Cláirseacha na Sceirí
Cumann C.L.G. agus Camógaíochta Chláirseacha Na Sceirí
G.A.A. and Camogie Club
PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE?
2006 was the 20th anniversary of the official opening of our Clubhouse on 28th September 1986 by the then Dublin County Board chairman, the late Phil Markey. A Senior Football match between Dublin and Louth preceded the opening. Among the players who lined out with the Dubs were John O'Leary, Mick Kennedy, Mick Deegan, Paul Clarke, Ciaran Duff and Barney Rock. Louth had Stephen Melia, Shane O'Hanlon, Kevin O'Hanlon and Richie Culhane amongst their stars but were no match for the Blues.
Thirty years prior to that, Skerries Harps had re-entered the Dublin Senior Football League after winning the Dublin Junior and Intermediate Football Championships in successive years.
The 1950's era was to prove the Harps most successful, winning virtually all competitions under the Fingal League, and competing with distinction in the Senior League. The peak of their achievement was probably in 1963 when they were defeated by a star studded Aer Corps team in the semi-final of the Senior Championship.
Now in 2007 Skerries Harps are once more knocking at the door to Senior football as their Intermediate side are involved in the closing stages of the both the League and the Loving Cup. Their second team, playing in Division 7 are holding their own after a difficult year while their Minor and Under 21 sides are a match for most.
Our Camogie teams have consolidated their position in the Senior 'A' league and at Intermediate level while the Ladies footballers are on the brink of promotion to Senior grade.
At representative level, the club was honoured with the selection of Bryan Cullen as captain of the Dublin Senior team that won the Leinster title and who were so narrowly defeated in the All Ireland semi final. Donnacha Reilly was also a valued member of the Dubs squad.
In captaining DCU to win the Sigerson Cup, Bryan Cullen became the first Dublin player to lift the trophy. Once again he has been nominated for an All Star award.
Three Harps players played on the Dublin Junior team during the year - Graham Cullen, Colin Daly and Donnacha Reilly while Donnacha was also on the Dublin Under 21 side for the Leinster Championship.
Our three representatives on the Dublin Camogie team - Ciara Durkan, Jean Murphy and Sinead Cunnane - completed an All Ireland double when Dublin again won the Junior title.
Our All Star, Lyndsay Davey, continued to keep the Skerries flag flying with her appearances for the Dublin Ladies while Siobhan O'Mahony followed in Lyndsay's footsteps by being named the Leinster Young Player of the Year. She was joined on the Dublin Under 16 All Ireland winning team by Sinead Cullen and Karen McGlynn.
Progress has been made at Adult hurling level also. After the years of hard work from Denis Forde at Juvenile level, Skerries Harps hope to field an adult hurling team in Dublin competitions in 2007.
Off the pitch the club has had a busy year and with the recent receipt of Planning Permission for our new pitches at Milverton we can look forward to the start of this major project early in the New Year. Once up and running we can then focus our attention on improving our present facilities in order to cater for the ever-expanding number of teams at all codes.
Like most clubs, we are always open to new members who would like to become involved
In the ever-expanding Juvenile section of the club there have been plenty of achievements as well. Our u13 Hurling team and u14 Camogie team won their respective B Championship Finals - our first juvenile silverware at these codes. As well as our successful representatives on the u16 Dublin Ladies Football All-Ireland winning team mentioned above, we have three representatives on the Dublin u16 Camogie team - Neassa Forde, Laura Boylan and Sorcha Forde, and Orla Durkin represented at u14. Becky Davey represented the club on the u14 Ladies Football team.
Denis Forde, despite being Juvenile Chairman, still has time to organise the annual Gormanston indoor hurling tournament each January, which attracts teams from all over Dublin, Meath and Louth. The Easter and Summer camps were as ever very well attended along with the Primary Schools Football Leagues that runs through the month of May. Another highlight of the year has been the Saturday morning Academy that was organised by our Games Promotions Officer, Audrey Murtagh. This has been a storming success and has been over subscribed each term. However, after two years with the club Audrey has decided on a career move out of coaching and we wish her every success in the future.
Skerries Harps lost a true friend and Gaelic Football a true master with the recent death of Brother Eugene Crowley, De La Salle.
Born in Dunmanway, Co Cork in May 1924, Michael Crowley joined the De la Salle Order in Castletown, Co Laois, in August 1939 and was professed in 1949.
From his arrival to Skerries in September 1948 until he left in 1959, he became immersed in the playing and promotion of Gaelic football both in the De La Salle College and in the local Skerries Harps club. He initially became involved in organising a school team which in turn went on to become the backbone of the Harps team which won the Dublin Junior Championship and Intermediate Championships in successive years, 1954/1955 and on which he formed a formidable partnership with Brother Morris. The Skerries side went on to dominate football in the Fingal area during the 1950's.
He played inter county football for Laois while still a Novice in Castletown and was also selected to play for Leinster. Later he played with Dublin, playing in a National League final against his native Cork.
He also played Hurling with round Towers in Lusk and was selected to play on the Dublin Junior Hurling team.
A wing half forward beyond par, you will not find too many mentions of the name Crowley in match reports of the time as the playing of team sports was frowned on by the religious authorities at the time. In Skerries he played under the name Kennedy
On leaving Skerries he went to Waterford (1959) and to Ballyvourney (1966) and retired to Castletown in 2001.
He died on 14th August 2006 and is buried at Castletown.
Ni fheicimid a leitheid sin aris. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.