About Us - History
HISTORY OF COMMERCIALS
Commercials Hurling Club began life in 1886, just two years after the formation of the G.A.A. Commercials was formed by the many country bar and shop workers living and working in Dublin at the time. They first played their matches in Dublin City. Like a lot of clubs at the time they trained in the Phoenix Park.
The early years were spectacularly successful with Commercials winning 5 Dublin Championships in a row from 1895-1899, a feat which stood the test of time for over 100 years and only matched in 2011 by Ballyboden St. Enda's. Commercials at the turn of the last Century went onto win 4 more Senior Titles in 1905, 1907, 1909 and lastly in the historic year of 1916. Commercials are actually 3rd on the Dublin Senior Championship Roll on Honour with those 9 titles.
It was this proud history that later generations of Hurling Men strove to keep alive in the 50's, 60's and 70's with the help of Tom Dawson/Jim Buckley/Louis Fitzgerald/Charlie Chawke/Christy Carr which resulted in the Championship win of 1977.
In the early 70's the Club was on the look out for an established grounds and looked at many areas and eventually they found the grounds out in Rathcoole which was owned by The Sheilds Family.
Extracts from the Secretary's report of 1979 stated "good progress was made on the grounds in Rathcoole and we finally took over the grounds on a legal agreement between the Solicitors. We opened a Juvenile Pitch and had for September, October and November, 50 juveniles training every Saturday under the watchful eye of Mr. Walsh, Mr. Ring and Mr. Ryan and many others in Rathcoole. We planeed and laid out the senior pitch and much work was done by various contractors.
We will have much to do but hope to have it ready for playng by April/May"
The Secretary's report from 1980 stated that "patience has paid off as it has turned out to be one of the finest playing surfaces in Leinster"
From the starting point in the late 70's the Juvenile Club blossomed to eventually provide adult players and very successful teams, competing at the highest level in Dublin winning championships and staying Senior from 1991-2009. A lot of our players represented Dublin at Senior level, Sean Power held full back position and even captained Dublin for a period during this time. Commercials player Paul Dillion has the distinction of winning the Dublin Skills Féile, 3 years in a row, which has not been contested to date. He also became All Ireland Skills Féile Champion.
In July 1999, Captain Mick Baker, along with three others of his Air Corps Crew were killed tragically in their Dauphin helicopter in Tramore, Co. Waterford. They were returning to their base in Baldonnell, from a successful Air-Sea Rescue. Mick was originally from Enniscorthy but had played for Commercials Seniors as a dedicated Corner Back for the previous two years. In honor of Mick Baker's memory, the "No. 4" Jersey which Mick wore was "stood down" for the Championship and his name was inscribed in the Match Programme.
If you can remember having to run across the Dual Carraigeway after training then you must be 35 or older, Traffic Lights were installed at the junction from Rathcoole to College Lane in the Early Eighties, previous to that… juvenile training would finish with a group congregating at the club gates on the side of the carriageway (about the ½ way line on the big pitch) we used to have to watch for a gap in the traffic, run to the grass median and hedge in the middle of the carriageway and wait for another break in traffic before completing a run to the other side when the opportunity arose, this was the real meaning of the word sprint‘ in training.
Of course it‘s much safer to cross the Dual Carraigeway or N7 as it is known now, sometime after the Junction was provided with Traffic Lights, the Council CPO‘d part of the Commercials Grounds and Built the Wall that currently divides the Club from the Road, Ball Nets on the lower pitch were of course then considered a necessity as the now enlarged N7 was coming closer to the Playing Pitches
The 1st Club house in Commercials, was a series of wooden chalet‘ type rooms with old leather seats and was almost luxurious by
standards of the late seventies, there were no showers of course but there was a Toilet Block at least. They were badly missed when burned down as we had to make to with a steel container for a short while (which had doubled as storage for flags / nets / pitch liners etc…)
To compensate and bide us over, some prefabricated classrooms which were on their last legs were diverted to Commercials and provided the most spacious Changing Rooms for another couple of years until the mid-eighties, these prefabs had huge amount of windows and even a small committee room, the rooms were so large that at one stage Physical Training was able to take place in the Changing Room instead of the Pitch….
Finally though the present Clubhouse was realized, c. 1985/86 through the huge efforts of then current Club Mentors and executive, mostly by voluntary direct labour, it was a massive co-operative effort by many People who invested time and energy without question or reward. There hasn‘t been many changes to the structure over the years but the fact that the Club house is now almost in constant use and demand almost 30 Yrs later is a testament and reward to the efforts that were made.
'The Tipperary Hurler'
‘The Tipperary Hurler’, a painting by Limerick born artist Seán Keating, (Born 28th September1889) was an accredited artist and former president of the Royal Hibernian Academy. Seán, was the father of the 1970s Labour Party minister Justin Keating, former who died in 1977.
This painting is based on a sketch made by the artist at Croke Park, of Tipperary man and former hurler John-Joe Hayes from the townsland of Ballerk, near Thurles Town, Co.Tipperary. This beautifully portrait depicts a strong, rugged yet determined subject matter and was begun by the artist sometime between 1923 and 1925.
John Joe is depicted in the portrait wearing the jersey of the Commercials Hurling Club (CHC), which was founded in 1886 by young hurling lovers from the midlands of Ireland who had moved to find work in the many bars and shops of Dublin city.
The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final of 1923 was held at Croke Park, in Dublin on 9th September. The match was contested that year by Kilkenny and Tipperary, with John Joe Hayes playing for Tipperary and with Kilkenny taking the coveted title by 4-2 to 2-6.
This painting was first exhibited in Amsterdam during the Olympic Games of 1928 and was eventually donated to the Hugh Lane collection in 1956 by the late Patric Farrell, an American who served as a producer and director of the Irish Theater and the Museum of Irish Art in the New York of the 1920′s and 30′s, and who only ever visited Ireland once in 1965.
Thanks to Sean Leahy for this picture of his father (Jack Leahy)
front row, 4th from left who played for Commercials approx 1948/49