BILLY BYRNES MEMORIAL CUP:
THURSDAY 26TH OF JUNE 2014
On Thursday 26th of June 2014 our Guests of Honour Paul Byrnes and Richard Patrick Byrnes arrived in Clontuskert. We held the first Billy Byrnes Memorial Cup Ceremony. The order of the ceremony was as follows:
1. Tour of the school
2. Welcome speech Mrs. Kate Murray
3. Presentation by students: Sporting activity in the school.
4. Speech Paul Byrnes
5. Speech Fr. Finneran Chairperson Board of Management
6. Speech Joe Molloy Editor: Clontuskert: Glimpses into the Past
7. Presentation of Billy Byrne Memorial Cup by Paul and Richard Patrick Byrnes to student
8. Refreshments following the ceremony in school
Adapted from Clontuskert: Glimpses into the Past
Billy Byrnes was an athlete from Clontuskert in Co. Galway.
His mother was a business women she owed a small shop. That shop is were Billy and his friends talked and ate sweets. They went across the road to play football.
Then Billy started hammer throwing. Then he started doing events. He used a home made hammer.
Billy was 6 feet and 3 inches tall. He weighed 16 and a half stone. In his first major comp he won the 56lb in the All- Ireland in 1941.
In another comp he won the 56lb over the bar in Dundalk.
He did Javelin and throwing as well but he liked hammer throwing the most.
So he entered into the All-Ireland championship in the same year. Then he hurt his knee practicing at home. He went to Phoenix Park even with a handicapped knee. He beat the record hurdler of 4 feet in the final surprising this was his first hammer comp.
Here are some of the things he won; Connacht hammer champion in 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957 All-Ireland 1951.
Hammer champion in 1949, 1950, 1953 and 1954 All Ireland 56lb hammer throwing in 1949, 1950 and 1954
Due to back problems Billy had to retire.
Billy was a proud Clontuskert man he owned a dairy farm .He got awards for farming. He was very proud of what he did
Richard Byrnes is a cousin of Billy. Richard Byrnes was born in County Derry Northern Ireland, brought up there and subsequently left Ireland to work in Yorkshire, where he now lives. He recalls many happy days during school holidays, visiting Clontuskert and the family home where his father (Patrick Byrnes) was born and brought up along with John Byrnes – Billy’s father. His father Patrick, attended Clontuskert School at the beginning of the 1900’s along with his brothers William, Richard, John and a number of sisters.
It is nice to think that from the family that lived in a simple thatched cottage, we had Billy achieve such sporting success and his uncle Patrick, who was decorated for gallantry whilst serving in an Irish regiment throughout the Great War of 1914-1918. Both have been recognised in the Clontuskert history book.