Bridge Club

Bridge Club
The Bridge Club started in Ballyhaunis nearly 60 years ago.  Founder members were Jimmy Byrne, Willie Smyth, Dr Eamon Waldron, Ned Lawless (National Bank) and Bob Holmes (Ulster Bank).   A meeting was called in the Parochial Hall for anyone interested in playing bridge.   Fr Costello was invited to take the chair and among the 20 or so people there, there were some who had never played bridge at all.   The club was formed and played once a week in the Central Hotel.  For the first few weeks there was a draw for partners every night and the good players played with and instructed the beginners.  One from that first gathering is still a member,  Mr Michael Cameron and still plays every Tuesday night.
Dr Eamon Waldron was Captain for the first few years, Fr Rush President and Ned Lawless ran the competitions.   When Ned was transferred, Mrs Angela Joyce took over as Tournament Director and later became a Regional Tournament Director.  The club flourished for a few years but with transfers and deaths, the numbers declined.  Then, Mrs Mae Murphy, one of the clubs great characters gave classes for the beginners and brought in the much-needed new members.
Some years later Bridge Classes, under the instruction of Mrs A Joyce became part of the Adult Education Classes in the Community School and six years later, Mrs Dorothy Durkan and Garda Martin Naughton ran beginners classes in the Scouts Den.  Mrs Coreen Flatley was the last person to give lessons to beginners and did so for several years.  The club at present has about 50-60 members and organises competitions every Tuesday and Thursday nights in the Hazel Bar and Restaurant in Main St.  Play starts at 8 o’clock until about 11 and new members are always welcome.
The Banks and local Businesses have been very generous in Sponsorship over the years and the club is very grateful for same.   The Bridge Club had its many joys during the years but it also had its sorrows, sorrows caused by the premature deaths of many of our active and committed members.   A stalwart of the club for many years, Mrs Mary Dillon-Leech will celebrate her 100th Birthday in October.  Mary resides in Brookvale Nursing Home in Ballyhaunis and still takes an interest in the club and its members.
The office of Captain was abolished in 1994 and the President and a hard working committee now run the club.  The Presidents prize is one of the major competitions of the year and the year usually ends with an Annual Dinner Social event.   The Club usually winds down for the summer in May and starts again in September.
The club meets at the Communal House, Clare Court, Ballyhaunis every Tuesday evening at 8pm.
Eleanor Freyne
Tel: (0)94 9630161