John Mitchel's Hurling Club
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John Mitchel's Hurling and Camogie Club is a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in Birmingham, England, and is the oldest club in the Warwickshire GAA. It has been long one of the leading Warwickshire clubs in hurling, competing in the county Senior Championship, and in camogie, competing at Junior level. There is an associated Gaelic football club. The club is named after John Mitchel, the 19th-century Irish revolutionary.
|John Mitchel's HC|
|CI Seán Mistéil|
|Colours||Red with white hoop|
John Mitchel's Hurling Club was formed in 1933, around the same time as the Warwickshire County Board. In fact, the club supplied pitches and playing kit to the county, which is how the Warwickshire hurlers came to have a white strip.
In the early years the club had such great Gaels as Paddy Ryan from Pallasgreen, County Limerick and Mick Ryan from County Laois at the helm. In the 1940s, the club was dominant in all competitions. Then in the 1960s, John Mitchel's built what was arguably their best-ever team - they reached their peak in 1971 winning the Warwickshire championship and getting through to the Championship of Britain final. Here they faced the mighty Brian Boru's in New Eltham.
This Brians team featured no fewer than ten London senior players who had played in the Munster championship, including Johnny Barrett, Timmy Sheehan, Roger Cashin, Paddy McGrath, Patsy O'Neill, Pat McDermott, Martin Connolly and Tom Connolly.
The Mitchels had many stars of their own with many fine hurlers such as Billy Collins, Jimmy Moynihan, Paddy Grimes, Liam Dalton and Ritchie Walsh. They beat the Brians in a highly competitive match.
Reformed club - 1990Edit
Some years later, the John Mitchel's hurling club folded due to lack of players. But in 1990, the club was reformed by Tom O'Brien, Tom Healy, Jimmy Moynihan and Billy Collins, amongst others, and by 1991 they had regained the Warwickshire Senior Hurling crown. Soon afterwards Frank, Larry and Anne Healy along with Martin Gannon started an underage set-up in the club. This was a huge undertaking comprising a lot of hard work, but was rewarded in Ruislip in 2004 when the club beat London GAA champions Brothers Pearse to win the club championship of Britain. More than 30 years after that famous victory in New Eltham, the club had again claimed a British championship and this time went on to the All Ireland club quarter final losing out by a point.
A great hurler with the team in their glory days was Billy Collins from Limerick, who remained heavily involved in the club and Warwickshire hurling until his death in 2008. Billy served as chairman of the County Board for over 25 years. He also helped develop and maintain Páirc na hÉireann, in Solihull, the county's ground, to ensure it was able to host top fixtures. Bill's son, Michael, has also been involved with the club and county and was involved in the management of the county team in the Nicky Rackard Cup and Leinster league. Michael has also followed in his fathers footsteps by holding the office of Chairman of the Warwickshire county board.
John Mitchel's regained the club championship of Britain in 2007, once again against Brothers Pearse in Ruislip, after an exciting drawn game in Páirc na hÉireann. They retained the crown in Páirc na hÉireann in November 2008 to become - most appropriately - the first holders of the Billy Collins Cup, which was donated by the Provincial Council of Britain.