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Kevin’s Hurling and Camogie Club

By Colin Higgins

Established in 1902, Kevin’s Hurling and Camogie Club have a long and proud history dedicated to the game in the Dublin south inner city area.

Originally established by Irish language enthusiasts from the inner city, the club based themselves around the area from the South Circular Road, Rathmines and Portobello areas. While based in the heart of the inner city the club’s membership draws from The Liberties, The Coombe, Donore Avenue, Harolds Cross, Rialto, Dolphin’s Barn, Ranelagh, Rathgar and Terenure.

The club have 15 teams at the moment including minor hurlers, intermediate and junior hurlers’ as well as a junior camogie team. They have hurling teams starting at under 8 going all the way up to under 16. They also have an under 10 and under 14 camogie team as well as an ABC Nursery which encompasses an introduction to hurling for parents.

The club house is located on Donore Avenue, just off Cork Street. The main playing fields are located in two different areas, one locally in Dolphins Park in Dolphins Barn, and the other further away in Bushy Park, Templeogue.

The club have a deep history and tradition dating back over a hundred years, and as such they have had many key milestones over the years.

The club was fist established in 1902 more than a hundred years ago as a GAA club, encompassing both football and hurling.

It wasn’t long until the club achieved success, five years in fact was all they had to wait before picking up the Junior Football Saturday League in 1907.

The club really began to attain some clout and status in 1910 when it gained senior status by winning the Junior Hurling Championship. They were not long in the senior ranks before they began to make a real impact, winning the Senior Hurling League Division 2 title in 1912, after just two years as a senior outfit.

It was a baron spell by the clubs high standards for the next number of years as they did not win their next championship until 1924, in the form of the Intermediate Hurling Championship.

Their time back in the seniors was not very successful for the next decade, with runners up medals in the 1927 Hurling Championship was all the club had to show. After falling back down to junior level the club would not win another Junior Hurling Championship until 1939.

The late 30’s and early 40’s proved to be a very successful time for the clubs football division, and included three Minor Football Championship wins in four years.

After much success it must have come as a surprise to some, when in 1945 Synge Street Gaelic Football & Hurling Club was founded leaving Kevin’s to become solely a Hurling club.

The transition the club went through during this period caused great difficulty as a Minor Hurling Championship in 1956 was the only highlight in an otherwise baron 30 year period, spanning all the way up to the early 70’s. 

Since the late 1970’s success has been hard to come by for the club. They only managed to win three major championships up until 2002.

They did achieve great success though in 2002, being crowned Leinster Junior Hurling runners-up.

The club celebrated its centenary year in 2003 and is superbly organised in order to ensure it will be around for another hundred years to come.

The club like so many other GAA clubs alike is all about the community, and they offer much more than just camogie and hurling to the community.

It is a club with sense of pride in the Irish language, highlighted by the organisation of Irish classes 3 days a week for those interested in improving their grasp of the native tongue. The classes usually run from Tuesday to Thursday and encompass all level of speakers from beginners to intermediate.

The club also have various ways of fundraising, including the recent launch of a weekly lotto. The lotto takes place every Monday in Rosie O’Gradys bar in Harolds Cross and is well worth a vist.

The club is also organising a new Texas Holdem Fundraiser which will take place on Tuesday 8th March in the Camden Deluxe Hotel.

The Clubs marquee event of the year is The Easter Festival. This is a two day event organised to pay tribute and to remember the clubs past members for their dedication and loyalty throughout the years.

The event – which is officially recognised by the Dublin County Board and the GAA – will be held on April 22nd (Good Friday) and 23rd this year. The club is due to confirm the various competitions taking place later in the month.

The Easter Festival was first run in April 2007, and includes a number of competitions and exhibition games from nursery level up to senior hurling. The main tournament is the Brian Scott Cup, a senior hurling competition held on the Saturday which was won by Meelick Eyrecourt (Galway) in 2010.

Approximately 3,000 people visit the festival every year and the club acknowledges that not all its guests are as mad about hurling as they are, so a family fun day is also run on the Saturday to entertain our younger members. Since its inception the festival has been hosted in Dolphin Park on the Crumlin Road.

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