By Larry Cooney

Sean Treacy’s GAA Club celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary in style at St Boniface’s Social Club, Tooting, South West London on Friday evening November 7th. Before an attendance of just over two hundred diners who included special guests Pat Fox and fellow Tipperary hurler John Carroll and veteran London GAA President – Bill Treacy, the biggest cheer of the evening was quite fittingly reserved for the three surviving founder members, who were present – Paddy Crowe, Paddy Quinlan and the club’s own ‘Godfather’ or doyen – Mick Maunsell.

Now happily settled back home in Ireland in Craughwell, Co. Galway, the usually laconic Michael Maunsell was almost overcome with emotion by the full extent of the occasion not to mention the full scale of such a notable achievement by the south London club. Despite the disappointment of losing the recent county final, attention had already turned to the real possibility of going one better next year and that was the message reiterated by Mick Maunsell in his brief few but poignant few words to the attendance on the evening.

"It’s great to be back here this evening and it’s great to see the club doing so well. I know we had disappointment but we have come back before better and stronger" said Mick Maunsell.
After a splendid meal, the formal proceedings of the evening began with club chairman – Martin Carroll welcoming all the guests who graced the evening and especially those who had travelled from Ireland including former club chairman in the early 90s and Wexfordman Kevin Gahan. The Treacy’s chairman also complimented a number of fellow committee members and people who helped organise such a memorable evening.
All the guests were asked to address the attendance with both Pat Fox and John Carroll thanking the club for the invitation as well as wishing the Sean Treacy’s well in the future. But as is common with any function he attends veteran Wexfordman Bill Treacy’s oratorical skills had everyone spellbound with his delivery and natural charisma.

"Tonight is a big milestone in the Sean Treacy’s club. I salute the men that made it and honour the lads who founded it. Of course some of those great men are gone to their eternal reward but three are here this evening – Paddy Quinlan, Paddy Crowe and Mick Maunsell. We are sorry that Con McGrath and Pakie Hourigan cannot be with us this evening but the club and the GAA here in London must appreciate the contribution of these men and what the club has achieved over the part fifty years. The London County Board salutes them and I must say on behalf of the London GAA County Board that we admire you for what you have done. These were men of character, of integrity and honesty and we’re glad to have them here to-night. This occasion is a night of memories and nostalgia and especially dedicated to the men who had the vision to found this wonderful club and long may they reign" concluded Bill Treacy who spared no effort in travelling from East London to ne present at yet another Sean Treacy’s function as he received a deserved standing ovation.

Also present were six members of the Rosegreen-based Cormack brothers and long-serving stalwarts Jim ‘Rocky’ Hayes, Michael Hedderman and Ned ‘Smiler’ Ryan from Co. Limerick. Senan Fitzgerald from Killenaule and Kilkenny man Tom Dermody a member of the 1958 team were also present.
The Barry Owen Band provided the entertainment to complete a memorable evening for the south London club who on this latest showing certainly still have a lot of life left in them!

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