In the early and mid-twenties we had a good football team in Glenamaddy. Jack Garvey (the duke) was the man who always kept it going. He’d buy a ball and we’d pay 6 pence each to make up the price of it. There were shop boys in Collins’ and Connelly’s who were good footballers. There was a Peter Kennedy in Collins’ and he was very good. We used to play matches against Clonberne Kilkerrrin and Williamstown – the same as today. Kilkerrin had a great team with the Higgins brothers.
We used to hire Paddy Glynn and Bernie MacDermott to drive us to the matches and we always had a few shillings in the funds to pay them. We could always manage to collect a few bob on the gate on the day of a match. We used to play over in the turlough and sometimes we would play in a field of Jimmy Connelly’s. Jimmy would often clear us but we would go back in when his back was turned. Pat Fahy used to give us the field where the Parish Priest’s house is now and Davy Geraghty was very good, he used to give us his field for matches.
The Black and Tans burned the town hall in Glan, Ballinastack Hall and Mees house in Knickanes on the same night. I remember the night well and I knew Jerry Mee*. He used to pass up and down by our house and he was a fine man (see footnote). There was a company of old I.R.A. in Glenamaddy and there were about 27 members in it. I’d need time to think of them all but off hand I can think of Pat and John Jeffers- two great men – and Pat Featherstone and Michael Fahy, Englishtown and John and Frank Mahon, Englishtown, Michael Geraghty and John Raftery. Clooncun, Tom Concannon – he’d be a relation of Paddy’s – and Malachy Keavney, an uncle of Malachy Egan’s, Bob Murphy of Stonetown, Ned Higgins of Cloonlara, Bill Timothy William Mee and Pat Timothy, Cloolara, Tom Kenny, Ardeevin and Martin Gilligan of Esker. Paddy Keefe of Shannagh, Peter Moore and my brother Tom and myself. We used to go out at night and come back in the morning.
The Tans would come around about once a fortnight. I remember once we were up at a football match and they rounded up a crowd of us in the square. Some of the Gannons from Cashel were in it and I was a young fellow and I slipped away without been noticed. The Tans started leathering them with sticks.
Early in 1921 it was discovered that the British Army were considering taking over the workhouse so it was burned down to prevent them. The I.R.A. took over a big house at Wellfort. It was a gentleman’s place and it was the first house I saw with a toilet in it. They used to train men to handle guns and other training and each company would send three, or four members. I was one of those sent from Glenamaddy and I remember getting to know a member from south Roscommon brigade named Kehir from Donamon. He was a very fine man and a bit above the ordinary. He was the sort of man you’d put in charge of men. He later joined the Guards. I believe his son is Eddie Kehir, the great Kilkenny Hurler.
The Town Hall was built up again and it was said that he British Government paid some compensation when Father Heaney threatened to sue them. I’m not sure if that is true.
*Jerry Mee was a member of the RIC and was involved in the mutiny in the Barracks in Listowel.
Author: Michael John Keaveney, Clooncon, Glan to Glan 1978, Christmas edition.