The Loreto Hockey Club was founded in 1926 by Mother Bernadette and Una Murray for past pupils’ of all Loreto Schools. Their aim was to bring Loreto girls together especially those coming to work in Dublin from the country.
The club started with one league team and was based in Dartmouth Square, which is near St. Stephen’s Green. In the 1930’s the club moved to Cherryfield in Templeogue and moved again in the mid 1940’s to the Leinster Branch Grounds behind the present GAA Club Ballyboden St.Enda’s. By this stage the club had grown to three teams and in 1946 celebrated its first major success by winning the Leinster Cup. The club continued to have many more successes.
When the Leinster Branch Grounds were sold in the 1980’s the club was homeless again. However, all was not lost! The Loreto Sisters came to the rescue by allowing home games to be played in the grounds of Loreto Abbey Rathfarnham. Eventually in 1987, after much fundraising and again with the support of the Sisters, a new pitch was laid in the grounds of the Loreto Primary School Nutgrove. The club went from strength to strength with eight league teams, much training and many matches. During this era the club began coaching school girls and eventually the junior section of the hockey club was formed.
Hockey changed in the 1990’s with the development of the astro-turf pitch. To move with the times, Loreto hired astro-turf facilities in other clubs for team coaching. Then in 1997/1998 the club laid an astro-turf pitch in conjunction with Loreto High School Beaufort.
Today the Loreto Hockey Club has two sections – the Senior Club and the Junior Club. The Senior Club fields six teams that participate in the Leinster League and Cup from Division 1 right through to Division 9. The Junior Section of the Club is thriving with a range of teams from under eight years right through to under sixteen years. A Veterans Team has also been re-established. The members play mid week and Friday evenings.
In 2013 a new two story permanent clubhouse, complete with viewing balcony was open in the grounds of Loreto High School Beaufort. In so doing, Loreto has become the first women’s only hockey club in Ireland to have its own purpose built clubhouse, a major milestone in the 90 year history of the club.
Catch up on all the Loreto Hockey Club news, fixtures and photos on their website: www.loretohockeyclub.ie