Dicksboro GAA Club

 

Peter O'Reilly

 

Peter O'Reilly, of Thomas Street, Kilkenny, a baker by trade, first played senior hurling with Dicksboro in 1925 and soon made full back position his own.  He joined the Kilkenny senior team in 1926 and, again, held the full back position until his last game in the All Ireland Final of 1936.  As a full back, he had no equal, and his craft and experience often saved his team from defeat.  He was the mainstay of the back division and most reliable when call on to avert defeat.  His hurling record with Kilkenny is a proud one.

Peter O'Reilly won Leinster championships with Kilkenny in 1926, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1935, and 1936 and All Ireland Championships in 1932,'33 and '35.  He played with Kilkenny when they won the 1932-33 National League, and with Leinster when they won Railway Cup Finals in 1932 and 1933.
He played with Kilkenny in the All Ireland final against Cork in 1926, and in all three memorable games in the 1931 final. 

In 1934 he toured America with the Kilkenny team and his prowess as a full back won the plaudits and admiration of exiled Gaels in American cities.  during his long and successful career as a hurler, he never allowed the flattery of admirers to change him but continued to offer his services to his county in an unostentious manner.  His last appearance on the hurling field was with his old club, Dicksboro-to whom he devoted his whole playing career-in the County semi-final of 1938 where they were beaten by James Stephens.  his health, never too good, began to decline and he was reluctantly compelled to lay aside is cam├ín.

An all-round sportsman, Peter also excelled at handball.  As a delegate to the County Board he was of invaluable help and, at the time of his death, was set on a career as a very successful referee.  Peter O'reilly, still remembered as the consummate full back, died in February 1940 at the untimely age of thirty seven.

During 2008, Dicksboro Club was delighted to receive a priceless collection of memorabilia celebrating the many great achievements of Dicksboro hero, Peter O'Reilly.  The items, which included an All-Ireland medal from 1932, Hurley and Passport signed by famous Amerian sports hero, Babe Ruth, were given by the O'Reilly family to the Dicksboro club.