Handball

Handball in the region

Handball is played all over the county and of course Castlerea had many handballers over the years but 
most of them had to play second fiddle to some of the great handballers from Boyle such as: Paddy Perry, 
Paddy Reid, the Clarke’s and Gaughran’s. 

First to come to mind from Castlerea were T. J. Caulfield, Johnny Browne and T. J. Caulfield’s sons, Joe 
and Willie. Many handball games were played in the alley at the back of the old Gardai Barracks. Great 
games were played there by men like Christy Murphy, Tom Coll, Tom Callaghan, Jack Callaghan and 
Johnny Gray.

Connacht Champions 
Joe Caulfield won a Connacht Junior doubles softball championship in 1928 partnered by Austin “Sonny” McDermott from Ballinlough. Joe went on  to win a Connacht Senior Softball Doubles Championship partnered by  the great Paddy Perry from Boyle.

In 1982 Aidan Larkin from Tarmon won a Connacht Colleges U-15 championship medal with St Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen partnered by V. Morahan from Ballinagare. 

On the official side of handball,  Castlerea had the honour of having T. J. Caulfield as President of the Irish Amateur Handball Council from 1939-1941.

Eddie Murray worked hard to keep the game alive in Castlerea.
Castlerea Handball Club was formed in 1980 after the court which was built by the O’Rourke Park Committee was officially opened in November 1979. 
A new 40 x 20 alley was opened in 1979 at the O’Rourke Centre and since then many young men are playing handball there. 

The committee which was elected at that time was:-
Eddie Murray          Chairman
Michael  Creighton     Treasurer 
Anthony Cahill    Secretary. 

After the initial stage of sorting players etc internal club competitions became more seriously contested from 1981/82 onwards. Some players progressed very rapidly, moving up divisions as they did so.
The club has had some success at Interclub level winning the County Club Novice Team Competition in 1981, 1983, and 1984.

In 1983 the club beat Galway in the Connacht semi-final but lost to Mayo in the final.
The 1984 team included Noel Raftery, J. J. Carroll, Mick Griffith, Tom Corcoran, Anthony Cahill and Eddie Murray.
Interclub Novice Singles and Doubles have been contested yearly.
Some club members played in the special centenary competitions. J. J. Carroll, Noel Raftery, and Michael Bruen played in the singles novice competition. 
Eddie Murray, Castlerea and Mick Naughton, Roscommon joined forces to contest the World Centenary Masters Doubles which were held in 1984 in Ennis.
In 1983 Micky Dolan, Michael Gunning and Eddie Murray were appointed to encourage underage handball competition in the area Singles and Doubles competitions were held within the club.

In 1984 teams were entered for the Tailteann Games.

The club enjoyed one successful pairing in the U-13s Doubles in the form of Edward Murray (junior) and Alan Kennedy, but they were beaten in the Connacht semi-final by Sligo.