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Aherlow GAA Footballing Ladies

On a foggy misty morning in Ballyagran on 15 October 2011, ladies from the Glen of Aherlow, brought a little bit of heaven down to earth, by capturing the Munster Junior A Club Championship. Ballyagran, on the Cork / Limerick border was a somewhat difficult place to find, but it transpired to be a magnificently appointed venue.
After a ding dong first half, the Dromina (Co.Cork) girls took a very commanding seven point lead early in the second half. But then the fighting spirit and the considerable ability of the girls from the Galtees came into play. They gradually whittled away the Cork lead and after hitting the woodwork twice, Aherlow ran out two point winners.
It was an historic occasion, as it was the first time ever that an Aherlow side won a Munster club championship. Great credit is due to the Management team of Pat Moroney, Eamon Mullins and Lar Ivory, but above all to the panel of girls themselves who brought such glory and honour to the Glen of Aherlow.

Aherlow Gaa

Aherlow GAA

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Two of Tipperarys greatest ever hurlers, namely Babs Keating and John Doyle

In going through some old photos to day, I came across a classic—-a good quality picture of myself between two of Tipperarys greatest ever hurlers, namely Babs Keating and John Doyle. It brought back memories of some of the great games I saw when Babs and John were playing, be it in Semple Stadium,Thurles, Croke Park,Dublin or elsewhere. It even reminded me of watching my first big game in Thurles in May 1939, accompanied by my father and some cousins. Four years later, I cycled to a Munster final in Thurles on a very small bike and on bad roads. Thank the Lord last September, I was present in Croke Park to see one of the great hurling finals when Tipperary decisively defeated old rivals Kilkenny. Hopefully I will get this photo into the 2nd edition of Behold Aherlow.
Tipperary GAA

Tipperary GAA

War of Independence

Many people regard the abortive 1916 Rising as the start of the War of Independence. In West Tipperary and East Limerick, however, the ambush at Soloheadbeg on 21st.January 1919 is regarded by most people as the real start of the War. From there on many incidents such as ambushes and reprisals took place in this guerrilla type warfare. The British in 1920 set up a body of police that became known as the “Black and Tans”, so called because of their motley uniform. By the end of 1921, there were 9,000 of this much hated force. Their pay was ten shillings per day. The War ended when the Treaty was signed on 6th December 1921 and the Partition of Ireland became a permanent feature.

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Galtee Battalion

People often ask how Galbally and district was already such a nationalistic area when the War of Independence began. My opinion is that it has to do with a branch of the IRB being there from the early 1900s. The IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood) was formed in1858 by such men as James Stephens, Charles J.Kickham and John O Leary. Despite a failed Rising attempt in 1867, the spirit of the IRB stayed very much alive and it took a leading part in the 1916 Rising. The Galbally branch remained active and my father Paddy Lynch and a friend Mick Scanlon travelled to Dublin in Easter 1915 to meet Tom Clarke and Sean Mac Diarmada (later to become two of the seven signatories to the 1916 proclamation). The main advice was recruit more and train more. There is a picture of the Galtee Battalion training camp in my book.

Galtee Commemoration

Galbally

Limerick Leader book review: Behold Aherlow

Critique : Michael’s book is the result of a couple of years of painstaking research and many hours of collecting anecdotal evidence from many residents of the Glen. Part of the charm and value of “Behold Aherlow” is the way the book blends the historical and the personal in the authors unobtrusive and easy writing style. The book is a portrait of a place and people and it is as entertaining as it is historically significant. The role of the Lynch family in the War of Independence is treated with honesty and frankness.
Limerick Leader

behold aherlow book

Quote from Behold Aherlow

“Everyone has his or her own favourite walk in the Glen. Mine is the hike to Lake Muskry. The sense that one has upon seeing Muskry Lake is of being let in on one of natures precious secrets. The walk to Muskry is remarkable in itself, but it gives no notice of the natural wonder that waits at the top. The lake is not visible until you reach the top of the final steep climb. Then it opens out below you, brooding and still, bounded by the deep green walls of the surrounding hills. The place is beautiful in its ruggedness: it is not too difficult to imagine the violence of the movement of earth, rocks and ice that cut their way through the mountains”.

Michael Lynch