by ehistoryadmin on October 29, 2019

Leinster Leader 21 February 1920

Kildare Gaels Victory Ball

Presentation of Leinster Championship and National Aid Medals

On Sunday night last in the Town Hall, Naas, a grand Victory Ball was held to celebrate the victory of the Gaels of Kildare during the past year which culminated in the securing of All-Ireland Championship honours. Well over a hundred couples were present and the extensive accommodation of the Town Hall was severely taxed to provide for the large number of guests. The music was supplied by the Grattan-Kelly’s famous band, and needless to say, was all that could be wished for. The ballroom was tastefully decorated for the occasion in a most artistic way, the general effect being considerably heightened by the special extensive electric lighting of the entire building, the installation of the electric light being carried out gratis by Mr. P. F. Lawlor, Electrical Engineer, Naas, Mr. H. L. Bradlaw, Proprietor Town Hall Cinema, kindly giving the use of his engine and dynamo for the purpose, also free of charge. The catering arrangements were in the hands of Mrs. Lalor, The Restaurant, Naas, and were carried out in the most capable manner with entire satisfaction to all. The dancing was thoroughly enjoyed by all present and was kept up until the early hours of the morning.

The occasion of the dance was availed of to present the gold medals for the Leinster Championship final and the National Aid final medals to the members of the successful Kildare teams. The ballroom was crowded to its utmost capacity when the presentation took place.

Mr. A. J. O’Connor, B.E., T.D. (South Kildare), who was received with applause, said that he had a very pleasant duty to perform that night. They all knew the object for which the dance had been organised. It had been organised to honour the men who had brought the name of Kildare to the forefront in the series of victories which ended in their winning the All-Ireland Championship in Gaelic football. They were there that night to honour those men and he, as a Kildare man, was proud to be associated to the proceedings that night. His business there was to introduce to them the lady who had kindly consented to present the medals which were won by Kildare Gaels in fair and open competition with the best men in Ireland. Everyone of them came there that night, he was sure, with the intention of having a good night’s dancing, and therefore, he did not intend to detain them by making a speech but they might consider for a moment what it was these men had achieved, and what they were there to honour them for. The game of football in Ireland as a trial between man and man, as a fine test of physical fitness and stamina, as a training in self-control and self-respect, was very old and it was in that game that the men of Kildare had met and won victory from the best men in Ireland (applause). He was sorry that his colleague in the representation of Co. Kildare (Mr. D. Buckley) was not to be present that night, because he would have equally liked to be associated with the company there, and show that the people of this entire Co. of Kildare without any narrow party or sectional difference would be proud to unite in doing honour to the men who brought honours to Kildare and made the name of Kildare honoured and respected on the football field, and throughout the country generally. He was proud as a Kildare man, to be associated that night in doing honour to these men, and he would now call upon the wife of a former captain of the Kildare team to present the medals – Mrs. Kelly of Kilcock (applause)

Mrs. Kelly then presented the medals to the members of the team, each of the players being loudly applauded as he came forward to receive the medal.

Mr. J. J. Fitzgerald, T.C., Chairman of the County Board G.A.A. proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Mrs. Kelly in her kindness in presenting the medals there that night. Referring to the struggle for victory the Gaels of Kildare had last year, he said he was never more proud in his life then he was of the men who brought the Leinster and All-Ireland Championship to Kildare.

Mr. P. F. Grehan, Hon. Secretary Dance Committee, seconded the motion, which was put to the gathering by Mr. O’Connor, whose request that is be passed with three cheers for Mrs. Kelly, who enthusiastically responded to.

Dancing was then resumed and a most enjoyable night was spent by the large gathering present.

The sincere thanks of the Gaels and of all who were present is due to the energetic committee who organised and carried through in such a successful manner the ball in honour of the Kildare players, to Mr. P. F. Lawlor, Electrical Engineer, Naas, who installed the extensive electric lighting free of all charge, and to Mr. Bradshaw, for the free use of his engine dynamo. A special word of praise is due to Mr. P. F. Grehan, Hon. Secretary, who carried through his onerous and exacting duties in a manner which was mainly responsible for the great success of the event.


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