Longford Gaelic Stats
Longford LGFA Club Story (1980-2023)

LGFA Club Story

🗓️ 1980

Ladies Gaelic football began in Longford with the formation of the first Ladies club in May 1980 when a group of girls from Dromard suggested forming a Ladies Gaelic Football Club within the parish. A meeting was called in the Old Latin School in Moyne at the end of May, a committee was formed and the Dromard Ladies Club became the first Ladies Football Club in Longford. Shortly thereafter other clubs were formed in Abbeylara, Killoe, Legan and Colmcille

In August 1980 the Longford County Ladies Board met for the first time. The first County Board executive was elected as follows:

  • Chairperson: Terry McCormack (Killoe)
  • Vice Chairperson: Seán McCabe (Dromard)
  • Secretary: Anne McGuire (Killoe)
  • Treasurer: Ann Brady (Colmcille)
  • PRO: Anne McGoldrick (Killoe)
  • Registrar: Mary Masterson (Legan)

Club competition began on Sunday 31st August 1980 with a new Senior League competition involving five clubs which had formed in the preceding months… Abbeylara, Colmcille, Dromard, Killoe and Legan. Killoe went on to win the Senior League title that year with victory over Legan in the final, on a scoreline of 1-3 to 0-2 and were the first to be awarded the Anthony Curren Cup which Anthony at Curran’s Garage Arva had sponsored, while The Breffini Arms (Eamon Gray) sponsored medals for the competitions. That league competition was initially played as 9-a-side but would soon become a 15-a-side league competition as more clubs formed in Longford.

The 5 Ladies Clubs in competition in 1980 were:

  • Abbeylara
  • Colmcille
  • Dromard
  • Killoe
  • Legan
🗓️ 1981

By 1981, Ladies football was expanding rapidly and Anthony Curren from Arva was elected Chair of the Longford County Ladies Board. The clubs of Ardagh, Cashel, Clonguish, Éire Óg (Drumlish), Forgney, Kenagh, Longford Slashers, Mostrim, Moydow, Seán Connollys and Shroid were formed and competed alongside Abbeylara, Colmcille, Dromard, Killoe and Legan in 1981, to bring the club count to 16 registered clubs – the most of any county in the country at the time. The Senior League competition of 1981 was won by Ardagh who defeated Longford Slashers by 4-7 to 2-0 in the final to win the Anthony Curren Cup.

The 16 Ladies Clubs in competition in 1981 were:

  • Abbeylara
  • Ardagh
  • Cashel
  • Colmcille
  • Clonguish
  • Dromard
  • Éire Óg
  • Forgney
  • Kenagh
  • Killoe
  • Legan
  • Longford Slashers
  • Mostrim
  • Moydow
  • Seán Connollys
  • Shroid Slashers

By the resumption of the Senior League in June 1981, the number of clubs was down to 15, with Mostrim withdrawing from competition.

🗓️ 1982

By 1982 the number was back up to 16 clubs (some lapsed, others formed) with County teams also involved in inter-county competition and enjoying various degrees of success particularly in underage. The first club Senior Football Championship competition began in July 1982, with Ardagh winning the inaugural title by beating Éire Óg by 5-6 to 0-0 in the final to lift the new J.J. McCabe Cup.

The 16 Ladies Clubs in competition in 1982 were:

  • Abbeylara
  • Ardagh
  • Ballymore
  • Carrickedmond
  • Cashel
  • Colmcille
  • Dromard
  • Éire Óg
  • Forgney
  • Granard
  • Kenagh
  • Killoe
  • Legan
  • Longford Slashers
  • Shroid Slashers
  • Young Grattans
🗓️ 1983-1985

As the 1980’s progressed, the explosion in new clubs in 1981 and 1982 was reversed with a significant number of clubs disbanding throughout the decade. Killoe dropped away after 1983, Rathcline was formed in 1985, Mostrim reformed briefly after lapsing for a few years, and Clonbroney formed briefly in the middle of the decade. Clonguish reformed in March 1986 after lapsing for a few years, and had an immediate impact by winning the Senior League that year.

In underage, the first competition got underway by the middle of the decade, with Minor Championship in 1985 and Juvenile and U-14 Championship towards the end of the decade. As underage competition took hold, so too did the emergence of underage club sections across the county (Note: The ladies underage club in the Drumlish parish was founded in 1985 and was called St. Helens, while the ladies senior club in the parish was founded in 1981 and called Éire Óg – a nod to the a past GAA senior team name in the parish. By the county final of 1989, the Ladies underage and senior clubs were both called St. Helens, and the Éire Óg name was not used thereafter).

As the decade progressed, some clubs thrived while others struggled with numbers amidst rising emigration, and lapsed or folded.

🗓️ 1986-1989

As the decade progressed, some clubs thrived while others struggled with numbers amidst rising emigration, and lapsed or folded.

By 1989 a significant number of clubs had vanished, with only 6 Ladies clubs remaining active in adult competition:

  • Carrickedmond
  • Clonguish
  • Dromard
  • Rathcline
  • St. Annes (Ardagh/Legan combination)
  • St. Helens (Éire Óg became St. Helens in 1989)

In total, 6 clubs enjoyed Senior Football Championship success during the 1980’s:

  • Ardagh (2)
  • Longford Slashers (1)
  • Granard (2)
  • Carrickedmond (1)
  • St. Annes [Ardagh/Legan] (1)
  • Clonguish (1)
🗓️ 1990-1995

The 1990’s belonged to St. Helens and Ballymore who won four Senior Championship titles each during the 1990’s.

The early part of the decade saw the revival of some lapsed clubs. Abbeylara which had lapsed in the early 1980’s was revived in March 1990. Granard which lapsed in the late 1980’s was revived in May 1990. Both clubs entered the newly instituted Senior ‘B’ Championship and ended up playing each other in the final in November 1990 (this later became the Junior Championship) with Abbeylara emerging victorious. The two clubs then decided to join forces in 1991 and won the Senior Football Championship together that year with victory over St. Helens on 31st July 1991. In early 1992 the combination of Granard and Abbeylara disbanded due to lack of numbers. Meanwhile Killoe reformed in 1991 after an 8-year absence, while a new club was formed in Ballymore in 1992 to develop Ladies Gaelic Football in the Granard parish.

By 1993 the number of Ladies clubs in the county had reduced to just five:

  • Ballymore
  • Clonguish
  • Killoe
  • Rathcline
  • St. Helens

In addition to the five senior clubs listed above, Carrickedmond and Killashee competed in underage and St. Fintans from Streete/Multyfarnham also competed in underage competition in Longford during the first half of the 1990’s.

🗓️ 1996-1999

The 1996 Senior Championship decider was memorable for two reasons; Firstly, it was played in February 1997 due to delays caused by the success of the county team. Secondly, the scoreboard at full time read 2-7 to 2-6 to St. Helens/Rathcline and while the combination was celebrating, the referee was convinced the scoreboard was wrong, and so counted his scores and informed both teams that Ballymore had in fact won by 1 point. With Ballymore now celebrating, the referee counted the scores again and concluded a draw. A later review of the video by the Ballymore club found that St. Helens/Rathcline had indeed won by a point. While it was a dramatic event at the time, the episode probably belongs in the ‘to err is human’ column.

From 1998 the Senior ‘B’ Championship which had been played at club level in Longford since 1990, became the Junior Championship (same structure, just different name). In the years prior to 1998, the Senior ‘B’ Championship was contested by teams who lost in the Senior Championship at Round 1 or Quarter Final or Semi Final stage. The Junior Championships of 1998 and 1999 continued this exact same structure until 2000 when the Junior Championship became a graded competition (i.e. not the offshoot of losing in the Senior Championship, but a competition contested by Junior clubs). The Senior ‘B’ Championship would re-appear as a separate competition some years later.

In 1999 the Intermediate Championship was introduced for the first time. For the 1999 season, teams beaten in the earlier rounds (Round 1 or Quarter finals) of the Senior Championship would contest the Junior Championship, while the beaten semi-finalists of the Senior Championship contested the Intermediate Championship final. St. Helen’s won the first Intermediate Championship in 1999. By 2000, the Intermediate Championship structure changed to include teams beaten in all rounds up to and including the semi-final of the Senior Championship. Intermediate Championship didn’t become a independent graded competition (with predefined Intermediate teams) until some years later.

By the end of the 20th century, Longford Ladies clubs were competing in Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Minor, Juvenile, U-14 and U-13 competitions. Some clubs which had previously lapsed were revived, including Killoe, Colmcille, Dromard (reformed 1996), Carrickedmond and Mostrim, while new clubs were formed in Ballymore in 1992 and Mullinalaghta in June 1998. It is curious to note that one of the most successful periods for the Longford county team overlapped with a period in the 1990’s when there were less than a handful of Ladies clubs in competition.

By the end of the 1990’s the number of clubs had doubled across the decade, with 10 clubs in active competition:

  • Ballymore
  • Carrickedmond
  • Clonguish
  • Colmcille
  • Dromard
  • Killoe
  • Mostrim
  • Mullinalaghta
  • Rathcline
  • St. Helens
🗓️ 2000-2009

The 2000’s saw a changing of the guard on the club scene, moving from the dominance of St. Helens and Ballymore in the 1990’s, to successes for Rathcline, Clonguish and Killoe in 2000’s. A healthy rivalry between Clonguish and Killoe would define the new century for ladies football in Longford, and the two clubs would go on to share all of the Senior Championship and Senior League titles from 2004 to 2017.

The second half of the 2010’s saw Longford clubs making their mark provincially and nationally. This began with Clonguish winning the 2005 Leinster Intermediate Club Championship title with victory over Kilanerin (Wexford) by 4-12 to 0-10 in the final played in Athy on 23rd October 2005. Killoe went on to win that same Leinster Club IFC title in 2008 with victory over Railyard (Kilkenny) by 2-8 to 1-8 in the final played in Athy on 19th October 2008. It is worth noting that the Longford Ladies Board decided at the Convention in December 2006 that Longford Senior Football Champions would play in the Leinster Intermediate Club Championship.

The 2008 & 2009 Senior Championships were technically played under the banner of Intermediate ‘A’ Championship. Longford SFC winners of 2008 and 2009 would typically play in Leinster Club SFC competition. However due to a series of heavy defeats in Leinster Club SFC competition in the years prior, a decision was made to play the Senior Championship as Intermediate instead in both years to enable the winner to play in the Leinster Club IFC competition. Hence Senior Championship was effectively played as an Intermediate Championship in 2008 and 2009 even though it was the same competition and trophy as previous and subsequent Senior Championships. In match reports for both years, you will see the decider referenced as Intermediate ‘A’ Championship final. In terms of rolls of honour, the 2008 and 2009 SFC winners technically won under the banner of Intermediate ‘A’ Championship but are kept with the SFC winners for continuity.

By the end of the decade there were 11 adult clubs in Longford:

  • Ballymahon Forgney
  • Ballymore
  • Carrickedmond
  • Clonguish
  • Colmcille
  • Dromard
  • Killoe
  • Mostrim
  • Mullinalaghta
  • Rathcline
  • St. Helens
🗓️ 2010-2019

Club activity in the 2010’s was dominated by the rivalry of Killoe and Clonguish. Both clubs would go on to win all of the Senior Championship and Senior League titles from 2004 to 2017. The 2010’s also saw clubs formed and reformed including clubs which had been to the fore in the 1980’s starting to re-emerge and assert themselves once more, including Carrickedmond, Longford Slashers (reformed in 2012) and St. Brigids Gaels of Ardagh (reformed in June 2012 at underage and in 2021 at adult grade). The Ballymahon Forgney club was formed at the start of the decade and a new club was formed in Killashee in 2016 and competed up until the 2021 season.

Longford Ladies clubs continued to feature at provincial and national level in the 2010’s and beyond, winning titles at various grades. Colmcille won the Leinster Junior League in 2011 with victory over Crossabeg Ballymurn (Wexford) by 4-13 to 1-1 in the final in Portarlington in May 2011. In 2013 St. Helens won the Leinster Junior Championship title with victory over Monasterevin (Kildare) in the final on 3rd November 2011 in Kinnegad. That same year Killoe won the 2013 Leinster Senior League title with victory over Arklow/Balllymoney (Wicklow) by 6-19 to 4-4 in the final on 31st May 2013 in Kilcock. In 2015 Mostrim won the All-Ireland 7-a-side Junior shield with victory over Castleknock (Dublin). The Mostrim team was Danielle McLoughlin, Becky McLoughlin, Brianna Connell, Louise Monaghan, Sinead Sheridan, Gemma Kenny, Edel Kenny, Anna Coyle & Meagan Lynn. In 2018 Clonguish won the All-Ireland 7-a-side Intermediate Shield title with victory over Saval (Down). The Clonguish team was Sarah Duffy, Niamh Darcy, Sinead Macken, Laura Healy, Aisling Greene, Mairead Moore, Aoife Darcy, Clara Healy & Catriona Moore. In 2019 Clonguish won the All-Ireland U-15 Féile Division 4 Cup with victory over Knockainey (Limerick) by 2-3 to 0-4 in the final played at Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence on 30th June 2019.

The 2010’s was also a period of sadness with the sudden death of 29 year old Alison Smyth in December 2011. Alison who played with Rathcline and was a midfielder on the Longford Ladies team, was one of the most talented sportswomen of her generation. Ali had been an All-Star nominee in 2009 and a county player from the age of 19, winning the coveted Longford ‘Ladies Player of the Year’ award in 2009. As well as enjoying success with Longford and her club Rathcline, Alison had also helped Ballymahon Convent of Mercy to an All-Ireland title in 1999 and as a basketball player with the Falcons, had guided them to a national title in 2000. In 2012 the Alison Smyth memorial cup was presented for the first time to the winner of the Longford Ladies SFC.

By the end of the decade there were 14 adult clubs in Longford:

  • Ballymahon Forgney
  • Ballymore
  • Carrickedmond
  • Clonguish
  • Colmcille
  • Dromard
  • Grattans
  • Killashee
  • Killoe
  • Longford Slashers
  • Mostrim
  • Mullinalaghta
  • Rathcline
  • St. Helens

Seán Connollys and St. Brigids Gaels clubs were also competing in underage only.

🗓️ 2020-2023

Seán Connollys club had revived at underage in the 2010’s and then returned at adult grade too in 2023. Granard club was reformed as St. Marys in 2023 at U10 & U12 grades initially, having previously disbanded in the early 1990’s, bringing the number of Ladies clubs in Longford to 16. A very sad note was the death of St. Brigids Gaels goalkeeper Leah Sheridan in 2021.

The 2020’s saw Longford clubs continue to make an impression at provincial and national level. Ballymore won the 2020 Leinster Junior Championship, beating Kilmore (Wexford) by 2-19 to 1-11 in the delayed final which was played on 23rd June 2021 in Portlaoise. In 2022 Longford Slashers completed four-in-a-row Longford Senior Championship title wins and went on to win the Leinster Intermediate Club Championship with a 3-10 to 3-6 victory over Skryne (Meath) on 13th November 2022 in Kinnegad, becoming only the third Longford club to win the Leinster Intermediate title. The Slashers Ladies then went one further and defeated Charlestown in the All-Ireland semi-final en-route to the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Final on 10th December 2022 in Croke Park. Longford Slashers made history by becoming the first club from Longford (in either LGFA or GAA) to reach and win an All-Ireland Club Championship final and the first Longford club in GAA or LGFA to win a competitive game in Croke Park, when they defeated Mullinahone (Tipperary) by 4-11 to 2-8 on a frosty December afternoon in Croke Park. The team that day was: Emer Casey, Laura Kenny, Emily Reilly, Grace Kenny, Orla Nevin (1-2), Eimear O’Brien, Clare Farrell (0-1), Aoife O’Brien, Aisling Cosgrove (captain, 1-0), Lisa Nolan, Grace Shannon (2-0), Kyana Lee (0-1), Kate Shannon (0-3), Jessica Barry (0-3), Kara Shannon (0-1). Subs: Jill Glennon for L Nolan (49 mins), Grace O’Donnell for L Kenny (52 mins).

Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

In February 2023 the Clonguish Ladies made it 3-in-a-row of Senior Ladies Cup titles at the Comórtas Peile Páidi Ó Sé tournament in Kerry, with wins in 2020, 2022 and 2023 (no tournament held in 2021). The Comórtas takes place across the Dingle Peninsula each February with teams invited from across Ireland in both Ladies and Men’s football at Junior, Intermediate and Senior Level. Clonguish beat Thomas Davis (Dublin) in the 2023 final by 1-12 to 1-6, beat Ratoath (Meath) in the 2022 final by 4-9 to 1-4, and beat Ballyboden St. Endas (Dublin) in 2020 final by 5-8 to 5-7, all played at An Ghaeltacht GAA grounds.

In September 2023 Longford Slashers made it 5-in-a-row of Senior Championship titles with victory over Clonguish in the final. Some years earlier Longford had regraded to Intermediate status for club championship which typically meant that the Longford SFC winner contested the Leinster Intermediate Club Championship while Longford IFC winner contested in the Leinster Junior Club Championship. However with Longford Slashers winning the 2022 Leinster (and All-Ireland) Intermediate Club Championship and retaining their Longford SFC title in 2023, this meant that Longford Slashers competed in the 2023 Leinster Senior Club Championship, the first Longford club to do so for many years. This meant that 2023 Longford Senior ‘B’ Champions (Clonguish) contested the Leinster Intermediate Club Championship, while 2023 Longford Intermediate Champions (St. Brigids Gaels) contested the Leinster Junior Club Championship.

By the end of 2023 there were 16 Ladies clubs active across the county, as follows:

  • Ballymahon Forgney (Junior)
  • Ballymore (Intermediate)
  • Carrickedmond (Senior & Junior)
  • Clonguish (Senior & Junior)
  • Colmcille (Senior)
  • Dromard (Intermediate)
  • Grattans (Senior)
  • Killoe (Senior & Junior)
  • Longford Slashers (Senior)
  • Mostrim (Senior)
  • Mullinalaghta (Intermediate)
  • Rathcline (Junior)
  • Seán Connollys (Junior)
  • St. Brigids Gaels (Intermediate)
  • St. Helens (Intermediate)
  • St. Marys Granard *

* St. Marys Granard Ladies Club is active in Underage Go Games only.

This content was researched & compiled independently from 2014 to 2023.
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