In the early days Footballs were very scarce and in recognition of this the County Board decided to do something about it so they presented footballs and hurling balls to each of the schools in the county.
The following notice appeared in the Clare Champion of 2nd April 1938.
“Any school not receiving a hurling ball or football should communicate with the Co. Secretary, Mr. T. Hennessy. The idea of the presentation is to give the youths a start – to give them an enthusiasm for the games. They need organisation, and in order to cultivate the idea, every school should have a captain and vice-captain, who will take charge of equipment and arrange for matches, issue a challenge to other schools etc.
They are also invited to send a report of their doings to the Co. Secretary – An Runai, 21 Ard Stil, Inis – and a wristlet watch, inscribed, will be presented for the best account of any development of teams or activities, sent by a schoolboy. All letters sent in this connection should be in Irish, and have on the outside of the envelope, on the top right hand corner, the word “scoileanna”.”
The following are extracts from letters received from schoolboys, acknowledging receipt of balls, or in some cases demanding same, and the Editors remarks.
It is with great acknowledgement I received the balls per Mr. Cunningham. On Sunday last we received it, and we were overjoyed, and had a great day’s sport. We hope we will be lucky with it this year.
“Lacken is not lacking in enthusiasm.”
CATHAIR MHURCHU, CILL MHICHIL.
“Taimid an-shasta leis an liathroid. Tabharfaimid aire mhaith di, agus beimid ag imirt gach la ar scoil. Ni leigfimid isteach in aon tor i. Cuirfimid isteach ins an gcupord I gach trathnona.
- Mac Conmara.
“Tog aire, a Sheain”
MARTIN COTTER, Lack West, Kilmihil.
“Letter received. Five brothers and no football. We must see about it a Mhairtin.
We have been expecting a football with the last few weeks.
“Football, like Inspector, comes unexpectedly.”
In those days footballs were made of leather inside which was an inflated pigs bladder and the opening was laced. When it was wet it soaked moisture and was quite heavy and greasy, when dry it was very light and difficult to kick straight. This had to do with the fact that the laced part was slightly raised and this effected the flight of the ball.