Crettyard GAA

Crochta Ard
Founded: 1960
County: Laois
Nickname: Cretty
Colours: Green, White and Gold
Grounds: Newtown
Coordinates: 52°51′56.51″N 7°06′18.48″W / 52.8656972°N 7.1051333°W / 52.8656972; -7.1051333Coordinates: 52°51′56.51″N 7°06′18.48″W / 52.8656972°N 7.1051333°W / 52.8656972; -7.1051333
Playing kits
Standard colours

Crettyard GAA is a Gaelic Athletic Association gaelic football club in Crettyard near Newtown in County Laois, Ireland.

The club is located near the Laois-Kilkenny border.


Shortly after the GAA was founded in 1884, there were two clubs in the area: Mayo “Die Hards” and Newtown “sons of Erin”. According to the Nationalist and Leinster Times newspaper Newtown played a football game v Modubeagh in 1888, Mayo also played a match v Modubeagh in the Arles club tournament in 1889. An R.I.C. special branch report on the G.A.A. in Queens County in 1890, stated that the Mayo and Newtown clubs were both affiliated. The Mayo club officers were, Captain; John Doogue, Sec; James Murphy, Treas; John Graham. There were 40 members in the club. The Newtown club offices were Captain: Luke Delaney; Sec: John Dooley; Treasurer: William Delaney, Newtown had 55 members. The draw for the football championship of 1891 had Newtown v Drimroe down to play in Kellyville on 19 April 1891 with James Mallon as referee. The last report of a team from the Parish during this time came in 1896, Newtown playing Athy in the Ballyadams club tournament.

Martin Gorman and Paddy Lawlor both from Doonane played with Clough/Cloneen club in the Kilkenny county finals of 1911-1913. Paddy Lawlor represented the Kilkenny Senior football team during this time. Kilkenny was very successful in football during the early 1900s.

There is a report in the Nationalist newspaper of a meeting of the Doonane/Mayo branch of the Irish National Volunteers in the “football field” in Killeen, Crettyard in 1914. So it can be assumed that football was played in the parish even though there was no team affiliated at this time.

Newtown reappeared in the 1930 junior championship. After reaching the semi-final in 1931, v Portarlington, match played on 17/1/1932, they dropped out of existence. The team mentors was Tom Purcell from Clonbrock and Pat Reilly of Newtown Bog. “Big” Paddy Delaney, Michael ”Skealy” Delaney both from Crettyard, Andy Nash Aughrina and John Reilly Newtown Bog all played and won Kilkenny county titles with Cloneen club during this period.

The “Old” Crettyard club was founded in 1936. Playing in the junior championship, they reached six semi-final’s over 11 years. They were unlucky not to have won at least one Laois title and were generally regarded as one of the best junior teams of their time. The club supplied players to Laois senior, junior and minor teams. The club’s last match was in the losing the 1947 semi-final v Kilminchy, which was played in 1948.

The Fairymount club was founded in 1948. Starting out as a minor club, a junior team was formed in 1950. After a long hard campaign, the 1952 junior championship was won, defeating Jamestown after a replay. Fairymount campaign for the next 7 years in the intermediate grade without success, although they reached the 1959 final, losing to Stradbally. The club also reached the 1957 Minor final, Annanough winning by a point after a great match. Players from Fairymount club also represented Laois in all grades during the 50’s. The clubs officers for 1956 were President; Very Rev William Gavin PP; Chairman; John Joe O’Neill; Vice Chairman; Tom Smyth; Sec; Mick Dormer; Treas; Bill Kelly; Committee; Tom Purcell; Kieran Walsh; and Joe Corcoran; Delegates; Mick Dormer; John Joe O’Neill.

Fairymount camogie club was started in 1951.Their mentors were Paddy Sixsmith and Mick Dormer. Unfortunately honours did not come their way, but Annie Browne, Peggy Delaney, Nancy Kelly, Mary Looney and Eileen Nolan represented the Laois camogie team around this time. After the clubs demise in 1954, some of the players transferred to the Ballylinan club.

A second football club, Tolerton was formed in 1956. Its first officers were, President; Very Rev William Gavin PP; Chairman; Mick Brennan; Vice Chairman; Johnny Moore, Sec; Christy Browne, Treas; Murt Conville. Committee; Tom Dunne, Michael Dowling, Mick Burke, Pakie Doyle, Tom Moore, Tom Byrne, and Bernie Comerford, Delegates; Mick Brennan and Murt Conville. Their First championship game v Abbeyleix ended in defeat, by a narrow margin. The club’s final game was the 1959 junior semi-final v Mental Hospital, which they also lost by a narrow margin.

The present Crettyard club was founded in 1960, with the amalgamation of the Fairymount and Tolerton clubs. The first officers were, President; Very Rev, Garret Murphy; Vice-President; Rev, Jimmy Moore; Michael Daly Snr and Tommy Graham Snr; Chairman, John Joe O’Neill, Vice-Chairman, Mick Brennan; Sec; Michael Looney; Assist-Sec; Mick Burke; Treas; Tom Dunne. Committee; Mick Dormer; Eamon Ginty; Ned Burke; Paddy Sixsmith; Joe Graham; Jack Meally; Tommy Graham Snr; Delegates; John Joe O’Neill; Mick Brennan and Mick Dormer.

The new club got off to a great start, winning the 1961 Junior and the 1965 Intermediate championships. They also reached the 1962 Minor and 1964 Intermediate finals. A little piece of history was made, when eight players from the club represented Laois in the Leinster Junior Championship of 1965. Six played on the team that reached the Leinster final. The players were James Hosey, Jimmy Murphy, Michael Warren, Frankie Dormer, Ned Daly, Paddy Brennan, Luke Whelan and Micky Brennan. The club competed in Senior ranks for the first time in 1966. For the next couple of years, the club competed very strongly, but without success.

The club were relegated to Intermediate in 1972, but returned to senior ranks in 1976 when they won the intermediate title beating the Heath in the final. From 1976 to 1984, the club didn’t enjoy any success being relegated in 1979. In 1984 they again won the Intermediate title beating The Rock in the final. The club maintained senior status for 19 years with varying success, winning Division 1 League titles in 1997 and 1998. Also in 1994 the club achieved county honours when the U21’s took the title beating Portarlington in the Final.

2005 turned out to be a great year for Crettyard. The club won the Intermediate county title, beating Courtwood in a closely contested final before progressing to win the Leinster Intermediate Club Football Championship Title, beating Rathcline of Longford. The following are the players and mentors: Patrick ‘Red Pa’ Brennan, captain, Noel Kelly ‘RIP’, Shane Buggy, Liam ‘Sammy’ Kelly jnr, Ramon Buggy, John Jones, Peter Brennan, Jimmy Brennan, Joe Brennan, John Graham, Keith Nolan, Mark Kelly, Christor Maher, Richard Dempsey, Patrick Brennan, tce, Connor Kelly, Keith Purcell, Jason Dunne, Eddie O’Reilly, William Fitzpatrick, Enda Walsh, Nial Purcell, Killian Walsh, Brian O’Sullivan, Seamus Rice, Patrick O’Reilly, Paul Delaney, Brendan Brennan, Bernard Graham and Darren Ayers. Manager; Liam ‘Sammy’ Kelly snr, Trainer; Ben Brennan; Selectors; John Behan, Francis Fleming and Jim Kelly. In the last number of years the club has regularly reached the quarter finals of the Senior Championship.

St Abbans hurling club was founded in 1960; they played junior and minor hurling for a couple of years. They maintained a juvenile club for six years. Its first officers were President Very Rev, Garret Murphy; Vice-President Paddy Delaney; Chairman Michael Nolan; Vice-Chairman Mosie Murphy; Sec/Treas; Paddy Sixsmith. Committee; Michael Warren, Frank Dormer, James Hosey, Eamon Wheatley, Andy Deevy, Jack Delaney, Bill Fitzpatrick. Delegates Paddy Sixsmith and Michael Nolan.

St Abbans camogie club was formed in 1961. Their mentors were Mick Dormer and Paddy Sixsmith. Eileen Dormer played on the Laois camogie team during the 60s. Due to emigration and lack of players, the club folded after a couple of seasons.

Crettyard Ladies football club was formed in 1974. They have won county championships in all grades and have also achieved success at Leinster championship level. They have supplied numerous players to the Laois Ladies county teams for many years, helping the county to win All-Ireland titles at minor and senior Level. The club has several All Star winners in their ranks.

The St Brigid’s handball club was founded in 1984. Handball was always very popular in the area, with games being played against back walls and side walls of buildings. The completion of the handball alley at Monavea in 1987 changed all that. The club has been very successful over the last 25 years, producing Leinster and All-Ireland champions at juvenile and adult level in both male and female competitions.

In the 1980s, the Crettyard football club purchased their own grounds at Moscow, Newtown. In the past 30 years a lot of hard work has gone into developing the magnificent playing facilities now available to both club members and visiting clubs. County teams have used the facilities for training and matches. The Club have a clubhouse, stand, gym, two full sized playing pitches, floodlights to inter-county standard and parking for over 500 vehicles

Notable Players

Joe Brennan; Garrendenny; Played centre field at the age of 41 on Crettyard intermediate team in 2005 that won Laois and Leinster titles. Has represented Laois at both minor and senior level. Joe won a county medal with Ballylinan hurling club. Plays handball with St Brigid’s club, holder of Leinster handball medal.

James Kelly: Made a great start to his senior football career by learning to solo a football , now sits on the Bench beside Joseph Brennan a son of former player joe Brennan

Paddy Brennan; Doonane tce; On Laois u21 team that won 1964 Leinster title and played Kerry in the All Ireland final. His son James won All-Ireland colleges medal with Knockbeg in 2005

John Brophy; Fairymount; Played with St Abbans hurling club. Transferred to Ballypickas, won junior and intermediate championship medals with them. Represented Laois in the 60’s.

Johnny Carroll; Newtown; Represented Laois in the 40’s and early 50’s. On Laois team that reached the 1951 Leinster final. His nephew Gerry won All Ireland medal with Offaly in 1982.

Connie Conway; Rushes; The driving force of Crettyard ladies football club for many years. Holder of 10 county medals, 4 Leinster club medals, 8 Leinster county medals, 1 National League and 3 all Stars. Unlucky to lose out on All Ireland medal she fought so hard to win.

Ned Daly; Fairymount; Holder of 2 intermediate championship medals. Has been very active in promotion the interest of the club during a long period of time. Has represented Laois co teams.

Mick Dormer; Crettyard; A club delegate for well over 50 years, he was a big driving force behind former Crettyard club, Fairymount club and the present Crettyard club. He was a selector for Laois junior teams for many years. Represented Laois in the 40’s.

Richie Dormer; Newtown; Played on Laois minor team at age 15 and the senior team age 17. Emigrated to the U S at 18, holder of 2 New York senior championship medals.

Shane Dormer; Dromagh; Member of St Brigid’s handball club. Holder of 5 All Ireland and 6 Leinster medals.

Patsy Dowling; Ardenteggle; Secretary of St Brigid’s Hand ball. His dedication and hard work has contributed in a huge way to the success of the club.

Ned Dunphy; Crettyard; Co-founder of ‘old’ Crettyard club. Secretary and county board delegate for 12 years, native of Ballyfin.

Jim Kelly; Farnans; Emigrated to England age 16. Joining St Vincents of Luton, he won 10 senior Hertfordshire county titles, his last in 2000 at the age of 54.

Liam ‘Sammy’ Kelly; Farnans; Manager of the Crettyard Intermediate team that won both Laois and Leinster titles in 2005, has also manage the Laois county junior team. Represented Laois in the 1990s.also known as Ireland's richest man

John ‘Jacko’ Murphy; Monavea; Played on Laois minor, u21and senior teams, won a u21 Leinster medal in 1994 Has also represented London senior team.

John Joe’O Neill; Hollypark; Has the unique distinction of being chairman of three separate clubs. The ‘old’ Crettyard club, Fairymount club and first chairman of the present club. He was also co board delegate for many years.

Seamus Purcell; Doonane; Although living in Dublin for over 35 years his dedication and commitment to Crettyard club has been outstanding. He is a brilliant organizer and his vision and drive, plus hard working committees, has contributed in no small way to the great facilities that the club enjoy.

Paddy Sixsmith; Crettyard; Represented Laois in the 40’s, on the panel that won Leinster in 1946. Won three intermediate medals with three different clubs, Flemings Fireclay 1942, Wolfhill 1950 and Crettyard 1965. Played senior championship football for Crettyard at 46 years of age.

Mary Wheatley; Doonane; Dedicated and popular official of Crettyard ladies football club from the clubs formation Former President and Treasurer of the Ladies GAA, still chairperson of Crettyard ladies football club.

Darren Kelly - Manager


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