A large crowd gathered on Friday evening last in the Damer Court Hotel to celebrate forty years of an unbelievable club that has achieved unbelievable success despite their short but illustrious history.
Pictured on Friday evening last in the Damer Court Hotel, Roscrea on a wonderful night of celebration for Killavilla United who this year are 40 years in existence are
Back Row L/R: Eddie Noonan, Victor Mitchell, Liam Doran, Pat Carroll, Tom Stapleton and Michael Kelly
Front Row L/R: Michael Hogan, Billy O’Connor, Tony Mason and Noel Kelly
From its humble beginnings in 1969 in Powells Field at Timeighter, via Mr Victor Mitchell’s at Mount Butler, and Mr Oliver Douglas’s field on the Monastery Road, Killavilla United has returned in recent times to Timeighter, a mere sixty yards from their ancestral home and where their great story started forty years ago.
Pictured enjoying themselves at the 40th anniversary celebrations of Killavilla United Football Club on Friday last are
Aidan Guilfoyle, Niamh Treacy, Karina Mullally and Majella Fogarty.
The Club celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year with the completion of it’s five year development plan. This entailed the building of the Victor Mitchell Pavillion which includes the Oliver Douglas meeting room, four dressing rooms, referees room, toilet facilities and showers including facilities for the disabled. With three full sizes pitches, one of which is floodlit to the highest standard, a 75 by 35 meter synthetic floodlit playing area (helped by RCTLC), and a rubber based running track (helped by the Lions Club), Killavilla United caters for 250 under age boys and girls and 350 to 400 adults weekly.
Speaking on Friday last, Liam Doran recalled the foundations of Killavilla United and their early years of competing. Liam credited the television broadcasting of the 1966 World Cup and the magic of the 1968 European Cup Final with Ireland represented so well on the victorious Manchester United team as the catalysts for stimulating the interests of a group of local players to come together and form a soccer club in Roscrea. It was Liam Doran himself who called the very first meeting of the Club at the end of October in 1969. After the meeting, Pat Hartnett (Drapery) was approached by the newly formed club and he provided the first team with a set of jerseys and a football which didn’t have to be paid back until the club mobilised itself and conducted it’s first fundraiser, a church collection in late 1969. The first colours were Black and Amber because in Liam’s words they were the “cheapest available at the time”. In light of where the club is based and it’s strong connections with the Hurling Club it was perhaps fitting that the Colours were changed a long time before the team most famous now for the black and amber starting racking up all-ireland championships. Liam recalled how the first field used by the club was in Stremastown.
The club rented the field on a play and pay basis before moving in 1970 to their home for more than thirty years on the Dublin Road courtesy of land provided by local auctioneer Victor Mitchell. Much to the entertainment of those present on Friday last, Liam gave some wonderful anecdotes particularly in relation to the Club’s early days. He concluded by saying that none of the founding members of Killavilla United could have ever imagined in their wildest dreams that the club would go on to achieve so much both on and off the field in the space of just forty years. Liam said the success of the club was testimony to the strong community ethos in Roscrea and he said he looked forward to the 50th anniversary when he expected the club to be still competing and developing.
Eddie Noonan, Chairman of the Club recalled that after affiliation to the Leinster Junior League in 1970 the Club went on to gain honours over the years winning Counties Cups, League Cups, Whitley Cups, the FAI Area Cup and the Blue Ribbon William Sheeran Cup on three occasions. In addition he said that trophies at schoolboy level in North Tipperary Schoolboys Leagues and the Midland Schoolboys/girls League were gained. The Chairman said it has been a pleasure to see players representing their leagues at Senior , Junior and Schoolboy Levels, players donning Irish Junior International shirts, and players progressing to the League of Ireland with Kilkenny City, Home Farm, and Athlone Town.
The Chairman said that over three hundred player members use the facility over the week and catering for them puts a lot of demands on people who need to be applauded for their voluntary time. The Chairman took the opportunity to thank sponsors, especially main sponsor, Roscrea Credit Union, without whose support the development project could not have been completed. Local Councillors, Council officials and TD’s who helped in procuring funds for the Development was thanked as was Mr. John Delaney, CEO Football Association of Ireland who was the first to contribute support for this project and has assisted the club at all times at national level. The Chairman concluded by thanking Victor Mitchell for his support over the years and by reminding those present that Killavilla United is a community based club that has grown over the past forty years, thanks to the community. He said that the club needs that support and he thanked all those who contribute to its lottery and or give of their time and abilities. When the Chairman was finished those gathered recalled great days from the past and great days yet to come while dancing the night away with the entertaining band “The Paddy’s”