The Good Old Days at the Building Gate

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By Patrick McNamara (1997)

When the long evenings came in the 40s there used to be 25 to 30 boys at the “Building Gate”. One and sixpence from the older lads and 4 pence from the younger ones was collected for a football; the price of the ball was collected in two evenings. The football was bought on the big “Fair Day” in Listowel on the 13th of May by Mike Gleeson and Mike Flavin at a cost of £3.

It was a long wait for the two men to come from Listowel and it was well examined by everyone before it was kicked into Kissane’s field, which is today the Jack Walsh Park.

Twenty five to thirty lads took part in a game with about the same watching the game from the hedges. The goalposts were cut across the road in the wood which were put up in the field with two ropes as crossbars. A match between Tullahinell and Larha was always played in the month of June. If the 24th of June fell on a Sunday a big night of music and celebration would be had around a bonfire that night.

The Larha team would cross the border into Tullahinell single file, led by their fiddler John Enright, known as the “Wandering Fiddler”. Both teams would be paraded around the field before the game would start and the “Fiddler” would play the National Anthem. “The throw-in and the game is on – first to break away is….”.

Teams: Tullahinell: Paudie McNamara, Mike Gleeson, Mike Flavin, Jim Lynch, Harry Murphy, Mikey Hayes, Mike O’Brien, Ger Kennedy, Tommy Reagan, Dan Kennedy, Jim Lacey, Johnny Holly, Peter Stack, Mike Nolan, Eddie Murphy.

Larha: Mike Finnerty, Maurice Finnerty, Tom Moloney, Jack Lyons, Patrick Walsh, John Moloney, Bill Linnane, Con Carmody, Patrick Carmody, Mick Lynch.

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