Foundation and Early Years
Though the G.A.A. was founded in 1884 the exact date that Milford Club was formed ins't known, but medals and photographs available show that Gaelic Games were played here before the start of the century.
The men who kindled the flame in those far off days were Jack McCarthy, Paddy Feore, John Bourke all from Bunmona, The Irwin Brothers, Tieracurra, The O'Connell Brothers, Hardingville, Dan Brouder, Stephen Creagh and John O'Connell, Ballyhane. The game was not organised then as it is to-day but adjoining parishes, arranged challenge games and tournaments between each other.
Recently a report of a game between Milford and Commercials Limerick played in Feohanagh around the turn of the century appeared in The Limerick Leader. The report written by "Caman" Sporting Correspondent for the Limerick Leader who stated that Commercials a Senior Club that formed the back bone of the Limerick Senior Football team were defeated by Milford captained by Jack McCarthy Bunmona.
In those days when motor transport was unheard of Jack McCarthy and his team mates would short cut through the fields to a venue be it ten or twenty miles away, tog out by the side of a ditch, play their games and then return home often cold and hungry.
The Football Club was known as Erin's Hope and they participated in several tournaments.
Results as follows:
1902 at Broadford - Broadford 0-4 Milford Nil.
1902 at Drumcollogher - Broadford 1-0 Milford 0-3.
Replay won by Broadford 1-3 to 0-3.
1903 at Feohanagh - Milford 2-4 Drumcollogher 0-4.
1904 At Ballyagran - Milford 1-2 Clouncagh 0-4.
1907 at Ballyagran - Milford (Erin's Hope) 5 pts. Kilmallock 2 pts.
For the record Kilmallock were Limerick County Champions in Football in 1908 and 1909.
1908 at Charleville - Milford (Erin's Hope) 4-5 Feenagh 3 pts. Erin's Hope were captained that day by Jack McCarthy Bunmona and Feenagh by Tom O'Connor, Highmount. The team also included Paddy Feore Gibbonsgrove - Goals: TomBurke, Bunmona, John O'Connell, Kintera, the O'Connel1 Brothers of Coolatour, John D and William, the Irwin Brothers, Tieracurra, Frank and Jim, Mick Sheehan, Scart, John O'Callaghan, Hardingville, Bob Joe Broderick, Scart, William Kelly, George Fitzgibbon, Paddy Murphy and Stephen Creagh all from the village Michael Crowley and Mick Barry, Cromogue. A medal won in Charleville in 1908 is in the possesion of Mrs. Mary O'Gorman, Bunmona a decendant of Tom Burke one of the players.
These results show that Milford were a force to be reckoned with then and had the game been organised as it is to-day they would 1 have figured prominently in the roll of Honour. The chairman of the club was John O'Flynn of Acres.
There were four posts used in the game then, the goal posts being approximately the same as to-day but on each side there were the points posts which were much narrower.
The team that scored the most goals won regardless of the number of points scored by the opposition, any number of points would not equal a goal.
There are no official records available of games played in troubled period of our country's history. Many of the players of that time were involved in the Fight For Freedom and were not Y often seen in public. But speaking to people who lived through. those historic times I'm assured that matches did take place in the district.