Extract from "The Sligo Champion" July 30th 1938
NEW PARK OPENED
G.A.A. CONTINUES TO SPREAD
On Sunday last, a new chapter was added to the history of the G.A.A. in Co. Sligo, when Father Clear, C.S.S.R., opened and blessed Tourlestrane Gaelic Athletic Park. Before the opening ceremony a procession headed by Rev. Fr. Clear C.S.S.R., Very Rev. P.J. Wims, Adm., Tourlestrane, Rev. Fr. Leonard C.C. Kilmactigue, Rev Fr. Molloy, C. C. Benada, Rev. Fr. Marren, Cloongoonagh (who is at home on holidays from U.S.A.), Rev. Fr. Brennan, do. (who is also at home from U.S.A), Rev. Fr. Lundy, Rev. J. 0 ‘Hara, S.C., Rev Fr. Harte, Dakota and Dr. M Brennan, T.D., marched to the playing pitch from the Parish Church. There was a very large attendance and wonderful enthusiasm was manifest.
In declaring the park open, Rev. Fr. Clear said that Tourlestrane parish was very fortunate in having acquired such a suitable athletic grounds. It was next in importance to church and schools that such accommodation should be provided for the development of the youth in every parish. He hoped that the young men would take advantage of the accommodation afforded them and develop a spirit of manliness by participating in the national games. He assured them that by so doing they would better fit themselves for their different callings. He congratulated Rev. Fr. Wims on securing the grounds which would be one of many things in Tourlestrane parish that would preserve remembrance of this energetic and popular clergyman, and he felt sure that the future generation would bless the priest who was responsible for securing a park that would prove such an asset to the parish.
Very Rev. P. Wims, Adm., thanked Rev. Fr. Clear for opening the playing pitch which was one of the best in the country. He also thanked the officials of the Land Commission for the courteous manner in which they dealt with his requests. When negotiating for this pitch he regretted to say that opposition was offered to the proposal, but as he was determined to have the youth of the parish provided with the most convenient grounds he easily succeeded in overcoming this opposition.
Continuing Rev. Fr. Wims said he sincerely hoped that the young men of the parish would take full advantage of the accommodation provided and spend their spare time practising some of the national games. By so doing they would grow up strong in body and in mind
After the opening ceremony a football match was played off between Aclare and Tubbercurry. The ball was thrown in by Dr. M Brennan T.D. Aclare had the better of the exchanges throughout and won by a very comfortable margin.
The following represented Aclare. - T. Neary, B. Walsh, M Brennan, J. Walsh, P. Feeley, J. Marren, J. T. Marren, M Walsh, G. Henry, E. Lundy, M Marren, P. Molloy, P. Mullarkey, J. Bradley, D. Mullarkey and L. Cunnane.
Tubbercurry - J. McCoy, M McGowan, J. Quinn, J. Gallagher, T McCoy, M Leonard, J. Reid, J. Kennedy, P. Mulholland, T. Murphy, P. McCoy, J. Sweeney, M Noone, M. Leonard.
Mr. M 0 ‘Keefe (Mayo), was a very satisfactory and impartial referee.
The above article was re-published in our 1938 "60th Anniversary Booklet" celebrating our first football championship win in 1938. The booklet also notes the following :
Prior to the opening of the new pitch the GAA men of the time had to remove a small forth from the top right hand corner of the pitch. The shovel and spade were the tools of the day and the horse and cart was the dump truck.
Of Fr. Clear, C.S.S.R. we know nothing but it has been suggested that a mission was taking place at the time in the parish and he was probably one of these visiting priests.
Brennan T.D., who threw in the ball was a brother of the team full back
Matt Brennan and an uncle of present day Club Officials Mattie and Martin
Brennan. Dr. Brennan resided and practiced at Banada. His nephew Matt Brennan,
Cloonacool followed in Dr Martin's footsteps as the Fianna Fail T.D.
for Sligo Leitrim.