Donegal

DONEGAL HISTORY

In November 1991, due to the instigation of the Sean Mc Cumhail club in Ballybofey/Stranolar, Pat Quill, Development Officer for Cumann Peil na mBan attended a meeting in Jacksons Hotel, Ballybofey. Representatives from approximately 10 club areas in Donegal attended this meeting, and a County Board was formed.

Aidan Doherty from the McCumhaill club was appointed Chairman.

Vice-Chairman: Dermot Foy (St. Nauls).

Secretary: Mary Mc Hugh (Ardara)

Asst. Secretary: Mary Gillespie (Cloughaneely).

Treasurer: Paula McDyer ( St. Eunans)

Registrar: Caroline Quinn (Mc Cumhails).

P.R.O.: Fr. Liam Logue (Gweedore)

Irish Language Officer: Mary McHugh.

Ladies football was embraced with great enthusiasm in the county and 15 clubs contested the first county championships and league. St. Eunans ladies were first winners of both competitions in 1992, beating Cloich Gheannfhaola in the championship final 3-13 to 3-5, and contested the Ulster club final that year, failing narrowly to Carrickmore (Tyrone) by 3-5 to 2-7 at Carrickmore. The same club had a great run of successes in the league, and also in the championship, except in 1995 when Aodh Ruadh of Ballyshannon were victorious. 1992 also saw competition throughout the county at U16 level, and indeed an U16 team contested the Ulster championship that year losing the final to Monaghan 1-4 to 0-1 at Ballybofey. The same year, a Donegal minor represented the county but again lost the Ulster final to Monaghan 4-9 to 1-2 at Ballybofey. But it was not until the following year, 1993, that a junior team took the field and made an immediate impact by winning the Ulster crown, and going all the way to the All-Ireland Junior final at Croke Park, where they were beaten by London 4-8 to 0-3. Donegal had some outstanding footballers, and were honored by the All-Star selection committee when Joan Barron of St. Eunans won a replacement All-Star. On the way to the final, Donegal beat Tyrone in the first round 4-8 to 0-7. They beat Fermanagh in the Ulster final 10-14 to 3-4.

Then they traveled to Cork to play the home county in the All-Ireland quarter final at Glanworth, and after an epic struggle, the sides were level at full-time. Extra time was played, and the Donegal girls lifted their game to come away with the laurels, winning by 4-12 to 0-8. Next up was Meath in the semi-final, and again Donegal triumphed by 4-6 to 0-10. Pat Walash was the first Donegal ladies team manager. He is a member of the Naomh Brid club and has been a senior referee in Donegal for 10 years. He is currently manager of Bundoran ladies team, and is also Chairman of the National Fixtures Committee. He has previous management experience of underage teams with his native Naomh Brid. Trainer is Sean Gavigan (Naomh Columba).

Selectors are: Kevin Barron (St. Eunans), Paul O Loughlin (Aodh Ruadh) and Charlie Kavanagh (St. Eunans).

Donegal team was: Bronagh Gallagher (St Eunans), Bernie Ferry (Dunloe), Mary Gordon (St. Eunans), Bridget Clarke (St. Eunans), Deirdre Sweeny (St. Eunans), Grace Meade (Aodh Ruadh), Lela McCucker (St. Eunans), Caroline McHugh (Ardara), Breda Tinney (Aodh Ruadh), Mairead Gallagher (Killybegs), Frances Judge (St. Eunans), Donna Kavanagh (St. Eunans), Agnes Curran (Cloughanely), Denise Dunnion (Four Masters), Joan Barron (St. Eunans).

SUBS: Maria Carr (Naomh Coumba), Eileen McGinley (clouhanely), Frances Kane (Aodh Ruadh), Liz Gordan (St. Eunans), Noelle Alcorn (Termon), Arlene Devine (MacCumhaills), Barbara Ferry (Cloughanely), Tracey Flood (Aodh Ruadh), Teresa Conway (MacCumhaills), Jakie Furey (St. Nauls), Ailish Harkin (Termon), Breege Carr (St. Eunans), Deirdre Galligan (Termon).

Donegal also finished in the top two in the National League Division 3, but lost the quarter-final of the National League proper to highflying Waterford 4-22 to 3-0.

Donegal U-16 team won the Ulster championship title after a replay against Monaghan. In the first game, donegal had to start without their two first choice midfielders, both missing because of a mix-up of dates for the game. Monaghan, vastly experienced in ladies football, started off the game in great style, scoring 2-4 before Donegal got on the scoreboard, but the /donegal girls kept battling away, and at half-time were only six points down. The second half showed this Donegal team was not going to be beaten. It was corner forward, Maureen O Donnell, the smallest player on the field, who was Donegals ace card. With two wonderful goals and four points from play, one of the points in the dying seconds of the game to level the scores and send the game into a replay. Final score Donegal 2-11 Monaghan 3-8.

The replay was a great game of football. Donegal, at full strength now and full of running, took the game to Monaghan. Donegal captain, Joanna Mc Kenna was determined that this was going to be Donegals. It was end to end stuff with the teams level at half-time. It was going to be close but Donegal had great performances from Donna McGroarty, Maureen O Donnell, Cathy McKenna and Karen O Loughlin. These were the rocks on which Monaghan perished. When the referee blew for full-time, the scoreboard showed Donegal 3-11, Monaghan 3-8, and the large Donegal support went wild with delight. There were great scenes of relief and joy in this young Donegal team at having won Donegals first ever Ulster title in Ladies football.

MINORS: Donegal minors could not repeat the performance of the U16 team a week later in Omagh. Monaghan were again the opponents, but this time they were much too strong for Donegal. The Donegal team made Monaghan battle all the way with Donna Kavanagh having a fine game for Donegal. But the dismissal of a Donegal player was the last straw for Donegal. They lost their way after that and Monaghan ran out easy winners in the end by 5-8 to 3-4.

Donegal U14 team contested the U-14 Ulster final against Monaghan, losing by 3-12 to 2-7 at Ballybofey.

At club level, St. Eunans made the big breakthrough, winning Donegals first Ulster title. They drew the county championship final with Sean Mac Cumhaills 0-7 to 1-4, winning the replay 2-10 to 2-8. St. Eunans went on to beat Oonagh Celts of Galbally by 10-10 to 2-3 at Letterkenny. This was an historic day for St. Eunans and Donegal football, as it gave impetus and goals for club and county teams to emulate. Twenty one clubs took part in competitions within the county.

In the vocational Schools championship, St. Columbas College, Stranorlar beat Colaiste Iarbhear, Carrickmacross in the Ulster final 4-6 to 3-2. They beat Cnoc Mhuire of Granard in the All-Ireland semi-final 3-5 to 1-2 at Brewster Park, Fermanagh, and beat Beara Community School, Cork in the All-Ireland final 2-11 to 2-10 after extra time. Teams were level at 2-7 to 2-7 at end of normal time. This game was played at Ballinadereen, Co. Galway.

Donegal contested the All-Ireland final again in 1994, failing at the final hurdle to Meath. They beat Armagh in the first round 5-11 to 2-5 and went on to beat Tyrone in the Ulster final 5-5 to 3-8 at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh. Lancashire were their victims in the All-Ireland semi-final with a final score of 6-21 to 0-1 at Donegal town, but defeat was to be their lot again in the final – Meath winning by 5-13 to 1-3.

They also finished in the top two of the National League division 2, but lost to Wexford in the quarter final.

Donegal minor team reached the Ulster final, but lost to Monaghan 3-20 to 0-3 at Ballybofey.

The U-16 team was also well beaten by Monaghan 7-16 to 2-8 at Ballybofey.

St. Eunans relinquished their Ulster title when they lost the Ulster final to Inniskeen of Monaghan by 2-5 to 0-7 at Letterkenny. They had beaten Urris in the county final 4-11 to 0-2.

St. Columbas College Stranorlar beat Inver College, Carrickmacross in The Ulster Vocational Schools final. They beat St. Brendans, Belmullet 4-13 to 3-2 in the All-Ireland semi-final at Tulsk, Co. Roscommon and went on to beat Boherbue C.C. of Cork in the All-Ireland final atTuam Stadium, Galway.

County Board officers for 1994 were:

Chairman: Dermot Foy (St. Nauls),

Vice-Chairperson: Anna McKenna (Glenfin),

Secretary: Danny Gallagher (Termon)

Asst. Secretary: Bernie Gallagher (Killybegs)

Treasurer: Sean Gallagher (Naomh Brid)

Asst. Treasurer: Kathleen McGlynn (Glenfin)

P.R.O.: Ita Blake (St. Eunans)

Oifigeach na Gaeilge:Agnes Curran (Cloughaneely)

Referees Secretary: Hugh Devanney (Four Masters)

Fixtures Secretary: Danny Dunnion (Four Masters)

Senior Manager: Paul O Loughlin (Aodh Ruadh)

Mentors: Kevin Barron (St. Eunans), Sean Gavigan (Naomh Columba).

U-16 and U-18 Managers: Gerry and Kenny Griffin.

They relinquished their Ulster title in 1995, losing the Ulster final to Tyrone 2-11 to 2-8 at Donegal town, but participated in Division One of the National League that year.

Tyrone minor team beat Donegal in the U-16 final by 3-8 to 2-2 at Clontibret, whilst Aodh Ruadh, the new county champions lost the Ulster club final to Aghabog of Monaghan by 6-7 to 1-5 at Donagh, Co. Fermanagh. They had earlier beaten Sean MacCumhaills in the county final 2-9 to 1-10.

Ladies football is played today throughout the length and breath of Donegal ‘Bundoran to the Rosses, Innishowen to Dungloe’, and with competition within the county at U14, U16, and senior level, and numerous Donegal girls assisting various 3rd level colleges throughout Ireland, the game is certainly on a sound footing in our beloved Tir Chonaill.

With so much goodwill and enthusiasm, it was inevitable that the West County Cup would be on its way to the North West in the not too distant future.

Donegal team for Ulster Final of 1995 was: Charlene Kennedy (Ardara), Grace Kelly (Downings), Bernie Ferry (Aodh Rua), Denise Kelly (Mac Cumhaills), Mary Gordon (St. Eunans), Grace Meade (Aodh Rua), Suzanne Griffin (Mac Cumhaills), Deirdre Sweeny (St. Eunans), Bridget Clarke (Aodh Rua) capt., Christina Murphy (Mac Cumhaills), Denise Dunnion (Four Masters), Kathy McKenna (Glenfin), Joanne McKenna (Glenfin), Caroline McHugh (Ardara), Maureen O Donnell (Termon).

SUBS. Mairead Gallagher (Ardara), Margaret Magee (Cloughaneely), Eilish Harkin (Termon), Jakie Furey (St. Nialls), Patricia Doherty (St. Michaels), Michelle Monaghan (St. Eunans), Bronagh Gallagher (St. Eunans).

County Board Officers for 1995 were:

Chairman: Danny Dunnion – Four Masters

Vice-Chairman: James Markin – Termon

Secretary: Ann McKenna – Glenfin

Asst. Secretary: Caroline Brady – Kilcar

Treasurer: Hugh Devanney – Four Masters

Asst. Treasurer: Hughie McClafferty – Dowings

P.R.O. : Mary McHugh – Ardara

Oifigeach Na Gaeilge: Ann McKenna – Glenfin

Referees Secretary: Paddy Ryan – St. Michaels

Fixtures Secretary: Gerard Friel – Urris

Senior Manager: Kenny Griffin – McCumhaills

Minor Manager: Gerry Griffen – McCumhaills

U-16 Manager: Charlie Kavanagh – McCumhaills

In the Vocational Schools competition, Stranorlar beat Inver College, Carrickmacross in the Ulster final 6-9 to 3-6. They beat Boherbue C.C. of Mallow 5-6 to 3-5 in the All-Ireland semi-final at Tuam Stadium, and completed a hat-trick of All-Ireland titles, beating Vocational School, Borris, Carlow in the final at Mullingar.

1996

Officers elected were:

Chairman: Hugh Devaney

Vice-Chairman: Bernie McGlynn

Secretary: Ann McKenna

Asst. Secretary: Kathleen McGlynn

Treasurers: Paddy Ryan, Patricia Doherty,

P.R.O.: Cathy McKenna

Registrar: Bernie Gillespie

Fixtures Secretary: Hugh Devaney

Oifigeach Gaelach: Caroline Brady

Ulster Co. Delegates: Charlie Kavanagh, Hugh McClafferty

Central Co. Delegates:Hugh Devaney, Kevin Barron

1996 saw Donegal contest the Ulster Junior final against their rivals Tyrone, played at Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone, the Donegal team was determined to make up for the disappointment of the previous year against the same opposition, but at the end of a great game, came away as gallant losers on a score of 0-12 to 1-6.

Donegal Team : Bronagh Gallagher (St. Eunans), Mary Harkin (St. Eunans), Bernie Maguire (Aodh Ruadh), Bridget Clarke (Aodh Ruadh), Christina Murphy (McCumhaills) capt, Grace Meade (Aodh Ruadh), Diane Toner (Glen Swilly), Deirdre Sweeney (St. Eunans), Patricia Doherty (St. Michaels), Eilish Harkin (Termon), Margaret McGee (St. Michaels), Mairead Gallagher (Ardara), Joanne McKenna (Glenfin), Caroline McHugh (Ardara), Maureen O Donnell (Termon).

SUBS: Cathy McKenna (Glenfin), Debbie Lee Fox (St. Eunans), Charlene Kennedy (Ardara), Liz Gordon (St. Euanans), Aine McNulty (St. Euans), Denise Dunnion (Four Masters), Caroline McGrath (Four Masters), Jakie Scanlon (Glenfin).

Team Manager: James Harkin.

Monaghan beat Donegal in the Ulster minor final by 4-11 to 0-5 at Ballybofey, whilst the U-16 team suffered a similar fate – again to Monaghan losing 5-11 to 3-6 at Drumquin in the Provincial decider.

Monaghan beat Donegal in a great Ulster U-14 final by the narrowest of margins 4-9 to 4-8 at Ballybofey.

At club level, St. Eunans won their senior league yet again, and beat Aodh Ruadh by 5-6 to 2-5 in the championship final.

They went on to beat St. Macartens of Tyrone in the Ulster final 2-10 to 1-8 at Celtic Park, Derry. Next up was a trip to London for a tricky assignment against Parnells of London at Parnell Park. St. Eunans secured a hard earned 1-10 to 0-10 victory to earn their place in the All-Ireland final against Shelmaliers of Wexford. They went down with all guns blazing on a stormy day at Navan to Shelmaliers by 3-9 to 1-7, but they certainly raised the profile of, and respect for Donegal Ladies football.

ST. EUNANS: Bronagh Gallagher, Tereasa Devenny, Lorraine O Sullivan, Michelle Monaghan, Nancy McNamee, Leala McCusker, Sharon O Sullivan, Deirdre Sweeney, Debbie Lee – Fox, Suzanne Tinney, Catherine McAteer, Donna kavanagh, Frances Judge, Joan Barron, Nadine Doherty,

SUBS: Catriona Gallagher, Anne Doherty, Danielle Rainey, Elimear Barron, Eimear McClafferty, Alma Kavanagh, Mary Daly, Ciara Doherty, Mary Harkin.

On that day at Navan, the St. Eunans ladies football team became the first club side from Donegal to contest an All-Ireland final. They won the Donegal league and championship double every year with the exception of 1995 when St. Eunans team lost to arch rivals, Ballyshannon in the county semi-final – the first time they had been beaten in a competitive game in Donegal since February 1992.

On that Sunday, joint team manager Kevin Barron, who has been involved in all the successes with the exception of 1994 was in his own words fulfilling a dream by leading the girls on to the field for the All-Ireland final. “I know some people have this attitude that it is just a ladies All-Ireland final, but I can tell you they have put in the same amount of work as any other team to reach this decider. They are a great bunch of girls, and they are reaping the rewards now for the amount of commitment they have put it over the years” he said.

The St. Eunans ladies team was formed following a decision reached at the Annual General Meeting of the club in January 1992. The previous November, Kevin had attended a meeting at Ballybofey, where a Wexford man, Pat Quill spoke about the concept of ladies football.

Barron came back to report on the briefing at his clubs A.G.M., and immediately was given the task by the then Chairman, Connie Maguire, of organising a ladies team within the club. “At our first training session we had over 20 girls from the ages of 10 to, well maybe I shouldn’t say, but it went very well. We arranged a challenge game against Urris in O Donnell Park which we won and the travelled to Innishowen to play them a week later, but they beat us”, Barron said.

The first competitive game was against Glenfin in April 1992. Glenfin were highly rated side but the St. Eunans girls recorded a 3-19 to 0-2 win, a result that sent shock waves around the County. St. Eunans had arrived!

The girls went on to win the league with a victory over MacCumhaills and championship success followed with a win against Cloughaneely in Donegal town when players like Brid Carr, Bridget Clarke, Elizabeth McIntyre and Lynn Campsite were involved. The St. Eunans side went on to contest the Ulster Club final but lost to Carrickmore from Tyrone despite the fact they were leading by nine points with ten minutes to go!

League and championship success followed again in 1993, and they defeated Galbally from Tyrone in O’Donnell Park to win the Ulster club championship but lost to Crestar from Laois by four points in the All-Ireland semi-final.

This was the same year that Donegal contested the All-Ireland final against London and was annihilated in the decider. Nine St. Eunans girls were on the panel, and they were Bronagh Gallagher, Mary Gordon, Lela McCusker, Deirdre Sweeney, Frances Judge, Brid Carr, Joan Barron, Donna Kavanagh and Liz Gordon.

The domestic double was recorded again the following year.

The girls reached the provincial decider for the third year in a row, but lost to Inniskeen of Monaghan (the home of poet Patrick Kavanagh), but eleven of the St. Eunans team were on the Donegal panel that was defeated by Meath in the All-Ireland final.

1995 marked the first time the St. Eunans ladies lost a competitive game with defeat at the hands of Ballyshannon in Donegal town, but they gained some revenge with a league win over the Insiders.

Kevin announced his intention to retire, but the girls called a meeting and made representations to him to stay on for another year. “They gave me an assurance that they would give a full commitment this year and the rest as they say is history. They have put in a tremendous amount of work in training since February and I am really happy for them” he said.

St. Eunanas club took part in the National Sevens on All-Ireland weekend. They won their pool but lost the next round. They were also winners of the inaugural 7-a-side tournament in Ballybofey, Co. Donegal in memory of the late Caroline Quinn.

St. Michaels won the Division 2 junior league, and Carndonagh won the Division 3 league.

St. Michaels beat Four Masters in the Division 2 junior championship whilst St. Nauls beat Kilcar in the Division 3 final.

McCumhails beat Four Masters in the Under 16 final.

Four Masters beat McCumhails in the Under 14 final.

1997

Officers elected were:

Chairman: Hugh Devaney

Vice-Chairman: Teresa McGroaty

Secretary: Ann Mc Kenna

Asst. Secretary: Joanne McKenna

Treasurers: Terry O Reilly, Caroline Brady

P.R.O.: Donna Dunnion

Registrar: Bernie Gillespie

Fixtures Secretary: Caroline McGrory

Oifigeach Gaelach: Caroline Brady

Ulster Co. Delegates: Charlie Kavanagh, Hugh McClafferty

Central Co. Ddelegates: Hugh Devaney, Michael Naughton

Donegal took part in Division 1 of the National League and kept their status in this division. They met arch rivals in the Ulster Junior final at Brewster Park, Enniskillen. At the end of another titanic battle, Tyrone again emerged winners on a score line of 3-8 to 3-6.

Monaghan beat Donegal in the Ulster minor final 3-10 to 2-8 at Clontibret.

Donegal made an early exit from the U16 championship losing to Monaghan, whilst Monaghan beat Donegal at U14 level 2-10 to 2-6 in the first round at Clontibret.

St. Eunans won the Donegal league and also the county championship, beating Aodh Ruadh in the final 4-11 to 1-3. They beat Carrickmore of Tyrone in the Ulster final 4-11 to 1-16 after extra time at Clones. They crossed swords in the All-Ireland quarter-final with their conquerors of last year, Shelmailers of Wexford. However, there was to be no joy on this occasion either as the Wexford girls emerged victors by 3-4 to 1-4 at McCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.

Glenfin won the county Division 2 league (junior), whilst Carndonagh won the Division 3 league. Glenfin beat Four Masters in the Division 2 championship final. Carndonagh beat Kilcar in Division 3 championship final.

Glenfin beat Newtownbutler of Fermanagh in the first junior club final by 4-9 to 2-4, played at Clones.

Four Masters beat Glenfin in the U16 County final, and Four Masters beat Ardara in the county U14 final.

Abbey Vocational School was the County vocational champions, but failed to make it to the Provincial final.

1998

Officers elected were:

Chairman: Hugh Devaney

Vice-Chairman: Teresa McGroarty

Secretary: Ann McKenna

Asst. Secretary: Joanne McKenna

Treasurers: Terry O Reilly

P.R.O.: Donna Dunnion

Registrar: Bernie Gillespie

Fixtures Secretary: Caroline McGrory

Oifigeach Gaelach: Caroline Brady

Ulster Co. Delegates: Charlie Kavanagh, Hugh McClafferty

Central Council Delegate:Hugh Devaney, Michael Naughton.

Donegal took part in Division 1 of the National League and kept their status in this division. They met archrivals in the Ulster Junior final at Brewster Park, Enniskillen. At the end of another titanic battle, Tyrone again emerged winners on a score line of 3-8 to 3-6.

Monaghan beat Donegal in the Ulster minor final 3-10 to 2-8 at Clontibret.

Donegal made an early exit from the U16 championship losing to Monaghan, whilst Monaghan beat Donegal at U14 level 2-10 to 2-6 in the first round at Clontibret.

St. Eunans won the Donegal league and also the county championship, beating Aodh Ruadh in the final 4-11 to 1-3. They beat Carrickmore of Tyrone in the Ulster final 4-11 to 1-16 after extra time at Clones. They crossed swords in the All-Ireland quarterfinal with their conquerors of last year, shelmaliers of Wexford. However, there was to be no joy on this occasion either as the Wexford girls emerged victors by 3-4 to 1-4 at McCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.

Glenfin won the county Division 2 league (junior), whilst Carndonagh won the Division 3 league. Glenfin beat Four Masters in the Division 2 championship final. Carndonagh beat Kilcar in Division 3 championship final.

Glenfin beat Newtownbutler of Fermanagh in the first junior club final by 4-9 to 2-4, played at Clones.

Four Masters beat Glenfin in the U16 County final, and Four Masters beat Ardara in the county U14 final.

Abbey Vocational School was the county vocational champions, but failed to make it to the Provincial final.

1998

Officers elected were:

Chairman: Charlie Kavanagh

Vice-Chairman: Hugh McClafferty

Secretary: Ann McKenna

Asst. Secretary: Joanne McKenna

Treasurers: Terry Reilly, Caroline Brady

P.R.O.: James Harkin

Registrar: James Harkin

Fixtures Secretary: Hugh McClafferty

Oifigeach Gaelach: Caroline Brady

Ulster Co. Delegates: Charlie Kavanagh, Hugh McClaffeerty

Central Council Delegates: Annette Harkin

Donegal made a poor start to the season as they were demoted from Division 1 of the National League. They fared no better in the junior championship, going under to Tyrone in the semi final at Omagh. The minor team conceded to Monaghan.

Donegal lost the Ulster U16 final to Monaghan 5-11 to 2-10 at Buncrana. The U14 team went out in the first round by just one point to eventual champions Monaghan at Clontibret.

St. Eunans won the county league, and beat Aodh Ruadh in the championship final 2-6 to 1-8. They went on to beat St. Macartans of Tyrone in the Ulster final 1-7 to 1-5 at Celtic Park, Derry. They then had to make the long journey to Waterford to play Munster champions Ballymacarbry in the All-Ireland quarterfinal. The home team were much too strong and ran out convincing winners by 4-15 to 0-2.

The Division 2 league was won by Urris. Division 3 leagues were won by Kilcar.

Four Masters beat Carndonagh in Division 2 (junior) championship final, but lost the Ulster junior final to Annamullan of Monaghan by 2-10 to 2-8 at Celtic Park, Derry.

Kilcar beat Dungloe in Division 3 final. Four Masters beat St. Eunanas in the county U16 final. The U14 final was won by Four Masters, beating Bundoran in the final.

The county Vocational Schools title was won by Carndonagh. However they failed to progress to the Ulster final.

1999

Officers elected as follows

Chairman: Charlie Kavanagh

Vice-Chairman: Hugh McClafferty

Secretary: Ann McKenna

Asst. Secretary: Joanne McKenna

Treasurers: Terry Reilly, Caroline Brady

P.R.O.: James Harkin

Registrar : Bernie McGlynn

Fixtures Secretary: Hugh McClafferty

Oifigeach Gaelach: Caroline Brady

Ulster Co. Delegates: Charlie Kavanagh

Central Co. Delegates: Annette Harkin.

Donegal made a poor start to the year as they were demoted from Division 1 of the National League. When championship time came round, things did not get much better. Having beaten Derry in the first round 2-12 to 3-7 at Maghera, they were knocked out in the semi final by Down 5-9 to 4-7 at Tirconaill Park, Donegal.

Donegal failed to field a minor team this year.

The U16 team beat Armagh 4-14 to 4-6 at Ballybofey, but lost the semi final to Tyrone 2-21 to 1-4 at Ballybofey.

At U14 level, Donegal was home to Monaghan, but were on the receiving end of a 13-15 to 2-2 score line.

No Donegal schools made it to the Ulster final stages of the Post-Primary Schools competition, playing under the umbrella of “Ulster championships”.

The club competitions produced some good games, and a high standard of football.

St. Eunans won the Division 1 league whilst Ardara won the Division 2 league.

St. Eunans beat Four Masters in the senior championship final 2-10 to 0-5. They were away to Aghabog in the first round of the Ulster championship, but at the end of a terrific game, Aghabog won by a single point 1-9 to 2-5.

Four Masters beat St. Eunans in the county Intermediate final 2-10 to 0-5. They beat Fr. Rocks of Tyrone in the semi final, but lost the final of the first Intermediate championship of Iveagh Bosco of Down 3-16 to 1-7 at Clones.

Mccumhaills beat Malin in the junior championship final 6-17 to 1-1. They were away to Doohamlet of Monaghan in the first round, but despite giving they’re all, lost narrowly on a score of 3-7 to 2-7. All county finals were played at Convoy.

St. Eunans reached the semi final of the All-Ireland Sevens but lost to Shelmailers of Wexford 3-6 to 3-1. St. Eunans also won the Ulster club sevens, and the Carrickmore Sevens.

The U16A championship was won by St. Eunans, beating Four Masters in the final whilst the U16B winners were Bundoran.

The U14A championship was won by St. Eunans, beating Four Masters in the final, whilst Downings won the U14b final.

Glenfin beat Killybegs in the U12 final.

2000

Officers elected were:

Chairman: Charlie Kavanagh

Vice-Chairman: Hugh McClafferty

Secretary: Ann McKenna

Asst. Secretary: Mary Quinn

Treasurers: Terry Reilly, Kathleen McGinty

P.R.O.: Michael Naughton

Registrar : Bernie Gillespie

Fixtures Secretary: Hugh McClafferty

Oifigeach Gaelach: Sylvester Maguire

Ulster Co. delegates: Charlie Kavanagh, Hugh Devaney

Central Co. delegates:Annette Harkin, Michael McHugh

After the disappointing results of the previous year, Donegal dug deep to put some pride back into the fortunes of the junior team. They defeated Monaghan in the first round of the championship at Monaghan. Derry was their next victims at Ballybofey, and they were now into the Ulster final against Down at Clones. Corner-forward Denise Dunnion was player of the match in the two previous rounds, but Down were also in great form this year and proved too good on the day with victory by 1-10 to 2-3. Down went on to win the All-Ireland title.

Donegal team: Marita Maguire (Aodh Ruadh), Bridget Clarke (St. Eunans), Maria Devenney (St. Eunans), Aoife Hegarty (Moville), Diane Toner (Glenswilly), Lorraine O Sullivan (St. Eunans), Mairead Gallagher (Ardara), Grace Meade (Aodh Ruadh) Capt., Debbie Lee Fox (St. Eunans), Frances Hoy (Aodh Ruadh), Charlene Kennedy (Ardara), Maureen O Donnell (St. Eunans), Denise Dunnion (Mayo, New York), Mairead McKenna (Glenfin), Caroline McGrory (Four Masters).

SUBS:

Siobhan Bradley (St. Eunans), Marie Loughlin (Aodh Ruadh), Sharon O Sullivan (St. Eunans), Suzanne Tinney (St. Eunans), Donna Dunnion (Four Masters), Nicola Lacey (Four Masters), Donna Kavanagh (St. Eunans), Biddy Bonner (Glenfin), Liz Gordon (St. Eunans), Michelle Bennett (Ardara), Sancha Magurie (Ardara).

There was to be no joy for under age teams; the minor team lost to Cavan at Convoy; the U16 team lost to down at Ballyshannon, whilst the U14 team failed to field.

St. Eunans won their senior league and beat Four Masters in the senior championship final. They went out in the first round of the Ulster championship.

Urris won the junior league, and beat Cloughaneely in the final of the intermediate championship. They lost to Dromore of Tyrone in the first round of Ulster played at Urris. Moville beat Kilcar in the county junior final at Burt, but they had no success in Ulster either, going out to Galbally of Tyrone.

Four Masters beat St. Eunans in the U18 final; St. Eunans beat Ardara in the U16A final; Kilcar beat Bundoran in the U16B. Four Masters were victors over Ardara in the U14A final; McCumhaills were victors over St. Eunans in the U14B final. McCumhaills beat Buncrana in the U12A final, whilst Moville beat Robert Emmetts in the U12B final.

2001

Officers elected were:

Chairman: Charlie Kavanagh

Vice-Chairman: Hugh McClafferty

Secretary: Ann McKenna

Asst. Secretary: Bernie McGlynn

Treasurer : Terry Reilly

P.R.O. : Martina Maguire

Registrar: James Harkin

Fixtures Secretary: Cormac McCormack

Oifigeach Gaelach: Hugh McClatterty

Ulster Co. Delegates:Charlie Kavanagh, Hugh McClafferty

Central Co. Delegates: Lorraine Sullivan

2002

Officers elected were:

Chairman: Charlie Kavanagh

Vice-Chairman: Terry Reilly

Secretary: Hugh McClafferty

Asst. Secretary: Ann McKenna

Treasurer: Anne McGinty

P.R.O.: Mary Gillespie Carr

Registrar: Bernie McGlynn

Fixtures Secretary: Cormac McCormack

Oifigeach Gaelach: Caroline Brady

Ulster Co. Delegates: Charlie Kavanagh, Hugh McClafferty

Central Co. Delegates:Ann McKenna, Bernie McGlynn

2003 will go down in the history books as the most successful ever for ladies football in Donegal, with the county ladies team, under manager Maxi Curran, winning the All-Ireland Junior championship in 2004, the county’s first time in this competition, and can look forward to this with enthusiasm after the teams display in the 2003 junior championship. The team also won it’s the third Ulster Junior title on its march to the final. To top off this achievement, the county was also rewarded with 3 All-Star nominations, Debbie-Lee Fox at midfield, Kelly Lacey at wing half forward, and Maureen O’Donnell at corner forward. For a county playing in the Junior competition to get three nominations, speaks volumes of the players involved. Two of these players Debbie-Lee Fox and Kelly Lacey were selected to play on the Rest of Ireland team to play the All-Stars in New York in May 2004.

The county minor team, under Aidan McGrenra, reached the Ulster semi-final, before being defeated by Monaghan who went on to win the Ulster title. The county under 16 team, managed by Kenny Griffen were narrowly defeated by Cavan who also went on to win the Ulster championship, while the county U14 team, managed by Anthony Duggan, were defeated by Cavan in the Ulster final.

The County minor team, under Aidan McGranra, reached the Ulster semi-final, before being defeated by Monaghan who went on to win the Ulster title. The county under 16 team, managed by Kenny Griffen were narrowly defeated by Cavan who also went on to win the Ulster championship, while the county U14 team, managed by Anthony Duggan, were defeated by Cavan in the Ulster final.

Club Scene:

On the club scene, St. Eunans won the county senior title defeating Four Masters after a replay, with Moville winning their first intermediate title defeating Aodh Rua, and Termon winning the Junior title for the first time defeating Kilcar.

This year also saw a change of format in the Senior Championship, with 7 teams taking part for the first time ever. The new format saw the introduction of Four Divisional teams, namely Inishowen, Sheephaven (North West of county), Finn Valley (Glenfin and Mc Cumhaills), and Donegal Bay exciting championship clashes, but despite the best efforts of the amalgamated clubs, Four Masters and St. Eunans contested the County final, a repeat of the 2002 final. This was one of the best ever-senior finals, with a last minute goal from Four Masters forcing the final to a replay. The St. Eunans girls stepped things up a notch to win the replay, and went on to represent the county in the Ulster club championship. They were defeated by Carrickmore in the Ulster Semi-final.

The new format has however; refreshed the Senior championship in the county and the amalgamated teams will be looking to improve on their performances on their first year out.

County Team:

The highlight of the year has to be the performance of the county team, who under the management of Maxi Curran, Brendan Drummond and Aidan McGrenra, won the All Ireland Junior Championship on 5th October, at Croke Park. One of the most pleasing aspects of this achievement is in the style of football that they played. Scoring 3-14 in an All-Ireland final, 3-10 of that from play is an excellent achievement, which should not be underestimated. The team showed promise all year, from their first round victory over Armagh to their outstanding display in the final. They defeated Armagh by 0-10 to 1-4 in the first round of the Ulster Championship at Mc Cumhaill Park, and defeated Fermanagh in the Ulster Semi-final at the same venue on a score line of 2-19 to 0-1. The team reached its third consecutive Ulster final, playing against a youthful Cavan side. After leading by several points at half time, they surged ahead in the second half, eventually winning by a 3-12 to 2-4 score line.

Donegal met Sligo in the All-Ireland semi final, also at Mc Cumhaill Park and overcame there near neighbours on a score line of 3-9 to 1-7.

This set up the mouth watering clash against Kildare, a team who Donegal defeated by a single point in the All-Ireland Quarter final after extra time in 2002.

However, this team, most of whom had tasted defeat in 2002 All-Ireland Junior final, were quietly confident that they would place their mark on the 2003 Championship. This they did in style, from the first score by Shiela Campbell, till Debbie-Lee Fox secured the victory with Donegal’s third goal, with goals in between from Kelly Lacey and Yvonne McMonagle, and a superb 0-8 from Maureen O Donnell, the Donegal girls produced excellent football and were deserving winners of the All Ireland title. Team Captain, Debbie-Lee Fox went up the steps on the Hogan Stand to collect the All Ireland trophy for Donegal.

The homecoming the team received afterwards was most deserving, and the Donegal public came out in huge numbers to welcome the team home on Monday, in Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Ballybofey and finally in Letterkenny when the team arrived back at their sponsors base, The Orchard Inn, Letterkenny, tried but triumphant. On the Tuesday, the team were welcomed into Inishowen with huge numbers again turning out in Clonmany and Moville, with the victory tour extending to Glenties, Killybegs, Ardara, Glenfin, Termon and Newtown over the coming days. The large turnout of children, especially young girls will, hopefully, be inspired to firstly turn out and play for their local clubs and hopefully emulate the performance of the current team, with an All-Ireland display in Croke Park in the future.

Junior Championship 2003.

Ulster Championship First Round Donegal 0-10 Armagh 1-4

Team:

Charlene McHugh, Mariead Gallagher, Diane Toner, Donna Dunnion, Aoife Hegarty, Sheena Kearney, Aoife Mc Donnell, Debbie-Lee Fox, Nicola Lacey, Nora Stapleton, Anne Doherty, Frances Hoy, Shelia Campbell, Yvonne Mc Monagle, Gemma Hegarty.

SUBS used:

Jennie Mc Gonagle, Maureen O’Donnell, Nadine Doherty.

Ulster Semi-Final Donegal 2-19 Fermanagh 0-1

Team and Scorers:

Charlene McHugh, Michelle Doherty, Diane Toner, Donna Dunnion, Aoife Hegarty, Sheena Kearney, Mairead Gallagher, Nicola Lacey, Debbie-Lee Fox (0-3), Yvonne McMonagle (1-2), Aoife McDonnell (0-1), Kelly Lacey (0-1), Shiela Campbell (0-4), Nadine Doherty (0-2), Maureen O Donnell (1-2).

SUBS used:

Anne Doherty (0-3), Caroline MC Grory, Frances Hoy, Andréa McDaid.

Ulster Final: Donegal 3-12 Cavan 2-4

Team and Scorers:

Charlene McHugh, Michelle Doherty, Donna Dunnion, Mairead Gallagher, Aoife Hegarty, Diane Toner, Aoife Mc Donnell, Debbie-Lee Fox, Nicola Lacey (0-1), Yvonne Mc Monagle (0-3), Kelly Lacey, Nadine Doherty (0-4), Gemma Hegarty, Frances Hoy (0-1), Shiela Campbell (1-2)

SUBS used:

Maureen O’Donnell (1-3), Maria Devenney, Nora Stapleton, Anne Doherty.

All-Ireland Semi-Final Donegal 3-9 Sligo 1-7

Team and Scorers:

Charlene Mc Hugh, Michelle Doherty, Lorraine O’Sullivan, Donna Dunnion, Aoife Hegarty, Diane Toner, Aoife Mc Donnell, Debbie-Lee Fox, Nicola Lacey, Yvonne McMonagle, Nadine Doherty, Kelly Lacey, Maureen O’Donnell, Frances Hoy, Shiela Campbell.

SUBS used:

Nora Stapleton, Caroline McGrory.

All Ireland Final Donegal 3-14 Kildare 0-10

Team and Scorers:

Charlene McHugh, Michelle Doherty, Lorraine O’Sullivan, Donna Dunnion, Aoife Mc Donnell, Diane Toner, Aoife Hegarty, Debbie-Lee Fox (1-0), Nicola Lacey, Yvonne Mc Monagle (1-0), Nadine Doherty, Kelly Lacey (1-3), Maureen O’Donnell (0-8), Frances Hoy (0-1), Shiela Campbell (0-2).

SUBS used:

Maria Devenney, Caroline McGrory, Nora Stapleton.

Donegal Ladies Club Roll Of Honour 2003.

Winners Runners-up

Senior Championship St. Eunans Four Masters

Intermediate Championship Moville Aodh Rua

Junior Championship Termon Kilcar

Caeltach Championship Ardara Clochaneely

Division 1 league Not complete at time of going to print.

Division 2 league Not complete at time of going to print.

Division 3 league Termon

Minor Championship Not complete at time of going to print.

U-16A Championship Glenfin Aodh Rua

U-16B Championship Ardara St. Michaels

U-14A Championship Moville Glenfin

U-14B Championship Ardara Buncrana

U-12A Championship Ardara Termon

U-12B Championship St Nauls Urris

Officials of Ladies County Board 2003.

Chairman: Paddy Coll, St. Michaels

Vice-Chairman: Danny Dunnion, Four Masters

Secretary: Alma Kavanagh, St. Eunans

Asst. Secretary: Hugh Devenney, Four Masters

Fixtures Secretary: Cormac Mc Cormack, St. Eunans

Gaeltacht fixtures officer: Caroline Brady, Kilcar

Treasurer: Ann Mc Kenna, Glenfin

Registrar: Bernie Mc Glynn, Glenfin

Development Officer: Anthony Duggan, Moville

P.R.O.: Alma Kavanagh, St. Eunans

Asst. P.R.O. : Aidan Mc Grenra, Termon

Senior Team Manager: Maxi Curran, Downings

U-18 Manager: Aidan Mc Grenra, Termon

U-16 Manager: Kenny Griffen, Mc Cumhaills

U-14 Manager: Anthony Duggan, Moville

2004

Chairman: Paddy Coll

Vice-Chairman: Harry McGlynn

Secretary: Anne Harkin

Asst. Secretary: Alma Kavanagh

Treasurer: Ann Mc Kenna

P.R.O.: Paddy Coll and Ann MCKenna

Registrar: Bernie McGlynn

Fixtures Secretary: Cormac McCormack

Development Officer: Anthony Duggan

Oifigach Gaelach: Caroline Brady

Ulster Council Delegates: Maxi Curran and Paddy Coll

Central Council Delegates: Ann McKenna and Bernie McGlynn

After the euphoria of winning the west county cup in 2003 ladies G.A.A. at all ages took a new meaning and everyone at all age groups stepped up a gear in 2004 because they all wanted to emulate their heroines of 2003 and confidence in their ability was at an all time high. In 2004 we competed at Senior, Minor and U-16s and they all excelled themselves.

In division 2 league we played very well and went on to meet our old enemy Kildare on a day when the Lilywhites played out their skin having lost their manager who died suddenly two weeks before. So we were confined to division 2 for another season. In the Ulster Senior championship we meet Monaghan at Truagh in the first match and on a day we gave an indifferent display we lost Monaghan 1-11 Donegal 0-7

Our outstanding player on the day was Maureen O Donnell who scored six points five of them from frees. Our next outing was against Tyrone the previous years champions but Donegal beat them rather easily by Donegal 2-10 Tyrone 0-11.

Our last match in the was against Down at Ballyscreen when an on fire Donegal team cruised to victory in a very one-sided game Donegal 6-26 Down 0-3.

We met Monaghan in the Ulster Final on a day when Donegal did not perform to their potential. Monaghan won in the end by several points.

In the quarterfinal we met the mighty dubs at Longford in an unforgettable match where we lost a match in a heartbreaking fashion with some very dubious uses of the sin bin by the referee.

It was a game that will be remembered as one of the all-time classic ladies football encounters. Such was the nature of the occasion, the prize as stake and the quality of play from both teams.

Donegal suffered most with 4 players sin binned to Dublin’s 2. At one period in extra time we had to play with 13 players.

Donegal opened strongly a point from Maureen O Donnell from a free, while Shelia Campbell found the net after an excellent running by Aoife McDonnell and Ann Doherty to set up Campbell.

Nora Stapelton scored our second point but missed a golden opportunity to put in a commanding lead by missing a penalty. Dublin got four points before half time with another point from Nadine Doherty

Half time Donegal 1-3 Dublin 0-4

Second half was a ding dong affair with scores and counter scores from both sides with two frees from Maureen O Donnell and a goal from Yvonne McMonagle

Full-time Donegal 2-7 Dublin 0-13

In extra time Dublin were first on the score sheet with two points and Maureen O Donnell replied with two from frees and a point from Yvonne McMonagle to keep Donegal a point in front. A goal from Dublin and several points kept them in touch and Donegal replied per Ann Doherty and Maureen O Donnell lead by a point with a minute to go but Dublin struck with a sucker goal from Angie McNally in the last minute of extra time to win by two points.

Donegal 2-12 Dublin 2-14.

Our minors had an excellent season winning the Ulster title with some style against an excellent Cavan side in Breffni Park, Cavan their first title since 1993. Six of this panel won their second Ulster title in 8 days having played for the U-16s as well. Great performances from the Glenfin trio Mari Herron, Shelia Campbell and Yvonne Mc Monagle were the driving force behind this team ably supported by Emma Lawne, Stephanie Crampise and Kelly Lacey. Donegal won

Donegal 3-14 Cavan 3-8

They went on to meet Laois in the semi-final in county Roscommon where after a brilliant first half they let in four easy goals in the second half to lose by a single point.

Our U-16s under Kenny Griffin went all the way to an All-Ireland final in Mullingar when they lost to a fine Cork side coached by a Donegal man from Creeslough Charlie Mc Laughlin. Donegal allowed Cork to build up a substantial lead in the first half but showed they were made of sterner stuff in the second when they clawed their way back to lose by three points.

Maxir Curran, Brendan Drummond and Aidan McGrenra did an excellent coaching job on both seniors and minors.

Championship winners and runners up in the county were as follows.

Winners Runners Up

Senior – St. Eunans Four Masters

Inter – Glenfin Urris

Junior – Kilcar Glenswilly