AIG visit St. Anne’s GAA Club for their 20th installment of the Dub Club Chronicles
Nestled at the foot of the Dublin Mountains, St. Anne’s GAA is steeped in history & local folklore. As it looks to the future, this growing club has become the beating heart of the local GAA community with a warm welcome for everyone.
St. Anne’s is, as most clubs are, very much a parish club. A family club making the best of both the urban and rural spread. The beautiful mountains flank one side of the club with families from Glenismole and Bohernabreena. And in contrast other side is populated by the areas of Ballycullen, Ballycragh and Firhouse.
With 900 members, 26 teams, including 5 adult teams and 19 juvenile panels, the club boast Senior Football Division 1 titles in both 1989 and 1996. From what started as a solitary pitch back in 1937, St. Anne’s named after the local parish church has grown. And with facilities including 3 to 4 pitches and a magnificent clubhouse, St. Anne’s dream of one day lifting a Senior Championship.
The clubhouse is the lifeblood of the area, used by all local groups including the Macra na Feirme and drama groups. Of course the clubhouse boats an abundance of private functions like birthday and anniversary parties.
McNally, a former Dublin great hold a special place in his heart for St. Annes
Former Dublin star Joe McNally recounts the first time he was called up to play for Dublin, he refused because he wanted to play for his club against Thomas Davis in a cup game. Kevin Heffernan’s influence saw the game cancelled and Joe got his debut for the Senior side in goal against Armagh in Croke Park.
Of course Joe’s greatest memory was being part of the 12 Apostles that beat Galway to lift the Sam Maguire in 1983. And he admits Galway could have beat Dublin that day, but that doesn’t change the history books.
St. Annes have developed a kids committee for the children of the area to make suggestions to the adults for activities in the club. Cormac Holmes has the honour of being the chairman of that committee. Right now Cormac has a chair and a desk. One day he wants an office, or even just a door.
Obviously the area is steeped in folklore, like Oisin and Tir Na Nog, and that gave the club the idea for their Macra, which is the fantastic nursery programme they boast. And the Feile cafe raises funds to kit out the team participating in the annual feile competitions.
St. Anne’s ambition is to develop the hurling side of the club. The foundations have been set with a few juvenile teams in place and they hope to have a senior team playing on their pitches sometime soon. And their Camogie and Ladies Football teams are growing in strength as the years go by.
What keeps everyone coming back to St. Anne’s is the sense of community.