1965 - Mike's are formed

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St. Mikes all started in 1965 when a group of Irishmen assembled in the Club Canadiana. At this time, led by Mike Bellew (RIP) and Mike Reilly (RIP), it was felt in the GAA circles that there was both the room and the need to have another club in the city. The first three men to sign up were Mickey Hamill (RIP), Tommy O'Neill (RIP) and Paddy Callan. They were followed by the three Flynn brothers, Tommy (RIP), Seamus and Eddie, Eddie Fleming, Gene Smith and Louis Connolly among others. Present at the first meeting were Frank Murphy from Clan na Gael, Joe Carty, John Kane, Mickey Hamill, Tony Keys, Madge Galligan, and Mike Reilly (RIP) of Garryown. The group scheduled a general meeting for this new club for the following week. It was at this meeting that Eddie Flynn was elected as the first president of St. Mike’s. 


In the first year of existence, St. Mike’s entered team in both Hurling and Football. At this time, the Gaelic games were played in High Park. Their first match, a football game against Garryowen, resulted in a draw.


The club’s first banquet was held in 1965 in the Range Restaurant at Dundas and Bloor St. This started a tradition in St. Mike’s  of holding an annual banquet to celebrate the glories and defeats of the previous season. These annual banquets have served the club well, in bonding his club by keeping the past members in touch with the present.

The 1960's

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While under the Presidency of Michael Bellew, the club won its first trophy, the Expo ’67 Cup in a football match against Hamilton, played in Hamilton. This win was to be the first of many for the club. Among the players on this 1967 team were Joe Gogarty, Mickey Hamill, Gene Smyth, Denis Kelly, Bill Kiernan, and Bill Flanagan. The first hurling victory for St. Mikes came in 1968, when they won the Championship and the League in Lawrence Park. 


They repeated these victories again in 1969. This hurling team, comprised of Kevin Loughnane, Mickey Duane, Barney Moylan, Shem Walsh, Danny Kinahan, Jimmy Rochford, and Joe Kenny, among others, formed probably the best hurling team ever in Toronto. One of the noteworthy selectors of this hurling team was Frank Rafter. He had a keen eye for placing players in their proper positions, and was able to read the opposition very well. It was during this year that the club was under the Presidency of Mickey Hamill. 


Among notable members of the club was a chartered accountant name Liam Cotter. He played both hurling and football, and he helped to write the Constitution for the Toronto GAA. He stood out in the group as the only hurler to wear working gloves while playing! 


The footballers went on to victory in the Flynn Cup and the Hamilton Feis Cup in 1969. This football team had been strengthened with the likes of Frank Smyth and Seamus O’Kane. Gene Hickey served as President of the club in 1969 followed by Frank Smyth in 1970.


On the social scene in these years, functions were held at the Club Canadiana, the Masaryk Hall and the PBA Hall. At the Sunday night function held in the PBA Hall, there was no drink allowed; however, that never deterred St. Mike’s men, as there were lots of headaches on a Monday morning. Club meetings and some parties were also held in the Moose Hall on Dundas St. W from 1968-1970. Caretaker of the hall was Jim Stack. 

The 1970's

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The football team was struggling for players in 1970, and as a result, was recruiting soccer players. Most notable was the Aussie, Kenny Sarich. Both 1971 and 1972 were difficult years for the club, however under the strong leadership of Paddy Thornton, the club survived. It was thanks to Tony Keys that hurling was kept alive within the club. After these years the club never looked back. From 1973 through to 1977, St. Mike’s was the strongest club in town, winning major honours in both grades. Mark Buckley from Westmeath was President in 1973. He was a great organizer and had great ability in delegating the work to others.


In 1973 St. Mike’s played Garryowen in a hurling match. Garryowen had All-Ireland Handball champion Pat Kirby in from New York to play for their side, but he was marked out of the game by Larry Carroll. Larry, who normally played corner forward, was moved by Frank Rafter to centre half forward to mark Kirby, and held Kirby scoreless.


Reportedly, the best football team that St. Mike’s fielded, up to this point was the 1974 team. They won the Senior Football Championship and the League. Among the players was Seamus O’Kane, Dermot Coleman, Mickey Hamill, Danny Kinahan, Martin Coyle, Mike Elliot, Patsy McLarnon and Padraig (the hard hitting) Kelly. This was the first of several years that Patsy McLarnon served as President. He went on to be President in 1976, 1977 and 1979.


During these years, the club often travelled out of town to play games in Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Detroit, and Boston. The bus driver at the helm was Eddie Duffy. On one of the trips to Boston, Eddie had to call on his back up driver, Kevin Loughnane, to take the bus and the team back to the hotel. On these out of town trips, not only did the players travel, but the families and supporters of the club. This is another tradition that continues in the present day. St Mike’s always enjoy a weekend out of town, and are usually accompanied by a good supporting cast. 



North American Senior Hurling Champions - 1975

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Probably the most outstanding win for the club was in 1975 when they won the 1975 North American Senior Hurling Championship. The team was captained by Dan O’Brien and qualified for the final by beating Boston Galway in the semi-final in Lawrence Park. 


The stage was set for the final between St. Mike's and Harry Bolands of Chicago. The game played in Lawrence Park saw St. Mikes win by 5 points.  According to Dan, Martin Loughnane was the outstanding player of the game. A most memorable point was scored in the second half of the game by Mike Normoyle to help clinch the win. 


Dan also said, "It wasn't the greatest Hurling team St. Mike's ever fielded, but a team of great heart and determination". There was true unity in the Toronto GAA that day when all the local clubs cheered on St. Mike’s. This club at this time was under the leadership of a Kerryman, Joe Houlihan.  

The 1970's Cont'd

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From 1974 through to 1980, the football club imported a lot of players from its farm team in Draperstown, County Derry. Most notable being Jimmy Kennedy, Emmett O’Kane, Enda McMaster, The Bush Kelly, Kenny Bradley, Gary Lagan, and Brendan (Crimby) O’Kane. These were difficult years for these young men; not only had they to get used to wearing football boots, but also had to learn how to speak English! St. Mikes took a bold move in 1977 when the football team travelled to Ireland to play 5 games against local sides in Swatragh, Clara, Draperstown, Downpatrick and Clonmore. They went on to victory in 3 of these games. The team was joined by former players who had returned to live in Ireland. The trip was organized by Brian Farmer, Patsy McLarnon, and Mickey Hamill.


The Sunday evening parties in the summer were held in both the Parkway Club and the Bowling Alley, during the late seventies. The Bowling Alley, on Queen St. was run by Dermot (Red) O’Neill who was also the first goalkeeper in both Hurling and Football for St. Mike’s.


Sean Kelly was the first Canadian to play for St. Mike's in the late 70s and may have been the first Canadian to play in Toronto GAA. He may not have been part of the starting 15 on a Sunday, but could always be counted on to play if needed. Sean's claim to fame was singing "Spancil Hill", sung many times at parties after the games. 


From 1978 to 1985, St. Mike’s and all the other teams in Toronto had an uphill battle due to strict immigration laws. However, under the strong leadership of Emmett O’Kane, Paddy Hegarty, Ena O’Brien (first female President), and Enda McMaster, St. Mike’s carried on and never failed to field a team while some of the other clubs could not make the numbers every week. Late 1979 saw the arrival of Cormac O’Muiri, a Dubliner, much to the delight of Eddie Mangan! Cormac involved himself in the running of the club from day one and later extended this involvement in the running of the Toronto GAA.

The 1980's

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From 1980-1984 the clubs were playing 13 a-side football and a 11 a-side hurling. It was thanks to our hurlers who would play on the football team when we could not make that numbers – guys like Dan O’Brien, Shem Walsh, Jim O’Brien, Paddy Hegarty, Paddy Thornton, Mike O’Brien and Mike Costello. Unfortunately, 1983 saw the end of competitive hurling in Toronto.


In 1984, under the leadership of Pauline Prior, the club won the Senior Football Championship, League and the McKenna Cup. The League was captured by beating Clan na Gael, a major victory for the club considering that two of the their top players, Jimmy Kennedy and Danny Kinahan, were absent. Mickey Hamill scored a goal in this game to clinch it for the club. The celebration was held afterwards at the party room in 24 Mabelle Ave., with songs, recitations, and good craic. This venue was used for many club parties. Prior to this locale, the club gathered at the “Funeral Home” or otherwise known as the “Hole in the Wall” on Annette St. The club banquets were held at the Wedgewood Restaurant, the Irish Centre and Lakeshore Lion’s Club.


In 1985 and 1986 the club underwent major changed in personnel thanks to an influx of players from Ireland. During these two years, the O’Brien brothers, Mike and Jim, served the club as Presidents. While under their leadership, very successful banquets and barbecues were held. On the football field, they won the McKenna Cup in 1985, Senior Football Championship, League, and the McKenna Cup in 1986. The 1986 team consisted of newcomers, Tomas Finnegan, Gabriel Rushe, Colm Flynn, Mike McCusker, Jimmy Connolly, and Gerry McFarland. A memorable game that year was when the club travelled to Ottawa to play in a League game. St. Mike’s were losing by ten points at half time but came back to win by a large margin thanks to the sharp shooting by Gerry McFarland, Brian Power, and Nishie Farmer. The craic that night in the Blackburn Arms in Ottawa was mighty. Songs were composed describing the victory that day. No doubt this signaled a new era for St. Mikes.  


In 1987 and 1988, socially, the club was at a peak with lots of new members. During these two years the club was under the leadership of Cormac O’Muiri and Angela Howley. The A-team arrived in town in 1989: Ciaran and Paul McElvanna from Antrim, Brendan and Peter Smith from Armagh, John and Pat Maguire from Armagh, and Brendan O’Hagan from Armagh. Again, relief for Eddie and Cormac with the arrival of Niall O’Connell from Dublin. Under the watchful eye of President Mike Coghlan, coaches Brian Farmer and Seamus O’Kane and trainer Cormac O’Muiri, St. Mike’s captured the League, and were semi-finalists in the Championship and Seven-a-side Tournament.  

The 1990's

1991 Team

St. Mike's celebrated its Silver Anniversary with a banquet on April 14th 1990 under the presidency of Eddie Mangan, and an executive that included: Gene Hickey, Mike McCusker, Paddy Thornton, Eamon Devine, Brendan O’Hagan, Kevin Loughnane, Dan O’Brien, Paddy Hegarty, Paul McElvanna, Brendan Smith and Mike Coughlin. The club was not only celebrating a milestone, but also being league champions this year.  


Several past players who had left Toronto returned for what was a great evening of camaraderie, singing and reminiscing!  On that night the club presented two special awards in honour of the 25th. Shem Walsh was honoured as the Hurler of the first 25 years and Danny Kinahan, the Footballer.


A St. Mike's minor team was formed in the early nineties. The majority of the payers were Canadian born and had previously played with a club called the Etobicoke Gaels. They won the minor championship in 1992, 1994 and 1996. Many of these players went on to play senior football with the club.


The successes were scarce for the senior team in the early nineties but that would soon turn around starting in 1995.

Mikes Men do seven in a row - 1995 to 2001

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The most successful era for the club was from 1995 to 2001 when St. Mike’s won 7 championships in a row. Since the 1995 St, Mikes have played in every senior football final to date, with the exception of the 2002 and 2019 seasons.


Following some competitive years that did not produce much silverware, the 1995 team would be coached by Ollie Coughlan and Kevin Loughnane and go on to claim 6 trophies including the Championship, league and four tournaments.


Some of the players that were part of those championships teams included Mark Burns, Paul McElvanna, Pj Doherty, Tony Doyle, Damien Campbell, Larry McQuarrie, Bill Murphy, Brendan O’Hagan, Cormac O’Muiri, Danny Kinahan, Paul Farrell, Dan Fitzgerald, Eanna O’Malley and Pat Leahy.


A large part of the team was comprised of Canadian born players. Some were sons of former players and came through the Toronto minor program, while some started playing Gaelic football as adults. Some of the Canadians included Edwin Walsh, Michael Hamill, Paul Loughnane, Jason Coughlan. David Kinahan, Dwayne Walsh (RIP), Tim Hamill, Ruairi 0’Briedn, James Kennedy, Gerry Douglas, Ike Husain, Charlie Maguire, Ray Moore, Tom Keane, Kevin ‘Driscoll, Mike Peterite and Mike Silva. 


While winning 7 championships in a row, St. Mike’s would also capture 5 league titles and 18 tournaments held by clubs in Toronto and Montreal. 


St. Mike’s had a strong team each year but needed some great comeback victories in 1998 versus St. Pat's, 2000 versus St. Vincents and 2001 versus Toronto Gaels. 


Danny Kinahan and Cormac O'Muiri have the distinction of being both players and coaches in the 7 in a row streak. 


St. Mike’s were the epitome of a club with several generations of  families all contributing to the successful run.


In 2003 the club undertook a trip to Ireland. They played against St. Pats of Palmerstown (Cormac O’ Muiri’s home team), Castlehaven of Cork (Paul Loughnane played with them for a year) and Beaufort of Kerry. The Kerry connection was made through two players from Beaufort who played with St. Mike’s – Eanna O’Malley and John A O’Sullivan. St. Mike’s were unlucky in Dublin and Cork but were victorious in Kerry.

The 2000's

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The 2000’s brought even more excitement for the club, including St. Mike’s fielding a ladies team for the first time. The idea was first hatched in a place where some of the greatest ideas are born  – the pub!  It was in late 2001 that Lisa McCart had the idea of starting the St. Mike’s ladies team. She soon after recruited her cousin and fellow Cookstown native Michelle Coyle and it wasn’t long before the framework was in place to get the ball rolling. The idea was brought forward by Paul Loughnane at the club’s 2002 AGM and was passed. Shortly after Mark Burns was brought in as the team’s first manager, with assistance from Ruiari O’Brien.


The first training’s were held at York University with a great turnout and many newcomers to the sport, both Canadian and Irish alike. The team’s first competition was at the Montreal tournament in May of 2002 led by captain Kerrie Burns, with many of the ladies playing in their first ever football matches. Though the results didn’t go in our favour, a tremendous effort was given by all involved and was certainly the first of many weekends of bonding, great craic, and the beginning of many lifelong friendships.


On May 28, 2005, the club celebrated its 40th Anniversary with An tUachtaran, Sean Kelly in attendance, along with guests from Ireland, the US and the four football provinces of Canada: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec). 


2009 Mike's Ladies Taste Success

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The team made steady progress over its first few years, and made great strides in nurturing the young Canadian talent in the early days that still makes up much of its present roster today. After many years of coming close but always falling short, St. Mike’s first ladies championship came in 2009 after defeating Ottawa in a hard fought battle. With team manager and long-time clubman Cormac O’Muiri looking on proudly, captain Tressa McMaster became the first St. Mike’s woman to hoist the championship trophy.


With much of the same panel intact St. Mike’s went on to win the championship the following year in 2010 and again in 2012, establishing themselves as one of the top teams in Toronto and following in the great winning tradition of St. Mike’s.


The team has certainly done its share of travelling over the years. The annual trips to Montreal and Ottawa have always made for some great entertainment on and off the pitch. In 2010 the club travelled to Boston for two friendlies against local clubs which, with the high standard of football, was a fantastic experience for the club. Since 2011 the team has been travelling to participate in the North American championships (San Francisco, 2011; Philadelphia, 2012; Cleveland, 2013). Who knew back in 2002 where football would take them, but the ladies have certainly enjoyed themselves along the way.


You could not give a history of the St. Mike’s ladies without mentioning a few names and characters who over the years have done great work in shaping this team and getting it to where it is today. From past players like Sinead McElvanna, Kerrie Burns, Siobhan and Kirsten McQuarrie to some of our home grown talent, Siobhan O’Muiri, Catherine Harte, Ciara O’Brien, Mary Traynor, Meghan Deeney, Erin Loughnane and Tressa McMaster, the team has grown from strength to strength over the years. We certainly have to mention some past managers for their time, dedication and above all else, their patience – Mark Burns, Paul Loughnane, Mary O’Loughlin, Ronan Matthews, Cormac O’Muiri and Robbie Dore.


With the influx of young Irish coming to Toronto in recent years, there are certainly some new faces around the Mike’s ladies team, but this has only added to the passion with which the team plays football.  But one thing remains the same – the St. Mike’s ladies legacy will continue to be one of football, fun, and friendship for many years to come.

The 2010's

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It was a pretty incredible decade for the club! 10 years, 21 cups!  The ladies took home the spoils in the club rivalry with 6 Senior Toronto Ladies Championships and 5 Senior Ladies League titles, the highlight being a championship three in a row achieved between 2015-2017.  The ladies also took the crown of 2018 North American's Intermediate Champions cementing their place as the most successful ladies team of the decade and indeed in Toronto GAA history. Not bad for a team who won their first championship in 2009.


Almost on a par in achievements in the 2010s were the senior men's football team. A hugely successful decade was achieved by the men as they landed 5 Toronto Senior Championships and 4 Toronto League titles in the last 10 years, no mean feat given the standard of senior football in Toronto. 


The club has also had the distinction of having the most representatives (players and coaches) involved in three GAA World Games tournaments (2015 - Abu Dhabi, 2016 Dublin and 2018 Waterford). Players from the club have represented Canada and Toronto in men's football, ladies football and camogie. Particularly pleasing was the level of St. Mike's Canadian born player participation throughout these tournaments.  


The club continued to grow socially in the past decade with numerous strong administrators ensuring St. Mike's were in a strong position to succeed. The off the field highlight was the 50th anniversary banquet held in 2015 however there was numerous other events held to huge success including the golf tournaments and more recently the annual softball tournament. Both on and off the field it is safe to say the St. Mike's club lead from the front in growing and promoting Gaelic Games in Toronto.

Our 50th Anniversary Year - 2015

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2015 marked the 50th Anniversary of St. Mike's. It was indeed a very special year and a number of events were planned to mark the occasion. On April 25th the club held the 50th anniversary launch night at The Galway Arms. the event drew a huge crowd of former players and members and was a great night of reminiscing. The club also created a new crest to mark the occasion.


On July 4th, the second annual St. Mike's Golf Tournament was held at Caledon Woods Golf Course and 140 golfers took part in what was an extremely successful day.


On the playing filed, the senior men captured the League Cup but unfortunately were beaten in the Championship Final. The ladies won the Senior Ladies Championship, defeating Durham Robert Emmets in a well deserved victory. To cap off the 2015 playing season, St. Mike's Ladies played in the North American GAA Championships and defeated San Diego to win the Ladies A Shield Final. 


The 50th Anniversary Banquet was held on September 25th at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. Special guests on the night were GAA Presdient at the time,  Aogan O'Fearghail and Tyrone manager Mickey Harte. Entertainers were Aideen O'Brien band and Hugo Straney! 

Mikes Ladies Win the North Americans - 2018

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On Labour day weekend our ladies footballers travelled to Philadelphia to take part in the US GAA Finals. 


On Saturday morning, the team played the semi-final against Aisling Gaels of Chicago coming out on top to qualify for the final. It was a unique experience for two of the players - Caoimhe Egan and Marian Murray as they were playing against a team they had played for while living in Chicago on a J1. While there was catch ups and pleasantries after the game, the ladies were fully focused and ensured they got one over on their former team.  


The other semi final saw Vancouver qualify for the final meaning an all Canadian Final. On Sunday afternoon in soaring heat, the final took place. While it was a low scoring game, it lacked nothing for intensity and stretched the players to their limits. On top of the heat, Caoimhe Egan, Grainne Archbold, Fiona Monaghan and Aine O'Halloran had all played earlier in the successful Camogie Final for Toronto Camogie earlier in the day .


St. Mike's started strong and took the lead early in the game, it was a lead they never relinquished. Two early goals from Clodagh Keane and Hailey Raythorne gave Mike's a cushion on the scoreboard at half time. Fellow forwards Saoirse Lenihan, Jenn Minchin and Orla O'Brien worked tirelessly to keep the pressure off the backs, keeping the ball in the Vancouver half. A half time lead was achieved and this was going to needed in the 2nd half as Vancouver attacked in droves seeking the equalizer. 


Just as energy levels waned with the high heat, the ladies continued to drive at Vancouver with direct running, Nicola Kirwan and Grainne Archbold in particular bringing the game to their Canadian counterparts. Time after time the Mike's defense stood tall with goalkeeper Caoimhe Egan, defenders Siobhan O'Muiri, Michelle Guy and Marian Murray to the fore. That said, it took a last gasp goal-line clearance from Amanda Irwin to keep Mike's ahead with not long left. 


As the clock ticked towards the 60 minute mark, there was one final scramble near the Mike's goalmouth and with that, the final whistle blew. There was an almost equal sense of both exhaustion and relief but this quickly became euphoria as the ladies realized what they had just achieved. Captain Caoimhe Egan accepted the cup on behalf of the team and a two year journey to realise the goal of becoming the North Americans Ladies Champions was achieved. 

St. Mikes Family Ties Run Deep

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Danny Kinahan from Offaly played both hurling and football for the club. Since hanging up his boots, he has continued to stay involved, coaching and mentoring the men’s footballers. His son, David, has played football with the men since the 1990s. 

 

The O'Brien brothers, Mike and Dan (County Kilkenny) played hurling and football for St. Mike's. Dan's son Ruairi has played for many years and additionally has held administrative positions on the club committee, including that of President. Ciara also played football with the St Mike, ladies team.
 

Shem Walsh of played both hurling & football with the club. Both Edwin and Dwayne (RIP) played football, with the St. Mike’s. 

 

Derry man Enda McMaster lined out for St. Mike's in football. His daughter Tressa was on the ladies team since its beginning, before moving to Ottawa and his son Conor lined out for the football team. 

 

Dubliner Cormac O'Muiri has been both a football player and coach with the club. His son, Conor and daughter, Siobhan have played with the men's and ladies football teams. Siobhan along with her mother Angela have held numerous administrate roles within the club also. 

 

Kevin Loughnane from Offaly played hurling with St. Mike's and even tried his hand at football. Known as probably the greatest to play in Toronto, Kevin also refeered for many years. Paul, his son, has played with the men's football team since the early 90s. Paul also won a county medal when he played with Castlehaven, Co. Cork in 2003. Paul’s wife Erin has played with St. Mike's ladies since 2009. Kevin's other two sons, Rory and Jason played with the St. Mike's minor team in the early nineties. 

 

Patsy McLarnon of Derry played hurling and football with St. Mike's in the seventies. His son Stephen, who lined out for Derry in 1999, played football with St. Mike's and won a championship with the club.

 

Armagh born Mickey Hamill (RIP) played hurling and football with the club since its beginnings. Mickey was one of the founding members and players with the club. His sons. Michael and Thomas won numerous league and championships medals with St. Mike's. His daughter Patricia played with the St. Mike's ladies team.


Martin Coyle (County Tyrone) played football with the club in the seventies. His daughter Michelle was one of the founding members of St. Mike's Ladies team and played for a couple of seasons before returning to live in Ireland. His son Damian also togged out for St. Mike's
 

Offaly man Paddy Thornton (RIP) played football with the club in addition to serving in many administrate positions. His son Michael has lined out for the club in football.


Paul McElvanna, Armagh, played with the club from 1989 until the late 2000's. His son, Conor, played for the Mike's junior team. 

 

Jimmy Kennedy from Derry played with football with the club from the mid-70s through to the late 80s. His three sons, James, Noel and Gerard, have all graced the football filed wearing the Mike's jersey.

 

Ken Sarich from Australia started playing football with St. Mike's in 1970. He also picked up the hurling stick when needed on the junior hurling team. His son Brad played for the football team. His daughter Amanda togged for the ladies team.
 

Galway born Jim Howley (RIP)  played hurling with St. Mike's in the late 60s. His daughter. Angela went on to play for St. Mike's ladies team.
 

Paddy McMahon from Clare played hurling with St. Mike's and his son Brian togged out for the men's football team. 

 

Kildare man Frank Smyth (RIP) played football for many years for St. Mike's. His son Brendan lined out for the minor team.
 

Seamus O'Kane from Derry played football with the club and his son Darragh played with the minor team.


Gabriel Rushe from Monaghan played for St Mike's after arriving in Toronto in 1986. His two sons, Conor and Ronan lined out for the minor team.

 

Sean Harte (Tyrone) played one season with St. Mikes. His son Justin has played senior and junior with the club and his daughter Catherine played on the ladies team. 

 

Tommy O'Neill (RIP) from Derry played football with the club. His daughter. Maeve played football with the ladies.


John Grant (Deny) played football with the club. His son Eoin Grant is a former player who also plays hurling and has served on the Toronto GAA board.


Mike and Clodagh Keane are brother and sister who are currently on the St. Mike's men's and ladies football teams.

Westminister Avenue

 "Westminister" as it was known, was home to many St. Mike's players the 60s, 70s and early 80s. The house, located off Roncesvalles Ave. was the locale for many parties, card games and meeting. The rent was based on headcount so on rent day when the landlord, named Metro, arrived to count the heads, many of the tenants found a few hiding places to keep the rent low! The last occupant of the house was Emmet O'Kane who penned this tribute.  

169 Westminister Avenue


The last time I hit London town, I met up with a cabby

Who showed me all the sights around and one, Westminister Abbey.

I could not look him in the eye, my gaze fell to the floor, 

For it took me back to one June day in nineteen seventy four.


For on that morn, I left my home and kissed my mother sadly,

And headed off, Toronto bound, with Randy, Geoff and Bradley.

We flew across the many miles above the clouds and rain,

And descended to a waiting car, the driver Seamus Kane.


A Ford or Chevy, I don't know, which one that took us down,

One thing for sure, that shiny car seemed big as Draperstown.

We drove along the 401 and down the Gardiner flew,

And came to rest at 169 Westminister Avenue.


Jim Kennedy and Big Croomby lived there, Paddy Thornton and the likes

But the bond that kept the crew intact was playing for St. Mike's.

So in we moved and settled down, t'was two men to a bed

And on Saturday when Metro showed, the thing came to a head.


For on Friday night at the Man of Aran, the money it was spent,

And no one ever thought to save ten dollars for the rent.

The visitors came oft and soon from Kilkenny up to Cavan

To see the boys and make some noise, McEvoy and Jimmy Slevin.


Then later on in that same year, when attendance it was saggin'

The ranks were swelled by the arrival of Dan Bush and Gary Lagan.

The years went by, some came and stayed, while others moved out faster,

But in seventy eight the crew was joined by Kojak and McMaster.


Let's not forget that wee back room where Padraig Kelly froze,

Nor sitting round the living room admiring Thornton's toes

Lena Duffy baked our bread and sometimes for a change

Ten pizzas came from Jim and Dan above there at the Range.


To Lawrence Park in Hamill's truck we'd never miss a chance

Six in the back, three up front, Sean Kelly in short pants.

Shem Walsh called in a time or two and often in a pinch,

He'd line up up a bit of work pulling cables for Pat Lynch.


If only that old house talked, the stories it would tell,

Paddy Hegarty, if he's lived there, would send us all to hell.

So here's to all that lived in there or spent a night or two,

Let's not forget the crack we had at Westminister Avenue


Emmett (Ganch) O'Kane

Mikes Into The Future

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As we approach our 55th anniversary, Thank you to everyone who been a part of the St. Michael's Hurling and Football Club over these past 55 years. The club appreciates all who made a difference and contributed in some way to all the successes including the players, coaches, trainers,  the supporters who trekked to High Park, Lawrence Park Fletcher's Field and Centennial Park to watch the games, the members who have taken on administrative roles on the club committees, those who baked the bread, made the salads, cooked the meals for the functions held over all these years, the committee members who shopped for the Christmas presents for the annual children's parties, the organizers of the annual banquets, golf tournaments, and trips outside of Canada, and the individuals who have washed the sets of jerseys after each game. Every person is a volunteer who has made the club what it is today.


Special thanks also to our sponsors, the many businesses and individuals who have generously supported the club and its endeavors over all these years.


Here's to continued success both on and off the field for St. Mike's GAA for the next 55 years and beyond!