Castlebridge and the surrounding area are well documented in the history of the GAA in Wexford and Ireland. Like other villages and communities, there were places where families and neighbours met to contest games of hurling and football before established pitches and clubs were formed. Even with the presence of established pitches, people would still meet up and play in fields for whatever reason; proximity of people, the presence of drinking water, the presence of a street light etc. 
 
Here are just some of the fields that were used for hurling and football in and around the parish. There are many more that I have missed so please inform me and I will endeavor to include them. 
 
Stamps’ Field has long since been built upon and Pax Shortall took me there recently. Pax has a particular connection to the field as his brother John died following an incident playing hurling in the field on the 20th of July 1956. Helmets were unheard of then and John passed away after being accidentally hit in the head with a hurl. 

It’s hard to imagine now, but in its day, Pax told me that this field was the place to be. He brought me to the field in March 2014 and hadn’t been there himself for a very long time.  

Another field which people told me about was called Paddy Roe’s Field located at the cross at Ballyfarnoge. Again, a cross roads would be an ideal spot for people to meet and play. There was another field called Culletons’ Field in Ballyregan while there was another called Gahans’ Field in the village of Castlebridge which had a street light nearby which made it a popular place to play. 
 
One of the remarkable sites was where the present day car park in Ballinesker is sited. The presence of the fresh water well, which is still there would have been a draw for sure. One of the women in the centre told me that when she was younger an old woman who ran a shop on the site called Mrs. Reed, always pointed to the hill and said “there’d be gold in them hills”. Needless to say, the young girls didn’t take her serious. Maybe they should have though, as in 1990, a selection of 8th century gold fasteners, disks and bracelets were un-earthed during groundwork on a site at the side of the hill.  

Hurling Fields

Various fields around The Parish, Co. Wexford

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