Longford Gaelic Stats
Longford County Grounds (1902-2023)

County Grounds

Image on license from Sportsfile

Pearse Park  |  Páirc an Phiarsaigh

Capacity: 10,000
Opened: April 25th 1937
Sponsor: Glennon Brothers (since Dec 2011)
Address: Lisbrack Road, Longford, N39 VY28

Longford County Grounds (1902-2023)

Grounds History

Longford GAA was located at Longford Park on Park Road from 1902 to 1933. In June 1933 Longford moved to a new site at Kelleher Barracks in Lisbrack, which was initially known as the Gaelic Grounds. Development of the grounds had been ongoing since 1931 and it was officially opened and renamed Pearse Park in April 1937. The grounds was named in honour of Patrick Pearse who was the first President of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic as proclaimed in Dublin on 24th April 1916, and commander in chief of the Easter Rising that began that day.

Longford Park (Park Road)
Pearse Park (Lisbrack)

Longford Park was the home of Longford GAA from 1902 to May 1933. The park was managed by the Longford Park Company and used for a variety of sports including GAA, Cricket and Soccer as well as fairs and exhibits. In the early years the grounds was often referred to in fixtures as ‘New Park‘. Longford Park was the site of some key Gaelic Football and Hurling games over the years starting with the first ever hurling match under GAA rules in Longford, between Longford Leo Caseys and Roscommon Gaels. That same day saw the first Gaelic Football game played at Longford Park between the same two sides. In early 1903 the first club hurling match under GAA rules in Longford took place in Longford Park between Leo Caseys and Abbeylara. The first Longford SFC final to be played at Longford Park took place on 23rd April 1905 between Longford Leo Caseys and Killoe Young Emmets. The inaugural Longford SHC final and replay both took place at Longford Park in 1905 between those same two teams. The first competitive inter-county football game at Longford Park was the Leinster JFC match between Longford and Westmeath in April 1906. A total of ten Longford SFC titles were decided at Longford Park (1904, 1905, 1911, 1913, 1915, 1919, 1920, 1928, 1931 and 1932) while two Longford SHC titles were decided at Longford Park (1904 & 1932). Longford’s last inter-county games at Longford Park was the Minor Championship double-header (Football & Hurling) against Offaly in April 1933. The last club final played at Longford Park was the Junior League final of 1933 between Killoe & Mullinalaghta. That low-scoring game had an astonishing 31 free kicks (17 Killoe, 14 Mullinalaghta) and 32 wides (15 Killoe, 17 Mullinalaghta). The last club match at Longford Park was the 1933 SFC Round 1 game between Drumlish and St. Marys Granard on 28th May, which Granard won 3-7 to 2-6. Longford Park continued to be the home of Longford Town soccer club for many years thereafter and in 1939 became the location of the Longford Dog Track (later Greyhound Stadium). In 1966 the Earl of Longford sold the site to Longford Sports Limited for a very reasonable price to ensure that it would continue as a local amenity. On March 23rd 2020 the Longford Greyhound Stadium held it’s last race meeting and formally closed it’s doors. The site was placed on the market shortly thereafter and in 2021 Longford County Council confirmed that the 7.1 acre location would remain a recreational site and would not be rezoned for housing or any other purpose. A new public Skate Park was developed on part of the site in November 2023 and officially opened in February 2024 when plans were also announced for the redevelopment of the entire site of the old Longford Park into a public sporting space.

Gaelic Grounds became Longford’s new home from June 1933. Located at the Kelliher Barracks (formerly known as the British Artillery or Upper Barracks) at Lisbrack in Longford town, it had been a training and exercise grounds for the British Army in preparing for trench warfare during WW1. The Barracks was renamed Kelliher Barracks in 1922, called after Thomas Kelleher who was killed during the War of Independence in 1921. The site was purchased by the County Board in 1930 and development began in 1931, including the demolition of the derelict barracks grounds with stable and stalls. Work to develop the location into a playing grounds involved ripping down two cut-stone buildings with little or no equipment, and wheeling the stone out the camp road gate in box-barrows. Once the ground was completely excavated, big boulders were discovered and these were used to form an embankment, which is now the hill. Most of the work was done with spades, shovels and manual labour. The first game at the new Gaelic Grounds was on 4th June 1933 in the Junior Football Championship between Ballinamuck 98’s and Dromard. The first person to score in the new grounds was Sonny Brennan from 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 SFC and JFC winners of the previous year (Drumlish vs Killoe) which Drumlish won comfortably. Longford’s first inter-county game at the new Gaelic Grounds was against Roscommon in the National Football League on 19th November 1933 (Roscommon won 1-3 to 0-3). Development of the grounds continued until it was officially opened as Pearse Park in April 1937.

Pearse Park was officially opened on 25th April 1937 by Pádraig Ó Caoimh (General Secretary of the GAA) following a substantial re-development of the Gaelic Grounds in the years after the move from Longford Park in June 1933. That opening day in April 1937 saw an attendance of almost 8000 witness two inter-county games, one between Longford and Roscommon (Longford won 6-8 to 4-5) and the other between All-Ireland Football champions Mayo and Munster champions Kerry (Kerry won 2-6 to 1-5). Chairman of the County Board during this period was Ardagh native Fr. Michael McLoughlin (later Canon McLoughlin). He along with Joseph V Kelly (Secretary), Fr. Andy Lynch, Kit Halpin (Drumlish), John Ralph (Clonguish), Paddy Hourican (Colmcille) and Tommy Donlon (Longford) were the key players in the development project. Pearse Park was upgraded a few times over the years starting in 1963 when, during Liam Hastings time as Chairman, construction of the main stand on the west side of the grounds took place, along with erection of new dressing rooms on the east side of the grounds which replaced the old dressing rooms on the Camp Road end. The stand was upgraded in 1987 with seating installed and seating also installed in the north side of the park. A tunnel was also introduced from the dressing rooms to the pitch. In the early 1990’s the area behind the town goals was developed into a terrace and a new clubhouse was built and opened as Áras Uí Bhriain in 1999. In 2004 the opening round of the NFL Division 1 between Longford and Kerry marked the official opening of the redeveloped Pearse Park including a new main stand which stretched the entire length of the west side of the grounds, replacing the previous stand. That redevelopment also saw the terrace behind the town goals covered. An all-weather pitch was installed in 2005 and was officially opened on 18th September for the County SFC final. In 2006 the Leinster SFC Quarter Final clash with Dublin saw a record 15,213 supporters packed into a fully redeveloped and resplendent Pearse Park on a memorable & sunny Summers day. The main stand was closed in 2014 due to subsidence issues, and remained out of action until remedial works were completed in 2018. Local business Glennon Brothers received naming rights for Pearse Park in December 2011 as part of their new sponsorship package for Longford GAA. Since then the stadium is known as Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.

The capacity of Pearse Park has changed a number of times over the years, driven in recent years by remedial works carried out on the main stand. The capacity currently sits at 10,000. In July 2023 Longford GAA announced the purchase of 32 acres of land adjoining Pearse Park which will greatly expand the current footprint of the grounds and will include a new ‘Centre of Excellence‘.

Key Games Played (1902-1933)

Longford Park

Here is a selection of key games played at Longford Park from 1902 to 1933:

SeasonKey Games at Longford Park
1902 *07-12-1902 | County Hurling | Challenge Match | Longford Leo Caseys 1-4, Roscommon Gaels 2-6
1902 †07-12-1902 | County Football | Challenge Match | Longford Leo Caseys 0-0, Roscommon Gaels 1-3
1903 ‡Early 1903 | Club Hurling | Challenge Match | Longford Leo Caseys Won, Abbeylara Lost
190423-04-1905 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Longford Leo Caseys 2-7, Killoe Young Emmets 0-1 | 🏆
190419-02-1905 | Club Hurling | Longford SHC Final | Longford Leo Caseys 2-4, Killoe Young Emmets 0-1 | Objection
190407-05-1905 | Club Hurling | Longford SHC Final (R) | Longford Leo Caseys 2-3, Killoe Young Emmets 1-2 | 🏆
190504-02-1906 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 0-5, Westmeath 0-7
190504-02-1906 | County Hurling | Leinster JHC | Longford 2-2, Westmeath 5-13
190508-07-1906 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Longford Leo Caseys 1-7, Edgeworthstown Volunteers 0-3 | 🏆
190817-05-1908 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 0-8, Westmeath 1-8
190817-05-1908 | County Hurling | Leinster JHC | Longford 1-4, Westmeath 1-9
191104-06-1911 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 1-2, Westmeath 1-4
191104-06-1911 | County Hurling | Leinster JHC | Longford 2-0, Westmeath 3-2
191103-03-1912 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Killoe Young Emmets 0-1, Edgeworthstown Volunteers 0-0 | 🏆
191317-03-1913 | Club Football | Foresters Cup Final | Columbkille 1-1, Clonguish Gallowglasses 0-3 | 🏆
191325-05-1913 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 1-0, Westmeath 3-2
191308-02-1914 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Killoe Young Emmets 1-3, Longford Commercials 0-1 | Objection
191305-04-1914 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final (R) | Killoe Young Emmets 0-2, Longford Commercials 0-1 | 🏆
191424-05-1914 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 0-0, Westmeath 0-3
191419-09-1915 | Club Football | Longford SFL Final | Granard Shamrocks 0-6, Killoe Young Emmets 0-2 | 🏆
191509-07-1916 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Killoe Young Emmets 3-0, Clonguish Gallowglasses 0-3 | 🏆
191618-03-1917 | Club Football | Longford SFL Final | Granard Shamrocks 0-2, Ardagh St. Patricks 0-1 | 🏆
191702-03-1919 | Club Football | Longford SFL Final | Granard Shamrocks 2-4, Killashee 0-0 | 🏆
191913-07-1919 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Clonbroney 1-1, Killoe Young Emmets 1-1
191903-08-1919 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final (R) | Clonbroney 1-3, Killoe Young Emmets 0-3 | 🏆
191911-04-1920 | Club Football | Longford SFL Final | Clonguish 1-1, Mullinalaghta 0-3 | 🏆
192017-10-1920 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Ballinamuck 98's 1-4, Longford Wanderers 0-0 | 🏆
192021-11-1920 | Club Football | Longford JFL Final | St. Mels College W/O, Ballymore SCR | 🏆
192229-04-1923 | Club Football | Longford SFL Final | Longford Wanderers 0-6, Ballinamuck 98's 0-0 | 🏆
192315-04-1923 | County Football | Challenge Match | Longford 1-0, Leitrim 0-0
192304-10-1925 | Club Football | Longford SFL Final | Longford Wanderers 0-2, Ballinamuck 98's 0-1 | 🏆
192411-05-1924 | County Football | Challenge Match | Longford 2-12, Sligo 1-2
192420-07-1924 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 1-6, Dublin 1-3
1925/2625-10-1925 | County Football | National League | Longford 2-6, Westmeath 0-3
1925/2615-11-1925 | County Football | National League | Longford 1-8, Offaly 1-2
1925/2629-11-1925 | County Football | National League | Longford 2-2, Dublin 2-2
1925/2614-02-1926 | County Football | National League | Longford 0-5, Sligo 3-1
192527-06-1926 | Club Football | Longford SFL Final | Granard Shamrocks 0-0, Mullinalaghta 0-0
192715-05-1927 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 2-4, Westmeath 1-3
192726-02-1928 | Club Football | Longford SFL Final | Longford Wanderers 2-6, Clonbroney 0-1 | 🏆
192813-05-1928 | County Football | Challenge Match | Longford 6-3, Leitrim 3-3
192827-05-1928 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Drumlish W/O, Longford Wanderers Scr | 🏆
1928/2904-11-1928 | County Football | National League | Longford 1-3, Offaly 2-1
1928/2925-11-1928 | County Football | National League | Longford 1-3, Westmeath 1-6
192902-06-1929 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 1-4, Westmeath 3-7
192902-06-1929 | County Football | Leinster MFC | Longford 3-6, Westmeath 2-1
193013-04-1930 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 0-3, Offaly 0-12
1930/3106-04-1930 | County Football | National League | Longford 0-2, Offaly 0-3
193020-07-1930 | County Football | Leinster MFC | Longford 7-3, Offaly 2-3
193106-09-1931 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | St. Marys Granard 1-9, Edgeworthstown Young Irelands 0-3 | 🏆
1931/3215-11-1931 | County Football | National League | Longford 4-2, Westmeath 9-9
193203-04-1932 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 2-2, Westmeath 4-3
193203-04-1932 | County Football | Leinster MFC | Longford 0-2, Westmeath 0-2
193208-05-1932 | County Football | Leinster MFC | Longford 3-7, Westmeath 6-3
193207-08-1932 | Club Football | Longford SFC Final | Drumlish Won, St. Marys Granard Lost | 🏆
1932/3316-10-1932 | County Football | National League | Longford 1-4, Cavan 3-7
193309-04-1933 | County Football | Leinster JFC | Longford 1-5, Offaly 1-6
193309-04-1933 | County Hurling | Leinster JHC | Longford 1-1, Offaly 9-7
193323-04-1933 | County Hurling | Leinster MHC | Longford 0-0, Offaly 7-5
193323-04-1933 | County Football | Leinster MFC | Longford 9-7, Offaly 1-1
193207-05-1933 | Club Hurling | Longford SHC Final | Granard H.C. 4-2, Longford H.C. 3-0 | 🏆
1933 §14-05-1933 | Club Football | Longford JFL Final | Killoe Young Emmets 0-4, Mullinalaghta 0-3 | 🏆
1933 Δ28-05-1933 | Club Football | Longford SFC Round 1 | St. Marys Granard 3-7, Drumlish 2-6

(R) Denotes replay
* First Hurling game at Longford Park.
First Gaelic Football game at Longford Park.
First Longford club game at Longford Park.
§ Last club final played at Longford Park.
Δ Last GAA match played at Longford Park.

Note: This is a selection, not an exhaustive list of all games played at Longford Park. 

This content was researched & compiled independently from 2014 to 2023.
Please cite this website if quoting or using this material elsewhere.