Maelruan's celebrate 50 years

By Hayden Moore

A HALF-CENTURY of football was celebrated by St Maelruan’s Football Club on Saturday night in The Louis Fitzgerald Hotel – with plenty of familiar faces showing up for the club's 50th birthday.

They filled up all 150 seats available in The Louis Fitzgerald with current treasurer Noel Hearns telling us about how the 50th Anniversary celebrations went.

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Mick Sweeney and Paul Farrell at St Maelruan's Football Club's 50th anniversary 

He said: “It was a brilliant night and there was a great turnout. We even had one of the original founding members Brendan Whelan there, so it was great to see him there considering he started it all off.”

Brendan along with John McGrath and Derek Harper founded Tallaght Town in 1968, before they swapped their title to St Maelruan’s FC four years later.

On the night of celebration there where a number of awards given out for their long-lasting contribution to the club in a special honorary presentation to Noel Hearns, current chairman Liam Perry and Tommy Lawlor.

“Liam has been brilliant for the club, we call him ‘Mr Maelruans’ because he was a player, a manager, the chairman and he knows everything about Maelruan’s so he deserves some sort of recognition for his contribution” said Noel.

There was also a special presentation of flowers and chocolates for Noel and Liam’s wives, Bernie and Margaret for their resilience in putting up with the lads over the years.

Noel continued: “Caroline Farrell and Claire Smith did a great job setting up the room, we also tried our best to cater for everyone because we’re a family club and always have been that way.

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Eddie, David, Paul, Tommy, Christine, Therese, Luke, Gerry, Bernie and Deirdre

“Actually, we gave out 30 plaques to former committee members, managers, and volunteers as well to show our gratitude for the work that has been done for the club over the 50 years.

“There was great food, great music, and it really was a brilliant, brilliant night!” concluded Noel about the night.

When the club was first established in 1968, they played on the pitches in Virginia Farm – now the sight of The Square Shopping Centre – before finally ending up in Bancroft Park in 2003 after a spell in Watergate in the 1980’s and 90’s.

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Ciara and Sally Ryan 

The 1990’s where perhaps the clubs most lucrative period when they in total won over 30 titles across all age groups and have competed well in the DDSL, AUL and other South Dublin leagues throughout their five-decade long history.

The Mellers now boast a fully functional clubhouse that includes changing rooms for officials, and home and away teams at the back of West Park fitness club, with ample parking for all involved and the oldest schoolboy team in Tallaght.

Pick up a copy of The Echo for a two-page picture spread from the 50th anniversary celebrations!

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