Glenanne Sports Club was formed in 1943. Up until 1943 it was known as Graftonians as it was originally the Staff Sports Association of the Grafton Street Department Store Brown Thomas.
By 1943 the Club had become” open” and the LBIHU minutes record that the Graftonian representatives came to the 1943 Branch AGM and informed the Secretary that the Club had a new name, Glenanne, with the same colours and the same players. Meanwhile the Second World War raged in Europe.
There is a picture of Graftonians Hockey team on the wall in the two sisters Pub near the KCR.
After Graftonians went open the members thought a new name would better reflect its open status. The name Glenanne emerged because the club premises were on the grounds of St. Anne’s, a small “big house” estate running from the KCR up to the back of Kimmage Manor (at the back of the Shell Petrol Station) and which the historic river Poddle ran through. The river was banked high up to 15 to 20 feet giving the premises a glen like appearance, hence the name.
The old Club based on Fort field Road, was strictly divided into winter and summer seasons. Hockey and table tennis were the winter games and golf and tennis were the summer ones. The hockey pitch was given over to the golf section on St Patrick’s Day, which was when the hockey season ended. There were two separate subscriptions for each season. Each golf and lawn tennis season finished with an “At Home” when all the finals were played with a dinner dance and presentation of prizes that evening in the Club House. After each hockey match the club provided tea and Marietta biscuits! On Sunday night a dance was held in order to raise much needed funds.
In 1958 the club installed complete hockey floodlights, the first club in the country to do so. It was marked by an LBIHU President’s XI playing against a Glenanne XI under the floodlights. In 1970 the club lost its grounds as the land was sold for building. Only hockey survived, which is ironic because in the 1960’s the golf section tried to get the hockey section to move to another ground so that they could play all year round., The once thriving hockey section was reduced to two teams and the ladies section had died out completely. From 1970 to 1985 the club used various grounds but mostly Tallaght Community School. Pitches at Londonbridge Road and the LBIHU grounds in Templeogue were also used. In 1975 the Ladies Section was reformed and the club started to try and build again. Tallaght Community School became our home. The Men who clung so tenaciously to Senior status were finally relegated in 1982.
The reforming of the Ladies section proved to be a huge contributory factor to the resurgence of the club. The first team went from the bottom division to Senior status in 10 seasons and created a great buzz in the 1980’s. In the 1984 season they won all of the junior trophies open to them and were awarded their place in the top division by the LLHU. At the same time the men were struggling to get back to Senior ranks which they did in 1984-85.
The Junior Section was formed in Tallaght Community School during this time but it really took off in 1985 when we decided to rent the all-weather pitch in St Mark’s Community School as a relief pitch but gradually moved there over the next few years and abandoned the pitch in Tallaght Community School. Throughout the late 1980’s and the 1990’s the section really took off. The Colts won 4 Leinster U16 cups and 16 boys played representative hockey for either Ireland or Leinster. Since then we have had many more.
In 1989 the club made an arrangement with the Trustees of St Mark’s Community School and the Department of Education whereby the club leased a site from them, built Glenanne Park and gave the School a licence to use the grounds during school time. The cost of the project in 1990 was around £300,000 including the site cost. Glenanne Park was officially opened by President Mary Robinson on 21st April 1991 just 21 years after the club had lost its grounds.
In 2001/2002 we upgraded Glenanne Park and extended the lease with the School. The upgrading included a new sand filled pitch with shock pad, total refurbishment of the floodlights, replacement of ball guard at one end and replacement of some of the inner wire mesh fencing. Lotto funds were used in both projects and without them the developments could not have taken place.
Recent years in the men’s section have proved to be a golden era in the history of the Club. From 1951 to 1983 the club had not won a significant trophy. When the men’s 1sts won the Railway Cup in 1983 the Irish Times headline ran “Glenanne Celebrate Rare Success”. That “Rare Success” has turned into something of expectancy in recent times as the Golden Generation forged their way towards the forefront of Leinster and Irish hockey in the Noughties. A first Leinster League title in April 2000 was followed weeks later by their 1st All- Ireland Championship win. Following this the Irish Times headline read “Glenanne’s Rise Reaches Zenith”.
Since then, 5 more League titles(2002,2006,2007,2011 and 2012 ) have followed as well as 3 Irish Senior Cup’s (2001,2007,2010) and 4 Leinster Senior Cups (2002,2004,2007,2008)to join their breakthrough 1996 success. The first Senior Trophy the men’s section ever won was the Neville Cup in 1985 and the club has collected 11 more since, the latest in the 2014/2015 season.
As 2001 Irish Senior Cup winners we represented Ireland in Gibraltar 2002 where we were defeated by Terrassa in the final taking home the silver medal thus gaining promotion for Irish teams competing the following year. However, the men’s most impressive achievement came in Europe when they took home the 2008 European Club Challenge Trophy in Paris after an epic win over hosts Montrouge after extra-time. Since then they have represented Ireland twice in the European Hockey League in Barcelona 2009 and in Terrassa 2010 and on that occasion qualified for the last 16 Knock-Out which took place in Club Bloemendaal in Holland at Easter 2011.
These levels of success over the past 20 years lead to a number of players gaining Senior International recognition for Ireland.
The Ladies kept their Senior Status until 2002 when they were relegated. Their most outstanding success came in 2008 when they won the Irish Junior Cup with a 5 – 1 win over Railway Union and also gained promotion back into the Senior Division. They continue to hold their own in Division 1 LHA League. For the past number of years the Men’s 1sts have competed in the Irish Hockey League reaching the final on 2 more occasions.
2015 saw the introduction of the EYIHL, the first real all-Ireland league in which they are now competing.