Erins Own GAA Club Waterford

2014 will see Erin’s Own GAA Club in Waterford participate in Championship Competitions for the 90th year without a break and so are Waterford city’s oldest surviving GAA club.

The clubs foundation is generally agreed to have been in late 1923 or early 1924. The club was founded by a group led by Con Ward and included among others – Martin Cullen, Bush Reddy, Davey Fardy, JJ Hodgers, Michael Fraher, Fr. Sheehan (cc Ballybricken) and a Cork born youth named Charlie Ware. Charlie Ware proved to be an outstanding hurler and leader, and it was from this humble start on Ballybricken the Erin’s Own emerged to lead Waterford to hurling glory and it’s greatest day must surely have been on September 5th, 1948 when Erin’s Owns Jim Ware led Waterford to it’s first All-Ireland Senior Hurling Crown.

Added to this historic first was a number of other headline making firsts that confirmed Erin’s Owns place in GAA history:

Charlie Ware – First Waterford player picked for Munster
Fad Browne – First Waterford player selected for the Tailteann Games
John Meaney – Captained Waterford to its first National League title in 1963

Erins Own players to have won All-Ireland medals are:

Senior Hurling (1948): J Ware (capt), K O’Connor, E Carew, J Murphy
Senior Hurling (1959): J Condon, C Ware, J Coady
Intermediate Hurling (1962): P McGovern and W Walsh (with Carlow)
Junior Hurling (1931): P Hannigan, J Hunt
Junior Hurling (1934): M Creed
Minor Hurling (1929): D Wyse, J Butler, N Fardy, P Donnelly, P Ryan, F Penkert

The club has won 13 Senior Hurling County titles in all, 9 of them on the trot from 1927 to 1935 – a record equalled but never bettered.

Erin’s Own were the first club from the city and Eastern division to win the “Club of the Year” award in 1972 and were also the winners of the inaugural County Intermediate Football Championship in 1964. A Minor Hurling County Championship came in 1982 while the Minor B was won in 1987.

After some lean years the club came to the fore again when winning the Intermediate Hurling County Championship in 1994 and again in 1997. Even more recently, the juvenile club - Sacred Heart – has delivered silverware on a yearly basis and this culminated in winning the Minor Hurling Division 2 County Championship in October 2011.

For the first 3 decades of it’s existence Erin’s Own had no permanent home, it shared the Sportsfield and later used Fr. Pats field, now part of the St. Johns Park housing estate. In the early 1950’s the club was fortunate enough to acquire with St. Declans National School, the use of Young’s field in Poleberry on license from Waterford Corporation. Over the years the club has ploughed all of it’s available resources into developing Poleberry and recently the addition of a training/juvenile pitch with flood lights has transformed the clubs potential.

The club is known for it’s signature song ‘Happy Are We All Together’ while the Facebook generation have adopted their own rallying slogan:

“Own to the Bone”