A number of Caherlistrane footballers were among those from the parish interned at the Curragh after the Civil War. While there they had plenty of time for playing football, and when they were released in 1924, there was a surge of activity from some very fit and enthusiastic young men. Two teams were affiliated then, a senior and a junior one. Shortly after the Curragh release, the seniors went to Tuam for a match in the Fair Green against Tuam Stars.

Caherlistrane won that match in Tuam, but the day is remembered for two other incidents as well. Before the match started, the Caherlistrane captain was told that there was two Free State soldiers on the Tuam team. As republican feeling was strong in the parish at this time, he let it be known that there would be no match until the soldiers were taken off. Surprisingly, Tuam agreed. The other incident concerned a burst ball. Perhaps the ball was the worse for wear, but anyhow, when one of ‘the Caherlistrane players (John Greaney of New Village) drew on the ball, it burst, and the legend grew that it was John’s mighty kick that burst the ball in Tuam.

The senior team did not last more than a year or two, but the juniors, including many former seniors, went on to win the County Junior Final. This was for the 1924 title, but the game was not played until 1927. Following is the
victorious team: Tom Langan (Caherlistrane), Thomas Cradock (Ballycasey), Dick Burke (Bredagh/later Belclare), Stephen O’Brien (Ballinapark/Knockroone), Michael Joe McHugh, captain (Raheen/Tuam), Joe Hughes (Raheen), Jim Mulroe (Curlawn/Shrule), Mattie Glynn (Feeragh/Pollnahallia), Patie Reilly (Killamonagh/Bohercoill), Mick Lee (Mossfort), John Greaney (Lisdonagh), John Kyne (Killamonagh), Tim McHugh (Raheen), Patie Noone (Killamonagh/Kilbannon), Batty Canavan (Mossfort/ USA) and Tommy Greaney (Curlawn).

Following that victory, the team went to senior grade again, but for one year only. They had the benefit of home ground in the first round, played in Mangan’s field (now Langan’s), opposite the Community Centre. There was great local support that day but, alas, no joy, for the opposition (an Army/ Galway Gaels combination) was too strong for a parish team.

For most of the twenties Caherlistrane were in the North Board, and sometimes club delegates had to travel to Mountbellew for meetings. Two of them cycled there once for a daytime meeting, only to find that there was a Feis being held in the town that day. The G.A.A meeting was postponed till evening, giving the Caherlistrane men a late return home on their bikes.

G.A.A. activities in the nineteen twenties were not confined to playing football. Just as their counterparts in the seventies founded the present Community Centre, the men of the twenties built the first parish hall(known locally as “The Hall”). They bought the site from a local man for twenty pounds,  and voluntary labour did most of the rest. Funds were almost nonexistent, but costs were low for the one-storied building. Cement was cheap then, and the roof and floor were second-hand, coming from an ex British Army barracks in Renmore.

Dances and concerts were soon being held there, and it attracted, not just locals, but people from all the surrounding parishes as well. The hall was also used as a community centre (long before that term came into use). There was a small library there, where one could read or take books away; there was card playing, often by candle light, and for the hardy ones, boxing sessions. But the hall didn’t last very long; it went well for a year or two, and then went into decline for a number of reasons. Michael Joe McHugh, the main organizer, went to live in Tuam; there was some disagreement among the Hall Committee, and the local priest was not in favour of the venture. The parish wasn’t yet ready for a community centre, but its time was to come too.

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