Foreword by Rev. Fr. Me Kenna

The name of Kerry and football are almost synonymous in modern times, but it was on the hurling field that the county first won All Ireland honours. That was in 1891, twelve years before our first football success.

Since 1891 Kerry has not figured in the Senior All Ireland Hurling Winners List but nevertheless, the ancient game of hurling has been kept very much alive in the county. All credit is due to these parishes which have concentrated on hurling. Without their enthusiasm and dedication the game would long since have become extinct in the Kingdom. Honours and success for our hurlers have been scarce as compared with our footballers, but the efforts of so many generations of hurlers must surely bear fruit sometime. Perhaps it is but a pipe dream to picture a Kerry hurling team receiving the McCarthy Cup in the Hogan Stand in Croke Park on the first Sunday of September- the successes of our teams in the B Competitions in recent years, coupled with their gallant display against Galway in the quarter final of the 1976 Senior Championship, gave rise for hope and to no small degree of optimism.

Abbeydorney is one of these parishes where the game of hurling has been kept alive and where it still flourishes. It certainly is a matter of great pride and gratification for the O'Dorney club and its many supporters that it now possesses this beautifully laid out field. Today is the climax to years of work and of planning. In a sense it represents a dream come true. Many generations of Q'Dorney hurlers never had a field of their own in which to train and to compete. We are thankful to them for keeping the game going in the parish and we hope that the present and future generations of our hurlers will appreciate their efforts and emulate their success.

It all began at the Annual General Meeting of the Abbeydorney HurlingClub in January 1970. The lack of a permanent field of their own was keenly felt by the members and was regarded as   a great drawback to our young sportsmen and sportswomen. At this meeting a small committee was formed for the express purpose of exploring the possibility of purchasing a field. The result of their efforts was the purchase in March 1970 of this present property at a cost of £2500.00 At the time the price was regarded as being rather high, but in view of the way prices have soared since then it can be regarded as well worth the money. At the time of the purchase the committee had no money so they had to set about the tedious task of fund raising, firstly to meet the purchase price, and then to tackle the development of the pitch.

A house to house collection of the parish was carried out in the fall of 1970 bringing in a total of £800.00. Former members of the club scattered throughout the world were contacted and responded generously. A number of well organised carnivals were held and grants from the G.A.A. amounting to £1200.00 enabled the committee to pay off the purchase price and make plans for the development of the field. It was levelled, drained, ploughed. rotovated and rolled. Finally, on Saturday 15th September 1973, the grass seed was sown on the beautifully laid out pitch.

Even though the pitch was available for training and for matches as from the summer of 1974 there still remains a lot to be done. Modern up-to-date dressing rooms are the next priority. In view of what has been achieved so far, the committee can look forward to the continued support of the people of the parish and of the sons and daughters of the parish living elsewhere and our youth can look forward to many happy and pleasant evenings of games and sport in . what must surely be one of the finest playing pitches in Kerry.