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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Easkey gears up for a special birthday

Published 24/12/2013 | 05:40

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The last Easkey team to win the County Senior Football Championship in 1966.

One of Sligo's most enduring GAA clubs will have a very special birthday bash this Christmas.

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Easkey Sea Blues are celebrating 125 years in business with a gala banquet in the Diamond Coast Hotel, Enniscrone, next Friday.

The club has a rich and proud tradition, stretching back to its formation in 1888.

Although the club is now known as the 'Sea Blues', their colours in their early years were orange and green.

It wasn't until the 1930s that the club officially became the 'Sea Blues' and changed their colours to the traditional blue.

The seeds for what was to become a flourishing club were set at an informal meeting on Sunday, January 15th, 1888.

A club was formed just two weeks later.

Thirty men were enrolled in the club at a meeting and a football match was played afterwards.

Easkey's first competitive match was against St. John's on March 11th, 1888 in Collooney.

That same year, the club was one of the five teams to compete in the first ever Sligo Senior Football Championship.

Easkey contested its first Sligo senior Championship final in 1907 and won three-in-a-row titles in 1935, 1936 and 1937.

It won the senior crown again in 1941 while its last title came in 1966.

In all, Easkey has contested 16 county senior finals, the last in 1999.

They have won seven senior League titles, the first in 1947 and the last in 1998.

The club won the county senior hurling championship on two occasions, 1962 and 1963.

In recent years, hurling has enjoyed a glorious revival at the club.

Their amalgamation with St. Farnan's has won two All Ireland Feile in a row, 2012 and 2013.

This year, Easkey/St. Farnan's won the U.16 Connacht title.

Next Friday's gala banquet will be preceded by a special Mass in St. James Church, Easkey, at 6.30pm.

The banquet will be a night of great nostalgia and celebration.

Many of the great teams and players from over the years will be acknowledged and league medals will be presented to this year's Minor team and the Under 14 team of 2012.

Among the special guests will be RTE pundit and All-Ireland winning manager with St. Brigid's, Kevin McStay, and Mark McHugh, a member of Donegal's All-Ireland winning team in 2012.

Music and entertainment will be provided by Scruffy Duffy.

"This is a very special year for Easkey GAA," says Club Chairman, Shane Feeney.

"We hope that all associated with the club over the years will come along to meet old friends and reminisce and enjoy the wonderful occasion.

"It will be a great night for all ages and a fitting way to end the year."

Sligo Champion

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