Ballypickas GAA club are set to celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of their historic first-ever Division 3 crown from November 1979 - their first title following a fifteen year drought.
Ballypickas GAA, a rural townland club which draws its players from the villages of Spink and Ballyroan, and although the details regarding the establishment of Ballypickas GAA club are vague, the Leinster Express of Feb 20th 1915 records that the Leix and Ossory GAA convention was attended by Ballypickas delegates Johhny Boylan and Jim Bates.
Ballypickas GAA are also the second most successful Junior hurling club in the county with six JHC titles to the club’s name, with one of the earliest games on record concerning a Ballypickas team was in 1925 when they lost to Derrykearn by a point. The club went on to claim their first title in 1931 when they defeated Clonaslee, before claiming their second in 1936 and then the Intermediate the following year.
The club then had to wait eighteen years before they’d lift their next cup as in 1955 they won their third Junior title, beating Errill 5-4 to 2-1. Eight years passed, but The Belgies claimed their fourth title in 1955 , before following it up the next year with their second Intermediate crown.
In the early 1970s Ballypickas did not enter a team due to emigration and retirements, before contesting, and losing, an Intermediate final to Ratheniska by six points in 1977.
The club bounced back with their first title in fifteen years when they defeated Milltown by 3-5 to 2-6 to claim their first ever Division 3 success, with the occasion being marked by the club’s anthem “Toor-a-loo, Toor-a-lay”. The song was sung at the graveside of Ned O’Dea at his funeral in 2012 - the only member of the 1979 winning-side not with us today.
With the club’s centenary year falling next year, and to commemorate the thirty-fifth anniversary of their famous victory in 1979, Ballypickas GAA club wish to invite their supporters to their Dinner Dance in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel this Saturday, 1st November, at 8pm. Tickets available from Mary Whelan on 086-8381992.