St. Patrick’s College Tuam (and the CBS before it) had a proud tradition of sporting achievement in a variety of different sports. Because of its location in the heart of Western GAA country, football was of course a huge game, but the College also enjoyed big success in basketball in the 1970’s along with rugby and soccer featuring in their later years.
In football, St. Patrick’s has produced some top quality football talent, including many who would go on to represent their county in All-Ireland winning teams. Talents such as Frank Stockwell, John Tobin and most of the 1998 All-Ireland Club winning Corofin were all bred in the Tuam school, a massive showing for its size. The College also enjoyed a long and much celebrated rivalry against St. Jarlath’s College Tuam, their nearest neighbours and Galway football nursery. The proudest days in many Pat’s pupils’ memories were those when their under-dog senior team defeated Jarlath’s teams, such as (for the first time) in 1980 when they beat the incumbent Connaught champions 1-4 to 0-5 for the Connaught title, or most recently in 2005 when a late goal meant a 2-5 to 0-8 victory.
Tuam C.B.S. had a very successful run of basketball teams in the seventies and early eighties. In 1971, the Pat’s team won the Tom Muldoon trophy after winning the Connaught Basketball Blitz Tournament. In 1974, the senior team won the All-Ireland colleges title and represented Ireland at the World Basketball Championship in Barcelona. In 1979, the senior team won Connaught and made it to the All-Ireland final, narrowly losing out to St. Vincent’s of Dublin. In 1980 and 1981, Tuam C.B.S also won the All-Ireland Under-19 national tournament, the first two years this tournament was held.
St. Patrick’s College was also unique in Tuam for embracing the sports of soccer and rugby, fielding teams since the ‘90s. Golf was active in the CBS, as well as an active athletics tradition including cross country and relay teams, including a record breaking Connaught Championship relay team in 1970.
All in all, sport played an important role in St. Patrick’s College throughout its long history and will surely bring continued success in the amalgamated school.