Longford Gaelic Stats
Longford Club Story (1888-2022)

Longford Club Story

1888: First GAA Club in Longford

1887 was long assumed as the origin year of GAA in Longford (1887 is on the Longford GAA crest), however is not clear why 1887 is cited as the origin year. Our research found that the origin was more likely to be the formation of the first GAA club in the county (Granard Healys) in 1888. The Granard Healys club was formed in late September 1888 and named after Tim Michael Healy, M.P. for North Longford. The elected officers were President, James Cosgrave; captain, L Cosgrave; secretary, John Cosgrave; treasurer, W Dawson; committee, E Tobin, F Kelly, J Kelly, J Smith and JJ Hennessy.

The town of Longford was next with the Longford Davitts club with some reports claiming the club was founded on December 2nd 1888, while others claimed January 6th 1889. The Chairman of the new Longford Davitts club was JP Farrell who would soon become the first Chairman of the Longford County Board. The Ballymahon O’Briens club followed shortly after, in February 1889. A challenge match took place between the Longford Davitts and Ballymahon O’Briens on Ballymahon’s fair green on 24th February 1889, and appears to have been the first match under GAA rules in Longford, with the home side winning by 0-3 to 0-0, refereed by Peter Toolan of Longford. A return game was played on 24th March 1889 in Longford with the home side reversing the result by 1-2 to 0-2 in a game refereed by Joseph Folan.

More clubs formed throughout 1889 and 1890 and the first official tournament (Grand Gaelic Tournament) under GAA rules took place in Longford on Easter Sunday 21st April 1889. The tournament was organised by the Longford Davitts club and was advertised to include 6 clubs and 3 games. However it ended up with 4 clubs and 2 games. The clubs involved were Ballymahon O’Briens, Clough Dillons, Longford Davitts and Rooskey Pat Molloys. All four teams marched from the Market Square to the grounds at the Springlawn race course, behind the Longford fife-and-drum band. In the first game, Ballymahon O’Briens beat Longford Davitts by 0-1 to 0-0. The second game between the newly formed Clough Dillons club and Rooskey Pat Molloys was interrupted by rain, and once it resumed Rooskey ran out winners by 2-5 to 0-0.

1889: County Board is Formed

On 13th October 1889 two matches took place in Longford involving Longford Davitts vs Killoe Erin’s Pride and Drumlish Robert Emmets vs Clough Dillons. Following the two games, the Longford County Board (or ‘County Council’ as it was referred to back then) convened for the very first time at 6pm in the League room on the Market Square in Longford town. Delegates were present from Drumlish, Ballinamuck, Clough, Columbkille, Dromard, Killoe, Longford and Clonguish clubs. Mr. Thompson seconded by Mr. McGrath proposed JP Farrell for the role of chair. It was decided at this first meeting that no club could enter a competition unless every member had a card of the Irish National League.

Although the first club was formed in Longford in 1888 and the first match under GAA rules in Longford took place in 1889, Longford had a retrospective link with the initial founding of the GAA in Hayes Hotel in Thurles in 1884, where one of the founders, Thomas St George McCarthy, was an RIC man who served as a District Inspector with the RIC in Ballymahon.

There are references to Gaelic matches taking place prior to the 1880’s and back to the 18th century, including one between Longford and Westmeath. There are also parish records which cite locals playing Gaelic Football prior to the 1880’s and many recollections of games between neighbouring parishes where the battle would go on for hours with no one seemingly keeping score! There are also recorded tales of teams in Longford prior to the foundation of the GAA in 1884, though not affiliated or competing under GAA rules. The yardstick we use for the start of GAA activity in Longford is the organisation of clubs, games and a county board under GAA rules, which can be traced back to 1888, not to 1887 as had previously been assumed.

In terms of major GAA rule changes, prior to 1892 the players per team was 21, and no number of points equaled a goal. From 1892 the players per team was reduced to 17 and a goal equaled 5 points. This changed to a goal equaling 3 points from 1896. In 1901 the scoring area was reduced from 63 feet to 54 feet between each post. In 1910 the side posts were abolished and the goal area as we recognise it today was introduced. In 1913 the number of players per team was reduced to 15.


1890: First Club Championship

By the time of the draw for a first Senior Football Championship in 1890, twenty one clubs had been formed and were ready for competitive action. Most of those clubs would be inactive/folded by the turn of the century. The clubs in the 1890 Championship were…

Ardagh St. Patricks
Ballymacormack Grattans
Ballywillan Michael Davitts
Carrickedmond O’Connells
Clonguish Gallowglasses
Clough Dillons
Columbkille St. Columbkilles
Crosskeys Fitzgeralds
Dromard O’Briens
Drumlish Robert Emmets
Edgeworthstown Volunteers
Ferefad Mandevilles
Granard Healys
Killashee Mitchells
Killoe Erin’s Pride
Legan Sunbursts
Longford Davitts
Moydow Harpers
Newtowncashel Sons of St Kieran
Rathcline John Martins
Shrule Leos

1890 was a controversial year with games called off and the County Secretary resigning, but all the time more and more clubs were being founded and the first Senior Football Championship taking place. The Championship was split into North and South as follows:

North Competition

  • Columbkille (0-3) vs Edgeworthstown Volunteers (0-1),
  • Ballywillan Michael Davitts vs Granard Healys (walk over)
  • Drumlish Emmets (0-2) vs Clonguish Gallowglasses (0-1)
  • Killoe Erin’s Pride (0-0) vs Dromard O’Briens (0-1)

South Competition

  • Ferefad Mandevilles (1-0) vs Legan Sunbursts (0-1)
  • Killashee Mitchells vs Crosskeys Fitzgeralds – No result declared, replay a draw, second replay won by Killashee
  • Rathcline John Martins (2-3) vs Moydow Harpers (0-0)
  • Ardagh St Patricks (0-2) vs Newtowncashel Sons of St Kieran (0-0)
  • Longford Davitts (0-2) vs Clough Dillons (0-3), Longford awarded the game after Dillons waked off
  • Ballymacormack Grattans vs Carrickedmond O’Connells, Ballymacormack won
  • Shrule Leos – a bye

Further Rounds

  • Ballymacormack Grattans (2-6) vs Shrule Leos (0-3)
  • Ferefad Mandevilles (0-2) vs Granard Healys (0-2) – Granard won the replay
  • Columbkille (0-5) vs Killoe (0-0)
  • Ardagh St Patricks (0-5) vs Longford Davitts (0-3)
  • Drumlish Emmets a bye
  • Rathcline John Martins (0-3) vs Ardagh St Patricks (0-1)
  • Ballymacormack Grattans (0-5) vs Drumlish Emmets (0-3)
  • Columbkille (0-5) vs Granard Healys (0-1)

Semi Finals

  • Columbkille (1-5) vs Ballymacormack Grattans (0-1)
  • Rathcline a bye

County Final

  • Columbkille (1-0)
  • Rathcline (0-4)

The first Senior Football Championship final took place at Abbeycarton Lane on June 8th 1890. Patrick Baxter from Ardagh St. Patricks was the referee. Rathcline scored four point in the first half with Columbkille struggling to play as well as they had in their semi final, but a fisted goal in the second half gave the lead to Columbkille which they held on to win, despite strong objections over the goal. In 1890 a goal was worth more than any number of points, hence Columbkille won on a scoreline of 1-0 to 0-4.

There was further controversy when Columbkille threatened to hand back their medals as Rathcline were receiving a set of medals inscribed with ‘Honest Johns champions for skill’. It was thought that the medals would have no inscription. The reason for the inscription is due to the fact that most spectators regarded Rathcline as being the superior skilled team only losing out to a disputed goal. A compromise was reached where the medals would state ‘Honest Johns for superior merit’. The teams on the day were as follows…

Columbkille – Phil Hourican, captain, Danny Hanlon, Hughie McGovern, Charlie Hourigan, Tom McKeon, Brian Sexton, Mickie Hanlon, Phil McKeon, Phil Brady, J Brady, John Clarke, Frankie Kiernan, James McKeon, Brian Mulligan, James Donohoe, Eddie Rogers, Mikie McNerney, John McDowell, Peter Kiernan, James Hourican, Phil Hourican

Rathcline – Patrick Casey, captain, John Farrell, James Skelly, Pat Connaughton, Thomas Fallon, Pat Farrell, James Costello, Thomas Killian, Pat Mulloly, James Fallon, Pat Fallon, Pat Curran, Pat McGuinness, Peter McGinley, John Smith, Thomas Hynes, Thomas Dempsey, John Fallon, Matt Dowd, Michael Reilly, Pat Fallon.

[Image: Longford Leader archive]


1891: Second Club Championship (Unfinished)

The years following the first club championship in 1890 saw political unrest impact upon the GAA activities and the county board struggled to keep formed. An effort was made to play a championship in 1891 with 26 clubs taking part in the Senior Championship and a number of games played. However the competition suffered from a series of no-shows and would later be abandoned. The number of absentee teams in the 1891 Championship was caused by a notice printed in error in the Roscommon Herald the day before the game, cancelling the fixtures. A subsequent meeting of the County Board ruled that the teams who didn’t turn up would get a bye into the second round and to compete the first round, the remaining teams who did not field were re-drawn against each other. The re-draw included Mullinalaghta Leaguers who were a late entry and Ballywillan Faugh ‘a Ballaghs who had changed their name from Ballywillan Davitts. Neither Ballymahon, Killashee nor Carrickedmond who entered in the original first round, appeared in the re-draw.

The full list of clubs earmarked for the 1891 Club Championship was:

Ardagh St. Patricks
Ballinamuck 98s
Ballymacormack Grattans
Ballymahon Leos *
Ballywillan Faugh a’Ballagh *
Carrickedmond
Clonbroney Esmondes
Clonguish Gallowglasses
Clough Dillons
Columbkille St. Columbkilles
Cranley Hearts of Erin
Dromard Hugh Roe O’Donnells *
Drumlish Robert Emmets
Edgeworthstown Volunteers
Ferefad Mandevilles
Granard Healys
Granard Slashers
Killashee Mitchells
Killoe Erins Pride
Killoe McMahons
Legan Sunbursts
Moydow Harpers
Mullinalaghta Leaguers
Newtowncashel Sons of St. Kieran
Rathaspic Leaguers
Rathcline John Martins

* In the months following the 1890 Championship, Ballymahon O’Briens and Shrule Leo’s amalgamated to form Ballymahon Leo’s, Dromard O’Briens and Dromard Owen Roes amalgamated to form Dromard Hugh Roe O’Donnells (Dromard O’Donnells) and Ballywillan Faugh a’Ballagh started the 1891 Championship as Ballywillan Michael Davitts and underwent a name change during the competition.

Four teams (Rathcline John Martins, Moydow Harpers, Killoe McMahons and Crosskeys Fitzgeralds) were eventually clear to proceed to the third round of games, with objections in the other five games to be decided by the County Board. A decision on the objections, probably in the hope that the political heat would have worn off, was deferred until the first meeting of the County Board in November 1891. By then the County Board had effectively ceased to function. No meeting was held, the objections were never heard and the Championship remained unfinished.


1892-1899: Decline & Crisis

The GAA was faced with its first crisis in the aftermath of the Parnell affair, and activities and structures in Longford and other counties effectively ceased throughout the 1890’s. It should be noted that while Longford County Council had met and decided to remain neutral during the crisis, Justin McCarthy (M.P. for North Longford) was the leader of the campaign to have Parnell removed as leader of the party. The 1891 championship in Longford was started but remained unfinished (for different reasons) and many years would pass before competition resumed in 1904. The number of clubs in Ireland dropped from 879 to 200 between 1890 and 1892, with the split caused by the Parnell scandal having a significant impact on the GAA because of the organisations close associations with the home rule movement. The impact on Longford was the complete decimation of clubs and competition during the 1890’s.

The 1891 convention in Longford was attended by only 1 delegate and a subsequent attempt saw only 4 clubs represented when 5 was needed to form a County Committee, hence the County Board was not in existence in the years following 1891.

In 1896 a County Committee was formed briefly, but did not last very long and later that year a match took place between Longford Shamrocks and Granard Slashers with the Longford Shamrocks recording a convincing win. This had been recorded in previous records as the Championship final, however there was no County Board at the time of the match, hence no official GAA activity in the county in 1896, and the match itself was a one-off game and not part of any larger competition with other clubs. Therefore the claim of this being the Senior Championship final does not stand up to scrutiny.

1897 also saw some friendly and tournament club games take place in Longford, but no official competition. By this stage, there had been a sizable collapse in number of clubs across most counties in Leinster as the GAA continued to feel the impact of its pro-Parnelllite stance during the Nationalist split of 1890-91. Longford was represented in the Croke Cup in 1897 by Longford Shamrocks. A record of clubs in Leinster in 1897 identifies only 1 affiliated club in Longford (Longford Shamrocks). Only one other county had a lower number (Westmeath with zero). The breakdown of affiliated clubs per county in 1897 was as follows:

  • Carlow: 6
  • Dublin: 33
  • Kildare: 13
  • Kilkenny: 18
  • Laois: 15
  • Longford: 1
  • Louth: 6
  • Meath: 12
  • Offaly: 18
  • Westmeath: 0
  • Wexford: 14
  • Wicklow: 20

By the end of the decade most of the clubs that had formed in great numbers in the period from 1889 to 1891 had lapsed or folded completely, and the decade had been defined by the dramatic decline of GAA club and county activity, with soccer, cricket and rugby gaining more popular in the county.

1900-1905: Club Summary

1902 saw the first signs of the re-emergence of the GAA in Longford, with friendly and tournament club games played. We also see the formation of the the first hurling club in the county called Longford Leo Caseys in 1902. The Leo Caseys club in Longford town was associated with the town’s branch of the Gaelic League and in these years hurling had a far greater impact in Longford town than Gaelic Football. A number of friendly club matches and tournaments took place across Longford in the early years of the new century, as well as games between Longford clubs and clubs in Roscommon, Westmeath, Leitrim and Cavan.

A hurling friendly played on 7th December 1902 between Longford Leo Caseys and Roscommon Gaels appears to be the first inter-county hurling game played by a Longford team. Roscommon Gaels won by 2-6 to 1-4 and the match report notes that the recently formed Longford Leo Caseys team “has been practicing only for about three weeks“. The Leo Caseys team that day was: McAvock (Captain), Kiernan, McLoughlin, O’Sullivan, Conway, Collins, Tully, M. Conlon, Coulahan, Quinn, MacManus, Donlon, McGuinness, Hughes, Faulkner and Denning. The return tie took place in Roscommon in mid February 1903 with Roscommon Gaels winning 2-5 to 0-1. This was one of a number of inter-county friendlies played in this period.

Longford Leo Caseys represented Longford in both hurling and football competitive inter-county games in those early years, including Leinster Cup (Hurling) vs Meath in 1903, Leinster SFC vs Westmeath in November 1903, Goodwin Cup (Football) vs Cavan in March 1904 and Croke Cup (Football) vs Kilkenny in May 1905.

The Longford County Board was reformed in 1904 which led to a revival of club championship for the first time since 1891, as well as the introduction of a new hurling championship. The Senior Football Championship resumed in 1904 for the first time since 1891. Nine clubs contested the 1904 Championship (a significant reduction from the 26 which existed ahead of the 1891 championship) with Longford Leo Caseys winning the final against Killoe Young Emmets. The same two clubs met in the inaugural hurling final in 1905 with Longford Leo Caseys recording a win in that match too.

Of the 9 clubs who competed in the 1904 Senior Football Championship, only 7 were part of the 26 clubs who took part in the last SFC competition in 1891 (albeit with a few name changes), while two new clubs had been formed in the time since 1891:

  • Ardagh St. Patricks
  • Clonbroney (formerly Clonbroney Esmondes)
  • Clonguish Gallowglasses
  • Drumlish Wolfe Tones (formerly Drumlish Robert Emmets)
  • Edgeworthstown Volunteers
  • Killashee John Mitchells
  • Killoe Young Emmets (formed 1903)
  • Longford Leo Caseys (formed 1902)
  • Rathcline (formerly Rathcline John Martins)

The lineup for the 1904 Senior Football Championship was as follows:

  • Longford Leo Caseys v Killashee John Mitchells
  • Ardagh St Patrick’s v Rathcline
  • Killoe Young Emmets v Clonguish Gallowglasses
  • Drumlish Wolfe Tones v Clonbroney
  • Edgewortstown Volunteers a bye

Semi Finals:

Killoe Young Emmets 1-4
Drumlish Wolfe Tones 0-3

Longford Leo Caseys 0-3
Ardagh St. Patricks 0-1 (replay)*

County Final (played in April 1905):

Longford Leo Caseys 2-7
Killoe Young Emmets 0-1

* Ardagh had objected to the result from the first game on the grounds that Leo Caseys had a soldier playing for them.


1905-1910: Club Summary

The 1905 Longford Senior Football Championship overran with the county final played in July 1906. Longford Leo Caseys retained their title with victory over Edgeworthstown Volunteers by 1-7 to 0-3. It is worth noting that one source we reviewed cited Clonguish Gallowglasses as having beat Longford Leo Caseys in a replayed final (forced by an objection in April 1906) and then going on to win the 1905 Championship final thereafter. However our research located the match report from the 1905 final showing Longford Leo Casey’s as 1905 Senior Football Championship winners. Leo Caseys also won the inaugural Longford Senior Hurling Championship for 1905. They beat Killoe Young Emmets in the hurling decider on a scoreline of 2-4 to 0-1 in February 1905. However the final had to be replayed following an objection by Killoe and Leo Casey’s emerged victorious in the replayed game on score of 1-3 to 1-2 in May 1905 to take the first Longford Senior Hurling Championship title and complete the first ever football & hurling double.

There was no Senior Championship action for the 1906 season. The GAA and County Directory for 1907-8 reported that Longford had seven clubs affiliated in 1906.

In 1907 Killoe Young Emmets beat Drumlish/Ballinamuck 98’s in the Football final after a replay (Drumlish Wolfe Tones and Ballinamuck 98’s clubs amalgamated to compete jointly for a few years from 1906). The first final between these sides was played on 7th July 1907 in Newtownforbes and ended in a draw (1-1 to 0-4). Killoe beat the amalgamation in the replay by 1-8 to 0-1.

Killoe Young Emmets beat Longford Leo Caseys in the Senior Hurling Championship final of 1907 by 3-3 to 0-0 on 13th July 1907 to complete a Football-Hurling double in 1907. This would be the last official club competition held in Longford until 1911. The GAA and County Directory for 1910-11 reported at the end of the 1910 season that the Longford County Committee was disbanded with no Championship organised since 1907. It also noted that a League was being organised. This is a reference to the League-Championship competition which started in 1911.


1900’s: Senior Football Championship Winners

  • 1904: Longford Leo Caseys
  • 1905: Longford Leo Caseys
  • 1906: No Championship
  • 1907: Killoe Young Emmets
  • 1908: No Championship
  • 1909: No Championship

1900’s: Senior Hurling Championship Winners

  • 1905: Longford Leo Caseys
  • 1906: No Championship
  • 1907: Killoe Young Emmets
  • No Hurling Championship until 1932.

1910’s: Club Summary

The beginning of the 1910’s was a struggle on and off the field in Longford, with little activity in inter-county and few club games played. There had been no Senior Football Championships for the 1906, 1908, 1909 & 1910 seasons and there would be none for the 1912, 1914, 1916, 1917 or 1918 seasons either. The GAA and County Directory for 1910-11 reported at the end of 1910 that the Longford County Committee was disbanded with no Championship held since 1907. It also noted that a League was being organised, which is a reference to the League-Championship competition which started in 1911.

Senior Football Championships restarted in 1911 for the first time since 1907, and was eventually completed for the 1911, 1912, 1915 and 1919 seasons, including delays and competitions taking multiple years to complete. Newspaper reports in 1917 carried the following official notice… “Owing to the somewhat disturbed state of the country, all football fixtures are postponed until further notice”. This was a combination of the political crisis post the 1916 Rebellion as well as the impact of the Spanish Flu pandemic and the Conscription crisis of the Great War.

Killoe Young Emmets dominated the club scene in the 1910’s, winning Senior Football Championship titles in 1911, 1913 and 1915, with no other winners in the intervening years due to absence of competition. Prior to our research in 2014, it was previously assumed in all publications that Killoe won the 1912 SFC title too, thus completing the first three-in-a-row from 1911-1913. Indeed, match reports for the 1911 and 1912 finals can both be found. However when the evidence is examined in a wider context and with a timeline superimposed, it shows that the 1912 final was almost certainly the delayed 1911 decider which was resurrected and eventually concluded in early 1912, with no additional competition played for the 1912 season.

In 1919 the SFC competition resumed for the first time since the conclusion of the 1915 Championship. Newspapers of the day report on the progress of the 1919 championship, which concluded with victory for Clonbroney Camlin Rovers over Killoe Young Emmets in a replay by 1-3 to 0-3 on 3rd August 1919 (this title was previously incorrectly allocated to 1917). The 1919 Senior Football Championship title previously credited to Clonguish was in fact the 1919 League-Championship final win over Mullinalaghta, played in April 1920.

(Medal image supplied by relative of player on 1919 Clonbroney Camlin Rovers team)

With Senior Football Championship in the 1910’s now clarified, the Senior League or League-Championship competition proved more complex with competition stretching across multiple years and conflation of terms in local media between League and Championship. All of this demanded more time and resource to understand the League vs Championship differences and winners during the 1910’s. From published references in October 1911 we can strongly infer that Clonguish Gallowglasses won the 1911 League-Championship. Clonguish were down to play Edgeworthstown in the final of the 1912 League-Championship on 8th June 1913, but no record has been found of a result or winner. Granard Shamrocks won the three League-Championships of 1914 (final played in Sept 1915), 1916 (final played in March 1917) and 1917 (final played in Feb 1919). The 1917 League-Championship took two years to complete and the final between Granard Shamrocks and Killashee was held on 23rd February 1919 with Granard Shamrocks winning by 2-4 to 0-0 (Granard Shamrocks had won the North Longford section earlier with 0-3 to 0-0 win over Killoe Young Emmets). A letter appeared in the newspaper shortly thereafter complaining about the length of time taken to complete the League-Championship competition.

The draw for the 1919 League-Championship took place on 23rd of July 1919 with the first games on August 10th 1919, shortly after the 1919 Senior Championship had completed. Long delays ensued between November 1919 and February 1920 due to objections and lack of light at afternoon matches which ran into evenings. Action resumed in February 1920 with semi finals in March and final on April 11th 1920, with Clonguish beating Mullinalaghta to win the 1919 League-Championship. No record has been found of Senior League-Championship titles for the 1913, 1915 or 1918 seasons.


1910’s: Senior Championship Winners

  • 1910: No Championship
  • 1911: Killoe Young Emmets
  • 1912: No Championship
  • 1913: Killoe Young Emmets
  • 1914: No Championship
  • 1915: Killoe Young Emmets
  • 1916: No Championship
  • 1917: No Championship
  • 1918: No Championship
  • 1919: Clonbroney Camlin Rovers

1910’s: Senior League-Championship Winners

Senior League-Championship competition began in 1911 as a League competition separate to the Senior Football Championship, and often had equal prestige to the Senior Championship in the early years. More details on this competition can be found here. Winners of the Senior League-Championship during the 1910’s are as follows:

  • 1911: Clonguish Gallowglasses
  • 1912: No Record of Winner
  • 1913: No Competition
  • 1914: Granard Shamrocks
  • 1915: No Competition
  • 1916: Granard Shamrocks
  • 1917: Granard Shamrocks
  • 1918: No Competition
  • 1919: Clonguish

1910’s: Junior League-Championship Winners

Junior League-Championship competition began in 1917 and was the sole competition for Junor teams in the county. It was played on a League basis similar to the Senior League-Championship of the day. Winners were referred to as Junior Competition winners or Junior Champions. More details on this competition can be found here. Winners of the Junior League-Championship during 1910’s are as follows:

  • 1917: Longford
  • 1918: Clonguish
  • 1919: Ballinamuck 98’s

1920’s: SFC Summary

Ballinamuck 98’s won the 1920 Senior Football Championship title with victory over Longford Wanderers to bring the Senior Championship title to the parish of Drumlish for the first time.

There is no evidence of any Senior Football Championship activity in 1921 or in the years 1921 to 1926, though there was League-Championship competition in some of those years. The Senior Championships of 1922 and 1923 had been previously credited to Longford Wanderers, however researched evidence confirms they were League-Championship titles and the evidence shows no Senior Championships played in either of those years. The 1926 Senior Championship had previously been assumed to have been abandoned (Granard v Mullinalaghta), however this was the League-Championship final which saw a dispute arise during the game when a Mullinalaghta player was struck by a spectator. Fans rushed the pitch and palings were ripped up and used. The melee lasted 10 minutes and the Gardai were called to restore the peace. Two were arrested and match was abandoned with five minutes to go. The drama made the national news.

Senior Football Championship eventually resumed in 1927 with Drumlish winning the clubs first title by beating neighbours Ballinamuck 98’s in the final. This is the only Senior Football Championship final to date involving two clubs from the same parish. Drumlish retained the senior championship in 1928 as a result of being awarded the title (the game was scheduled for 27 May 1928, but Longford Wanderers failed to field). St. Marys Granard emerged at the end of the decade to win the first three-in-a-row of Senior Football Championship titles from 1929 to 1931.

Note: 1927 was a complex year because after the Championship draw was made on January 29th 1927, the county board became entangled in a dispute which meant that there was no official County Board in the county for a brief period. By the end of March the dispute had been resolved and the County Board was in place once again, just in time for the Junior Football Championship final on 3rd April 1927 and Senior Football Championship final on 10th April 1927.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 1920’s were:

  • 1920: Ballinamuck 98’s
  • 1921-1926: No Championship
  • 1927: Drumlish
  • 1928: Drumlish
  • 1929: St. Marys Granard

1920’s: Senior League-Championship Summary

Senior League-Championship competition had been running since 1911 as a League competition separate to the Senior Championship, and often had equal prestige to the Senior Championship in the early years. More details on this competition can be found here. The winners of the Senior League-Championship in the 1920’s are as follows:

  • 1920 No Competition
  • 1921 No Competition
  • 1922 Longford Wanderers
  • 1923 Longford Wanderers
  • 1924 No Competition
  • 1925 No Winner (Abandoned)
  • 1926 No Competition
  • 1927 Longford Wanderers
  • 1928 Longford Wanderers
  • 1929 No Competition

1927-1929: JFC Summary

Junior Football Championship competition began in 1927, played alongside the Junior League competition which had been running since 1917 (initially as League-Championship and then from 1927 as League). Ardagh St. Patricks won the inaugural knockout Junior Football Championship title in 1927 with victory over Colmcille by 0-4 to 0-1, while Granard beat Ballymahon by 0-5 to 0-1 in that seasons Junior League final (played in Jan 1928). Other JFC winners included Clonguish in 1928 and Edgeworthstown in 1929. The 1929 decider was played in February 1930, and later that same year the club changed its name to Edgeworthstown Young Irelands.

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1920’s were:

  • 1927: Ardagh St. Patricks
  • 1928: Clonguish
  • 1929: Edgeworthstown

1920-1927: Junior League-Championship Summary

  • 1920: St. Mel’s College
  • 1921-1923: No Competition
  • 1924: Longford Rovers
  • 1925: Drumlish
  • 1926: No Competition

1930’s: SFC Summary

The 1930’s saw St. Mary’s Granard win an impressive 5 championship titles and the first ever 3-in-row of championships twice during the decade (Note: The first 3-in-row had previously been assigned to Killoe 1911-1913, however our research disproved the 1912 title thus invalidating that 3-in-a-row, hence since 2014 Granard is now noted as the first to achieve 3-in-a-row)!

1932 is the only Senior Football Championship final record for which we cannot find a scoreline. There was no match report in the newspaper in the weeks following the county final, and Jim Mannix apologised to readers in the Longford Leader some weeks later, explaining that he was not within comfortable travelling distance and was unable to be present at the match and could therefore not write about it. He also noted that other County Board Officials were absent too and states that it was a pity that somebody, knowing the officials were away, didn’t try their hand at a little journalism. His apology however failed to inform readers of the final score.

The 1939 title was awarded to Drumlish. The county final was held on 3rd September 1939 and descended into a fiasco, being declared null and void by the County board. The referee appointed to the fixture was unavailable, and the County Secretary (Mr. J.V. Kelly, an inter-county referee of some note) stepped in at the last minute to referee the game. With 20 minutes played, Ardagh were leading by a 1-0 to 0-2 when Bill Keenan was fouled and went down injured. A big row followed and by the time order was restored, the Ardagh players left the field and did not return. The subsequent County Board meeting declared the game null and void because it hadn’t started at the appointed time and did not have the appointed referee. It was also decided not to replay the fixture. Drumlish escalated the issue to the Leinster Council who ruled on 6th January 1940 that the Ardagh players had in effect suspended themselves by leaving the field of play, and did not find that the game was late in starting. The title was awarded to Drumlish and Ardagh received a 24 week suspension.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 1930’s were:

  • St. Marys Granard (5)
  • Drumlish (3)
  • Ardagh St. Patricks (1)
  • Colmcille (1)

1936-1939: Leader Cup

The Leader Cup (Football League) competition was first introduced in October 1936, but activity was slow and in May 1937 it was decided to abandon the 1936 competition and begin anew in 1937. The first winner of the Leader Cup was Drumlish in 1937, and they retained the title in 1939.

  • 1936: Not Completed
  • 1937: Drumlish
  • 1938: No Competition
  • 1939: Drumlish

Prior to the introduction of the new Leader Cup competition in 1936, a Senior League-Championship competition had taken place in Longford since 1911. The winners of that League-Championship in the 1930’s up to the end of that competition at the end of 1935 were as follows:

  • 1930: St. Marys Granard
  • 1931: Drumlish
  • 1932: No Competition
  • 1933; Drumlish
  • 1934: St. Marys Granard
  • 1935: Drumlish

1932-1934: SHC Summary

The Longford Senior Hurling Championship resumed in Longford in the 1930’s for the first time since 1907, with Granard Hurling Club winning the first 3-in-row of Longford SHC titles in 1932, 1933 and 1934 before hurling competition lapsed once again.

The SHC competitions of 1932 and 1933 were played on a league basis, with Granard topping the league at the end of the season, thus winning the title. The clubs involved in 1932 were Granard, Longford and Edgeworthstown while the clubs involved in 1933 were Granard, Longford and Lisryan. For 1934, three hurling clubs competed in the Championship. Granard beat Lisryan (4-1 to 4-0), and Longford beat Lisryan. In the final game Granard made it three in a row titles with victory over Longford by 3-2 to 1-3 on 22nd April 1934.

It is also worth noting that Granard went on to win the Cavan Senior Hurling Championship title in 1950. There would not be another Senior Hurling Championship held in Longford until 1982.

The Senior Hurling Championship winners throughout the 1930’s were:

  • Granard Hurling Club (3)

1931-1932: IFC Summary

In January 1931 it was proposed at the County Board meeting to establish a third grade of football alongside the two existing grades of Senior and Junior. This led to the implementation of the Intermediate Championship to encourage more football for clubs. The competition was run in 1931 and 1932, but was discontinued thereafter. Intermediate competition would not re-appear until 1966 when the current Intermediate Championship started.

The Intermediate Football Championship winners throughout the 1930’s were:

  • Mullinalaghta (1)
  • Edgeworthstown Young Irelands (1)

1930’s: JFC Summary

The 1930’s saw Junior Football Championship title wins for a wide variety of clubs as competition increased and clubs formed or reformed. Title winners included Ardagh St. Patricks, Killoe Young Emmets, Longford Wanderers, Killashee St. Brigids, Seán Connollys, Whiterock Slashers, Colmcille, Ballinamuck 98’s and Moydow Harpers.

Ardagh St. Patricks were awarded the replay of the 1930 Junior Championship final against Colmcille as the referee adjudged the latter not to have fielded in the allotted time. In the 1935 final, Whiterock Slashers defeated Seán Connollys in the decider in late 1935. Seán Connollys objected and the available evidence suggests that this objection was upheld in early 1936 with the title going to Seán Connollys. In the 1936 final, Whiterock Slashers beat Dromard, but Dromard objected and were awarded the title. Whiterock Slashers counter-objected and were re-awarded the title. Hence the record shows Whiterock Slashers as champions.

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1930’s were:

  • Ardagh St. Patricks (2)
  • Killoe Young Emmets (1)
  • Longford Wanderers (1)
  • Killashee St. Brigids (1)
  • Seán Connollys (1)
  • Whiterock Slashers (1)
  • Colmcille (1)
  • Ballinamuck 98’s (1)
  • Moydow Harpers (1)

1930’s: Minor Football Championship

In 1934, Minor teams were entered into competition from Clonbroney, Whiterock Slashers, Drumlish, St. Brigids Killashee, St. Marys Granard and United Gaels (Longford + Clonguish + Ardagh). Fixtures were arranged in May 1934 but nothing more was recorded. It is not possible to ascertain for certain whether this competition was Minor League or Minor Championship. Minor competition was organised again in 1935 but the Minor Board Notes from early 1936 indicated that the 1935 competition was not completed. No record of any Minor final exists, but a notice regarding a medal presentation in Apr 1937 noted Longford as 1935 Minor League winners. No record of any Championship played. Minor Football Championship is first recorded with Killoe winning the 1936 Minor Championship (in June 1937).

The 1936 Minor Championship was not completed until June 1937 which may explain the absence of any Minor Championship for 1937. A Minor League was played in 1937 and was at an advanced stage up to end of October 1937. Four teams played in that Minor League with some teams having played two games by end of October 1937. The County Board AGM in January 1938 noted a lack of progress in local competition at every level including lack of support for underage competitions. It seems the Minor league competition was not finished and additionally no Championship was played in 1937 either.

Minor League competition began in April 1938 and continued into November 1938. The preview to Mullinalaghta v Ballymahon game on 1st November 1938 mentions that Mullinalaghta are leading the Minor League at that stage. No published record of the League final has been found, but we can infer from later references that Mullinalaghta went on to win that League competition. There is no published record of any 1938 Minor Championship win (or indeed of a knockout Championship competition being played), however winner medals exist with the year, club and competition to suggest that Mullinalaghta won the 1938 Minor Championship title. It should be noted that some players from Seán Connollys club played on the Mullinalaghta Minor team in 1938, but it was not an amalgamation (only ‘Mullinalaghta’ inscribed on the medals).

Though Minor League was played in some of the years following, there would be no further Minor Football Championship until 1950.

The Minor Football Championship winners throughout the 1930’s were:

  • Killoe (1)
  • Mullinalaghta (1)

1930’s: Longford GAA HQ

On 14th May 1930 the last game was played at Longford Park (later the greyhound park). The final game was the Junior League final between Mullinalaghta and Killoe Young Emmets. Killoe won by 0-4 to 0-3. The low-scoring game had an astonishing 31 free kicks (17 Killoe, 14 Mullinalaghta) and 32 wides (15 Killoe, 17 Mullinalaghta). Longford moved all GAA activity from Longford Park to it’s current location which was referred to then as the New Gaelic Grounds at Kelliher Barracks. The first game at the new grounds was on 4th June 1933 in Junior Championship between Ballinamuck 98’s and Dromard. The first person to score in the new grounds was Brennan of Ballinamuck. Final score was Dromard 0-5, Ballinamuck 98’s 1-1. This was followed that same day by the Fr. Lynch Cup final between the Senior and Junior Champions of the previous year, Drumlish v Killoe, which Drumlish won comfortably. In 1937, following a major development project, the new Gaelic Grounds officially became Pearse Park.

1940’s: SFC Summary

The 1940’s saw titles spread between seven clubs, including Drumlish, Longford Wanderers, St. Marys Granard, Ardagh St. Patricks, Mullinalaghta, Dromard and Colmcille. The County Final of 1946 between Dromard and Ballymahon is noteworthy because the final dragged into the following year due to a mixture of issues including the harvest crisis and a semi-final objection not involving Ballymahon. The final was eventually fixed for March 23rd 1947 but the big blizzards at that time forced another postponement. The final eventually took place on April 7th 1947 and finished scoreless (still the only County Final to end scoreless). The replay on 14th April 1947 eventually saw Dromard victorious by 1-4 to 0-4.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 1940’s were:

  • Drumlish (3)
  • Longford Wanderers (2)
  • St. Marys Granard (1)
  • Ardagh St. Patricks (1)
  • Mullinalaghta (1)
  • Dromard (1)
  • Colmcille (1)

1940’s: JFC Summary

The 1940’s saw Junior Football Championship title wins for Mostrim, Clonguish, Longford Wanderers, Cashel, Dromard, Ballymahon, Abbeylara and Ardagh St. Patricks. In the 1940 final, Killoe defeated Mostrim 1-5 to 1-4. However Mostrim lodged an objection which was upheld in November 1940 and Mostrim were awarded the title and medals. Cashel had previously been recorded as winners of the 1942 Junior Championship, however available evidence now shows that Longford Wanderers defeated Seán Connollys in that Junior Championship final. Newtowncashel St. Ciaráns defeated Killoe Young Emmets in the Junior League final of 1942 and this may have been mistaken for Championship in previous records.

In the 1949 final, Killoe Young Emmets beat Ardagh St. Patricks but Ardagh objected because Killoe were 11 minutes late in fielding. The objection was upheld as reported in the Longford Leader on 1st October 1949. While no explicit report exists stating that the upholding of the objection led to the awarding of the title to Ardagh, subsequent references found in reports from 1950 supports the view that the title was indeed awarded to Ardagh. This includes an article in local media on 27th May 1950 in which Ardagh are referred to as Junior Champions, and another article on 29th July 1950 in a game between Ardagh and Mullinalaghta where it states “ex champions Mullinalaghta take on 1949 Junior Champions Ardagh“, and finally an article on 16th September 1950 which notes that Mullinalaghta “disposed of the challenge of the 1949 Junior Champions Ardagh”. So there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to support the 1949 Junor Championship title being attributed to Ardagh St. Patricks following an upheld objection.

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1940’s were:

  • Cashel (2)
  • Clonguish (2)
  • Mostrim
  • Ardagh St. Patricks
  • Abbeylara
  • Ballymahon
  • Dromard
  • Longford Wanderers

1950’s: SFC Summary

The 1950’s saw the emergence of the Longford Slashers club which was formed in 1954 when the clubs of Longford Wanderers and Whiterock Slashers united. Longford Slashers dominated the decade along with a strong Drumlish Young Irelands team managed by Fr. Seán Manning (Young Irelands name was added to the ‘Drumlish’ club name from 1951). Colmcille managed two titles while Mullinalaghta won one.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 1950’s were:

  • Longford Slashers (4)
  • Drumlish Young Irelands (3)
  • Colmcille (2)
  • Mullinalaghta (1)

1950’s: JFC Summary

The 1950’s once again saw Junior Football Championship title wins for a wide variety of clubs. Winners include Seán Connollys, Killoe Young Emmets, Abbeylara, Whiterock Slashers, Ardagh St. Patricks, Carrickedmond, Rathcline, St. Mary’s Granard and Clonguish. The Junior Championship was put on hold for over two months in November & December 1956, and the final was eventually played in 1957. The delay was due to Rathcline lodging an appeal to the Leinster Council regarding a decision by the Longford County Board to uphold an objection by Clonguish, who had been beaten by Rathcline in the previous round. The Leinster Council found that Clonguish was a suspended team, and could not consequently participate in the actives of the Association. The Rathcline win was upheld, and they progressed to the semi-final of the Southern Section against Killashee St. Brigids, and then to the Southern Section final against Kenagh St. Dominics, before defeating Mullinalaghta in the Junior Championship final. Mullinalaghta, who lost the final, had previously defeated Killoe Slashers (temporary amalgamation of Killoe Young Emmets and Whiterock Slashers) in the Northern Section final which led to an objection from Killoe Slashers as to the constitution of their team. So 1956 was a season of objections and delays in the Junior Championship.

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1950’s were:

  • Killoe Young Emmets (2)
  • Seán Connollys
  • Abbeylara
  • Whiterock Slashers
  • Ardagh St. Patricks
  • Carrickedmond
  • Rathcline
  • St. Marys Granard
  • Clonguish

1950’s: Minor Football Championship

Minor Football Championship began in 1950 for the first time since the 1930’s. Published records by Coiste Chontae Longfoirt prior to our research in 2014 showed Mostrim as winners of the 1949 Minor Football Championship. However an examination of available records shows that while Minor League competition was played in 1949 (with Clonguish defeating Rathcline by 3-3 to 2-2 to lift the new Harte Cup in the Minor League final played in February 1950), no published evidence has been found of any separate Minor Championship played in 1949 (though references to the Minor League final as ‘Minor Championship’ are found in the preview to the 1949 Minor decider). The decision to play a separate Minor Championship competition in addition to the Minor League happened in 1950.

The Minor Championship of 1950 saw Clonguish emerge as champions, becoming the first club to win the Harte Cup for Minor Championship (the club also won Minor League titles in 1949 & 1951). Minor Championship competition for 1951 was abandoned but resumed in 1952 and has taken place in every year since. The 1950’s saw Minor Championship titles for Clonguish, Ballymahon, Colmcille, Carrickedmond, Granard and St. Michaels.

The Harte Cup was purchased in 1948 and intended to be presented to Minor League winners of 1948. However when the Minor League final was voided in 1948, it was not presented that year and was instead presented for the first time to the Minor League winners of 1949 (Clonguish). In 1950, the County Board decided to re-purpose the cup and present it instead to the winners of the Minor Championship competition which they had restarted that year for the first time in many years. Clonguish therefore have the unique distinction of winning the Harte Cup in 1949 for winning the Minor League, and then winning the Harte Cup in 1950 for winning the Minor Championship. This led to confusion in the records over the years, including the assumption that Clonguish had won Minor Championships in both years. In fact the records show that Clonguish won the Minor League in 1949, the Minor Championship in 1950 and the Minor League in 1951.

The Minor Football Championship winners throughout the 1950’s were:

  • Granard (3)
  • Ballymahon (2)
  • Clonguish
  • Colmcille
  • Carrickedmond
  • St. Michaels (Longford Slashers)

1954-1959: Juvenile Football Championship

New Juvenile (U-16) Football Championship began in 1954, with winners for rest of the decade as follows:

  • St. Michaels (Longford Slashers) (2)
  • Padraig Pearses (Clonguish) (1)
  • Granard (1)
  • Kenagh St. Dominics (1)
  • Colmcille (1)

1960’s: SFC Summary

The 1960’s in Senior Championship belonged to Clonguish who won an incredible 6 senior Senior Football Championships over the decade including the second ever 3-in-a-row of SFC titles and the first (and thus far only) 4-in-a-row of SFC titles in Longford GAA history. The Clonguish full forward (and later Club Chairman) P.J. Murphy scored an impressive 8 goals during the 1963 campaign alone, which is something of a record.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 1960’s were:

  • Clonguish (6)
  • St. Marys Granard (2)
  • Killoe Young Emmets (1)
  • Longford Slashers (1)

1960’s: IFC Summary

The 1960’s also saw the reformation of the Intermediate Football Championship in 1966 with Kenagh being the first winners of the grade since the 1930’s. Mostrim, Cashel and Ballymahon were the other Intermediate Championship winners during the 1960’s.

The Intermediate Football Championship winners throughout the 1960’s were:

  • Kenagh St. Dominics (1)
  • Mostrim (1)
  • Cashel (1)
  • Ballymahon (1)

1960’s: JFC Summary

Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1960’s encompassed a broad spectrum of clubs including Ballymahon (who did a unique double with the Leader Cup), Cashel, Carrickedmond, Rathcline, St. Brigids Killashee, Mostrim and Seán Connollys, Legan Sarsfields and Shroid Slashers.

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1960’s were:

  • Cashel (2)
  • Ballymahon (1)
  • Carrickedmond (1)
  • Rathcline (1)
  • St. Brigids Killashee (1)
  • Mostrim (1)
  • Seán Connollys (1)
  • Legan Sarsfields (1)
  • Shroid Slashers (1)

1970’s: SFC Summary

The Senior Football Championship scene was more evenly balanced in the 1970’s with Longford Slashers, Clonguish and St. Marys Granard winning more titles, and historic first title wins for Mostrim, Rathcline, Cashel and Ardagh St. Patricks.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 1970’s were:

  • Longford Slashers (3)
  • Clonguish (2)
  • St. Mary’s Granard (1)
  • Mostrim (1)
  • Rathcline (1)
  • Cashel (1)
  • Ardagh St. Patricks (1)

1970’s: IFC Summary

Intermediate Football Championship titles were won by different teams throughout each year of the 1970’s with title wins for Rathcline, Ardagh St. Patricks, and first time title wins for Legan Sarsfields, Mullinalaghta/Fr. Manning Gaels, St. Brigids Killashee, Fr. Manning Gaels, Abbeylara, Killoe Young Emmets, Carrickedmond and Dromard.

The Intermediate Football Championship winners throughout the 1970’s were:

  • Rathcline (1)
  • Ardagh St. Patricks (1)
  • Legan Sarsfields (1)
  • Mullinalaghta/Fr. Manning Gaels (1) *
  • St. Brigids Killashee (1)
  • Fr. Manning Gaels (1)
  • Abbeylara (1)
  • Killoe Young Emmets (1)
  • Carrickedmond (1)
  • Dromard (1)

* Mullinalaghta and Fr. Manning Gaels competed jointly as a temporary amalgamation in the Intermediate Championship of 1973 and ended up winning the title which is the only time this has happened in the history of the Intermediate Championship in Longford. There was no promotion to Senior grade that year as a result. Fr. Manning Gaels would go on to win the Intermediate Championship in 1975 and were promoted to Senior grade as a result, while Mullinalaghta won the Intermediate Championship in 1990 and were promoted to Senior grade then. 


1970’s: JFC Summary

Junior Football Championship titles were won by different teams throughout each year of the 1970’s with title wins for Dromard, St. Munis Forgney (first title), Rathcline, Abbeylara, Fr. Manning Gaels, Seán Connollys, Kenagh, Mullinalaghta St. Columbas, Longford Slashers and Colmcille.

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1970’s were:

  • Dromard (1)
  • St. Munis Forgney (1)
  • Rathcline (1)
  • Abbeylara (1)
  • Fr. Manning Gaels (1)
  • Seán Connollys (1)
  • Kenagh (1)
  • Mullinalaghta St. Columbas (1)
  • Longford Slashers (1)
  • Colmcille (1)

1980’s: SFC Summary

The start of the 1980’s saw Longford Slashers completing back-to-back Senior Football Championship titles for 1979/1980 followed by Clonguish in 1981 and St. Marys Granard in 1982, before Cashel dominated with three titles in four years in 1983, 1984 & 1986. The 1985 county final became a marathon of games between Mostrim and Ardagh St. Patricks, needing three attempts before Mostrim eventually came out on top. Ardagh St. Patricks and Killoe Young Emmets (bridging a 28 year gap) won the next two titles in 1987 & 1988 respectively before Longford Slashers won the final title of the decade.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 1980’s were:

  • Cashel (3)
  • Longford Slashers (2)
  • Clonguish (1)
  • St. Marys Granard (1)
  • Mostrim (1)
  • Ardagh St. Patricks (1)
  • Killoe Young Emmets (1)

1980’s: IFC Summary

Intermediate Football Championship titles went to a wide spread of clubs including St. Munis Forgney, Legan Sarsfields, Kenagh, Ballymahon, Abbeylara, Colmcille and Seán Connollys who won back-to-back titles at the end of the decade.

The Intermediate Football Championship winners throughout the 1980’s were:

  • Seán Connollys (3)
  • Abbeylara (2)
  • St. Munis Forgney (1)
  • Legan Sarsfields (1)
  • Kenagh (1)
  • Ballymahon (1)
  • Colmcille (1)

1980’s: JFC Summary

Junior Football Championship titles went to Ballymore, Shroid Slashers, Longford Slashers, Grattan Óg, Rathcline, St. Brigids Killashee, Moydow Harpers and Killoe Young Emmets (who won SFC and JFC double in 1988).

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1980’s were:

  • Rathcline (2)
  • St. Brigids Killashee (2)
  • Ballymore (1)
  • Shroid Slashers (1)
  • Longford Slashers (1)
  • Grattan Óg (1)
  • Moydow Harpers (1)
  • Killoe Young Emmets (1)

1980’s: Hurling Revival

The Longford Senior Hurling Championship made a comeback in 1982 for the first time since 1934. Slashers Gaels (now Longford Slashers) beat Naomh Ciarán (Rathcline) by 2-10 to 1-6 to take the 1982 SHC title and lift the new J.J. Duignan cup for the first time. Senior teams from Slashers Gaels, Wolfe Tones (Mostrim), Naomh Ciarán (Rathcline), as well as Bunlahy from 1984, competed in Senior Hurling Championship competition during the 1980’s with title wins for Slashers Gaels (6) and Naomh Ciarán (2) between 1982 and 1989.

While hurling competition at adult level was starting afresh after a long break, underage hurling was already underway for some years, and enjoying renewed popularity in schools across Longford, with a total of 11 hurling clubs in action across various grades in the early 1980’s:

  • Slashers Gaels (aka Longford Slashers)
  • Naomh Ciaran (Rathcline)
  • Wolfe Tones (Mostrim)
  • Bunlahy
  • Abbeylara
  • Ardagh
  • Ballymahon
  • Cashel
  • Lough Forbes Gaels (Clonguish)
  • St. Brendans (Stonepark)
  • St. Mels (Shroid Slashers)

By 1988 there were 4 Senior Clubs (Slashers Gaels, Naomh Ciaran, Wolfe Tones, Bunlahy) and 9 Underage Clubs active in hurling in Longford across a range of age groups including U-11, U-12, U-14, U-16, U-18, U-21 and Senior. The full list of clubs is as follows:

  • Slashers Gaels (aka Longford Slashers)
  • Naomh Ciarán (Rathcline)
  • Wolfe Tones (Mostrim)
  • Bunlahy
  • Abbeylara
  • Ballymahon
  • Cashel
  • Kenagh
  • Lough Forbes Gaels (Clonguish)

This would prove to be something of a high point in club hurling in Longford as numbers contracted over the following decades. With the exception of a brief period at the end of the 1990’s when a revival of U11/U12 and schools hurling was attempted, the number of clubs in the county went into serious decline during the 1990’s and 2000’s. By the end 0f 2022 Longford had only 3 adult hurling clubs (Longford Slashers, Clonguish Gaels & Wolfe Tones) in the county (been so for 20 years since Ballymahon Gaels folded in 2001) and 4 underage hurling clubs (Longford Slashers, Clonguish Gaels, Wolfe Tones Óg & Kenagh) in active hurling competition.


1980’s: All County Football League

The ‘All County Football League’ (ACFL) began on 10th February 1980. Spanning three divisions, with Leader Cup for Division 1, Michael Moran Cup for Division 2 and Patsy Reilly Cup for Division 3, it was the first common league competition for Senior, Intermediate and Junior football clubs in Longford. The list of clubs by Division for that inaugural ACFL was as follows…

ACFL Division 1:

  • Fr. Manning Gaels
  • Cashel
  • Killoe Young Emmets
  • Clonguish
  • Ardagh St. Patricks
  • Longford Slashers
  • Mostrim
  • Rathcline

ACFL Division 2:

  • St. Munis Forgney
  • Legan Sarsfields
  • Abbeylara
  • Colmcille
  • Carrickedmond
  • St. Marys Granard
  • Ballymahon
  • Dromard

ACFL Division 3:

  • St. Brigids Killashee
  • Ballymore
  • Mullinalaghta St. Columbas
  • Shroid Slashers
  • Kenagh
  • Young Grattans
  • Moydow Harpers
  • Longford Slashers 2

1990’s: SFC Summary

The Senior Football Championships of the 1990’s saw a few teams dominate at different stages. Longford Slashers completed three in a row of titles in 1991 (1989-1990-1991), becoming only the 3rd club to complete this feat. Slashers won another title in 1994. Mostrim were popular champions in 1992 after losing a string of county finals in the years prior. Killoe Young Emmets won two titles in three years in 1993 and 1995. In 1996 Fr. Manning Gaels bridged a 41 year gap since the last senior championship title rested in the parish of Drumlish and went on to become only the 4th club to complete three in a row of Senior Football Championships in 1996, 1997 & 1998, including an impressive run to the Leinster club semi final in 1998 with perhaps the strongest club team seen in Longford for many years. Dromard ended the decade with a famous and popular championship win, their first since 1946.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 1990’s were:

  • Fr. Manning Gaels (3)
  • Longford Slashers (3)
  • Killoe Young Emmets (2)
  • Mostrim (1)
  • Dromard (1)

1990’s: IFC Summary

The Intermediate Football Championship was very competitive in the 1990’s. Titles went to Mullinalaghta St Columbas, Abbeylara, Cashel, Dromard, Clonguish and Ballymahon. It is notable that Dromard, Abbeylara, Clonguish and Ballymahon all quickly went on to win Senior Football Championship titles in the years immediately following their promotion to senior grade.

The Intermediate Football Championship winners throughout the 1990’s were:

  • Cashel (3)
  • Abbeylara (2)
  • Dromard (2)
  • Mullinalaghta St. Columbas (1)
  • Clonguish (1)
  • Ballymahon (1)

1990’s: JFC Summary

Junior Football Championship titles went to a good spread of different clubs include Legan Sarsfields, Shroid Slashers, Clonguish, St. Brigids Killashee, Ballymore, Mullinalaghta St Columbas, Colmcille and Rathcline.

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 1990’s were:

  • Legan Sarsfields (2)
  • Shroid Slashers (2)
  • Clonguish (1)
  • St. Brigids Killashee (1)
  • Ballymore (1)
  • Mullinalaghta St. Columbas (1)
  • Colmcille (1)
  • Rathcline (1)

Note: A bit of history was made on the club scene in 1995 when Tommy and Jimmy McCormack became the first brothers to have trained Senior Football Champions (Tommy with Killoe) and Junior Football Champions (Jimmy with Ballymore) in the same year.


1990’s: SHC Summary

Senior Hurling Championship in the 1990’s was dominated by Wolfe Tones (Mostrim) who achieved the first 5-in-a-row of SHC titles en route to an impressive total of 7 titles during the decade, while Slashers Gaels won 3 titles. Some of the hurling clubs that had emerged in the 1980’s such as Bunlahy and Naomh Ciaran (Rathcline), faded away in the 1990’s while Ballymahon and Cashel amalgamated to play in hurling Championship in the early part of the 1990’s before Ballymahon Gaels emerged to compete later in the decade.

The Senior Hurling Championship winners throughout the 1990’s were:

  • Mostrim (7)
  • Slashers Gaels (3)

A new Senior Hurling League was launched in May 1990 involving 6 Senior Hurling teams… Slashers Gaels (2 teams), Clonguish, Ballymahon/Cashel, Wolfe Tones and Naomh Ciaran (Rathcline). The Senior Hurling League was played in 1990, 1991 and 1992 and discontinued thereafter.

2000’s: SFC Summary

A number of clubs won their first Senior Football Championship titles and others bridged a long gap in the 2000’s. Abbeylara got the ball rolling by defeating Fr. Manning Gaels in 2000, to win their first SFC title after so many near misses. The Gaels were back on top in 2001, before Ballymahon recorded their first SFC victory in 2002. Clonguish then bridged a 22 year gap to win in 2003 and made it back-to-back titles in 2004. Dromard won titles in 2005 and 2007 in between another Abbeylara success in 2006 before Colmcille ended a 50 year in 2008. The decade ended with Clonguish back on top after winning their third title of the decade win a replayed win over Dromard.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 2000’s were:

  • Clonguish (3)
  • Abbeylara (2)
  • Dromard (2)
  • Fr. Manning Gaels (1)
  • Ballymahon (1)
  • Colmcille (1)

2000’s: IFC Summary

The Intermediate Football Championship also provided some great matches. Mullinalaghta St Columbas won their way back to senior in 2000, followed by Carrickedmond ending a 23 year wait. St. Marys Granard’s second string won in 2003 followed by big wins for St. Brigids Killashee, Ballymore, Rathcline and Ardagh St. Patricks. Meanwhile Mullinalaghta St Columbas and Kenagh needed two epic games to be separated in the 2007 final with the North Longford men winning in dramatic fashion before Cashel ended the decade with back-to-back title wins in 2008 and 2009.

The Senior Football Championship winners throughout the 2000’s were:

  • Mullinalaghta St. Columbas (2)
  • Cashel (2)
  • Carrickedmond (1)
  • St. Marys Granard (1)
  • St. Brigids Killashee (1)
  • Ballymore (1)
  • Rathcline (1)
  • Ardagh St. Patricks (1)

2000’s: JFC Summary

The Junior Football Championship saw a good spread of titles across clubs with wins for St. Munis Forgney, Longford Slashers, Shroid Slashers, Clonguish, Grattan Óg, Fr. Manning Gaels and Mostrim.

The Junior Football Championship winners throughout the 2000’s were:

  • St. Munis Forgney (2)
  • Shroid Slashers (2)
  • Rathcline (1)
  • Longford Slashers (1)
  • Clonguish (1)
  • Grattan Óg (1)
  • Fr. Manning Gaels (1)
  • Mostrim (1)

2000’s: SHC Summary

The Hurling Championship was dominated by Wolfe Tones and saw the emergence of Clonguish Gaels as new winners on three occasions, after Slashers Gaels had got the new century off to a flying start with title wins in 2000 and 2001.

The Senior Hurling Championship winners throughout the 2000’s were:

  • Wolfe Tones (5)
  • Clonguish Gaels (3)
  • Slashers Gaels (2)

Team of the Millennium

As the new century dawned, the Longford Leader launched a ‘Team of the Millennium’ campaign to assemble the most exceptional fifteen footballers of the past. A coupon was published in the Longford Leader for members of the public to fill out and send in. A total of 1466 completed coupons were returned and were counted. The most common combination of players selected from all of the entries was Jimmy Hannify Snr and Jimmy Flynn at centre-field. The final team selected covered a playing-span of 60 years. Joe Regan at full-forward played for Longford in the 1930’s while Dessie Barry at right corner-forward played until 1999. The father-son combination of Jimmy Hannify(s) made history by being selected, while first cousins Eamon Meagher and Seán Donnelly were also in the final selection.

The final selection of Longford’s football ‘Team of the Millennium’ was as follows:

  • Goalkeeper: John Heneghan (Ballymahon)
  • Right Corner Back: Seamus Flynn (Clonguish)
  • Full Back: Larry Gillen (Ardagh St. Patricks)
  • Left Full Back: Billy Morgan (Killoe Young Emmets)
  • Right Half Back: Brendan Barden (Clonguish)
  • Centre Half Back: Mick Casey (Cashel)
  • Left Half Back: Eamon Meagher (Drumlish)
  • Midfield: Jimmy Hannify Snr. (Drumlish)
  • Midfield: Jimmy Flynn (Clonguish)
  • Right Half Forward: Jackie Devine (Mostrim)
  • Center Half Forward: Vincent Tierney (St. Marys Granard)
  • Left Half Forward: Jimmy Hannify Jnr. (Drumlish/Fr. Manning Gaels)
  • Right Full Forward: Dessie Barry (Longford Slashers)
  • Full Forward: Joe Regan (St. Marys Granard)
  • Left Full Forward: Seán Donnelly (Longford Slashers)

An article in the Longford Leader on the presentation of the awards to the Team of the Millennium in April 2000 noted that the following key footballers were nominated but didn’t make the final selection… Michael Casey, Liam Tierney, Brendan Smith, Mickey O’Hara and John McCormack, and noted that the only present-day player to make the nominations was Niall Sheridan. The awards were presented by GAA President Seán McCague.


2006: Longford GAA Awards

The inaugural Longford GAA awards including ‘Team of the Championship’ and various club ‘Player of the Year’ awards took place in December 2006, with nominees published in the Longford Leader newspaper some weeks earlier, and the public voting for their preferred candidates for Team of the Year and voting for a shortlist of three candidates for each of the Player of the Year awards, with winner announced on the night. The event was the brainchild of the Minor Board Chairman Michael Carrigy and evolved into a successful annual event with awards for those selected in the Team of the Year and individual awards for Senior Footballer of the Year, Senior Hurler of the Year, Intermediate Footballer of the Year, Junior Footballer of the Year and Ladies Footballer of the Year.

2010-2022: SFC Summary

Senior Football Championship was dominated by Killoe Young Emmets and Mullinalaghta St. Columbas between 2010 and 2022, with Longford Slashers and Colmcille winning SFC titles too.

Longford Slashers started the 2010’s with back-to-back Senior Football Championship titles in 2010 and 2011. Killoe Young Emmets emerged in 2012 after a 17 year gap to win the Senior Championship and Leader Cup double in 2012, and reached the Leinster Club semi-final that year too. Longford Slashers returned to win the title in 2013, beating Dromard in the final. Killoe returned to the top spot in 2014, beating Mullinalaghta in the final and winning the Leader Cup to complete the double again. Killoe then retained the Senior Championship in 2015 with victory over Abbeylara and added the League (Leader Cup) double, becoming the first club in Longford to complete a back-to-back League and Championship double.

The second half of the decade belonged to Mullinalaghta St. Columbas. History was made in 2016 when Mullinalaghta played Abbeylara in the county final, with Mullinalaghta emerging victorious to bridge a 66 year gap and progressed to the Leinster Club Semi-Final too. The Mullinalaghta men sealed the year with Leader Cup success to claim the much coveted League-Championship double. Mullinalaghta were only getting started though, winning back-to-back Championship titles in 2017 (again at the expense of Abbeylara) and completing the League & Championship back-to-back double. In 2018 they became only the fifth club to achieve a three-in-row of Senior Football Championship titles with victory again over Abbeylara.

The Mullinalaghta men would become trailblazers by becoming the first Longford club to reach the Leinster Club Championship final in 2018 and created history by becoming Leinster Club Champions with victory over Kilmacud Crokes on Sunday 9th December 2018, a day which will live long in the memory and go down as one of the finest in the history of Longford GAA. The winning team on that historic day was: Patrick Rogers; Simon Cadam, Patrick Fox, Conan Brady; Donal McElligott (0-01), Shane Mulligan, Francis Mulligan; Aidan McElligott (0-01), John Keegan; Gary Rogers (1-00), James McGivney, Brendan Fox; David McGivney (0-02, 0-01f), Rian Brady (0-04, 0-01f), Jayson Matthews. Subs: Michael Cunningham for Francis Mulligan (48m).

[Image Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO]

The Leinster champions would however lose their county crown in 2019 when Killoe Young Emmets returned to take the title with victory over Longford Slashers in the County Final, while Mullinalaghta won the Leader Cup title in 2019 for the third time in 4 years. Killoe made it back-to-back title wins with victory in the 2020 decider while Mullinalaghta returned once again for their fourth title in six years with victory over Mostrim in the 2021 final. 2022 brought victory for the first ever champions Colmcille, who beat Mullinalaghta in a close game to take their 7th title and first since 2008.

During this period, the Leader Cup titles were also shared across three clubs: Killoe Young Emmets (4), Mullinalaghta St. Columbas (6) and Clonguish (1). The Leader Cup final was not played in 2018 due to Mullinalaghta’s involvement in Leinster & All-Ireland club action, while the competition was not played at all in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Senior Football Championship winners from 2010 to 2022 were:

  • Killoe Young Emmets (5)
  • Mullinalaghta St. Columbas (4)
  • Longford Slashers (3)
  • Colmcille (1)

2010-2022: IFC Summary

The Intermediate Football Championship saw title wins for seven different clubs in the period from 2010 to 2022: Carrickedmond, Rathcline, St. Brigids Killashee, Ardagh St. Patricks, St. Marys Granard, Fr. Manning Gaels and Ballymahon.

The Intermediate Football Championship winners from 2010 to 2022 were:

  • St. Brigids Killashee (4)
  • Rathcline (3)
  • Carrickedmond (2)
  • Ardagh St. Patricks (1)
  • St. Marys Granard (1)
  • Fr. Manning Gaels (1)
  • Ballymahon (1)

2010-2022: JFC Summary

The Junior Football Championship title have been shared between nine different clubs from 2010 to 2022 including Colmcille, Ballymahon, Moydow Harpers, Legan Sarsfields, Young Grattans, Longford Slashers, Mostrim, Kenagh and Killoe Young Emmets. The Junior Championship was not played in 2016 & 2017 (replaced by Intermediate ‘B’ Championship in those years) but was restarted again from 2018.

The Junior Football Championship winners from 2010 to 2022 were:

  • Legan Sarsfields (2)
  • Young Grattans (2)
  • Colmcille
  • Ballymahon
  • Moydow Harpers
  • Longford Slashers
  • Mostrim
  • Kenagh
  • Killoe Young Emmets

2010-2022: SHC Summary

In Hurling Championship, Wolfe Tones (Mostrim) dominated with eight title wins including the first six in-a-row of SHC titles in Longford GAA history. Clonguish Gaels won three titles while Longford Slashers won one title. The hurling championship final was not played in 2011 following a dispute. Longford Slashers did not participate in Senior Hurling competition in 2012 and 2013.

The Senior Hurling Championship winners from 2010 to 2022 were:

  • Wolfe Tones (8)
  • Slashers Gaels (3)
  • Longford Slashers (1)

Dream Team Selected

In 2020 the Longford Leader newspaper ran a competition asking the public to vote on the ‘Dream Team’ for the years 2000 to 2020. The final selection was published in May 2020 and comprised the following…

  1. Damien Sheridan (Dromard)
  2. Dermot Brady (Longford Slashers)
  3. Padraig McCormack (Killoe Young Emmets)
  4. Declan Reilly (Colmcille)
  5. Colin Hannify (Fr. Manning Gaels)
  6. Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard)
  7. Shane Mulligan (Mullinalaghta St. Columbas)
  8. David Hannify (Fr. Manning Gaels)
  9. Darren Gallagher (St. Marys Granard)
  10. Paddy Dowd (Clonguish)
  11. Paul Barden (Clonguish)
  12. Michael Quinn (Killoe Young Emmets)
  13. Brian Kavanagh (St. Patricks Ardagh / Kilmacud Crokes)
  14. Niall Sheridan (Abbeylara)
  15. Padraic Davis (Fr. Manning Gaels)

Ten clubs were represented in the final selection, with Fr. Manning Gaels leading the way with three players, followed by two each from Dromard, Killoe and Clonguish, and one each from Longford Slashers, Colmcille, Mullinalaghta St. Columbas, St. Marys Granard, Ardagh St. Patricks and Abbeylara.

This content was researched & compiled independently from 2014 to 2022.
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