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One Mile’s history of squash

IN the early 1980s, numbers playing the game of squash in Clare were at an all-time high. There were 21 courts across 14 clubs in the county and there were a whole series of competitions taking place, catering for men and women of varying standards.
Towards the end of the ‘80s, however, numbers playing the game dropped at an alarming rate, leading to the closure of many of the clubs.
In recent years, interest in the game is on the rise again, particularly in Ennis, where the Ennis CBS club is particularly busy.
It is generally accepted that the opening of the One Mile Inn club in 1974 sparked off interest in the game, which led to the development of the other clubs across the county.
The club quickly went from strength to strength and players representing the One Mile Inn began to win competitions involving players from Limerick, Nenagh and Charleville.
Former One Mile Inn club chairman, Ger Browne decided to research the history of the club and this has just been published. Running to 80 pages, it recalls the formation of the club by the late Senator Michael Howard before going through, year by year, the various successes of the club giving details of the many competitions promoted within the club.
It recalls the many great matches involving the leading players in the game in Clare including Denis Maurer, Tony Lillis, Colm McLoughlin, Liam Caher, Dickie Pyne, the late Paddy Kelly, Margaret Lacheiner, Mary Hennessy, Paul Costelloe and many others.
The book contains details of the various committees that served the club, the many teams that brought titles to the club, including the men’s team that won the Munster junior title in April 1982, when they beat a fancied De La Salle from Waterford in the final at Dukes squash club in Cork.
The publication contains a record of the many Clare championship winners. In the early years, the championships were organised by the One Mile Inn club before being handed over to the Clare Squash Racquets Association, when that body was founded.
The One Mile Inn club provided the first chairman of the Clare Association in Tony Lillis.
The book is sure to bring back many memories for all who played the game there. The History Of The One Mile Inn Squash Club will be launched at the Old Ground hotel on Thursday, June 26 at 8.30pm and there is an open invitation to all who played the game during the 1970s and ‘80s to attend.

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