Eight clubs from the Longford parish (traditionally known as Templemichael & Ballymacormack parish) won key titles over the years:
- Longford Leo Caseys
- St. Mels College
- Longford Rovers
- Longford Wanderers
- Young Grattans (Grattan Óg)
- Whiterock Slashers
- Longford Slashers
- Shroid Slashers
Longford Leo Caseys won Senor Football Championship titles in 1904 & 1905. The club was later recorded playing Killoe for a silver cup in 1908, and reported as organising to play Westmeath in hurling in 1911 and playing Clonguish in a Gaelic Football tournament in 1911, with the clubs last recorded activity around 1912. The club appears to have folded thereafter. Leo Caseys also represented Longford in hurling during the early years, and was the first hurling club formed in the county in 1902, winning the SHC title of 1904 (played in 1905).
Longford Wanderers first appears in 1909 in a local tournament against Ballymacormack Hazelites, Longford St. Mel’s and Longford Rovers. The club did not play any competitive games during that period. The Longford Wanderers name was mostly associated with soccer in the 1910’s. Wanderers are then cited vs St. Mels College in a friendly in April 1919, with Longford Wanderers winning 2-2 to 0-2. Longford Wanderers won the Senior League-Championship (aka League) in 1922, 1923, 1927 & 1928. The 1922 and 1923 titles seemed to be won under the shorthand name ‘Longford’ but an assessment of players versus the earliest reference to Wanderers in competition shows sufficient overlap to conclude that it was the Wanderers club. The 1927 and 1928 titles were won under the clear banner of Longford Wanderers. Longford Wanderers won Junior Championship titles in 1932 & 1942. From 1933-34 Wanderers was amalgamated with Clonguish as United Gaels. Longford Wanderers won Senior Football Championship titles in 1944 & 1947, but started to decline by the early 1950’s. By 1954 Longford Wanderers had been relegated to Junior grade, while neighbours Whiterock Slashers had gained promotion to Senior ranks. Both clubs were aware that they were struggling with numbers, so it was decided to invite members of the Longford Wanderers club to a meeting of the Whiterock Slashers club, where both clubs agreed to merge and create a new Longford Slashers club (using half of each clubs name). Longford Wanderers merged with Whiterock Slashers to create a new Longford Slashers club on 4th January 1954.
St. Mels College was first recorded in club action in a friendly match versus Longford Wanderers in April 1919. St. Mels won the Junior League-Championship in November 1920, after Ballymore failed to show. Players from St. Mels also reported as playing for Longford Wanderers in this period too.
Longford Rovers played in the 1924 and 1925 Junior League-Championship and another Longford team took their place in Junior after they won the 1924 Junior League-Championship beating Clondra in the final by 2-2 to 0-1. (There was no knockout Junior competition, so Junior League-Championship which was played on league basis, was referred to as Junior Competition or Junior Championship). Other references to Longford Rovers include vs Drumlish in the 1st round of the Senior League-Championship in October 1925 and vs Ballinamuck 98’s in Junior League-Championship on Sunday 18th April 1926, which resulted in a walkover for Ballinamuck when the Longford team arrived too late. Last recorded game by Longford Rovers was a drawn game vs Colmcille in Junior competition in 1930. Last reference to the club was in March 1931.
Young Grattans or Grattan Óg was formed in July 1933 and took its name from the old Ballymacormack Grattans club formed back in 1890. Ballymacormack Grattans vanished after the unfinished 1891 Championship and there is no evidence of any Grattans club in official competition for over 40 years thereafter. In July 1933 a notice appeared in the local newspaper ( Source) announcing the formation of the ‘Young Grattans’ club. It stated that “This is a newly formed club and takes its name from the old Ballymacormack Grattans who over thirty years ago were one of the foremost clubs in the county”. However the new club never actually materialised and Young Grattans was not found in any official competition throughout the 1930’s or 1940’s. The club finally appears in official competition in 1950 but lapses in early 1954 after failing to fulfill Junior League fixtures due to the impact of emigration, and the club remained inactive until 1980. The Grattans club was reformed in 1980 as Young Grattans. The Irish version ‘Grattan Óg‘ is also used interchangeably with Young Grattans.
Whiterock Slashers was formed in 1934 to cater for GAA needs in an area to the east of Longford Town, stretching from the Ballynareegan-Ferafad district to the Killoe border at Kiltybegs. The club was called after Cavan native Myles ‘The Slasher’ O’Reilly who was a legendary hero of Ireland and County Cavan in the 17th century in his resistance to Scottish and English settlers in Ireland. He was reputed to be a descendant of the O’Reilly Princes of Breffni. Whiterock Slashers won the Junior Championship in 1936 but struggled in the years that followed and throughout the war years. The club was reformed in the late 1940’s and won the Junior Championship in 1953, and gained promotion to Senior grade for the 1954 season. By January 1954 Whiterock Slashers had gained promotion to Senior grade, while Longford Wanderers were relegated to Junior ranks. Both clubs were aware that they were struggling with numbers, so it was decided to invite members of the Longford Wanderers club to the AGM of the Whiterock Slashers club, where both clubs agreed to merge and create a new Longford Slashers club (using half of each clubs name) on 4th January 1954. That should be the end of the story, however as the merger was being finalised, some Whiterock Slashers officials got cold feet and wanted to maintain a club in the Whiterock area, and decided to affiliate a new Whiterock Slashers club (Whiterock Slashers 2.0), despite the fact that the merger and creation of the new Longford Slashers club had gone through. Whilst a number of Whiterock players and officials moved across to the new Longford Slashers club, some remained and to play with the new Whiterock Slashers club which also affiliated in 1954. Whiterock Slashers struggled to complete in the period that followed, and in 1955 & 1956 competed in a temporarily amalgamation with Killoe Young Emmets, under the name Killoe Slashers. The amalgamation came to an end at a meeting of the two clubs in Esker Hall on 11th January 1957. Whiterock Slashers lapsed once the amalgamation ended, and did not affiliate in 1957 or 1958. The club was replaced by the formation of Shroid Slashers in November 1958. Shroid Slashers was therefore a revival of the Whiterock Slashers club post January 1954.
Longford Slashers was formed on 4th January 1954 when Longford Wanderers and Whiterock Slashers clubs united to form the Longford Slashers club ( Source) (💻 Club History). The fortunes of Longford Wanderers and Whiterock Slashers were divergent by the end of 1953, with Whiterock having been promoted to senior grade for the 1954 season, while Wanderers had struggled at Senior and had slipped down to Junior grade for the 1954 season. Whiterock Slashers invited representatives of the Longford Wanderers club to their AGM in January 1954 ahead of the start of the new season, and both clubs agreed to unite to form the Longford Slashers club (using a name from each club to form the new name). Both Whiterock Slashers and Longford Wanderers had won various Championship titles prior to the formation of Longford Slashers, hence the titles of Whiterock Slashers and Longford Wanderers are (and have consistently always been prior to our research) kept separate from those of Longford Slashers in the roll of honour and titles count. Longford Slashers went on to become the most successful club in Longford GAA history and has won 16 Senior Football Championships and 12 Senior Hurling Champions since the club was formed in 1954.
Shroid Slashers was formed in November 1957 as a revival of the Whiterock Slashers club in the area. While you might assume that Whiterock Slashers vanished when Longford Slashers was formed in 1954, that was not exactly the case (it’s complicated!!!). As Whiterock and Wanderers were finalising the merger to form the new Longford Slashers club, some officials within the Whiterock club got cold feet, and decided post the affiliation of Longford Slashers in 1954 that they wanted to maintain a separate club in the Whiterock area. They therefore affiliated a new Whiterock Slashers club that year (Whiterock Slashers 2.0), minus the players and officials who had opted to transfer to the new Longford Slashers club. Hence a club remained in the Whiterock area even after the formation of Longford Slashers. In the years that followed, Whiterock Slashers 2.0 struggled with numbers and had a temporary amalgamation with Killoe (as Killoe Slashers) in 1955 & 1956 before lapsing once the amalgamation was dissolved in January 1957. In November 1958 an attempt was made to restart GAA in the area and the Shroid Slashers club was formed as a revival of the Whiterock Slashers club. While the origin story of Shroid Slashers is that of a revival of the Whiterock Slashers club, the complex way in which the post-merger version of Whiterock Slashers was created in 1954 makes it difficult to draw a straight line between Whiterock titles (all of which predate the Longford Slashers formation) and the later Shroid Slashers titles. Longford Slashers for their part have always maintained that their club was formed via the merging of Longford Wanderers and Whiterock Slashers, and they do not assume the titles of either previous club in their own roll of honour. We keep the titles of Whiterock Slashers and Shroid Slashers separate in the title count (as had been done prior to our research) because the entity created post the merger is not the same club that won the titles prior to the merger. The Shroid Slashers club itself ceased activity during the 2019 season.
All of these allocations are consistent with title allocations prior to our research in 2014.
(Note 1: It was assumed previously that Longford Shamrocks, who played in the 1891 Championship, had won the 1896 Senior Football Championship. However the published evidence showed this was not a championship competition – it was a one-off game, and there was no Senior Championship competition held in 1896).
(Note 2: There existed a large number of different clubs and short-lived teams in Longford parish (Templemichael & Ballymacormack) down the years (see Link). The above assessment is specifically around and about those clubs who won key titles including SFC, SFL, SHC, IFC, JFC, U-21 & old League-Championships).
(Note 3: There is no direct link between Longford Slashers club and the earlier Longford Leo Caseys or Longford Shamrocks clubs, beyond the fact that all existed at different times as GAA clubs in Longford town. To conflate or combine these clubs or their titles is provably historically inaccurate)