In the Autumn of 1917 a number of young gaels and hurlers got together after a mummers ball in Forrestalstown and they decided that there should be a club formed and entered a team in the1918 championship and this club was to be known as Cloughbawn. While we already had a club in existence in the top end of the parish known as Killegney, it did not cater for the whole of the parish.
The people who were mainly responsible for the formation of this club were Pat Condon and Maurice Condon, Tommy Cullen, John Hendrick and James Doyle and it is to these men that the gaels and supporters of Cloughbawn are greatly indebted. The first year in the 1918 championship saw Cloughbawn acquitting themselves quite well.
While the Killegney club still stayed in existence for a couple of years, most of the prominent Killegney players gave their allegiance to the newly formed Cloughbawn club, notably Jim and Pat Browne, Martin Redmond, Clonroche, Tom Foley, Nick Murphy, The Villas, John Carthy, Maurice and Pat Condon, Aidan O'Brien, all these having previously played with Killegney decided to throw in their lot with the Cloughbawn club. One noticeable abentee was Jack Ryan, the famous inter-county full back from Clonleigh, being in the twilight of his career, he hurled out the last couple of years with the Killegney team.
Training in the early days of the Cloughbawn club in 1918-1920 was done in Cullens bog in Ballyboro. The first district final in 1918, their first year in existence, was played against Caim in a snow shower in Bellefield, all the players on the Cloughbawn team were from the parish except Jimmy Neill from Killane who was working with Ger Flood of Castleboro. In September 1921, they played in a county final in Wexford park against New Ross and they were beaten by a few points. The famous Pat Clancy, who was as fleet as a deer, ran riot in the first half but in the heavy conditions he had to be substituted and the substitute was James Cullen, Clonroche, who got his first game. By the way, this was 15 aside, from there on the Cloughbawn club each year made it's presence felt.
While success eluded them for a while, they reached the final again in the junior championship in 1934 which was playe din Wexford park against a very fit and eager Rosslare team, this included PaddynRoche who was secretary of the Wexford Co. Board for many years. Rosslare took the honours after a hard fought game. Not in the least daunted, Cloughbawn came back to take the district junior title in 1935 following what was then described by many a gael as one of the greatest of all time, their opponents on this occasion in the Enniscorthy district final was none other than Blackwater. They got to the County final and they struggled all the way against a very fit and determined Adamstown selection, this was played in New Ross. The position looked bleak at half-time but Cloughbawn pulled out all it's stops in a thrilling second half and made history by winning their first county title. This victory brought Cloughbawn into the Intermediate grade where they swept all before them in the 1936 championship by reaching the county final but due to very inclement weather this final was put back and was not played until 1937. The long lay-off apparently did not suit the Cloughbawn men and on the day they were beaten fairly and squarely by a very fit Ferns 15.
The 1935 team was as follows: Peter Cullen, Knoxtown in goal; Bob Catstairs, Ballyboro, Matt Furlong, Clonroche, Pat Nolan, Coolaught; Tom Cullen, Knoxtown captain, John Hendrick, Knoxtown, Paddy Leary, Ballyboro, John Hendrick, Rathfardon, Larry Harrington, Castleboro, David Reck, Courtnacuddy, John Forrestal, Clonroche, a native of Youghal, Reggie Leech, Tomfarney, Jim Buckley, Chapel, Paddy Mull Furlong, Chapel, Dan O'Neill, Chapel, - the following substitutes all of whom played a game or two Paddy Buckley, James Codd, from Clonroche and John Williams from Forrestalstown.
Now we'll move on to the 1940's and while Cloughbawn were still a force in Intermediate grade, it was around '40 or '41 they were regraded and again they becvame a force in junior. In 1946 the start of the Golden era in Cloughbawn hurling began, it was in this year that by beating Horeswood in a very hard-fought game in New Ross that Cloughbawn won, yet again, the Junior Hurling Championship and it was this team and it's members that was to go on and bring glory to the wearers of the green and white of Cloughbawn. In 1949 they beat, against all the odds, a very fit and determined Rathnure team in the Senior Co.Final and again in 1951 and by the way this game was played in May of 1952, they won yet another Senior hurling title when beating Horeswood. Cloughbawn were now known as the king-pins of Wexford hurling and with families becoming nearly folk names, the Floods, the Wickhams, the Buckleys, Cloughbawn was certainly on the crest of a wave and this wave continued into the '51, '52, '53 and '54 and they gave many players of distinction to wear the purple and gold for their native county and indeed it wouldn't be fitting unless we mentioned our favourite son, Tim Flood. I don't think anymore need be said, he carried the Cloughbawn name with distinction for over a decade by wearing the purple and gold of his native county.
Cloughbawn and the G.A.A. went into a slight recession along the late '50s and early '60s and after a lot of work by officials and players Cloughbawn again got back on the winning trail and this was in 1972 when they won the Junior Hurling Championship by beating Crosabeg/Ballymurn in the final and the following year in 1973 by yet again winning another county title, this time in the Intermediate grade by beating St. Martin's in New Ross. Cloughbawn were now back with Senior status and while they were in many semi-finals since 1973 their first time to contest a county final again was in 1987 when they were narrowly beaten by Rathnure as they were also in 1990. However the breakthrough came in 1993 when they beat the Rapparees of Enniscorthy in a replay to win their 3rd Co Senior hurling title.
Its colours are Green and White. A proud rural club, since 1975 it's clubhouse and pitches are situated at Castleboro, central to the two half parishes of Cloughbawn and Poulpeasty. It is almost 2 miles from Clonroche village, 8 miles from Enniscorthy and 12 miles from New Ross. Its arch rival and neighbouring parish is Rathnure, beneath the Blackstair Mountains. It is bounded also by Adamstown, Davidstown, Ballyhogue and Cushinstown clubs/parishes.
Tim Flood carried the Cloughbawn name with distinction for over a decade when
wearing the purple and gold of his native county. Billy Wickham was another stalwart of that era. Tim Flood’s son, Sean, was a
regular half back throughout the `90’s on the Wexford SH team while Larry Murphy
commanded a forward berth from his debut in 1993. John Fleming, Tom Walsh (R.I.P.), Martin Furlong, Ger Flood represented us with Wexford on numerous occasions as did Tommy
Harrington, Sean Wickham, Paul Carton and P.J. Dempsey . MJ Furlong made his debut in 2002 against Kilkenny in the Leinster
Final but was unlucky to receive a leg injury a few years ago which ruled him out for the county, Harry Kehoe and Noel Carton have been representing our club on Wexford hurling team of late and Kieran Kennedy was on county football team 'til lately.
Cloughbawn won SH championships in 1949, '51 and '93. Having gone back junior in the 60's, we won junior in 1972 and Intermediate in '73 and have been playing SH continuously since then. Cloughbawn reached the S.H. county final last in 2002 and were beaten in co. semi final in 2009 & 2011.
Our football team has been promoted to intermediate grade for 2012, having won Junior A football championship in 2004, beating Rathnure in final.
The club purchased its own
field in 1975, providing a full size and junior pitch. Later more land was
purchased to facilitate 2 full playing pitches.
The club enters teams in the
following competitions each year: Senior, Junior ‘A’ and Junior ‘B’ Hurling;
Intermediate 'A' Football; Under 21, Minor, Juvenile, U14, U12 Hurling & Football
(in each Grade). Recent success in youths includes Minor Hurling R1 2009, U21 H R1 2011, U16 F 2011, U21 District 2011.
Camogie is going well again in
Cloughbawn with teams performing well in all divisions from Junior grade
down to the youngest levels. Cloughbawn camogie teams of 1970's won Senior grade and were famous for having 6 or 7 Kehoe sisters on the winning Co. team of 1975.
The sports complex was opened
in 1982 by Jack Lynch, ex-Taoiseach, providing excellent facilities for Squash,
Handball and Racquetball.
Our latest developments include: Demolition of old dressing rooms etc and building of 4 new dressing rooms, shower rooms, function and meeting rooms, new heating system, hurling wall, one pitch floodlit and drained, floodlit walking track, old front fence removed and timber post and rail fence erected.
We hope to surface the car park in near future.