2021 Clounmacon Club History


By John Walsh

Tradition plays a major part in the Gaelic Association all over the Country and its wonderful to imagine that a football club like Clounmacon with one team can bring so much joy, pride and excitement to a small rural Community. This is a club that has a major role to play in the life of the people of Clounmacon giving a loyal band of supporters the opportunity to cheer their own team from their own place for the pride of their own parish.

From the earliest days of the Gaa, Clounmacon had its football teams and records show this from 1898 onwards. They fielded teams right through the 1920's and 30's with a club being formed in 1925 under the guidance of Jerry “Sonny” Buckley who was their first Chairman.The team was invited to play in the Listowel Town League in 1950 wearing a newly purchased set of Blue and White jerseys. Having reached the final on the Sunday before the Listowel Races against the “Ashes” Clounmacon won this memorable final by one point, a goal scored almost at the final whistle; however they were challenged on a technicality, they received the cup but not the medals. Following this victory the club applied for permission to field a senior team in North Kerry. Though Listowel objected, permission was granted and the club was reformed. Chairman: Jack Murphy. Vice Chairman: Willie Gorman. Secretary: Patsy O Sullivan. Treasurer: Donal Bill O Sullivan. This was the dawn of a marvellous decade for Clounmacon and for football in general in North Kerry. In 1952, Ballydonoghue were the opposition in the final of the Ballylongford Tournament. Clounmacon won this game by 11 points with the winning prize being a set of Black and Amber jerseys, which remain the club colours to this day. In 1953, a red hot rivalry was established between two great teams of that time, Duagh and Clounmacon. They met on many occasions in '53 and supporters turned up in their thousands, to witness these great battles, much to the delight of the North Kerry Board! Some purists at the time suggested that this rivalry bordered on the 'unhealthy' but the fans loved it! However, each team member had a healthy admiration for their respective opponent and many became very close friends throughout the years that followed. On to 1954 with Clounmacon reaching the pinnacle, by beating Tarbert in their own patch, to claim the North Kerry Senior Championship crown. A wonderful achievement by a young team, together just a few short years at that stage. The absolutely outstanding and epic poem, "Ball, Battle and Bucket" by the late great Dan Keane, really epitomises that victory in Tarbert Town on that famous November day.
In 1955 Clounmacon again reached the final and were leading by a point, only for opponents Duagh to grab a late, late goal to emerge as victors by 2 points. Ballyconry and Clounmacon met at the semi final stage the following year. However, following some controversy, both teams were suspended and Duagh were awarded the championship title. In 1957 Clounmacon beat Moyvane, Duagh and Ballylongford (after a replay) on their way to yet another North Kerry Senior final. However on this occasion fellow Parishioners Listowel defeated them, final score; 2-04 to 0-06 The indomitable spirit, never say die attitude and self belief that this team possessed many a hard fought field of play during the 1950's, cemented their legendary status and they are rightfully recognized as the heroes of Clounmacon's Golden Era.

1954 Clounmacon Team. North Kerry Senior Champions. Sean O Mahony. Charles Street. Bobby Buckley. Derry, Martin Scanlon. Coolaclarig. Mikey Lyons. Lower Derry. Monty Leahy. Clounmacon. Paddy O Connell. Ballygologue. Jer Egan. Coilbee. Joe Scanlon. Coolaclarig. Bill Phelan. Garda. Joe Shanahan. Dromin. Patsy Kerins. Castleisland. Anthony (Wax) Scanlon Coolaclarig. Michael (Donal) Sullivan Coilbee, Bill Egan. Coilbee. Subs: Son Halpin. Clounmacon. Brendan Lawlor. Ardfert. Dermot Buckley. Bridge Road. Donal Leahy. Brosna. William Buckley (Fr.) Derry. Plenty of silverware too numerous to mention have been recorded back the years at both North Kerry and County by this very proud club.