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History

St.Stephens - The Beginning

De La Salle GAA club was founded in 1927 by Brother John Murphy, then a young brother in St. Stephen’s School. He was originally from County Kildare and a man of great vision and energy. His great love of football was nourished by the golden era of Kildare football when his native county swept to successive All-Ireland senior football titles of 1927 and 1928. Having been successful at school level, he saw a need to form a club to cater for the sporting and cultural needs of his past pupils. The club was originally called St. Stephens, but was later changed to De La Salle to embrace all the De La Salle schools in the city i.e. St. Stephens, St. Declans and De La Salle College. The club is based on the schools rather than a parish and to this day has maintained very close links with the De La Salle order.

It is a little wonder then that we originated as a minor football club. Success came early and strange as it may seem the club’s first success was in the 1929 Waterford City - South Kilkenny Hurling League. This was followed in 1930 by the first ever County Championship to come to the club when De La Salle won the minor championship. At this time the De La Salle Pioneers had a junior hurling club whose headquarters were in the old De La Salle Hall, part of the old Centre in Stephen St. The natural alliance of the two clubs merged into a single club giving the members a full range of junior and minor hurling and football teams to play with. With this merger the original minor club colours of red and white were forsaken for the green and red of the junior club. A great spirit prevailed and the junior football title was won in 1935. The following is a personal recollection of those early days of the club from Bro. John Murphy.

The following is a personal recollection of those early days of the club from Bro. John Murphy.

 

Founding Of The De La Salle Club

by Br. John Murphy

‘I was born in Athy on May 19th, 1903. It was there, along with my older brothers and schoolmates that I learned the basic skills of gaelic football. My coming to the House of Junior Studies at Castletown affored me the opportunity to take up hurling. Coming up against some hardy youngsters from Kilkenny, Tipperary and Cork, I had much leeway to make up in the acquisition of the skills of the caman. But I loved the game and by the year 1923, when I qualified as a teacher in De La Salle Training College, my mates from the hurling counties held no fears for me.

My first five years of teaching were spent in Dundalk, where along with Br. Aloysius O'Brien, I played both hurling and football. Then in 1927, our Provincial, Br. Benedict, transferred me to teach in St. Stephen's School, where I was joined by Brs. Thomas, Aloysius, Killian and Declan -- all of them lovers of the game of hurling. At that time there were no properly organised games in St. Stephen's. Nobody had official responsibility for games of any kind. Money was hard to come by and even in those days hurling was expensive.

Not even one Gaelic football team existed in the entire city. It was in 1927 that I decided to start a football team and enter the County Championships. But with no money and no jerseys, the future seemed bleak. Financial encouragement, however, came from predictable sources. Br. Leander McGrath, President of the College, gave me the then princely sum of £25 and this was supplemented by a £10 contribution from Br. Bernard Foley. Mr. Furnace. owner of the Tramore Buses, authorised me to buy two footballs and send the bill to him. This was but one of many kindnesses from Mr. Furnace. He was indeed a good friend. Our outfit consisted of red and white hooped jerseys and white togs.

Following our first appearance in the now Walsh Park, we received a complimentary paragraph in the Evening News and Star. Cost of the outfit was £25. Football became popular with our new club and in a short time we had quite a useful side, winning the junior championship in '35.

Hurling went on side by side with the football and quite a few of our players were involved in both games. As soon as I could muster a junior team I abandoned the minor grade, it being far easier to find 15 men of any age for the junior team as against finding 15 under age players. Because of this latter difficulty, few teams were legal, but attempting to prove this was simply a waste of time. While I never played illegal players, there was one exception to this rule. Georgie O’Grady, our outstanding goalkeeper in hurling, was chosen by Co. Board officials to play minor against Cork at Mitchelstown. I was aware of his being over age, and so were the board officials. Prior to his taking the field, they wrote a false name in the palm of his hand so that he would not forget. Now that the Co. Board approved of his playing, I fielded him in a championship game against Mt. Sion. I expected an objection which would leave the Co. Board in quite a pickle. The objection did come, but it was thrown out on a technicality - the wring rule was quoted.

Eventually we had established junior and senior teams in both hurling and football. We were much in demand for ‘friendlies’, especially in the country. Indeed we were away most Sundays, playing two games, hurling and football. Our teams were neatly togged out and behaved honourably. Generally, I myself played in both games. We travelled in a large coach which seemed to impress the locals in any area. Our good friend, Mr. Furnace, let us have Sunday afternoon buses for £1.50 (30/-). Anybody could travel, there being no official charge. But a collection was made on the bus, usually by the captain. Normally these more than covered expenses.

Now that the club was running smoothly, we decided to invest our modest surplus cash in Post Office Saving Certificates. We felt that while the club was financially sound, there was less likelihood of its folding up in the then future. It was quite a few years later that Br. Brendan Fleming, on discovering the existence of this nest egg, forwarded papers to me for my signature to release the money.

Excursions: At a time when Kildare were one of the greatest forces in Gaelic, we had the Kildare county champions, Athy, down to Waterford for a challenge game. I billed it as Waterford v Kildare. Unfortunately, the heavens opened in a deluge of rain all the afternoon of the game. However, the attendance was sufficient to cover all our expenses and the Waterford people present were treated to an exhibition of real Gaelic football. Some of the Athy men I meet occasionally still speak of the great day they had in Waterford.

We paid a return visit to Athy shortly after, and enjoyed it thoroughly. On another occasion we had home and away games with the students in Mallow Preparatory College with the honours even. One of these visits has other memories for myself. I became ill on the return journey and spent six weeks in Cork's "Bons" with a burst appendix.

Each year a group of us travelled together to the All-Ireland Final. We used to hire a seven-seater taxi in Sallypark at a cost of £7. For both entertainment and fund raising, we held Ceili dances in' the Gaelic League Hall, Lady Lane. They were well run and well attended, with Irish spoken. I myself made my speech as Ghaeilge. When thinking now of our then club officials, some men come easily to mind. Dick Dalton, captain of the hurling team, was a really sound full back with a fund of common sense. For this and his great loyalty, he was both liked and respected by all. Then there was Paddy Elliott, the brains of the bunch. He was far-seeing, good at Board meetings and spoke Irish quite well He was not particularly good at games, but interested and most willing to have a go -- one of those backbone men in any club.

Both of these men and myself held our meetings in the Monastery parlour. If it was necessary to meet the entire club, we used a classroom in the school. We played in all the championships for junior and senior hurling, junior and senior football.

I have little memories now of winning or losing. Jimmy Mountain was the only player who comes to my mind for being on the Waterford senior team for some years. Georgie O'Grady played minor and junior for the county. He had a special wide boss, being a goalkeeper, and his puck-outs usually landed among the forwards. One of the Jacques, Jack if memory serves me correctly, when coming on the team for the first time I asked him where he might prefer to play. His answer -- "Put me in where there's a bit of pullen."

There was indeed a great spirit among our players. We enjoyed playing like people now enjoy jogging. We looked forward to our Sunday afternoons and rarely' was anybody absent. We had no rows, no bad language. Elliott was the man to calm any disturbance, to suggest changes at half time. When collecting for the bus, he knew the lad who had no money. Finally, the College authorities never refused us the use of their field for training. This was a great boon in the long summer evenings -- Br. Leander McGrath and Br. Edmund Gleeson, bless them’


The War Years

In 1936, Brother John was transferred to England and the club became rather disorganised with spirit sinking to an all-time low. However, the arrival of Brother Brendan brought about a major transformation within the club and almost immediately a golden era dawned. In 1938 the minor and junior football double was completed and the decade closed with another minor football championship in 1939. The war clouds then gathered over Europe as De La Salle struck terror in the hearts of other football clubs with a hat-trick of minor titles in 1941, 1942 and 1943.

The following is an account of Brother Brendan’s involvement with the club during this period.

Some Reminisces by Br. Brendan Fleming

‘The St. Stephen's Hurling & Football Club as it was when I knew it, was well established when I came on the scene in 1932. I wasn't involved in the running of the club from 1932 to 1937 -- Br. John Murphy was the President and Br. Jarlath for the year 1936 when Br. John had left for England.

In 1937 the club consisted of just 19 players, and two teams, junior football and junior hurling. Due to lack of matches, the spirit of the club was at a very low ebb. But all that was needed to rekindle the spirit was games -- and still more games. I got around me a splendid committee consisting- of Paddy Elliott, Dick Dalton, Mick McCarthy, Tommy Dalton, John and Billie Shortall and Dick Cullen.

Challenge matches in hurling and football were arranged and gradually the interest grew. All through the year we played against different teams, mostly out the country -- Passage, Gaultier, Tramore, Newtown, Fenor, Dunhill, Portlaw, Mooncoin, Mullinavat, etc. We travelled by bus to these games, and funds were so low in the club that a 'collection' was taken up by our Treasurer, Tommy Dalton, as we travelled to these games. The fee was generally a "bob" a head and while collecting it, our treasurer had to use rather unusual "diplomatic" language to wheedle it out of some.

But the spirit was improving and interest was growing. In 1938 I started a minor football and a minor hurling team. The beginning was weak, but interest grew among these youngsters because of the number of matches they got. Like the juniors, they also were travelling almost every Sunday to matches and the bus had to be paid for out of their own pockets.

We had four teams on the field for the 1938 championships and did very well. We continued all through 1939 with these challenge matches and right on to 1942, when we had six teams in the field-- 3 in hurling and 3 in football. We had now up to 100 members in the club. Things were thriving, the spirit was excellent, our finances splendid because of a top-class concert in the Savoy Cinema each year. That concert used nett us £80 or £90 each year -- a regular fortune in those days.

I was transferred from Stephen Street to St. Patrick's, Newtown, in 1942 and handed over the running of the club to Br. Conleth Levins R.I.P. We had no disappointments in the club during these years. Whether beaten in the championship or not, the lads knew that another match (challenge) was lined up for them on the following Sunday. Besides, a great spirit of camaraderie developed mainly due to the fact that I had got practically all the members of the H. & F. Club to join the Past Pupils Club in Stephen St.

We had many top-class players, notably Dick Dalton, a great back; John Shortall, a fine centre-field; Paid Moore, Jimmy Walsh (back), W. Shortall, M. Cullen and R. Cullen, Jim Plunkett, Tommy Dalton, Sean Hetherington probably the best footballer the club produced, John Power, Georgie Grady, Paddy Nolan, Willie Nolan, Jim Jacques, Charlie Jacques, Paddy Cullen and J. J. Kelly, and many others.

Br. Cornelius and Br. Conleth also played with our hurling teams. The annual general meeting of the club was a wonderful event. The meeting was held in the old "Crit" Hall and the place was crowded. Quite a large portion of the business was transacted in Irish. The election of officers took place but the same members above were returned practically every year.

After our annual general meeting and our annual concert the next event that was enjoyed by all was the annual club outing to Youghal each October, where we were the guests of the local H. & F. Club, and were welcomed by the Youghal Club to the big Ceili & Old Time Dance in the Town Hall. A great spirit existed between Youghal and ourselves over all these years. In all our outings, Sunday after Sunday, the lads sang their way to the match and back – they had a wonderful selection of songs.

One evening our minor hurlers were playing Passage minors in Passage. One very excited Passage fan on the sideline attacked Paddy Cullen for rough play. Shortly after, the said fan came to me complaining about the vile language of one of my players. Anyway, coming home on the bus, I asked Paddy Cullen what he said to him and he replied – “All I said to him is “dún do chlab mor”!

We were playing hurling in Youghal and big Jim Plunkett was our full forward. It was a wet day. The ball came to Jim – he pulled, but the hurley slipped out of his hand and went flying over the crossbar and hit a donkey that was grazing behind the goals. The owner of the ass was standing nearby and when he saw what happened he raced onto the field, attacked Jim Plunkett and a regular battle ensued between the two big men. When they were separated, the language of the intruder should definitely have been taped.

My memories of the 10 years I spent with St. Stephen’s H. & F. Club are all pleasant ones. This was made possible by the whole-hearted co-operation accorded me at all times by the members of the club. In my old age it affords me wonderful pleasure to recall those bygone happy days, to re-live those wonderful days, and to walk again with my special friends of the past.’


Difficult Times

The outbreak of war in 1939 was to have a telling affect on the strength of the club as De La Salle lost many of its young and promising players. Some of these joined the Irish Army while more emigrated to England.

Throughout the war years the club had to surmount and confront with many difficult and serious obstacles, but the members and committee pluckily stuck together. None more so than Tadhg O'Caoimh (R.I.P.), Dick Dalton (R.I.P.), Paddy Elliott (R.I.P.), and John Shortall (R.I.P.). The hard work and dedication of these men ensured the survival of our club in very trying and difficult circumstances and senior hurling status was maintained with the help of some army players who were stationed in the military barracks at the time, while club players stationed up the country were brought home for matches.

Despite all of these difficulties, the club still held its annual outing to Youghal with challenge games in hurling and football and a Ceili in the local Town Hall. This event was a great help in maintaining the spirit of the club and its players in very hard times.

The end of the war saw the return to the club of many of those players who were in the army or working in England and once again the future looked bright. In 1946 it looked as if we were in line to win that most coveted honour of all, the senior' hurling championship.

But, alas, in 1947 De LaSalle struck rock bottom when we failed to field against Butlerstown in the first round of the senior hurling championship. The result of this failure was that some players retired altogether while others, like P. (Bonny) Nolan and John B. Power, played with Erin's Own, on the instructions of the committee, and won a senior hurling championship medal with that club. The club only fielded in junior and minor football for the championship campaign of 1947.

In 1948 Billy Collins took over as secretary and along with Dick Dalton (R.I.P.) reorganised the Club. Great credit is due to those two men for their hard work and dedication to the task on hand and for putting the club on a sound footing again after the dismal failure of the previous year. Under their guidance the club continued to progress, especially in the minor grade, which was handed over to the Brothers to run in 1949.

De La Salle College, which was to exercise a profound influence from thereon, was re-opened as a day and boarding secondary school and local boys benefitted from competition with lads from all over the country in class leagues. At this time, too, the committee of the club, feeling that the green and red had become unlucky colours, reverted to the original red and white and these colours have remained unaltered ever since.

Almost immediately, a golden era dawned and in 1953 the minor football championship was won. The year of 1954 was to bring to De La Salle its first ever Waterford Junior Hurling championship, and a just reward for patience and perseverance.

In the county final of 1937 De La Salle had lost to Lismore by the narrowest of margins only to come back with renewed determination this year (1954) and succeed gallantly. In the first round of the championship, D.L.S. defeated Tramore. Although we did not look championship contenders in the first half, D.L.S. turned over a new leaf in the second half and won with something to spare.

The next match was against Dunhill. There was no quarter given or taken and even though De La Salle achieved success we paid dearly for our victory as club secretary and full back, Thomas Fitzgerald, who had taken over from Billy Collins, was removed to hospital with a serious eye injury and was to have same removed following an operation. The result of this match saw D.L.S. into the Eastern final for the first time since 1937.

Our opponents this time were Mount Sion and in one of the best deciders ever seen,De La Salle caused a big upset by defeating convincingly the very young and promising Monastery side. A number of the Mount Sion players were later to be members, with John Barron of De La Salle, of the Waterford Senior Hurling team.

The stage was now set for the club's second appearance in a County Junior Hurling Final, our opponents being Western Champions, Fourmilewater. Before the start of the game, Jimmy Moloney, Chairman of the Fourmilewater Club, came on to the field and addressed both teams. He informed them that he had received his training as a national teacher in the De La Salle College and also had played hurling for them in the Waterford Senior Championship. He was sorry that it was De La Salle they had to meet in the final but in his opinion Fourmilewater would be champions. He then blessed both teams with holy water.

The same Jimmy Moloney was later to become Chairman of the Waterford County Board. The game itself was a thriller with De La Salle racing into a two goal lead due mainly to the speed and polished hurling of our two young wingers, Danny Cummins and Sean Treacy, who ran the legs off Fourmilewater's half-backs. Meanwhile De La Salle's back line withstood some very heavy pressure from Fourmilewater's forwards and the first half ended with De La Salle still in front. The second half produced thrills seldom seen in Junior Hurling as score followed score and play switched from one end of the field to the other continuously. The Eastern Champions came under heavy pressure in the last ten minutes of the game but their defence which was ably marshalled by John Barron weather the storm and De La Salle annexed their first County Junior Hurling title.

De La Salle in the 60's

The tremendous juvenile and minor successes of '61 and '62 when De La Salle played in four county finals - under 16 and minor hurling and football (winning three) and the natural progression of many of these young players from under-age to adult level saw De La SaIle Hurling and Football Club commence the 1963 playing season in a very eager and determined mood.

Young players like Sonny Walsh, Martin Kirwan, Michael Power and Davey Duggan, together with seasoned campaigners like John Barron, Denny Corcoran, Noel Dalton, Jimmy Kinsella and Tony O'Sullivan provided the ideal blend of youth and experience and once again it looked as if we had a team capable of taking county honours in junior hurling.

This earlier promise was confirmed when De La Salle decisively defeated Gael Og by 8-4 to 4-8 in the Eastern Junior Hurling Championship Final in Walsh Park thus bringing ourselves in direct line for county honours and a possible return to senior ranks. The team on duty that day was: D. Corcoran, F. Quinn, J. Barron, M. Kirwan, N. Dalton, P. McGovern, S. Sullivan, J. Kinsella, S. Browne, D. Duggan, T. Connors, M. Power, T. Sullivan, J. Nugent, W. Power, Subs.: g. Condon for S. Sullivan; S. Sullivan for T. Connors.

Although cast in the role of favourites, De La Salle suffered defeat at the hands of our old rivals, Fourmilewater, in the County Final. The latter thus exacting sweet revenge for the 1954 decider. This however was only a temporary setback as De La Salle had a very young team on duty and with many more promising young hurlers coming through the ranks, the future was looking very bright indeed. In fact, at under-age level 1963 could be considered as the year of near misses.

For the second successive year Mount Sion destroyed De La Salle's Minor Hurling Championship aspirations when they annexed the East Waterford title in sensational fashion at Walsh Park. As was the case in 1962, only a single point separated the teams (3-8 to 4-4) at the finish of one of the best ever Minor Hurling Games seen at the city venue. De La Salle were extremely unfortunate not to have won despite having to take the field without county representative Davey Duggan who was injured. De La Salle lined-out as follows: W. Irish, T. Fraher, R. Power, M. Hayes, W. Cuddihy, M. Kirwan, D. Evans, Michael Power (0-1), P. Walsh (1-0), M. Frisby, Mutt Power, A. Bowman (0-1), W. Walsh (1-0), F. Moran (2-2), T. McLaurence. Sub.: J. Evans for T. McLaurence.

The U-16 semi-final between the two teams was just as exciting with victory going yet again to the Monastery Men. Yes 1963 was certainly a year of near misses. In 1964 De La Salle were in the newly formed Intermediate grade and performed quite well, reaching the Eastern Hurling Final only for to fail narrowly to a Tom Cheasty inspired Ballyduff team. In 1965 we were back again having defeated teams like Ballydurn (9-8 to 2-0); Ballygunner (8-10 to 4-4), and Butlerstown (3-9 to 0-3), qualified for our second successive Eastern Intermediate Final, our opponents ibis time being St, Mollerans. De La Salle however proved to be too good for the Carrick men and registered a comfortable 4-6 to 1-3 victory. The scorers for De La Salle were Frank Moran (2-1), Wattie Walsh (2-0), Michael Power (0-4), and Jimmy Kinsella (O-1). The referee for this game was none other than Mr. Paddy Buggy, President of the GAA.

The county final against the Geraldines of Aglish was won convincingly on a scoreline of 4-14 to 2-4, after a torrid struggle. This game will always be remembered for its viciousness and roughness and is to this day always recalled as the "Battle of Tramore'.

In the early sixties De La Salle also wrote its own little bit of history by becoming the first Junior team to win the Sergeant Cup (Senior Hurling League) when they defeated Cappoquin in Cappoquin. So at the end of 1965 De La Salle had won two major hurling trophies and were looking forward to their re-entry into senior ranks with considerable optimism.

The great juveniles of the early 60s had now matured into accomplished adult hurlers and were capable of taking on and defeating the best club teams both inside and outside the county. At long last it seemed as if De La Salle had a team capable of capturing that elusive Senior Hurling Crown, the blue ribbon of Waterford hurling. This was not to be however as '66 to '68 saw Ballygnnner on top in Waterford hurling circles and although De La Salle were always there or thereabouts they could never achieve that all important breakthrough.

De La Salle in the 70's

The year 1970 saw De La Salle make their boldest bid ever in seeking to win that Senior Hurling Crown. An all-out effort was made in training and this paid handsome dividends when they qualified to meet Erins Own in the County semi-final. Once again lady-luck failed to shine on De La Salle as they failed to score from a 21-yard free with both teams level in the dying seconds of the game.

The replay was fixed for a Sunday evening at 6.00 p.m. Both teams thought this an unsuitable time to play a County Senior Hurling semi-final and refused to play. As a result both camps held individual meetings and requested the County Board to change the time or grant a postponement. This failed to meet with the approval of the County Board Chairman and both teams were dismissed from the championship. As a result the clubs appealed to Munster Council but the Chairman's decision was upheld. This ended tbe hopes and achievements of both clubs in the 1970 championship campaign and put De La Sal]e back on the slippery slope of decline.

An abiding memory of the seventies with De La Salle was the herculean task of picking stones and levelling the field at Cleaboy. Such a mundane task of course, was necessary to affect a complete transformation when the new field looked like the proverbial "billiard table".

During the early seventies the Club did not win any major championships. It could not be said, however that the teams did not try, as in keeping with the spirit of the Club, every effort was put into all the games. It was at Juvenile level that real progress was made and here the special dedication shown by Noel Kennedy, John Rockett and Bro. Patrick was bringing De La Salle to the forefront.

It was not until 1977, however, that the fruits of their work became apparent. In that year we won the under 16 championship in football. This was to be the first of a famous three in a row and it looked as if it was only a matter of time before the Club would take a Senior title. Alas this was not to be and when those young men left school some went on to university, some had of necessity to leave Waterford and some turned their skills to other games.

During the seventies our Senior Footballers made no impression in the championship. The Juniors fared better, however and were unlucky to suffer defeat in the Championship having won the League in 1978. We were still trying to make that major breakthrough in Hurling and every year the teams trained hard under the guidance of Duffy Walsh. However despite some close encounters De La Salle would have to content ourselves with victories in tournaments like Ballymacarberry.

80's - Present

In 1980 a group of clubmen under the leadership of the great Sonny Walsh (RIP) got together and made a decision that was to prove to be the beginning of the strong and vibrant club we are today. In the late seventies we were struggling to field hurling teams below minor grades. A decision was made to start literally from scratch and begin the juvenile section of the club as we know it today. The club’s minor players played with Erins Own in the championship seasons of 1981, 1982 and 1983 winning County Minor Hurling Titles in 1982 and ’83.

Part of this vision also involved the provision of better facilities and in 1982 a decision was made to build the current dressingrooms in Cleaboy.

Teams were entered in city league and bord na nóg and we slowly became a force at this level. However tragedy struck in March 1983 with the sudden death of Sonny Walsh (at 38 years of age) while training juveniles in his beloved Cleaboy. However the foundations laid by Sonny was already beginnng to bear fruit with success at numerous age groups at underage level being followed by a county minor football title in 1985 and in 1989 we were crowned minor hurling county champions.

A year later backboned by many of these young players we won our second county intermediate hurling title and in 1991 in our first year back in senior we won the Sergeant cup.

In 1992 Waterford won the All Ireland U-21 title for the only time. Six of our minor winning team of '89 OwenDunphy, Pat Fanning, Johnny Brenner, Noel Dalton, Johnny Walsh and Ger Lowry were in the squad. Waterford manager in '92 Joey Carton was also manager of our '89 minor team. 1993 saw us win the county junior football title only to lose out in the intermediate finals of 1996 and 1998.

All Ireland success came in Division 2 of Féile na nGael in 1999. This was followed by winning Division 4 of Peil na nÓg in 2000 and 2001. 2001 also saw our U-16 hurlers win the Carlow All-Ireland tournament when we defeated famed Glen Rovers from Cork the same weekend as our Peil na Óg victory.

Since 1998 the club's juvenile section has won several underage county titles. In 2001 we won a historic U-14 and U-16 hurling and football double.

In 2003 the club became only the third club in the country to win Peil na nÓg and Féile na nGael titles in the same year. In 2005 we won our third minor hurling county championship. We also qualified for our first county senior hurling final but lost to Ballygunner by a point.

We also lost the intermediate football final by a point and for the third year in a row lost the minor football final. In 2007 we won both east U-21 titles for the first time but were beaten in both county finals.

There was great delight in particular in winning the hurling title as the cup is named after our former senior hurler Liam O'Donnell who was tragically killed while still U-21.

All that hard work at underage level finally became worthwhile when we became senior hurling champions for the first time in 2008 beating Abbeyside in the final with John Mullane as captain.

Further honours followed when we were selected as both the Waterford and Munster Council club of the year in recognition of our new development in Gracedieu as well as our on field success.

We then went on to become the Munster club champions at our first attempt with wins over Sarsfields (Cork) and Adare (Limerick). This was followed by winning the county U-21 hurling title for the first time ever, two weeks later.

Early in 2009 having defeated Cushendall (Antrim) in the semi final we became the first Waterford team to play in Croke Park on St. Patrick's day where we were beaten by Portumna (Galway). However, the underage success continued that year as we were crowned U-21 county football champions for the first time and our U-14 hurlers and footballers recorded a county championship double.

2010 saw us win the minor football county title for the first time in 25 years and we came agonisingly close to making it a double in this grade. We went on to win our second senior county title beating Ballygunner captained by Ian Flynn and followed that up by regaining the Munster club title with wins over Sarsfields and Thurles Sarsfields but agonisingly losing out to Galway's Clarinbridge in the All Ireland semi final in early 2011.

In 2012 our U-14 hurlers got the year off to a good start by capturing the county title and representing Waterford at Feile na nGael in Dublin. We then became county senior hurling champions for the third time in five years defeating Dungarvan with Kevin Moran as captain. We again qualified for the Munster club final beating Newmarket-on-Fergus in Clare but Thurles Sarsfields emerged victorious despite a tremendous effort.

In football our junior team won their county championship but unfortunately our intermediate side having captured the eastern title lost the county final by a point again. The period from 2002 to 2012 has been a successful period for the county hurlers with Munster senior titles being won in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2010 with the National League also won in 2007. Stevie Brenner, John Mullane, Bryan Phelan and Kevin Moran were involved in some or all of these successes.

Our club history would not be complete without a mention of our most famous player John Mullane who captained us to our first county and Munster club titles and also captained Munster to Railway Cup success. John has been selected as an All Star on 5 occasions and in 2012 was joined on the team by Kevin Moran as for the first time our club won two all stars in the same year.

2013 has also been a good year even though our senior hurlers were beaten in the quarter final. Our minor hurlers became county champions for the fourth time with an impressive final victory over Dungarvan. A week later we became intermediate football county champions for the first time in our history with a win over Ballyduff Upper. This triumph meant that the club had now won every county title in hurling and football from minor up at least once and also the return of senior football after a lengthy absence. We competed in the Munster intermediate football championship but we had to give best to Ballyporeen from Tipperary after a replay.

2013 was also a significant year at county level as Waterford were crowned All-Ireland minor hurling champions for the first time since 1948. The club were represented on the team by Adam Farrell with Shane Ryan and Jack McCarthy also on the panel. Our founder Brother John would be indeed proud to see a De La Salle man Jason Ryan return to county management with the Kildare footballers. Derek McGrath who managed our senior hurlers to the 2012 county title was also appointed manager of the Waterford senior hurling team for 2014. We hope that Derek will be successful with the county as we hope for continued club success along the way.