The Laois Cumann na mBunscol finals in both hurling and football in O’Moore Park over the years have provided more than their fair share of excitement, energy and drama.
And of course noise. If there’s one thing you’ll remember about Cumann na mBunscol finals day it’s the noise.
Of course you’ll enjoy watching the stars of the future and the honesty of the effort but the noise is unforgettable.
With two games going on at the same time throughout the day, it leads to an incessant sound of roaring and shouting, excited screams as every score, block and tackle is enthusiastically acknowledged.
And so it has been the case for more than 30 years now since the Cumann na mBunscol competitions started in Laois in the late 1980s.
For most of that time they have been played as day-long extravaganzas in O’Moore Park.
Indeed it’s a real celebration of Gaelic games – and it doesn’t matter what size a school is they are able to play in a division with schools of a similar size. And traditional club fixtures go by the wayside too with games like The Swan v Rathdowney and Emo v Durrow often cropping up.
This week we’ve delved into Alf Harvey’s archives to see what teams were on show in 2001.
O’Moore Park was being redeveloped at the time but we have spotted many familiar faces. And we know our readers will spot a whole lot more.
Just six years before the Laois minors won the Leinster title and were only beaten in the All Ireland semi-final after a replay a number of those players were on view including Timahoe’s Sean Ramsbottom and Joe O’Connor, Killenard’s Ed Kelly and Conor Meredith and Emo’s Johnny Booth.
Future Laois ladies footballers Aisling Quigley (Timahoe), Anna Moore (Ballyadams) and Rosemarie Bermingham (Clonaghadoo) were also involved.
You can check out a selection of Alf’s images below.