Profile: Peter Fennell

Peter Fennell (Hon. Sec. 1997-’99)
I feel lucky to have witnessed “The Town” during the ‘60s, reborn in the ‘70s, through to an All-Ireland club title in football in 1983 right up to recent years and last year winning the ninth title in a row. My first love is hurling. With success in Feile na nGael in the ‘70s it brought victory in the 1981 senior hurling final and continued into the following years.

Not being very good at either hurling or football I took up the pen and was assistant secretary to the late great Bill Phelan. I acted as PRO in the ‘80s and did a stint as club secretary in the ‘90s. I have great personal memories of juvenile successes in both codes acting as selector with Bill, Peter Carroll and Ollie Byrne. The Féile na nGael weekends were great – going to different counties and meeting other GAA people. The juvenile success brought parents to the club and they were engaged in transporting players to the games and catering for all the functions. This helped keep costs down at a time especially when money was scarce.

What are your first memories of the club
I looked forward to receiving a ‘half-crown’ from my brother, John, to clean and polish his boots.

Early heroes
From watching training, among the selectors and knowing the players, I would say they were all heroes to me.

Jimmy Keenan’s antics and general craic made the senior hurling dressing-room during the ‘80s a memorable place and created great comradeship. Those players would literally die for each other.

Funny memories
The toga and hat parties organised by Cheddar, Pat Critchley and co. were really special and great craic.

The best year
The number of titles won in 1984 was remarkable.

Biggest disappointment
Not winning the Leinster Club Hurling title in 1987. I blame the referee, Pascal Long, for that. I told him so when I met him a few years later.

What are you aspirations for the club
To be champions in senior hurling and football in the Leinster Club championships. We are one of the few clubs capable of doing so.

More Club History To Explore

The Magpies

An edited version of a poem attributed to “Little Sport”, which was contributed along with other items by a lifetime Portlaoise supporter living in Dublin, Joe Scully, formerly from Borris Road, who hails from a family steeped in the “Town” GAA tradition.

Read More

Profile: Paddy Bracken

Paddy Bracken was one of those Portlaoise footballers who
blazed the trail for the club in the 1950s when championship
wins were scarce and in the 1960s when winning became more

Read More