Faughs GAA History


(1885 to 2001)

Faughs G.A.A. Club was founded at Easter 1885, ‘Under the Big Tree’ in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Its inaugural meeting was held in no. 4 Gardiner’s Row, the then home of Michael Cusack (now the Dergvale Hotel).

The first Club officers were:

Chairman: Larry O’Toole,
Secretary: George Washington
Treasurer: John Kennedy
Captain: Paddy Burke

When the Dublin County Board was formed in 1886, Larry O’Toole was on the committee. At this time Faughs, wearing colours amber and black played both hurling and football, took part in the first Dublin championships in 1887, and were winners of the Dublin football championship in 1889.

In January 1891 Faughs merged with the ‘Davitts’ who like Faughs were mostly ‘Spirit Grocers Assistants’. As ‘Faughs – Davitts’ in colours amber, black and blue, they won their first Dublin Senior hurling championship in 1892 and were beaten by Redmonds of Cork in the All-Ireland final in an unfinished match. The Faughs – Davitts coalition declined after that, as indeed did most clubs at the time due to the Parnell split.

In 1895 a member of the original Faughs club, Pat Cullen, who was destined to lend invaluable aid to the spread of native games in Dublin, revived and reorganised the club with the assistance of Tim Gleeson, Jack Cleary and Tom Hogan who were also members of the original club. After 1895 Faughs became a hurling only club and adopted the colours of saffron and green which it has kept to the present day.

Prominent officers elected then were:
Chairman: Pat Cullen; Secretary: Ned Egan; Captain: Danny McCormack; Vice Captain: Tim Gleeson. These men held office for many years, laying the foundation and success of the club and spreading the popularity of the national pastime in the metropolis.

The early years of the 20th century proved to be very successful for the club, winning the first four senior championships – 4 in a row 1900-1904, and another five before 1920. Big names throughout this period were Jack & Jimmy Cleary, Danny McCormack, Andy Harty, Jack & Will Connolly. Playing at fullback on the team that won the 1914 & 1915 championships was Harry Boland, famous for his part in the 1916 Rising and War of Independence. He was later killed in the Civil War.

The 4 in a row was again achieved in 1920-1923. Best year of all was 1920 when they won the Senior Championship & League, Intermediate Championship & League. The team led by Bob Mockler, the greatest midfielder of his time captured the All-Ireland title beating Cork in the final by six points. The final score was 4-9 to 4-3.

Included in this team were Jim ‘Builder’ Walsh, the only man selected on all three Tailteann Games Ireland teams, Tommy Moore, Mick Neville, Martin Hayes, Tom Hayes, Jimmy Cleary, Ned Tobin, Bob Doherty and John Joe Callanan who would later captain Tipperary to beat Dublin in the 1930 All-Ireland final.

The next great era was from 1939-1952 when eight championships were won including two ‘3 in a row’, 1939-1941 and 1944-1946. These teams included many prominent inter county and inter-provincial players including the gifted and stylish Harry Grey, Ned Wade, Phil Farrell, Mick Butler, Terry Leahy, Mick Gill, Jim Mullane, Martin Quinn, Dan Canniffe, Charlie Downes, Jim Egan, Johnny Callanan, Dan Devitt, Murt O?Brien, Jim Prior, Mick Williams, Tony Herbert, Liam Cashin, Tom Fahy, Jack Sheedy and Tommy Boland.

A lean period was to follow, although winning four senior league titles in the interim, Faughs next senior championship success had to wait until 1970. Then they almost won five championships in a row! The beat St. Vincents in Croke Park to win the 1970 title. In May 1971 after a tremendous but gruelling game they were unlucky to be beaten by one point by Buffers Alley in the Leinster Club Championship. A few days later they were knocked out of the Dublin championship, again by a single point margin by Craobh Ciaran who went on to win their first Dublin title. (On the same day Buffers Alley were also knocked out of the Wexford championship).

Faughs won the next two county championships of 1972 & 1973 and reached the final in 1974 which they lost to Kilmacud Crokes by yes, one point. Helping in these victories were goalkeeper Mick O’Mahony, Paddy Spellman, Eamonn Long, Eamonn Rea, Liam White, Sean White, Mossie Walsh, John Hearne, Sean Buckley, Mick Kennedy, Billy Dwyer, John Conway, Willie Devitt, Colm Muldoon and Pat O’Neill. While still wearing the jersey as a substitute was the ever-green Timmy Maher, who had played on the Faughs team that won the Dublin Championship in 1952.

Two senior titles came in the 80s, 1986 & 1987 with Joe Cunningham, Jim Lyng, Richie Reid, M. J. Ryan and the Newman brothers Martin & P.J. to the fore. Two more came in the 90s, 1992 & 1999 to bring the grand total of senior championships won to 31. Could this be a record? Blackrock of Cork also have 31 – perhaps a joint record of senior championships won in any county.

From their foundation in 1885 up to 1949, Faughs trained in the Phoenix Park in the Fifteen Acres, Nine Acres, Polo Ground and beside the Hurling Ground or Army Ground, except for a short period in the winter of 1942 & 1943 when they moved out to Dolphin Park. From 1949 to 1958 they leased a ground in St. Anne’s Estate in Killester where they erected their own dressing rooms.

However following serious vandalising of these they moved back to the Phoenix Park to the original Fifteen Acres of the 1885 period. In 1972 training moved to Terenure College where the teams training facilities included the luxury of showers etc. until finally in 1981 they moved to the ground at Tymon North, Templeogue.

In the early days club meetings took place at various venues, including Pat Cullen’s premises at 27 Upper Ormond Quay, where Dublin Co. Board & Leinster Council meetings were also held. Later and for many years Tommy Moore’s premises in Cathedral Street was the home of Faughs. It was also the meeting place for all Gaels from all over Ireland attending matches at Croke Park.

From the early 1960’s Stephen Bourke’s premises at 25 Wexford St. became the new home of Faughs. It was here that the plans were laid to build the clubhouse, our present home at Tymon North, Templeogue which was officially opened by Dr. Patrick Hillery, President of Ireland on 30th. November 1986.

From the earliest days Faughs contribution to Dublin G.A.A. and Gaelic games has been considerable. Pat Cullen was a member of Dublin Co. Board from 1887 and its Treasurer from 1902, a founder member of the Dublin Hurling League 1901 and donor of the Cullen Cup to the League winners. He is believed to have helped financially in the purchase of Croke Park by the G.A.A.

Harry Boland who was prominent in the 1916 Rising and War of Independence won senior championships with Faughs in 1914 & 1915. He was Chairman of Dublin County Board from 1911-1916.

Andy Harty who won nine championships with Faughs was Co. Board Chairman from 1916 to 1925.

Jim (Builder) Walsh won three All-Irelands with Dublin and was the only player selected on all three Tailteann Games (Ireland) teams. He was Chairman of Dublin Co. Board during 1929 and 1930.

Pat Farrell, hurling correspondent under pen-name ‘P.F.’ for several decades with the Evening Herald was chairman of the Dublin Junior Board in 1934 & 1935 and was also a senior hurling selector for many years.

Faughs Dublin teams won eight Leinster Champioships. Bob Mockler captained Faughs to win the 1920 All-Ireland for Dublin. Dublin last All-Ireland win in 1938 included Faughs players Mick Butler, Phil Farrell, Mick Gill, Harry Grey and Charlie Downs. Jim Prior captained Dublin in the 1952 All-Ireland whilst Mick Kennedy, who got the first score on R.T.E. represented Faughs in Dublin’s last All-Ireland final appearance in 1961. Mick Kennedy was a selector during Lar Foley’s term as manager in the 1990’s.

Interesting to note that for the period from 1895 to November 2001, – 106 years, the club has had only seven Chairmen; Pat Cullen, Tim Gleeson, Tom Hogan, Bob Mockler, Tommy Moore(for 40 years 1929 -1969), Mick Clayton 1969-1985, Eamonn Rea 1985-2001. Eamonn Rea has been succeeded by our current chairman Gus Brennan.

Great strides forward have been made in the last 20 years or so. The building of the club-house in fairly close proximity to the pitches has resulted in an increase in the number of teams particularly in the juvenile area, leading to the construction of a gym and additional dressing rooms as an extension to the clubhouse – a good sign hopefully. We now cater for teams in all grades from juvenile to senior, together with camogie which has recently taken off and which we hope will flourish in the future.

Key moments in Faughs History

125th Anniversary celebrations.

Faughs celebrated our 125th anniversary on 18th April 2010 in the presence of GAA president Chris Cooney, Camogie Association President Joan O’Flynn and a host of other luminaries.  Program for the day, which includes a wealth of information on Faughs, can be downloaded from here.


Forever Young by Dermot Crowe - January 2009

click here for full article


IN the Faughs clubhouse lounge in Templeogue, you can pay homage to a famous past in between buying rounds. Part social hub, part museum, the odour is old world. Among the exhibits is a trophy cabinet containing the All-Ireland hurling trophy that preceded the McCarthy Cup, won in 1920 by Faughs when representing Dublin; photographs of triumphant Faughs teams stretching back to the 19th century; and long-serving chairmen saluting you from wooden panels where their names are respectfully carved.

This is an ancient order. The GAA’s formation and that of Faughs go almost hand-in-hand, only a year dividing them, and Michael Cusack bore witness to both landmark events. It was in his Civil Service academy headquarters in Dublin, now the location of the Dergvale Hotel, where the Faughs club was founded, and the name agreed. The inaugural year, 1885, is displayed defiantly on the clubhouse exterior, like a declaration of immortality.

Through many of the key moments in Ireland’s emergence as a nation Faughs was present. Harry Boland, later killed in the Civil War, and friend to Michael Collins, won championships with the club, hurling at full-back, and later served as chairman of Dublin County Board. Over the generations that followed, numerous esteemed hurlers found a home at Faughs when their work took them to Dublin.

But for such a long existence it wasn’t until 1981 that the club could say it had a permanent home. That year they moved to their current location and began developing facilities and looking to the future, realising that the world in which Faughs lived for generation had changed a great deal. Unless it changed, it would die. Other clubs that served the city’s rural settlers fell by the wayside but Faughs has managed to adapt to ensure its survival. Eamonn Rea had almost given up hurling when Faughs and he converged in 1970 and he went on to win championships on teams that formed a rainbow coalition of players from different counties. In the next decade, the current chairman PJ Newman arrived from a junior club, Delvin, in Westmeath. PJ remembers training in Terenure and having to play their matches away before they finally got a settled home. For most of the club’s lifetime moving about has been par for the course.

In Rea’s playing days, there were two adult hurling teams to look after and no underage structure but that had to change. Over the past 20 years the transition from being a safe house for capital-based rural hurlers to a club rearing its own talent from the local neighbourhoods has been in full swing.

Benefiting from a thriving GAA coaching programme in Dublin, Faughs have adapted to the modern era and now cater for kids from six all the way up to their adult teams. The senior hurling team is now evenly split between country and home-grown talent. As the years move on, the balance will tilt more towards locally produced hurlers as Faughs look to add to their record 31 senior hurling championship title wins, this year marking the 10th anniversary of their last success.

“I used to travel home to Delvin for matches,” says Newman, “but my brother had been with Faughs and I eventually signed. I settled in, I enjoyed it. I felt at home. I never really missed going back to play with Delvin after that. It was only culchies and rednecks who played hurling in Dublin then, but you go into the city now and see lads walking around with hurls and it’s now cool to play hurling.”

Rea, winner of an All-Ireland medal with Limerick in 1973, played with O’Toole’s initially after coming to Dublin just over 40 years ago. He can’t recall exactly why he then moved to Faughs but he went on to add 16 years’ service as club chairman. He talks of his first championship won with Faughs, against St Vincent’s, the Dublin thoroughbreds and the good relations that have existed between the clubs. They made a point of going for a drink in the clubhouses at away games and invite others to do the same when hosting matches at their own headquarters.

Even in this clubhouse where the legacy is so visible, there is nothing stuffy or conceited about the men who welcome you in. That has been the success of Faughs and it promises to lead them back into the good times again. Already their underage work is bearing fruit, with hurlers being grafted onto county development squads and successes posted at minor and U16 B level. Further down the age graph, they are competing at the top tier. They are a purely hurling club although there is an early Dublin football championship holding up their large stash of honours.

Some of the parents of their young players have no GAA background and Rea tells of one rugby man from Terenure who has, as all are encouraged to, become immersed in the club’s activities. He is talking high stakes, about winning an All-Ireland club.

Fittingly, the cup awarded to the All-Ireland club champions perpetuates the memory of the Faughs chairman, Tommy Moore, who served in that role for almost 40 years, a publican from Kilkenny whose influence is fondly recalled and warmly appreciated.

Next year Faughs will celebrate 125 years in existence. They hope to mark the milestone by bringing Marcus De Burca’s history of the club, published in 1985 for the 100th anniversary, up to date. In the time since, the aspiration of establishing a viable juvenile structure has been fulfilled and Faughs continue to remain a colossus in the tradition of GAA clubs. Forever young.