A plug for Parke

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On my way into St Tiernan’s Park in Crossmolina on Sunday, I stopped for a chat with a group of fundraisers from Parke Keelogues Crimlin GAA club, who were selling tickets for their mega-draw, which is being held to raise funds for the development of the club’s facilities.

Having bought a ticket for the draw, the details about which are here, I was told that some of the funds the club are aiming to raise will be to develop a new pitch at Parke. It was then that I recalled being at a challenge match Mayo played against Cork back in the Eighties when the club’s pitch was first opened.

I did a search on the Irish Newspaper Archives this evening and soon I was reading the informative report on the match in question in the Western People written by the late, great Ivan Neill. The game took place in June 1985 and it’s safe to say that Ivan wasn’t impressed by what he saw from Mayo that day.

Under a heading stating “Eve of Championship Outing Leaves me Cold”, the writer tore strips off a Mayo team that, two weeks out from playing Leitrim in the Connacht SFC semi-final, had lost that challenge game to Cork in Parke by 4-4 to 2-6.

How’s this for an opening paragraph?

Forgive me for not being able to find a word in the dictionary to describe Mayo’s performance against Cork in a challenge game to mark the official opening of the Parke GAA Club’s new Community Sportsground on Sunday. Several people at the historic occasion had no trouble in coming up with a descriptive title for Mayo’s display but none of them are printable.

Western People, 12th June 1985

Ivan went on to opine that Mayo’s defence was “as reliable as a bullet-riddled bucket” and that the team’s attack “was just a joke from start to finish”. At midfield, Willie Joe was spared the brickbats but TJ wasn’t, with Ivan stating that the Balla man “will have to improve if this area is to play any role in Mayo’s championship bid.”

Happily, this doom-laded report proved well wide of the mark that summer. Leitrim’s Connacht semi-final challenge was swatted aside without any difficulty and this was followed by an emphatic crushing of Roscommon in the Connacht final. A few weeks later, a stirring second half comeback saw Liam O’Neill’s battling side earn a shock draw with Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final, with the team’s fine run coming to an end with defeat in the replay.

Those green shoots may not have been all that obvious that June day in Parke but our 1985 Championship campaign – with the team featuring a number of players who’d tasted All-Ireland success at U21 level two years earlier – ended up hauling Mayo back to prominence. It was, arguably, the start of what might be regarded as the modern era for the county, when we began to compete seriously at national level on a regular enough basis.

Parke GAA Club have gone from strength to strength since then too and the ambitious draw they’re currently running shows that the club – which combines GAA and LGFA activities – is determined to continue its development into the future. More power to them.

19 thoughts on “A plug for Parke

  1. Those were the days when supporters knew when a challenge match was on and could attend.
    The era of ” Omerta” has not served the GAA well.

  2. That’s not how I operate, My Ball! The plug was happily provided, with nothing given nor expected in return. I’m in the hat along with everyone else for the draw.

    In other news, our full review pod on all the weekend’s club Championship action is up now on Patreon.

  3. Bringing back memories now Willie Joe,we had some great days that year,perhaps Liam O Neill started to make us more professional in our preparations,good luck in the draw

  4. @ Corrick Bridge Liam was the first manager to bring a professional attitude to the Mayo job.
    Great wing. Back , would get on any team.

  5. ‘That’ Padraig Brogan thunderbolt that left John O’Leary flailing in that encounter is one I still revert back to now and again, when I need a lift.

  6. Bumped into the said Padraig Brogan in a tay shop in Ballina yesterday. What a talent he was if Kerry or Dublin had him he would have lots of all Ireland medals why as a county do we fail sometimes to get the best out of our best players?

  7. @Glorydays Brogan was his own worst enemy.
    It takes more than talent to be a top star at inter county level.
    I think he played with Donegal in 91 but left before they won in 92

  8. Unfortunately for Padraig he was playing at a time when supports for lads who may have needed them were not in place. I hope those supports are in place now but I wouldn’t know for sure.

  9. @Jr therefore the grace of God go any of us. In my book Padraig Brogan did the county some service. Actually in 92 I was in Croke Park when he came on as a sub against Donegal in the all Ireland semi final a game in which Mayo surrenderd meekly to Donegal in Brogan was by no means the worst performer that day.

  10. Sure did @glorydays. He certainly did for Knockmore too. I was at the county final in ’83 when he pretty much single handedly won them the title v Davitts. I think,from memory it was 12 points he kicked that day. In ’83 he would have been about 19 years old I’d say.

  11. A little story from my past which goes to show that I have followed Mayo for many years,I believe that Kerry played Mayo in a league match in Crossmolina in the eighties,afterwards in the Dolphin Hotel at the bar the great Micko was enquiring about Mayo players that were not actually playing for Mayo at that time,but who were causing problems for the county and management,Micko said after a few players who had failed to make the Mayo team,he said yearra if I was like that,I would not be able to field a team at all,so perhaps something to reflect on

  12. Quay School – I mailed you there (I assume that mail address is Yahoo.com but please advise me if it’s not) and if you could get back to me via mail on it hopefully we can sort the issue you’re having.

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