Causeway Comprehensive Celebrate 1977 All Ireland Win


By John White – 1977 will be remembered for Red Rum winning the Aintree Grand National for the third time, a crater on the planet Mercury was called after Irish poet WB Yeats, the Star Wars film broke all box office records and the death of singer Elvis Presley at the age of 42. However that year will also be remembered as an historic year for Causeway Comprehensive School on the hurling front when the School’s Senior Hurling team won the Munster B Colleges Final (Corn Phadraig) and followed that up by winning the All Ireland B Colleges title.

The Munster campaign began with a win over a highly fancied Charleville CBS team on a scoreline of 3-11 to
3-8 after a thrilling game at Askeaton. On that Charleville team that day were six players that played minor
inter-county hurling in 1977. In the Munster Semi-final Causeway came up against and defeated a very good Midleton CBS team by 2-12 to 2-5. This was a very closely fought contest right up to the last quarter before Causeway took control of matters and ran out six points winners. The Munster final was played in Pallaskenry where Ennis CBS provided the opposition. The Clare side had the advantage of the strong wind in the opening half and were up 5 at the break on a scoreline of 5-12 to 7-1. This was a very closely fought contest right up to the last quarter before Causeway took control of matters and ran out six points winners. The Gaelic Grounds in Limerick was the venue for the All Ireland semi-final and Causeway had a rather easy victory over Roscommon CBS 2 – 7 to 0 – 2 with the Kerry lads keeping their opponents scoreless in the second half.

The All Ireland B final was played at the home of hurling in Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday May 1st 1977 against St. Joseph’s Fairview of Dublin. This proved to be a game of two halves as the Dublin side led 2-4 to
0-1 at the break. A goal from a semi-penalty by captain Seán Flaherty and some excellent scores from play saw Causeway draw level with five minutes remaining but a strong finish which yielded 1-1, the goal from substitute John Hennessy, saw the trophy on its way to Kerry for the first (and only) time with a 2-9 to 2-5 victory.
The Panel for the All Ireland B Final was as follows:
Ballyduff: Tom O’Sullivan, Anthony Carroll, Mike Hussey, John Hennessy, John White.
Ballyheigue: Tommy O’Mahony, John Lucid, Micheál Reidy, Michael Dineen, Gerard Lowe.
Causeway: Willie Barrett, Michael Burke, Johnny Carroll, Gerard Diggins, Francis Dineen, Martin Young and Thomas Kearney.
Kilmoyley: Paddy Harrington and Maurice Walsh.
Lixnaw: Sean Flaherty (Capt.), Frank Bowler and Tim Ryan.
Four other players were involved with the team in the Munster Championship campaign were Gerdie Connell and Daniel Connell (Ballyduff), Moss Allen (Lixnaw) & Christy Walsh (Kilmoyley).
Team Manager: Gerald Whyte. Selectors: John Leahy and John Michael Brick.
School Principal: John O’Regan

The re-union of the panel, backroom staff, families and friends took place on Saturday last May 6th to mark the occasion. The celebrations got underway at 12noon at Ballyheigue Castle Golf Club where a number of players participated in a fun 9 Hole Scramble. At 6.00pm that evening it was off to McHale’s Stretford End Bar & Restaurant in Causeway for a pre-dinner chat, photographs and a three course meal. Principal in 1977, John O’Regan, was Master of Ceremonies for the night. Former teacher & selector John Leahy presented team
members & backroom staff with a memento of the occasion and County Coaching Officer Maurice Leahy gave a short introduction as each person collected their award. Former RTÉ sports presenter Jim Carney, who
presented the medals to the team in 1977, was unable to attend but sent an audio that really set the tone for the night and was very well received.
Seán Flaherty, team Captain, spoke on behalf of the players annd he thanked all those who attended on the night and especially to the players from around the country, and in particular the three players who travelled from the USA to be with us on the night. Anthony O’Carroll, Chairman of the Organising Committee, welcomed all those present and thanked his fellow Committee members for all their outstanding work in organising this 40th Anniversary Reunion. Gerry O’Leary, former Manager of the Bank of Ireland in Tralee, who sponsored a set of jersies for the All Ireland campaign, thanked the Committee for inviting him to this historic occasion and said he was delighted to be associated with this All Ireland victory.

The celebrations continued into the small hours as many present danced the night away to the music of Michael Sexton. Many school memories were recalled on the night, photographs taken and the proceedings were captured on DVD by Billy Donegan for posterity. Many thanks to all who helped in making the Reunion an outstanding
success – Tommy O’Connor, County Librarian, for securing photographs & articles for the Sovenir Booklet; Dave & staff of the Kingdom Printers for their help in producing the Booklet; The Kerryman Newspaper for their photographs; John McHale & family for the use of their fine facilities and for a superb meal on the night; Timmy Kenny for the use of Ballyheigue Castle Golf Course; the people who travelled far & wide to be with us on the night and finally to our sponsors for your generous contributions.
The Reunion Organising Committee consisted of Anthony O’Carroll, Tom O’Sullivan, John White and Mike Hussey (Ballyduff): Sean Flaherty (Lixnaw): Mike Burke and John O’Regan (Causeway): Tommy O’Mahony and John Lucid (Ballyheigue).

Back Row: John O’Regan (Former Principal), Gerard Lowe, Gerard Diggins, John Lucid, Paddy Harrington, Tommy O’Mahony, Micheal Reidy, Mike Dineen, Martin Young, John Hennessy, Gerdie O’Connell, John Leahy (Selector), John Michael Brick (Selector).

Front: Anthony O’Carroll, Tom Kearney, Mike Hussey, Willie Barrett, Frank Bowler, Mike Burke, Seán Flaherty (Capt.), John White, Tom O’Sullivan, Maurice Walsh, Jacques Quilter (Former Teacher), Gerry O’Leary (Ex Bank of Ireland Manager).
Missing from Photo are Gerald Whyte (Trainer) and Gerald McKenna(Ex Vice-Principal).
Photo by Paddy White.