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HAPPY 134th BIRTHDAY DR. CROKES   01/11/2020


A cause for celebration for Dr Crokes, 134 years old today, Monday November 2nd, 2020.

Fadó, fadó, on a Sunday night, a group of Killarney men went to O’Mahoney’s public house in College Street. The building is still there, but has gone through different ownerships. First, to Squire Cronin’s, The Jug of Punch and in recent years to Lord Kenmare’s. The men had plenty to talk about, especially about so many evictions, the scourge of that time in Killarney and all over Ireland.

Michael Davitt informed a meeting in Castleisland that 1,600 families in Kerry had been evicted in the previous 3 years. The Land League leaders were doing their utmost to undo these wrongs and there were 8 branches of the Land League on the Kenmare Estate (Killarney) alone. Someone referred to the GAA, founded on November 1st 1884 in Thurles. One word led to another. Why not get a GAA club going in Killarney was well debated over pints and ‘taoscáns’ of poitín?   


Good idea, but how do we do it with the town full of informers and extra-vigilant foreign forces? A nod and a wink and the elbow language sufficed that they would meet 010two nights later, but not a word to anyone.

Canon Tom Looney, a mine of knowledge on Killarney’s history, provides us with the details of the subsequent Tuesday night’s meeting.

Andy Mulcahy, a native of Kilkenny and a sterling Gael, was a charge hand at the Gas Works, the property of the Rail Company, situated beside the Iron Bridge at the end of Fair Hill cottages, just a stone’s throw from O’Mahoney’s pub. He provided a room for the meeting, where the Outlet centre now stands. Nineteen men attended and Tom Looney termed them the “19 Dangerous Dreamers”. They met in candle-lit secrecy. They had a dream and that dream became a reality 134 years ago today, when they founded Dr Crokes GAA, on November 2, 1886.


Dr. Crokes faced many challenges, but it survived the evictions, the Land Dispute, the Spanish flu, the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence, the bitter Civil War, Two World Wars, The TB and Polio scourges and now the Covid-19 pandemic, which challenges everyone, worldwide.

Through it all, Dr Crokes survived both on and off the field. Dr Crokes have won more Kerry Senior Football championships (13) than any other club, followed closely by Austin Stacks on 12 while East Kerry, the current champions have won 8 titles. Club players have won well in excess of 100 All Ireland senior football medals. We wish the best of luck to our current senior club players, Tony Brosnan, Gavin White and Mícheál Burns the best of luck with Kerry as they are away to Cork in the Munster SFC this weekend. The three lads starred in Tralee recently when Kerry won the 2020 Allianz NFL title. A win over Cork will set us on the short enough road to Croke Park and a bid to win Kerry’s 38th All Ireland title. The Dubs have been dominant since Kerry won their last title in 2014, jointly captained by Dr Croke stars, Fionn Fitzgerald and Kieran O’Leary.


Croke hurlers are thriving and the Ladies’ football teams are having their most successful year   ever. The Saturday Morning Academy for juvenile boys and girls, hurling and football, Under 6 to Under 11, has attracted huge numbers, staffed by excellent coaches.

As of now, all club activities are suspended by the GAA, because of Level 5 restrictions, but Dr Croke members are urged, as always, to stay connected, within HSE guidelines, of course. Club activities will come back to normal, and the vision of the nineteen Dangerous Dreamers 134 years ago today will live on.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na Chrócaigh.

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