Dr Crokes Barbeque 17/08/08
It was the tempting scent of frying chicken and 100% beef burgers that attracted us, as we turned up at the front of the clubhouse and nothing better to cheer you up in this rain sodden summer of 2008. Of course we were soon diverted from the food by the ad-hoc bar set up by Seamie Doc, where prices were pitched at the ridiculously low tarrifs of the 60’s. Guinness , Lager and Vino flowed freely all night long. Seamie was in his element keeping anything up to 8 orders on the go at the same time. All the Laurels experience came to good use and the standards were high, so he was very careful with the deputies he chose to cover his short breaks. Yogi and Harry Bartlett made sure the service didn’t wane and Der Bros inspected the bar scene at regular intervals. Der is the driving force behind the massive development of the clubhouse and the playing areas. Maith thu, Der, mar tá árd-ghaisce á dheanamh agat. Club chairman, Vince Casey reminded all and sundry that we needed 200,000 euro to finish the developments to the highest possible spec. That’s one of the challenges for Dr Crokes.
We spotted Marian Doc relaxing, enjoying the beautiful food and the vino. That’s a change for her. Usually she is very busy on reception at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, the pleasant voice of decorum, just like an other clubman, The Caddy Master Wedge, the master of plámás and charm, second only to Jackie Healy Ray. And as for dancing his energy knows no bounds. Wedge I am referring to not the T. D. .Don‘t see Wedge here tonight. I wonder why ?. Maybe there is some truth in the rumour after all that he is training up to be the understudy to the lead male dancer in River dance in the NIEC. I have no doubt he could take the female part also. He does of course have to be careful with the sudden turns and that tender hip. We missed you Wedge. Get your dancing shoes ready for Dr Crokes Barbeque 2009.
We weren’t short for entertainment. The O Mahony solo belted out the tunes, while Eddie Tattler and Joe Electrical O Shea gave their party pieces. Siobhán O Brien, the All Ireland solo singing Scor star also gave us one of her best renditions
Over to the Events Committee. These are the women in the club who do trojan work in so many aspects of the social life of Dr Crokes. This evening it was the barbeque and they wisely enlisted the help of several other Crooke ladies to feed the huge crowd. Those working in the open air temporary kitchen included Breda Cronin, Deborah Ann O’Shea, Ann Byrnes,Frances O’Sullivan, Ann Bartlett, Ann O’ Neill, Siobhan Courtney, Noreen Cooper, Sandra Bartlett, Noreen O’ Connor and Noreen O’Neill.
It was action all the way as they fed the masses. Plenty freshly cooked hot food complemented by a table of salads one would die for.
While the adults ate they looked out on the main pitch where Joe Maye supplied the juveniles with hurlers, sliotars and footballs. It was action all the way as they picked different sections of the field to play their spur of the moment games. The many club members ,who coach the juveniles on Saturday mornings were watching from a distance and their hearts swelled with pride.
Crokes Park fused in to Croke Park as they played the games of their lives in the Field of their Dreams. Someday they would line out in GAA Headquarters and carry on the noble tradition of Dr Crokes and Kerry.
The unspoken wish was not articulated, but everyone understood the aspirations of these young club members…….I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams….
Pat O ‘Shea, the Kerry senior team coach and manager stood close to one of the dressing room doors thrilled to see the juveniles playing out their dreams. It doesn’t seem so long ago since he honed his skills of twisting, weaving and controlling the O’Neills ball. He is very grateful to among others, Jackie Looney for that early coaching. Tomorrow he would head for Croke Park where his team would defend their All Ireland crown. With him he would be carrying Crokes and Kerry players , Gooch, Eoin Brosnan, Kieran Cremin, Michael Moloney and Kieran O’ Leary. Also in that entourage would be Botty, Harry O’Neill and Patrick Tatler, all members of the backroom staff of the Kerry team and all solid Croke supporters.
Tonight Pat O’Shea was just one of our own. One would never have known that he trained last year’s Kerry team to their 35th All Ireland title following on the footsteps of another great Croke man from an other era, Dr Eamonn ( O’Sullivan ), who trained Kerry to win 8 All Irelands.
The electric atmosphere of big match day in Croke Park faced Pat O’Shea, but tonight he was among his own, no airs and graces but grounded in the reality of a club he serves so well .Not for him any ‘eiri in airde’; he knows where he came from. We notice Connie Murphy with his wife and family enjoying the craic. Connie is a former All Star and man-of-the-match winner, when we won the All Ireland club c’ship on St Patrick’s Day 1992.
It’s hard to believe it but this annual August barbeque is now in its 15th year. It all began as a gesture of gratitude to the Dr Croke lotto sellers and their families for the work they do every week raising funds to develop the club in all its aspects.
On the morning after the first barbeque, four solid citizens of the club came to the club grounds checking that all the clearing up had been done. They did their job and then couldn’t believe their good fortune. One of the barrels was not empty.
The Dazzler, Murt O’Shea, Francis Duggan and Liam Murphy made sure it was empty before it was returned to base.
And the show goes on. Vince Casey the energetic club chairman can look back on another great bonding day for the club. Much done much more to do. One of the fund raisers at the moment is a raffle for a Laguna car, co-ordinated by Frances O’Sullivan.
An other Dr Croke dream lives on.
Ar scath a cheile a mhaireann na Crocaigh.
Can’t wait for next year’s barbeque.