The community of Aghaderg and neighbouring parishes flocked to the Parish Centre in Banbridge on Saturday evening for the much anticipated launch of Ballyvarley’s Hurling History.
Author Gerard O’Neill spoke with passion as he outlined the main features of this very impressive, colourful and fact-filled publication and how he hoped that the deeds of the past would inspire the club members of the future.
A star-studded line-up of guests which included Ulster Chairperson Martin McAviney, Down Chairperson Sean Rooney, Down Secretary Sean Og McAteer, South Down Chairman Donal McNally and Heritage Lottery Representative Sheila McClelland all spoke of their surprise and delight at the quality and nature of the book and praised the work that had gone into the compilation of such a detailed history.
Ulster Chairperson, Martin McAviney, summed up the positive nature of the whole event when he assured all present that, “This book will draw the whole community together.
“I have no doubt it will act as a catalyst to spur the club and its members on to build on their impressive 125 year hurling tradition.”
The highlight of the evening’s entertainment was Conor Macauley’s highly entertaining and informative Question and Answer session with All Ireland Hurling Stars Eoin Kelly of Tipperary and Eoin Murphy of Kilkenny.
Earlier in the afternoon Ballyvarley Hall and playing fields were crowded with a different type of audience as parents and children gathered to view the Photographic Exhibition in the Hall, enjoy coaching sessions in the field and to meet Kilkenny hurler Eoin Murphy.
The young Kilkenny goalkeeper was most impressive as he passed around the various coaching groups before facing a barrage of penalties from juvenile and senior hurlers and camogs.
All types of memorabilia were signed by the hurling stars over the length of the day and photographs with the legendary Liam McCarthy Cup was an added attraction for all involved in the two events.
The Club History “Living Up To A Tradition: The History Of Ballyvarley Hurling” is on sale in Walsh’s Newsagents and available through any club member.