Abbeyside Ballinacourty GAA

Founded 1967

Co. Waterford

Club History

Abbeyside / Ballinacourty GAA Club was formed in 1967 as a result of the amalgamation of Abbeyside Hurling and Football Clubs and Ballinacourty Football Club. It is situated within the Parish of Abbeyside, Ballinroad and Garranbane. Located on the eastern side of the River Colligan, it forms the northern and eastern shorelines of Dungarvan Harbour from Abbeyside Church to Ballinacourty Lighthouse.Early records show that Abbeyside first fielded a championship hurling team in 1927 and Ballinacourty became established as the home of Gaelic football in the parish in 1947 having been preceded by Ballinroad, The Pike and Ballycoe. Long before these clubs were formally established hurling and football were played on streets and in fields throughout the parish.

Following the establishment of our united parish club, it was decided that all hurling teams would play under the name of Abbeyside and wear blue and gold jerseys. All adult football teams were to have the name Ballinacourty. A number of juvenile football teams continued to use the Abbeyside name until the year 2000 when it was agreed that all football teams would bear the name Ballinacourty and wear green and white jerseys. In the early 2000s a new club crest was developed showing the images of Abbeyside Church and Ballinacourty Lighthouse with a hurler and footballer wearing their respective colours. The club's name as Gaeilge, Dún na Mainistreach / Baile na Cúirte, adorns the top and bottom of the central image.

The club had its first home at Cliffe's in the Burgery which was acquired in 1961. Over the years, Abbeyside teams had trained at various centres including the Loch Marbh, Morrissey's Field, Stokes' Field and Mick Fives' in Lacken. Ballinacourty, on the other hand, had practised at Ballinclamper, Dan Casey's, Garry Morrissey's, P.J. Dwane's and Ocean View. In 1979, in order to meet the increasing demands of fielding a large number of teams in juvenile and adult competitions, the task of moving to more spacious grounds commenced. A new site capable of accommodating two playing fields just a stone's throw from the existing club grounds was purchased and developed. These facilities were extended during the 1990s. A new phase of development commenced in 2010 when a new state-of-the-art floodlighting system was inaugurated. This was followed by the installation of synthetic goalmouths on the main pitch. In the coming years it is hoped to construct a hurling alley while renovating and extending the current clubhouse.

The club has won an unprecedented number of divisional and county championship titles in all grades and in both codes. Over the years, five County Senior Football titles have been garnered. The long awaited breakthrough finally came in 1978. The following year saw the club retain the Conway Cup before going on to win it in 1981. After a gap of 26 years the club again tasted success at senior level and it was also in 2007 that we made our first appearance in a Munster Club Senior Football Final. 2011 saw us crowned champions once more after the disappointment of final defeats in 2008 and 2010. On the hurling front we have appeared in five County Senior Hurling Finals, sadly never emerging victorious from these encounters. Our last final appearance was in 2008 following previous outings in 1955, 1957, 1964 and 1969.

These on-field exploits have seen us named 'Waterford Club of the Year' on five occasions; 1969, 1970, 1979, 2003 and most recently in 2007 when on the 40th anniversary of the club's amalgamation, seven county titles were won. Currently, we are one of a few clubs in the county with dual senior status.

A comprehensive history of the club, The Growth and Development of a GAA Club, was published in 1980 under the stewardship of Vincent Mulligan, Tony Mansfield and Séamus ó Braonáin. Work is ongoing to update our history in order to record the numerous successes and massive changes in the parish in the intervening years. It is our hope that our future will be as glorious as our past.

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