Latest News

The late Fr Tommy Leyden, RIP

  Ballinrobe GAA club regrets to announce the death in Nairobi, Kenya, of Fr Tommy Leyden, who was a distinguished wearer of the Ballinrobe and Mayo jerseys in the 1950s. Fr Tommy came through the Ballinrobe CBS football nursery and was a member of the team which won the school’s first Flanagan Cup title in 1951. He figured on the Mayo minor football panel in 1952 and lined out with Ballinrobe throughout the 1950s, including as a member of the squad which won the 1958 divisional and county junior titles. A year later, he played for Ballinrobe in the Mayo senior league final defeat to Ballina Stephenites. Club historian Michael Coyne, who also played in that 1959 final, recalled that the team and supporters travelled by special train to Ballina to take on the famed locals. Just a few short months later, on 31 December 1959, the Ballinrobe to Claremorris railway line closed. “Fr Tommy was a lovely fellow,” said Michael, “and a very good forward, a sweet footballer. He was a late vocation to the priesthood, having earlier worked as a civil engineer. He was compassionate and caring.” A member of the Divine Word Missionaries who had their west of Ireland base in Donamon, Co. Roscommon, Fr Tommy’s first ministry was in Flores, Indonesia. There he served the poor in districts with no electricity, running water or other basic facilities. He later moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where he spent the remainder of his life helping disadvantaged people living in challenging conditions. Geraldine May, Ballinrobe, explained that Fr Tommy was a first cousin of her late husband, Des, who also played with Ballinrobe. “They were best friends. He was Best Man at our wedding. He was a deeply spiritual man, a mystic almost. He believed in giving people time, regardless of what religion they were – he was all about helping others,” said Geraldine. “He lived a simple life. He never got into emailing or texting. He never wore a watch. His mother Nell was dead three weeks before word even reached him. But he wrote an average of 500 letters per year, in beautiful handwriting that he retained right up to his final years even though he suffered badly with arthritis. He kept in touch with so many people. “He had a wonderful sense of humour too.” The Leyden family lived on Abbey Street, Ballinrobe. Fr Tommy’s father John Joe was a secondary school teacher in Ballinrobe CBS. His mother was Nell, and he had one sister, Maura (O’Connell), who passed away many years ago. He is survived by his nephew Tom and nieces Sharon and Helena.   He quietly slipped away last weekend and will be laid to rest in Nairobi. John Sweeney, Chairman, Ballinrobe GAA Club

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Development of Club Facilities at Flanagan Park

Ballinrobe GAA Club members are now considering two proposals the development of their club facilities at Flanagan Park, following a club meeting. “We urge all members to consider these proposals carefully before an upcoming Club meeting where we will take a vote on them,” said John Sweeney, Chairperson. The proposals are as follows: Proposal 1: Develop a clubhouse that will feature extra dressing room facilities, a meeting room, a new press/commentary box, a kitchen, and new toilet areas. Additionally, the newly acquired ground will be developed into an all-weather pitch. Proposal 2: Develop a clubhouse with the same features as outlined above and the newly acquired ground as a standard grass pitch. “At our last Club meeting we took a decision to seek planning permission for Proposal 1 above, as the application is not a costly process, and it will be of value to us regardless of which proposal we select. In addition to these proposals, it was agreed to meet with the Principal of Ballinrobe Community School to discuss the club’s support for pitch maintenance and repair work at the Ballinrobe Community School pitch, which we frequently use, and this meeting took place this week. Furthermore, we strongly believe that the development of a gym at Flanagan Park will benefit the club and its members,” added the spokesperson. The club acknowledge that no matter what decisions are taken, a major fundraising and promotional effort will be required. “However, we believe that this effort is necessary for the future of the club, given the large number of players and teams we currently have. Playing space is a problem – but a good problem, we acknowledge. We will seek to access public funding as we proceed in whichever direction we take,” said the spokesperson. “All of these items will be discussed at our next Club meeting, and we encourage all members to attend and participate actively in the decision-making process. Together, we can ensure that the future of our club is bright.”

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Last Man Standing – rules and how to enter

  Can you pick the winner of the next Premier league games and can you get further than most? Win €500!! €10 to enter. Starting this Saturday 13th August. Enter by Thursday night, 11th August. Contact Paul on 086 224 8078 WhatsApp to enter. Scroll down to see the rules of the competition. Last Man Standing Rules A team can only be selected once.   Should your selected team win, you will progress to the next round. However, if your team loses or draws you will be eliminated from the competition.   Should you forget to make your selection in any matchday, you will be automatically assigned the first team you have not previously selected according to alphabetical order.   If your selected team’s game is postponed you will automatically go through to the next round and you cannot select that team again. The deadline for matchday picks will be one hour before the first game of each matchday.   All competition correspondence will be done via the Last Man Standing WhatsApp group.   The winner will be the last remaining person in the competition.  

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The late Joe Lowry

Ballinrobe GAA Club has paid tribute to Joe Lowry, who passed away in Cleveland, USA, on Thursday June 30. Aged 85, Joe was a native of The Farm, Ballinrobe, and a distinguished footballer with Ballinrobe and Mayo before he emigrated to the USA in 1956. A substitute on the Mayo team which won the All-Ireland Minor Championship in 1953, he played for the county minors in 1954 and 1955. He was also selected on the Connacht Colleges combined team which won the All-Ireland Interprovincial Series. Joe’s final game for Ballinrobe came in the O’Mara Cup final of 1955, which was actually played in 1956. He emigrated to Cleveland just a few days later, and worked in construction in his adopted city. He continued to play Gaelic football in Cleveland and returned to play with New York in a National League final in Croke Park. His brother Tommy, who passed away in recent years, also played for Ballinrobe for many years. Joe’s health had deteriorated in recent years. “Joe was an excellent footballer and a huge loss to Ballinrobe when he left to work and settle in Cleveland. He never lost interest in the fortunes of our club, however, and made regular contact to keep himself up to date,” said club historian Michael Coyne. “We extend our sympathy to the Lowry family on their sad loss. Growing up, I often heard stories of Joe’s exploits for Ballinrobe and Mayo. The death of one our stars from yesteryear is always a sad occasion for the club,” said club chairman John Flannelly.   Joe was a beloved husband of 59 years to Mary Ann (nee Corrigan); father of David, Mary Kapferer (Scott), Theresa Wisniewski (Steven), Kathleen Milewski (Scott) and Thomas (Kim); grandfather of five; great-grandfather of two; brother of Mary Ruane and the late Anne Sheridan, Thomas, Owen, Michael and Martin; uncle and friend of many.  Photos show Joe (centre of three men) on a St Patrick’s GAA Club, Cleveland, team in 1962; Joe and his wife with Sean Mayo players Sean Kilbride (left, Ballaghaderreen) and Tommie O’Malley (right, Ballinrobe) when the Mayo team visited Cleveland in 1970; a newspaper article from Cleveland featuring Joe; a Ballinrobe team of the mid 1950s, Joe is fourth from the right on the front row.

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The Late Billy Horan RIP

  Yesterday (15 February 2022) the locality of Ballinrobe learned of the sudden passing of Billy Horan.  Billy was much loved within the community and will be sorely missed. Billy Horan was born in Partry and was the eldest of 6. He was educated in St Jarlath’s College, Tuam, and UCG (now NUIG) and went on to complete a H Dip.  After teaching briefly in Ballygar, Co. Galway, he spent the remainder of his career in Ballinrobe, first in the CBS from the early 1950’s and then the Community School when it opened in 1990. When teaching in the CBS he promoted Gaelic football and was involved in coaching teams in the Colleran Cup and Flanagan Cup competitions.  English, History and Latin were his subjects and he engendered a love of the written and spoken word among his pupils, some of whom went on to become reporters and many more to become teachers.     GAA Billy’s love of Gaelic football started from a very young age and his father (Joe) won an All Ireland Junior Football medal with Mayo. He was involved in Ballinrobe GAA Club from the very start of his time in Ballinrobe.  He played corner-back for Ballinrobe in the South Mayo Junior Championship.  From an early age, he was involved in the coaching teams.  Throughout the course of his involvement in the club, he was Chairman, Secretary, County Board delegate, South Board delegate, Public Relations Officer (a post he held for many decades) and Scor Officer, He was heavily involved in the committee that bought and developed Flanagan Park in the early 1960’s. He was also involved in Ballinrobe GAA Club fundraising through the weekly bingo in the old Town Hall and various other initiatives.  Billy was President of the Club and only stood down as President at our AGM last November. Just last month, the club marked his retirement from the position with a special presentation at the launch of our five-year Strategic Development Plan. Billy served as Chair of South Mayo GAA Board and was PRO of the South Mayo GAA Board for several decades.  He also served as President of Mayo GAA. Billy was deeply involved in, and had a great grá for, scór in our club. He  was also involved in Scór at divisional, county and provincial levels.  Ballinrobe were very strong in Scór in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in set dancing and Question Time, and in fact he competed with success in Question Time for Ballinrobe. Billy had a great belief in preserving Gaelic traditions though, as a Latin scholar and noted teacher, he had broad interests. He was also a selector for the Mayo Junior team for a time and also served as a referee for a period. Billy was recognised by Mayo GAA / The Green Above the Red Trust and by the GAA nationally with a President’s Award for his dedication to the GAA. “Billy and the Horan Family have been synonymous with Ballinrobe GAA Club.  Only a few short weeks ago we made a presentation to Billy to honour his long and loyal contributions to our Club.  We will miss his wisdom, advice and leadership, but above all we mourn the passing of a good man whose integrity and vision leaves a strong legacy for us and the next generation of GAA members, a true Gael,” said John Flannelly, Club Chairman.   Reporting Billy started writing the Ballinrobe Notes in Mayo News in 1952. His philosophy was that “a key part of games is promoting games” and that was how he got involved in reporting on matches for all the local papers and being PRO for Ballinrobe GAA Club.  Long before match reporting became such a staple element of the local papers, Billy was an assidious chronicler of matches.  And not just Ballinrobe games, but at all levels, from south Mayo up to national level.   The first time a lot of young people got their names in the paper was either in Billy’s local notes or match reports. Many of those players went on to play for Mayo, the likes of Vincent Nally (Garrymore) and our own Tommy O’Malley, Peter Ford and Fergal Costello, to name but a few.  He was unbiased in his match reports and was very well regarded throughout Mayo for that attribute. Billy did insert pieces for Ballinrobe GAA Club – Club Radio and while a talented reporter, he shied away from broadcasting unless press-ganged into action.  He chronicled both Ballinrobe GAA Club tours to London. While his primary interest was the GAA, he was very good at promoting and reporting on other sports in the locality. Ultimately, the people of Ballinrobe and south Mayo mattered greatly to him, and he afforded coverage to all sorts of sporting, cultural and community events. His Balinrobe Notes for Ballinrobe are in this week’s Mayo News and on Monday, the day before his sad passing he submitted his notes for the Connacht Tribune, which included some GAA Notes. In 2015, the Mayo News honoured him by inducting him into The Mayo News/O’Neills Club Stars ‘Hall of Fame’.   Other interests He loved music, in particular country music, and was an avid radio fan, listening to radio and picking up match commentaries, reports and inteviews from around the country through internet radio.  He loved local radio in Mayo and around the country and followed GAA where people he know were involved very closely.   He watched football religiously, and right up to last weekend was watching with great interest the televised National Football League matches.  Billy loved horse racing and followed it closely. He was a member of the Ballinrobe Race Committee and thrilled to the buzz of the Racecourse on Raceday, meeting and conversing with trainers and jockeys.  He didn’t bet much, but on occasion, after watching a horse that caught his attention over 7 or 8 race meets, he’d have a calculated flutter, often with spectacular success though the wager might be modest. Billy

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Ballinrobe GAA Club Launches its Strategic Development Plan 2021 – 2022

  ‘New goals and aspirations’ as Ballinrobe GAA Clublaunches its five-year plan Past glories, current hopes, and future aspirations all blended together on Saturday night last (January 29th), as Ballinrobe GAA Club celebrated the launch of its Strategic Development Plan 2021-2025. You can view the plan HERE Delayed in its finalisation due to COVID-19, the plan was finally unveiled at the first formal indoor gathering of club members in almost two years, at Ballinrobe Racecourse. The chairperson of the Steering Committee that oversaw the development of the plan, Denise Horan, remarked that the lifting of COVID restrictions provided the ideal backdrop to the launch of the plan. “Its a time of joy and hope – a perfect time to start a new chapter in our club, to set out new goals and aspirations,” she said. Developed over an 18-month period by five sub-committees led by chairpersons Colm Jennings, Declan O’Loughlin, Donal McCormack, Paul McElarney, Mike Finnerty and Elaine O’Donnell, the plan sets out ambitions across all areas of the club, from coaching and games development, to finance and fundraising, and facilities development. Though the ‘thinking, research and consideration of ideas was broad and deep’, Denise Horan noted, a deliberate decision was made to condense the initial long list of recommendations to a set that was ‘small, but meaningful; aspirational, but clear and simple’. The 24 final recommendations that made the plan reflect this considered approach. The event, hosted by Liam Horan and broadcast live to over 400 followers on the club’s Facebook page, traced the proud history of the club from its early days (recalled memorably byclub historian Mike Coyne), through to its successes of last year, in boys’ and ladies’ underage competitions. Newly-appointed intermediate team manager – and former Mayo full-back – Peter Ford, a native of Ballinrobe, also spoke, recalling his playing days with the club, the highs of his previous stint as manager over 20 years ago and his excitement about the season ahead. “I wasn’t involved with any team last year and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be again. But when I was approached about the Ballinrobe job and when I started having conversations with some of the guys involved, it was like a drug that took hold again,” he said.   The long and loyal service of club stalwart Billy Horan – who recently marked 70 years covering Gaelic games for the local papers – was also recognised on the night, with club chairman John Flannelly making a special presentation to a man who ‘has been a leader within the club since the 1950s – as player, coach, chairman, PRO, President and South and County Board delegate’. Encouraging everyone to get behind the new club plan, John highlighted that there is ‘a role for everyone in Ballinrobe GAA Club’. “Sometimes people think they have nothing to contribute, but there is something everyone can do. No matter how small it seems, it all matters because it takes the whole community to keep the club going,” he said. Entertainment was provided in the form of traditional music and sean-nós dancing, ably performed by underage club members Rachel Gallagher, Ethan Tierney, Roisin and Katie Yates, Jamie and Billy Donnellan and Aoibhinn and Caitlin Cummins, under the tutelage of Chloe Feeney of the Chloe Feeney School of Music

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Registration 2022

Ballinrobe GAA registration will go live on Wednesday 2nd February at 9am via For New Members we have information below on how to set up your account, create a profile and complete registration. Existing Club Players and Members already have an account with Foireann and can complete their registration via their account. All underage Players must be registered under their parent/Guardian account. Please note the youngest Players we will be welcoming this year will be children born in 2017. LGFA Membership: Please select LGFA for all underage Girl Players, Ladies Players and Coaches involved with our Ladies Teams. If you have any further queries, please email Membership 2022 Adult Player GAA/LGFA €100 Adult Student Player GAA/LGFA €60 Adult (Non-Player) €50 Youth Player U18 First child €60 Youth Player U18 Second and Subsequent children €50 each Club Family Membership 2 Adults and up to 5 Children     €230 * 1 x €100 Ticket for Mayo GAA Development Draw   * Entry into Weekly Club Lotto Draw Club Individual Membership Adult Non-Player Player GAA/LGFA €150 * 1 x €100 Ticket for Mayo GAA Development Draw   * Entry into Weekly Club Lotto Draw     New Club Members New Club Member: If you are new to the Club you will need to set up a Foireann account via . Click on video below which outlines the steps involved in setting up an account. (Please ignore the Covid 19 information at end).     Once you have registered a Foireann account you are now in a position to create a profile. We understand that you may be the parent of a member, and not registering yourself.  That is fine, however you still need to complete a profile as a Parent/Guardian and just follow the steps that work for your household. The first step is to register all those who want to be members. Adding Child: As the account holder, you are covered through the Profile Section. You then need to add your son/daughter and create their Profile to register. Once their profiles have been completed you proceed to membership options. Payment:  You will see a number of Membership options on the screen. Please select the membership option which best suits and make the relevant payment to complete the registration process.

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Launch of Ballinrobe GAA Club Strategic Development Plan 2021 – 2025

  UPDATE, Saturday 29, January: The plan goes live HERE at 6.25pm Club members, supporters and Ballinrobe natives near and far are invited to join Ballinrobe GAA Club next weekend for the launch of its five-year strategic plan in Ballinrobe Racecourse this Saturday evening (29th January) at 6.30.  The recent easing of many of the COVID-19 restrictions means this is now an opportunity for club members to come together. Setting the club’s direction until the middle of the decade, Ballinrobe GAA Club’s Strategic Development Plan 2021-2025 is the culmination of a process which began over two years ago, drawing on ideas and inputs from across the community and further afield.  The group determined the Mission, Vision and Values of the Club which then fed into the objectives of the sub-committees looking at the 5 pillars of the plan.  Those pillars are: Coaching and Games Development Facilities and Development Finance and Fundraising Club Structures and Administration PR, Communications and Community The launch will also be streamed live on the club’s Facebook page. In addition to launching the plan, the event will showcase the club’s recent achievements and link to its proud history that stretches back 135 years. “This plan sets out how we will build on the strong foundations that have served Ballinrobe GAA Club so well for decades and chart the course for the next part of our journey. It’s simple, but ambitious, and we’re looking forward to getting started on its implementation in the months and years ahead,” said Club Chairperson, John Flannelly. Catch the live stream on Ballinrobe GAA Club Facebook page, Liam Horan will be Master of Ceremonies.    

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County title for minor ladies team

Congratulations to our minor ladies football team who captured the Mayo C Shield title in almost unbearable excitement at the Centre of Excellence, Bekan, this morning. The final score was Ballinrobe 2-6, Castlebar Mitchels 0-10. It took a huge effort by Ballinrobe to win it and the two second-half goals from Abby Jennings, who batted home a Grace Bradley free, and Grace herself were the crucial scores. Considering that this is our first year fielding a minor team in this current incarnation of the club, this is an incredibly important result for the club. Special word of congratulations to the coaching team of Tom Carney and Denise Horan, who have done huge work with this team this year, and Evan O’Brien, who came on board in recent times. Team captain Sinead O’Sullivan accepted the trophy on behalf of the team, and goalkeeper, Rebecca Mellott-Connolly, received the player of the match award.  The homecoming will be at 3pm today in Abbey Street, Ballinrobe – come out to acknowledge the achievement if you’re about town today. Our U12 girls won a county title earlier this season too – onwards and upwards for ladies football in our club. Today also marked an historic moment for the club as we had our first all-female commentary team on Club Radio – Aoife Donnelly (left) and Elaine O’Donnell. They are pictured below with captain Sinead. A big crowd tuned in to follow the  game every step of the way.You can listen to the full commentary HERE            

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