Kingscourt Stars Club Profile
If you ever have the time and you are around Kingscourt take a short drive out the Carrickmacross road and travel on down for about 500 metres and you will see the entrance into O’Raghallaigh Park; Kingscourt Stars GAA grounds. Once inside, you will straightaway be hit by the sheer size of their expansive grounds.
The 2 floodlit pitches, imposing main stand, club pavilion incorporating changing rooms, gym & meeting hall and the immaculately kept grounds, notably the giant grass banks that surround two sides of the main pitch. It truly does create one of the most natural settings for a football pitch you will find anywhere in the country. Facilities that all club members are understandably proud of.
It’s in these grounds that some of the greatest players of the county honed their skills over the years and most evenings it is still a hub of activity as teams from U-8’s to Senior, train for their upcoming matches.
Founded in 1890, the club played their games in Carney’s field on the Kells Road up to the early 50’s when the current grounds were developed into the natural amphitheatre you see today. During the early 80’s the club experienced great success on the playing field which created the need to extend the facilities to a higher level. In 1984, a ten phase development plan was undertaken, with current county board chairman, Phil Smith, and Sean Farrelly at the forefront of this ambitious project. This was completed in 2001.
While Kingscourt would now be regarded as one of the major clubs in the county, that was not always the case. Their first county championship victory came in 1921, with a 0-9 to 0-2 victory over Bruskey McDermotts in Virginia. However, despite great players such as PJ Gorman & Victor Sherlock donning the Stars in the intervening years, it was 1980 before they claimed their second crown.
This, however, was the start of their golden period which saw an unprecedented period of success. They captured eight Senior Championships and seven Senior League titles, seven Junior B championships, two U-21 championships and two Minor championships
That famous side, featuring the likes of Jim Reilly, Joe Dillon, Barry McArdle and Pat & Michael Faulkner, also reached 2 Ulster Senior Club finals in 1986 and 1990. However they were unable to capture that elusive title, losing to Burren & Lavey respectively, both of whom went on to capture the All-Ireland title on the following St. Patrick’s Day. However it’s the narrow defeat to Burren in Ballybay on a day so wet, to make recent summer’s feel like droughts, which will always linger as the one that got away.
In recent years, success at senior level has not been as plentiful. However, under Dudley Farrelly, progress is being made and hopes are high of a return to more successful days in the near future. Throughout all this period, Frank Boylan has remained as club treasurer for over 30 years.
Juvenile football though is alive and well in the Kingscourt Club at the present time. It would be nothing unusual to see between 40 and 50 young boys and girls in the park on Sunday morning, all enjoying themselves and learning the skills of Gaelic Football.
Every year, the hard work of the juvenile teams & trainers are rewarded by numerous appearances in the latter stages of both leagues and championships, as well as the regular appearances of young Stars on their relevant county squads.
Throughout all this success, the highlight is undoubtedly the winning of the U-14 All Ireland Feile Competition in Kerry in 1994. Indeed this team features a number of players currently on the Senior squad, 15 years ago lads, ye are getting old!
James Brown is now Chairman of juvenile football in Kingscourt and he, along with his hard working committee, are doing a tremendous job in keeping juvenile football at the very top in Cavan.
So there you have it. Kingscourt is a thriving town with local businesses continuing to succeed on a local, national and international level. This success and prosperity has trickled down through the town into their local sports clubs, none more so than Kingscourt Stars.
The club continues to work hard both on and off the field. They are in the unique position of holding the chair of both senior football & hurling county boards in Phil Smith and Willie Gaughan respectively; A feat that speaks measures on the club’s stature within the county. One thing is for certain, the Stars will continue to shine long into the 21st Century.