A General meeting was held on the 13th of January 1997 to discuss the idea of setting up a Camogie Club in the parish of Ardrahan. In attendance were John Kennedy, Martin Murphy, Theresa and Lorraine Murphy, Rose Brennan and Mary Kennedy. It was decided on the night that a circular would be sent to all girls in the National and Secondary Schools asking them of they were interested in playing Camogie and that the next meeting would be on the 20th of January. There was a large attendance at this meeting. Rose Brennan reported that she received a favourable response to the circular and that there was almost 100% interest by the girls in playing Camogie. A vote was taken and it was decided by all present that a Camogie Club should be formed called “Ardrahan Camogie Club”
The following officers were then elected:
|Assistant Chairman||Noreen Keary|
|Assistant Secretary||Rose Brennan|
|Assistant Treasurer||Ella Whelan|
There was a lot to do in a very short time. The County Board were contacted regarding club registration, member affiliation and transfer of players. As a number of Ardrahan girls played Camogie with St. Colman’s Club in Gort it was decided to contact this club and let them know our position on forming our own club.
On Monday night the 3rd of February 1997 Ardrahan Camogie Club was registered with the County Board. Forty six girls transferred from St. Colman’s Club and two from Clarinbridge. The county board decided that our senior team would enter a Junior “A” competition.
At a meeting in the club house on Wednesday 19th February 1997 it was reported that Frank Higgins had been approached to sponsor jerseys. The GAA had given the Camogie Club a generous donation of £1000 and a further £1500 to help cover costs for the year. It was hoped that someone might sponsor a set of indoor hurls and slitors so the young girls could start training in the hall.
The following people were selected to train and manage our first teams:
|Junior, U18 and U16||Michael Brennan and Mary Kennedy|
|Under 14||Mary Sullivan Kilroy and Rose Brennan|
|Under 12||Theresa Murphy, Mary Kennedy and Noelle Bermingham|
|Under 10||Martin Murphy, John Kennedy and Tara Shaughnessy|
Pictured below are Mary Kennedy, Club Secretary and Martin Murphy, Chairman receiving a set of jerseys from Frank Higgins Club Sponsor.
Pictured is Shane Quinn of Labane handing over a set of indoor hurls and slitors to Mary Kennedy and Martin Murphy.
1st AGM Sunday 25th January 1998 - Martin Murphy gave his Chairperson’s address and mentioned how successful our first year was and that we had almost 100 members. He thanked St. Colman’s Club for their assistance and co-operation even though we were taking players from their club. He thanked the GAA who helped us financially and facilitated us with the fields all year. Special mention was made of our main sponsor Frank and Margaret Higgins who supplied 3 sets of jerseys, also Shane Quinn who gave us indoor hurleys, Hubert and Agnes Geoghegan who sponsored a Blitz and Gerry and Shiela Hennelly who sponsored a Parish League.
Mary Kennedy gave her secretary’s report. The club registered 7 teams with the county board in its first year. Success came early as our Under 16 girls won the County Championship. Two girls from this team, Aisling Brennan and Mairead Mahony, won All Ireland medals with the Galway Minor Team. This was indeed a marvellous start and it was hoped that we would have many more success stories.
It was hoped that the Camogie Club would join with the hurling club and host a joint social. It was also proposed to have a Constitution and at a meeting on Sunday 10th of January 1999 the following Constitution was adopted. (It can be viewed here)
The AGM of the 10th of January 1999 - The AGM of any club is probably the best way to reflect on its performance. 1998 was another good year for the club. Once again Aoife Lynskey added to her achievements by winning an All Ireland medal with the Galway Junior County team. Mairead Mahony had played with Pearses team in London and Brenda Keirns was part of the Galway Minor panel.The junior team were now playing at intermediate level and reached the county final for the second year in a row.Martin Glynn was elected as Chairperson with Martin Murphy as Assistant Chairperson, Mary Kennedy stayed as secretary and Gretta Donoghue was elected as treasurer.
The following officers were then elected.
|Assistant Chairperson||Martin Murphy|
Team managers were
|U16, U18 & Intermediates||Managed by Mary Kennedy and Ella Whelan and trained by Michael Brennan and Colm O’ Doherty|
|Under 14||Martin Glynn and Theresa and Lorraine Murphy|
|Under 12||John Kennedy|
|Under 10||Martin and Mary Murphy and Gretta Donoghue|
Another year and another chairperson report 2000 - Some of the hard work at the younger age group was now starting to show. The under 12’s, 13’s and under 14 had all reached the quarter final stages. The under 16’s had hard luck loosing by three points to Cappataggle in the County Final. The under 18 girls won their county championship by the narrowest of margins over Castlegar and the intermediate girls won the League beating Castlegar again in the final. Kiltiernan School won a school title and had Laura Glynn and Mary Rock club members on the team. The club was also very proud to be asked to host the All Ireland Minor Semi-Final and Final. Mary Kennnedy our first Secretary was on the move to bigger and better things. She was elected treasurer of the county board and later went on to hold the position of secretary. However she also found time for our club and accepted the position as Chairperson with Martin Murphy as assistant Chairman. The position of secretary went to Mary Murphy with Mary Howley as Assistant Secretary, the position of Treasurer was unchanged.
The AGM of the 14th of January 2001 - The year 2000 was a quiet year for the club. Perhaps the celebrations of the new Millemium went on too long. However the number of girls playing at under 10 level was encouraging and even at this stage they looked like a group that would bring honour to themselves and to the club. Our intermediates were indeed very unlucky. They met Athenry in the semi-final and were only narrowly beaten, Athenry went on to win the county final and were promoted to senior level. The new Millemium brought new officers. Our chairperson was a founder member of our club Michael Brennan and Mike Downey as assistant. Mary Murphy remained as secretary with Anne Healy as assistant and Sandra Downey was our new treasurer.
The 5th AGM on the 13th January 2002 - 2001 didn’t bring any silver wear to the top table; however there were a large number of girls playing Camogie. We had a new secretary in Pauline Murphy and Aoife Lynskey as assistant. The County Board had a novel fund-raiser and Ardrahan Camogie Club were delighted to partake. It was a head shave and the club would like to thank Pat Kilkenny, Bernard Forde David Kennedy Pat Whelan Enda Brennan. 50% of the sponsorship went to the Galway Hospice and 50%to the County Board. Cathrina Higgins O’Flynn was the Barber on the night. The club thank all concerned especially the victims.
The 6th AGM on the 26th of January 2003 - 2003 again brought us another new chairperson. Mary Howley had held many post since the club was founded as assistant secretary and PRO however now her hour had come and she took on the position as Chairperson. This was a position she was to hold for the next three years. Mike Downey remained as assistant chairperson Pauline Murphy and Bernie Gardiner were in the seat of secretary and assistant secretary with Sandra Downey and Cathrine O’Flynn in the treasury portfolio. Bernie Gardiner was our PRO.
Even though success was slow to come to any of our teams the quality of players in our club was recognised year in year out by the county selectors and 2003 was no different. Aoife Lynskey was playing at county senior level, Edel Holland was one of our younger players and she was making her way onto the county under 14s team but 2003 belonged to Brenda Keirns. She was a member of the Galway Junior team that won the National League and Connacht Championship and captained her team to win the New Ireland Assurance Cup. A great night was had by all to welcome Brenda and her team back to Ardrahan.
The AGM of 2004 had Mary Howley and Sean Bermingham with the top jobs, Marita Healy and Keelin O’Shaughnessy were our new secretary and assistant with Pauline Carr and Mary Hunt treasurer and assistant with Bernie Gardiner as PRO. The season got off to an early start for the intermediate girls with a trip to Pan-Celtic on the 17/18of April based in Tralee Co. Kerry. The team played well and were unlucky not to qualify for the semi-final. Again it was a great year for Aoife and Brenda at county level. They were part of the team that won an all Ireland Senior title. A sister of Brenda and a great club player Martina Keirns was a member of the Athlone IT team that won a College All Star Title. Edel Holland had great success as part of the Galway Minor team that won an All Ireland title.
|Vice Chairperson||Mary Bracken|
|Assistant Secretary||Helena Quirke|
|Assistant Treasurer||Bernie Curtin|
2005 was a year of highs and lows for the club.
The club has a very active under eight group of girls. There is no county structure in place for this age group so many of the matches these girls play are at “Blitz days”. This group of girls had a number of wins over Oranmore-Maree, Craughwell and Clarinbridge.
The under 10 girls also take part in a number of Blitz days and this year they were finalists at Ballindereen, they won the Kinvara Blitz and the Ardrahan U10B Blitz. At county level they were finalists in the U10C final where they played Pearses. The under 12 girls had their first taste of success when they won the county A1 championship defeating Kiltulla/Killimordaly 5.04-1.03 in Tynagh on September 12th. The under 13 girls began their championship with a defeat to Ballinasloe in Ardrahan. However things were to get better and they had wins over Renmore, Shamrocks, Kilconieron and Salthill. They met Kinvara in the semi-final and were easy winners on the day. They met Ballinasloe in the Final and like their first meeting Ballinasloe were strong and made the better start. With ten minutes to go the score was 1.02-0.01 in Ballinasloes favour Ardrahans point was a free taken by Aoife Callanan. However things changed with a goal from Rachael O’Toole and seconds later one from Sarah Hansberry and at the final whistle Ardrahan had stolen the match and won with a two point margin and for many of these girls their first county title. There were marvellous celebrations on the pitch in Clarinbridge that Sunday afternoon. This group of girls concluded their years activities with a visit to Delphi Lodge.
The Intermediate girls made a good start to their season with a visit to PanCeltic hosted by Tralee. Although they did not reach the semi-final stage the entire squad gave a tremendous whole hearted performance. The League ended in a three way draw between Ardrahan, Castlegar and Davitts. This competition should have been completed before the championship began, this however did not happen and Ardrahan played no further part in the league. The championship saw constant changes to the fixture list a problem that has been experienced a lot in recent years and one that the County Board are trying to address. The intermediate girls played Craughwell to no success and failed to field a team against Davitts, this eliminated them from the competition. Aoife and Brenda helped Galway capture the National League Title against Cork. Aoife also won her second Ashbourne Cup medal with University Limerick. Michelle Kelly represented the club on the County Junior panel and Edel Holland battled injury to figure once more on the County Minor panel.
During the year the club was delighted to receive a set of jerseys for the U-8 and U-10 teams generously sponsored by Joe Brady of A.R.D. and a set for the U-12 and U-14 jerseys sponsored by Gerry Hennelly of Hennelly Auctioneers. A set of jerseys for the U-16 and intermediate girls was jointly sponsored by Cyril Coppinger, Oliver Higgins, John Furey, and Michael Fuery.
At our AGM in January Padraig Higging and Nellie Fuery were elected chairperson and assistant chairperson, Marita Healy and Helena Quirke as secretary and assistant secretary, Bernie Higgins and Bernadette Whelan treasurer and assistant and Charlotte Murphy as PRO. The marvellous work done by Mary Howley the out-going chairperson was acknowledged and Pauline Carr and Bernie Curtin out-going treasurer and assistant treasurer were thanked for their generous contributions.
2005 had ended on a high with the under 13 girls winning the C championship defeating Ballinasloe in Clarinbridge on a wonderful Sunday afternoon. After this success it was decided to enter this team in the under 14 Feile compitation, so training began early in the year under the management of Bernard Forde and Mary Murphy.
The intermediate girls also made an early start to their season with a fitness program in Labane Hall under the leadership of Lisa Higgins. This early start paid off for this group of girls when they won the County League Final. This was not their first success at this level as they had won the same competition in 1999 when they beat Castlegar in the Final. In this years competition they played teams from Craughwell, Davitts, St.Thomas’,and Sarsfields in their group matches, Killimordaly in the semi-final and Eyrecourt in the final. Brenda Keirns received the shield on behalf of the team and thanked Michael Brennan, Emear O’Doherty, Lisa Higgins and Padraig Higgins. The championship for the Intermediate girls began in mid June and the girls reached the semi-final. This match was played on St.Thomas’ pitch against Killimordaly however it was an off evening for the girls, injury prevented Brenda from starting and Killimordaly were worthy winners on that evening.
The under 14 girls entered the Feile competition and surpassed all expectations. They got the competition of to a good start with a win over Killimor at home and over Turloughmore away. The match against Mountbellew/Moylough was a draw and their only defeat came against Mullagh, this meant that Mountbellew /Moylough would have to be played again in neutral ground and this time it was a win for Ardrahan. This brought them into the semi-final and a game against Sarsfields. The two teams were no strangers to each other having met in matches since under 10 and nearly always Sarsfirlds were victorious, however the bank holiday Monday was to be our day and the girls earned their place in the Final. The final was against Carnmore in Turloughmore pitch. This was a huge occasion for the team and many parents and friends lined a wind and rain swept pitch. It was a marvellous match with nothing between the teams when Ardrahan was awarded a free in the last minute which was converted and forced a replay. The replay took place in Clarinbridge and the weather was much more seasonal. Ardrahan were more convincing with a great team effort and although the referee played endless extra time Ardrahan were Feile winners at the final whistle. The Road to Feile in Cork is covered on another page on the site.
On our return there was no rest for these girls. The under 12 championship had started and Ardrahan reached the final for the second year. The final was played in Bullaun against Killimor. Ardrahan were dominant throughout the match and have two titles back to back, lets hope they make it three in a row.
Before the national school holidays Ballyglass found time to compete and win the school title at 7-a-side.
The Community Games was a Sarsfeild and Ardrahan final which was played in Ballindeeren. Once again these two teams met with a place in Mosney at stake. It was another exciting game and with the experience gained at Feile, Ardrahan proved to be the better team with a strong finish. It was off to Mosney late August and a final between Douglas of Cork that had won the Feile and Ardrahan. At half time Ardrahan were down in the score but had a wind advantage in the second half. It was a very exciting game and at full time the score was level. Extra time was played and at half time the scores were still level. However it was not our day and Douglas at full time led by the narrowest of margins just one point. Although Ardrahan were disappointed there was a great sense of achievement and the girls received a wonderful welcome home in the hall.
The parish for most of the summer was decorated with blue and white flags, many people gave generous donations and support and made the season of 2006 one that will remembered in years to come.
The county team selected Brenda and Aoife to play on the county senior team, Edel Holland was part of the Minor panel and Noreen Murphy was a player on the county team under 14 team that won the Fr. Higgins Cup defeating Tipperary by the smallest of margins.
It was a great year for Gort Community School and many girls from the club played on the Junior and Senior teams that reached All Ireland finals and Laura Murphy represented the school on a Connacht Team.