100 years of tennis in Abbeyleix 2009 will see the club celebrate 100 years in existence. A separate committee has been formed with a view to mark the year.. A number of events have been discussed including a Grand Ball, a re-enactment of the first match played with original dress & code, and a proposal to erect a special feature using the original street lamps of Abbeyleix. A proposal for a book or booklet is now being assessed and the club would like help in getting together some history particularly pre 1980. This can be in the form of pictures, memories, paper articles, ref books, memorabilia, or passing on the word to anyone who might be interested. The committee would be delighted if you could contact Club chairperson Emily McDonald @ 085 7085153 or any committee member and share these with us. You can e-mail us at
if you have any information or would like to contributeThe following is the initial Committee and will be added to as we progress towards 2009Emily McDonaldKevin HutchinsonAngela PhelanBilly WhiteJJ FennellyCatherine HutchinsonGerry o HaraDonal DunneIrene BonhamBreda BroderickLiam FitzgeraldGarry Luttrell
Abbeyleix tennis club was established in 1909 and is situated in Fr Breen Memorial Park. Below are some of the Club Milestones over those 100 years
Formation of Abbeyleix Lawn Tennis club with 2 grass courts on edge of Town Park
what was known as Jelly's Pit A small green galvanised hut served as changing rooms
1924 91 year lease under Trusteeship to the Community of Abbeyleix.
1935 Tennis club move into main Park area and erect a pavilion on the site of present clubhouse.
One of the best known clubs in Midlands with players coming from Carlow, Kilkenny ,
Naas & Tipperary fro August Bank Holiday Tournaments.
Decline in membership with previously well supported Open Tournaments reverting to an
u-18 competition. By end of decade clubhouse became derelict and ceased to function.
An attempt to re-vitalise club was made with the laying of a hard court beside the pavilion
and the renovation of the pavilion.
Again by end of decade the club was again in decline with falling interest resulting in no
tennis club in Abbeyleix.
1981 Creation of Fr Breen Development Committee in Park.
1982 Abbeyleix tennis club re-established with firm foundations for future development.
1982/1983 Formation of Laois league
Two Hard Courts laid (no. 1 & 3) with perimeter fencing at a cost of over £7,000, Creation
of gate & fence at Vicarage end of park
1984 Completion of Park Hall to facilitate needs of Clubs using Park.
1985 Resurface Court no 2 and renovate kitchen in hall.
1986 Court no. 4 laid at cost of almost £7,5000.
1988 Install Floodlighting on Court 1 & 2
1989 Subdivision of current Clubhouse between GAA, Soccer Club & Tennis at a cost of over £5,500.
Tennis Clubhouse officially opened by the Late Kathleen McCoy.
1991 Fence & develop new entrance to Park off Mountrath Rd.
???? Resurface Courts 1, 2 & 3.Install lights on Court 3.
???? Paint courts - first move from traditional grey Tarmacadam.
1995 Install heating in Clubhouse & re-decorate
1997 Re-align court 4 with new painted surface. Erect Floodlighting.
1998 Erect new Practice area with 9 ft Ball-stop wall.
1998 First major Lotto application for funding. No money allocated.
1999 Celebrating 90th Anniversary on 21st August.
2000 First success with Lotto Application with granting of £20,000
2001 Installation of 3 new Edel Grass Courts.
Official opening by Sports Minister Jim McDaid
2002 Further lotto success through Park Development sees court 4 also laid with synthetic Grass Court.
2003 Fencing off of play area at end of Court 4 & replacing perimeter fencing on Court 4.
2004 Already this year we have replaced lighting on Court 3 & 4.
2004 Replace wire along by Court 3 & 4 at soccer side
2005 Construction of a perimeter stone wall at rectory entrance to Park along by Court 3 & 4.
2006 Construct a block wall along by Court 1 & 2 & 3 at Vesey Close side and stone face same
2006 Replace wiring along by Court 1 & 2 by soccer club side
2007 Refurbish & extend existing Clubhouse in conjunction with other clubs to include upstairs area & veranda.
2007 Replace lighting on Court 3 & 4 to bring into line with standard of Court 1 & 2.