STABANNON Parnells have just launched a magnificent book, a 76 year history of this great mid-Louth GAA club.
“This book tells the history of football in Stabannon,” says chairman Brian Reynolds. “The club could not survive without the commitment and dedication of so many people, who from the very beginning of football in the parish to the present day kept the club going through so many good and so many difficult times.
“It’s great to look back at the past with old photos and reports of matches which are featured in this book.
“It is also very important to look at the present with both the mens and the ladies teams who also feature.”
Brian thanks all the supporters who have been there for the team in both good and hard times, who supported the club’s draws, quiz nights, race nights, golf classics and lottos.
He also thanks all those who supplied the many photos, reports and scrapbook contributions and of course Patsy Conachy and Kathleen Hanratty for supplying tea and buns to the book committee.
Brian himself contributed to the book along with Tom Callaghan, Joe Conachy, Aidan Hanratty, Teresa Hanratty and Patsy Lynch.
The book would not have been possible without the commitment and hard work of Larry McGrane over many months.
Larry made an outstanding contribution to Stabannon Parnells over during his playing career.
He was an excellent player in any position on the field and won numerous medals with the club.
In 1951 he played alongside his three brothers Jim, Hughie, and Nickie on the team that won the second division championship.
He also played with the Louth senior team.
The book has been published to celebrate the great achievements of Stabannon Parnells over the past seventy-five years and to acknowledge the loyal support of the community over those years.
The club was formed back in 1934 but there were football teams in the parish dating back to 1879.
In 1934 the club entered the Louth second division championship and the book follows the club’s progress over 75 years.
They won their first county senior championship in 1949 when they beat St Mary’s of Ardee and took their second title in 1954.
They just failed to make it two-in-a-row in 1955.
The fifties was a great era for the club. Jim and Tom Conlon, Tom Shearman, Larry McGrane, Mickey and Brian Reynolds and Joe Callan to name but a few.
Tom Conlon gave a masterful display for Louth in the 1957 All-Ireland senior final inspiring his team-mates to achieve a great and historic victory.
Wexford’s Nicky Rackard, who also played football, said Tom was the toughest opponent he encountered.
There is a beautiful photograph of Tom with the Sam Maguire outside Stabannon church and of him being carried off by supporters in Croke Park in 1957.
There’s another picture of him with Sam and four young supporters, Nicholas Lynch, Sean Quinn, Dick Callaghan and Oliver Sands.
The book is a treasure of great photographs.
And Stabannon ladies which was set up in 1992 by Catherine Reynolds, her sister Anne Reynolds and Corrine Bell, also get extensive coverage.
This history of Stabannon Parnells is available from the club. Price 20 euro.