The Banisteoir

The Banisteoir is a unique Wolfhounds tradition

Club Legends - The Banisteoir.

An Banisteoir (Banish - tore) is a mythical figure often seen hovering on the sidelines of a GAA or Hurling match in the parish fields back in Ireland. Someone who is elevated to this position is regarded as a club stalwart and is someone who is often consulted on the eve of a wedding for instructions on how to perform the dastardly deed. Banisteoir’s by some quirk of nature are often named Feisty, Jimmy, Deckie, Paidi, Seanie, Mickey - you get the jist.

Here is an extract from a GAA Banisteoir Manual found on a club website from rural Ireland.

The Banisteoir - Bitter about his unsuccessful inter county career he embarks on a mission to bring his crew of 19, desperate hurlers from U-15 ranks to senior inter county champions in three years. His loyalty to the Club is unquestionable, his red with white stripe O’Neill’s cotton tracksuit can be seen as the solitary figure cutting grass of a Saturday morning at 8am in advance of that afternoon’s league game. His passion is unquenchable he finds it hard not to get frustrated at the lackadaisical attitude of some Under 13′s. Guaranteed to fall out with Club executive committee over some of his training practices, expects complete infallibility and loyalty, generally loses 3 - 5 players during the year through rows about their attendance. His car tends to be a Ford Capri or Ford Cortina, or indeed has a Honda 30. Assured to have 122 - 150 hurleys of all sizes in the boot, replete with sliotars, bottles, deep heat, umbrellas, damp anoraks, odd football boots, steel toe capped boots, mars bars, hats, flags, caps, two helmets, nets, two bags of filthy smelly jerseys, 1982 version of Limerick Leader July 2nd and Sindo of 1988. Great Clubman, but bitter, bitter, bitter.

We at the Wolfhounds have our own Banisteoirs. Beginning the tradition was the great Gary ‘Cope’ Kavanagh, a man outstanding in his field even though he was never a farmer, he set the standard which has been challenged and indeed surpassed on numerous occasions by the man of all seasons otherwise known as Gilvarry.

Declan ‘the hack’ Gilvarry, has taken over the mantle of lead banisteoir having served as Gary’s junior for a couple of years. Declan, not to be confused with the other Declan in the club, ie the web and photo guy, has been an outstanding addition to the support crew. Nominated on numerous occassions as the Chief ‘h2o and potassium’ technician, his energy is boundless and stories of his legendery outings will live on for many years.
For 2008 Declan has been promoted to official RSL Banisteoir

For the last couple of years Phil ‘Fedex’ O’Dwyer, a former player and an all round great chap has been at the bottom of the Banisteoir table. For the 2008 season he has been elevated tothe Vice-Banisteoir position. Amongst his exploits is his valient attempts to convince some young ladies to represent the Wolfhounds in the 2008 Rose of Tralee competition. Phil has yet to work out the logistics of this offer, as the ladies live in Cleveland and we, are based in Boston.
Phil takes on the role as Division 1 banana and water technician, he is also the 2008 Vice President and chief logistics officer for the club.

The Division 3 team have been without an official Banisteoir for some time and finally for 2008 former President John ‘Mossy’ Walker takes the helm at this position.
Johnny has the lungs of a racehorse as displayed by his mighty voice, serenading a tired busload of players on many a trip and also raising a few eyebrows at airport waiting areas.

More on their exploits as history evolves…

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