Ballyea Hurling Club was founded in April 1934 . The founding members were, President; Fr. Hogan, P.P., chairman; Dan J. Kelleher, vice chairman; Patrick McTigue, secretary-treasurer; Michael Lillis, committee; Thomas Scanlon, Thomas Nagle, Michael Carrig, Gerard Carrig, Michael Markham, Thomas McInerney, Vincent Lillis, Patrick Pender & William Lynch.
The club got permission from the local teacher who was then M.J. O’Mahony, to hold meetings in the school after mass on Sunday. As there were no funds to buy a set of jerseys the club decided to hold dances in local houses, the first dance was at Michael Markham’s house in Ballyea. The next thing to do was to find a pitch to play in so a three acre field belonging to Michael Carrig at the cross in Tiermaclane was rented for £ 9.00 yearly.
In Ballyea’s first season in competition they played in the junior grade. After six years in existence the club captured it first title when they defeated Cratloe in the Junior A championship final of 1940 at Newmarket on Fergus by 3-4 to 0-1. Two years later Ballyea won the Intermediate B championship defeating Tubber in the final. In 1944 the club captured the Intermediate championship after getting the better of Broadford in the final by 4-1 to 3-1.
In 1951 Ballyea’s won its first underage title was captured defeating Sixmilebridge in the Minor B championship final at Newmarket on Fergus on a score of 5-2 to 1-3.
Killone Minor hurling Club
In 1973 Killone Minor Hurling Club was formed to further develop the very promising young hurlers in Ballyea under the age of eighteen and it didn’t take long for the new club to make its mark winning the under 16B championship in 1974 defeating Corofin in the final.
Ballyea’s first adult title in a long time came in 1976 when a great Junior B league and championship double was captured defeating Sixmilebridge in both finals. In 1979 the club won its first title in the Junior A grade since 1940 winning the league final against Inagh. In 1980 Ballyea captured its first title in the Intermediate grade since 1944 when they were victorious against Cratloe in the league final. Killone made it a great year for Ballyea in 1980 recording an excellent double in the under 16C final versus Quin and the under 14C final against Inagh.
The long wait for a Junior A championship ended in 1982 when Ballyea defeated St. Josephs after a marathon struggle that took three games to decide, Further glory followed a week later when Ballyea were victorious in the Intermediate league final against Wolf Tones to complete the second part of a tremendous double.
In 1984 Killone Minor Hurling Club changed its name to Ballyea Minor Hurling Club. secured the under 14 Div. 3 title the following year. Victory in the under 12 Div.3 final came again in the 1995.
The clubs first under 21 title was captured in 1996 defeating Crusheen in the C final
At the turn of the century in 2000 the club reached the Munster Junior hurling final only to be denied by Tipperary champions Galtee Rovers.
Ballyea bridged a 57 year gap in 2001 by winning the Intermediate championship at the expense of Sixmilebridge.
The year 2002 was also a very historic year as for the first time ever Ballyea competed in the senior championship with their first victory in the Senior B grade coming against Tubber.
2003 turned out to a very historic year as for the first time ever Ballyea reached the county final but unfortunately the silverware wasn’t taken home with our neighbours Clarecastle claiming the spoils in a 3-11 to 1-8 victory. Further heartbreak followed two weeks later with a defeat in the Senior B final by Tubber. The clubs under 15 team competed in the A championship for the first time in seven years reaching the semi-final.
The following year in 2004 Ballyea made up for the dissappointments of the previous year by claiming the Senior B championship defeating Cratloe in the final by 0-11 to 0-8 in Shannon. The under 14 team also won the D title in 2004 at the expense of Bodyke while Ballyea under 12 side reached the A final for the first time in the clubs history. 2005 marked Ballyea’s first full season in the Senior A grade. In 1995 the under 12 team that stole the show capturing the clubs first ever title in the premier grade getting the better of Sixmilebridge in the final.
2007 proved to be another landmark year for the club capturing a tremendous treble of under 14 A championship, Feile & League titles defeating Sixmilebridge in the feile-championship final by 4-14 to 0-9 and Clonlara in the league final. As a result of this great achievement Ballyea represented Clare in the All Ireland Feile na Gael competition in Kilkenny winning two games but losing out to the eventual champions Castleknock from Dublin in their third game.
In 2008 Ballyea won its first under 21 B title in 2009 defeating Kilmaley in the final after a replay.
The clubs excellent new dressing rooms and Clubhouse opened in 2010 just in time for the Feile na Gael competition which was held in Clare for the first time since 1987 It turned out to be a great success and Ballyea performed very well reaching the semi final of the B competition.
Another very successful year followed in 2011 with the capture of the clubs second under 21 B title at the expense of O’Callaghans Mills and Ballyea’s third under 14 B championship after defeating Inagh-Kilnamona in the final.
Ballyea’s first ever under 21 A championship was captured in 2012 after getting the better of Kilmaley in the final after a replay. Ballyea under 13 hurlers also won the Div. 2 Shield title in 2012.
Ballyea captured their second Senior B championship in 2013 getting the better of O’Callaghans Mills in the final by 3-15 to 0-11 and they also got to the clubs first county semi final in ten years but had to settle for second best to last year’s champions Newmarket on Fergus in a 0-15 to 1-7 score. Ballyea also captured the clubs fourth Junior B league title after defeating Feakle in the final by 0-11 to 0-7, while the under 16 hurlers finished of a memorable year by winning the under 16 A shield title.
In 2014 Ballyea won the Junior B Championship with a 0-14 to 0-07 win over Whitgate. They went to represent Clare in the Munster Championship where they lost out by 1 point to Killenaule of Tipperary.
Senior Championship Success & Munster Club Success
History still being made ... watch this space.