions Panel from 1990.

In 1991, u21 B and u12 B championship victories were achieved in football. In 1991 Richard Burke won an All Ireland u21 medal with Galway. In 1993 footballers won the county u21 championship. In 1993 an Oranmore Maree team coached by Henry Diviney won a u12 City League A hurling title. The picture below shows the U12 B Football Champions from 1991.  Front row: D Flannagan, G Hanniffy, R McHugh, P Carr, B Mulhall, N Bishop, D Commins, D Joyce. Back row: S O Grady (Manager), C Farrell, B Cannon, R O Rourke, I Diviney, M Forde, F Kearney, S Burke, C O Grady, P Murtagh, H Diviney (Selector).

In 1993 Pat Malone won an All Star for his outstanding performance against Kilkenny in the All Ireland final. Richard Burke played in goal that day. William Burke won an u21 medal on a team which defeated Kilkenny. Maree pitch was officially opened with a senior hurling championship game against Sarsfields. In 1994 Oranmore Maree won the u16 B championship hurling final by beating Clarenbridge.  This team was coached up through the ages by Jim Bishop.  Niall Bishop was selected from this team to play for Galway in the Nenagh Co-op tournament. The North GPC Intermediate league title was won by the club's footballers. The following picture shows the County U16 B Hurling Champions.  Front row: K Madden, Peter Carr, Gary Hanniffy, T Turley (Capt) F Kearney, Michael Forde, N Bishop. Back row: J O Callaghan, T Cannon, J Commins, Gearoid Hanniffy, P Pender, J Grealy, O Grealish, Martin Forde.

In 1995 football teams won Junior I West League title as well as County and West League Intemediate titles. In 1996 William Burke won an All Ireland junior medal while the club won the county intermediate league. In 1996 a County Community Games and u14 Feile na nOg titles were achieved by the clubs footballers.

1996 saw the senior team line out against An Cheathru Rua in the senior final only to narrowly lose out. This team comprised: Derek Pender, Derek Duffy, Joe Tighe, Shane Cannon, Timmy Rabbitt (Capt), Pat Malone, Cathal McConn, Hugh Bleathein, Derek Cullinane, Mark Kelly, Brendan Duffy, Dermot Lohan, Willie Burke, Eoin Pender, Cathal Furey. The squad also included Paul Pender, Tom Cannon, Kenneth Egan, Sean Conacur, Charlie Burke, Malachy Murray, Enda Costello, Brian Rodgers, Mike Duggan, Ray Grealish, Alan Eastwood, Niall Bishop, Kevin Donnellan, Paul Donnellan. Two others, Richie Burke and Fergal Collins missed out through injuries. The team management consisted of Gerry Fahy, Michael Mannion, Louis Stenson, Michael Kelly and Charlie Burke. Eoin Pender, Brendan Duffy, Mark Kelly and Cathal McConn have all worn the maroon with distinction at minor and u21 level while Brendan and Mark are holders of Connacht Senior Championship medals. Timmy Rabbitt, Derek Cullinane and Eoin Pender were members of the 1996 Galway junior team which won the Connacht Championship.

In 1997 Oranmore Maree u15 won a city league hurling title against Castlegar.  This team was also coached by Henry Diviney.  In 1999 Oranmore Maree won the Junior B championship against St Thomas's with Eamon Grealish as manager supported by Henry Kearney and John Grealish. William Burke won an All Ireland Intermediate medal. In 1998-2002 Mike McGrath and Des Flaherty coached the u16 team.  Colman and Luke Hands represented Galway at this level.  In 2000 Oranmore Maree was selected as the Galway and Connacht AIB Club of the Year. In 2000 Ciaran Hayes and Diarmuid Keane coached a successful u13 city league team.  In 2001 the club lost the county intermediate final to Kiltormer by one point. Gerry Fahy was the manager of this team backed up by Pat Malone and Diarmuid Keane as selectors. Aidan Diviney won an All Ireland minor medal playing in goal for Galway in 2001. Richie Murray represented Oranmore Maree with distinction and won an All Ireland U21 Football medal with Galway in 2002. The u12 hurling team of 2003 won the city league.  This team was coached by Pat Burke and Brendan Bannon.

In 2004 Oranmore Maree hosted the Jim Doyle memorial cup. The home club won the final by defeating St Thomas's. The mentors for this team were David Holland, Frank Hanniffy and Tony O Donovan. In 2005 the u14 contested the B final (narrowly loosing out to Loughrea) and most of this team also had u16 C success where they defeated Ballinasloe in the final by 3 points.  Both these side were managed by Pat Burke and Brendan Bannon. The u12 team were narrowly defeated by Clarenbridge in the city league final.  This team was coached by Tony O Donovan and Frank Hanniffy.  The u10 hurlers won two Barna Furbo Shield Finals in 2003 and 2004.  This group of players were coached by Pat Caulfield, John Burke and David Holland since 2000. 

2005 was a memorable year for the footballers of the club with the minors winning the Minor A championship in Pearse Stadium. 

2006 saw the Intermediate Footballers win a West Board League Final and narrowly missed out on promotion to senior ranks after a replay with Dunmore McHales.  The under 11 hurling team won the Jim Doyle Shield final while the under 14 footballers won the Wolfe Tones Shannon Shield final.

Many people in the parish of Oranmore Maree have given up much of their personal time over the years to train and coach underage players. Thankfully this trend is continuing up to the present day. The club would like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution made by these persons as well as support given by the local schools.

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Schools Hurling & Gaelic Football

Maree National School

James Keane and Patch Holland coached the Maree school teams with success at football and hurling.  Seamus McDonagh and Bridie Pettit were great supporters of Gaelic games.  In 1978 the Maree National School won a 9-a-side hurling final which took place in Kenny Park in Athenry.  A parade of all teams marched through the town of Athenry to the pitch.  This must have been some thrill for the players.  The school took on Tynagh in 1978 and were successful which made up for being runners up in the 1977 final.

In 1983, 1984 and 1985 Maree school won 3 school titles in a row under the guidance of Pat Holland and James Keane.  In 1983 the school captained by Richard Burke won the 9-a-side competition for the second time. There were three sets of brothers on that team - Richard and William Burke, Martin and Sean Holland and Sean and David Hanniffy. Diarmuid Keane, Pierce Grealy and Nora O Rourke in goals made up the rest of the team. The school which also secured a football title in 1984 with the unique distinction of the same group of players playing in the same positions as the hurling team.  Many of these players went on to play for their county in the later years. 

In 1993 a young Clare teacher named Joe Kennelly lead the school to another title.  In 1995 the school were runners up in the county final. In 1999 Peter Murphy, Joe Broder and Dermot Cleary coached the school to another title.  Brendan Bannon and Dermot Cleary coached another successful team in 2002.  Since 2002 John Burke and Brendan Bannon have coached the school teams. In 2003 Maree NS were runners up in the mini sevens being narrowly beaten by Loughrea.

Special thanks to Dermot and staff who have consistently encouraged Gaelic games throughout the years. For more details about the school, please visit Maree National School.

Scoil Iosaif Naofa (Oranmore Boys NS)

Hurling in the Oranmore Boys School has always been alive and active since the school championships commenced in the 1970s.  The school principal Martin Keane and later Mary Howley were major influences in ensuring hurling skills were developed as part of the overall curricula.  Andy Furey, Billy Glynn, Roddy Kelly and Seamus O Grady all contributed to prepared teams for the schools competitions.  The school appeared in two finals in 2000 and 2005 without success. 

The club acknowledges the work of Christopher O Neill and colleagues in the promotion of Gaelic games within the school. 

Gael Scoil de hIde

Gael Scoil de hIde opened in 1994 and great work has occured in promoting gaelic games within the school.  The school reached the final in 2004 and were unlucky not to be successful.  In 2005 the school reached a 9-a-side plate final.  Great credit is due to Aogan MacConmara and Mait O Bradaigh for their support at school and club level.

Scoil Mhuire

Gaelic games have been promoted in Scoil Mhuire over the years. Enthusiastic parents and teachers give significant amounts of time to promote Camogie, Gaelic football, hurling and girls football within the school.

Calasanctius College

Gaelic football and hurling are well established as core sports within the college. The college draws from a number of outlying clubs to supplement the core Oranmore Maree group. Please see Calasanctius College website.

The club is keen to acknowledge all the hard work which the schools in the parish are doing to promote gaelic games.

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