Longford Gaelic Stats
Junior League (1917-1979)

JFL History

This page records Junior Football League (JFL) winners from the start of competition in 1917 to 1979 prior to the introduction of the All-County Football League in 1980. The earliest reference to Junior competition comes in 1905 when a desire for a Junior competition are reflected in local media. It was proposed that players competing in Senior grade would not play in any proposed Junior competition, but the difficulty in limiting age to maximum 17 years was noted and alternate solutions were to be looked into. Nothing more came to pass on Junior competition until December 1916 when a board overseeing Junior competition was announced in local media. The County Convention in March 1917 granted permission for the formation of a Junior Board and competition began that year. The Junior competition was called the Junior League and played on a League basis (also referenced as Junior League-Championship and sometimes as Junior Championship). It mirrored the Senior League (Senior League-Championship) competition of the time which ran from 1911 to 1935 and which was separate and distinct from the Senior Championship.

In 1927 a new knockout Championship was introduced at Junior grade alongside the existing competition. Ardagh St. Patricks defeating Colmcille in the inaugural Championship final in April 1927. St. Marys Granard had previously been credited with this title in prior records, but they won the 1927 Junior League defeating Ballymahon in the final in January 1928. From 1927 onward we see both Junior League and Junior Championship competitions taking place. Having examined Junior records from start to end in the broader context of other competitions that existed at the time in Longford, our conclusion is that the winners of Junior competition form 1917 to 1926 won the same competition which subsequent to 1927 was called Junior League, while today’s Junior Championship has it’s origins in the knockout Junior Championship competition which was introduced in 1927. Hence we record winners from 1917 to 1926 in the same Roll of Honour as subsequent Junior League winners and do not record them alongside Junior Championship winners. This is consistent with all JFC records prior to our research (there are no Junior League records prior to our records as ours is the first). It is worth noting that in the early years of Junior competition, winners were referred to as Junior Champions and often received medals with Junior Champions or Junior Championship on them. This was often the case for Senior League-Championship in those early years too.

Junior Football League was effectively replaced with the introduction of ACFL competition in 1980, while the Junior League trophy (Hugh Devine Cup) was repurposed for the Division 1A winner in the new ACFL structure. It is worth noting that ‘Special Junior League’ which began in the 1950’s was played separately from the JFL and continued after the introduction of ACFL and throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. Special Junior League winners are not captured on this page.

Junior League (1917-1979)

JFL Winners

WonClub / TeamYear Junior Football League Won
9Clonguish1918, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1955, 1959, 1969, 1971, 1972
4Ardagh St. Patricks1930, 1934, 1950, 1962
4St. Marys Granard1927, 1928, 1968, 1973
3Seán Connollys1935, 1948, 1949
3Mostrim1954, 1958, 1960
3Cashel1942, 1943, 1961
3Abbeylara1946, 1952, 1967
3Dromard1944, 1945, 1970
3Kenagh1965, 1975, 1976
3Colmcille1937, 1978, 1979
2Killoe Young Emmets1931, 1939
2St. Brigids Killashee1933, 1964
2Longford Slashers1963, 1966
1Ballinamuck 98's1919
1St. Mels College1920
1Longford Rovers1924
1Killoe Slashers1956
1Fr. Manning Gaels1974

⚠️ Our winners table above does not combine titles of Longford Slashers & Longford Rovers into one count nor does it combine titles of Drumlish & Ballinamuck & Fr. Manning Gaels into one count either. All titles are displayed separately with the club unit that won the title and totals are not combined via merged clubs or by grouping clubs in a parish. Other websites or publications may display this differently, but on this website we attempt to show all titles by individual club units with clubs formed by merging two existing clubs regarded as a new club unit.

Pre 1927 = League-Championship. Post 1927 = League.
Kenagh won the 1965 title as Kenagh St. Dominicks.
Cashel club won the 1942 & 1943 titles as Newtowncashel.
1953 final (Whiterock Slashers & Ardagh St. Patricks) was not played.
Killoe Slashers (1956) was Killoe Young Emmets & Whiterock Slashers.

Junior League (1917-1979)

Roll of Honour

YearJunior League Winner (1917-1979)
1979🏆 Colmcille
1978🏆 Colmcille
1977🏆 Ballymore
1976🏆 Kenagh
1975🏆 Kenagh
1974🏆 Fr. Manning Gaels
1973🏆 St. Marys Granard
1972🏆 Clonguish
1971🏆 Clonguish
1970🏆 Dromard
1969🏆 Clonguish
1968🏆 St. Marys Granard
1967🏆 Abbeylara
1966🏆 Longford Slashers
1965🏆 Kenagh St. Dominics
1964🏆 St. Brigids Killashee
1963🏆 Longford Slashers
1962🏆 Ardagh St. Patricks
1961🏆 Cashel
1960🏆 Mostrim
1959🏆 Clonguish
1958🏆 Mostrim
1957🏆 Ballymahon
1956🏆 Killoe Slashers
1955🏆 Clonguish
1954🏆 Mostrim
1953Not Completed
1952🏆 Abbeylara
1951🏆 Rathcline
1950🏆 Ardagh St. Patricks
1949🏆 Seán Connollys
1948🏆 Seán Connollys
1947🏆 Clonguish
1946🏆 Abbeylara
1945🏆 Dromard
1944🏆 Dromard
1943🏆 Newtowncashel St. Ciaráns
1942🏆 Newtowncashel St. Ciaráns
1941🏆 Clonguish
1940🏆 Clonguish
1939🏆 Killoe Young Emmets
1938No Record
1937🏆 Colmcille
1936No Record
1935🏆 Seán Connollys
1934🏆 Ardagh St. Patricks
1933🏆 St. Brigids Killashee
1932No Record
1931🏆 Killoe Young Emmets
1930🏆 Ardagh St. Patricks
1929No Record
1928🏆 St. Marys Granard
1927🏆 St. Marys Granard
1926No Record
1925🏆 Drumlish
1924🏆 Longford Rovers
1923No Record
1922No Record
1921No Record
1920🏆 St. Mels College
1919🏆 Ballinamuck 98's
1918🏆 Clonguish
1917🏆 Longford

(Names of winners are displayed using name of each club at the time of the final, to preserve that historic record)

Junior League (1917-1979)

Additional Notes

The 1917 Junior League (League-Championship) was the first ever playing of the Junior competition. The competition was split into North Longford and South Longford Divisions or Sections and played on a League basis with activity spilling over into 1918. The North Longford final was between Carra Gaels and Killoe Young Emmets with Carra Gaels emerging victorious. The South Longford final was between Longford and Ardagh St. Patricks with Longford emerging victorious. The Junior final then took place on 19th May 1918 at Edgeworthstown with Longford beating Carra Gaels by 0-6 to 0-2. [📷Report]

Terminology Note: Junior competition started off being referred to as Junior League, sometimes as Junior League-Championship and other times as Junior Championship during these early years. Medals typically displayed ‘Junior Champions’ or even ‘Junior Championship’ in these early years. An examination of the complete suite of JFL and JFC records shows that the Junior competition which began in 1917 and continued to 1927 on a league basis with draws made for each round of games, was the same competition which continued uninterrupted after 1927 until 1979 as the Junior Football League. It is also worth noting that winners of the Junior competition in the early years were able to play in the following Senior Championship competition. 

The 1918 Junior League (League-Championship) final was played on 8th June 1919 at Edgeworthstown, with referee James Breslin. Clonguish (South Longford Division winner) beat Mullinalaghta (North Longford Division winner) by 1-1 to 0-2 in the Junior final. The referee reported being assaulted by supporters of the losing team after the match. [📷 Report]

The 1918 Junior competition was split into North and South Longford Divisions which finished as follows in May 1919:

North Longford

  • Mullinalaghta (26 pts)
  • Dromard (24)
  • Carra Gaels (19)
  • Ballinamuck 98’s (17)
  • O’Rahillys (DNF)
  • Columbcille (DNF)
  • Clonbroney (DNF)
  • Killoe Young Emmets (DNF)

South Longford:

  • Clonguish (17 pts)
  • Edgeworthstown (16)
  • Ardagh St. Patricks (12)
  • Longbridge (DNF)
  • Longford (DNF)
  • Legan (DNF)

(DNF denotes Did not finish)

The 1919 Junior League (League-Championship) final between Ballinamuck 98’s (North Longford Division winner) and Edgeworthstown (South Longford Division winner) was played on 25th January 2020 at Longford Park. Edgeworthstown won by 1-3 to 0-5 and referee was L. Kiernan. The competition structure was same as that use for 1917 and 1918 Junior competitions with North and South Longford Divisions and winners meeting in the Junior final. An objection was raised after the final and subsequently upheld, hence the final was replayed. The replay took place in Longford Park on 28th March 2020, referee was M. Dale. Ballinamuck 98’s ran out winners in the replay by 1-2 to 1-1. [📷 Report] [📷 Report]

Note: It is noted that there are 15 clubs affiliated in Longford at the time of the draw for the 1919 Junior competition which began in July 1919 and was played on a league basis with North and South Longford Divisions. Ballinamuck 98’s emerged as winners of the North Longford Division. Edgeworthstown won the South Longford Division beating Clonguish in the final by 1-3 to 1-0 on 14th December 1919 (match was refixed a few times due to cold weather). This set up the Junior final tie between Ballinamuck 98’s and Edgeworthstown. The preview to the final on 24th January 1920 notes that “Ballinamuck are a tough, rough hardy team, who by sheer determination fought their way to the very top of the League in North Longford”. 

The 1920 Junior League (League-Championship) final was scheduled for 20th November 1920 at Longford Park.

St. Mels College is the only non-club team to win the Junior title. St. Mels entered Junior competition in 1920 in order to keep football active in the college in the context of travel restrictions during the War of Independence. College President Canon Masterson, allowed a team to enter the local Junior competition. All St. Mels games were played in the nearby Longford Park. St. Mels College won a number of their Junior games that year and were due to play Ballymore in the Junior final on 21st November 1920. That date became infamous as Bloody Sunday in Croke Park. When the Students arrived for the Junior final, they found the Black and Tans playing soccer on Longford Park, and no Ballymore team ever showed. Many of the Ballymore lads would have been involved in the fight for independence and would not have wanted to be near any Black and Tans. St. Mels were duly awarded the 1920 Junior title. [📷 Report]

It is worth noting that as Junior winners, St. Mels College were therefore able to play in the following years Senior Football Championship as noted in local media in late November 1919.

There is no record of Junior League (League-Championship) competition for the years 1921 to 1923 inclusive.

The 1924 Junior League (League-Championship) final was played on 20th September 1925 at Longford Park. Longford Rovers beat Clondra by 2-2 to 0-1. [📷 Report]

The 1925 Junior League (League-Championship) competition was won by Drumlish who topped the League table at the end of competition in June 1926. This is the only time the Junior title was decided by the team topping the table as opposed to two teams playing in a final for the title.

There is no record of Junior League (League-Championship) competition for 1926 beyond the 1925 competition finishing in June 1926.

The 1927 Junior League final was played on 29th January 1928 at Longford Park. St. Marys Granard (North Longford Division winner) beat Ballymahon (South Longford Division winner) by 0-5 to 0-1. A separate Junior Championship was also played in 1927 with Ardagh St. Patricks winning that title. From this point forward there are two separate Junior competitions (League and Championship).

Note: It is worth noting that the Junior League competition in 1927 was split into North Longford and South Longford Divisions, just as it had been since it began in 1917. 

The 1928 Junior League final was played on 8th September 1929 at Longford Park. St. Marys Granard beat Clonguish by 2-4 to 2-3. 

There is no record of Junior League competition for 1929 beyond the 1928 competition finishing in September 1929.

The 1930 Junior League final was played on 21st June 1930 at Edgeworthstown. Ardagh St. Patricks beat Clonbroney by 4-4 to 2-4. By thetime the delayed final took place, Ardagh had already been promoted to Senior grade. 

The 1931 Junior League final was played on 1st May 1933 in Longford Gaelic Grounds (now Pearse Park). Killoe Young Emmets drew with Mullinalaghta by 1-2 to 0-5. The replay took place at the same venue on 14th May 1933 with Killoe winning by 0-4 to 0-3. The Intermediate Championship began in 1931 and ran for two years before it was discontinued. It was decided that Intermediate teams would also be allowed compete in the Junior League in those years. 

There is no record of Junior League competition for 1932 beyond the 1931 competition running into 1932 and completing in 1933.

The 1933 Junior League final was played on 11th March 1934 in Longford Gaelic Grounds (now Pearse Park). St. Brigids Killashee drew with Clonbroney by 2-5 to 3-2 (referee: JV Kelly). The replay took place at the same venue on 25th March 1934 with St. Brigids Kilashee winning by 3-5 to 2-1.  

The 1934 Junior League final was played on 17th March 1935 at Crosshea with Ardagh St. Patricks beating Drumlish in the final with Hugh Devine as referee. No final scores were recorded in local media.

The 1935 Junior League final was played on 15th March 1936 at Ballinalee with Seán Connollys beating Whiterock Slashers in the final by 0-6 to 0-4. Referee was Fr. O’Farrell.

There is no record of Junior League competition for 1936 beyond the 1935 competition completing in March 1936.

There is no record of Junior League competition for 1938.

The 1941 Junior League final was played on 25th October 1942 with Clonguish beating Moydow Harpers in the final.

The 1946 Junior League final was played on 6th April 1947 with Clonguish beating Ballinamuck 98’s in the final by 0-7 to 0-5.

The 1952 Junior League final was played on 22nd February 1953 with Abbeylara beating Clonguish in the final by 2-1 to 1-2. Referee was Fr. Reid. 

The 1953 Junior League final involved Whiterock Slashers and Ardagh St. Patricks and was never played. Whiterock had qualified for the final in November 1953, while the other semi-final did not complete until December 1954. By that stage both Whiterock Slashers and neighbours Killoe Young Emmets were struggling to field and decided to amalgamate as Killoe Slashers for the 1955 & 1956 seasons. By January 1955 it is noted that neither the 1953 or 1954 Junior League finals had been played. While the 1954 decider was eventually played, the 1953 final was never completed and Whiterock Slashers disbanded shortly after their amalgamation with Killoe Young Emmets ended. 

The 1954 Junior League final was played on 6th March 1955 with Mostrim beating Seán Connollys by 2-3 to 1-2.

The 1956 Junior League final was played on 26th August 1956 with Killoe Slashers beating St. Brigids Killashee in the final. This is the only time an amalgamation (Killoe Young Emmets and Whiterock Slashers) has won the Junior League title. The two clubs went their separate ways at the end of the 1956 season and Whiterock Slashers club disbanded shortly thereafter. 

The 1968 Junior League final was played on 14th July 1968 and ended in a draw with St. Marys Granard 2-7 and Shroid Slashers 1-10. The replay took place in Edgeworthstown on 28th July 1968 with Granard winning by 1-5 to 0-6. Referee for both games was Dick Culhane.

The County Convention in late 1973 passed a motion restricting the Junior League to Junior clubs only from 1974 onward.

The 1975 Junior League final was played on 13th July 1975 in Edgeworthstown and ended in a draw with Kenagh 1-6 and Seán Connollys 1-6. The replay took place in Pearse Park on 28th July 1968 with Kenagh winning by 3-7 to 1-6. Leo McCormack was scheduled to referee the replay, however he was late in getting to Pearse Park and Jim Hannify was called into action and managed proceedings that day. 

The Hugh Devine cup was noted in the match report as being in a disgraceful state. A similar observation was made a few years earlier by Fr. Manning Gaels officials when they were presented with the cup.

The Junior competition which began as Junior League-Championship in 1917 and then Junior League from the late 1920’s was replaced in 1980 with the introduction of an All County Football League (ACFL) with six divisions (1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A, 3A).

In total the Junior League was played and won 53 times from 1917 to 1979.

(It is worth noting that following the introduction of ACFL, Division 3 was sometimes referred to as Junior League) 

A separate Junior competition was introduced in 1957, originally called Special Junior Competition and then Special Junior League. It was separate and distinct from the Junior Football League. When the ACFL was introduced in 1980, the Special Junior League continued to be played separate from ACFL throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s and was replaced when three Special League competitions were introduced (Allen, Reilly & Gilmore Cups) from 2002 to 2008.

All ‘Junior League’ winners found in local media throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s were in fact ‘Special Junior League’ winners.

This content was researched & compiled independently from 2014 to 2024.
Please cite this website if quoting or using this material elsewhere.