Tommy O`Brien 2010

Tribute to loyal handball servant Tommy O’Brien

Tommy was Uachtarán of Comhairle Liathróid Láimhe na hÉireann from the GAA Centenary Year of 1984 to 1987. He was Leinster Secretary for over 30 years, continuing in this capacity until his untimely death; he also served on several Leinster and national committees. Tommy had a lifetime association with Kilkenny GAA, serving the many facets of the Association with great pride, including work as the County Camogie PRO. He also hosted weekly sports programmes on local radio. Tommy was an excellent Master of Ceremonies and was always in demand for special events in his native county.  Tommy was also the first ever lay Principal of Kilkenny CBS, and was very popular in this role; he will best be remembered for knowing and addressing each boy in the school by name, a rare and fantastic trait. He was coach, advisor and mentor to many of the top senior players in Kilkenny, including Michael ‘Ducksy’ Walsh, who won 38 All-Ireland Senior medals, providing Tommy with some of his most treasured memories.  Well known as a gregarious character, Tommy travelled near and far to see handball games and provided great commentary on the proceedings. He was also involved in the annual handball yearbook for many years, which he completed with his usual passion and flair and his legacy will live on in handball forever; he was a friend to many and a hero to all. 


Written by C Ó Corrain, Bainisteoir Náisiúnta
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 00:00

jpegThe Talbot's Inch club in Kilkenny will have taken great pride and satisfaction following an impressive inaugural running of the Tommy O'Brien Memorial 60x30 Tournament. A terrific series of games involving the top 16 senior players in the country attracted large attendances from all over at the weekend, and indeed another large crowd at the Handball Banquet on the Saturday evening in Kilkenny.

In the end it was one of Tommy O'Brien's greatest prodigies, Michael Ducksy Walsh, who claimed the first Cup triumph alongside his vastly experienced partner, Meath's Tom Sheridan. The duo, who have ammassed over 70 All Ireland senior medals between them, exhibited their customary craft and guile in the 'big court' to deny Michael Gregan (Wicklow) and Michael Finnegan (Cavan) in a hugely entertaining decider on Sunday evening. There was also an Intermediate doubles tournament played as part of the occasion and it provided the epic battle of the weekend as Brian Manogue and Pat Maher teamed up to deny Timmy and David Clifford by 21-20 in the deciding game. In addition it was great to see the young boys and girls compete with such terrific enthusiasm in their respective events as well as the exhibition game which saw Walter O'Connor and DJ Carey defeat Paul Brady and Tony Healy by 31-30, as part of an excellent 60x30 Tournament, the first of a number to be coming up now in 2010.

Overall this was a great advertisement for 60x30 handball and Comhairle Liathróid Laímhe na hÉireann are certainly much appreciative to the great work carried out by the Talbot's Inch club and Kilkenny County Board in the promotion of the game.

Tommy O’Brien Memorial Handball Tournament 2010

in Talbot’s Inch, Kilkenny


Mens Senior Invitational Doubles Quarter-Finals:

Q-F: Michael Gregan & Michael Finnegan dft Gavin Buggy & Dominic Lynch21-17, 21-20

Q-F: Eoin Kennedy & Ger Coonan dft Dessie Keegan & Eddie Burke 21-14, 20-21, 21-8

Q-F: Robbie McCarthy & Brian Carroll dft Tommy Hynes & Paul Mullins 17-21, 21-5, 21-19

Q-F: Ducksy Walsh & Tom Sheridan dft David Maloney & Egin Jensen 21-13, 21-10

Mens Senior Invitational Doubles Semi-finals:

SF: Michael Gregan & Michael Finnegan dft Eoin Kennedy & Ger Coonan 21-19, 21-12, 21-17

SF: Ducksy Walsh & Tom Sheridan dft Brian Carrol & Robbie McCarthy 21-15, 21-10

Mens Senior Invitational Doubles Final: 

Ducksy Walsh & Tom Sheridan dft Michael Gregan & Michael Finnegan 21-17, 21-11


Mens Intermediate Doubles Final: Brian Manogue & Pat Maher dft Timmy & David Clifford 21-20, 8-21, 21-20

Exhibition Game: DJ Carey & Walter O Connor dft Paul Brady & Tony Healy 31-30

Juvenile Under 14 Boys Doubles Final: Sean Carey & Brian Mahon dft John Walsh & Killian Dunphy 15-14, 15-8

Girls Juvenile Exhibition: Claire Grace & Mary Phelan dft Rachel Hogan & Marie Walsh 15-7, 13-15, 15-9 

Tommy O'Brien Tournament Review

By Aidan Crowley

Legendary Kilkenny handballer, Michael "Ducksy" Walsh (Talbot's Inch) partnered ace Meath veteran, Tom Sheridan (Kells), to claim the Men's Senior Doubles title at the inaugural Tommy O' Brien Softball (60X30) Memorial Invitational Tournament, with a hard-fought win, in a tense final, over two games, against rising young Wicklow star, Michael Gregan (Coolboy) and Cavan ace, Michael Finnegan (Kingscourt), at Talbot's Inch, yesterday (Sunday).

The all-doubles tournament was held, over the weekend, at the Co. Kilkenny venue, in memory of the late Tommy O' Brien, of Kilkenny
City, who was President of The Irish Handball Council from 1984 to 1987 and was Leinster Secretary of the association for more then
thirty years. Most of the country's best players competed, to honour the memory of one of the most influential figures in the recent
history of the sport, with some top-class handball being served-up.

In the Men's Senior Doubles final, the first game proved to be a closely-fought affair, with Walsh and Sheridan eventually edging
through, on a narrow scoreline of 21-17. In the second game, Walsh and Sheridan were much more in control and despite a battling display from Gregan and Finnegan, they forged ahead, to seal victory, on a decisive scoreline of 21-11.

In the all-Kilkenny Men's Intermediate Doubles final, Brian Manogue (Kells) and Pat Maher (Clogh), defeated Timmy and David Clifford (both St. Canice's, Kilkenny City), in a thrilling clash, over three games, on a narrow scoreline of 21-20, 8-21, 21-20.  In the all-Kilkenny Boys Juvenile Doubles final, Sean Carey (Goresbridge) and Brian Mahon (Clogh), defeated John Walsh and Killian Dunphy (both Mullinavat), over two games, on a scoreline of 15-14, 15-8.

In the Men's Exhibition Match, legendary Kilkenny hurler, D. J. Carey (Goresbridge) partnered ace Meath veteran, Walter O' Connor (Kells), to defeat Cavan star, Paul Brady (Kingscourt) and Cork star, Tony Healy (Ballydesmond), on a total scoreline of 31-30. Finally, in the all-Kilkenny Girls Exhibition Match, Claire Grace (Windgap) and Mary Phelan (Clogh), defeated Rachel Hogan (Kilfane) and Marie Walsh 
(Kells), over three games, on a scoreline of 15-7, 13-15, 15-9. 

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