2021 Listowel Emmets Club History

CLUB OF THE WEEK. LISTOWEL EMMETS by Club Secretary Norah Brown.

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) was founded on November 1st 1884, within six months of that famous first meeting, clubs began to spring up all over Ireland and people began to play the games of Hurling and Gaelic Football and take part in Gaelic Athletic events with pride. Our own club Listowel Emmets was founded a year later on 27th June 1885 and was known at the time as The Feale Amateurs, located at College Cross in Listowel, nestled between St. Michael’s College and St. Michael’s Cemetery. In 1889 the Listowel Amateurs played in their first County Championship where they defeated Irremore, Tralee Mitchels had the better of the Feale Amateurs in the second round of the championship that year which was played in Tralee.  

In 1956 Emmets GAA Club as it is today was formed and in the following year the senior, intermediate and minor North Kerry League titles were won. In May 1960 Emmets carried out some redevelopment work on the pitch and in honour of the pitch reopening over 10,000 people travelled to Listowel to see Christy Ring play with Glen Rovers V Kerry in a Hurling match, while Kerry and Down battled it out in the Football match. In 1979 the Listowel Emmets GAA pitch was closed for redevelopment and re-opened again in 1981 and was renamed in honour of Mr. Frank J Sheehy who was appointed as Chairman to the County Board in 1953. 

In 2002 Frank Sheehy Park was closed again for full redevelopment and re-opened in 2005, during this time a sand based prunity type pitch was laid along with the construction of a state of the art clubhouse with 4 dressing rooms, a clubroom, outside toilet facilities and kitchen. The stand and boundary wall was also refurbished with a fully operational electronic scoreboard and terracing established for supports and patrons. Floodlighting was also installed and these are to full match standard. 

During our 136 years of existence, we have shared many great days together from winning North Kerry championships, to winning the Kerry Junior and Intermediate championships, from playing in Senior County Championship with Emmets club in 2004 and being part of the wonderful Feale Rangers teams who were crowned Senior County Champions on many an occasion.  

We as a club have also been fortunate to have had a number of players wear the green and gold jersey of Kerry. 18 players wore the Kerry Senior jersey in Championship (1928-2016)  

At U21 level since the turn of the millennium 11 players have worn the jersey while at Minor code we have provided a steady stream of players to this panel the latest being Jack McElligott who came on against Cork in Kerry’s win in Austin Stack Park in December.  

Our Juvenille Club is a thriving hub of activity that caters for all ages from under six to under sixteen. The Saturday Morning Club is a hive of activity each morning with a highlight of our calendar each year the finals of the John B Keane League, Frank Sheehy Park is reminiscent of Croke Park on All Ireland Final day as members of Listowel Primary Convent School Band plays each team around the grounds. Successes shared in the recent past were achievements in County Minor League champions, U14 County League Division two champions and Feile Peil na nOg semi finalist.  

In more recent years we have participated in a number of North Kerry Championship finals, 1991 still gives a glint in the eye to all those that witnessed it and were a part of it, a day which turned the fortunes of our club and we have rarely looked back since. The last North Kerry Senior Championship won by the club was in 2013 when the first Knocknagoshel man Denis Walsh lifted the Bernard O’Callaghan trophy in an emotional day in Tarbert which saw Emmets seal the victory with a Conor Cox point that is still disputed to this day! It also saw current club chairman Noel Kennelly at the age of 34 earn his seventh North Kerry Senior Championship medal in good company with his uncle Mikey! 

Did you know !! 

Two Listowel Emmets players captained Kerry against Dublin on the same day on All Ireland Final Day  

John Chute captained Kerry against Dublin in All Ireland Minor Final in 1979 while Tim Kennelly captained Kerry seniors team against Dublin in All Ireland Senior Final in 1979. Kerry seniors went onto defeat Dublin in the final while the Kerry Minors were defeated.  

Listowel Emmets have had two of their players play in the AFL. Sean Wight (R.I.P) was a member of Listowel Emmets when he was picked to be as part of the “Irish Experiment” in Australia. He and Jim Stynes were the chosen few. Before Sean Wight died he got to see his Listowel Emmets clubmate Tadhg Kennelly follow him to Australia and win a Premiership medal with Sydney Swans in 2005.  


Listowel Emmets  18


Tim Kennelly, 5, Gary McMahon, 2, Stephen Stack, 2, Noel Kennelly, 2, Brendan Guiney, 2, Tony McAuliffe, 1, Standish Kerins, 1, Jack Kennedy, 1, Paddy Mullane, 1, Tadhg Kennelly, 1.