Local author pens history of Portarlington GAA

Portarlington author Joe Dwyer is about to launch his second book, a comprehensive history of Portarlington GAA Club.

Portarlington author Joe Dwyer is about to launch his second book, a comprehensive history of Portarlington GAA Club.

GAA President Liam O’Neill will launch ‘History of Portarlington GAA - 125 Years‘ a handsome 400 page hardback book in Port’s GAA Centre on December 5, just in time for the Christmas stocking.

It is the second book for Joe, who released ‘Sport in Port’ back in 2001, covering an entire century of sport, which sold almost 1,000 copies.

“It was easier than this one, it wasn’t as detailed,” Joe admitted, saying it took him the past two years to write his new book.

“I wouldn’t be able to write another book, this was in the air a long time, I would go away and then come back to it,” he says.

He is paying to print 500 copies of the book himself, going local to Mochua Print in Portlaoise.

The book documents a complete history since the club founded in 1888, with chapters on school football, juvenile, county and hurling, as well as major events such as the fire that devastated the Maher family, and many tributes to past great players. It even includes a history of Portarlington itself, back to plantation and rebellion days, to explain the origins of the club.

He was delighted to receive a great deal of information from the community.

“Fifty people gave me stuff, I have tons of good photos, they flooded in,” he said.

A life time member, the semi retired farmer played in his young days, was club chairman several times.

While chairman of Laois Football Board, he played a part in bringing in Mick O’Dwyer as manager, and is most proud of his town’s club.

“We were the first team in Laois with a stand, we bought a new pitch and we did it up. Progress in Portarlington is that fast nowadays, it’s hard to keep up,” said Joe.

He will be signing copies at the launch, all are welcome.

*** Meanwhile the Portarlington drama society are holding a social night on Friday, December 6 in the Anvil Inn. It is a themed night to come as your favourite James Bond character. Tickets are on sale in the Anvil for ten euro. On the night the society will presentSt Vincent De Paul with a cheque from their proceeds from their last production, ‘The Aquinas Moth’in the Dunamaise Theatre. There will be spot prizes, games and dj.