23 January 2021
Saint Mary's Hall memories


Memories of Saint Mary's Hall

For Memories of St. Mary’s Parochial Hall CYMS
click here

Billiards and Snooker players

Keeleys Showband

Royal Aces Showbwnd

John McKenna(RIP) and Peadar Keeley

heed the sign or else !!!!

Mass in Saint Mary's hall 1983


6th July 2007

6th July 2007

8th July

roof gone

the last chair
15th july 2007

Walls gone 18th July 2007

Walls gone 18th July 2007

Breakthrough to Church grounds
20th July 2007

For Albert Scott   click here 

For Joe Dowling    click here


Some memories of St. Mary’s Parochial Hall CYMS
by Albert Scott.

1. Buildings
St. Mary’s CYMS was built in 1938 by the people of Tullamore who gave their time and labour free
of charge.  When originally erected it was one long hall used for cinema and dances.

In 1943 under the chairmanship of Fr. T.C. Donahue, an upper building was created which housed a snooker, billiard and card room.  This room was also used for rings and darts.
In 1968 Fr. T.C. Gillholly continued the development by erecting a stage at the back of the hall, a Changing room and supper room.  The hall was used mainly by the young men of Tullamore as a social outlet for the already mentioned activities.  It was also used for badminton and table tennis and at one time had the All-Ireland table tennis team.
The building was self-supporting through it’s activities and it’s dances that ware run there by the Committee and in-fact finances from the hall accounts actually financed quite a few projects within the town of Tullamore on various occasions.

2. Activities
The activities in the hall were wide, varied and utilised by all ages.  Snooker and billiards’ were the
 prime sports with many competitions taking place under both rules.
Badminton had a great interest and a very active Badminton Club ran this sport.
Table tennis was another very popular feature and St. Mary’s were very lucky to have Ireland’s
number one table tennis player at the time by a man whose name was Patrick Burke.
The hall was also used for dances every Sunday night with local bands playing like, The Keeley’s, The Cunninghams, Bobby Kelly, The Ballinamere Ceili Band and The Gallowglass Ceili Band being the most prominence.
St. Mary’s musical society was also founded under the rain of Fr.T.C.Gillholly and the hall was used for all musical shows presented by the society.

3. People
The hall when originally built had a caretaker by the name of Thomas Hensey who was there from 1938 to 1948, he was succeeded by Mr. Albert  Scott who was caretaker from 1948 until he died  in 1989.
The hall was run by a group of people elected at an Annual General Meeting by the members with a priest from the parish acting as chairperson.  Down the years the hall was lucky to have some very fine chairmen namely, Rev. T.C. Donahue, Fr. T.F. Gillholly, Fr. T. Mullin to name but a few.
It also had a very fine secretary by the name of J.P.McKenna who gave his time devoutly to St.Mary’s.

In later years because of inactivity, the hall became redundant as a parish centre and had to close.
It was my great pleasure to be associated with St.Mary’s throughout its glory years and I will sadly miss it.


Albert Scott


from Joe Dowling concerning Father Donohoe's sense of humour. 

None of the group of my friends were interested in dancing.  However after a night at the local cinema we would run down to the Hall.  Some Sunday nights we would sneak into the hall and watch the dancers for a brief period.  On one such night Father was there and seeing us come in, from the balcony he stopped the music and picked up the microphone and announced; "Ladies and Gentlemen the next dance will be a Snake dance and the boys who sneaked can snake back out again".