“Come listen to my story and chorus with me
And fill up your glasses, right hearty and free
And now for its title I won’t keep you long
But we’ll drink a hearty welcome to
The Boys of Claughaun”
The precise origins of Claughaun GAA Club are sadly unknown in terms of historical record – Tradition has it that the club emanated from the Pennywell and Poulin areas of Limerick city, leading to a eternal link with the parish of St.Johns that is still in evidence today, in spite of the fact that the club now resides on the Childers Road in neighbouring St.Brigids. Success on the field in both hurling and football has been a constant since the club’s foundation in 1902 – Indeed, five County Senior hurling titles were won in the the first twenty-five years of existence.
Claughaun players were very much to the forefront during the golden age of Limerick hurling between 1918 and 1940, with a total of eight Celtic Crosses coming the way of men like Mick Rochford, Dan Troy, Willie Penny, Feeney Shanny, Tom McGrath and the great Mickey Cross.
Returns of silverware dwindled somewhat in the following two decades, and it wasn’t until the 50s that the men in the green and white hoops returned to dominance. Claughaun captured the first of its fourteen County Senior football titles in 1955, and in 1957 won back the hurling crown with a victory over rivals St.Patricks in the famous “Johnny Foley” final. The 1960s were notable for the coming to prominence of a team that included county stars such as Mick Tynan and Eamonn Cregan . The latter, along with fellow Claughaun men Jim Hogan and Andy Dunworth, would go on to All-Ireland glory with Limerick in 1973.
The 70s and 80s and 90s would prove to be prodigous decades for the club, with ten County senior football crowns, two senior hurling Championships and a host of underage titles. In 1979, the Childers Road grounds were officially opened and the venue continues to boast one of the finest playing surfaces in the entire county. In 1987, a Claughaun man captained an All-Ireland winning Limerick team for the first and thus far only time, when Gus Ryan led the county to All-Ireland under-21 hurling glory.
The twenty-first century began on a sad note for the club, with the hurlers being demoted from senior status in 2001. However in 2002, the club joyously marked its centenary with a year of commemorative events – A volume of history enititled “The Boys of Claughaun” by Sean Murphy was commissioned, and a magnificent extension of the club’s bar facilities was completed. In 2006, the Hoops returned to the senior hurling ranks after victory over South Liberties in the County Intermediate Final. Until 2010, the club was one of only two clubs in Limerick with senior status in both hurling and football, and we look to the future with hope and expectation that the next generation can repeat the glories of those before them. Clochán abú.