Doon GAA Pitch & Facilities
The standard of the playing pitch, practice pitch and dressing rooms in Doon are on a par with the best. The grounds are easy to find. Doon is situated on the border between Limerick and Tipperary between Cappamore and Cappawhite.
The pitch is situated about 200 yards from the Main Street in Doon. Doon GAA Club moved to these grounds in 1994.
The Dressing Rooms were officially opened in 2002.
pitch now opened twenty years
On the 1st of May 1994 the present GAA
pitch on the Toher Road was officially opened by his Excellency
Terence McCarthy Australian Ambassador to
Ireland and Peter Quinn former President of the GAA. The field was blessed by
of Cashel and Emly
Dr Dermot Clifford
match was between Limerick and Laois and was
refereed by Sean O Meara from Shinrone who won an All Ireland senior hurling
medal with Offaly in 1981
The first recorded
match played by a Doon team was a football game played at the Inch in Cooga , a
field owned by John Ryan Luke who was the Poor Law Guardian for the area. Large
crowds attended tournament games held there in April 1887. The pitch was
situated on the banks of the Bilboa River , it was used for six years until the
lapse of the GAA in the area around 1893.
A second parish club, the Castletown Defenders had
their playing arena in Tim Quinlans of Carrigbeg [which is now owned by Tim
OBrien ] The field is in the shadow of Coonagh Castle. Thousands attended a
monster Tournament held there on August 8th 1887 with teams from
Doon, Pallasgreen, Oola, Cappawhite, Donohill, Moanrue, and Cappamore taking
The Blackboy Rovers
had a hurling team also and their field was reputed to have been on land owned
by the Kearney family near the bridge of the same name. Around 1904 Gurtavalla
had a football team , the whereabouts of their training field is unsure, the
same club also taking part in the Junior football championship of 1917.
The GAA lapsed in
the area until around 1922 when a club under the name of Glengar played
tournament games in Lysaghts near the Christian Brothers School. After a few
years the training was done in Richardsons across the road near the cemetary.
With the formation of the Doon club as it is known
to-day games were played at Devanes on the Toher road which is now our present
permanent headquarters. In 1929 Glengar played
Doon in the East Limerick Junior Hurling Championship and during the same year
the County Junior football semi final of 1928 against Sarsfields [Army ] took
place here. After some years the next move
was to Whites , now owned by the Hayes family,
where the 1932 county minor semi-final against
Young Irelands was held.
was also used for many years by the Coursing
club . It was from this pitch that the successful Junior teams of 1937 and 1941
practised their skills.
During the War years
the club trained at Cooga. In the depressed decade of the fifties it was back to
the village and Barrys field on the Toher road. From here began the great
underage revival of 1959 and numerous county titles during the 60s in u21, and
Minor were born in this arena. The great Tournament clashes of the late 60s
between Newport and Doon and Solohead and many others drew huge crowds. The
Junior team of 1967 that reached the County final was one of the last to use it
for training. In 1968 Doon went senior and have held this status since.
In 1969 following the division of the estate of Jimmy
OConnell of Cooga by the Irish Land Commission , the club purchased six and a
half acres for 800 pounds, so after 20 years it was back to the same field about
one mile from the village on the Gurtavalla road. Many successes were recorded
there in Tournament games . Sean Treaceys were the leading team in West
Tipperary at the time and they attracted huge crowds Numerous East Board games
place here including the 1988 East Senior hurling
final between Cappamore and Ahane. With the advent of the All County Leagues
such notable clubs as Patrickswell, Ballybrown, Kilmallock
and Cappamore have traded their skills there
over the years. In the club Centenuary year of 1988 Cappawhite as Tipperary
County champions played Doon , one of the years highlights. In May
1979 a testimonial game between Limerick and
Tipperary senior hurlers was played in memory of the late Jackie McGrath who was
club secretary and East board secretary for many years.
On numerous occasions Doon GAA club had endevoured to
acquire a site closer to the village, but all efforts proved fruitless, that was
until early 1991. The Sisters of Mercy owned a site on Toher Road, Doon which
suited to the GAA clubs requirements. This
pitch was known locally as the 9 acres and was previously owned by the Devane
family , when it was also used as a GAA pitch. The Sisters of Mercy were
favourably disposed towards the GAA clubs proposed development, but did not wish
to sell the site in question as it would reduce their farm to an uneconomic
holding. They were , however , willing to exchange this site for an equivalent
amount of land bordering their holding, and when an appropriate property came to
the market in the Autumn of 1990, the club purchased this property. Fifteen and
a half acres of land was exchanged with the Sisters of Mercy for the nine acre
In the Spring of 1991 the Field Development
was appointed and the club engaged the services
of Martin Moroney , a civil engineer from Scariff, to draw up plans for the
development of the playing pitch. It was agreed to develop a main pitch and a
formally turned the first sod and planted an
Ash tree to mark the occasion
on April 11th 1992.
The project was started in May 1992 and
completed in October
of the same year.
From the end of 1991 until the new pitch opened for
use in 1994, the club used the CBS pitch and Barrys field for training and all
underage games. The senior
team played their home matches in the County
league at Cappawhite During the Spring training was at the well appointed Bilboa
Athletic Track, the first time the club trained outside the parish.
A stand was built in 2001 and on Sunday February 10th
game was played between Limerick and Clare to
mark the official opening of the Dressing rooms and New Stand by the then County
Board chairman Donal Fitzgibbon
The pitch and its
surrounds is to day a magnificient development and is being continuously updated
to all the hard work of many club members, the financial support
of the people of the parish and beyond and
finally the generosity of the Mercy Order and the local Sisters for agreeing to
hand over the grounds.
Peter Quinn had just completed a very successful three
period as GAA President at Easter 1994. Peter, an
is a native of Teemore Co Fermanagh. He arrived
on the Slieve Russell helicopter , then owned by his brother
direct from an Ulster under 21 football
championship match in which his son was playing
for Fermanagh and it landed on the practice pitch. Immediately after the game he
made the return journey north , to comply with the seven
on helicopter flights imposed in the North
by the British army. He succeeded John Dowling
as President in 1991 and handed over the Presidency to Jack Boothman in 1994.
During his presidency he was the driving force
in all aspects of the preparatory work for the building of the now magnificent
Croke Park Stadium.
Terance McCarthy was Australian ambassador to Ireland
since 1991. His grandfather John emigrated to Australia from Coolbawn in 1878
with his brothers Denis and PJ .Denis and PJ subsequently returned to Ireland
leaving John to settle in his newly adopted land. Another brother William joined
the Christian Brothers and went on to become Superior General in Ireland and was
known as Brother Mark McCarthy.
Mr McCarthy was born in Sydney in 1935 and
served in Islamabad, Pakistan, The Hague Holland and as Consul General in
Chicago before coming to Ireland in 1991. On
April 11th 1992 he officially turned
sod on the field development. He now lives in
retirement in Canberra with his wife Margaret.
Archbishop Dermot Clifford is a native of Ballymacelligott Co Kerry and was born on 25th of January 1939. He was ordained a priest in Rome on 22nd of February 1964. He was ordained Coadjutor Archbishop of Cashel and Emly on 9th March 1986 and Archbishop on 12th of September 1988 by the late Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich. He also served as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cloyne from 7th of March 2009 to 27th of January 2013. As a successor of Archbishop Croke, he is also the Patron of the GAA and is annually seen presenting the cup to the All Ireland minor winning captains in hurling and football at Croke Park. He is due to retire this Christmas 2014 on reaching the age of 75 years after 26 years of faithful service as Archbishop.