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Shannon nostalgia as ‘Tones show old matches

SPORTING nostalgia has certainly been popular throughout the pandemic, with All-Ireland finals and World Cup ties being broadcast on various channels.

On a very local level, Wolfe Tones have been putting footage of old club games online every Sunday evening and it has proven very popular.

Club officer Paul Hogan has led the initiative and said, “With the fact the GAA was gone, we just wanted to add something. Our aim too was to preserve as many Wolfe Tones games as we could. We’ve tried to cover all four bases of ladies’ football, camogie, hurling and Gaelic football. We’re fairly eating through them over the last few weeks. If there’s anyone in the county with old Wolfe Tones games, we’d be delighted to get them up on YouTube.”

Many of the games shown have finished with Wolfe Tones hoisting silverware. “It has been mostly finals but the first game was a Munster semi-final against Patrickswell. Because it was on in Shannon, it was a nice one to start with. So
far, Wolfe Tones have won all the games that we’ve had.”

The semi-final referred to was in 1996, as the club won a Munster Championship and reached the All-Ireland final.

Paul said the players from the time really enjoyed looking back at it. “There were Zoom calls and things organised between old players. Some of that 1996 team now live abroad but they all got together and had a beer over
Zoom watching that match. They had a bit of craic and relived old memories.”

Nearly every game has hit 100 views immediately upon going up, while the figure more than doubles in the next two days.

Last weekend’s offering was the U-14 county final of 2007, when the Tones clashed with Kilmurry Ibrickane, as a certain Marty Morrissey commentated.

Showing the old games has sparked a lot of craic among former players. “There are a few of them coming back saying ‘we were awful lucky to win that one’ or ‘what was your man at’? Even in the senior hurling group, some of the management were involved back then and the lads were slagging them, saying ‘what were you thinking there’ and things like that. I’ve been getting messages saying things like ‘whatever you do, don’t show this or that match, I’d a howler that day’! It has built a bit of community up and there’s been a bit of craic, considering we’ve had no
sport. It’s nice to have that bit of camaraderie again.”

There are a good few more memorable games to come. “We have a good few Féiles and things like that, games from the ’80s, the 2002 football Féile. We’re looking at a separate night for Féile. We’re looking at the Munster intermediate final and the U-21 final from 2010. We have about five more weeks and we’ll be starting to run out of matches by then.”

Paul is delighted that the games are now preserved and people can watch them whenever and wherever they want. “I had a good few DVDs and videos at home. We had to borrow a VCR to get them on DVD and from then rip them on a computer to get them to YouTube. Now we have them preserved, they’re there for everyone and that’s better than sitting in a press going rotten.”

Anyone with a recording of an old Wolfe Tones match is asked to contact Paul on 086 3110925

About Owen Ryan

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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.