I hope you’re really into grammar, because believe it or not, Croke’s and Crokes isn’t as straight forward as it might seem. I’m actually thinking of putting up an article on this for the craic - you’re not the first one to point out this apparent mistake. However, it’s not a mistake, unless that is, the people of Kilmacud are all claiming to be Archbishop Croke himself.
I’m aware that the official names of all of these clubs don’t have an apostrophe of possession before the last letter, but, actually, by my interpretation, they should.
To be Crokes, Vincents, O’Tooles or anything else, without an apostrophe, would be to say that they are Crokes, Vincents or O’Tooles, in the same grammatical sense as talking about a group of cats i.e. “they are cats”. Hence that would be to claim that they themselves are Croke, Vincent or O’Toole i.e. we are a gang of Crokes.
I presume, however, that these clubs purport to be men of Croke, from Kilmacud, which is to say that they are Croke’s men, in the same of way that you would say “it is the cat’s bowl”.
I give Thomas Davis, whose name ends with the letter “s” the benefit of the doubt that they may actually be just named after the man, hence I don’t call them Thomas Davis’, though I imagine they were named with the same thought process as the others.
Starlights, on the other hand, don’t have an apostrophe because, presumably they purport to be star lights (in the metaphorical sense, presumably, and not of the light of stars). Though they probably should be two words, or at least be hyphenated.
So while in terms of the official name of the club they are Crokes the nerdy “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” lover in me, just can’t bring myself to write it, because by my interpretation it’s just flat out inaccurate, even if the clubs don’t know it.
A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.
“Why?” asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
“Well, I’m a panda,” he says. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”