Fr. Tom Jones (1868-1950).
He was born 150 years ago on this day (Saturday, 19th December 1868) at 13 Rock St. (where the Old Oak Pub is now situated). While he didn’t have any direct connections with the Rock Club, apart from being an avid supporter in his later years, he was, nonetheless, regarded as one of the greatest Sporting legends ever to have come out of the Rock, specialising in Handball. In 1886, at the aged of 18, he was the Handball Champion of Ireland and many of the older generation always claimed that he would have had an outstanding career in that sport were it not for the fact that he put his religious vocation before everything else. Four years after winning that All Ireland title he entered Maynooth College and six years later (in 1896) he was ordained to the Priesthood. The old Handball Alley in the Green, Tralee (close to where Siamsa Tíre is now situated – now no longer in existence) was named in his honour.
After his ordination Fr. Jones served as a Curate in the Dioceses of Down & Connor before moving to England and Australia to serve in a similar capacity. When he returned to Kerry, ten years later, he served as a Curate in five different Parishes – Glenbeigh (1906-1909); Ballyferriter (1909-1916), Killorglin (1916-1921), Dingle (1921-1928) and Cahersiveen (1928-1931).
He then returned to Glenbeigh in 1931 where he served as Parish Priest until his death in September 1950. What a coincidence then, from a Rock point of view that, in the last four years of his Ministry in Glenbeigh, his Curate was none other than the late Fr. Mícheál Galvin, our esteemed Club President for over 65 years (1945-2010).
- Centenary Club History Book Available to Purchase at Paudie Commane’s Book Shop on Rock Street. Now on sale at reduced Price of €15. That’s a fantastic 40% off original retail price. Book is also available to purchase online see link in club shop. Ideal Christmas Gift.