The following pieces were penned by our club treasurer Austin Walshe

The Game

A hero or a villain, the glory or the blame,
Roles in which you’re cast, when you play the game,
A moment’s inspiration, or the ball that passed you by,
Things that change your status, in the twinkle of an eye.
That subtle piece of fate, that really made your day
The very next deserts you, and turns your feet to clay,
Fickle words of praise that are shouted in your ear
Will for a moment’s hesitation, quickly disappear,
That you played a leading role, in the great battles of the past,
Is gone and soon forgotten, when you didn’t in your last,
Or when all you can remember are hours of sweat and pain
And somehow on the day, its all just been in vain
When every muscle aches, and there’s nothing left to say,
Except that fate decided, that it wouldn’t be your day
And the silence that awaits you, just outside the door
Will on another day, become a deafening roar,
The sands of time, should teach you, to treat them both the same,
A tight rope that you walk, everyday you play the game,
For if you stand out like a beacon, or didn’t pass the test,
Its just that on the day, you simply did your best.

©  Austin Walshe


A four shilling fare on a Sunday train
Bicycle rides in the April rain,
Battles fought in the July heat,
The sound of clogs on a cobbled street
Epic tales of fields long ploughed
A Soldier’s Song, the roar of the crowd
Colours worn with pride of place
Grey tweed cap on anxious face

Long range scores and massive leaps
Crunching tackles, lightning feet.
Stone hard men with hearts so strong
Refs. Decisions, and what went wrong
Victory spoils, heartfelt losses
Funny game, mistakes that cost us
Magic moments along the way
Lessons learnt for another day.

Heated words of venial sins
Shake of hands, lifelong friends
An endless source to talk about
Names recalled over bottles of stout
A thousand memories, tear in the eye.
Life is short, time goes by
One last request to finish upon
A great tradition, please pass it on.

  © Austin Walshe

The Mast

There’s a scare going round, our health they will take
By placing a mast at the top of the Lake,
They say on the water it will cast violet light,
And those that might drink it, will light up at night.
But there’s more to this monster than mere radiation
For it’s sent here to spy on the whole population
And when late at night you lie fast asleep
It will scan all the hills, to count up your sheep
For those who draw sick, or sign on the Labour,
Report them at once for helping a neighbour
It will tot down the hours that you spend at the bar
And zoom in on couples that court in a car
This Tower of Steel will stare from the sky,
Observing the Parish with a glint in its eye.
It will penetrate steel, mortar or stones,
To count out our cash, and tap all our phones
And if in some corner, you are working a still
Find your location and call out the bill
From this callous stranger there’s no place to hide
For those who are having a bit on the side
Or if at your work, for a moment you doss
Get on the blower and call out the Boss.
This eagle-eyed stranger will view from afar
Lest you forget to put tax on your car
Or if you fancy the salmon that rests in the fort,
Record you in colour and have you in court
If your local stays open it will send for the guards
And have you on file if you cheat at the cards
For every mistake its programmed to catch us
And contains a wee chip that can referee matches
Unlicensed TVs will be instantly scrambled,
With a higher tax rate on all monies gambled
It will discreetly observe as you fill your tax form
And take note of the time that you rise in the morn
So my dear people the truth for to tell
This Tower of Steel could make our lives hell
And if this great evil should ever take place
We’ll head for the Gap this monster to face
A hundred strong men, we’ll gather around
To pull it and shake it till it falls to the ground.
We’ll cut it to pieces and bid it Adieu
And hand it all over to Bergin’s bin crew.

       ©  Austin Walshe 1997


I’m sitting here this morning, and my throat is awful sore
On account of all the shouting that I done the day before
We roared on every score, every tackle, catch and punt,
As we watch Neil Egan’s boys proudly capture Owen B. Hunt.
We relived every minute with a night of crack and ceol
As we toasted all our heroes and young O’Hara’s brilliant goal.
Amongst this joyous company, the revelry and cheers
My mind began to wander back through the many years
Remembering other matches, and stories I’d been told
Of men of other days who’d worn the green and gold.
To start at the beginning, its only to be fair
There existed in the 30’s teams round Rhue and in Aclare,
Both they got together and they drew up this great plan
To start a Parish football team and name it Tourlestrane
Some players of the 30’s whose names are oft recalled
Those Marrens, Walsh and Lundys would fight for every ball
Then there was legend, a martyr in our game
The Iron Man from Rhue, Tom Neary, was his name.
Now it’s said to clear his goal mouth, he’d plough through one and all
And he used to practice shoulders up against the gable wall
The genial Luke Cunnane with Siki by his side
And Gerry Henry with his medal that he won in ‘35
Red Eneas and Matt Brennan, they too were to the fore
As the people of the parish roared on every score,
With Mullarkey and John Bradley, they hadn’t long to wait
For they won the Junior Championship in 1938
Its said the celebrations were talked about for years
With whiskey from Cloongoonagh washed down with Stenson’s beer
I suppose it was the 40’s when we really made our name
We produced some of the best that ever played the game
Jim and Mattie Marren, Bert Walsh and Sean Mullarkey are just a few to mention
Who wore the Sligo colours with pride and great distinction.
I think it was in ’42 when the Connaught Championship began
Sligo’s whole half back line all hailed from Tourlestrane
Amongst this gallant trio, Jim Marren was to the fore
For he became our first to play for Connaught in 1944
Indeed with Jimmy in the backs Connaught needn’t worry
And who will ever forget his epic battles with Roscommon’s Jimmy Murray
Then there were the Christies, those brothers of great fame
Who will always be remembered as our most famous family name
And Johnny Durkin who’d never drop a ball
With his brother Father Eddie the best fielder of them all
In the early fifties came a great addition to our panel
A forester from Kerry by the name of Danny Scannell
Said he to Johnny Durkin “I’ll teach these boys some tricks”
And we captured our first Championship in 1956
With Paddy Kennedy, Ted Nealon, Nace Feeley and Tom Quinn
Rich Goulden and Mick Christie, we were always going to win
Jimmy Walshe and Willie Haran also played big roles
And not forgetting Padraig Owens who scored those golden goals
All 15 men were heroes and what a roar went up
As our Captain, Tommy Walshe lifted up the Cup.
Then in ’57 came another success story.
As Eamon O’Hara captained Nathy’s to their All Ireland glory
The 60s was the decade when our minors made their mark
And Aiden Richardson led Sligo in the final in Croke Park
The Cunnanes and the Quinns bring back happy memories
And our up and coming County stars Matt Brennan and Paddy Henry
We won the minor in ’67 against Keash
And went on to take the title again in ‘68
I suppose the early seventies was a sign of things to come
For we won our first league title in 1971
Tommy Garvey got two goals and Matty Marren another
As we defeated Mullinabreena on a windy day in Tubber
It was also in the 70s that underage was to the fore
And at all age levels we won titles by the score
And its often you hear of journeys near and far
With players packed 3 deep into Mickey Gallagher’s Morris car
Indeed at every match Mickey was always on the line
And I often wondered since, where he ever found the time
I remember too that Sunday in 1978,
When we finally ended that agonising 22-year wait
The final against Grange in a game that to’ed and fro’ed
Finally was decided by those two important goals
The first from P.J. Gallagher, like a shot out of a canon
The second a touch of class by the brilliant Anthony Brennan
With Noel Brett, Austin Nealon and the rock hard Milo Maye
We made up for bitter disappointments that we had along the way
David McVeigh, with Larry Walshe who took the frees,
And that smiling priest from Mayo, Fr. Dan O’Mahoney.
People lined the route from Rhue to Letterbrone
As our captain Tony Carty took the cup back home
Yet the thing that pleased me most, amongst all the shouts and cheers
Was the thought that Matty and Paddy had finally got a medal
For their service down the years
I suppose if asked to name our greatest day
I wouldn’t have much trouble
That Sunday in ’82 when we carried home the double
Our minors won their final, without much ado
Powered by the Walshes that great sporting clan from Rhue
And what a lovely sight it was as the Senior team warmed up
Watching Gerry Walsh receive the Minor Cup
In the Senior Final against Pats, we didn’t have the best of starts
But a goal from Tony Carty, lifted all our hearts
And in the second half, when things were really hot,
Anthony Brennan finally won it, with a goal kicked from the spot.
I'd just like to mention a few of these great men,
Jerry Lundy, Brendan Leonard, Stephen Henry and Joe Quinn
Padraig Egan, with Marty Marren who played between the posts
Jimmy Walshe and our captain Michael Henry
Were always there when needed most
Indeed our whole defence was always tight and mean
After taking their instructions from Paddy "Carrigeen"
Mickey Curran and Mick Durkin also did us proud
With his towering brother Shane who could pull them from the clouds
In the Connaught Championship they didn’t let us down
For we won the semi final with a tow points victory over Galway’s Annaghdown
But on a dreary Sunday in the wind and hail
We lost the Connaught final to Roscommon’s Clan na Gael
As I’m sitting here remembering other times and places
My mind begins to ponder on some old familiar faces,
I remember too John Bradley, and I can see it still
His beloved flag flying on the Barrack Hill
Then there was Matt Brennan, a note book in his hand
As he writes down all the scores in the shade of Tubber stand
And Matty Walsh who was always on the spot
With a few charming words when things were getting hot
There’s Jim O’Hara, Tom Jackson and Ned Moran
And they’re always hale and hearty
And you will hear the shout go up
“Good on ya, Tony Carty”
and of course, Tom Lundy, of whom it is said by those who know him most,
that he always gets the Umpire’s job because he sometimes moves the posts!
And before my little piece is through, lets not forge the boys who played for Banada in 1992
All the joy and happiness and how the place just came alive
As they captured Sligo’s first All Ireland since 1935
Now to write a history never was my intention
And theres hundreds of players and others that I didn’t even mention
These were just a couple of fleeting thoughts as I drank my mug of tea
I hope they recalled some happy memories, they certainly did for me

 © Austin Walsh 1996