Through the death of Mr Darby Gilchreest (86), Tynagh, which occurred last week, his native parish and County Galway lost one of its greatest ever hurling enthusiasts. Over half a century ago his name was a by-word wherever the national game was played in Galway and he figured on many of the county’s great teams of those days.
He held his place on Tynagh’s team until he neared 50 years of age and after retiring from “active service” became one of the most skilful coaches and trainers in the country. His great pride and joy was the famous Tynagh team which won the County Galway senior championship for a record 11 years in succession, from 1920 to 1930 inclusive, and during that golden decade of Galway hurling supplied the bulk of the players representing the county.
Darby took and was given full credit for the unequalled skill and tactics of the late Ignus Harney and his team mates, Mick Dervan, Andy Kelly and Jim Power, all of whom won All-Ireland medals in 1923.
For over 40 years now the ‘Ballad of Tynagh Gaels’ has been sung at Tynagh ceilidhe houses in honour of Darby Gilchreest and his 1912 team.
The Tynagh team won the 1915 Junior championship and the County Galway Senior championship from 1920 to 1930 inclusive. In 1919 the first seven-a-side tournament held in Kilbeacanty was won by the Tynagh team which was never beaten in a seven-a-side competition.