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Tipperary Club Focus – Durlas Óg GAA Club

By Jonathan Cullen Wed 21st Dec

Tipperary Club Focus – Durlas Óg GAA Club
Tipperary Club Focus – Durlas Óg GAA Club

In the next of our monthly club focus articles, we are in Mid Tipperary as we take a visit to Durlas Óg  GAA Club:

  • Club Name: Dúrlas Óg GAA Club
  • Address: Abbey Road, Garryvicleheen, Thurles, Co. Tipperary
  • Eircode: E41 VX84
  • Hurling: U7, U9, U11, U13, U15 & U17
  • Football: U7, U9, U11, U13, U15 & U17
  • Club colours: Red & White
  • Main Club Sponsor: Morans Menswear
  • Current Referees: Paddy Kenny,
  • Young Whistlers: Emmet Ralph, James Aliyaran, Jack Condon & Sean Treacy
  • Current County / Divisional Officers: P.J. Bowden (Chairman Mid Tipp Coiste na nÓg), Paddy Kenny (Assistant Treasurer Mid Senior Board)


Club officers:


Club Social Media details:



Gaelic Games at juvenile level in Thurles was at a very low ebb in the winter of 1978. In the same year Scoil Ailbhe won county Under 11 titles in both football and hurling. If the school teams could be so successful why not the club teams? A group of dedicated men got together and concluded that the only way to revive hurling and football in Thurles was to have one strong club that would cater for all the boys in the town.

1991 Feile All Ireland Champions

At the conventions of the adult clubs in 1978, the idea was put to the clubs that they hand over responsibility for juvenile affairs to a new juvenile club to be formed, and that this new club would have the backing and support of the adult clubs. Prime movers in the behind-the-scenes negotiations at this time were Michael Murphy, Sarsfields stalwart of the sixties and Tipperary All-Ireland captain of 1964, and Tommy O’Dowd, an official with Thurles Fennellys who also had strong connections with Thurles Kickhams.

From time to time in the years prior to ’78, juvenile clubs had flourished in the parish of Thurles. Thurles Crokes back in the sixties won a county Under 16½ football championship; Sarsfields also won juvenile honours, and Rahealty had brought county honours to the “Cradle Town”. The arrival at Scoil Ailbhe in the mid 1970’s of Brother Connie Higgins, a Cork man with a tremendous love for the games was also to play a major role in the revival of Gaelic games at juvenile level in Thurles.

After much behind the scenes activity in late 1978 and early 1979, a meeting was held in Hayes Hotel (where else!) on 2nd February 1979 with a view to forming a juvenile hurling and football club. After it was formally proposed by Brother Higgins and seconded by Michael Murphy that the club be formed, the Officers and Committee were elected.

The first Officers & Committee elected to the Bord of Durlas Óg were as follows:

President: Bro. Lombard

Chairman: Bro. Higgins

Vice-Chairman: Michael Carroll

Secretary: Tommy O’Dowd

Treasurer: Phil O’Mara

Registrar/P.R.O.: Michael Dundon

Committee: Pat Stakelum, Michael Murphy, P.J. Grace, Dick Coppinger, Michael Grogan, Jack O’Brien, Jimmy Coppinger, Brendan Maher, John Ryan, Larry O’Connor, Michael O’Dwyer, Sean Russell, Gerard Corbett.

The club was to be called Durlas Óg and the club colours were red and white. Three juveniles namely, John and Pat Dorney and Peter Mullen attended the first meeting.

The involvement of the Christian Brothers was a major plus for the Club. Wonderful G.A.A. men like Bro. Michael Keane, Bro. Daithí Fitzgerald, Bro. Lombard, Bro. Frank Walsh, Bro. Connie Higgins and Bro. John Hickey and many more ensured that Gaelic games were played in Scoil Ailbhe and the young boys of Thurles were well able to wield the camán when they went to hurl for the club. The Christian Brothers were most generous in the early years of the club by placing their facilities at our disposal and well can we just say, where would we be without them?!

Club Development over the Years

In the early years of Dúrlas Óg the Club had no grounds of its own. The goodwill of the adult clubs in the town and in particular the Christian Brothers, provided the many pitches needed for the high numbers playing. In 1985, the Club under the Chairmanship of Gerry Spain decided that it needed a base of its own and acquired a field at Garryvicleheen (Abbey Road), where we still train & play in today.

It is an indication of the courage and foresight of the men behind the scenes in Dúrlas Óg, that when the land became available, they moved quickly to stake their claim. The field was developed over a four-year period and a modern clubhouse was built. The Club received a £25,000 National Lottery grant and also availed of grants from G.A.A. sources, but it was the people of Thurles who rallied strongly to support the various fund-raising projects undertaken by the Club.

At a meeting of the club on 4th May 1987, it was proposed by Jimmy Coppinger that the field be called “Pairc na nÓg”. The first club meeting to be held in the new Clubhouse took place on 14th August 1989.

On the 3rd June 1990, Dúrlas Óg’s dream was fulfilled and their Clubhouse and grounds were officially opened by Michael Maher, Chairman of the Munster Council and were blessed by Most Rev. Dr. Dermot Clifford, Patron of the G.A.A. and Archbishop of Cashel & Emly.

An extension consisting of a large store and an extra dressing room was added to the Clubhouse in 2004. Netting was also erected behind both goals. This project received grant aid from the National Lottery, Tipperary North County Council, Thurles Town Council and the Munster Council G.A.A. Sean Fogarty, Chairman of the Munster Council, officially opened the extension on 14th August 2004.

A hurling wall and astro turf pitch with floodlighting was erected in 2008. This facility was dedicated to the memory of the late, great, Pat Stakelum.


U11 Maurice Harnett Memorial Teams 2021

Due to our proximity to Semple Stadium, a lot of the club’s main revenue stream is through providing car parking & supervision during larger matches. Larry Ryan being the Commander in Chief on match days, his calmness, great humour & organisation always ensure everyone is attended to properly and a cup of tea or coffee is always on hand for those who might want one.

The County Board Monthly draw is another great fundraiser for the club, and with 50% of all takings going directly to the running of the Club, we would encourage all parents of current or past members to buy at least 1 ticket. The prizes on offer are exceptional and the club is very thankful to those who continue to support us each year.

Presently, the Club is due to host a Community Planning Workshop on 9th November in the Assembly Hall of Thurles C.B.S. The club are asking as many people as possible from the Town to attend to give their views on the future priorities for the Club, which will then be set out in a Club Plan for 2023 to 2028.


Michael Kennedy is a native of Derheen in Thurles, and currently one of our Life Vice-Presidents. He is a husband to his devoted wife Phylis and father to 6 Children, 4 boys & 2 girls, the boys of course all went through Durlas Óg and eventually went on to hurl for the various adult clubs in the Town at different stages of their careers.

Michael has and is always an ever present at various training sessions and matches down through the age groups. He would often walk from Loughtagalla to Pairc na nÓg to keep fit and active and while up in Pairc na nÓg he would engage with players & coaches alike. Always one to keep his finger on the pulse as to who is the next “best thing” to come out of our Club, Michael’s judgement was never too far off the mark.

Michael has been involved in various teams since the club was formed in 1979, and as a Vice-President of the Club he attends every monthly meeting and is always good for some solid advice whenever it is needed.

Thanks for all your hard work over the years Michael, it hasn’t gone unnoticed and it is very much appreciated.

By Jonathan Cullen Wed 21st Dec

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