It was a night to reminisce, a night to recall and a night to revel.
The club’s victory social held at the resplendent Ballyroe Heights Hotel delivered all of the above and more, as the club celebrated their 2022 achievements in winning the Kerry senior and Munster club championships before narrowly failing to eventual winners Kilmacud Crokes in a January showdown in Croke Park.
The atmosphere crackled as the crowd gathered, old friends reunited, the air filled with congeniality and warmth.
The proceedings went like clockwork, and with everyone seated shortly after 7.30 pm the history makers,led by captain Ross O’Callaghan entered the room as the Black Eyed Peas hit “ Tonight's going to be a good night” rang out bringing the crowd to its feet in rapturous applause.
Chairman Haulie Kerins welcomed everybody and handed matters over to MC for the night, Denis Hanafin - Denis, in his own inimitable way, conducted proceedings with all the aplomb of an orchestral conductor ensuring everything went to plan ( the air horn and water gun helped too!!)
Guest speakers on the night included Liam Lynch, vice chair of Coiste Chontae Chiarrai and former Uachtaran of Cumann Luthchleas Gael, Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly.
Liam Lynch endeared himself to the crowd with his opening lines of “ I am from a small intermediate club on the other side of town” before delivering a well constructed, humorous speech rich in praise of the club’s recent feats whilst lamenting the role of a 33/1 outsider in the Oscars who walked away with best supporting actor - a reference to the harsh sending off of David Moran in the Eire Og encounter.
He lavished praise on David Moran as he departed the inter county scene, likening him to Australian rugby legend John Eales for his mighty feats in the green and gold over 15 years and complimenting him on his leadership,sportsmanship and footballing abilities.
Seán Kelly fondly recalled his time as a juvenile in Strand Road lauding the likes of Johnny Kissane and John Dowling for their great and unstinting work whilst also acknowledging the contributions of Tommy Walsh, Barry John Keane, Jack Savage and David Moran all of whom have won senior All Ireland medals with Kerry in the recent past. He, acknowledged too, the contribution of Declan Quill who as joint bainisteoir of Kerry ladies has led them to five victories in a row and a place in this year’s national league final.
The players were presented with their medals by Will Harmon and Claire Walsh, and the final presentations of the night were reserved for the outgoing management team for their endeavours over the past 3 years, for their meticulous preparations and overall leadership.
Awards on the night were also made to Ben Hanafin, young player of the year, Shane Foley, most improved and to David Moran, player of the year.
2022 also marked the end of an era, as main club sponsor Kerries Golf Range, no longer operating, was succeeded by Higgins Waste and Recycling with Haulie thanking John, Jackie and Seán for coming on board.
The formalities over, the crowds danced the night away to the music of Brighside and later to the sounds of DJ Manus.