3 September 2019

Cross Clashmore,Co. Waterford (demolished)



There are no photographs of the two alleys that existed in Clashmore Village and at Cross Clashmore (Townland of Ballinamultina).
The ball alley at Cross Clashmore is shown on the 1st edition maps (surveyed in 1841 for this area) so it would seem to be firmly a pre-famine entity. The alley was located within a "Fair Green", as Cross was previously a village in it's own right and was a prominent local fair location.

This information was providede by L Dunne, in Nov 2018
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Castlebridge, Co. Wexford



Castlebridge, Co. Wexford. Photographed by E. Timoney in May 2019
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Our Lady's Island, Co. Wexford (demolished)


Location of former alley shown to E. Timoney in May 2018 by D.O’Doherty
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Pearse Square, Pearse Street, Dublin City (demolished)

There were 2 back-to-back handball alleys at this location in Pearse Square, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Photograph of alley site, taken by E. Timoney, in Oct 2018 Read More......

St. Vincent's Castleknock College, Co. Dublin


St. Vincent's Castleknock College, Co. Dublin. These alley were demolished when new classrooms were constructed. Copy of photograph from 1925 provided by school secretary G.Mc Connvill to E. Timoney, Aug 2019.
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Kilmallock GAA Grounds, Co. Limerick (demolished)



Historic photograph copied from Ireland from the Air – Independent Archives 1951-1958, showing alley at edge of GAA grounds ( bottom of image). The alley was demolished circa 50 years ago. The present-day photographs of the location were taken by E. Timoney in September 2018.
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2 September 2019

St. Enda's College, Rathfarnhman, Co. Dublin (demolished)


St. Enda's College, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin.
Historic photograph and news clippings on handball in St. Enda’s (dating to 1959) provided by B. Crowley, Office of Public Works, in Nov 2018. Handball is mentioned as one of the sports played in the school in the prospectus accessible here - http://pearsemuseum.ie/resources/
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25 August 2019

Lusk, Co.Dublin



Lusk, Co.Dublin
All photos and information from Mrs Pat Kelly of Lusk; collected by E. Timoney in August 2019.
Her husband John Kelly (in photos) was very involved in Lusk Handball. Their daughter Alison also played and now lives in Chicago, where her son Joseph Mulé aged 12 plays to a very high standard.
There is a lovely film outlining the History of Lusk Handball Alley by Pat Kelly on YouTube. youtube.com/watch?v=NmfA3r7NBow
The old plaque on the wall of the alley is now installed in The Round Towers GAA clubhouse in Lusk.
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19 August 2019

Event: on Handball Alleys in the Lough Derg region



A talk and display on the history and lore of the numerous handball alleys dotted around Lough Derg. Please bring your stories and photos to enhance the evening.
The pastime of handball has a strong tradition in this region, this event hopes to help preserve that tradition.
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Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal



This is the summary





Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
This alley was 're-opened' in 2014.

It was visited and photographed by E. Timoney in Aug 2019. Earlier photographs (final 2 phtographs) shown on this website date from 2009 and were taken by C. Timoney in May 2009. The B+W photograph is from the book '100 Years of Handball, Handball, Dongeal and the World', by Pat Holland, published by Voice Books in 2004

Following text from http://www.geocities.com/johngall_99/ballyshannon4050_1.html

The Handball Alley was one of the busiest sports arenas in the town, some of the people who frequented the Alley at that time were Jimmy Rogan, Francie “Titsie” Daly, Dutchie Darcy, Sylvester Maguire Snr., Johnnie Moore, Willie Daly, Dermott Lapsley, Tom, Packie and Francie Gallagher, Jody, Patsy, Eddie and Charlie Rooney, Jim and John Askin, Frankie and Jim Kerrigan, Maurice Murray, Dennis Patton, Mickey Gillen, Jim White, Dan and Benny Dorrian, John, Paddy and Cormac Mc Cready, Thomas Duffy, Jimmy Rooney, Jimmy Coyle, Michael Donagher, Michael White, John, Seamus and Patrick Coyle, Mickey Keenan, Michael Mc Govern, Michael Gallagher, Paddy and Kevin Begley, P.J. Coughlin, Paddy Donagher, Blackie Coyle, Paddy and Alo Hoey, Willie and John Mc Allister, Brendan Farrelly, Sean Mc Dermott, Roger and James Mc Ginley, Francis Smith, Danny, Jack and Jim Downey, Seamie Granaghan, Seamus Darcy, Fergal Gildea, Dennis Lawn. With the help of Francie Gallagher, those listed above are the names that come to mind. The older fellows always took control of the big alley while the younger lads used the side alley, during the summer’s the alley would be packed, it was always a pleasure to sit and watch a good game of handball. Someone who was known to all at that time blew a hole in the Alley in 1957, regardless of this person’s treachery the damage was repaired immediately.
The Handball alley was also a popular venue for Open Air Ceili’s on the odd Sunday evenings during the summers; Cyril Curran and his Assaroe Ceili Band usually provided the music, this was a very popular event for young and old.

Handball Alley Shadowmen, poem by Michael Herron

Ideal companions for comely,crossroads maidens
the Sunday handballers were dancelords
in billowing white shirts and best suit trousers,
watched by older heroes in peaked caps
from behind a knowledge cloud
of Sweet Afton and Woodbine.
Great parochial tournaments mythologising
ordinary men, even the occasional cornerboy,
Celtic gladiators in a concrete arena.
Hard earned appreciation of oldened players,
applauding quietly the clever use of angle and wall.
Hand in,hand out,hand in,hand out,
and savage laughter at a misjudged bounce,
an unanswerable butt greeted by a knowing wink.

How safe we were back then,
mere boys surrounded by a casual posse of Raleighs,
jumbled on the grassbank,
waiting our chance to shine in a Sunday game.
Sitting recently on the crumbling steps,
at the back of the alley,
I found another constant broken,
the front wall scarred by a lightning crack,
the drift of litter and leaves from corner to corner
the only movement now in this forgotten Ulster colosseum.


All the old players scattered,
leaving only handball alley shadowmen.


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