Club Focus: St Oliver Plunkett’s keeping alive a great tradition of hurling

Left: St Oliver Plunkett’s Captain, Stephen McManus raises the Adrian Murray Cup after his side’s success in the 2016 IHC final against Crookedwood. Bottom: Paddy Lynam in action for St Oliver Plunkett’s in the 2016 IHC final.

Hurling has been alive and well in Mullingar since the early 1900s but the present St Oliver Plunkett’s Hurling Club was formed as recently as 1976, following the demise of the previous stand bearers, Pearses.

Pearses had previously enjoyed prominence and won the Senior Hurling Championship of 1962, but were defeated in the finals of ’66 and ’67 as Castlepollard and Raharney, respectively, proved too strong.

At what would prove a very historic gathering in The Lake County Hotel, Mullingar, Noel Corcoran and Brendan Walsh led a determined group of hurling enthusiasts who were eager to ensure hurling continued to be played in Mullingar.

It was always going to be a tough ask to follow Pearses, but St Oliver Plunkett’s didn’t take long to get into their stride and won the Junior Hurling Championship in 1978, two years after they were formed.

That team defeated Castletown Geoghegan in the final and it was very interesting to note that no fewer than four of the St Oliver Plunkett’s representatives – Bobby Begley, Matt Murray, Noel Corcoran and Tom Gunn (trainer) – had all previously played with Castletown Geoghegan.