Tom Ryall Park was the place to be last Friday 5th July as the Club hosted a juvenile evening as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Club’s foundation.
The sun shone on the evening’s proceedings and this guaranteed a fantastic turnout.
The evening commenced with an outdoor Mass con-celebrated by the Club’s patrons Fr. Taylor and Fr. Buckley. It was great to see young and not so young members partake in the ceremonies. Current player Conor Flynn read, while Milo Hennessy, Killian Egan, Adrian Ronan, Frank McCluskey and Aidan Comerford read the prayers of the faithful. Willie O’Connor read the commentary for the offertory procession, while Statia Teehan, Beanie Ryall, John Power, Jack Ronan, Dave O’Neill, Eoin Marnell, Dylan Teehan and Morgan Ging brought the gifts to the altar. The choir under the supervision of Anne Ging was supported by several young talented musicians from the parish. In his homily Fr. Taylor commended the foresight of the founding members of the club in 1969 and knew that they would be gratified to know that from their actions a vibrant club had developed which takes pride of place in the parish. A club that provides the young people a place to develop their skills both on and off the pitch. Julie Murphy and Miriam Purcell assisted with the distribution of communion. A reflection after communion was read by Philomena Brennan. Fr. Taylor concluded the Mass and wished GBC all the best for the next fifty years.
After Mass, Club Chairman Dave O’Neill addressed the crowd. He thanked all for their attendance and invited everyone to take part in the evening’s activities. He thanked all who helped in any way in the preparations for the evening.
What followed was a special night for all the juveniles which was organised by the Juvenile Coaching Committee. The pitch was full of activity which included an U7 exhibition match with both boys and girls and a most competitive game of rounders.
The goal-posts on the main pitch were witness to a somewhat novel idea!! Several piñatas were suspended from the crossbar and mayhem ensued when their contents spilled to the ground!! Perhaps the high-light of the night was the water fight which saw several high-profile members subjected to what can only be described as a monsoon-like drenching from the very enthusiastic youngsters.
While all this activity was going on the ladies in the kitchen were busy with providing tea and refreshments and this coupled with the free hot-dogs meant no one went home hungry.
It was a testament to the organisers that the crowd were reluctant to go home such was their enjoyment and it was perhaps 11pm before the last person made for the gate.
The night was a fitting tribute to the people in 1969 who took the bold and courageous decision to form the Graigue-Ballycallan GAA Club and we can only hope that they were looking down on Tom Ryall Park on Friday reflecting on the fact that “We are all the sum of the parts that have gone before”.
The GBC 50 celebrations will continue throughout 2019 and next up will be the Billy Ronan Tournament which will take place on Sunday 28th July at 7pm. O’Loughlin Gaels, who themselves are also celebrating their 50th Anniversary will be GBC’s opponents on the night.
Below are a selection of photos taken on the night!