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About UsD'eascair Cumann Báire Setanta as Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch - scoil lánGhaelach Baile Munna, mar ba dhual do scoil lánGhaelach leagadh béim ar gach aon ghné den chultúr gaelach idir ceol, damhsa agus gan abhras cluichí - peil gaelach agus iomáint. Sna blianta tosaigh sin bhí líon na ndaltaí sách íseal. Sa bhliain 1978 agus gan ach duine is fiche buachaill ó Rang 2 go Rang 6 le sár-iarracht le síorchleachtadh agus le díogras do chloite bhain an scoil Corn na Laoch sa pheil.
Ach bhí an iomáint ag fulaingt. Ní raibh go leor ama an chun bunscileanna na h-iomána a mhúineadh i gceart. Mar sin, rinneadh sa bhliain 1979 go gcloífidh leis an iomáint amháin uaidh sin amach. Bhí de dea-thoradh ar seo gur shroich siad an cluiche ceannais Faoi 12 i Mí Bealtaine 1980. Anuas air sin ba neasóirí iad sa dara roinn sa Fhéile na nGael Bhaile Atha Cliath sa bhliain cheanna. Is mar sin a leagadh síos bunchloch na hiománaithe i mBaile Munna.
It was decided immediately to establish an Irish speaking Hurling and Camogie Club in Ballymun. It was evident to the club founders that Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch had not sufficient numbers to sustain a juvenile club. As a solution to this Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch linked up with the Holy Spirit Boys School where hurling was being introduced. The club was fittingly named after the mythological boy hurling hero - Setanta. The Dublin colours of navy and sky blue were selected as team colours - not a replica of the Dublin jersey - no! that was something to aspire to. Sa bhliain 1979 rinne an scoil glór réim i gclós na scoile. Bhí sé ar siúl san oíche "so that the special lighting would be seen to best effect". An teidil a bhí ar an glór réim seo ná "An Táin". Bhí gach páiste ó Rang 1 go Rang 6 páirteach ann. Rinne na tuismitheoirí an-chuid obair ar na frapaí, na soilse, na chultacha agus an smidiú. Mar sin bhí aithne maith ar gach duine ar scéal "Setanta" - laoch mór iománaithe agus buachaill cróga laidir freisin. As seo, rugadh Cumann Báire Setanta mar ainm don club.
How the club colours came about: 'Sé corcra na dathanna a bhí á chaitheamh ag na daltaí nuair a thosaigh Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch.Ansin buaigh na 'Dubs' an Sam Maguire sa bhliain 1974. Buaigh an scoil céad áit i lógadh na hEireann le dráma 'Heffo an Rí'. D'athraigh an scoil a dathanna go dathanna airm Heffo. Sin iad na dathanna atá ag an scoil ó shin. Nuair a bhí an club chun tosnú shocraigh siad go mbeidh dathanna Baile Atha Cliath ag an club freisin.
Feargal O Ceallaigh, an céad rúnaí a bhí ag Cumann Báire Setanta a chum an geansaí don club -sky blue with with navy cuffs and collar and with navy narrow bands. Coaching in the basic skills of hurling and camogie starting with 7-8 year olds got under way immediately. Giving hurling instructions through the medium of Irish presented no problems to the pupils of Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch while the pupils of Holy Spirit Boys School very quickly adapted to 'tarraing ar an talamh', 'téigh isteach air', 'scaoil leis', 'sliotar', 'camán', 'clogad' etc.
This training continued vigourously during the football season - September to March. Two teams Under 10 and 12 were entered in the 1980/81 season. Both teams reaped the benefit of the winter coaching and were both victorious. The following season saw victories in the Under 10a and Under 11a, while the Under 14 team reached the final of the Dublin Féile na nGael Roinn 2. Not to be outdone the camogie team won the Junior C title and gave an excellent account of themselves in the Pan Celtic Games.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of those halcyon early years was winning division 4 all-Ireland of Féile na nGael in Croke Park in 1983. At this time a group of very talented 7 and 8 year olds were being carefully groomed for the Under 10a League. The big guns of north city fell in quick succession as this super side galloped to victory. This team stayed together and were unfortunate not to win a minor championship.
However these young adults together with players from the early '80s are all part of the present senior team. Special mention must be made of the trojan work of Pádraig O Maoilstéigh who ensured the boy Setanta would grow to sterling manhood. Thanks to his dogged steadfastness he coaxed, cajoled, bullied and drove these young players to success after success.
In 1995, a further indication of Setantas' youth policy and the perceived need for proper coaching, was the clubs proposal to the Dublin Juvenile Hurling Board that Under 10 hurling competitions should be discontinued and that in their stead weekly courses in basic skills be introduced and co-ordinated by qualified coaches at various venues accommodating two or three clubs. These coaching sessions would comprise of short games ensuring every child played hurling.
This proposal was implemented and still exists to this day. Setanta were also instrumental in organising indoor juvenile hurling over the winter months in D.C.U. This was organised with the co-operation of Tom O'Donnell G.A.A. Games dministrator D.C.U. It now caters for over 1,500 juveniles each year.
Over the years club hurlers who have represented the county at various ages are Rodney O Mongáin and Séamas O Maolmhuaidh (Under 12) Adrian de Craig (Under 14) Alan Breathnach (Minor & 21) Pat Berigan, Jason O Buachalla & Alan Breathnach (Junior Level). Pat Berigan also played for the Dublin Blue Stars 2002.
2002 saw three Setanta Under 16s togging out for the Dublin Development Squad - Stephen Fallon, Carlo Byrne and Paul O'Shea. The camogie section have also had their successes winning both the Junior C and B Championship in the earlier years. Players who have played for Dublin at different age groups are Michelle Céitinn, Mairéad Ní Mhaoilstéigh, Leonie de Craig, Eilis Ní Chearnaigh and Aedín Ní Thuathail. Presently we are rebuilding the camogie section.
Our present juvenile section now has a very strong representation from the Holy Spirit School. In the last four to five years the efforts of one man in particular, Clontarf man, teacher, Mick Keane has brought his school to dizzy heights. Year after year taking silverware from Croke Park in the Cumann na mBunscoil competitions. This reflects in the Setanta juvenile section.
1995 Ballymun Kickhams decided to concentrate more on football and the hurling side of their club ceased to function. What was their loss was Setants gain. Although the hurling players stayed Kickhams members some also became Setanta players. Mattie White had just hung up his boots at the time, so with his experience and love for the game his partnership with Pádraig 'Sonnie' O Maoilstéighe as mentor has been invaluable to the progression of the adult hurlers in the club. Matties' son John(Shuggie), one of the finest keepers in Dublin is the present senior goalkeeper. Along with Pat Berigan, Shuggie was nominated for a Blue Stars award in 2002. Many more Kickhams players still play Junior hurling with Setanta.
In 2001 we finally got around to completing the club crest. Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch had a version of the seven towers with an Easter lily superimposed on it, a tribute to the seven signatories of 1916. We kept the same theme but with the boy Setanta in the foreground. We commissioned an artist, Liam Belton, to sketch it out in 1983. With the aid of computers Gary Fitzpatrick rearranged it a bit and added the words 'Cumann Báire Setanta' and the club motto 'Neart in ár nGéag' (Strength in our Limbs)
The first phase to develop hurling in Ballymun is now complete. We have progressed from a juvenile club to a senior club. It had taken us twenty years to achieve this. Tribute must go to the following ex-committee members and mentors in the early days.
Founder members Pádraig O hEarcáin, Proinsian O Congháile, Eilis Uí Longáin, Cáit Mhic Chárthaigh, Mairéad Baitson, Caitlín Nic an tSionnaigh, Síle Ní Dhuibhne, Myles Doyle, Johnny Phelan, Dónal O Loingsigh, Deaglán O hAinle, Basil de Craig, Liam Mac Cuirc, Eddie Rooney, Seán Mac Cárthaigh, Seán O Brádaigh and last but not least ex-Cathaoirleach Mattie Berigan.
The juveniles of those early years are now the senior members of the club. This has proven to us that the club has had a good and stabilising influence on the people of the area. We have also found that being part of Cumann Báire Setanta helps keep teenagers and juveniles away from substance abuse.
The year 2002 has brought us to the second phase of the Cumann Báire Setanta plan, that is to provide a club house for training in hurling and camogie and also an introduction to some indoor sporting activities. But most important of all is the social aspect of a club premises which cannot be over emphasised. This development could be one of the most positive moves in the area as there is limited availability for any sporting body or group in Ballymun.
It is a proven fact that children who are involved in health giving sports groups whether they be soccer, rugby, basketball, tennis or the G.A.A. are less likely to be involved in anti-social activities. For that reason alone a club house and the social aspect of such a club are of tremendous importance to the participants and the surrounding communities.
For over eight years we had been in negotiation with the Dept. of Education to acquire the site at the back the library on Ballymun Road for our clubhouse. With the help of Dublin Corporation, Noel Ahern T.D. and a lot of meetings we finally achieved our aim. Through our architects O'Mahoney, Pike we were granted planning permission for the clubhouse.
And so it stands today, glowing with pride and a tribute to all the hard work done by those who went before