22 April 2009

CBS St. Joseph's School for Deaf Boys, Cabra, Dublin

CBS St. Joseph's School for Deaf Boys, Cabra, Dublin
Photographed by E. Timoney February 2009

The following information on handball in Cabra obtained from the local Cabra Historical Group, [by E. Timoney]

Handball has been played in Cabra since at least the arrival of the Christian Brothers in the last century, when they opened the school for deaf boys, St. Joseph’s, and erected a long single-walled ball alley in the playground there, on which three matches could be played simultaneously, thus bringing twelve boys into action at the same time.
Handball was very popular with both Brothers and boys alike in those old days, outsiders often coming in from the surrounding district for a game with enthusiasts like Brothers Dalton and Johnston and their contemporaries, several of whom were notable exponents.
Famous players also came in from different parts of the city to engage in exhibitions for the entertainment of the Brothers and the boys; in one such exhibition played in the 1920’s four of Ireland’s leading professionals took part – J.J. Kelly, Andy Durkin, Jack Bray and Jas. Clarke “of the Boot”.
Jim Clarke (Prussia Street) and his sons John, Jim, Austin and Frank, played there, the first named in the 1920’s and the others subsequently. The latter organized tournaments there in the 1920’s for youths from the Aughrim Street parish, noted at that period for its number of handballers, P.J.O’Neill, Con Healy, M.Reid, J.W. and C. Clarke being amongst those still remembered as taking part.


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