Sunday, 21 December 2014

Collooney handball Club celebrate an historic year

The legendary Mick Kelly & Paddy Walsh cut the tape to open the new impressive 40 x 20 handball court
Paddy Walsh & Shane Bruen All-Ireland handball champions in 2014

The impressive Collooney handball 40 x 20 court

Collooney handball club have entered a team in the Ocean FM Sports quiz. Team members are Michael McGee, Aoife McDonagh & Gerry Coleman. The team will take on the Sligo All-Stars Basketball team on Saturday January 3rd at 6 p.m. in the meeting rooms in the handball club.

The Collooney handball club next Bingo evening in the Collooney hall will take place on Thursday 8th January at 9 p.m. for a prize fund of €2,800.  All proceeds go towards the development of the new 40 x 20 handball court that was officially opened on August 29th last.

The Collooney handball committee would like to take this opportunity to wish all their loyal supporters a very happy and peaceful Christmas and for a prosperous new year

Carey & McGarry to step down
The A.G.M. of the Collooney handball Club will take place in the meeting rooms in the Club on Tuesday 13th January 2015 at 7 p.m.  Development Chairman Hugh McGarry has confirmed he will be stepping down as Chairman. McGarry, 4 years in the position  was the leading and driving force behind the overall project to build the impressive 40 x 20 court costing in the region of €200,000 to build.  McGarry, previously held the position of Connacht handball Chairman for 3 years.  Brendan Carey the Club Chairman has also stated his intentions of stepping down after serving over 40 years as Chairman.

Collooney handball Club celebrate an historic year

Founded in 1928 it has been a very busy and memorable year for the club both in and outside the court. The club are online since the start of the year with their own clubsite run by Michael McGee the Club's P.R.O. On August 29th last the impressive 40 x 20 complex was opened at a cost of €200,000.  The members have worked tirelessy on the project since 2008 namely Hugh McGarry, Paddy Walsh, Stanley Harte, Peter Davey, Mick Kelly, Peter Chambers, Connell Cannon, Shane Bruen, Michael McGee, Brendan Carey, Seamus Duffy, Aoife McDonagh & Denise Mullen. 

In September club members Paddy Walsh claimed his 30th All-Ireland handball title (at just 74 years of age) with a hard earned tie break win over Dublin's Mick O'Brien in the All-Ireland final of the Over-70's singles,  while Shane Bruen won both Masters B 60 x 30 All-Ireland titles.

The first tournament to be played in the new 40 x 20 was recently completed and resulted in a win for Team G over Team C. It was an historic victory for Joe Mc Cann, Pat Fox, Michael Browne, Aoife Quinn, Michael Murphy & Liam Naughton who defeated Team C of Michael Ginley, Mark Murphy, Pat O’Sullivan, Martin Golden, Cannon Cannon & Martin Brannigan by 123-104 in the final of the  Collooney handball 40 x 20 team tournament.

"As a Club we can look back on a most memorable and dramatic year and with a great deal of satisfaction and pride. As a club we dreamed an impossible dream. The team were steadfast throughout in their goals and their commitment was unrelenting, and never wavered. They just wouldn't take no for an answer even in the teeth of a biting recession. With the efforts of the above committee the club now have a state of the art 40 x 20 handball complex that matches that of any handball court in the country. It is only a matter of time that All-Ireland finals will be hosted in the new court.  Already World handball Champion Cavan's Paul Brady who will be going for an unprecedented fifth world handball title in 15 years next August in Calgary Canada has expressed his desire to play in the new court."


1. pic 14 Cutting the tape for the 40 x 20 opening are the legendary Mick Kelly & Paddy Walsh.
2. All-Ireland handball champions from the Club Paddy Walsh & Shane Bruen
3. Photo of the impressive 40 x 20 handball facility in the Collooney handball club.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of you a very happy Christmas and to all your families our supporters, sponsors fellow players & officials. Enjoy the Christmas festivities you all deserve it.

Michael McGee
Collooney handball club P.R.O.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Team G triumph in final of Collooney handball 40 x 20 team league tournament

Team G triumph in final of Collooney handball league tournament 

Team G of Joe Mc Cann, Pat Fox, Michael Browne, Aoife Quinn, Michael Murphy & Liam Naughton deft Team C of Michael Ginley, Mark Murphy, Pat O’Sullivan, Martin Golden, Cannon Cannon & Martin Brannigan by 123-104 in the final of the  Collooney handball 40 x 20 team tournament. The competition has been running for the past 8 weeks.  In an entertaining and close final throughout it was the overall gritty team display of  Team G that eventually wore down a game Team C. Despite losing the opening contest Pat Fox & Joe McCann (Team G) they can thank their team mates for pulling this one out of the fire. 

The winning team Michael Browne, Aoife Quinn, Pat Fox, Joe McCann, Liam Naughton & Michael Murphy.

Runners-up: Martin Brannigan, Connell Cannon, Martin Golden, Mark Murphy & Michael Ginley

Overall results:  Michael Ginley & Mark Murphy dft Pat Fox & Joe McCann 4-21, 21-13, 21-3
Michael Browne & Aoife Quinn dft Pat O'Sullivan & Martin Golden 21-11, 21-21, 11-0. Michael Muphy & Liam Naughton Jnr dft Martin Brannigan & Connell Cannon 21-20,  21-1.

Final score Team C  of Joe Mc Cann, Pat Fox, Michael Browne, Aoife Quinn, Michael Murphy & Liam Naughton def Team C of Michael Ginley, Mark Murphy, Pat O’Sullivan, Martin Golden, Cannon Cannon & Martin Brannigan by 123-104

The occasion marked the first tournament to be played in the new Collooney handball 40 x 20 court since the €200,000 project was completed on August 29th last. Pat Fox, Joe McCann, Michael Browne, Aoife Quinn, Michael Murphy & Liam Naughton have just written themselves in the club history books - Congratulations 

Photos with thanks to Seamus Duffy

Thursday, 11 December 2014

It's Team C v Team G in Collooney handball team tournament final

The final  of the  Collooney handball tournament takes place in the new 40 x 20 handball court on Monday evening December 15th at 7.30 p.m.

Ginley & Murphy to steer Team C to victory

The final will be beween Team C of Michael Ginley, Mark Murphy, Pat O’Sullivan, Martin Golden, Connell Cannon & Martin Brannigan. Team G will be represented by Pat Fox, Joe McCann, Michael Browne, Aoife Quinn, Michael Murphy & Liam Naughton.

Team C will go into the final as favourites and with Michael Ginley recent runner-up in the Irish 40 X 20 Nationals finals (Masters B ) in fine form along with playing partner Mark Murphy they should have too much for the ever improving Fox/McCann combination.

Overall Team C look to have the necessary strength in depth and should gain an historic first title in the impressive Collooney handball 40 x 20 handball court since its opening last August  at a cost of€200,000

Friday, 28 November 2014

Collooney handball reports appear in "Into the West G.A.A Magazine

The November issue of the Into the West Connacht G.A.A. Magazine has reports on the  Collooney handball 40 x 20 opening a full 2 pages and 6 photos and also includes report on the Joe Bergin Shield presentation to the  Club. It can be viewed HERE

Monday, 17 November 2014

Club presentations to Shane Bruen & Paddy Walsh

Bruen & Walsh feted by Collooney handball club

To mark the achievements of club players Shane Bruen & Paddy Walsh winning All-Ireland handball titles this year the Collooney handball Club made  special presentation of Galway Crystal to club handball champions. In what was one of the best years ever for Sligo handball at adult level with 6 All-Ireland titles coming to the Yeats County. 

Paddy Walsh at just 73 years of age claimed his 30th All-Ireland title with a hard fought win over great rival in Dublin's Mick O'Brien by 17-21, 21-14, 21-1 in Crinkle. From a man winning his 30th to Shane Bruen winning his first. Bruen's long wait  for an All-Ireland medal is over. Bruen won both All-Ireland Masters B 60 x 30 singles & doubles titles. Bruen defeated Wexford's  John Roche 21-17, 21-9 in the Na Fianna Club in Dublin. One week later Bruen was back in action in the doubles with partner Castleconnor's Martin Cooney. Bruen & Cooney came through  with an  excellent 21-18, 21-10 victory over Wexford's John Roche & Damien Kelly played in Crinkle. 

Pictured below from left to right: 
Hugh McGarry Collooney handball development chairman presenting Shane Bruen while Peter Davey Assistant Chairman present's Paddy Walsh with their Galway Crystal Awards 

Group photo of Collooney handball club players and officials celebrating Bruen & Walsh's awards.

(photos Michael McGee)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Irish 40 x 20 Nationals November 15th & 16th in Kilkenny/Carlow/Laois venues

Adult 40x20 Nationals Entry Details

Please Note:
  • Entries will only be accepted through the online system on www.gaahandball.ieand can be paid for by credit card, laser, cash or cheque.  
  • No entries can be accepted after the closing date.
  • Players can only enter one grade.  
  • All matches in the Irish 40x20 Adult Nationals will be 2 games to 21 and tie-break to 11.
  • The O’Neill’s International Ball (Men’s Events) and Macsports Dark Blue Ball (Ladies Events) will be the official tournament balls.
  • GAA Handball reserves the right to amend grades or entries if they feel it is necessary.
  • If numbers are low in certain grades, that particular grade will not be run, with that grade being merged with another grade.
  • GAA Handballs decision will be final in such matters.
  • By entering this competition you automatically agree to be available to play on both the qualifying weekend and the nationals weekend – as above.
  • Please note you will get a conformation email back from to confirm that your entry was successful. If you don’t receive this email conformation then you must complete the registration process again. 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Joe Bergin shield presented to Collooney handball club

Jim Gilligan representing the Bergin family presenting the Joe Bergin Perpetual Shield to Hugh McGarry Collooney handball development Chairman.

Hugh McGarry Collooney Handball Development Chairman, Shane Bruen Colloney handball Secretary, Jim Gilligan & Connell Cannon Connacht Handball Council Representative

Following on the historic opening of the impressive Collooney handball 40 x 20 court in late August the club was recently presented with the "Joe Bergin Perpetual Shield." The Bergin's were described by Collooney Development Chairman Hugh McGarry as "legends in the game." The brought great success to Collooney at club, County & All-Ireland level

At the official opening of the Collooney handball court in 1928 Joe & Paddy Bergin were residing in Tipperary played Jim Hunt & Eddie Perry from Sligo. In 1937 Joe Bergin partnered Michael O'Gorman to win the Junior Softball doubles All-Ireland title. And five years later in 1942 Joe Bergin and playing partner Stephen Bergin took on the Collins brothers from Tipperary Connie & Anthony. The Bergin's had already declared for Sligo. However as it turned out Tipperary took the All-Ireland from Sligo that day. It was an unique final as all four players were from North Tipperary.

"The presentation has come at a very opportune time with the emphasis on the opening of the new 40 x 20 handball court. The Joe Bergin Shield will be used for a Juvenile Tournament each year, and will herald a new era with a new batch of eager young handball players all aiming to win this prestigious Joe Bergin Shield. The club are indebted to the Bergin family for their very generous and welcome sponsorship, enthused McGarry."

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney All-Ireland Masters B doubles 60 x 30 champions 2014

                  All-Ireland Masters B doubles 60 x 30 champions: Martin Cooney & Shane Bruen

              Martin Cooney, Shane Bruen, pictured with runners-up  Damien Kelly & John Roche Wexford

                                                  All-Ireland Champions: Martin Cooney & Shane Bruen

My thanks to Connell Cannon, Seamus Duffy & Tony Breen for the photos

Congratulations to Sligo's Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney who won the All-Ireland 60 x 30 Championships Masters B doubles final with an 21-18, 21-10 win over Wexford's John Roche & Damien Kelly in Crinkle today.

An excellent year for Shane with 2 All-Ireland medals winning both Masters B singles & doubles title while Martin Silver Masters B singles (40 x 20) Silver Masters B singles (60 x 30) and Masters B doubles (60 x 30) capped off a brilliant year for the Castleconnor Club man

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Meet Sligo's All-Ireland handball champions

                              The victorious All-Ireland handball singles champions from Sligo: 

Shane Bruen Masters B, Paddy Walsh Over-70's & Martin Cooney Silver Masters B winners.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Bruen & Cooney aiming for doubles success

Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney go in search of another handball title on Saturday in Crinkle

Confidence will be high for Sligo doubles pairing of Shane Bruen and Martin Cooney following their terrific singles success in Dublin on Saturday. The duo are aiming for more success this time in the Masters B doubles final. Both Bruen & Cooney are very strong at this level as has shown in their Connacht final win over Roscommon's John Kennedy & Seamie Connolly by 21-15, 21-2. The duo made the long journey to Dungarvan to take on Tipperary & Munster Champions Paul Maher & David Tobin and again had an excellent 21-8, 21-10 victory. Their opponents again will be from Wexford . John Roche & Damien Kelly will provide the opposition. A tough task awaits the Sligo men but the Connacht champions have trained very hard for this one and will want to end the season on a high with another All-Ireland title. On current form Bruen & Cooney will fancy their chances of going all the way in Crinkle.

All-Ireland handball championships  60 x 30 finals:

Saturday 27th September in Crinkle at 11 am
Masters B doubles:  Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney (Sligo) v John Roche & Damien Kelly (Wexford)

Sligo's 3rd handball title today while its handball title Number 30 for handball legend Paddy Walsh

 Sligo's 3rd & Paddy Walsh's 30th  All-Ireland handball title

Saturday September 20th 2014 will go down in Sligo handball folklore as one of the County's best every day's in handball, writes Michael McGee.

In an historic day for Sligo handball  which started with Castleconnor's Martin Cooney capturing the Silver Masters B singles title with a hard fought win over Wexford's Robert Doyle in the Na Fianna G.A.A. Club in Dublin. This was quickly followed up  by Collooney's Shane Bruen winning his first All-Ireland singles title with a solid 21-17, 21-9 win over Wexford's John Roche. Attentions quickly turned to Crinkle but updates were hard to come by. When news did filter through it was an another historic win for Sligo handball legend Paddy Walsh.  Sligo's most decorated handball player of all time kept up his relentless pursuit of more All-Ireland winners medals and he did not disappoint.

Today in Crinkle he faced his old adversary in Dublin's Mick O'Brien in the Over 70's singles final. O'Brien took the 2012 title from Walsh's grasp but this time Walsh was waiting, willing for the battle to commence. But he had to do it the hard way. He lost the first narrowly by 17-21 but manfully fought back to level the match with an 21-14 win in the second. In the third and deciding set  Walsh's runaway train got up a head of steam and there was no stopping him as he saw off the Dubliners challenge to seal an historic win in the third by 21-1.  Last year Walsh (now 74)was honoured with a Civic Reception from Sligo's then Lord Mayor Marcella McGarry. On today's historic win he should be feted  yet again for his extraordinary achievement. Seventy four years young, 30 All-Ireland handball titles.  What a handball legend we have here in Sligo. Not alone that the likes of Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney should be feted as well.

All-Ireland handball 60 x 30 championships finals:
Silver Masters B singles:  Martin Cooney (Sligo) dft Robert Doyle  (Wexford) 21-10, 21-19.
Masters B singles: Shane Bruen (Sligo) dft John Roche (Wexford) 21-17, 21-9
Over 70's singles: Paddy Walsh (Sligo) dft Mick O'Brien (Dublin) 17-21, 21-14, 21-1.
Golden Masters A singles:  Francis McCann (Sligo) lost to Mickey Dowling (Kildare) 15-21, 17-21

All-Ireland Handball Champions

Sligo Handball heroes: Martin Cooney & Shane Bruen with their coveted All-Ireland handball medals 

Heartiest congratulations to Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney who won All-Ireland handball titles in the Na Fianna G.A.A Club in Dublin today. Cooney had an epic 21-10, 21-19 win over Wexford's Robert Doyle in the Silver Masters B final while Shane Bruen Masters B singles overcame another Wexford player in John Roche by 21-17, 21-9.

Up next  for them is the All-Ireland Masters B doubles final where they will take on Wexford's John Roche & Damien Kelly in Crinkle next Saturday 27th September at 11 a.m.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Bruen & Cooney reach yet another All-Ireland handball final

                                       Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney into All-Ireland singles & doubles finals

Sligo handball is definitely on a upward swing. Not alone has Collooney opened their state of the art 40 x 20 court  late last month but four of the counties handball players are now appearing in All-Ireland finals next weekend.  Added to that Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney teamed up to win comprehensively against Tipperary’s Paul Maher & David Tobin. Bruen & Cooney ran away with it recording a thoroughly deserved 21-8, 21-10 over the Tipperary men in Dungarvan today. Both players are also appearing in the All-Ireland singles finals next weekend against Wexford opponents in the Na Fianna G.A.A. Club in Dublin. Paddy Walsh Over 70’s & Francis McCann are also contesting All-Ireland finals in Crinkle next Saturday.

Result All-Ireland handball 60 x 30 championships played in Dungarvan today:
Masters B doubles semi-finals: Shane Bruen  & Martin Cooney (Sligo) dft Paul Maher & David Tobin (Tipperary) 21-8, 21-10.

Mick & Sally Kellly celebrate their Golden Jubilee - Congratulations

The Collooney handball club would like to congratulate  Mick & Sally Kelly on their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Mick & Sally married in St. Baithin’s Church Donegal on 8th September 1964 and on Friday evening amongst family, friends, work colleagues and handball players the happy couple celebrated their Golden Jubilee in the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea Ransboro. And afterwards a reception was held in the Glasshouse Hotel Sligo.

Mick the holder of ten All-Ireland titles with Paddy Walsh recalled their 50 years of wedded bliss with some amusing anecdotes thrown in for good measure.  A pictorial CD detailing their past 50 years together was played on the large computer screen.

A large crowd attended and celebrated with the happy couple in the small hours.

The Collooney handball club would like to wish Mick & Sally every health & happiness in the future.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Sligo players in 4 All-Ireland handball 60 x 30 finals

Collooney club stars Paddy Walsh & Shane Bruen contest All-Ireland finals at the weekend

Sligo  players in 4 All-Ireland handball 60 x 30 finals

Collooney handball Club who recently opened their state of the art 40 x 20 handball complex could have more to celebrate with club players Shane Bruen & Paddy Walsh who are contesting All-Ireland 60 x 30 singles finals next weekend.   Together with Ballymote’s Francis McCann & Castleconnor’s Martin Cooney it could turn out to be a momentous week for Sligo handball, writes Michael McGee

Bruen to bring home his first All-Ireland title

Shane Bruen is attempting to win his first singles All-Ireland title where he will face Wexford’s John Roche.  Bruen previous success was in 1988 when he won a Colleges All-Ireland Junior Doubles title with Michael Tormey with St. Mary’s Secondary School Boyle. Bruen the holder of 6 Connacht titles to date  has showed impressive form on route to the final. In the Connacht Semi-final Bruen avenged the loss to Mayo’s Michael Ginley in the 40  x 20 court to defeat the Mayo man in Ballymote by 21-16 21-5. In the Connacht final the Collooney club man was equally impressive when seeing off the challenge of Roscommon’s John Kennedy by 21-15, 21-2.  And in the All-Ireland semi-final played in Ballymote Bruen again was in imperious form defeating Limerick’s Mike O’Connor in straight games by 21-10, 21-14.  His opponent will be Wexford’s John Roche. Roche defeated Monaghan’s Michael Clerkin 21-15, 21-7 in his semi-final.  The Sligo man has worked hard and is undoubtably very close to making the breakthrough that he so richly deserves.   Roche will pose a serious threat to Bruen’s title ambitions but the Collooney star has prepared meticulously and on current form should gain a long overdue All-Ireland winners medal.

Walsh’s thirtieth title
Meanwhile from a player who is aiming to win his first to another player who is aiming for his 30th All-Ireland winners medal.  That man needs no introduction and that is the legendary Paddy Walsh.  Walsh the Sligo handball Wizard won his first All-Ireland title back in 1974. He has also won 6 County G.A.A titles with Collooney/Ballisodare and 1 with the St. Mary’s Club.  Sligo’s most decorated player of all time was honoured with a Civic Reception by the then Lord Mayor Marcella McGarry last year. Walsh who recently turned 74 is still hungry for more All-Ireland titles will meet Dublin’s Mick O’Brien in the final. In a repeat of the 2012 final it was the Dubliner who came out on top by 21-13, 21-5. The Sligo star has shown impressive form in training and looks set for another All-Ireland handball title in an astonishing handball career.

Cooney & McCann going for All-Ireland gold

Ballymote's Finest: Francis McCann

Two other Sligo players in final action are  Ballymote’s Francis McCann Golden Masters A singles & Castleconnor’s Martin Cooney Silver Masters B singles: The Ballymote man  defeated Mayo’s Frank Macken  21-3, 21-7  in the  Connacht final and accounted for Tipperary’s Kevin Mullins by 21-7, 21-16 in last week’s semi-final.   McCann who has shown consistent and inspirational performances all season is aiming for his 20th All-Ireland title. McCann lost to Dowling in both All-Ireland singles finals in 2012 will be eager to get back to winning ways. On current form the Sligo man should do just that.

                                                         Castleconnor's all conquering Martin Cooney

  Castleconnor’s Martin Cooney is already having a great season having claimed the Silver Masters B  All-Ireland singles 40 x 20 title last March.  He goes into the Silver Masters B singles final with impressive outings in Connacht. In his semi-final contest with Tipperary’s Paul Maher played in Clonmel, Cooney came out on top by 21-7 21-20. His devastating firepower has unhinged players. In the final he will meet Robert Doyle who is highly regarded by Wexford Handball  Secretary Tony Breen.  Doyle the Antique Fireplace Business man has blazed a path through Leinster and easily defeated Monaghan’s Tony McElduff 21-0, 21-7 in his semi-final. Cooney, the Castleconnor pocket rocket master class show should continue as he aims to extinguish the Slaneysider's title hopes.

All-Ireland handball 60 x 30 championships finals:
Saturday 20th September in Na Fianna Dublin at 11 a.m.

Silver Masters B singles:  Martin Cooney (Sligo) v Robert Doyle (Wexford)
Masters B singles:  Shane Bruen (Sligo) v John Roche (Wexford)

At Crinkle Co. Offaly at 2 p.m.
Golden Masters A singles: Francis McCann (Sligo) v Mickey Dowling (Kildare)
Over 70’s singles:  Paddy Walsh (Sligo) v Mick O’Brien (Dublin)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Collooney doubles pairs in All-Ireland semi-final action

All-Ireland 60 x 30 championships semi-finals:
Saturday 13th September in Dungarvan Co. Waterford at 1 p.m.
Masters B doubles: Shane Bruen & Martin Cooney (Sligo) v David Tobin & Paul Maher (Tipperary)

Saturday 13th September in Broadford Co Limerick at 1 p.m.

Golden Masters B doubles: Peter Chambers & Stanley Harte (Sligo) v  Tim O’Shea & Donal Hayes (Limerick)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Bruen & Walsh into All-Ireland handball 60 x 30 finals

                                     Mike O'Connor Limerick and Sligo's Shane Bruen.

Collooney’s Shane Bruen & Paddy Walsh are through to the All-Ireland handball 60 x 30 championships finals. In today’s action in Ballymote Shane took on Limerick’s Mike O’Connor and won in straight games by 21-10, 21-14. Paddy Walsh got a bye into the final.

Ballymote’s Francis McCann & Castleconnor’s Martin Cooney have also reached the singles finals. Next weekend is the doubles with Bruen & Cooney favoured to progress in the Masters B doubles.

All-Ireland Handball Championships 60 x 30 semi-finals:

Results:  Masters B semi-finals:  Shane Bruen (Sligo) dft Mike O’Connor (Limerick) 21-10, 21-14

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Bruen & Walsh play in All-Ireland semi-finals in Ballymote

All-Ireland Handball 60 x 30 Championships semi-finals

Saturday 6th September in Balllymote at 2 p.m.

Over 70’s Singles:  Paddy Walsh (Sligo) v Mossy Butler (Waterford)

Masters B Singles: Shane Bruen (Sligo) v Mike O’Connor (Limerick)

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Connacht Masters B 60 x 30 doubles title for Bruen & Cooney

Congratulations to Collooney & Sligo star Shane Bruen who teamed up with Castleconnor’s Martin Cooney to win the Masters B Connacht title with a 21-15, 21-2 victory over Roscommon’s John Kennedy & Seamie Conneely

Collooney handball club celebrate

                         Mick Kelly & Paddy Walsh cut the tape to open the new court

                                                   Collooney handball club committee

Collooney handball club celebrate

After many years of dedication, hard work and commitment the Collooney handball Club Committee were at last able to celebrate the opening of their state of the art 40 x 20 handball court last Friday evening, writes Michael McGee

A huge gathering of people from all over Ireland attended the opening of the Collooney handball 40 x 20 court on Friday evening last. In attendance was Joe TaaffeSligo G.A.A Chairman, Eamonn McMunn Sligo G.A.A Administrator. Shane Malone Main Contractor, P.J. Moran Engineer on the project. Wexford Handball Secretary Tony Breen and his wife Betty made the long journey to Collooney.  Amongst the attendance was Michael McElroy son of William McElroy the Club’s first Secretary in 1928. Also there was Brian Cooper of Markree Castle the family who kindly donated a plot of ground on the Fairgreen where the handball courts are now situated. With the viewing gallery full to capacity the evening started with an Ecumenical Blessing by Fr. Pat Peyton P.P. Collooney and Rev Adam Pullen Ballisodare.   After the blessing two of the legends of the game in Sligo Paddy Walsh & Mick Kelly who between them have won 39 All-Ireland handball titles had the honour of cutting the tape to open the new €200,000 state of the art handball court. It was a case of double celebration for Walsh as he also celebrated his 74th birthday. D.J. Charlie Brown provided the musical entertainment.

Development Chairman Hugh McGarry gave the speech and began by sincerely thanking the Cooper Family of Markree Castle who kindly donated the ground in the Fairgreen back in 1928 where the handball court is built. McGarry had a warm “Cead Mile Failte” for Brian Cooper who was in attendance.  McGarry praised Fr. Pat Peyton PP Collooney who launched the plan back in 2011 and said “that the people of Collooney are very lucky to have him.”  “Fr. Pat is a tremendous help to us over the last 3-4 years”.   The Development Chairman thanked Tony McLoughlin T.D. who was instrumental in helping the club receive the €50,000 sports lottery funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport in January of last year which greatly aided the project.   He also thanked all the support received from the weekly Bingo in Collooney hall and acknowledged “that this would not have happened only for the support of their loyal supporters”. P.J. Moran a lecturer in Engineering was described as a “great guy” by McGarry.  “This was his ideas and plans and great credit to him.”  McGarry was full of praise for the main contractor Shane Malone “when Shane came on board my problems was solved.”  Shane is an absolute gentleman McGarry added.   Malone’s team of contractor’s Jimmy Kilgallon, Eamon Waters, Padraic Harte, Michael Harte & the Walsh brothers were also thanked for their excellent work.

 McGarry remembered great friends of the club who are now deceased people like Willy Loftus, Ned Connelly, Mrs Jackson, Mickey Finn, Kathleen Finn, Gabriel Walsh & John O’Hara and with that there was 30 seconds of silence for those departed.   McGarry mentioned past players the Clifford brothers, Mannion brothers, Kenneth McKenna, Bergin brothers, Flynn brothers, Johnson brothers Ballisodare, Harry Colleary, Sonny Hennessy &Tom Colleary. The Development Chairman reiterated his desire to continue their development during the winter months to renovate the 60 x 30 court and have an Official opening  in Spring of next year.  All of the committee were individually thanked for their extraordinary dedication and commitment in the last number of years.  McGarry was delighted to see Michael McElroy son of William McElroy the first Club Secretary in 1928 looking hale and hearty at the opening.   McGarry looks forward to seeing the club players reach their potential in the years to come and that the new generation will also bring great success to the club.

Collooney handball 40 x 20 opening Friday August 29th in photos

Sean Reilly, Angela McLoughlin, Pat Connolly & Anthony McGarry

                                  Michael & Mona Elroy, Jim Gilligan & John Leydon

Liam Kelly, Rian Kelly, Mick & Sally Kelly, Enya Kelly & Angela Killalea
Betty & Tony Breen our great friends in Wexford. Thanks Tony & Betty for sharing with us on our historic opening
Connell Cannon, Rev Adam Pullen & Fr Pat Peyton PP Collooney
Shane Bruen, Martin Golden, Francie Cawley, John Cawley & Johnny Banks

Brendan Carey, Mick McMorrow & Francis McCann

Councillor Tomas Healy, Shane Bruen & Daniel Gallagher AKA D.J. Charlie Brown
John McGarty, Jean Connell, Ailish & Eimear McGarry, Peter Davey, Mairead Philips & Annabella Nolan
Shane Malone Main Contractor, Hugh McGarry Dev Club Chairman  & P.J. Nolan Engineer
Carl Brennan Champion photographer, John McLoughlin Connacht Handball Secretary, Mick Kelly & Hugh McGarry
Larry Jones & Michael Ginley

Connell Cannon, Fr. Pat & Rev Adam Pullen at the Blessing
Mick Kelly & Paddy Walsh cut the tape to open the alley

Collooney handball committee

Paddy, Eugene & Mick

Michael & Mona Elroy, Maureen Mullin & Jim Gilligan
Still got it: PJ Moran displaying his handball skills

Tony Breen Wexford handball secretary, Hugh McGarry & P.J. Moran
Tony Breen, Hugh McGarry, P.J. Moran & Michael McGee
Michael Flynn & Hugh McGarry