Official opening of Calry/St. Joseph’s GAA Park – 14th April 1996

A dream come true for the then Chairman of Calry/ St. Joseph’s GAA the late Hugh McLoughlin and the many sporting stalwarts in the Parish. Calry/St.Joseph’s GAA Club a young Club was formed in 1972, known then as Calry Gaels . A number of promising Gaelic footballers who had already played with Sligo County had now their own GAA Club. After a re-organisation of GAA structures in the Sligo urban area the club became Calry/St.Joseph’s in 1987 taking in the areas of Carton, Ballytivnan, Rathbraughan Park & Forthill, sharing training facilities at Forthill with our good neighbours Glenview Stars Soccer Club.

The Club had success almost from the start when in 1976 the Juniors and the over 30s had Championship wins, the objective was to find a permanent base for the club. Through fundraising in the late 70s £30,000 was raised. In 1980 land was purchased. Work started on the park in the 80s to accommodate all sports. The development of underage took off at great pace after the setting up of underage structures in the Centenary Year in 1984. The future was in the hands of Pascal McGowan, Hugh McLoughlin & Brian McGauran. The club was moving fast with Hurling introduced to the Club by Galway native Joe Keane . Joe still today continues to coach our underage hurlers who are showing great promise.

Development of the Community Park continued during the 90’s with major development on the GAA pitch. The next stage was to have the GAA pitch vested in the GAA, the pitch could now accommodate inter club championship games. Plans were put in place to have the club vested and the official opening came about in 1996. A very special day for the club when the then President of the GAA the late Jack Boothman was in attendance to officially open the pitch. Also in attendance on the day were members of Sligo GAA County Board including Sligo GAA County Board Chairman Enniscrone native Joe Queenan.

St Brendan’s School Band opened up events with displays of underage football & Hurling this was followed by Senior Football challenge between Sligo and Leitrim. All sporting enthusiasts from all over the parish attended the opening.

Ladies football was introduced to the Club in 1993 and still attracts girls of all ages with a number of accolades coming to the club.

A soccer pitch home to Calry Bohs is adjacent to the GAA pitch. Surrounding the soccer pitch is a running track which is also home to Calry Athletic Club. An astro turf facility was introduced in recent years. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the men and women of the parish who had this vision in the early 70s.

Contributor: Bearnáirdín Níc Shamhráin