Handball History

The Ball Alley we have at Castlebridge today is the third such structure on the same site. The original Ball Court was built in the 1880's in the premises of an old Corn Store and Malt House and was worked by Mr.. William Clancy.  It is also of some historical interest to note that a meeting was held in the Ball Alley in the mid 1890's to found the Castlebridge Fife and Drum Band, when an invited band failed to turn up for a big occasion held locally.

In 1928, it was decided to have a go at building a new 60×30 court on the present site. It was a most memorable undertaking at the time. All the sand and gravel etc was transported up the local river from the river Slaney and Kaats Strand in 30ft long Cots owned by the Shortle Family and W.B. Nunn Malting Firm, kindly given to help the Ball Alley Building Project. The sand and gravel was then unloaded in Delaney's Yard and brought to the site via buckets, barrows, ass and carts etc.

The newly built 60×30 Court was finally officially opened on Sunday, 22nd September, 1929 and the total cost of the New Ball Alley was just over £21 or €26.66. It is interesting to note that the year 2004 was the 75th Anniversary of the Court built in 1929.

Castlebridge Underage Handball Section:
In our underage handball section we are holding special work outs for all ages from under 7 up to under 16 every week on Mondays and Fridays at times that will suit the various age groups, and if lets say Mondays and Fridays don't suit a number of juvenilies, then arrangements can be made for different days and times that will suit. You can call to the Handball Club or leave a note and phone number. To ring us just call 087-9289828 at any time of day.
– Mondays and Fridays workouts from 3.15 to 4.15 are for ages 7-9
– Mondays and Fridays workouts from 4.20-5.30 are for ages 10-13
– Mondays and Fridays workouts from 6-7 are for ages 14-16

Should juveniles want to take up playing handball and the above days and times don't suit, then please do give us a call at the club or ring 087-9289828 or leave a note.

For over 100 years handball has been played in Castlebridge, but over the last 25 years in particular our club has produced many top class handballers who have brought a great many honours to our community.

Over te past 10 years our community has grown at one hell of a pace and a large number of new homes have been built. So there are many up and coming young children who just might want to give handball a try and see if they would like it. We want to contact all homes in the area and let them see what handball has to offer, and there will be no mad rush to produce stars over-night.

– Won 3 National Feile Na nGael Division 1 titles; 1992, 1993, 1994. Runners up in 1991
– Community games under 13 team of 6 All Irelands
– Brian Gilhooley won United States Senior B title
– Barry Goff World Champion of 40×20 Doubles, partnered by Raymond Cunningham, Cavan. It was played in Ireland in 2003
– Terry Gainfort, USA under 13 Open Champion 40×20 played in Orlando USA
– Malachy Whelan won a record 4 All Ireland Titles for St. Peters College and 1 runners up
– Historic Helicopter flight from Dublin to Castlebridge for 3 in a row Feile Team in 1994
– Barry Goff, under 15 World 40×20 runner up in 1994
– Cormac Smyth, World 40×20 Doubles Champion, partnered by Richard Walsh, Wicklow
– The Guinness Book Of Records World Handball Record of 45 hours 50 mins was achieved in September 1986 by the following; Michael Shortle, Michael Redmond, Derek Furlong, Thomas Mahon, Philip Gainfort, John Bail, Darragh Murphy, Damien Murphy, Thomas Rossiter, Colm Flanagan, Michael Mahon, Pat Barron
– Tour of Orlando, USA in December 1994 by 7 juveniles from our club
– Tour of Winnipeg, Canada in August 1997 by 11 juveniles from our club
– Tour of Chicago, USA in October 2000 by 19 juveniles from our club. We also brought 6 juveniles from other clubs and 15 adults, total of 40
– Tour of Edmonton, Canada in August 2006 by 9 juveniles, when Cormac Smyth and Richard Walsh, Wicklow became Mens Open World 40×20 Champions
– All above tours were part of our underage participation in the World Handball Championships except in 1994 it was played in the USA Open Juniors when Terry Gainfort made history in winning the under 13 USA Open.