Secretary: Gerard Halley
Address: 41 Woodview, Cahir, Co. Tipperary
Phone: 087 9702275
Emergency Phone: 052 7443872
Location: Cahir Park, St. Mary’s Road, Cahir
2nd Pitch: Duneske Leisure Centre, Clonmel Road, Cahir
Colours: White shirts, Black shorts
CAHIR PARK AFC 1910-2010
CAHIR PARK AFC, one of the oldest soccer clubs in the country, was founded as far back as 1910 and this year are recording a major development in sport in Co. Tipperary celebrating 100 years playing competitive football.
From a photograph in the club’s dressing room, the club competed in the 2nd Division of the Munster Senior League. In 1912/’13 the club won this competition and also the Hogg Cup and Tyler Cup.
Cahir Park has therefore a long and illustrious history and is steeped in tradition. The club is fortunate that it has at its disposal an idyllic and excellent field. The Park field was part of the huge Charteris Estate and the ground was purchased from the Irish Land Commission. In 1960 the Club undertook a major undertaking by purchasing the ground for what was then the pricey sum of £480.00. The final payment was made on the 16th of January, 1967.
The 1920s was a golden era for soccer in the town of Cahir. The first major achievement for the senior team in this period was reaching the Munster Senior Cup final in 1926/’27. Some 6,000 people attended this match at Victoria Cross, Cork, against local side Cork Bohemians. After an exciting match, Cahir had to succumb to a 2-1 defeat by Bohemians. The club reached FAI Junior Cup final of 1928, but Richmond United emerged victorious 3-0. However, the highlight of this era was the FAI Intermediate Cup Final victory of 1930 in Clonmel, when Cahir had a comprehensive 4-2 victory over Glasnevin, Dublin. The FAI Intermediate Cup was presented to the jubilant Cahir team in Hearn’s Hotel, Clonmel by the Chairman of the Free State FA Mr. B. Johnson.
In the 1950s the club entered the Waterford Senior League and thus began a halcyon period for the club. Cahir Park enjoyed reasonable success and many times were unlucky not to be triumphant. The town leagues were highly prominent during the forties and fifties and led to highly competitive parochial matches.
The 1960s heralded a new evolution and development in Cahir Park soccer. Having made the decision topurchase the Park field, the club had many extended cup runs. In 1960 the team reached the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup and the semi-final of the Munster Junior Cup. The club was victorious in the County Tipperary League 1961, ’62, ’63, and won the League and Cup ‘double’ in 1967.
The club decided to diversify and entered a second team with the County Tipperary League that was continuing to expand to meet the challenge of the ever-increasing soccer population due to the 1966 World Cup Finals on television. In 1971 the second team won their league after a thrilling final against Old Bridge at the Showgrounds in Clonmel.The team on that occasion was: M. Grace, J. Tobin, T. Walsh, P. Hally, D. Halpin (capt.), G. Ward, F. Myles, D. Murphy, P. Ryan, L. Shinnors, J. Crowe, M. Ward.
1971/’72 saw Cahir Park play the first of its seven productive seasons in the Kilkenny and District League. In 1972/’73 Cahir were runners-up in the Premier Division. In the season 1973/’74 the Park suffered the humiliation of demotion to Division 1, but after only one season they were back in the Premier Division as champions. That season saw one of the best striking partnership the club ever had in Paddy Ryan and Tony (Chang) O’Sullivan, who between them scored an incredible 78 goals that season.Panel that season: Tom Regan, Seanie Burke, Jim Crowe, Michael O’Neill, Shamus Mulkern, Denis Halpin, Ger Hawkins, Willie Farrell, Tony O’Sullivan, Paddy Ryan, Simon Sunderland, Pat Kennedy, Joe Crowe, Tommy O’Neill, Seanie Burke, Gerald Ward.That same season, 1974/’75, Cahir Park won the Tipperary League with their second eleven, beating Clonmel Hibernians in the final in Tipperary town by 5-1.
In 1978-79 Cahir Park changed counties yet again trying their hand in the Cork AUL, but it lasted just one season as they opted to return to the newly formed Tipperary Southern and District League. This proved a very positive move as in their debut campaign 1979-80 Cahir Park won the Tipperary Cup beating Cashel Town 2-1. They also reached the quarter-finals of the Munster Junior Cup. In 1982-83 Cahir Park were relegated to the old Division 2 but came up the following season as Champions and Shield winners. In 1984-85 Cahir Park won the First Division Shield Final.Since then Cahir Park at all levels
The 1980’s saw major work carried out at Cahir Park’s excellent facilities with flood lights being erected on the training pitch, footpaths and hand-rails being laid and erected around the pitch. The whole surrounding area of the pitch was planted with fast growing trees, extra dressing rooms and showers were also installed around this time. The pitch was resurfaced, and the entrance cleaned and repainted. This was a huge undertaking by the Cahir Park committee at the time, but their endeavours have turned it into one of the best venues in the country.
Since the start of the millennium Cahir Park has invested in excess of €250,000 in development of the pitch, clubhouse, stand, all weather facilities and training lights. There are ongoing developments that will make the town of Cahir where provincial and domestic finals have already been staged into one of the most sought after venues by both the FAI and MFA.
None of this could have been possible without the tireless and often thankless work put in by many local individuals down through the years, who are too many to name, but during this their centenary year, all these will be thanked and those who have past to their eternal rest will be remembered.