Huge influence of Antrim man, Ernie McMullen, RIP, in Moorefield Club
Only a very select number of people leave an indelible, long-lasting imprint
on their community: Ernie McMullen was one such person. Coming from
Belfast in 1976, the family lived for a short period in The Oaks before
moving to Páirc Mhuire on 7/7/1977.
As Ernie was working in Naas at that time, the local club had inside
knowledge of his hurling prowess – he had won county senior titles with St
John’s Club, Belfast – and he lined out for Naas before transferring to
Moorefield where his undoubted talents played a huge role in the
development of hurling and camogie in Droichead Nua.
He immersed himself in our club, first as a player and later as coach and
encourager of anyone who had an interest in the games.
As a player he was a delightful exponent of the skills of our ancient game.
He was a tenacious defender and could transfer to the forwards without a
problem. One of his best achievements was scoring five goals in a game
against local rivals. Never a man to miss an opportunity to play, Ernie
played his last match as goalkeeper against Castledermot at 52 years of age
when the selected keeper did not turn up.
If you look at some of the successful Moorefield camogie team photos,
(below) Ernie is in many of them. In most he is the last person on the right
in the back row. Along with Seamus Fingleton and Jimmy Donnelly, he is
credited with the following achievements of Moorefield camogie teams in
the early 1990s:
1991: Junior League
1992: U.13, U.21 and Junior League and Championship
1993: U.21 Championship and Junior Championship
1994: Intermediate Championship
He is also pictured with the 1998 U.21 team, and the senior B champions of
1999 wearing a white flat cap, this time on the right in the front row, and
again with the Senior B winning team in 2002.
At the 1996 AGM, Ernie, as Camogie Cathaoirleach “lauded the
involvement of many underage players and commented that the future
When he stepped down from that role in 1996, the following tribute was
paid to him, as recorded in the club history:
“He was an unsung hero for many years as a supporter of both
hurling and camogie working tirelessly to promote both codes at
every opportunity. He mentored at all age levels and his greatest
work was coaching camogie and hurling in the local primary
In a tribute to Ernie, Moorefield Chairperson Mick Moloney said,
“Ernie’s legacy can be seen in the huge numbers playing both codes in
our Pollardstown grounds, and in the number of teams in the club,
and in the hurling and camogie successes over the past four decades.
How proud he was this year to see two adult teams taking part in
Kildare hurling competitions for the first time ever.
His family have been committed Moorefield people and they continue
his influence and interest in Moorefield club in both camogie and
The twinning of Moorefield and clubs in Antrim, and the many trips to
the North, are legendary and have become part of the wonderful
memories of the players and officials who took part in such ventures.
They owe a great debt to the people, including the Murrays, who left
their homes during difficult times to settle in Newbridge and who
kept up contact with their clubs to the benefit of ours.
On behalf of Moorefield club, especially the huge number of players
who were coached, led and influenced by Ernie, I extend our
condolences to his family and friends. He was one of a kind and we
are blessed to have known him.”
Ernie McMullen has played out the last act in a very full and active 82 years
in the field of life with family and friends. No more will his knees give him
trouble, and we can be assured that he will reap the reward of his labours
in heavenly bliss with his beloved wife Mary.
May he rest in peace: Leaba i measc na Naomh go raibh aige.