The First Year
The club was founded in 1980 and it has over the years participated at inter-club, provincial and international level. In fact it still competes at all these levels today. The two squash courts were built into the golf clubhouse during a reconstruction phase due to delapidation at the end of the 1970s. Squash was in the ascendency at the time and many courts were built all over Ireland.
The courts were built over a number of months by local Thurles builders Kennedy & Co. and there was such demand for the game at the time that as soon as one court was finished it was opened for use whilst building work carried on in the second court! The membership quota was completely oversubscribed even before the first court was finished and a waiting list had to be compiled to deal with the surplus membership. The clubhouse officially opened on Wednesday 19th March 1980. Throughout March and April 1980 local sports stockists in Thurles placed ads in the Tipperary Star advertising the squash gear and clothing that they sold. The two main places for buying gear at the time were O’Meara’s on Liberty Square and Kilroy’s. The clubhouse also had squash equipment available for sale from the Club Steward.
In the April 26th edition of the Star it was announced that the second court had opened and that coaching would soon be available for both beginners and more experienced players. The first coach it would seem was a P.E. teacher from Rockwell College called Greg Kenny who gave basic coaching on a Monday from 7.40 to 9.00pm. Another excerpt from the Star in May announced that a “coaching session for about 20 players will be held on Wednesday, 21st May at 8.30pm. Please give names to Eamon” Later Michael Hickey who was described as a former international in tennis and squash started coaching the ladies team on November 10th 1980 again on a Monday but due to the fact that many women were free during the day at the time he coached from 11.00-3.45pm with a 1hr 45 minute break for lunch!
Bookings, Fines, Leagues & Ladders
The courts were “set for maximum activity” (Star, April 12th 1980) and failure to use the booked times entailed a 50p fine. This was quite a steep amount considering the junior membership at the time was £5 for the year. There was also a warning that there was to be no changing on the court balcony. In December 1980 the men’s changing rooms were opened and there was direct access to the courts through the men’s locker room (now blocked up). Booking the courts was possible by phone after 7pm and from 1.15-2.15 on weekdays. Court times had to be reduced to 30 minutes due to the high demand on the courts and a stamps system was introduced for Court 2 for 70p per stamp which was then affixed to the booking sheet. The first internal club league was sponsored by the Bank of Ireland and there were eight seven-man teams from A to H. There was also an internal ladies league which was again sponsored by BOI. The club ladder suffered the same problems it does today with not enough activity lower down the order. A minimum of one challenge a month was expected or otherwise names would be removed.
Local League and Interclub
Even in its first year of opening the club competed against other local clubs. The early rival appears to have been Clonmel Rowing Club and the league entered was the Tipperary Mixed Championship. Another team Thurles seemed to play against at the time was Clonmantagh near Urlingford.
Interested in getting fit or perhaps maintaining hard-earned fitness? Like to meet new people and keep active? Have you ever thought of playing Squash? Squash is the healthiest sport and that’s not just us blowing our trumpet – Forbes Magazine voted it the healthiest sport a few years back!
Thurles Squash is on the go for thirty-two years! At present we have approximately 100 members covering all levels. Two courts and a booking system assure easy access to games. Beginners’ coaching, a ladies night, a challenge ladder and competitions feature throughout the season. We are located in Thurles Golf Club at Turtulla, Thurles. We have recently reduced the cost of membership to just €100 per year. Membership of the Squash Club includes full pavilion membership of the Golf Club with bar / lounge, multi-channel TV, dressing rooms and shower facilities. There are many activities held in the Golf Club including bridge, Irish dancing, music etc. Below is a list of our committee members who can be contacted for further information. We would love to hear from you.
Please contact any of our hard-working committee:
Rory McLoughney (Chairperson) M: 086 600 1010 [email protected]
John Kennedy (Chairperson) M: 086 198 7950 [email protected]
Michelle Minihan (Secretary) M: 087 951 2556 [email protected]
Siobhán Guidera (Treasurer) M: 086 314 3295 [email protected]
Stella Aherne (Club Children’s Officer) M: 087 688 8799 [email protected]
Anna Marie Murphy (CCO) M: 087 223 8056 [email protected]
John O’Connell (P.R.O.) M: 086 275 4270 [email protected]
Paula De Barra (Committee) M: 087 124 4727 [email protected]
Karl McLoughney (Men’s Club Captain) M: 086 164 4787 [email protected]
Suzie Connors (Ladies’ Club Captain) M: 087 944 6159 [email protected]
Rory McLoughney (Committee) M: 086 600 1010 [email protected]
Gerry Connaughton (Committee) M: 087 263 4313 [email protected]
Phil Wheatley (Committee) M: 086 038 4105 [email protected]
Michael Ely (Committee) M: 087 761 1419 [email protected]
Tricia Madden (Committee) M: 086 396 1026 [email protected]
Junior Squash is for boys and girls up to the age of 19. Thurles Squash has a vibrant Junior Squash scene. Indeed, the club currently has the largest junior squash membership in Munster!
APPROVED EYEGUARDS MUST BE WORN BY JUNIORS ON COURT AT ALL TIMES
After school junior coaching delivered by Irish Squash accredited coaches features throughout the season.
Additionally, the club runs Junior Squash Saturdays from 2PM to 5.30 with three sessions designed to cater for different ability levels:
2 – 3PM Beginners
3 – 4 PM Developers
4 – 5.30PM Advanced
We have had great successes nationally and Internationally with many of our top performing juniors representing their school, their province and Ireland.
We value all our junior members greatly as they are the lifeblood and future of the club.
The club is committed to the principles of the Irish Sport’s Council’s Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport. All our coaches and junior organisers are Garda Vetted.
For more information on how to get started playing squash please contact one of our Club Children’s Officers:
Stella Aherne 087 688 8799
Anna Marie Murphy 087 223 8056
Thurles Squash Club is competing in the Munster Divisions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the current season.
Up to date news and results are available on the Munster Squash Website:
Are you aware that as a fully paid up member of Thurles Golf Club you can become a full member of Thurles Squash Club for the low rate of just €50 for the full squash year? The squash year runs from 1st of September to the 31st of August. This is a great opportunity to play the exciting game of squash especially during the winter months when Golf may not always be available to you. Contact anyone on the squash committee for more details and to sign up – all squash committee contact details are on the Squash Committee tab. We would love to hear from you.