This story, along with the images from the slide show on the left, with names/dates etc can be downloaded from here.
Roscrea Youth Club is now one of the longest running youth clubs in the country with a history going back to the mid-
In 1965 Garda Pat Costelloe along with others formed what was to be known as the Garda Boys’ Club. It was held in the Damer House which was a cold and damp building at the time. They started with a boxing ring and soon got a donation of a snooker table. This club mainly consisted of boys from the town between the ages of 11 and 14. Among those who helped out at the time were Mrs Perry who formed a boys’ choir and Mick O’Connell from Abbey St who sowed the seeds for and formed what was to become Roscrea Boys’ Scouts.
The Roscrea Boys’ National school was built in 1834 and was used until it was no longer capable of catering for the growing population and in 1969 the new school was opened on Golden Grove Road. The vacated school was taken over by Muintir na Tíre with Mrs Carroll, Mrs Collins, Seamus O’Grady and others they formed the youth club. They started with just some table tennis tables which were just sheets of plywood held up with chairs, draught boards and ring boards and a few decks of cards. John and Pat Kavanagh from Limerick St had a dance band at the time and every Sunday between 4pm and 6pm they held a dance in the club which they used for practice.
Then in 1971 a committee was set up under Fr Tony Cahir to run the youth club on the premises. Some of the early committee were Seamus O’Grady , John Coffey ,Tony Byrnes, Jim Ryan and Eileen Shanahan. Fr Cahir remained with the youth club till 1981. Then in 1983 the committee decided that with the expanding membership to extend and renovate the school.
Today there are very few people under the age of 55 who do not have memories of the youth club as most of the youth of the town went through the doors at one time or another. Let’s hope the youth of the town will be getting as much enjoyment out of it in 50 years’ time as the youth of nearly 50 years ago got from a few draught boards.