TALBOT’S INCH HANDBALL CLUB IN KILKENNY
Gaelic handball (known in Ireland simply as handball) is a sport where players hit a ball with a hand or fist against a wall in such a way as to make a shot the opposition cannot return, and that may be played with two (singles) or four players (doubles). The sport, popular in Ireland, is similar to American handball, Welsh handball, fives, Basque pelota, Valencian frontó, and more remotely to racquetball or squash. It is one of the four Gaelic games organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). GAA Handball, a subsidiary organisation of the GAA, governs and promotes the sport.
Lady Desart presented the newly formed Talbots Inch Handball Club with a site in 1926. The members by voluntary labour helped in the construction of the court. A generous loan from her Ladyship enabled the club to roof the building, while a simple form of agreement was drawn up between the two parties to cover repayment and was known as the Deed of Good Faith.
Ellen Odette Cuffe, Countess of Desart (née Bischoffsheim; 1 September 1857 – 29 June 1933) was a London-born Jewish woman who was best known as an Irish politician, company director, Gaelicist (President of the Gaelic League for a time), and philanthropist in Ireland. She has been called “the most important Jewish woman in Irish history”.
She was the daughter of Henri Louis Bischoffsheim, a wealthy Jewish banker of German origin. He was responsible for founding three of the largest banks in the world; The Deutsche Bank, Paribas Bank, and Societe Generale. Her younger sister, Amélie Bischoffsheim, was married to Sir Maurice FitzGerald, 20th Knight of Kerry.
She married William Cuffe (1845–1898), the 4th Earl of Desart on 29 April 1881 at Christ Church in Down Street, Mayfair.