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

LGFA County Story

🗓️ 1980

Ladies Gaelic football started in Longford with the formation of the first Ladies club in Dromard in May 1980.

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)

🗓️ 1981

In 1981 Longford formed a Senior team for the first time following county trials in June and July to select the following panel:

  • Ardagh: Maura Keenan, Rose Reynolds, Mary Farrell
  • Colmcille: Lil Rudden
  • Cashel: Mary Hanley
  • Dromard: Connie Healy, Elizabeth McLoughlin
  • Éire Óg: Una O’Hara
  • Killoe: Mary Bratten
  • Legan: Mary Masterson, Bernadette Kenny, Veronica Kenny
  • Sean Connollys: Mary Brady
  • Shroid Slashers: Fiona Quinn, Therese McKiernan
  • Longford Slashers: Edel McGuire, Paula Fitzpatrick, Rita Kilemade, Geraldine McGreevy, Geraldine Gray, Anne Kilemade

The Senior team entered the Leinster Senior Football Championship, making it to the final and losing out to Offaly in Moate in August 1981. Longford had beaten Wexford in the semi-final by 4-5 to 0-5, and their opposition in the final had not lost a game in the Leinster Championship in the previous seven years. Offaly led by three points at the interval (1-5 to 1-2) after a flying start, and held the upper hand throughout the second half to run out winners. This was an 8th Leinster title in a row for Offaly, having won all the Leinster titles since the competitions inception. Longford scorers on the day included team captain Mary Bratten (Killoe, 1-3), Patricia Reynolds (Ardagh, 0-1) and Edel McGuire (Longford Slashers, 0-1). It was noted in the match report how displeasing it was that the grass at Hogan Park in Moate had not been cut for some time and players had difficulty gaining possession.

🗓️ 1982

In 1982 the Longford Senior team were back in the Leinster Senior Championship final after getting a bye to the decider due to Dublin being unable to field in the semi-final. The Leinster final took place in Rochfortbridge in August 1982 against reigning All-Ireland and Leinster champions Offaly and the Longford team was trained by Jude McGrath. Offaly emerged winners by 2-7 to 1-5 to capture their 8th consecutive Leisnter title. Scorers for Longford were Alison Green (1-1), Edel Maguire (0-2), Patricia Reynolds (0-1) and Pauline Breslin (0-1).

The Longford Seniors did enjoy some success in 1982, becoming the first Leinster side to win the Connacht Senior League with a two-point victory over Leitrim on 5th September 1982 at Farneyhoogan. Longford had beaten Cavan, Roscommon, Leitrim, Galway and Mayo en-route to the final and finished top of the table. Patricia Monaghan (from Clonguish, playing with Killoe) notched up two goals on the day as Longford ran out winners by 3-3 to 0-10. The team was: Berni Drake (Abbeylara), Carmel Smyth (Abbeylara), Maire Keenan (Ardagh), Paula Keegan (Ardagh), Ann Kilemade (Longford Slashers), Ann Bratton (Killoe), Denise Keegan (Forgney), Edel Maguire (Longford Slashers, 0-1), Pauline Breslin (Éire Óg, 0-1), Patricia Reynolds (Ardagh), Alison Greene (Legan), Mary Bratton (Killoe, 0-1), Patricia Monaghan (Killoe, 2-0), Christina Jordan (Éire Óg, 1-0), Ann Keegan (Ardagh, 0-1). Other Panelists: Gemma Carroll (Legan), Evelyn Bannon (Ardagh), Rita Kilemade (Longford Slashers), Ann McGoldrick (Killoe), Angela Macken (Abbeylara), Lil Rudden (Colmcille), Elizabeth McLoughlin (Dromard).

Longford Minor’s played in the Leinster Championship for the first time in 1982, and reached the Leinster final only to be beaten by a better Wexford side in Graigecullen on Saturday 14th August 1982. The team that day was: G McGreevy (Longford Slashers), Lil Rudden (Colmcille), J Sheridan (Longford Slashers), P Fitzpatrick (Longford Slashers), A Hawkins (Colmcille), P Keegan (Ardagh), P Donohoe (Dromard), E McLoughlin (Dromard), M Deely (Longford Slashers), A Greene (Legan), G Carroll (Legan), G Gray (Longford Slashers), R Kilemade (Longford Slashers), N Maguire (Carrickedmond), S Carroll (Legan). Sub: C Hourican (Dromard) for S Carroll. The Longford Minors would reach another Leinster Championship later in the decade, but with no success.

Dromard’s JJ McCabe was elected Vice-Chair of the Leinster Ladies Council in 1982.

🗓️ 1985-1989

In 1985 the Longford Senior team reached the semi-final of the National Football League, beaten by Leitrim by 1-9 to 1-7 in June 1985. Longford were back in the Leinster Championship final in 1985, but lost out to Laois on 11th August 1985 in Tullamore by 2-5 to 1-4. The team that day was: M Farrell, G Harper, M Masterson, C Jordan, M Keegan, P Keegan, A Keegan, P Kiernan, J Creegan, D Gill, P Reynolds, E Bannon, R Farrelly, C Browne, P Monaghan. Subs: B Smith, M Gildea, P Murphy, A Macken, N McGuire and M Doogue.

In 1985 Longford players Josie Creegan and Carmel Browne were selected to play in that years All-Star Ladies Team.

On 7th April 1985 an inter-county tournament takes place at the Fr. Manning Gaels grounds at Monaduff, involving Longford, Leitrim, Westmeath and Laois. Leitrim were one of the strongest teams of the era, having won the National League title in 1983 and losing the 1984 All-Ireland final to Kerry by 1 point. This was the first Ladies inter-county tournament held in Longford.

Review of the year in January 1990 notes that Longford reached the Leinster Championship final in August 1989, following a convincing win over Westmeath by 4-7 to 0-6. However they failed to repeat the same form in the decider, beaten 2-5 to 1-4 by Laois in Tullamore. (CHECK SOURCE)

🗓️ 1996

Longford competed at Junior grade throughout the 1990’s.

In 1996 it was decided to organise squad training on a regular basis with team trainer Martin Reilly (Ballymore) in charge of the sessions, together with selectors Liam Forde (St. Helens), Gary Fenelon (Killoe), Christine Jordan (St. Helens), Peter Donlon (Rathcline) and team physio Mary McNerney. In the Leinster Junior Championship Longford beat Dublin by 3-11 to 2-8 and Wexford by 2-18 to 2-13 to book a meeting with Louth in the Leinster Junior Championship final on Sunday 28th July 1996 in Dr. Cullen Park (Carlow), which Longford won by 2-15 to 4-1. A gallant effort in the All-Ireland Junior Championship final in Croke Park on 6th October 1996 saw Longford come up short against Clare by 5-9 to 4-9. The starting lineout in that All-Ireland final was: Karina Mulvihill (Rathcline), Josephine Donlon (Rathcline), Katherine Donlon (Rathcline), Irene Kiernan (Ballymore), Laura Doherty (Killoe), Barbara McElvaney (Ballymore), Sheila Farrell (Rathcline), Fiona Blessington (Ballymore), Michelle Hannify (St. Helens), Mary Burke (Clonguish), Mary Kiernan (Ballymore), Dara Gill (St. Helens), Jennifer Hennessy (Killoe), Paula Kenny (Rathcline) and Una Flynn (Clonguish).

Longford ended 1996 on a high note by winning the All-Ireland Senior ‘B’ Championship title, beating Down in Scotstown on 30th November 1996 on a scoreline of 3-14 to 0-5. Longford had overcome Louth (6-11 to 0-9) and Dublin (1-8 to 1-7 in Pearse Park) on the way to that final.

Fiona Blessington (Ballymore) and Michelle Hannify (St. Helens) both won All-Star Replacement awards in 1996.

🗓️ 1997

In 1997 Longford Ladies were competing in Division 3 of National Football League and defeated Limerick, Galway, Offaly, Kildare and Dublin, along with a walkover from Wicklow and draw with Roscommon. Longford were now through to the knock-out stages of the National Junior League and victory over Armagh and Limerick saw them through to the final on 6th July 1997, and victory over Roscommon by 2-9 to 3-5 in Ballinasloe to win the National Junior Football League (aka Division 3) title of 1997 and gain promotion to Division 2. The team that day included Karina Mulvhill, Kathrina Donlon, Edel McGann, Josephine Donlon, Sheila Farrell, Barbara McElvaney, Geraldine Hanley, Fiona Blessington, Emma Cooney, Mary Burke, Dara Gill, Michelle Hannify, Jennifer Hennessy, Diane Dempsey and Margaret Kierns.

In the 1997 Leinster Junior Championship, Longford reached the final and beat Carlow by 4-6 to 3-7 to retain the title. This was followed by victory over Waterford in the All-Ireland Junior Championship Quarter Final by 2-10 to 1-7, and a hard-fought win by 2-8 to 0-9 over New York in a tough All-Ireland semi-final game in Ballinasloe. Longford were yet again in the All-Ireland Junior Championship final, this time against Tyrone. Under the watchful eyes of management team Martin Reilly, Peter Donlon, Liam Forde and Gary Fenelon, Longford emerged victorious to record a famous win in Croke Park on 12th October 1997 by 2-12 to 1-11. The team that day was: Karina Mulvihill, Catriona Donlon, Emma Cooney, Sheila Farrell, Jennifer Hennessy, Barbara McElvaney, Geraldine Hanley, Fiona Blessington, Edel McGann, Michelle Smith, Dara Gill (captain), Michelle Hannify, Mary Burke, Mary Kiernan and Una Flynn.

Longford won the Leinster Juvenile ‘A’ Championship title for the first time in 1997 with victory over Meath by 7-13 to 2-8 at the Mullingar Shamrocks club grounds in Westmeath (team trained by Gary Fenelon), and reached the Leinster Minor ‘A’ Championship final, losing to Laois in Stradbally by 2-5 to 1-7. Both finals were played in August 1997 and Fiona Blessington (Ballymore) made history by winning the Player of the Match award in both finals!

Fiona Blessington (Ballymore) won an All-Star in 1997 and was selected to play on the Leinster Inter-provincial team in 1997. Dara Gill (St. Helens) won a All-Star Replacement award in 1997.

🗓️ 1998-1999

In 1998 Longford Seniors reached the National Junior League (Division 2) final, but were beaten by Meath by 0-15 to 1-0 at the Mullingar Shamrocks club grounds in Westmeath.

In 1998 Longford Minors reached the Leinster Minor ‘A’ Championship final, but lost to Laois by 1-14 to 6-5 in Kells.

Fiona Blessington (Ballymore) won an All-Star in 1999 and All-Star Replacement award in 1998. Fiona was selected to play on the Leinster Inter-provincial team in 1998 and 1999 and was top scorer in the 1999 Intermediate Championship.

The Chairperson of the Longford Ladies Board during this successful decade was Liam Forde who had been at the helm for much of the eighties and nineties and occupied the position for eighteen years in total, while stalwart Peter Donlon was Vice Chairman and Mary Burke was Secretary.

🗓️ 2000-2002

In 2000 Longford gained promotion to Division 1 of the National Junior League.

In 2000 Fiona Blessington (Ballymore) won an All-Star award.

In 2000 Fiona Blessington was selected as the Inter-Provincial Player of the Tournament.

The 2001 National Junior League Division 1 group stage results were as follows:

  • Clare 2-15, Longford 0-4
  • Meath 2-13, Longford 1-2
  • Tyrone 2-10, Longford 3-9
  • Longford 0-6, Monaghan 1-9

In 2001 Longford qualified for the National Junior League semi-finals, but beaten by Clare by 2-13 to 1-8.

In 2001 Leinster Junior Championship, Longford beat Louth (3-17 to 0-6) but lost to Meath (1-6 to 2-12) and Dublin (0-12 to 0-6).

In 2002 National Junior League campaign, Longford lost to Clare and Meath, but beat Mayo and Roscommon to remain in Division 1.

In 2002 Leinster Junior Championship, Longford beat Westmeath and lost to Dublin, but lost to Laois in the Leinster semi-final.

In 2002 Longford Minors reached the Leinster Minor ‘B’ Championship final, but were defeated by Meath in the decider.

In 2002 Sharon Treacy (Killoe) won an All-Star Replacement Award.

🗓️ 2003

The 2003 National Junior League campaign saw Longford beat Clare but lose to Galway, Kerry and Monaghan. Longford beat Clare by 4-12 to 1-4 in the play-off game to retain Division 1 status for a 7th year. The team on duty that day was: Karina Mulvihill, Marie Brady, Aideen Gilchrist, Carmel McElvaney, Yvonne Barden, Barbara McElvaney, Marie Carrigy, Michelle McElvaney, Alison Smyth, Maura Moran (0-1), Mary Keirnan, Shiela Farrell, Michelle Ross, Michelle Hannify (1-3), Mary Burke (2-9). Subs used: Denise Murtagh for Mary Keirnan (45 mins), Edel Harrington (0-1) for Maura Moran and Louise Brennan for Shiela Farrell (54 mins), Anne Keirnan for Mary Burke, Donna Leavy for Yvonne Barden (58 mins).

In 2003 Leinster Junior Championship Longford beat Westmeath (walkover) and Louth, and lost to to Dublin and Laois.

In 2003 Leinster Minor Championship Longford beat Kildare to qualify for the Leinster ‘B’ final against Meath, but lost in the decider in Mullingar.

🗓️ 2005-2009

In 2005 Longford Minors reached the Leinster ‘B’ final again, this time beating Westmeath by 4-9 to 4-7 in Ballymahon to win the Leinster Minor ‘B’ Championship title. Edel Quinn was awarded Player of the Match. Also during 2005 Sharon Treacy (Killoe) was voted LGFA ‘Player of the Month’ by the Sunday Independent newspaper.

In 2006 Longford reached the Leinster Junior ‘A’ Championship final, losing to Wexford by 3-15 to 2-7 in the decider on 6th August 2006 at Dr. Cullen Park.  Longford progressed to the All-Ireland Junior Championship semi-final against Leitrim, but lost out by 1-17 to 1-8 in September 2006.

In 2007 Longford moved up from Junior to Intermediate grade, and enjoyed great success in the Leinster Championship, winning the Leinster Intermediate Championship title in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014. That same year Longford reached the Leinster Juvenile ‘B’ Championship final, losing out to Wexford in the decider in Stradbally in July 2007 by 3-9 to 1-11. The team was managed by Francis Brady, Declan Dalton and Anne-Marie Bratten.

In 2008 Longford won the Leinster Intermediate Championship, beating Kilkenny in the final in Carlow by 4-14 to 0-1 on 21st June. The team was managed by Gerry Fox and Enda Williams. Also in 2008, Longford won the Leinster Minor ‘B’ Championship with victory over Louth by 2-12 to 3-4, and Longford also won the Leinster U-14 ‘B’ Championship in 2008 beating Louth by 3-7 to 3-4.

In 2009 Longford regained the Intermediate Championship title, beating Wexford in the final by 4-19 to 0-6.

🗓️ 2010-2015

In 2010 Longford retained the Leinster Intermediate Championship title, beating Westmeath by 1-11 to 1-7 to win a unique 3-in-a-row.

In 2011 Longford won the Leinster Juvenile ‘B’ Championship title with victory over Kildare by 6-10 to 2-8, and went on to win the All-Ireland Juvenile ‘B’ Championship title with a 6-14 to 3-5 victory over Tipperary in the decider.

In 2011 Michelle Farrell (Colmcille) won LGFA Leinster ‘Young Player of the Year’ award.

In late 2011 the Longford LGFA family was plunged into 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 Senior Championship.

In 2012 Longford captured the National League Division 4 title, beating Limerick in the final by 1-15 to 1-8.

In 2013 Longford won the Leinster Intermediate Championship title for the 4th time, beating London in the final by 3-11 to 1-6.

In 2014 Longford won the Leinster Intermediate Championship title for the 5th time, beating Offaly in the final by 2-14 to 2-5.

The LGFA All-Ireland U-16 ‘B’ Championship semi-final was held in Ardagh on 17th August 2014, with Laois beating Mayo by 5-8 to 3-7.

In 2015 Longford won the Leinster U-14 ‘B’ Championship, beating Laois 3-9 to 1-3 in the final in Clane on 30th May 2015.

🗓️ 2016-2023

In 2016 Longford slipped from Intermediate to Junior grade and responded positively by winning the Leinster Junior Championship that year, beating Carlow in the Leinster Final and pushing on to win the All-Ireland Junior Championship by beating Antrim by 4-10 to 1-12 in Croke Park to return to Intermediate grade.

During 2016 Jacinta Brady (Killoe) was voted LGFA Player of the Month by the Sunday Independent newspaper.

In 2016 Mairead Reynolds (Dromard) was LGFA Junior ‘Player of the Year’ winner.

In 2016 Longford won the Leinster Juvenile ‘C’ Championship title (managed by Dara Gill).

In 2017 Longford captured the National League Division 4 title, beating Wicklow by 2-10 to 1-8 in the final.

In 2017 James Daly (Longford Ladies Manager) won the Daily Star ‘Manager of the Month’ award.

In 2017 Melissa O’Kane (St. Brigids Gaels) won the LGFA All-Ireland Skills Award.

In 2017 Michelle Farrell (Colmcille) was voted WGPA Player of the Month during the year.

In 2019 & 2022 Longford won the Leinster Minor ‘B’ Championship and won the All-Ireland Minor ‘B’ Championship title in 2019.

In 2019 Longford Juveniles won the Leinster Juvenile ‘B’ Championship title and All-Ireland Juvenile ‘B’ Championship titles and won the Leinster Juvenile ‘C’ Championship title in 2016 (managed by Dara Gill) and 2022 (reaching the All-Ireland Juvenile ‘C’ Championship final in 2022, losing to Armagh by 1-14 to 2-4) to continue a successful period for underage Ladies Gaelic Football in Longford.

In 2021 Riane McGrath (Killoe) won the ZuCar Golden Glove award.

In 2022 Longford reached the All-Ireland Minor ‘B’ Championship final but lost to Monaghan. It is worth noting that Longford’s Sian Gallagher won Player of the Match on that occasion.

In 2022 Seamus McGuire (Carrickedmond) won the National LGFA PRO of the Year award.

In 2023 the Longford seniors relinquished their Intermediate status in Championship and Division 3 status in League and from 2024 would operate at Junior grade in Championship and in Division 4 in League.

In December 2023 Michelle Mulvey (née Hannify) and Michelle Bohan (née Ross) were both selected for the inaugural LGFA International Rules Masters series against Australia in 2024. Michelle Mulvey (née Hannify) is originally from Drumlish and is both a footballer and GAA/LGFA referee. Now playing with Carrickedmond, she previously played for her local St. Helens club in Drumlish. Michelle wore the Longford colours many times as a player, winning Leinster Junior Championship & All-Ireland Senior ‘B’ Championship titles in 1996, National League Division 3 and All-Ireland Junior Championship titles in 1997 and Leinster Intermediate Championship title in 2009, while at club level winning six Senior Football Championship titles with St. Helens (4), St. Helens/Rathcline (1) and Carrickedmond (1) as well as JFC and IFC titles with Carrickedmond. Michelle also won a national All-Star Replacement award in 1996 and played for Leinster in 2000. From a legendary Longford footballing family in Drumlish, Michelle’s uncle and grandfather (both Jimmy) were among the finest footballers of their era and both were selected on the Longford ‘Team of the Millennium‘. Michelle Bohan (née Ross) is originally from Legan and played club football in Longford with the Carrickedmond club. She captained Longford to win the 2009 Leinster Intermediate Championship and is now based in Westmeath, playing with The Downs LGFA club.

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