Eoghan Ruadh Hurling Club was founded in 1917 by Rev Pat Flanagan to cater for the school league teams in the Aughrim Street Parish. The club rapidly reached adult status graduating through Junior and Intermediate ranks achieving Senior status in the early 1930’s. From its earliest days the Ruadh played its home games at the Hurling Ground in the Phoenix Park.
In its formative years the boys for the various teams were recruited mainly from St Gabriel’s N.S. and St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick St and this remained the case until the amalgamation with the St Oliver Plunkett’s club.
Over the years the Ruadh won every competition possible from Juvenile up to Senior, culminating with the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship in 1951.
The Ruadh were Dublin’s representatives at the inaugural Féile na nGael competition in Thurles in 1971 where they won through to the final only to be beaten by 1 point by Blackrock from Cork.
Although originally all the Eoghan Ruadh players were Dublin born, the passing of years and the Club’s growing popularity brought an influx of players from other counties notably Sean Cronin (Kerry), Jim Donegan (Kilkenny), Sean Coughlan (Cork) and Pat Dempsey (Wexford) to mention but a few. These helped to keep the wonderful hurling tradition of the Club to the forefront.
Several of the Ruadh players have won All-Ireland honours down the years. Jim Byrne who won the honour in 1938 holds the distinction of being the only Dublin born player to have won a Senior All-Ireland hurling medal with Dublin. Jim Donegan won the honour with Kilkenny in 1947. On the successful Dublin minor teams of 1945 and 1946, the Ruadh had nine medal winners. Fran Whelan was the last to win an All-Ireland medal when playing with the successful Dublin Minor team of 1954.
Throughout its history the Ruadh have supplied many players to the various Dublin teams, in addition to those mentioned above Dixie O’Brien, Kevin Matthew, Mickey Banks, Tommy Norton, Sean Óg O’Ceallacháin, Patsy Devine. Others to have represented the club at County level in more recent times include Joey Towell, Bernard Mc Mahon, Michael and Jim O’Riordan, Michael Stone, Larry McGowan, Donal Byrne and Kevin McCormack.
With changing demographics in the Aughrim Street area in the 1990’s fielding teams became difficult for the Club so after much discussion a decision was taken to amalgamate with the St Oliver Plunkett’s Club in 1996. One of the key factors in this decision was the agreement to include the Eoghan Ruadh name in the new setup.
Winning honours and competitions, however, was not the chief aim of the Ruadh. The aims of its founder were the playing and fostering of the grand old game of hurling. The present committee and players of the St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh GAA Club are proudly continuing along the road set by him way back in 1917.
CLG Naomh Oilibheir Pluinceid Eoghan Ruadh
St. Oliver Plunketts GAA Club was founded 1960. Fr. Tom Cullen who had played Inter County Football with Roscommon had just arrived as a Curate in the Parish discussed with Muiris Prenderville and Larry Hogan and subsequently several others the idea of forming a GAA Club in the area. In July of that year a small group of men met in the Sacristy of the Parish Church on the Navan Road at what could be termed the founding meeting of the new Club. In attendance were Larry Hogan, Josh Langan, Tom Cullen, Muiris Prenderville, Jim Murphy and Christy Hickey. The first Officers of the Club elected at the meeting were:
Chairman – Larry Hogan
Vice-Chairman – Muiris Prenderville
Secretary: - Jim Murphy
Treasurer: - Christy Hickey
The first Committee Members appointed were Brendan Mc Darby and Josh Langan.
The name chosen for the club was: Blessed Oliver Plunkett GAA Club.The Club Colours decided upon were: Maroon and White. Although having been founded in 1960 one has to delve further back in time to find the true origins of St. Oliver Plunketts GAA Club. In the preceding years, Gaelic Games were played in the area on a parish league basis. Initially, teams entered on a “street basis” with teams from different areas of the parish competing against one another. The games were played on what is now Ratra Park (originally the Independent Sports Ground). There was a keen sense of rivalry between the different areas so much so that it became necessary to organise the teams on a “selection” basis in much the same way that our annual parish leagues are run today.
The idea behind the staging of these games for the youth of the area can in the main be attributed to three men who were to become founding members of the club. They were:
Jim Murphy who was a member of the Eoghan Ruadh Hurling Club and who was later to become Principal of St. John Boscos National School
Larry Hogan who became the Clubs first Chairman
Christy Hickey who was Club Treasurer for many years.
In the late 1950’s Muiris Prenderville, Civil Service Hurling Club and Dublin Senior Hurling team together with Larry Kearns and Josh Langan organised parish leagues that were played in the Phoenix Park beside the Ashtown Gates. Bamboo Canes and ropes were used as Goalposts. Striped T-Shirts and Arm Bands were worn by the players.
Within a year of it’s foundation the Club was catering for up to 150 boys and was soon to become one of the leading sporting organisations in the Navan Road area. The first team to represent the club was an Under 15 team in the North City Football League. The team without winning any competition acquitted itself extremely well and proved that the prospects for the future were good. In order to promote Hurling in the Parish an Under 12 Hurling League was staged in early 1961. Following on the success of the venture an U13 team was entered in the 1961/1962 Dublin Juvenile Hurling League.
In 1963 the Club won it’s first trophy – the Under 15 North City Hurling League. The final against Erins Isle was played in Parnell Park.
“Rowleys Yard” in Villa Park was the headquarters of the club in the early years. It was a burning ambition of the founding members to have clubhouse of their own. The club purchased an old prefab building and after many months of hard work cleaning, painting and fitting out, ambition became reality on Sunday 18th a February, 1968 when Sean O’Siochain, Ard Runai, Cumann Luthchleas Gael officially opened a temporary clubhouse on a site provided by Bill Rowley. It soon became the hub of club activities for many years.
The Club had the use of two pitches for many years on the Convent lands at the end of Kinvara Avenue (now Ashington Estate)