Paudge Dowling made a unique contribution to the club during his long tenure in the 1970s and ‘80s as chairman of the development committee. During this time he spearheaded the acquisition of grounds and the building of the clubhouse at Fr. Browne Avenue – the first playing and social facilities owned by the club.
Paudge was a man of great humour and wit and was always an inspiration to officers and players because of his quiet yet invaluable wisdom. He hailed from an old Portlaoise family and two of his brothers, Sean and Ger, were likewise great Portlaoise men.
Ger’s son, Vincent, was club secretary from 2003 to 2005 and chairman from 2006 to 2014.
Tommy Conroy has been a stalwart of Portlaoise GAA throughout his life. He played senior football for the town for 17 years, winning six county championships as well as a Leinster title in 1987. He made his name when he broke onto the great town team of the 80’s with Colm and Gerry Browne, Curly and co still setting the standard. He soldiered through the barren years of the ‘90s and then a golden generation of new stars arrived like Ian Fitzgerald, Martin Delaney, Woolly, Fitzy etc and gave an an ageing sportsman a new lease of life. Here are some of his personal memories of the club.