St Pat’s Book - Cllr Looney compiling book on football club

By Hayden Moore

This year represents the 90th anniversary of St Patrick’s Athletic Football Club, and the Inchicore club are seeking help from fans who may have old photos, documents and memorabilia.

The club will kick off the celebrations with a talk on St Pat’s early history, at Richmond Barracks, on Monday, January 28.

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Cllr Dermot Looney (left), Paul McGrath receiving the Adidas Golden Boot award for the club (centre), St Patrick's Athletic 1929 team (right) 

Social Democrats Councillor Dermot Looney, an avid fan of St Pat’s, is compiling a book on the early history of the club, and will deliver a talk at the event on January 28.

Fans and relatives are encouraged to attend the talk and bring along old photos, documents and memorabilia.

Cllr Looney told The Echo about his longstanding passion for the club and what people can expect at the talk.

How long have you been a fan of St Pat’s?

I’ve been a Pat’s fan since my early teens. I’ve been involved with a fanzine, a website, a supporters’ club and various other initiatives, but most of all I’ve been a fan, following the team across Ireland and Europe through thick and thin.

My dad is from Inchicore and briefly played for Pat’s in the 1950’s. In the course of researching this project I have also discovered that his father was also involved in the club’s committee in the very early years.

What makes St Pat’s such a unique club?

Pat’s are unique for a lot of reasons. Our roots in Inchicore predate the founding of the club in 1929. There are strong connections to the railway works and to particular families who have three or even four generations of involvement.

But Pat’s also became the team of a much wider area. They are the local League of Ireland team for communities like Ballyfermot, Clondalkin, Walkinstown, Chapelizod, the Liberties; even out as far as Lucan, Rathcoole and Kildare.

The reputation has always been one of a close-knit family club; you’ll still see three generations of one family going to Richmond Park together.

What was the most interesting thing you found when you were researching the history of the club?

From a footballing point of view, one of the most remarkable things is the meteoric rise of a team which at the start comprised mainly teenagers playing at the lowest level of football in the Phoenix Park, who within barely a decade won the FAI Junior Cup, and a decade later entered and won the League of Ireland at their first attempt.

My research so far has mainly focused on the founding of the club and its early years. I’ve looked a lot at the antecedents to St Patrick’s Athletic – clubs with similar names have played in Inchicore since the 1890’s. Much of my research has been on the club in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and we’ll be looking at this at the event on January 28.

What can people expect from the talk that you will be presenting?

This event in Richmond Barracks kicks off the 90th anniversary celebrations. We are looking for anyone with an interest in Pat’s to attend on the night – fans, relatives of players and officials from over the years, and local residents.

As well as the talk, we are asking people to bring old photos and memorabilia to help us archive them with a scanner. We’re hoping to hold more events over the course of the 90th anniversary year, and I’m hoping to finish a book on Pat’s history so those memories can be kept alive for the generations of Pat’s people to come.

Tickets for the one-hour talk are €5 and can be booked through Eventbrite, and will include refreshments including tea/coffee and scones which will be served in the café after the talk.

The talk takes place on Monday, January 28, 6.30pm, at Richmond Barracks in Inchicore.

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