Roscommon

The History of Ladies Gaelic Football in Co. Roscommon by Michael Naughton and Martina Finneian.

Ladies Gaelic Football

1974 – 1981

THE EARLY YEARS

During the 1960’s a new game for girls emerged. Playing Gaelic football was something new. Girls of course, had played soccer but the idea of girls playing gaelic football startled many. In the sixties seven-a-side girls football matches usually played at carnivals or festivals led to clubs staring in places like Clann na nGael, Ballintubber and at Lisnamult in Roscommon town. The Clann na nGael club was founded by P.J. Lennon. In Ballintubber Marie Holland and others promoted the game and in Lisnamult the game became quite well organised. Roscommon County Council also got a team together with Pat Burke the trainer. The best of the teams was Clann na nGael who had numerous matches with teams in County Offaly. Finally it was decided that the time was ripe to put the game on an organised level county-wise.

FIRST BOARD

At the request of Michael Naughton, Hon. Secretary of the Lisnamult club, a meeting was called for Naugton’s house in Lisnamult. So it came about that meeting – the first – was held on Wednesday, 26th June, 1974 to form a county board. The following people attended that first meeting : P.J. Lennon, Elizabeth O’Brien, Patrick Burke, Margaret Flanagan, Marie Holland, Anne Naughton, Patricia Kilroe, Anne Crean and Michael Naughton.

The following Officers were elected : Chairperson, Miss Marie Holland; Secretary and Treasurer, Michael Naughton; P.R.O., Michael Naughton. A set of rules were drawn up and plans outlined for the immediate future. In the next few weeks a good deal of progress was made with the commencement of a County Championship. Clann na nGael were the first champions. They neat Ballintubber at the C.B.S. field, Roscommon by 3 gls. 6pts. to 4gls. 2 pts.

Early in 1975, in fact on 31st January, 1975, delegates from Roscommon attended the Convention in Hayes Hotel, Thurles. The Roscommon delegates were: Marie Holland, Margaret Flanagan, Ann Dolan and Michael Naughton. Marie Holland was elected Assistant Secretary of Central Council – a great honour for the young Roscommon County Board. As can be appreciated the game had many teething troubles in County Roscommon. However, such was the enthusiasm and the sheer hard work undertaken by the County Board that giant strides were made in that first year.

INTER COUNTY DEBUT

In 1975 Roscommon made its debut at inter county level when meeting Mayo on the 1st August at Newport (Mayo). The match took place during the Newport Festival and the interest was at fever pitch. Both teams were marched to the playing field behind the Festival Band. Roscommon’s debut was a winning one, beating Mayo 1-5 to 1-4 on that memorable day. It will be of interest to give the line out of that team :

Olive Dufficy (Tulsk)

Helen O’Brien Kathleen Gannon Pauline Keenan

(Ballintubber) (Lisnamult) (Kiltoom)

Mary Duignan Mary Mulhern Geraldine Morris

(Clann na nGael) (Lisnamult) (Kiltoom)

Elizabeth O’Brien Margaret McManus

(Clann na nGael)

Margaret Flanagan Mary Derwin Maura Galvin

(Ballintubber) (Lisnamult) (Lisnamult)

Teresa Kelly Carmel McManus Mary Nicholson

(Clann na nGael) (Clann na nGael) (Clann na nGael)

This semi final win was greeted with delight but at the Hyde, Galway led by soccer International Captain, Nono McHugh, beat Roscommon side 2-1 to 1-3 in a great match. Roscommon proved, if proof was needed, that they had really arrived on the scene. In 1975 an Under 16 team was initiated and to Clann na nGael fell the honour of winning the inaugural title. They beat a fine Tulusk team 6-5 to 1-1 at St. Coman’s Park in October, 1975. There was a major surprise in the Senior final when Lisnamult beat Clann na nGael 3-4 to 3-1 in a match of real quality. Lisnamult, with Mary Mulhern (what a skilled and clever tactician she was) Anne Naughton, Kathleen Gannon and Maura Galvin to the fore were great on that day, shocking the 1974 champions.

Gradually, the players reached a high degree of skill and so did the County Board in so much that at the Convention in 1976 only one change was made in personnel – Margaret Flanagan became Treasurer. This Board remained together until 1980 and due in part to their dedication, the county reached great heights. Four Roscommon girls were on the Connacht team – Olive Dufficy (a tremendous keeper), Kathleen Gannon, Ann Burke (Tulsk), Mary Derwin (Lisnamult Club). Connacht drew with Leinster at Garbally Park, Ballinasloe.

1976 Senior: Galway 0-6 Roscommon 2-0 @ Athenry.

Replay: Galway 1-8 Roscommon 1-6 @ Athleague.

U16: Mayo 2-5 Roscommon 1-6 @ Ballaghaderreen.

ST. BARRY’S

A new force was rising within the county around this time – the St. Barry’s Ladies Gaelic Football team managed by P.J Reynolds and Hugh Cox (a great supporter of the game and vital to St.Barry’s). The Barry’s team was to provide some great players – Carmel Browne (a superb full back), Nuala Egan (a prodigious kicker of a dead ball), Maeve Fallon (left footer and wing half-back), Triona Moran (perhaps the best forward to play for the county). On the scene too came Strokestown led by Mrs. Bridie Shiels and Mena Martin. They had many fine players like Madeline Treacy, Pauline Gibbions, Terry Shiels, Ursula Cauneen, Margaret Shiels and others. St. Barry’s won County Senior and U16 titles.

The 1977 Convention held at St. Coman’s Club, Roscommon town on Sunday, 13th February, was attended by Mr. Tony Kenny, the National President of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. At that meeting the Treasurer reported a credit balance of just £59.70. Fundraising was stepped up. It was decided to form a 300 Club with Roscommon County Camogie Board. A schools seven a side competition was started and in due course won by Strokestown Convent of Mercy. Junior schools won by Convent of Mercy Roscommon. Sponsorship was by the Maurice Mulcahy Band. A major push was made in 1977 to bring high honours to the County. Lots of County challenges were undertaken and the County championships in Senior and U-16 maintained a high standard and interest. In the inter-pro replay Connacht beat Leinster at Kilcormac 5-3 to 4-4 but lost to a powerful Munster side at Athlone 3gls. 5pts to 1gl. 3 pts. Seven Roscommon girls played on the Connacht teams in 1977 and the experience was to prove invaluable.

In the senior inter county Championship Roscommon beat Mayo at Ballaghaderreen 1-5 to 1-1 on 25th July, ’77. Pauline Gibbons and Elizabeth O’Brien were brilliant that day at midfield and contributed greatly to the win. It was on to the Connacht final and a confrontation with Galway at Dunmore. It was a draw 1-9 to 2-6. In the meantime the County U-16 team won its first Connacht title beating Mayo at the Hyde Park 2-8 to 1-2. In the Senior replay Roscommon beat rivals Galway 1-6 to 2-2 at the Hyde Park. Roscommon had now two teams in the All-Ireland semi finals.

PUBLICITY

Around this time Marie Holland and Michael Naughton were two of the Roscommon delegates to have talks with Con Murphy the then President re. the future and development of the game. Relationships with the G.A.A. in Roscommon were always good. Dr. Donal Keenan arranged a meeting between Michael Naughton, the Roscommon P.R.O. and Mr. Pat Quigley, the G.A.A. P.R.O. The meeting took place at Croke Park and was most helpful. Roscommon were fortunate too in the realm of publicity. Mr. John Costello, the Roscommon Champion Editor, gave the game plenty of publicity locally and had results in the Daily Papers. Working hard too at local level were the Club Public Relations Officers and the County P.R.O. An interesting item re. the dedication of the county teams and the desire by the County Board to leave no stone unturned in having the maximum training was the decision to use Creggs Rugby Pitch for training under lights. Full credit to Creggs R.C. They were happy to allow the girls to use the pitch two nights per week and for two months the county teams trained there in the dark evenings. This showed the mettle of the girls and their determination to bring top honours to Roscommon.

Following the win over Galway, Pauline Gibbons, a player of uncanny skill, left to join the Augustine Order of Nuns in England. Consequently, the team had to travel to Castleisland (Kerry) without her. The semi final clash of All-Ireland champions Kerry and Roscommon aroused wide interest in Kerry where the county were considered favourites.

ROSCOMMON SHOCK KERRY

Roscommon shocked Kerry – two superb penalty saves by Olive Dufficy, the Roscommon keeper – and two great goals by Madeline Treacy resulted in a 2-3 to 1-2 win for the Connacht champions. In the Under 16 semi final at St. Coman’s Park, the home side beat Cork but lost to Cavan 1-2 to 0-2 at the Hyde. A strong gale and rain aided Roscommon in the first half at the Hyde. However, they did not make use of it and Cavan took complete control in the second half.

SISTER PAULINE

In the Senior semi final Cavan had beaten Offaly so the scene was set for the All-Ireland final at Hyde Park on 27th November, 1977. Replays and a late start to the championship had resulted in a late championship. Roscommon pulled off a master stroke of publicity for the final! Sister Pauline had asked for permission to play in the final and her Superior had granted her special leave to play for Roscommon. The media went to town on it. Overnight Pauline Gibbons became a celebrity. While she was a good length out of football and had no training, her presence alone would be inspirational. The daily papers and Radio gave the match marvellous publicity. Headlines on the front page of the “Irish Press” on Saturday, 26th November, 1977 with four photographs ensured a big attendance of well over 3,000 people at the Hyde. Alas for Roscommon they lost to a good Cavan team 4-3 to 2-3. Pauline returned to the Convent without her All-Ireland medal and was never to play again for her native county. Before she went the County Board, at a function in the Royal Hotel, presented her with the No.1 Roscommon football jersey. To-day it hangs at St. George’s Convent, Burgess Hill, Sussex, England, mute testimony of a young girls sporting ambitions.

In the County Championship – semi final – St. Coman’s surprisingly beat St. Barry’s 3-5 to 1-0 and Strokestown beat St. Failes 9-5 to 1-3. In the final at Enfield (Ballintubber) Coman’s beat Strokestown 2-5 to 3-0 in a titanic final.

In the VEC County Championship Castlerea beat Elphin 5-9 to 3-4 at Castlerea.

ALL-IRELAND VICTORY

Into 1978 and Connacht with 14 Roscommon girls and Bernie Boland from Mayo – the Galway girls were not available – won the inter provincial title beating Leinster 1-8 to 1-5 at Kilcormac (Offaly). Earlier Connacht had beaten Ulster 5-6 to 1-2 at Roscommon. In the Senior provincial championship Roscommon beat Galway 3-7 to 0-6 at Tuam. Meantime Kerry were beaten by Tipperary in Munster and finally Tipperary beat Offaly in the Semi-final. This was a good Tipperary team with players from the 1974 and 1975 All Ireland winning teams and they expected to win the title.

Roscommon had to travel to Breffni Park to play the conquerors of 1977, Cavan. The Western champions beat Cavan by a single goal – 3-6 to 2-6 in a hard fought semi final. Tipperary and Roscommon met at Ballinasloe on a wet dreary day, the 10th September, 1978. This was Roscommon’s greatest hour. Conditions didn’t suit the speedy Roscommon players. However, they beat Tipperary well – 2 gls. 3 pts. to 0 gls. 5 pts. and Captain Elizabeth O’Brien received the Martin Cup from Tom Dowd, the Ladies Gaelic Football President. During 1978, Roscommon were “unbeatable”. Coaching was by Michael Naughton, the County Board Secretary and Public Relations Officer, with help from Marie Holland, P.J. Reynolds and Hugh Cox.

No glory for the U-16 team hammered by Tipperary in Littleton (Tipperary) in the final. The score was 4-8 to nil. 1978 was the pinnacle for Ladies Gaelic Football in Roscommon and with such success it will be always difficult to emulate the feats of the years 1977, 1978 and 1979. Again in 1979 Connacht won the Inter Provincial title backboned by Roscommon girls. They beat Munster at Tralee on March 18th, ’79 6-8 to 1-5 and beat Leinster at Johnstown in the final 1-4 to 1-0. Elizabeth O’Brien was the Connacht captain. In the replay of the County 1978 championship, not held until March, 1979, St. Barry’s regained the title by beating St. Coman’s. On the 30/3/’79 Elizabeth O’Brien received the Roscommon “Female footballer of the Year Award” presented by Roscommon Champion at a function in the Abbey Hotel. Elizabeth along with Ban Garda Nuala Egan and Ban Garda Margaret McManus were to receive Ladies Football All-Stars Awards for their football feats.

In the National League, Galway beat Roscommon 1-6 to 0-4 in Tuam. This was a semi final. Galway lost to Tipperary in the final. In the Connacht Senior final Roscommon and Galway drew, Roscommon 4-3 to Galway’s 2-9 at the Hyde. So it was back to Tuam for the replay. There Galway won 4-6 to 1-6.

Success at inter-county level, however, didn’t strengthen the clubs within the county and there was a gradual decline in the number of clubs.

1980

Senior semi final: Roscommon 2-5 Leitrim 1-4 @ Cloone.

Final: Galway 3-3 Roscommon 1-7 @ Johnstown.

Connacht Final U18: Roscommon 4-7 Leitrim 2-4 @ Strokestown.

All-Ireland Semi-Final: Kerry 6-6 Roscommon 1-2 @ Ballymacelligott (Kerry).

Connacht U16 Final: Roscommon 2-3 Leitrim 1-1 @ Drumshambo.

All-Ireland Semi Final: Tipperary 0-6 Roscommon 0-2 @ Littleton.

1981

Senior: Leitrim 3-2 Roscommon 2-3 @ Strokestown.

U18: Leitrim 2-4 Roscommon 1-5 @ Drumshambo.

U16: No Connacht Championship.

All-Ireland Semi-Final: Wexford 5-7 Roscommon 0-1 @ Strokestown.

By 1981, Ladies Gaelic Football was no longer played on an organised basis. It was 1984 before we had a revival of the game in Roscommon.

1975

The Roscommon Ladies Gaelic Football team and substitutes to meet Mayo on July 27th 1975 at a Mayo venue.

Olive Dufficy

(Tulsk United)

Helen O’Brien Kathleen Gannon Mary Mulhern

(Ballintubber) (Lisnamult) (Lisnamult)

Mary Duignan Margaret Nicholson Marion Collins

(Clann Na Gael) (Clann Na Gael) (Roscommon TownUnited)

Elizabeth O’Brien Margaret McManus

(Clan Na Gael) (Clan Na Gael)

Anne Dolan Mary Dervin Geraldine Morris

(Ballintubber) (Lisnamult) (Kiltoom)

Maura Galvan Teresa Kelly Carmel McManus

(Lisnamult) (Clan Na Gael) (Clan Na Gael)

Substitutes:

Teresa Casey (Lisnamult), Anne Bailey (Ballintubber), Pauline Quigley (Lisnamult), Anne Burks (Tulsk), Anne Donlon (Lisnamult), Patricia Keenan (Kiltoom), Bernadette Rock (Clan Na Gael).

REVIEW ODF YEAR 1976.

LADIES GAELIC FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

COUNTY CONVENTION 1977

REPORT OF THE COUNTY SECRETARY TO THE CONVENTION.

I have pleasure in presenting my report for the year 1976-77. In reviewing the year I must say that progress reported during 1975 continues. I need not relate the difficulties connected with promoting what is virtually a new field game for women. While Gaelic Football is an old game, prejudicial opinion prevented its acceptance as a suitable game for women. Happily, a new awareness and understanding of the numerous games splendidly modified for participation by women has, slowly, if not yet completely, eroded former misunderstanding about the suitability of Gaelic Football for women.

UNDER-16 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

St. Barry’s (Rooskey) were the winners of this competition. Unfortunately, not all affiliated clubs were able to field U-16 teams. Some improvement is desirable. Clubs should make a greater effort to get more under age players.

COUNTY SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

St. Barry’s completed a great double when they captured the Senior Championship. Five teams competed. Tulsk was the only affiliated club not to participate. A very pleasing feature of the Senior championship was the performance of Strokestown and Kilmore. I would urge the incoming County Board to make every effort to get more clubs involved and to start the U-16 and Senior Championship no later than mid-May.

INTER-SCHOOLS’ SEVEN A SIDE

We decided to initiate a Inter School’ seven a competition and I am happy to say it proved an excellent idea. Considerable interest was engendered and even though the weather was severe, teams turned out and their displays were really marvellous. Six schools took part; Roscommon Convent of Mercy and Roscommon Vocational School; Strokestown Convent of Mercy, Newtownforbes Secondary School, Castlerea Vocational School and Castlerea Convent of Mercy. All the schools can feel very proud of the standard of play and special thanks goes to teachers and officials of the schools who helped organize the games.

Congratulations to Strokestown on winning the Senior competition and to Roscommon Convent of Mercy on winning the Junior event. This competition should get every co-operation from the County Board as the playing of the game at school level is all important.

CONGRESS

The Ladies Gaelic Football Association Congress was held at the Royal Hotel, Roscommon on the 31-1-’76 at which Miss Marie Holland was elected Secretary of Central Council. This year Congress will be held in Cavan.

RAILWAY CUP…SENIOR

On the 3-3-’76 Connacht and Leinster drew at Garbally College. Subsequently Connacht were beaten at Ballycommon, Co. Offaly in the replay. We had playing for Connacht Olive Dufficy, Kathleen Gannon and Mary Dervin. Among the substitutes we had Anne Dolan and Teresa Casey. Anne Burke also played in the drawn game. And Liz O’Brien played in the replay. All these girls served their province very well. Personally, I feel that the Railway Cup competition should be replaced by an inter club competition.

COACHING COURSE

On the 15th May, ’76 we held a Coaching Course at the Convent of Mercy gym, Roscommon. The Course was conducted by Mr. Tony Regan. The attendance at the Course was high. Most of the Course had to be conducted indoors because of weather conditions outdoors were atrocious. Every one felt Tony Regan done a splendid job and his hand-outs should serve as a guide to club training. Obviously, one of the most important things each club should attempt is to teach the skills of the game. A lot of time should be given, particularly to the young girls and beginners, in impressing on players the need to develop the skills of the game.

I feel that Mr. Regan would be only too happy to give another Coaching Course this year and consideration should be given to this by the incoming County Board.

PRESENTATION BUFFET

Again this was held at the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown. Much of the organization was done by the Strokestown and St. Barry’s Clubs and the success of the Buffet was in no small way due to their efforts.

FINANCE

I will only deal briefly with this most important matter. The Treasurer will no doubt have much more to say on the subject. However, just a few reminders. We all know how vital finance is in running a club or County Board. It becomes increasingly clear that some new method of finance will have to be considered to enable the County Bd. to meet its obligations to Clubs, players and in the vital matter of transport. Until now…and for some time longer I fear….clubs and individuals have been meeting expenses that should be met by the County Board. The Board thanks these Clubs and people for their tremendous co-operation during the year. I would suggest that the County Bd. run a “300 Club” county wide. For such clubs subscriptions are usually a pound per month. If we were to leave out subscription at 50 pence per month it might not be too difficult! Our friends the Camogie County Board would be prepared to join us in the venture they go 50/50 with us. This would ease the task of collection for individual clubs. My recommendation is that such a “fund-raising” idea should got under way as quickly as possible and the setting up of a Finance Committee to control it.

THE FUTURE?

What of the future?…. well the present position of the game in the County is good. Existing clubs are asked to continue the good work and to give maximum support to their County Board. This year the County at Senior and U-16 level should make a determined bid to capture a Provincial Crown. We have the players; no county has more dedicated players and with little luck the winning of a Connacht title is not by any means beyond us. We need to get the right blend and team work. I would ask every player to try and get fit; learn the skills with special emphasis on accurate kicking; improved catching; the hand pass and solo-run. Players are asked to turn out for training and to give it the necessary time and concentration. Each club should appoint a Trainer…..the aforementioned are some thoughts to ponder! Success demands effort….let us give it that effort!

IN CONCLUSION I would like to thank our Chairwoman and Treasurer, all the officials of the County Bd. and clubs, the G.A.A., the Press, the Referees, the Schools, the Commitees of the Hyde Park and St. Comans Park, the many people who helped with transport and who helped in any other way and my special thanks to the players for their co-operation during the year.

CONNACHT LADIES’ FIGHTING DISPLAY

MUNSTER 3-5

CONNACHT 1-3

Played July 1977

In a sparkling Ladies Gaelic Football interprovincial final played in Athlone on Sunday last the holders, Munster, overcame an understrength Connacht team to retain the Talbot Cup. Connacht who fielded without eight of their original selection battled bravely all through and were only one point behind at half time. Munster came with a great reputation and while they performed well and attained their objective of retaining the Interprovincial Cup they never exercised the expected grip on the game against a team of which some seven or eight were playing together for the first time.

Connacht can justifiably feel happy on matching such vaunted opponents and both Roscommon and Galway can look forward to an interesting inter county campaign in the coming months. Roscommon can feel particularly pleased, as this was the first venture of most of their players against interprovincial opponents and must auger well for their Connacht Championship hopes. Munster with All Ireland champions Kerry to the fore and with a good sprinkling of Tipperary, Waterford and Cork players in the team panel endeared themselves to spectators with their skill and good sporting manner. Indeed the game was played in the most wonderful sporting way and was a credit to both teams.

Best on a good Munster side were B. Donoghue, A. O’Leary, J. Stepleton, M. Lombard, M. Power and M. Guihen. While for Connacht O. Dufficy, C. Browne, M. Colleran, M. Mullins, M. Dempsey, L. O’Brien, M. Daly, T. Moran were most prominent.

Munster: E. Hennesy (W), A. Croke (T), B. Donohue (K), S. Clohessy (Tipp), M. Slattery (K), A. O’Leary (W), M. Leahy (T), M. Lawler (K), J. Stepleton (T), E. Power (W), M. Lombard (K), D. McLoughlin (K), E. Donohue (K), M. Guihen, captain, (K), M. Power (W).

Connacht: O. Dufficy (Roscommon), C. Boyle (Galway), M. Colleran (Galway), C. Browne (R), A. Finn (G), M. Mullins (G), P. Gibbons (R), L. O’Brien (R), M. Dempsey (G), M. Connolly (G), T. Moran (R), A. Dolan (R), C. McManus (R), M. Daly (G), K. Cronin (G).

Subs: C. Conway (G) for M. Connolly; M. Fallon for Cronin and M. Mulhern for A. Dolan, Referee Michael Greenan, Cavan.

1978 as records go. St. Coman’s and St. Barry’s played in County final.

St. Coman’s 0-2

St. Barry’s 0-2

Records show no replay.

Roscommon girls now chase gold

Fifteen pretty Roscommon girls are determined that All-Ireland football gold will be won by their county this year.

They are so determined, in fact, that even if their men folk suffer defeat at the hands of Armagh in Croke Park next Sunday they are prepared to take to the sports field themselves for 70 minutes of tough play. The girls, ranging from 14 to 29 years, and including a 28-year-old mother of three Mary Mulhern, make up the strongest ever Roscommon girls GAA team. And today they will be fighting for a place in the All-Ireland semi final when they meet the Galway girls in the Connacht championship at Castlerea. The vital clash which will determine who meets the Kerry team at Castleisland on Sunday next was to have been played last week. “But”, explains Roscommon county board secretary Margaret Egan”, the men were playing in the semi-final at Croke Park, so we postponed our game. The girls wanted to see the match. Somehow, Galway seemed to understand”.

The Roscommon county team was set up three years ago after the best players from the seven teams throughout the county were selected to wear the blue and gold. This year however there was a marked improvement in play and the girls became determined to secure the “double” for the county. They train twice a week under trainer Michael Naughton and All-Ireland secretary of ladies GAA Marie Comerford.

“We should beat Galway by a point or two”, explains Michael Naughton. They are more experienced, but our team is younger and they have a considerable burden to bear on Sunday. She scored 1-5 in the under 16 final which gave Roscommon the first gold of the season and team mates are hoping for a similar performance today.

Audrey Kenny also makes a considerable contribution to the team and has the added advantage of playing as a regular with the Elphin under 14 boys team. The County board has been given what they term an “off the record promise” that the final could be played at Croke Park – status that ladies football has been seeking from the GAA for many years. Margaret Egan retired from inter-county football two years ago, but she still plays for Ballintubber, her hometown. “The game has aroused considerable interest over the years and we have no shortage of teams looking for affiliation to the County board” she explains.

ROSCOMMON HERALD, OCTOBER 21, 1977

ROSCOMMON GIRLS IN ALL-IRELAND FINAL

ROSCOMMON 3-1

CORK 0-5

Roscommon are through to the All-Ireland girls football under 16 final as a result of a good win over Cork at St. Coman’s Park, Roscommon, on Sunday last. A five-point victory appears decisive enough but that was not the case as Cork wasted a lot of good possession particularly in the second half and Roscommon must improve if they hope to defeat Cavan in the final. Heavy rain before and during the game left the surface slippery and players found it difficult to keep their footing. From the throw-in Cork took possession and in less than two minutes were a point up and for the next ten minutes they keep pressure. Midway in the first half Roscommon worked the ball into the Cork half back line and Triona Moran on a solo run sent in a powerful shot that put Roscommon in the lead. Some minutes later Bernadette Gill also made no mistake in getting a good goal. Minutes later Cork pointed and T. Moran got a point. Half time score, Roscommon 2-1 Cork 0-1.

Starting well Cork put on the pressure and got two points leaving Roscommon with a slender two point lead. Cork sent four balls wide and in this period Geraldine Reynolds at fullback for Roscommon was outstanding. At right half forward Madeline Treacy of Strokestown was brilliant and several times she wildered the Cork backs with her speed and ten minutes from the end she grabbed a loose ball, set off out to the wing and cutting inside unleashed a pile driver that went into the net off the upright. This score put Roscommon a safe five points ahead. Outstanding for Roscommon were Geraldine Reynolds, Madeline Treacy, Peggy Guckean, Noleen Madden, Bridie Gill and Maura Cox.

Scorers: Roscommon – T. Moran (1-1), M. Treacy (1-0), B. Gill (1-0).

Roscommon (U-16) – M. Cox, L. Gill, G. Reynolds, M. Croghan, M. Conboy, M. Kelly, E. Gill, P. Guckean, M. Fallon (Capt), M. Treacy, N. Madden, T. Moran, B. Gill, A. Kenny, P. Moran

Subs – A. Tighe for M. Croghan; A. Kennedy (St. Faithleach’s), M. Gibbons, M. Lannon, B. Best.

BOYLE U-14 9-A-SIDE

The draws for the Boyle G.A.A. Club’s U-14 9-a-side which takes place on Sunday next 23rd inst. are as follows:

Section A Pitch 1 (1.45) – Oran v Shannon Gaels; 2.45 winners v Boyle.

2.15 – Kilmore v Knock-Croghery; 3.15 winners v Castlerea.

Section B Pitch (2) – (1.45) Tulsk v St. Ronan’s; 2.45 winners v Michael’s Glavey’s.

2.15 – St. Michael’s v Faithleach’s; 3.15 winners v Ephlin.

MINOR FOOTBALL TITLE FOR ELPHIN

ELPHIN 2-5

ST. BRIDGET’S 2-4

After a lapse of twenty-nine years Elphin regained the minor football championship title at the O’Rourke Park, Castlerea on Sunday week last.

This was the best-contested minor final for many years for many years and despite heavy rain and slippery ground conditions football was of a Elphin standard.

SUPERB DISPLAY BY ROSCOMMON GIRLS TO REACH FINAL

ROSCOMMON 3-1

CORK 0-5

Roscommon are through to the All-Ireland Ladies Gaelic Football under-16 final as a result of a good win over Cork at St. Coman’s Park, Roscommon, on Sunday last. A five-point victory appears decisive enough but that was not the case, as Cork wasted a lot of good possession, particularly in the second half, and Roscommon must improve if they hope to defeat Cavan in the final. Of course, it must be conceded that conditions were terrible. Heavy rain before and during the game left the surface slippery and players found it difficult to keep their footing and the conditions also left catching the ball control hazardous.

From the throw-in Cork took possession and swept goalward, and in less than ten minutes were a point up. This was a heartening start for the Munster champions and for the next ten minutes they kept up the pressure. The Roscommon backs were having some trouble containing the Cork forwards and, to make matters worse, the Roscommon kick out was terrible due to the surface conditions, and Roscommon can count themselves lucky to keep their goal intact. Midway in the first half Roscommon worked the ball into Cork half back line and Triona Moran went off on one of her solo runs and, sending in a powerful shot that the Cork keeper could not hold, she put Roscommon into the lead. This is what Roscommon needed and some minutes later Noeleen Madden at centre forward passed to Triona Moran who found Bernadette Gill moving in behind the Cork backs and, laying on a perfect pass, Bernadette made no mistake in getting a great goal.

Minutes later Cork pointed and T. Moran from a free had a point.

Half time score: Roscommon 2-1 Cork 0-1

Starting the second half, Cork put on the pressure and got two points from Tina O’Brien, they’re best forward, leaving Roscommon with a slender two-point lead. Cork should have scored again. They sent four balls wide and a fifty was cleared by Majella Conboy.

In this period Geraldine Reynolds at full back for Roscommon was outstanding and saved her team several times when it seemed a goal must come. Such fine defensive work by the Connacht champions appeared to give the team new heart and with Peggy Guckian and Maeve Fallon getting more of the ball at midfield, the Roscommon forwards got more of the ball. At right half forward Madeline Treacy (Strokestown) was brilliant and several times she bewildered the Cork backs with her speed. Ten minutes from the end she grabbed a loose ball, set off out to the wing and cutting inside unleashed a pile driver that went into the net off the upright. This score put Roscommon a safe five points ahead. Try as they might Cork could not score and now Roscommon are in their second All-Ireland. But let no one have any illusions about the finals. Roscommon must improve if they have any chance of winning even one All-Ireland.

Outstanding for Roscommon were Geraldine Reynolds, Madeline Treacy, Peggy Guckian, Noeleen Madden, Bridie Gill and Maura Cox.

Scorers: Roscommon – T. Moran (1-1), M. Treacy (1-0), B. Gill (1-0).

Roscommon: M. Cox, L. Gill, G. Reynolds, M.Conboy, M. Kelly, Liz Gill, M. Croghan, P. Guckian, M. Fallon (Captain), M. Treacy, N. Madden, T. Moran, Bernadette Gill, A. Kenny, P. Moran. Substitution – A. Tighe for M. Croghan. Subs: M. Gibbons, B. Best, M. Lannon, A. Kennedy.

Following Offaly’s win over Cavan in the All-Ireland semi-final the way is now clear for a Roscommon/Offaly confrontation on 30th October and in the under 16 final Roscommon v Cavan on the 13th. These should be two first rate games and Roscommon carry the hopes and best wishes of all Roscommon in their bid top bring All-Ireland title to Roscommon. The Roscommon county panels will have training at Kilbegnet on Wednesday night at 7.30 and on Saturday at St. Coman’s Park at 3.30. The senior panel should note that each player must attend at St. Coman’s Park on Saturday. Welcome news for Roscommon seniors is that Pauline Gibbons, a nun in the Augustinian Order in Sussex will be getting special leave to return and play for Roscommon in the All-Ireland final on October 30.

GIRLS U-16 FINAL AT ROSCOMMON

On Monday at 3pm at the Hyde Park, Roscommon, Connacht champions, Roscommon, seek the first leg of the coveted double when they meet Cavan in the All-Ireland U-16 girl’s Gaelic football final. The senior final is postponed until either the 13th or 20th November.

Roscommon are having a great year in girl’s football. They are the first team to have reached the two finals – U-16 and senior. In doing so they defeated U-16 champions Mayo and senior Champions Kerry and in both grades served up some wonderful football and brought honour to the county. Early in the year Roscommon played Sunday’s opponents in a challenge in Longford and were given a lesson by a well-drilled Cavan outfit. In that game Cavan ran out easy winners by 5-6 to 1-6. The team is not expected to show many changes from the one that finished against Cork. There will be some positional changes that will see Audrey Kenny going from full forward to left full forward and her place at full forward probably going to Pauline Moran. At centrefield captain Maeve Fallon and Peggy Guckian should about break even but most improve on their semi-final display.

Geraldine Reynolds, a member of the senior team is the bulwark of the defence. The forwards have two outstanding seniors in Madeline Treacy and Triona Moran. The team have trained very hard and if they get the breaks they must have a great chance of getting the county off on a winning start to the much-desired double. Members of the senior panel have training at 3.30pm at St. Coman’s Park on Saturday.

Three stalwarts of the Roscommon Under-16 girl’s football team, playing in the All-Ireland final at Hyde Park, Roscommon, on Monday next (Bank Holiday).

CAVAN GIRLS OUTCLASS ROSCOMMON

CAVAN 1-8.

ROSCOMMON 0-2.

Ten wides in the first half and only two points on the scoreboard at half time tells the story of why Roscommon lost their first ever Ladies Gaelic Football under-16 All-Ireland final at the Hyde Park, Roscommon, on Monday last. Playing with an almost gale force wind at their backs, Roscommon spent nearly the whole of the first half in the Cavan half of the field but too often shot hurriedly and wasted scoring chances.

Cavan showed a different mettle in the second period and, after wiping out the Roscommon half time lead with a goal Mary Kilkenny flashed score after score over the bar. Roscommon had the heavier team and the soggy ground took its toll. The lighter, nippier, Cavan forwards seemed to skim across the surface like ice skaters to break up Roscommon attacks and instigate speedy raids.

An example of Roscommon’s missed chances came soon after the resumption when a Roscommon attack found a forward right in front of an empty goal. Instead of hitting the ball first time into the net, the girl tried to raise it and stumbled for the chance to be lost. A goal at this juncture could have been vitally important and just might have daunted Cavan enough for the home side to hold out for the title. Maura Cox, in the Roscommon goal, had a good game and made some fine saves. She was ably supported by a full back trio of Lorna Gill, Geraldine Reynolds and Assumpta Tighe.

Margaret Kelly, Elizabeth Gill and Majella Conboy had a tough game holding the Cavan 40 trio and Peggy Guckian and Maeve Fallon, at centrefield, rarely managed to take command. Madeline Treacy, Noeleen Madden and Triona Moran were a half forward line par excellence, and Bernadette Gill, Pauline Moran and Audrey Kenny never stopped trying.

Roscommon had 90 per cent of the play in the first half but just could not find that space between the posts. Cavan full back Martina Maguire stood between them and a goal but they only had minors from Triona Moran and Madeline Treacy to show for their efforts at the short whistle. Two minutes after the re-start Roscommon missed an open goal but Mary Kilkenny, for Cavan, made no mistake at the other end to drive the ball into the net, just under the crossbar by the left hand post. Anne Smith and Eileen Cunningham slammed over two more points for Cavan and the game, as a contest, was virtually over. Bernie Callaghan piled on the pressure with another point and Roscommon looked a tired and dispirited side.

However, despite two more points by Ann Marie Rowe, Roscommon seemed to get a second wind, and to their everlasting credit, made a fight of it right up to the final whistle.

Their attacks left the defence a little unbalanced and Cavan’s Eileen Cunningham (2) and Mary Kilkenny converted breakaway chances into points before referee Mr. Richard Fallon, of Offaly, signalled the end of the game. Roscommon lost this game, one feels, due to shortage of experience and a lack of speed. They also allowed the Cavan girls a bit too much room to manoeuvre and were slow to race for a loose ball.

It is to credit of both sides that they produced a fine brand of football in the conditions and, despite the scoreline, kept interest in the game right to the very end. Cavan deserved their victory but this Roscommon team will come again and, with this and more experience behind them, will not make the same mistakes next time. There is definitely an All-Ireland coming to Roscommon.

Scorers for Cavan: M. Kilkenny (1-1), E. Cunningham (0-3), A. Rowe (0-2), A. Smith and B. Callaghan (0-1 each).

For Roscommon: T. Moran and M. Treacy (0-1 each).

Roscommon: M. Cox, L. Gill, G. Reynolds, A. Tighe, M. Kelly, E. Gill, M. Conboy, P. Guckian, M. Fallon, M. Treacy, N. Madden, T. Moran, B. Gill, P. Moran, A. Kenny.

November 1977

U-16 Girls Fail to Cavan

Cavan 1-8 Roscommon 0-2

Cavan won the U-16 girls Gaelic football final at Roscommon on Monday defeating the home side on the score 1-8 to 0-2. Roscommon were unable to reach anything like the heights attained in pervious games and on the day Cavan were the better side. The Roscommon defence was very weak in too many positions, the expected pull at centre-field did not materialise and with the half forwards having to fetch and carry to they’re inside forwards, the scoring potential of the wing half forwards was reduced.

Roscommon won the toss and played with a stiff breeze. During this half Roscommon should have amassed a good score but instead ran up eleven wides and at least one golden opportunity to find the net was fluffed. Only Madeline Treacy and Trioni Moran of the forwards played up to expectations. At times, the ball did not appear to run kindly for Roscommon but Cavan were fielding the ball much better and generally were sharper. Triona Moran opened the scoring in the tenth minute and M. Treacy added another point in the twentieth minute and these were the only scores Roscommon were to get in the hour. Cavan defending stubbornaly did not score in this half.

With the breeze in their favour in the second half Cavan proceeded to give Roscommon backs and centrefield the run around and only for the brilliance of Geraldine Reynolds at full back and to a lesser extent M. Cox in goal and E. Gill at centre half, the Cavan score would have been higher. In the opening minutes of this half, Roscommon missed a “sitter” right in front of the Cavan goal and had three wides before Cavan got a goal by Anne McElroy to put her side a point in front. Weaknesses were becoming very obvious in the Roscommon defence and Cavan in the remaining twenty minutes whipped over eight fine points. During this period Roscommon made several switches in defence to no avail and introduced two subs of whom Anne Kennedy was the best.

Scorers Cavan: M. Kilkenny (1-1), E. Cunningham (0-3) A. Rowe (0-2), A. smith, B. Callaghan (0-1 each).

Roscommon: T. Moran, M. Treacy (0-1 each).

Cavan – C. Reilly, A. Lean, M. Dyer, B. Kenny, A. Lynch, U. Neary, T. Callaghan, B. Callaghan, Maureen O’Connell, Mary O’Connell, Anne Rowe, M. Dolan, A. McGowan, E. Cunningham, R. Briody,

Subs. M. Kilkenny, A. Smith.

Roscommon – M. Cox, E. Gill, G. Reynolds, A. Tighe, M. Kelly, E. Gill, M. Conboy, M. Fallon, P. Guicken, T. Moran, N. Madden, M. Treacy, B. Gill, P. Moran, A. Kenny.

Subs. M. Gibbons for M. Kelly and A. Kennedy for M. Gibbons.

Referee – B. R. Fallon (Offaly).

The senior panel have training in Kilbrgnet on this Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and again on Saturday in St. Coman’s Park at 3 p.m.

ROSCOMMON HERALD, DECEMBER 2, 1977.

CAVAN TAKE THE TITLE IN ENTERTAINING GAME

CAVAN 4-3

ROSCOMMON 2-3

Cavan won the All-Ireland women’s senior football championship by defeating Roscommon at Hyde Park on Sunday, in a game that was highly entertaining for the large crowd. The winners were faster to the ball, better fielders and generally looked fitter, but the home side gave a hearth-warming performance which thrilled their numerous supporters and showed the high standard which the game has reached in the county. Only for a few bad misses from scoring positions by the home side and the concession of two rather easy goals, the issue would have been much closer.

Cavan’s sharpness saw them a point up in the first minute of the game and they were 1-3 to nil in front before Roscommon really got into the game. Then the homesters shook off their lethargy and in a determined raid on the Cavan pests were rewarded when a free by Liz O’Brien, their outstanding player, was defected to the net for a goal. Minutes later Roscommon were level when the footballing nun, Pauline Gibbons was in the right position to seize on a crossed ball and shoot to the net. Roscommon kept up the pressure but missed three good chances of going ahead and just before half time Cavan’s Rita Briody seized on a bad kick-out to shoot a rather easy goal.

The second half saw Roscommon enjoy most of the possession but scores were slow in coming and the goal which would have put them back in contention was not forthcoming. Cavan were the faster side, always first to the ball and alert for the break, they harassed the opposition into making mistakes and up front made better use of their possession. Both sides served up some brilliant football on a rather slippery surface and the big crowd obviously enjoyed it.

Roscommon introduced Anne Bailey fro Anne Donlon in the second half and for a while it looked as if they might come to terms with Cavan. At centre-field K. Leddy was getting fine possession for Cavan and from a pass she placed Josie Briody for another goal and Roscommon were really in trouble. They introduced Mary Shiel for Maeve Fallon at centre-field and for the next ten minutes Roscommon got enough chances to register a few scores but again it was Cavan who broke out of defence and scored another goal. Minutes later Roscommon’s Triona Moran hit the crossbar with a rocker, Anne Dolan sliced a good chance of pointing to the right of the post and Mary Shiel volleyed a rebound wide. They continued to apply pressure but their only reward was a Liz O’Brien point.

Best for Cavan were B. McCabe, M. McGuire, K. Leddy, M. Connell, A. Farrelly, R. Lynch and the Briody sisters.

For Roscommon C. Browne, G. Reynolds, M. Mulhern, L. O’Brien, M. Treacy, T. Moran were outstanding.

Scorers: Cavan – L. Briody, M. Connell (1-1 each), A. Baxter, R. Briody (1-0 each), A. Farrelly (0-1). Roscommon – L. O’Brien (1-1), P. Gibbons (1-0), T. Moran and M. Treacy (0-1 each).

The referee was R. Fallon (Offaly).

After the final Miss L. Colgan presented the All-Ireland Cup to Cavan. Replying on behalf of the Cavan Co. Board, Mr. Tom Dowd thanked the Hyde Park Committee and the Roscommon G.A.A. Co. Board for the support received. Miss Marie Holland (Roscommon) also thanked the Hyde Committee. The G.A.A., the Press, R.T.E., the teams, officials and supporters congratulated Cavan on their victory.

ANGLO-CELT CAVAN DECEMBER 2 ‘77

ANOTHER ALL-IRELAND TITLE FOR CAVAN LADIES

Before an attendance of over 3,000 – who paid receipts of £1,500 – at Hyde Park, Roscommon, on Sunday last, Cavan won their first-ever All-Ireland senior ladies football title when they defeated Roscommon by 2-3 to 2-0 in an entertaining final. Despite all the publicity surrounding the composition of the Roscommon team and particularly Sr. Pauline, Cavan, who went into the game as the under-dogs, played exceptionally well and deservedly took the honours. This success gave Cavan a double honour as they also defeated the Connacht County in the minor final.

Cavan ignored all the pre-match publicity surrounding the game and they got down to task right from the start. In the second minute, Ann-Agnes Baxter opened the scoring with a point and a few minutes later, Monica Connell added another. In the 7th minute, Ann Farrelly was also on target. After good play involving Kathleen Leddy, Bernie Callaghan, Ann Agnes Baxter and Josie Briody, the latter passes to Rosie Lynch who scored a great goal.

DEFENSIVE BLUNDER

Roscommon came more into the game, and after a good move involving Maeve Fallon, Liz O’Brien and Peggy Guckian the latter was fouled. The free was taken by P. Guckian who centred to the Cavan square, where defender E. Halton, deflected the ball into her own net. Despite the momentary disaster, Cavan’s defence – while under severe pressure – held out until Sister Pauline got possession and shot a fine goal in the 22nd minute.

Cavan fought back and after a good build-up involving Bernie Callaghan, Josie Briody and Ann Farrelly, Rita Briody shot to the net. At the interval Cavan led by 2-3 to 2-0.

SECOND HALF

The early stages of the second half saw Bernie Callaghan and K. Leddy take control of the midfield sector. In the 7th minute Ann Agnes Baxter got Cavan’s third goal. Roscommon then exerted pressure but some great defensive work by Bridget Sheridan, Anna McCabe and Sarah Murphy kept them at bay, until the 10th minute when Triona Moran pointed. Roscommon continued to attack and they added another point from Liz O’Brien – their star player.

In the 22nd minute of the half, Monica Connell scored a goal making the game safe for Cavan. At this stage, Cavan introduced 2 subs, Ann Marie Roe for Josie Briody and Helen Smith for Ann Agnes Baxter. The last score of the game – a point – fell to Roscommon’s Madeline Treacy.

Best for Cavan were – Anna McCabe, Martina Maguire, Eileen Halton, Sarah Murphy and Bridget Sheridan in the defence. Goalkeeper Bernie McCabe made a number outstanding saves. The highlight of the day was the midfield display from Kathleen Leddy and Bernie Callaghan. Pick of the forwards were Ann Agnes Baxter, Monica Connell, Rita Briody, Rosie Lynch and Ann Farrelly.

Roscommon’s team captain, Carmel Browne had a fine game in the fullback berth. Also impressive were defenders Mary McManus and Geraldine Reynolds. L. O’Brien at midfield was prominent throughout, and in the forwards, Sister Pauline, Madeline Treacy and T. Moran all tried very hard.

Cavan – Bernie McCabe, Anna McCabe, Martina Maguire, Eileen Halton, Sarah Murphy, Bridget Sheridan (capt.), Carmel Lynch, Kathleen Leddy, Bernie Callaghan, Ann Agnes Baxter, Monica Connell, Josie Briody, Rosie Lynch, Ann Farrelly, Rita Briody.

Subs – Ann Marie Roe and Helen Smith.

Roscommon – O. Duffy, C. McManus, C. Brown (capt.), N. Egan, M. Mulhern, M. McManus, G. Reynolds, P. Gibbons, L. O’Brien, A. Dolan, M. Fallon, T. Moran, M. Treacy, A. Donlon, P. Guckian.

Subs – A. Bailey, M. Shiels.

Referee – Brother Behan.

PRESENTATION

After the game the cup was presented to the Cavan captain Bridget Sheridan by the National Vice President, Lynda Colgan.

1977

From now on it’s a wholly new ball game

Tired, dispirited, eyes downcast, near to tears, they trooped dejectedly into the dressing rooms at the Douglas Hyde Park, Roscommon, yesterday. They were the Roscommon ladies’ senior Gaelic football team that had to bow the knee to Cavan in the All-Ireland final. The score was 4-3 to 2-3. Among them was sister Pauline Gibbons, the Augustine postulant from St. George’s Convent, Burgess Hill, Sussex, England, who had got special leave to play her last game of football in this prestigious match. But there were no tears from sister Pauline. The resilience of her calling-the Augustinians are a nursing order-stood to her as she joined team mentors in comforting one of her team-maters.

VERY SAD TO LOSE

Not that she was unfeeling: “I’m very sad we lost, this being my last game and all”, she said, before turning to hold a weeping teammate in her arms.

She cuddled the girl and told her: “Never mind. You’ll be back next year. It’s just another game. You’ll win next time.”

She had planned to take her boots and her jersey back with her to an honoured place among the convent mementos. Would losing make any difference? Sister Pauline was undecided. “I don’t know,” she said-but a fan shouted, “Of course you will. Losing makes no difference, you played well.

PRAYING FOR A WIN

Before leaving her convent in England, Sister Pauline was promised that the nuns and patients at the private nursing home there would kneel and say a prayer for her as she took the field with the team in Roscommon.

“They will be very disappointed when I telephone them the results,” said Sister Pauline. “They were praying and hoping we would win – even some Cavan nuns there. And a nun from Manchester who telephoned me before I left will also be disappointed.

Mother Superior of the convent at Burgess Hill is Sister Leoine MeDermott, an aunt of Sister Pauline, who is to receive a present of a Roscommon hat and scarf from the Roscommon ladies GAA County Board.

“I had hoped to bring back a winners medal but Cavan were the better team today.”

NOW IN THE PAST

Sister Pauline will take her first vows in March and then the only football she will see will be as a spectator. “I’ll miss the game, but I love the religious life,” she said. I’ll still follow the Roscommon team next year, even if I cannot get over to see them play.

After taking her vows Sister Pauline will spend a year learning the religious life before starting her nursing training at a hospital near her convent. She will study for her S.R.N. and then return to begin her career as a nursing nun.

“Football is now in the past,” said Sister Pauline. “Win, lose or draw, today was my last match. I’m now looking forward to my career.” She looked wistfully around the dressing room before turning to comfort her teammate. The exfootball star had already started being a nun.

SEPTEMBER 1978

ROSCOMMON GIRLS ON SCORING SPREE.

ROSCOMMON 5-15

ARMAGH 3-2

All Ireland girls’ senior senior football champions, Roscommon, are through to the semi-final of the National League after a convincing win over Armagh at Armagh on Sunday last. In beautiful playing conditions a luckless Armagh team came up against a rampant Roscommon team who freed of the tensions of the All-Ireland competition showed all their skills and delighted the large crowd.

Right from the throw-in Roscommon swept into attack and a series of points from Margaret McManus, Mary Duignan, Peggy Guicken, T. Moran and Liz O’Brien gave them a five point to nil lead inside ten minutes. At centerfield Mary Shiel and Margaret McManus were in complete command and consequently the western forwards got a plentiful supply of the ball and tore holes in the Armagh defence with combination movements baffled the Armagh girls. In the tenth minute Triona Moran got a great goal and the writing was on the wall for Armagh who never the less battles bravely and got two fine goals before half time from I. Parthland and Joan McAnulty. However, Liz O’Brien added 1-2 to the Roscommon score and Mary Duignan slammed home another goal from a Peggy Guicken cross and Roscommon had a3-7 to 2-0 lead at half time.

In the second half Roscommon played even better and showed the crowd just why they are All-Ireland champions. Armagh who mounted several fine movements just could not get through the Roscommon defence where Carmel Browne at full back and her two corner backs Carmel McManus and Ban Garda Nuala Egan were outstanding. The Armagh half forward line which was quite good also came unstuck against under sixteen stars Geraldine Reynolds at centre half and Majella Conboy at left half and the brilliant Maeve Fallon at right half. In this half Bernadette Gill came on for her twin sister Elizabeth and Anne Gibbons substituted for Triona Moran and with twenty minutes to go Helen A. Gibbons replaced full back Carmel Browne. All three subs played well and blended well with the more experienced players.

A switch which brought Nuala Egan into the forwards, with Mary Duignan dropping back into the corner resulted in one of the most delightful moves of the game. A long clearance from H. A. Gibbons went to Liz O’Brien about forty yards out who executed a perfect scissors movement and as she was tackled slipped a reveres pass at speed to the ongoing Nuala Egan who sent a great point high over the bar with the whole Armagh defence completely wrong footed! This was the kind of play the crowd appreciated and roared its approval all through. Before full time Roscommon scored a further 2-7 to Armagh’s 1-2. This was Roscommon at their best and playing like that it is difficult for the opposition to impress but impress Armagh did. They lacked the teamwork and skill of Roscommon but they have some fine individual players.

Scorers: Roscommon – T. Moran (2-3), Liz O’Brien (2-3), G. Reynolds (1-0), M. Fallon (0-20, A. Bailey (0-1), B. Gill (0-2), M. Duignan (0-3), P. Guicken (0-1)

Armagh – I. McParthland (1-0), J. McAnulty (1-0), Rose Murphy (1-0), Teresa Finnegan (0-2), Christina Killian (0-1) Referee – Eamonn McGill (Louth)

After the game the Armagh chairman, Hugh Meehan presented the winners with plagues and thanked Roscommon for playing the National League game at the opening of the new pitch in Armagh.

The result of the combined Girls’ Gaelic Football and Camogie 300 club draw for August was £50, Philo Martin, Strokestown; £15, Pauline Quigley, Regional Hospital. Galway; £10 G. Kane, C/o T. Harkins, Racecourse Rd. Roscommon.

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS:

St. Faile’s and St. Barry’s meet in the U-16 championship at the weekend and Ballintubber play Strokestown at Enfield on Saturday in the senior championship. The winners of the Ballintubber v Strokestown senior game meet St. Barry’s and the winners of that game meet county champions St. Comans in the senior final. This year the championship is very open with St. Barry’s the favourites to win at U-16 level but here again either St. Faile’s or St. Barry’s could cause a surprise.

TRAINING:

With the seniors having captured the All-Ireland title for the first time there is great interest at U-16 level. Roscommon have Geraldine Reynolds off the senior team, Majella Conboy who played against Armagh, the twins, Eliz and Bernadette Gill who also played against Armagh. For attack the tall Bridie best of Faile’s, Noeleen Madden of St. Faile’s and Audrey Kenny, last year’s full forward are available. Centerfield may be solved with Marina Lannon of St. Faile’s and Karen Walshe of Barry’s. Strokestown have a number very fine players most of whom are Under 16 again next year: Margaret Shiel, Terry Shiel, Ursula Caumeen, Ann McManus, Catherine Cahill, Madeline Gibbons. Roscommon meet the winners of Kildare and Laois at Rhode on Sunday, October 1st. Both semi-finals will be played that day with the final on October 8th or 15th.

Under 16 training will be on Tuesdays and Thursday s and at 3pm on Saturday for players not involved in the Under 16 games that day.

1984-1991

THE REVIVAL

By Martina Finneran

The Ladies Gaelic Football reveval began on Sunday, 29th July 1984, which was the G.A.A.’s La na gClub. Ladies Gaelic #Football matches were organised bya number of clubs throughout the county as part of their schedule of events for the day. Three teams – St. Mary’s, Eire Og and Western Gaels – stayed together and formed three clubs. A competition was organised between the three clubs, with Western Gaels emerging as the eventual winners. After this competition, it was decided to try and revive the game in other areas of the county and to form a County Board.

On Monday, 11th March 1985, at a meeting held in the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown, a Ladies Gaelic Football Co. Board was formed. The following Officers were elected: -

Chairman: Sean Flanaghan (St. Mary’s)

Vice-Chairperson: Bridie Shiel (Strokestown)

Secretary/PRO: Martina Finneran (Western Gaels)

Treasurer: Annette Cox (Eire Og)

Registrar: Gertrude O’Connor (Western Gaels)

Delegates to Connacht Council: Sean Flanaghan, Martina Finneran, Bridie Shiel.

Eight clubs were affiliated to the County Board – St. Mary’s, Eire Og, Western Gaels, Strokestown, padraig Pearses, St. Faithleach’s Tulsk and Shannon Gaels.

Co. Senior Championship

The Co. Senior Championship was run on a league basis, with Padraig Pearses and St. Mary’s eventually coming through to contest the final, and what an epic final it turned out to be. Played in Strokestown, it was a real thriller and ended in deadlock. The replay was fixed for Knockcroghery, and we all looked forward to the prospect of another classic encounter, and we weren’t to be disappointed. With two minutes remaining, St. Mary’s were leading by three points and seemed to be on their way to victory, but G. Butler levelled the scores with a goal just before the full-time whistle. Due to failing light it wasn’t possible to play extra-time.

The second replay was played in Hyde Park, Roscommon. This time, St. Mary’s never really got into the game and Padraig Pearses were victorious by 1-5 to 0-2. This first Co. Senior Championship of the revival will go down in the history of the Ladies G.A.A. in the county as one of the most exciting and keenly contested Championships.

Padraig Pearses Panel: A. Grenham, R. Carty, D. Cunningham, M. Cusack, S. Finneran, R. Dolan, M. Grehan, S. McDonagh, G. McManus, Y. Dooley, G. Butler, R. Finnerty, A. M. Grenham, M. Kelly, M. Lying, R. Flynn, E. Moore, C. Costello, P. Dolan, M. Griffin, D. Coen, S. Cummins, L. Murray, S. Carty, E. Whelan, N. Duffy, A. Duffy, A. Kelly, J. Kelly, B. Finnerty, H. Morris, N. Kenny, A. Lying.

St. Mary’s Panel: O. Dufficy, C. Nevin, C. Cribbin, L. Gill, R. Hunt, P. Kelly, C. Connaughton, S. Kelly, O. Hunt, F. Kelly, G. Cuttle, R. Cribbin, F. Quinn, S. Keane, S. Dolan, L. Casey, P.A. Beirne, G. Dobey, C. Connaughton, M. Furey, M. Connaughton, E. Flynn, M. Kearney, N. Dobey.

Connacht Junior Championship

On the inter-county scene, Roscommon had a team in the Connacht Junior Championship. They reached the final and put up a very creditable performance against a more experienced Galway team in the final played at Frenchpark.

Final Score: Galway 4-5, Roscommon 0-8.

Galway were the eventual winners of the All-Ireland Junior Final.

Roscommon: C. Ganley (Eire Og), L. Gill (St. Mary’s), N. Egan (Ballina), A. Cox (Eire Og), R. Hunt (St. Mary’s), A. Boyd (Shannnon Gaels), N. Dolan (Eire Og), S. Kelly (St. Mary’s S. Cassidy (Western Gaels), R. Cribbin (St. Mary’s), M. Finneran (Western Gaels), M. Lying (Padraig Pearses), A. M. Carley (Tulsk), F. Kelly (St Mary’s), G. McManus (Padraig Pearses).

Subs: E. Corcoran (Western Gaels), M. Kelly (Padraig Pearses), K. Boyd (Shannon Gaels), M. Lee (Shannon Gaels), M. Callaghan (Eire Og), P. Kelly (St. Mary’s).

U-16 Championship

St. Faithleach’s had a convincing win over Strokestown in the County U-16 Final.

1986

At the Annual General Meeting held in Tulsk, the following Officers were elected: -

Chairman: Sean Flanaghan;

Vice-Chairperson: Bridie Shiel;

Secretary/PRO: Martina Finneran;

Treasurer: Annette Cos;

Registrar: Regina Hunt.

At Connacht Council level, Sean Flanaghan was elected Chairman and thus became a Vice-President of the Association. At the Annual Congress held in Salthill, he was picked as one of the All-Star Selctors for Ladies Gaelic Football.

In 1986, seven clubs were affiliated to the Co. Board – St. Mary’s, Western Gaels, Shannon Gaels, Strokestown, Padraig Pearses, Roscommon Gaels and St. Faithleach’s.

Co. Senior Championship

For the second year in succession, Padraig Pearses were once again victorious and had outstanding players in S. McDonagh, M. Lying, R. Dolan, D. Cunningham and M. Kelly.

U-16 Co. Final

The U-16 Co. Final, which preceded the Senior Final, saw St. Faithleach’s play Strokestown, also for the second year in succession. St. Faithleach’s once again had a convincing win and had star players in J. Murphy, L. Carlos, B. Gannon, D. Kelly and L. Clancy.

Co. Post-Primary Schools Championship

Five schools took part in the Co. Post-Primary Schools Competition – Convent of Mercy, Castlerea, Ballaghaderreen, Strokestown, Roscommon and Athlone. Strokestown were the eventual winners. They gave a fine performance against Headford (Galway) in the Connacht Final, but lacked experience.

1987

1987, once again proved to be a very successful year for the Ladies Football in Co. Roscommon. However, emigration had a telling effect in some areas, while the sport continued to go from strength to strength in other areas.

At the Annual General Meeting, the Following Officers were elected: -

Chairman – Sean Flanaghan

Vice- Chairperson – Bridie Shiel

Secretary/PRO – Martina Finneran

Treasurer – Margaret Kelly

Registrar – Pauline Kelly

Six clubs were affiliated to the Co. Board – Padraig Pearses, St. Mary’s, Roscommon Gaels, Creggs, St. Faithleach’s and Kilglass Gaels.

Co. Senior Championship

The saga of the Co. Senior championship finals between Padraig Pearses and St. Mary’s continued as they faced each other for the third year in succession. Once again, it looked as if Padraig Pearses were on their way to victory as they enjoyed a comfortable six points lead at half time. Then to the surprise and delight of the St. Mary’s team and supporters, Rita Cribbin (one of the most skilful players in the county) arrived in Knockcroghery. She had just flown in from Canada that day and what an inspiration she turned out to be. St. Mary’s fought back and gradually reduced the Padraig Pearses lead, and on the final whistle, we once again had a final ended in deadlock.

Less than a week later in Ballyleague, both teams lined out once more, this time in dreadful weather conditions. Padraig Pearses, who looked a much stronger team adapted better to the conditions. Padraig Pearses emerged victorious by just two points. Padraig Pearses had stars in Della Cunningham, Sharon Cummins, Suzanne McDonagh, Mary Lyng and Margaret Kelly.

U-16 Championship

The U-16 Championship brought St. Mary’s and St. Faithleach’s together in the final. St. Faiothleach’s took the title for the third year in a row, with a couple of points to spare at the final whistle. Lorraine Clancy (St. Fatihleach’s) was, without doubt, the most outstanding player on view.

Co. Minor 9 a-side Championship

1987 saw the introduction of a new Co. Minor 9 a-side competition, which was held in Ballyleague. St. Mary’s beat St. Faithleach’s in the final and thus captured their first Co. Title.

At the Annual General Meeting, the following Officers were elected: -

Chairman Sean Flanagan;

Vice-Chairperson Marie Kelly (St Faithleach’s)

Secretary/PRO Martina Finneran

Treasurer Margaret Kelly (Padraig Pearses)

Registrar Margaret Kelly.

1988

1988 proved to be very successful year for Ladies G.A.A. in Co. Roscommon. Two Connacht titles were brought to the county by the U-16 and Minor teams respectively. This was a great boost, and although both teams failed at the All-Ireland semi-final stages, they got a lot of experience. Both teams were very impressive throughout their Connacht campaigns and had good wins over Mayo in both Connacht finals. Great credit was due to Ray Burke who trained the victorious teams.

Under-16 Panel – S. Donlon, N. Flanagan, L. Gill, C. Dunne, I. Gavigan, H. McNeill, M. Waldron, M. Grehan, L. McDonagh, B. Hanley, Y. Waldron, C. Kenny, G. O’Loughlin, D. Kelly, U. Kenny,

Subs: R. Colleran, S. Cunniffe, C. Gannon, M. Kelly.

Minor Panel – S. Donlon, C. Nevin, L. Carlos, I. Gavigan, Waldron, F. Best, L. McDonagh, L. Glancy, M. Grehan, A. Fahy, A. Cox, A. M. Grenahm, G. O’Loughlin, B. Gannon, C. Campion.

Co. Senior Championship

In the Co. Senior Championship final, Padraig Pearses recorded their fourth victory in a row over St. Mary’s by just two points, in a game played in dreadful weather conditions at Hyde Park, Roscommon.

Under-16 Championship

In the U-16 Championship final, Creggs won their first Co. title by beating St. Mary’s in the final at Ballyleague.

Minor Championship

In the Minor Championship, St. Mary’s retained their Co. title.

Annual Congress

At the Annual Ladies G.A.A. Congress held in Dungarvan, Martina Finneran was elected Asst. Secretary of the Association.

A special tour to London was arranged. The primary purpose of the tour was to coach players in London (London had just affiliated to the Ladies G.A.A.). The Irish party comprised eighteen players and seven coaches. Roscommon had the honour of having three representatives picked to attend – Martina Finneran and Cora Nevin (St. Mary’s) as players, and Sean Flanagan who was a member of the coaching team.

London Tour

The Coaching Course was held in Northwick Park, London, and consisted of a Referees’ Course, a Sports Injuries Seminar and a demonstration of the various skills of the game. On Sunday afternoon, Cora Nevin played at right corner back, while Martina Finneran lined out at left corner forward in a special Exhibition Match between Ireland and London. They took their places alongside such legends of Ladies G.A.A. as Margaret Lawlor, Eileen Lawlor and Phil Curran, members of the seven in a row Kerry All-Ireland winning team and the holders of eighteen All-Ireland Senior medals between them. The Irish team were far stronger than London and ran out easy winners, but London showed great potential. Due to the emigration of many of our players, London will be getting stronger and stronger each year. In October 1988, London were defeated by a very strong Leitrim team in the All-Ireland Junior final at Croke Park. Incidentally, Elizabeth Gibbons (formerly Elizabeth O’Brien), one of the stars of the Roscommon All-Ireland winning team in 1978, lined out for London in that final.

1989

1989 has been most successful year in Ladies Football in Roscommon since the revival, the highlight being the winning of the All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools’ Final by Convent of Mercy, Castlerea.

Annual Ladies G.A.A. Congress in Castlerea

Roscommon had the honour of hosting the Annual Ladies G.A.A. Congress in the Don Arms Hotel, Castlerea on the 18th and 19th March, 1989, and what an outstanding success this proved to be.

Fourteen counties were in attendance at the Congress, including a delegation from London. One of the London delegates was Nora Grealish, mother of former Irish Soccer International Tony, and Brian who had excelled on the Gaelic Football playing fields in London.

County Senior Championship

1989 saw a very exciting Co. Senior Championship conclude with a thrilling final between St. Mary’s and Creggs. St. Mary’s knocked Padraig Pearses (holders for the previous four years) out of the championship at the semi-final stage. This was to be their fifth final appearance and they must have wondered if they would take their first title. This, they did in fiercely determined style in Hyde Park; emerging with an eight point victory after an absorbing tussle with rivals Creggs.

Their victory was based on some outstanding individual performances, in particular Patricia Finneran, who gave an outstanding display of superb fielding and excellent distribution of the ball. Alongside this was the scoring prowess of Ann Marie Carley, who was the games top scorer, notching 2-3. Creggs can look back on this match in the knowledge that their day will surely come and the experience gained will be of great benefit to them. This game typified all that is good in Ladies football, and the second half, in particular, was a treat to watch, with play flowing from end to end, and each and every player showing an incredible will to win.

Margaret Kelly (Co Board Treasurer) presented Lorraine McDonagh with the cup. Ray Burke presented Patricia Finneran with the “Player of the Match” trophy for her outstanding contribution at centre-field. Ray kindly sponsored the trophy himself.

St. Mary’s – Carmel Cunniffe, Nessa Flanagan, Geraldine Finneran, Siobhan Cunniffee, Michelle Waldron, Lorraine McDonagh, Michelle Hunt, Patricia Finneran, Yvonne Waldron, Ann Fahy, Ailish Finneran, Breda Hanley, Ann Marie Carley, Margaret Finnegan, Lila Gill.

Subs. – Martina Finneran, Pauline Kelly, Linda Fahy.

Minor Championship

The Minor Championship reached an exciting climax, with play-off between Creggs, St. Faithleach’s and St. Mary’s, with Creggs and St. Faithleach’s eventually contesting the final. In fog-shrouded Hyde Park, Creggs won their first County final, defeating St. Faithleach’s on the scoreline 3-6 to 2-2. Creggs sealed their victory in the last few minutes with points by Tina Kilcommins, Marion Gavin and a goal in the last minute by Hilary Hussey. St. Faithleach’s made a major contribution to an excellent match in dreadful weather conditions.

Tina Kilcommins (Creggs) received the ‘Player of the Match’ trophy, which was sponsored by Sean Flanagan.

Creggs – Caroline Canny, Sinead Kilcommins, Stella Roan, Brigid McGovern, Tina Kilcommins, Jane Ward, Stephanie Crean, Marion Gavin, Sandra Crean.

Subs. – Hilary Hussey, Anouska O’Grady, Majella Keaveney.

U-16 Championship

St. Faithleach’s continued their proud tradition in under-age football, when they overcame the challenge of St. Mary’s in a highly competitive and thoroughly enjoyable contest played in Strokestown. Full-time score: St. Faithleach’s 2-6, St. Mary’s 2-3. St. Faithleach’s had stars in Claire Kenny (Capt), Ursula Kenny, Ita Gavigan and Colette Gannon. St. Mary’s had good performers in Michelle Hunt, Nessa Flanagan, Linda Fahy and Michelle Waldron.

St. Faithleach’s – Ruth Cox, Mary Kelly, Ita Gavigan, Catherine Dunne, Claire Kenny, Ursula Kenny, Martina O’Halloran, Colette Gannon, Sinead Breghan.

The ‘Player of the Match’ trophy sponsored by George Bannon, Sports Shop, Roscommom, was awarded to Claire Kenny (St. Faithleach’s).

All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Title

1989 has been a truly remarkable year for the ladies G.A.A. in Co. Roscommon due to the outstanding performances of Convent of Mercy, Castlerea in winning the All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools’ Final. In the semi-final, they defeated the holders, Presentation College, Portlaoise, and had a magnificent victory over Tarbert Comprehensive School (Kerry) in the final of the scoreline 4-2 to 1-5. This was a most historic occasion, as they became the first team from Roscommon to win the All-Ireland Post Primary Schools’ title. The team consisted of no less than thirteen of the St. Mary’s club side, and in the final had stars in Lila Gill, Michelle Waldron, Finola Kelly, Michelle Hunt, Breda Hanley, Margaret Finnegan and Catherine Campion. Michelle Waldron won the ‘Player of the Match’ trophy for her outstanding contribution at left back. Christy Byrne, National Secretary, presented Catherine Campion (daughter of Eamon, well known G.A.A. Official) with the All-Ireland Shield. Great credit is also due to Joe Henry (team trainer) and Sean Flanagan and Micheal Hunt (selectors) for their great achievement.

The following awards have been given each year in recognition of outstanding contributions to Ladies G.A.A., both on and off the playing fields: – “Ladies G.A.A. Personality” – presented by Co. Roscommon Advisory Body

1980 – Elizabeth O’ Brien. 1985 – Martina Finneran.

1986 – Rita Cribbin 1987 – Marie Kelly (St. Faithleach’s).

1988 – Mary Devaney (Creggs). 1989 – Margaret Kelly (Padraig Pearses).

1990 – Ann Marie Carley (St. Mary’s).

1990

At the Annual General Meeting of Roscommon Ladies Co. Board, the following Officers were elected:

Chairperson – Mary Devaney

Vice-Chairman – Ray Burke

Secretary – Martina Finneran

Asst. Secretary – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer – Margaret Kelly

Registrar – Margaret Kelly

Joint P.R.O.s – Martina Finneran, Gemma Mulligan

Seven clubs were affiliated to the Co. Board – Padraig Pearses, Clan na Gael, Creggs, St. Mary’s, St. Faithleachs, Oran and Micheal Glaveys.

The Co. Board were delighted to welcome the two new clubs – Oran and Micheal Glaveys. These were two areas where there had never been any Ladies G.A.A. clubs before and it was heartening to see the enthusiasm of these two new clubs.

Competitions were organised in the following grades:

U-14, U-16, U-18 and Senior. A Co. Post-Primary Schools’ Competition was also organised, with Convent of Mercy, Castlerea emwerging as winners.

U-14 Championship

This was the first time an U-14 Championship was organised in Co. Roscommon and it proved to be an outstanding success. It was great to witness the enthusiasm of these young girls and the final between Micheal Glaveys and Creggs proved to be a classic encounter. This issue was in doubt right up to the very end, with Micheal Glaveys just finishing the stronger team. Their outstanding player was, without doubt, Bernie Osgood. Others to impress were Caroline Maguire, Mary Cunnane and Phil Bermingham. Great credit is due to Brendan Cregg and Gerry Markham for the coaching of these young players. Creggs best player was without doubt Carina McDonagh.

MICHEAL GLAVEYS – E. Kelly, B. Osgood, p. Cunningham, J. Keane, C. McGuire, M. Murphy, H. Kelly, L. Fleming, L. Raftery, K. Kelly, C. Prendergast, C. Birmingham, N. McGuire, M. Cunnane, B. Osgood, P. Birmingham, L. Rogan, N. Doherty, C. McGuire, S. McDonnell, C. Mullarkey.

U-16 Championship

The U-16 Championship also proved to be an outstanding success, and the final which was played in Oran, brought the reigning champions St. Faithleachs and the 1988 champions, Creggs, face to face. A close encounter was in prospect, as when the same two teams met in an earlier round of the championship, the sides were level after normal time in a thrilling game. However, in extra-time, St. Faithleachs proved to be a fitter team and dominated the extra period to earn a worthy victory.

The weather for the final was certainly not conducive to good football. A strong diagonal wind and occasional rain, combined with very greasy under-foot conditions, made it very difficult for the players to display the excellent skills, which both teams possessed in abundance. The game was a very close affair, and it took a brilliant goal by U. Kenny, with about eight minutes to go, to put the match out of Creggs reach and the final whistle saw St. Faithleachs take their sixth U-16 title in seven years. The game itself, although not spectacular, was a fine sporting, competitive match. Best for St. Faithleachs were: C. Dunne, who was awarded “Player of the Match” for her fine exhibition at full-back, while U. Kenny, O. Thompson, S. Brehan and R. Cox, also made invaluable contributions.

The losers were best served by A. O’Grady, S. Kilcommins, A.M. Raferty and C. Canny.

ST. FATIHLEACHS: E. Mc Dermott, O. Kenny, C. Dunne, S. Brehon, U. Kenny (Capt), O. Thompson, M. O’Halloran, C. Gannon, R. Cox, M. O’Halloran, M. Donoghue, B. McDermott, S. Cox, O. Cox, N. Reilly, M. Murray, M. Wallace.

MINOR CHAMPIONSHIP

The minor Co. Final brought together St. Mary’s and Clan na Gael in a most exciting and entertaining match played in Hyde Park, Roscommon. St. Mary’s, who were strong favourites to take the title, were give a close run by a very eager and determined Clan na Gael side, and only for two well-taken goals by L. McDonagh in the last ten minutes, Clan na Gael could have caused a major upset. However, the experience of such fine player as M. Waldron, L. Fahy, A. Finneran, Y. Waldron, M. Hunt and M. Finnegan was the difference between these two sides.

ST. MARY’S PANEL: E. Fallon, M. Waldron, N. Flanagan, L. McDonagh, L. Fahy, E. Flanagan, A. Finneran, R. Carley, M. Finnegan, M. Hunt, B. Hanley, M. Regan, Y. Fitzmaurice, O. McCormack, Y. Waldron.

SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

The Co. Senior Championship never fails to give us a sample of all that is good in Ladies Football. The final, played in Oran, brought together the reigning champions, St. Mary’s and old rivals, Padraig Pearses. Both these teams have a history of draws when they meet in Co. Finals and 1990 was to be no exception. Padraig Pearses had beaten St. Mary’s in four consecutive Co. Finals (1985 – 1988), and with St. Mary’s anxious to gain revenge, a close encounter was inevitable, and who would have believed it – the teams were level at full-time, with Margaret Finnegan scoring the equalising point with the last kick of the game. Extra-time had to be played, but the match had to be abandoned due to failing light with ten minutes to go. At this stage, the teams were still level.

The replay was played the following Sunday in Hyde Park. It was played as a curtain raiser to the Mens’ Co. Junior Final between Western Gaels and Padraig Pearses. Again the replay was a close game, but eventually St. Mary’s came through with four points to spare, after a very exciting final few minutes, during which Padraig Pearses missed a penalty. This was sweet revenge for a St. Mary’s side that never gave up and battled to the very end.

After the match, George Bannon presented Ann Marie Carley with the “Player of the Match” trophy. The trophy was kindly sponsored by George himself.

Best for St. Mary’s were: P. Finneran, G. Finneran, A.M. Carley, M. Hunt, M. Finnegan.

Best for Padraig Pearses were D. Cunningham, M. Grehan, A.M. Grenham, M. Lyng.

INTER-COUNTY SCENE

On the inter-county scene, the Co. Minor team did us proud, winning the Connacht Minor title, defeating Mayo by two points in Frenchpark. They went on to play Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final in O’Toole Park, Dublin, and were defeated by just two points. Great credit is due to girls who gave a classic display of all the skills of Ladies Gaelic Football. Indeed, it was rated as one of the best Ladies G.A.A. matches seen for a long time. Best for Roscommon were: M. Grehan (sister of Co. Star, Tommy), who was, without doubt, the most outstanding player on the field. Others to impress were C. Donoghue, H. Hussey, Y. Waldron, M. Hunt, S. Donlon.

ROSCOMMON PANEL: S. Donlon, C. Kenny, U. Kenny (St. Faithleachs); C. Donoghue, E. Boland, M. Grehan (Padraig Pearses); Sandra Crean, Stephanie Crean, Hilary Hussey (Creggs); T. O’Brien, G. Dwyer, M. Lawless, S. Kelly (Oran); N. Flanagan, Y. Waldron, L. McDonagh, M. Waldron, M. Hunt, A. Finneran, B. Hanley, L. Fahy, Y. Fitzmaurice, K. Keaveney (St. Mary’s).

1991

1991 saw Roscommon contest two All-Ireland Finals – U-16 and Minor. Although the teams were to suffer defeats in finals, the county can be very proud of them for having gone so far, and indeed if the U-16 team had a little bit of luck, they might have snatched the U-16 title from Waterford.

1991Annual General Meeting:

At the 1991 Annual General Meeting, the following Officers were elected:-

Chairperson – Sean Flanagan

Secretary/P.R.O. – Martina Finneran

Asst. Secretary/P.R.O. – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer/Registrar – Violet O’Loughlin

Nine clubs were affiliated to the Co. Board – Padraig Pearses, St. Mary’s, Clan na Gael, St. Faithleachs, Micheal Glaveys, Eire Og, Kilmore, Oran and Kilglass Gaels. This is the biggest number of affiliated clubs.

U-16 and Minor Teams Reach All-Irelands:

The U-16 teams started their Connacht Championship campaign with a six points victory over Mayo in Ballyleague. This was, without doubt, one of the most exciting games of the year. Five minutes into the second half, Roscommon were trailing by nine points, but made a remarkable comeback to earn a great victory over Galway in the Connacht Final in Mountbellew. In the All-Ireland semi-final, they overcame Monaghan in Ballyleague. However, they were to stumble in the All-Ireland Final against Waterford in Cusack Park, Ennis. A number of missed chances, particularly towards the end of the first half, were to prove crucial in the end. Roscommon had some consolation when Olive Kenny was awarded the “Player of the Match”.

The Minor team also had their first outing against Mayo in Ballindine. In a closely fought match, they came through in the end with a couple of points to spare. They had a rather easy victory over an inexperienced Leitrim side in the Connacht Final in Tulsk. Once again, Monaghan were to be the All-Ireland semi-final opponents in Ballyleague. While weather conditions were atrocious, both teams served up some good football and were level at full-time. Due to failing light, extra-time could not be played. The replay, a week later in Rockcurry, was an excellent game of football and the more experienced Roscommon side were victorious by the narrowest of margins, but Monaghan gave warning that they will be a strong force to be reckoned with in the near future. Roscommon were to face Waterford once again in the final, also in Cusack Park, Ennis. However, the Roscommon girls had to give way to a very strong and skilful Waterford side, who had a number of their Senior side on duty.

Although All-Ireland glory was not to come to Roscommon, the future looks extremely bright in the county. At the Co. A.G.M. last year, it was decided to concentrate on underage football and not to enter a Co. Junior team in the League. Looking back on the year, this decision was justified. Many of the girls who played in the All-Ireland Finals will be eligible again in 1992, so the experience they will have gained will be invaluable to them.

U-16 Panel:

Elizabeth McDermott, Olive Kenny, Ursula Brooks, Bernie Osgood, Sinead Brehan, Catherine Dunne (Capt), Carol Bermingham, Caroline Maguire, Olivia Keogh, Mary Duffy, Regina Carley, Ruth Cox, Caroline Kelly, Mary Cunnane, Orla Thompson, Rosemary White, Mary Moore, Mary Murphy, Olivia Regan, Maura O’Halloran, Belinda Hanly, Orla Curley, Elizabeth Fallon, Olivia McCormack, Sharon Cox.

Minor Panel:

Ashling Seale, Michelle Regan, Nessa Flanagan (Capt.), Olive Kenny, Caroline Kelly, Catherine Dunne, Sinead Brehan, Michelle Hunt, Caroline Donoghue, Olivia Keogh, Claire Kenny, Ursula Kenny, Fidelma Lennon, Colette Gannon, Yvonne Fitzmaurice, Ruth Cox, Linda Fahy, Breda Hanley, Kathleen Keaveney, Bernie Osgood, Carol Bermingham, Caroline Maguire, Regina Carley, Mary Keena, Mary Brooks, Elizabeth McDermott.

Co. Senior, Junior & U-14 Finals:

The Co. Senior, Junior and U-14 Finals were all played on the one Sunday in Hyde Park, Roscommon and what a great occasion it was for Ladies G.A.A. in the county.

St. Mary’s captured their first Co. U-14 title when they defeated the holders, Micheal Glaveys, by a four-point margin. Ray Burke, Co. Chairman, presented the “Player of the Match” trophy to Erica Flanagan (daughter of Sean) for her outstanding contribution throughout the game. She is a young player with enormous potential. Her natural ability, skill, accuracy, commitment and general distribution of the ball was a treat to watch and she is definitely a name to remember for the future.

ST. Mary’s:

L. Flanagan, M. Neary, C. Hanly, C. Flannelly, P. Connaughton, R. Carley, F. Peyton, C. Duggan, E. O’Connor, R. Clarke, E. Flanagan, J. Murray, A. Heneghan, M. O’Reilly, S. Carty.

Subs: C. Kelly, Y. Beirne.

St. Faithleachs defeated Padraig Pearses in the Co. Junior Final by the narrowest of margins, in the inaugural year of this competition. Susan Donlon, team captain, became the first player to be presented with the Junior Championship Cup and St. Faithleachs had further reason to celebrate when Ursula Kenny was selected as “Player of the Match”.

St. Faithleachs:

S. Donlon, (Capt.), C. Dunne, S. Brehan, C. Kenny, U. Kenny, R. Cox, B. Gannon, M. O’Halloran, N. Glynn, B. Hanly, J. Murphy, E. McDermott.

Padraig Pearses regained the Co. Senior title when they defeated old rivals, St. Mary’s by three points. Padraig Pearses looked to be the stronger side, but had to survive a late rally by St. Mary’s before they captured their fifth Co. title in seven years. Ray Burke presented the “Player of the Match” trophy to Olivia Keogh, who had played her third game in two days, having played in the All-Ireland U-16 Final the day before and the Co. Junior Final prior to the Co. Senior Final. She was a revelation to watch, and at the tender age of 15, she is an exciting prospect for the future.

Padraig Pearses

A.Seale, R. Dolan, D. Cunningham, A. Finnerty, C. Garvey, C. Donoghue, A. Lyng, M. Lyng, O. Keogh, Y. Dooley, M. Grehan, C. O’Malley, S. Cummins, M. Brooks, H. Barrett, U. Brooks, M. Duffy.

Co. Minor & U-16 Finals:

St. Faithleachs defeated Padraig Pearses in the Co. Minor Final played in Oran. The match was very keenly contested, but a goal from Ursula Kenny a few minutes from full-time gave St. Faithleachs victory. Ursula was presented with the “Player of the Match” trophy by Co. Vice-Chairperson, Sean Flanagan.

Clan na Gael took their second Co. U-16 title by defeating a fiercely determined Padraig Pearses side in Kiltoom. This title was their first since the club was reformed two years ago, their last U-16 title goes back as far as 1975. Their most outstanding player on the day was undoubtedly, Yvonne Dolan, who denied Pearses goals on numerous occasions with an exhibition of top class goalkeeping, and some of her saves bordering on the miraculous. It was no surprise when she was awarded the “Player of the Match”.

Clan na Gael:

Y. Dolan, C. Kelly, C. Heavey, Y. Gavin, C. Dolan, L. Dunning, F. Durney, C. Naughton, E. Lawless.

National Schools Blitz & Co. Post-Primary Schools Championship:

Roscommon Co. Board organised their first National Schools Blitz and it was very successful. With eleven schools participating, it turned out to be a very enjoyable day.

Convent of Mercy, Castlerea were once again victorious in the Co. Post-Primary Schools Championship.

National President Comes to Ballinlough:

On the social scene, we had the pleasure and honour of welcoming our National President, Peter Rice, to the Micheal Glaveys Sports Complex, Ballinlough, to present the Connacht Medals to our U-16 and Minor players. A great night was enjoyed by all, and at the end of the day, this is what being involved in sport is all about!

ROSCOMMON LADIES G.A.A. 1992

By Martina Finneran, Co. Secretary.

1992 was once again a very successful year for Ladies Gaelic Football in Co. Roscommon. At inter-county level, the high points included an outstanding victory over Mayo in the Connacht Minor Final and great performances in the National Junior League, reaching the semi-final, only to be beaten by eventual winners, Cork.

Ten clubs were affiliated to the Co. Board, which was in fact the biggest ever affiliation. The clubs affiliated were – Padraig Pearses, Clan na Gael, St. Bridgets, St. Faithleachs, Oran, St. Mary’s, Kilmore, Micheals Glaveys, Eire Og and Ballaghaderreen. Roscommon Ladies G.A.A. Co. Board organised competitions for the following grades – U-12 (for the first time), U-14, U-16, Minor, Junior and Senior. In addition, a very successful National Schools competition was organised. We also had a Co. Post-Primary Schools competition.

The following were the Co. Board Officers for 1992: -

Chairman: Ray Burke, Carnvalley, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon.

Vice-Chairman: Jason Brehon, Doughill, Curraghroe, Co. Rosscommon.

Secretary/PRO: Martina Finneran, Ballinagare, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon.

Asst. Secretary: Gemma Mulligan, Rathmoyle, Lisalway, Castlerea.

Treasurers: Violet O’Loughlin, Ballyleague, Lanesboro, Co. Rosscommon.

Registrar: Yvonne Dooley, Cuilleen, Creagh, Ballinasloe.

P.R.O.: Helen Barrett, Culliagh, Creagh, Ballinasloe.

Co. U-12 Championship:

This was the first year to run a Co. U-12 Championship. The final, played as a curtain raiser to the Roscommon v Armagh National Ladies Football League game in Castlerea, saw Padraig Pearses and St. Faithleachs give a fine exhibition of Ladies Football at this young age. St. Faithleachs, who are always strong at underage level, ran out deserving winners, but were given a stern test by a very talented Padraig Pearses side.

St. Faithleachs: A. Hanley, C. Beirne, L. Cuffe, T. Cox, M. Doyle, Y. O’Donnell, M. Hanley, C. Harrison, E. Hanley, C. Manning, E. Tarmey, A. Freeman, S. Rice, S. Gibbons, P. Cox, M. Kilcline, P. Neilan, J. Bance, D. Spaine.

Co. U-14 CHAMPIONSHOP:

Eire Og captured their first underage title, when they defeated Padraig Pearses in the Co. final in Ballyleague on the score line of 1-9 to 0-3. Eire Og was dominant in all areas, epically at midfield, where Clarie Towey and Nicola Bruen were in tremendous form. Others to shine included Majella Lavin and Kelly-Ann Hanily in defence. Best of the forwards were Michelle Mulrennan (scorer of five points), Cathy McCann and Gemma Creaton.

Eire Og: J. O’Donnell, M. Lavin, K.A. Hanily, A. Daley, M. Raftery, S. Creaton, L. O’Donnell, C. McDonnell, B. Fitzmaurice, C. Lynch, S. Corrigan, C. Corrigan, A. Regan, D. McCormack, L. Hunt, C. McNulty, M. McDermott.

Co. U-16 CHAMPIONSHIP:

The Co. U-16 Final played at Brideswell, saw Padraog Pearses overcome a gallant St. Bridgets team on the scoreline of Padraig Pearses 2-11, St. Bridgets 4-3. As the scoreline would suggest, this game was a thriller and it was the experience of the Padraig Pearses players which told in the end. Players to impress for Padraig Pearses included Co. underage stars such as Ursula Brooks, Olivia Keogh, Geraldine Donoghue and Mary Moore.

Padraig Pearses: E. Kelly, O. Curley, M. Moore, U. Brooks, O. Keogh, M. Duffy, G. Donoghue, M. Finneran, C. Costello, G. Flynn, C. Kenny, S. Seale.

Co. Minor Championship:

The Co, Minor Final played in Kiltoom brought together St. Faithleachs and Padraig Pearses. The St. Faithleachs team, which included many stars of the Co. Minor team, were completely dominant in the second half and were winners on the scoreline of 3-7 to 1-4, with Catherine Dunne having an outstanding game and winning the Player of the Match Award.

St. Faithleachs: E. McDermott, S. Brehon, O. Kenny, M. O’Halloran, C. Kenny, C. Dunne, R. Cox, C. Gannon, O. Thompson, M. Murray, M. Wallace, B. Hanley, S.Cox, V. Fallon.

Co. Junior Championship:

Oran captured their first Co. Ladies G.A.A. title when they defeated hot favourites, St. Faithleachs in the Co. Junior Final played in Hyde Park, Roscommon.

Scoreline: Oran 2-6 St. Faithleachs 2-4. This final, along with the U-16 Final, were two of the best matches of the year. Best for Oran were C. Neary in goal, E. Farrell, M. Lawless, G. Dwyer, C. Cooney, F. Devanney (scorer of two goals) and A. O’Grady.

Oran: C. Neary, E. Farrell, M. Lawless, G. Dwyer, M. Beirne, C. Cooney, F. Devanney, A. O’Grady, T. O’Brien, H. Hussey, C. Shally, M. Lennon, M. Flynn, M. Monaghan, S. Kelly.

Co. Senior Championship:

Padraig Pearses regained their Co. Senior title by the narrowest of margins in a tense, exciting battle with old rivals, St. Mary’s, in atrocious weather conditions at Ballyleague on the scoreline of Padraig Pearses 1-4, St. Mary’s 0-6. Indeed, the outcome was in doubt right to the final whistle, when St. Mary’s were awarded a penalty for the last kick of the game and elected to try for a goal to win the match, but the kick was saved by Pearses goalkeeper, Aosling Seale. Best for Padraig Pearses were A. Seale, U. Brooks, C. Garvey, A. Finnerty, O. Keogh, C. Donoghue, C. O’Malley, M. Brooks, R. Dolan and A.M. Grenham.

Padraig Pearses: A. Seale, U. Brooks, D. Cunningham, C. Garvey, A. Finnerty, O. Keogh, E. Kelly, C. O’Malley, C. Donoghue, M. Brooks, R. Dolan, A.M. Grenham, M. Duffy, H. Barrett, G. Galvin, M. Finneran, M. Moore, C. Costello, O. Curley, G. Donoghue.

Co. Primary Schools’ Competition:

A very successful Co. Primary Schools’ Competition was organised in conjunction with the Co. Primary Schools’ committee. Thirteen schools participated. Whitehall defeated Killina in the Two Teacher Schools’ Final, while St. Ronan’s, Taughmacconnell overcame Castleplunkett in the Three Teacher Plus Final. The standard of football exhibited by these young girls was a credit to all concerned.

Post-Primary Schools’ Competition:

Convent of Mercy, Summerhill, Athlone won the Co. Post-Primary Schools’ Final, defeating a much fancied, Convent of Mercy, Castlerea side. They went on to play Ballinrobe Community School in the Connacht Final, but had to give way to a much stronger and more experienced Ballinrobe side.

Inter-County Competitions

On the inter-county scene, Roscommon participated in the following competitions – Connacht U-14 Blitz, All-Ireland U-14 Blitz, Connacht U-16, Minor and Junior; and the National Junior League.

Connacht U-14 Blitz:

A very exciting and entertaining Connacht U-14 Blitz was held in Castlerea. In the first round, Roscommon put up a fantastic performance against Mayo, reducing a nine-point deficit in the first half, to level scores at the final whistle. In their next match, they had a relatively easy victory over Leitrim. In the final they faced Mayo once again. As in their previous encounter, they got off to a bad start in the first half. However, they battled bravely to the end, but Mayo proved to be the stronger team. Players to impress on the day were E. Kelly, N. Bruen, C. Costello, C. Towey, S. Carty, M. Mulrennan and G. Donoghue.

Roscommon: E. Hanly, M. Lavin, S. Herritty, M. Raftery, S. Creaton, E. Kelly, S. Hanly, N. Bruen, C. Costello, C. Towey, C. McCann, S. Carty, G. Creaton, P. Cunningham, M. Mulrennan, G. Donoghue, E. McCann, P.Cox, S. Seale, R. Finnegan, J. Harrison, C. Manning, C. Lynch, A. Brehon, S. Doyle, L. Cuffe, A. Hanley.

Connacht U-16 Final:

Roscommon retained their Connacht Minor title for a third year in a row, overcoming a much fancied Mayo side in an enthralling Connacht Final played in Frenchpark – Roscommon 3-6 Mayo 0-6. Although Roscommon eventually won by three goals, the match was a very close, tense, nail-biting affair until the final five minutes when Roscommon scored two goals courtesy of Lesley Watson and Ruth Cox. It was a classic game in all respects. Both teams showed a high level of fitness, and the standards of football was a treat for supporters of both teams. Roscommon had fifteen stars on the day and it would be hard to single out any player for particular mention.

After the match, Pat Byrne, Connacht Ladies G.A.A. President, presented the Flanagan Oil Cup to Colette Gannon, Roscommon Captain.

In the All-Ireland semi-final, Roscommon had to give way to holders, Waterford in a very exciting match played in Cappoquin. The long journey to Cappoquin didn’t help the Roscommon girls who were completely out of the game in the first half. To their credit, they battled bravely in the second half and had the Waterford girls very worried, but time ran out and they were beaten by five points.

Roscommon: A. Seale, S. Brehon, O. Kenny, J. Bruce, C. Kelly, O. Keogh, C. Dunne, C. Donoghue, U. Kenny, C. Cooney, R. Cox, C. Burke, C. McGuire, C. Gannon, L.Watson, E. McDermott, J. Bruce, A. O’Grady, B. Hanley, E. Kelly, G. Dwyer, C. Bermingham, G. Galvin, S. Cox, M. O;Halloran.

Co. Junior Team:

The Co. Junior Team had an excellent run in the National Junior League, culminating in an appearance in the National League semi-final against Cork at Woodmount. However, they had to give way to a much stronger Cork team, who went on to capture the title. Roscommon had good wins over Offaly, Armagh, Longford and Tyrone to reach the semi-final.

In the Connacht Junior Final, Roscommon were defeated by Galway in Woodmount.

All-Ireland Seven-A-Side:

Padraig Pearses represented Roscommon in the All-Ireland seven-a-side competition played in Dublin on the eve of the Ladies G.A.A. All-Ireland Finals. They gave outstanding performances and reached the semi-final.

Presentation of Connacht Minor Medals:

A very successful Presentation Disco for the victorious Co. Minor Team was held in the Padraig Pearses Club House in November. Christy Byrne, National Ladies G.A.A. Secretary, presented the Connacht Minor Medals to the Roscommon Panel.

ROSCOMMON HISTORY 1993

1993 was a memorable year for Roscommon, with the U-14 team reaching the All-Ireland final and the juniors also capturing a Connacht title. The U-14’s, superbly managed by Jim McDonnell, won their first ever Connacht title defeating Mayo 2-6 to 2-4 in the final at Castlerea, and then went onto record a 4-7 to 3-7 victory over Laois in the semi-final at Tullamore, when Lorraine Connor of St. Faithleachs scored two goals in the last 8 minutes. The final against Kerry in Ennis proved a bridge too far with the Kingdom winning by 7-11 to 4-3.

The junior team won 6 of their 7 National League Div. 3 games, securing promotion but losing the Junior League final to Carlow by 3-6 to 2-6. In the championship they defeated Galway in the semi-final in Craughwell, and then had a single point victory over Mayo in the final played in Tourmakeady, a game in which Mayo led for long periods before a tremendous comeback gave victory to Roscommon. London were the visitors to Hyde Park for the semi-final, and the exiles proved stronger on the day, winning by 0-11 to 0-5. Interestingly, Chrissie O’Malley who played left half forward for Roscommon that day was a former London football and camogie player.

In the Senior club final, Padraig Pearses defeated Oran 3-7 to 1-4 in the final. They went on to defeat Mayo Champions Kiltimagh after a replay, but lost to St. Grellans, Ballinasloe in the final by 2-13 to 5-2. Other club winners were Eire Og (U-12 and U-14); Clan na Gael (U-16 and Junior) and Padraig Pearses (minor).

U-14 ALL-IRELAND FINAL TEAM

Lisa Cuffe

(St. Faithleachs)

Michelle Creaven Philomena Bermingham Regina Cummins

(Padraig Pearses) (Micheals Glaveys) (Micheals Glaveys)

Elaine McCann Regina Finnegan Majella Lavin

(Eire Og) (Micheals Glaveys) (Eire Og)

Stephanie Carty Gemma Creaton

(Padraig Pearses) (Eire Og)

Emer Casey Geraldine Donoghue Cathy McCann

(Ballaghadereen) (Padraig Pearses) (Eire Og)

Edwina Hanley Lorraine Connor Cathy Harrison

(St. Faitleachs) (St. Faithleachs) (St. Faithleachs)

JUNIOR ALL-IRELAND SEMI-FINAL TEAM

Susan Donlon

(St. Faithleachs)

Caroline Dolan Tara Keegan Goretti Dwyer

(Clan na Gael) (Ballaghaderren) (Oran)

Ann Finnerty Olivia Keogh Catherine Dunne

(Padraig Pearses) (Padraig Pearses) (St, Faithleachs)

Michelle Hunt Chrissie O’Malley

(St. Mary’s) (Padraig Pearses)

Mary Grehan Caroline Donoghue Ursula Kenny

(Padraig Pearses) (Padraig Pearses) (St. Faitleachs)

Rita Dolan Colette Gannon Charmaine Cooney

(Padraig Pearses) (ST. Faithleachs) (Oran)

1994

Following the highs of 1993, 1994 was disappointing on the inter-county scene, with no Connacht title coming to Roscommon, although the minor’s were very unlucky to lose by a point to Mayo in the final at Tulsk. There was however one notable event when the New York All-Stars, with Roscommon native Terry Connaughton prominent as part of the management team visited the county and played a challenge in Hyde Park. The result of this exciting encounter was a one point win for the home team, 0-8 to 0-7.

Padraig Pearses retained their Senior Club title, but lost by 3-8 to 3-7 to The Neale, Mayo in the Connacht Semi-final. Pearses also retained their minor title, with St. Faithleachs U-12, Micheal Glaveys U-14, and Eire Og U-16 capturing the other awards. Eleven clubs were now affiliated to the Co. Board, an increase of one from the previous year.

Members of the panel on duty for the New York match were Yvonne Dolan, Oliver Kenny, Caroline Dolan, Emer Farrell, Ursula Brooks, Michelle Hunt, Jean Bruce, Christina O’Malley, Olivia Keogh, Ann Finnerty, Annemarie Carley, Charmaine Cooney, Caroline McGuire, Bridget Goode, Orla Gavin, Caroline Donoghue, Geraldine Donoghue, Stephaine Carty, Teresa Fitzgibbon, Joanne Bruce, Lorraine Connor, Tara Keegan, Caroline Burke, Regina Finnegan, Emma Mannion, Catherine Lynch, Michelle Mulrennon and Nicola Bruen.

1995

Two Roscommon teams featured in the National stage in 1995, namely the U-16 County team and Clan na Gael club seniors. The U-16’s featured most of the 1993 U-14 All-Ireland finalists. Following a 3-10 to 0-3 win over Galway, they met Mayo in the Connacht final in Hyde Park. ‘Casey & Co. conquer Mayo’ was the newspaper headline after Emer Casey of Ballaghaderren scored 5 goals (and a point for good measure!) in the 6-3 to 3-8 victory. A prodigious scorer, she had also registered 5-1 and 4-5 in previous under age fixtures.

The team were now in the All-Ireland semi-final with a possible rematch with their 1993 U-14 final conquerors, Kerry

A repeat of the 1993 final however was not to be, as it was Waterford who emerged victorious from Munster, and they proved too strong for Roscommon in the semi-final played at Stradbally, winning by 3-12 to 2-4.

TEAM: Carol Manning

(St. Faithleachs)

Elaine McCann Regina Finnegan Regina Cummins

(Eire Og) (Michael Glaveys) (Ballaghaderren)

Gemma Creaton Stephanie Carthy

(Eire Og) (Padraig Pearses)

Cathy McCann Geraldine Donoghue Lisa O’Donnell

(Eire Og) (Padraig Pearses) (Eire Og)

Emer Casey Lorraine Connor Edwina Hanley

(Ballaghadereen) (St. Faithleachs) (St. Faithleachs)

On the club scene, Clann na Gael won their first ever county senior title when they defeated Padraig Pearses by 3-2 to 0-8, in the Connachts Championship, they had a one point win over Galway champions Lettermore, before capturing the title with a thrilling 3-8 to 1-3 victory over Shamrock Gaels, Sligo after extra time in the final. The All-Ireland semi-final brought another first when Clan travelled to London, going down to a more experienced Parrells team by 4-5 to 1-5. Clan na Gale were also minor champions, with the other titles going to Michael Glaveys (U-12), St. Faithleachs (U-14 and Eire Og (U-16 and junior).

1996

1996 saw thirteen clubs affiliated to the County Board, the highest number ever. They were Clann na Gael, Padraig Pearses, St. Faithleachs, Four Roads, Strokestown, St. Barrys, Elphin, Castlerea, St. Kevins, Michaels Glaveys, Eire Og, Western Gaels, Ballaghaderren and Oran.

Clann na Gael retained their Senior title and then defeated Annaduff of Leitrim and St. Nathys of Sligo, but went under to Hollymount of Mayo in the Connacht final. Clann also won the minor title. St. Faithleachs won U-12 and U-16, while Oran won the junior and Michael Glaveys the U-14.

For the first time in many years Roscommon had no success at inter-county level, although the junior team did reach the Connacht final where they were defeated by Sligo. 1996 also saw the introduction of a junior competition at post-primary school level, with St. Nathys, Ballaghaderren the first winners. St. Josephs, Summerhill retained their senior title.

1997

1997 saw the Roscommon junior team break new ground when they travelled to Britain in their quest for All-Ireland honours. Galway, Mayo and Sligo were all defeated when the Connacht title was regained, before a trip to Manchester was necessary to overcome the British Champions, Lancashire in the quarter-final. A very closely fought semi-final in Omagh saw the side go down by one point to Tyrone, 1-7 to 0-9. However, the team’s displays hinted at better things to come. The team also had a good National League, gaing promotion to Division 2 and losing to Longford by a single point in the junior league final after a thrilling match in Ballinasloe.

Winners of the club competitions were Eire Og (U-12), St. Faithleachs (U-14, U-16 and Minor), Four Roads (Junior) and Clann na Gael (Senior). Clann na Gael was beaten by Hollymount in the Connacht Club Final, while their player Bridget Goode was named as a replacement All-Star.

The trip to Manchester resulted in a major final rising to defray the costs involved. Many sponsors came forward to help out, for which the County Board were very grateful.

1998

20 years after their All-Ireland win, 1998 saw Roscommon back in Croke Park, this time to contest the junior final against Louth. The opening match saw Leitrim visitors to Oran. This was a closely contested game with the home side coming out on top 0-10 to 0-8. The Connacht final against Galway in Tuam proved easier, with the title being retained on a score of 2-10 to 0-3. On to Ballyleague for the All-Ireland quarter-final against Waterford. This was a marvellous game between two excellent teams, with Roscommon eventually winning by 4 points, 4-8 to 2-10.

The semi-final against New York in Ballinasloe saw Roscommon struggle for long periods, but a narrow 0-11 to 2-4 win took them to their goal of a Croke Park final appearance. Louth provided the opposition on October 4th and after an excellent game of football they were the winners on a score of 4-8 to 2-9. While Roscommon played well they did make some errors, which allowed Louth to recover from a bad start.

All-Ireland final team:

Carol Manning

(St. Faithleachs)

Ursula Brooks (Capt) Mary Beades Emma Mannion

(Padraig Pearses) (Clan na Gael) (Padraig Pearses)

Niamh Fallon Christine O’Malley Charmaine Cooney

(Clan na Gael) (Padraig Pearses) (Oran)

Orla Gavin Diane Dolan

(St. Bridgets) (Clan na Gael)

Cathy McCann Ann Marie Carey Cathy Harrison

(Eire Og) (Oran) (St. Faithleachs)

Lorraine Connor Mary Grehan Regina Carley

(St. Faithleachs) (Padraig Pearses) (Oran)

Subs: Sinead Cooney (Oran), Regina Finnegan (Michael Glaveys), Cait Kenny (Padraig Pearses), Amanda Hanley (St. Faithleachs), Rebecca Madden (Eire Og), Avril Coughlan (St. Bridgets), Louisa Coonet (Oran), Erica Flanagan (Castlerea, St. Kevins), Caroline Beirne (St. Faithleachs), Kara Dolan (St. Bridgets).

Team Manager Seamus Cooney (Oran).

Selectors: Ray Fallon, John Dolan (Clan na Gael).

On the home scene, the AGM saw Ray Burke step down as Chairperson after a nine year stint. Ray, who had been deeply involved with ladies football in Roscommon over the years, remained on the committee, while Michael Cunningham took over as Chairperson.

Winners of the club championships were:

U-12 – Michael Glaveys

U-14 – Oran

U-16 – Eire Og

Minor – Padraig Pearses

Junior – Elphin

Senior – Padriag Pearses.

1999

Following their Croke Park appearance the previous year, expectations were high that Roscommon could go one better in 1999. However this was not to be. The first game against Sligo saw an impressive performance from the blue and gold, with the Carey sister Regina and AnnMarie contributing 0-6 each in a 0-19 to 2-6 victory. However, it all went wrong in the final when Leitrim reversed the previous years result, winning by

1-10 to 1-7 in Carrick-on-shannon. This game featured the first use in Connacht of the countdown clock.

The year did however bring an All-Ireland title when Padraig Pearses won the 7-a-side senior club competition, becoming the first Connacht club to do so. Pearses beat Portabello 0-9 to 0-4 in the final.

Panel: Cait Kenny, Stephanie Carthy, Emma Mannion, ChristineO’Malley, Anne Finnerty, Olivia Keogh, Eilis Finneran, Imelda Harrison, Sinead Burns, Michelle Ryan, Ursula Brooks, Mary Grehan Heneghan.

It should also be mentioned that Diane O’Hara who captained Mayo to All-Ireland honours was a member of Clann Na Gael club. Coincidentally, the last time a Connacht team won the All-Ireland, Roscommon in 1978 were also captained by a Clan na Gael player, Liz O’Brien. Club champions in 1999 were won by the following: Four Roads (U-12), Oran (U-14 and U-16), St. Bridgets (minor and junior) and Padraig Pearses (Senior).

So ended the first 25 years, a quarter century which saw Roscommon involved in ladies football from its beginning. There have been many success and failures but overall our county can be proud of its contribution.

The officers of Roscommon County Board at the close of 1999 were:

Chairperson – Michael Cunningham

Vice – Chairperson – John William Hanley

Secretary – Martina Finneran (her 15th year in the position)

Assistant Secretary – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer – Theresa Hanley

Assistant Treasurer – Maureen Higgins

P. R. O. – Ray Burke

Development Officer – Sean Flanagan.

STATISTICS 1975 TO 1999

SENIOR S/F

Roscommon 1-5 Mayo 1-4 Newport

Final

Galway 2-1 Roscommon 1-3 Hyde Park

1976

SENIOR S/F

Galway 0-6 Roscommon 2-0 Atherny

Replay

Galway 1-8 Roscommon 1-6 Athleague

1977

SENIOR S/F

Roscommon 1-5 Mayo 1-1 Ballaghaderren

Final

Roscommom 1-6 Galway 2-2 Hyde Park

S/F

Roscommon 2-3 Kerry 1-2 Castleisland

Final Cavan 4-3 Roscommon 2-3 Hyde Park

U-16

Final

Roscommon 2-8 Mayo 1-2 Hyde Park

All-Ireland S/F

Roscommon 3-1 Cork 0-5 St. Comans

Final

Cavan 1-8 Roscommon 0-2 Hyde Park

1978

SENIOR Final

Roscommon 3-7 Galway 0-6 Tuam

All-Ireland S/F

Roscommon 3-6 Cavan 2-6 Cavan

Final

Roscommon 2-3 Tipperary 0-5 Ballinasloe

U-16

All-Ireland S/F

Roscommon 2-2 Laois 2-1 Portlaoise

Final

Tipperary 4-8 Roscommon 0-0 Littleton

Club – St. Comans were runners up to Mullaghoran (Cavan)

In something ????

1979

SENIOR Fianl

Roscommon 4-3 Galway 2-9 Hyde Park

Replay

Galway 4-6 Roscommon 1-6 Tuam

League S/F

Galway 1-6 Roscommon 0-0 Tullamore

1980

SENIOR S/F

Roscommon 2-5 Leitrim 1-4 Cloone

FINAL

Galway 3-3 Roscommon 1-7 Johnstown

MINOR

Roscommon 4-7 Leitrim 2-4 Strokestown

All-Ireland S/F

Kerry 6-6 Roscommon 1-2 Ballymacelligot

U-16 Final

Roscommon 2-3 Leitrim 1-1 Drumshambo

All-Ireland S/F

Tipperary 0-6 Roscommon 0-2 Tipperary Venue

1981

SENIOR

Leitrim 3-2 Roscommon 2-3

MINOR

Leitrim beat Roscommon

U-16

All-Ireland S/F Wexford beat Roscommon in Tullamore

No County Board or County teams until 1985.

1985

Junior Final

Galway 4-5 Roscommon 0-8 Frenchpark

CLUB S/F

Fenagh, Leitrim 1-5 Padraig Pearses 0-2 Roscommon

1986

JUNIOR

Roscommon 3-1 Mayo 1-7 Ballyhaunis

Replay

Mayo 4-6 Roscommon 3-3 Tulsk

LEAGUE S/F

Laois 1-4 Roscommon 1-0 Rochfortbridge

CLUB

Hollymount, Mayo 3-4 Padraig pearses 0-2 Woodmount

U-16 Roscommon beat Mayo

All-Ireland S/F

Cork 3-11 Roscommon 0-0 Newmarket-on-Fergus

1987

JUNIOR

Galway beat Roscommon Barnadearg

MINOR

Mayo beat Roscommon Frenchpark

U-16

Mayo 3-4 Roscommon 1-1 Hollymount

CLUB S/F

St. Grellaus, Ballinasloe 3-6 Padraig Pearses 2-5 Woodmount

1988

JUNIOR

Galway beat Roscommon by 6 points

MINOR

Roscommon beat Leitrim Tulsk

Roscommon 1-6 Mayo 0-6 Castlebar

U-16 S/F (Played in Connacht)

Roscommon 2-3 Cavan 1-4 Kilnaleck

FINAL

Roscommon 5-5 Mayo 2-9 Tulsk

All-Ireland S/F

Laois 2-8 Roscommon 1-2 Portlaoise

CLUB

St. Grellans, Ballinasloe 3-8 Padraig Pearses 0-3 Woodmount

1989

JUNIOR S/F

Leitrim 3-6 Roscommon 3-2 Carrick-on-shannon

MINOR

Roscommon beat Galway Dunmore

U-16 Final

Roscommon beat Galway Roscommon

All-Ireland S/F

Waterford 5-9 Roscommon 1-4

1990

JUNIOR

Galway 2-10 Roscommon 1-1 Balinasloe

MINOR S/F

Roscommon beat Leitrim Barnacoola

FINAL

Roscommon 2-4 Mayo 1-5 Frenchpark

All-Ireland S/F

Dublin 2-9 Roscommon 3-3

U-16 S/F

Roscommon 6-9 Galway 0-2 Caltra

FINAL

Mayo 3-12 Roscommon 2-2 Balla

1991

MINOR S/F

Roscommon 2-7 Mayo 1-4 Ballindine

FINAL

Roscommon 7-9 Leitrim 0-6 Tulsk

All-Ireland S/F

Roscommon 2-6 Monaghan 2-5 Rockcorry

FINAL

Waterford 6-15 Roscommon 1-3 Ennis

U-16 S/F

Roscommon 5-7 Mayo 2-10 Ballyleague

FINAL

Roscommon 4-12 Galway 1-1 Moylough

All-Ireland S/F

Roscommon beat Monaghan Ballyleague

FINAL

Waterford 4-4 Roscommon 2-1 Ennis

U-14 Final

Mayo beat Roscommon Castlebar

1992

JUNIOR Final

Galway beat Roscommon Woodmount

MINOR Final

Roscommon 3-6 Mayo 0-6 Frenchpark

All-Ireland S/F

Waterford 4-15 Roscommon 2-8 Cappoquin

U-16

Mayo 3-9 Roscommon 1-4 Hollymount

U14 Final

Mayo beat Roscommon

1993

JUNIOR S/F

Roscommon 0-9 Galway 1-0 Craughwell

FINAL

Roscommon 1-8 Mayo 2-4 Tormakeady

All-Ireland S/F

London 0-11 Roscommon 0-5 Roscommon

MINOR S/F

Mayo 3-14 Roscommon 0-5 Cong

U-16 S/F

Roscommon 17-17 Leitrim 1-2

FINAL

Mayo 2-10 Roscommon 3-2 Kiltoom

U-14 Final

Roscommon 2-6 Mayo 2-4 Castlerea

All-Ireland S/F

Roscommon 4-7 Laois 3-7 Tullamore

FINAL

Kerry 7-11 Roscommon 4-3 Ennis

JUNIOR League Fianl

Carlow 3-6 Roscommon 2-6

CLUB S/F

Padraig Pearses drew with Kiltimagh in Kiltimagh Pearses won the replay in Woodmount

FINAL

St. Grellans 2-13 Padraig Pearses 5-2

1994

JUNIOR S/F

Mayo 2-12 Roscommon 3-6 Castlerea

MINOR S/F

Roscommon 9-17 Galway 1-2 Killanin

FINAL

Mayo 1-9 Roscommon 1-8 Tulsk

U-16 S/F

Roscommon 10-5 Galway 1-7 Claregalway

FINAL

Mayo 4-5 Roscommon 1-2 Ballinarobe

U-14 S/F

Galway 6-2 Roscommon 3-6 Ballinalough

CLUB S/F

The Neale, Mayo 3-8 Padraig Pearses 3-7

1995

JUNIOR Prelim

Leitrim 4-11 Roscommon 0-4 Annaduff

MINOR Prelim

Roscommon 5-11 Leitrim 3-1 Annaduff

S/F

Mayo 1-13 Roscommon 2-6 Holymount

U-16 S/F

Roscommon 3-10 Galway 0-3 Roscommon

FINAL

Roscommon 6-3 Mayo 3-8 Roscommon

All-Ireland S/F

Waterford 3-12 Roscommon 2-4 Stradbally

U-14 Prelim

Mayo 7-15 Roscommon 1-2 Ballinlough

CLUB S/FClann na Gael 0-8 Lettmore 0-7 Johnstown

FINAL

Clann na Gael 3-8 Shamrock

Gaels (Sligo) 1-13 Ballymote

All-Ireland S/F

Parnells 4-5 Clann na Gael 1-5 London

1996

JUNIOR S/F

Roscommon 5-13 Mayo 1-7 Clogher

FINAL

Sligo 1-9 Roscommon 2-1 Roscommon

MINOR S/F

Sligo beat Roscommon by 1 point in Frenchpark

U-16 Prelim

Roscommon 8-20 Leitrim 2-8 Cloone

S/F

Galway 1-14 Roscommon 2-4 Caherlistrane

U-14 PrelimMayo beat Roscommon

CLUB Q/F

Clann na Gael 4-12 St. Nathys Sligo 3-3 Johnstown

S/F

Clann na Gael 3-11 Annaduff 1-6 Johnstown

FINAL

Hollymount 3-11 Clann na Gael 1-6 Hollymount

1997

League S/F

Roscommon 6-3 Dublin 3-11 Johnstown

Final

Longford 3-9 Roscommon 4-5 Ballinasloe

Connacht Junior Prelim

Roscommon 5-9 Galway 2-3 Frenchpark

S/F

Roscommon 9-21 Mayo 0-1 Ballyleague

FINAL

Roscommon 2-8 Sligo 1-6 Sligo

All-Ireland Q/F

Roscommon 9-22 Lancashire 1-1 Manchester

S/F

Tyrone 1-7 Roscommon 0-9 Omagh

MINOR S/F

Sligo beat Roscommon Ballymote

U-16 S/F

Roscommon beat Galway

FINAL

Mayo 10-17 Roscommon 0-2 Ballinrobe

U-14 S/F

Mayo 11-14 Roscommon 0-1 Ballinlough

CLUB S/F

Clann na Gael 3-6 Kilkerrin-

Clanberne 0-11 Johnstown

FINAL

Hollymount 0-10 Clann na Gael 1-5 Johnstown

1998

JUNIOR S/F

Roscommon 0-10 Leitrim 0-8 Oran

FINAL

Roscommon 2-10 Galway 0-3 Tuam

All-Ireland Q/F

Roscommon 4-8 Waterford 2-10 Ballyleague

S/F

Roscommon 0-11 New York 2-4 Ballinasloe

FINAL

Louth 4-8 Roscommon 2-9 Croke Park

MINOR S/F

Mayo beat Roscommon Kiltimagh

U-16 S/F

Roscommon 4-10 Sligo 5-7 Ballymote

REPLAY

Sligo 5-10 Roscommon 3-12 Frenchpark

U-14 Prelim

Sligo beat Roscommon Ballymote

CLUB

Padraig Pearses won Co. title but did not play in Connacht as championship was not finished on time.

1999

JUNIOR S/F

Roscommon 0-19 Sligo 2-6 Ballyleague

FINAL

Leitrim 1-10 Roscommon 1-7 Carrick-on-shannon

MINOR Prelim

Galway beat Roscommon Ballyleague

U-16 Prelim

Leitrim beat Roscommon Kilglass

U-14 Prelim

Roscommon beat Sligo Ballyleague

S/F

Mayo 4-17 Roscommon 3-1 Knockmore

CLUB Senior

Kilkerrin-Clonberne beat Padraig Pearses by 3-13 to 4-7 in Corafin

JUNIOR Final

St. Nathys 3-11 beat St. Bridgets 0-3 Sligo

2000

U-14 S/F

Mayo 7-19 Roscommon 1-1 Ballyleague

U-16 S/F

Galway 6-30 Roscommon 0-1 Cahiristrane

MINOR S/F

Leitrim 4-10 Roscommon 1-6 Kilglass

JUNIOR Prelim

Roscommon 0-15 Sligo 1-9 Tourlestrane

S/F

Galway 0-13 Roscommon 1-7 Kiltoom

POST PRIMARY

1986 – Headford beat Strokestown in final.

1989 – Covent of mercy, Castlerea beat Dunmore in final.

All-Ireland S/F Castlerea 1-7 Portaloise 0-3 in Castlerea.

Final Castlerea 4-2 Tarbert 1-5 in Kiltormer

1992 – Ballinrobe beat Summerhill, Athlone in final.

COUNTY WINNERS

1993 – Summerhill

1994 – Summerhill

1995 – Summerhill

1996 – Junior – St. Nathys, Ballaghaderreen

Senior – Summerhill.

1997 – Junior

Senior

1998 – Junior

Senior

- No Roscommon Competitions, all Connacht schools organised on Provincial basis.

1999 – Junior

Senior

Ladies Gaelic Football Sports Personality

(V.E.C. Sports Advisory Body)

1980 – Elizabeth O’Brien (Clann na Gael)

1985 – Martina Finneran

1986 – Rita Cribbin

1987 – Marie Kelly (St. Faithleachs)

1988 – Mary Devanney (Creggs)

1989 – Margaret Kelly (Padraig Pearses)

1990 – Annemarie Carey (St. Marys)

1991 – Nessa Flanagan (Castlerea)

1992 – Olivia Keogh (Padraig Pearses)

1993- Caroline Donohue (Padraig Pearses)

1994 – Theresa Hanley (St. Faithleachs)

1995 – Ray Burke

1996 – Martina Finneran

1997 – Bridget Goode (Clann na Gael)

1998 – Ursula Brooks (Padraig Pearses)

1999 – Christine O’Malley (Padraig Pearses)

2000

The year 2000 saw 16 clubs affiliated to Roscommon Co. Board, the largest number so far. All the county titles were captured by 4 clubs, each winning 2 titles – Clann na Gael (u-12, U-14), St. Faithleachs (U-16, 9 a-side league), Castlerea St Kevins (minor, junior), and Padraig Pearses (senior and 15 a-side league). Padraig Pearses won the Connacht intermediate crown, beating St. Nathys Sligo in the final. They were denied victory over knockchapel, in the All-Ireland semi-final by a goal scored with the last kick of the game. Pearses also won the 7-a-side shield competition on All-Ireland weekend.

County teams did not have much success in 2000. U-14, U-16 and minor teams were beaten by Mayo, Galway and Leitrim respectively. The junior team lost the league quarter final to Cavan after extra time. In the championship they beat Sligo 0-15 to 1-9 in the first round but lost to Galway by 0-13 to 1-7 in the semi-final.

A success story however was the winning of the Connacht Post-Primary Junior and Senior B competitions by the convent of mercy, Roscommon. Also very successful was the primary schools competition in which 35 schools took part, an increase of 15 on the previous year.

Results

U-14 Mayo 7-19 Roscommon 1-1 (Ballyleague)

U-16 Galway 6-30 Roscommon 0-1 (Cahirlistrane)

Minor Leitrim 4-10 Roscommon 1-6 (Kilglass)

Junior Roscommon 0-15 Sligo 1-9 (Toulestrane)

Junior S/F Galway 0-13 Roscommon 1-7 (Kiltoom)

V.E.C. Sports Personalty (Gemma Mulligan).

ROSCOMMON LADIES G.A.A. – 2001

By Martina Carroll, Co. Secretary.

2001 will long be remembered as the best year in Ladies Football in the county since the revival in 1984. The winning of the All-Ireland Junior title was a huge boost to the game in the county and hopefully will inspire many young girls to play the game, a game that is regarded as the fastest growing sport in the country. The Co. Junior Panel showed great determination, dedication, commitment and hard work to win this All-Ireland. They were backed up a very committed Management Team and Co. Board.

The way in which they won the All-Ireland will long be talked about in Ladies G.A.A.circles. To score 1-18 in an All-Ireland Final in Croke Park, was in itself, a remarkable achievement, and was just reward for all the effort put in by the girls since they started their training programme in early February.

Prior to the New Year, Roscommon recorded fine victories over Meath and Carlow, to launch their quest for a League title. 2001 arrived and with it, a new era for Roscommon Ladies Football. Galway native, P.J. Rabbitte took charge of the side, with Jason Tananine, Tommy Brooks and Martina Carroll completing the management line-up. Roscommon extended their unbeaten run with victories over Westmeath, Tipperary, Limerick and Wiclow in the spring, and only suffered one defeat, losing out to Kildare. Roscommon faced Sligo in the Quarter Final and recorded a fine 1-15 to 0-6 victory. Kildare were the opposition once again in the semi-final. This match turned out to be a thrilling encounter, with both sides battling for not only a place in the League Final but promotion to Division 2 for next season. Roscommon gained revenge for their earliest league defeat to Kildare, with the scoreline reading Roscommon 3-9, Kildare 2-11.

Sunday, 3rd June, 2001 in Pearse Park, Longford, saw Roscommon ladies take on Cavan in the League Final. Roscommon played extremely well and ran out deserving winners on the scoreline of 1-17 to 2-6.

PATH TO THE LEAGUE FINAL

National League Div. 3:

Roscommon 1-6 Meath B 2-1

Roscommon 3-15 Carlow 3-2

Roscommon 3-21 Wicklow 1-0

Roscommon 2-12 Limerick 2-8

Roscommon 7-20 Westmeath 0-3

Roscommon 4-12 Tipperary 2-3

Roscommon 1-11 Kildare 4-8

Quarter-Final

Roscommon 1-15 Sligo 0-6

Semi-Final

Roscommon 3-9 Kildare 2-11

TG4 Championship:

The first round of the Connacht Championship was against Mayo and was played in Hollymount. The game was very one-sided, with Roscommon running out easy winners on the scoreline of 2-14 to 1-0. Roscommon had four weeks to prepare for the Connacht Semi-Final, where Sligo were the awaiting opponents. At a wet and windy Hyde Park, Roscommon were runaway victors on the scoreline of 2-15 to 1-4.

Our opponents in the Connacht Final were Galway. The venue was Tuam Stadium and the weather conditions were once again atrocious. Galway led by five points at half-time, and one minute after the half-time break, were leading Roscommon by eight points. This was the turning point and Roscommon scored nine unanswered points to clinch the Connacht Flanagan Oil Cup, with the scoreboard reading – Roscommon 0-14 Galway 3-4.

Our opponents in the All-Ireland Semi-Final were Limerick and the match was played in Duggan Park, Ballinasloe. Roscommon played an excellent first half against the wind and led by 0-10 to 0-2 at half-time. In the second half, they seemed to lose there way a bit and Limerick came more into the game. However, Roscommon ran out deserving winners on the scoreline of 0-14 to 1-4.

Sunday, 30th September 2001 will long be remembered by players, management, Co. Board and supporters of Ladies G.A.A. in Co. Roscommon. A huge Roscommon support welcomed the Roscommon team on to the field in Croke Park for the All-Ireland Junior Final, and what an exhibition of Ladies Gaelic Football they were treated to by a very well prepared team, both mentally and physically. It was a great credit to all concerned, and the joy experienced by everyone as the final whistle sounded will be etched in our minds forever. Roscommon reserved their best display for the biggest day of all – a day to treasure, whether you be a player, a part of the management set up, a Co. Board official or a Roscommon supporter!

Player of the Match Awards:

The following players received Player of the Match awards this year at inter-county level:

National League Final: Stephanie Carty

Connacht Final: Diane Dolan

All-Ireland Final: Emer Casey

Emma Mannion and Stephanie Carty were the recipients of replacement All-Star awards.

Ann Marie Carley was honoured by the Roscommon Supporters Club in Dublin.

The following players from Roscommon took part in the Mini Sevens match at half-time in the All-Ireland Junior Final:

Emma Ryan (Padraig Pearses); Ciara Fallon (Clan na Gael); Grace O’Brien (St. Brigids); Ellen O’Keeffe (Roscommom Gaels); Mairead Farrell (St. Faithleachs); Sinead Fallon (Four Roads); Elaine Murren (Western Gaels); Yvonne Kelly (Michael Glaveys); Lorraine McNulty (Eire Og); Aisling O’Gara (St. Mary’s).

Ladies G.A.A. in Co. Roscommon:

Eighteen clubs were affiliated to the Co. Board in 2001. This was the biggest ever affiliation.

Co. Primary Schools’ Competitions:

Three very successful Co. Primary Schools’ competitions were organised. There was an entry of 36 schools, which is the highest entry so far. The semi-finals and finals in the various sections took place in Ballyleague and the following were the results:-

Two Teachers Schools

Final: Aughrim 2-7 Kingsland 2-4

Three/Four Teacher Schools

Final: Kilcroan 2-2 Ballyleague 1-3

Large Schools

Final: Cornafulla 0-8 Loughglynn 1-1

Connacht Post-Primary Schools:

St. Joseph’s College, Summerhill, Athlone won the Connacht Post-Primary Schools C Championship for 2001. In the Connacht Final they defeated Community School, Dunmore on the scoreline of 4-9 to 0-8.

In the Junior A Final, Convent of Mercy, Roscommon defeated Colaiste Mhuire, Ballymote on the scoreline of 3-8 to 2-7. In the All-Ireland Semi-Final, they were defeated by Loretto Convent, Navan. However, it was a good year for the school and well done to all concerned.

Co. Club Championships:

Co. Championships were organised for the following: U-12, U-14, U-16, Minor, Junior and Intermediate. The following clubs were victorious in the various Co. Competitions:-

U-12 St. Bridgets

U-14 Clan na Gael

Junior Roscommon Gaels

Intermediate Castlerea St. Kevins

Minor (15 a-side) Castlerea St. Kevins

U-16 (9 a-side) Michael Glaveys

Results of Final:

U-12 St. Bridgets 1-6 Clan na Gael 0-6

U-14 Clan na Gael 2-11 Four Roads 1-3

Junior Roscommon Gaels 1-5 St. Faithleachs 0-4

Intermediate Castlerea St. Kevins 3-9 Clan na Gael 0-10

Minor (15 a-side) Castlerea St. Kevins 2-5 Clan na Gael 1-2

U-16 (9 a-side) Michael Glaveys 2-5 Clan na Gael 1-5

Minor (9 a-side) St. Faithleachs 3-11 Oran 0-6

Player of the Match Awards in Co. Finals:

U-12 Sarah Finnerty (St. Bridgets)

U-14 Emma Harney (Clan na Gael)

Junior Roisin Ni Dhonncha (Roscommon Gaels)

Intermediate Claire Raferty (Castlerea St. Kevins)

Minor (15 a-side) Christina Carty (Castlerea St. Kevins)

U-16 (9 a-side) Mary Bourke (Michael Glaveys)

Minor (9 a-side) Denise Cox (St. Faithleachs)

Co. Intermediate Cup Presented by Mary O’Brien & Family, Oran:

Roscommon Ladies G.A.A. Co. Board would like to sincerely thank Mary O’Brien and family, Oran on donating a cup for the intermediate Championship in memory of Paddy who died during the year. Paddy was a great supporter of the G.A.A. in Co. Roscommon and had a great interest in Ladies G.A.A., both at club and county level. His sudden passing was a great shock to us all. We would like to extend our sincerest sympathy to his wife, Mary and family. We know that he was looking down on the great efforts and success of Roscommon teams this year, both men and women.

May he rest in peace.

Co. Minor (15 a-side) Cup sponsored by Liam Ryan:

Roscommon Ladies Co. Board would like to thank Liam Ryan, Ryan Courtdale very sincerely for sponsoring the Cup for our new Co. Minor 15 a-side competition. It is greatly appreciated.

Focal Buiochais:

Roscommon Ladies G.A.A. Co. Board would like to thank the following for their help and co-operation during the year – the Roscommon Co. Junior Panel, Management; Tommy Beirne for his work with the goalkeepers; Sharon Farrell for her expertise as physio; the clubs who gave us pitches for matches, and for Co. Training, especially Kilteevan, Ballyleague, Four Roads, CBS pitch, Roscommon and Hyde Park, Roscommon. A special thank you to our main sponsor, Sean Mulryan, Ballymore Properties – his sponsorship was a major help in setting our Co. Junior team on the road to success; Aidan Tully, for sponsoring fruit after training sessions and for also sponsoring kit bags; Connacht Gold for sponsoring milk after training sessions; Bus Eireann for sponsoring the buses for the All-Ireland Semi-Final and for the All-Ireland Weekend; all the companies and individuals who gave so generously to our All-Ireland Training Fund; the Garda Escort who accompanied the team from the hotel to Croke Park; the Garda Siochana who accompanied the team all around the county after the All-Ireland Final; the Mens’ Co. Board for all their help, guidance and support over the year; the Roscommon Supporters Club in Dublin for their financial assistance; the Connacht Council of the Mens’ G.A.A. for their assistance; Co. Roscommon, Monsignor C. Travers, P.P., Roscommon and Fr. Bert Bromley, Oblate Fathers, Inchicore, Dublin for celebrating Masses for the team during the year; the Press – Roscommon Herald, Roscommon Champion, Shannonside Northern Sound, MWR and TG4 for their excellent coverage; Michael McCormack for his excellent photography during the year; the Roscommon supporters who travelled to Croke Park to support the Co. Junior team and all who supported throughout the year; all the people who turned out in their thousands all over the county to welcome us home – a sincere thank you – it is deeply appreciated.

A special thank you to the management and selectors of the other Co. teams during the year. Your dedication and commitment is much appreciated. We would like to thank all the referees who refereed our club matches during the year.

A special thank you to the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon and to the Royal Hotel Roscommon for providing facilities for our meetings during the year.

Roscommon Ladies G.A.A. 2002

By Martina Carroll, Co. Secretary.

2002 will long be remembered as an excellent year for Ladies Football in the county, particularly on the club scene. The winning of the Connacht Junior and Intermediate club titles by both St. Mary’s and Clan na Gael respectively was a huge boost to the game in the county and hopefully will inspire many young girls to play the game, a game that is regarded as the fastest growing sport in the country. Our Co. U-14 girls won the All-Ireland Blitz in Mullingar, defeating Clare in the final. Padraig Pearses won the All-Ireland Seven A-Side competition in Dublin on the eve of the All-Ireland Finals. Our Co. Senior team gave a very good account of themselves in the Connacht Senior Final in Castlebar, only losing by five points. The Co. Senior Panel showed great determination, dedication, commitment and hard work to achieve this standard in less than a year after winning the All-Ireland Junior title. So, all in all, it was a year we can be very proud of, and a year on which I hope we can build on for further success in 2003.

2002 saw the biggest affiliation of clubs in Co. Roscommon. Twenty clubs were affiliated as follows:-

Padraig Pearses, Clan na Gael, St. Bridgets, Four Roads,

St. Faithleachs, Kilglass Gaels, Oran, Castlerea St. Kevins,

Michael Glaveys, Eire Og, Western Gaels, St. Mary’s,

Kilmore, St. Michaels, Roscommon Gaels, Ballinameen,

Kilbride, Fuerty, St. Croans, St. Dominics.

Co. Primary Schools’ Competition:

Three very successful Co. Primary Schools’ competitions were organised. There was an entry of 37 schools, which is the highest entry so far. The semi-finals and finals in the various sections took place in Ballyleague and the following were winners in each group:-

Two Teachers Schools: Curraghboy N.S.

Three/Four Teacher Schools: Four-Mile-House N.S.

Large Schools: Summerhill N.S.

Co. Club Championships:

Co. Championships were organised for the following: U-12, U-1`4, U-16, Minor, Junior and Intermediate and Senior. The following clubs were victorious in the various Co. Competitions:-

U-12 Clan na Gael

U-14 Clan na Gael

U-16 Clan na Gael

Minor (15 a-side) Clan na Gael

Minor (9 a-side) St. Bridgets

Junior St. Mary’s

Intermediate Clan na Gael

Senior Padraig Pearses

Results of Finals:

U-12 Clan na Gael 2-6 St. Bridgets 1-6

U-14 Clan na Gael 2-6 St. Faithleachs 1-4

U-16 Clan na Gael 4-8 Four Roads 0-5

Minor (15 a-side) Clan na Gael 1-8 Roscommon Gaels 0-5

Minor (9 a-side) St. Bridgets 4-3 Kilglass Gaels 1-11

Junior St. Mary’s 6-19 Eire Og 3-7

Intermediate Clan na Gael 2-12 St. Bridgets 0-5

Senior Padraig Pearses 2-21 Castlerea 0-1

Connacht Club Championships:

In the Connacht Junior Club Championship, St. Mary’s were victorious in winning the Connacht Championship, defeating St. Mary’s, Sligo in the final in Sligo on the scoreline of 3-9 to 2-10. When Erica Flanagan lifted the cup, this was the first time Roscommon club team to do so in this competition. Regina Carley was awarded the “Player of the Match” award for the Connacht Final. On they’re way to the final, St. Mary’s defeated St. Brendan’s Galway and St. Bridgets, Mayo. In the All-Ireland Quarter Final against Lucan Sarafields, St. Mary’s were most unlucky to be defeated by just two points in Tarmonbarry. Great credit is due to the St. Mary’s team, managers, trainer and club officials for this marvellous achievement, and we look forward to their progress at Intermediate level next year.

In the Connacht Intermediate Club Championship, Clan an Gael were victorious in the winning the Connacht Championship, defeating Moy Davitts, Mayo in the final on the scoreline of 3-8 to 1-11. Gina Dowling was awarded the “Player of the Match” award on this occasion. On their way to the final, Clan an Gael defeated St. Nally’s, Sligo in Johnstown on a cold, wet and wintry day. In the All-Ireland Semi-final, they defeated Knockbride, Cavan to reach the All-Ireland Final. The All-Ireland Final, played in Moneygall, on yet again a very wet and windy day, was an excellent game of football, and Clan na Gael were most unlucky to lose out by just two points, on the scoreline of 5-1 to 2-8. On this occasion, Diane Dolan was picked as the “Player of the Match”, an award truly deserved. We now look forward to the progress of Clan na Gael at Senior level next year.

In the Connacht Senior Club Final, Padraig pearses were defeated by the eventual All-Ireland champions, Carnacon. Despite putting up a reasonable performance, Padraig Pearses showed a certain amount of lack of match practice, but I know they will make every effort next year to make amends.

Co. U-14 Team – All-Ireland Blitz Champions 2002:

We can be very proud of the success of our Co. U-14 team this year. Early in the year they defeated Leitrim in Kilmore in the Connacht Championship, However, they were defeated by Galway in the Connacht Semi-Final. On then to the Connacht Blitz where they show a vast improvement and reached the final, only to be beaten by Galway in the final. They had beaten Galway in an earlier game.

However, they were to find glory in the All-Ireland U-14 Blitz played in Mullingar, when they defeated Clare in the All-Ireland Final by four points. Great credit is due to their manager, Amanda Hanly, who has persisted with this team for the last couple of years and has been rewarded with an All-Ireland title. It is heartening to see a young girl who has given so much as a player to both her club and county, now willing to give as much back to the young footballers of Roscommon.

Connacht Championships – U-16 & Junior:

In the Connacht U-16 Championship, we were defeated by Mayo in Ballinameen.

In the Connacht Junior Chamionship, we put up a great performance against Sligo in Sligo and were only beaten by four points. Then we played Mayo in Kilteevan and were most unlucky to be beaten by just one point.

All-Ireland Seven A-Side:

Congratulations to Padraig Pearses on winning the All-Ireland Seven A-Side championship in Dublin on the eve of the All-Ireland Junior and Senior Finals. This was indeed a wonderful achievement which we are all proud of. Well done to all the girls involved and of course to Tommy Brooks. Padraig Pearses were also runners-up in an invitation tournament run by Kilmacud on an earlier date.

Congratulations:

Congratulations to Ray Fallon on winning the Roscommon Sports Partnership Ladies G.A.A. Personality of the Year for 2002 – an award also very much deserved.

Congratulations also to Mary Beads and Gina Dowling who were recipients of Sports Personality of the Month awards competition run by the Roscommon Herald.

Roscommon Ladies G.A.A. 2003

Twenty clubs were affiliated in 2003 as follows:

Padraig Pearses, Clan na Gael, St. Bridgets, Four Roads,

St. Faithleachs, Kilgalss Gaels, Oran, Castlerea St. Kevins,

Michael Glaveys, Eire Og, Western Gaels, St. Mary’s,

Kilmore, St. Michaels, Roscommon Gaels, Ballinameen,

Kilbride, St. Barry’s, St. Croans, St. Dominics.

Co. Primary Schools’ Competitions:

Three very successful Co. Primary Schools’ competitions were organised. There was an entry of 38 schools. The semi-finals and finals in the various sections took place in Ballyleague on the 17th June and the following were the results of same:

Two Teacher Schools

Semi-Finals: Kingsland (2-2) Aughrim (1-4)

Finals: Curraghboy (5-7) Granlahan (1-1)

Three/Four Teacher Schools

Semi-Finals: Ballinagare (0-8) Cloonfad (5-4)

Lisaniskey (0-6) Cloontuskert (0-2)

Final: Lisaniskey (5-3) Cloonfad (3-4) after extra time

Large Schools

Semi-Finals: Strokestown (3-7) Summerhill (1-1)

Loughglynn (0-2) Cornafulla (3-6)

Final: Strokestown (0-7) Cornafulla (0-2)

Co. Club Championships:

Co. Championships were organised for the following: U-12, U-14, U-16, Minor, Junior and Intermediate and Senior. The following clubs were victorious in the various Co. Competitions:

U-12: St. Bridgets

U-14: St. Bridgets

U-16: Clan na Gael

Minor (15 a-side): Clan na Gael

Minor (9 a-side): Kilglass Gaels

Junior: Michael Glaveys

Intermediate: St. Mary’s

Senior: Padraig Pearses

Co. League: Michael Glaveys

Co. Feile: St. Bridgets

Co. Senior Team:

At the outset of the National League, Roscommon Co. Senior Panel were aiming to get back into Division One. Having reached the semi-final, and unbeaten to that stage, they faced Louth in Kiltoom, this was an enthralling encounter, and with only a minute to go, Steffi Carty scored a great victory and thus regain Division One status for the coming year. In the National League Division Two Final, we faced Cork in Ennis. This was a match we should have and could have won. However, this was not to be and we were beaten by four points.

In the Connacht Senior Championship, the Senior team were well beaten by both Mayo and Galway, in Hyde Park and Tuam respectively.

Final Scores: Mayo 3-13 Roscommon 0-6

Galway 2-14 Roscommon 2-6

In November, we played the first round of the National League Division One against Tyrone in Augher, Co. Tyrone. This turned out to be a wonderful match, and once again, we snatched victory in the dying seconds, courtesy of a brilliant goal from Emer Casey.

Final Score: Roscommon 4-7 Tyrone 1-14

This was a very important result for us, as it gave us for first points in Division One and a firm foundation on which to build on for the remaining rounds of the League.

Connacht U-14 Championship:

The Connacht U-14 Championship was ran on a round robin basis, with Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim together in one section. The following were all the results involving Roscommon:-

Roscommon 7-26 Leitrim 1-3

Roscommon 6-6 Sligo 5-11

Roscommon 1-3 Galway 3-9

Roscommon 4-9 Mayo 6-16

Roscommon 2-5 Sligo 1-5

The U-14 team also took part in the Connacht U-14 Blitz and the All-Ireland Blitz in Mullingar. The team did well, once again, in the All-Ireland Blitz and reached the Division Two Final, but were narrowly defeated by Tyrone. At the moment, the U-14 team are taking part in a new competition called the Interprovincial U-14 League. They have lost to Westmeath and have beaten Longford. This new competition will help them to be better prepared for the forthcoming Championship.

Connacht U-16 Championship:

The Connacht U-16 Championship saw Roscommon face Galway in the Semi-final in Johnstown. Despite putting up a brave performance, Galway were vastly superior on the day.

Final Score: Roscommon 2-4 Mayo 1-14

Connacht Junior Championship:

The Roscommon Junior team, despite having very little preparation, gave two outstanding performances against Mayo and Sligo respectively and were very unlucky not to win at least one of these games. Both games went to extra-time. The game against Mayo was played in Claremorris:

Final Score: Mayo 4-12 Roscommon 2-9

We played Sligo in Frenchpark, and again after extra-time, we lost by just one point.

Final Score: Sligo 2-13 Roscommon 2-12

Incidentally, Sligo went on to defeat Leitrim in Connacht Final.

Connacht Club Championships:

2003 wasn’t as successful as 2002 on the Connacht Championship Club scene.

In the Connacht Senior Championship, Padraig Pearses were defeated by the Galway champions, Corofin in Corofin.

Final Score: Corofin 4-16 Padraig Pearses 2-7

In the Connacht Intermediate Championship, St. Mary’s who had moved up from Junior last year, played the Mayo Champions, Kilmovee in Tulsk. Despite putting up a good performance, they were eventually defeated by on the scoreline of 4-10 to 2-6.

In the Connacht Junior Championship, Michael Glaveys, playing in their first Connacht Championship, gave an outstanding display against Cloonacool from Sligo, and were most unlucky to lose in a tense, nail-biting finish in Ballinlough.

Final Score: Cloonacool 2-7 Michael Glaveys 0-7

All-Ireland Seven A-Side:

I would like to thank the clubs from Roscommon who competed in the All-Ireland Seven A-Sides in Dublin on the eve of the All-Ireland Finals – Padraig Pearses, St. Bridgets, St. Mary’s and Roscommon Gaels.

Congratulations:

Congratulations to Ann Marie Carley on winning the Roscommon Sports Partnership Ladies G.A.A. Personality of the Year for 2003 – an award she truly deserves.

Congratulations also to Steffi Carty who was a recipient of one of the Sports Personality of the Month awards competition run by the Roscommon Herald.

Congratulations to Christine O’Malley who was the winner of the Roscommon Supporters Club Ladies G.A.A. Personality for 2003.

Congratulations to Mary Beades on receiving an All-Star nomination.

Retirement of Co. Secretary & Co. Treasurer:

Martina Carroll retired as Co. Secretary at the AGM early in 2004. Martina has served in this position for the past twenty years. During that period, she has also held many other positions.

Theresa Hanly retired as Co. Treasurer, a position she held for the past eleven years. The Co. Board extend its best wishes to them both in their retirement.

Roscommon Ladies G.A.A.

Activities for the year 2004

Nineteen Clubs were affiliated as follows

Padraig Pearses, Four Roads, Clan an Gael, Michael Glaveys, Eire Og, Castrlerea

St. Kevins, St. Brigids, St. Faithleachs, Oran, Kilglass Gales, St. Mary’s,

Roscommon Gales, Western Gales, Ballinameen, Kilbride, St. Dominics, St. Croans,

Tabmaonbarry and Kilmore.

Primary Schools Competitions

About 30 Schools took part

Two Teacher Final Granlaghan v Curraghboy

Branlaghan Winners

3-4 Teacher Final Four mile House v Ballinagare

Large Schools Final Strokestown v Cornafulla

Cornafulla Winners

Results of all under age, Minor, Junior, Intermediate and /Senior Finals.

Under 12 Division 1. Final Michael Glaveys 4-3 v Clan na Gael 2-8

Michael Glaveys Winners

U-12 Div. 2 Final Kilgalss Gales v St. Barrys

Kilglass Gales Winners U-14 Div. 1 Western Gales 3-4 v St. Brigids 1-8

Western Gaels Winners U14 Div 2 Michale Glaveys 2 v Four Roads 4-9

Four Roads Winners U-14 Feile Competition Brigids 8 points v Clan na Gael 1-2

Bridigs Winners

U-16 9 a-side final St. Faithleachs v Kilmore

St. Faithleachs winners.

U-16 9 a-side Clan an Gael 1-3 v St. Bridigs 2-3

Bridigs winners.

Minor 9 a-side Michale Glaveys v Four Roads

Michael Glaveys Winners

Minor 15 a-side Bridigs v Clan an Gael

Bridigs Winners

Junior Eire OG v Kilglass Gales

Eire OG 3-11 Kilglass 2-7

Eire OG Winners

Intermediate – Bridigs 4-11 v Michael Glaveys 3

Bridigs Winners

Senior Final – Padraig Pearses v Clan na Gael

Padraig Pearses Winners

1975 – 80

Chair: Marie Holland

Secretary/Treasurer: M Naughton

1974-76

He was Secretary up to 1980

M Flanagan Treasurer 1976 – 80

St. Josephs Summerhill, Athlone won All-Ireland Schools – Results included in Roscommon History.

Sandra Shanagher Trainer For County Under 12

Emer Casey Trainer For County Under 14

P.J. Shanagher Olivia Hynes for 16

Martin McDermott and team for Minor

Erica Flanagan, Caroline Maguire, Orla Gavin and Sean Flanagan for Junior team.

Martin McDermott, Adrain Tully and Regina Carley

Mullaney

Managers of Senior Team.

St. Brigids won All-Ireland Club Final

Report already sent to you.

Eire OG lost to Geveagh in Connacht Junior Semi Final.

All Ireland Seven a-side competitions

Padraig Pearses St. Brigids, Four Roads, Roscommon Gales

Kilglass Gales took part Kilglass Gales won the Junior Competition.

List of Officers

From 1989 to 2005-09-19

1989

Chairperson – Mary Devaney

Secretary – Martina Finneran

Asst. Sec. – Teresa Lynch

Treasurer/Registrar – Margaret Kelly

P.R.O. – Carmel O’Rourke

Connacht Council Delegates; Martina Finneran, Mary Devaney.

Central Council Delegates – Sean Lanagan, Michael Hunt.

1990

Chairperson – Mary Devaney

Vice Chairperson- Ray Burke

Secretary – Martina Finneran

Asst. Sec.- Gemma Mulligan

Secretary and Fixtures Sec. Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer – Margaret Kelly

Regristrar – Margaret Kelly

P.R.O. – Gemma Mulligan and M. Finneran

Connacht Delegates Sean Flanagan, Martina Finneran, John Loughlin

Del. To Central Council Michael Hunt, John Loughlin, Henry Kenny.

1991

Chairperson – Ray Burke

Vice Chairperson – Sean Flanagan

Secretary – Martina Fleming

Asst. Sec. Jemma Mulligan

Treasurer Violet O’Loughlin

P.R.O.s – Martina Finneran, Gemma Mulligan

Del. To Connacht Council M. Finneran, S. Flanagan

Del. To Central Council S. Flanagan Ray Burke M. Finneran.

1992

Chairman – Ray Burke

Vice Chair. – S. Flanagan

Sec. – Martina Finneran

Asst. Sec. – Gemma Mulligan

Joint Treasurer Violet O’Loughlin & Teresa Hanley

Registrar – Yvonne Dooley

P.R.O. –Helen Barrett

Del. To Connacht Council Sean Flanagan, Martina Finneran.

Del. To Connacht Council M. Finneran, C. Kelly, Sean Flanagan, Ray Burke.

1993

Chairperson – Ray Burke

Vice Chairperson – Jason Brehon

Sec. – Martina Finneran

Asst. Sec. – Gemma Mulligan

Registrar – Susan Donlon

P.R.O.S.M. – Finnaran & R. Dolan

Del. To Connacht Council. M. Finneran & P. Kelly

Del. To Central Council M. Finnaran, M. Higgins & Ray Burke.

1994

Chairperson – Ray Burke

Vice Chairperson – J.P. Burke

Sec. – M. Finneran

Asst. Sec. – G. Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – G. Mulligan

P.R.O. – M. Higgins

Del; To Connacht Council- G. Mulligan, P. Kelly

Del; To Central Council – M. Higgins & M. Finneran

1995

Chairperson – Ray Burke

Vice Chairperson – J.P. Burke

Sec. – M. Finneran

Asst. Sec. – G. Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – G. Mulligan

P.R.O. – Ann Finnerty

Development Officer – Sean Kelly

Del; To Connacht Council – G. Mulligan, P. Kelly

Del. To Central Council – M. Higgins, M. Finneran & Ray Burke

1996

Chairperson – Ray Burke

Vice Chairperson – J.P. Burke

Sec. – M. Finneran

Asst. Sec.- G. Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – P. Kelly

P.R.O. – Lisa Brady

Development Officer – Sean Flanagan

Del; To Connacht Council – G. Mulligan, P. Kelly

Del; To Central Council – M. Higgins, M. Finneran, Ray Burke, M. Cunningham & T. Hanley

1997

Chairperson – Ray Burke

Vice. Chair – J.W. Hanley

Sec. – M. Finneran

Asst. Sec. – G. Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – G. Mulligan

P.R.O.

Development Officer – Sean Flanagan

Del; To Connacht Council – G. Mulligan, S. Madden

Del. – To Central Council M. Finneran, Sean Flanagan, F. Egan & Ray Burke

1998

Chairperson – Mi Cunningham

Vice Chair. – J.W. Hanley

Sec. – M. Carroll

Asst. Sec. – Fixture Sec. – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – M. Higgins

P.R.O. – G. Mulligan

Development Officer – Sean Flanagan

Del; To Connacht Council – G. Mulligan, S. Madden & G. Mulligan

Del. To Central Council – M. Higgins & S. Flanagan

1999

Chairperson – Mi Cunningham

Vice Chair. – J.W. Hanley

Sec. – M. Carroll

Asst. Sec. – Fixture Sec. – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – M. Higgins

P.R.O. – R. Burke

Development Officer – Sean Flanagan

Del; To Connacht Council – G. Mulligan, S. Flanagan

Del. To Central Council – S. Flanagan & Mi Cunningham

2000

Chairperson- Mi Cunningham

Vice Chair. – J.W. Hanley

Sec. – M. Carroll

Asst. Sec. – Fixture Sec. – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – M. Higgins

P.R.O. – R. Burke

Development Officer – Sean Flanagan

Del; To Connacht Council – G. Mulligan, S. Flanagan & R. Burke

Del. To Central Council – S. Flanagan, Mi Cunningham & E. Flanagan

2001

Chairperson – Mi Cunningham

Vice Chair. – J.W. Hanley

Sec. – M Carroll

Asst. Sec. – Fixture Sec. Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – S. Flanagan

P.R.O. – Emma Mannion

Development Officer – Tommy Beirne

Del; – To Connacht Council – S. Flanagan & P. Kelly

Del. – To Central Council – S. Flanagan & Mi Cunningham

2002

Chairperson – Mi Cunningham

Vice Chair – J.W. Hanley

Sec. – M. Carroll

Asst. Sec. – P. Kelly

Fixture Sec – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Teresa Hanley

Asst. Treas. – S. Flanagan

P.R.O. – J.W. Hanley

Development Officer – Tommy Beirne

Del; – To Central Council S. Flanagan & Mi Cunningham

2003

Chairperson – Mi Cunningham

Vice Chair – S. Flanagan

Sec. M. Carroll

Asst. Sec. – P. Kelly

Fixtures Sec – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Teresa Hanley

P.R.O.

Development Officer – Tommy Beirne

Del; – To Connacht Council – P. Kelly & Mi Cunningham

Del. To Central Council – S. Flanagan & Mi. Cunningham

2004

Chairperson – Mi Cunningham

Vice Chair- S, Flanagan

Sec. – M. McCann

Asst. Sec. – P. Kelly

Fixtures Sec. – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Lisa Bailey

Asst. Treasurer – S. Flanagan

P.R.O. – Aidan Tully

Development Officer – P.J. Shanagher

Del; – To Connacht Council – P. Kelly & Mi Cunningham

Del. – To Central Council – S. Flanagan, Mi Cunningham & Charlie Ward

2005

Chairperson – Sean Flanagan

Vice Chair- Sandra Shanagher

Sec. Margaret McCann

Asst. Sec. – Charmaine Cooney

Fixture Sec. – Gemma Mulligan

Treasurer-Reg. – Lisa Bailey

Asst. Treasurer – Pauline Kelly

P.R.O. – Aidan Tully

Development Officer – P.J. Shanagher

Culture & Language Officer – Madeline O’Connell

Del; – To Connacht Council – Madeline O’Connell & Marie McAleer

Del. – To Central Council – S. Flanagan & Mi Cunningham

St. Brigid’s Ladies makes history

In what was a relatively uneventful year for ladies football for the most part, the exploits of the St, Brigid’s ladies intermediate football team in capturing an All-Ireland title in early December provided early Christmas cheer around Kiltoom, Cam, Brideswell and Curraghboy. It represented a magnificent achievement for a dedicated

Group of girls and management team that endeavoured to give the county’s faithful a major lift ahead of the 2005 season.

Eddie Nestor’s team made history on that famous day in Pearse Park, Longford against Monaghan champions Tyholland when they became the first club from the county to win an All-Ireland title (15 a-side). Having improved steadily throughout a roller coaster campaign, they entered the final as underdogs and produced a performance of real quality and substance to oust the fancied Ulster side.

From a rather low-key county campaign, Brigid’s stock really prospered after a tricky assignment against Leitrim champions Aughawillan, which they negotiated successfully. A Connacht title was duly wrapped up on a score line of 2-9 to 3-4, the goals coming courtesy of Michelle Carey and wingback Claire Kelly.

Next up was a semi-final meeting against Munster champions Athea from Limerick. St. Brigid’s made the most of their home advantage and coughed up a powerful first-half effort which yielded 1-9, the goal coming from a speculative Mary Beades lob. However, Brigid’s contrived to make life a little less comfortable for themselves after the break, a trait which surfaced on numerous occasions throughout the campaign, but they were far enough in front to maintain their advantage.

And so to Sunday, December 5th, a day that will never be forgotten in the history of the club. For years, much of the attention honed in on the men’s team ability, which often flattered to deceive. The ladies were now very firmly in the limelight and how they made the most of it. Confidence flowed through Tyholland veins in the run-up to the game as they boasted of an impressive attack, which had amassed 24-60 on their way to the final.

However, Brigid’s set their stall out early and were helped by an excellent Aine O’Brien goal after just 20 seconds. The rest, as they say, is history.

Brigid’s were simply phenomenal for the rest of the contest as they chased, harried and generally made a nuisance of themselves in their attempt to halt Tyholland’s gallop. While the team as a whole produced a real team effort over 60 minutes, Fiona Gavin, Christina O’Malley, Catherine Kilcommins, Mary Beades and Claire Grehan were particularly effective. In the end a 1-8 to 0-4 triumph was thoroughly deserved as captain Catherine Kilcommins wrote her name into Roscommon club football folklore.

Elsewhere at club level, Padraig Pearses were crowned senior champions again but the competition was held up for over two months as an objection was lodged concerning one of the Pearses players. Eire Og captured the junior championship but they failed to make an impact in Connacht.

The intercounty senior team, after enjoying a solid league campaign, which preserved their Division One status, nearly caused the shock of the TG4 All-Ireland championship when they came within a whisker of defeating Mayo in the opening round of their Connacht campaign. Only a late Diane O’Hora goal saved Mayo’s blushes in Castlebar.

Unfortunately, Martin McDermott’s charges never reached the same heights against eventual All-Ireland champions Galway and despite the best efforts of Annette McGeeney and Ann Marie Carley, Roscommon couldn’t break their duck at senior level.

However, as a result of St. Brigid’s magnificent triumph, hopes spring eternal for 2005.

CAPTION

The St. Brigid’s ladies team that captured the All-Ireland ladies intermediate football championship in Pearse Park, Longford in December.

Roscommon Ladies GAA

Fixtures & Results 2005

Fixture Runners Up Winners

U12 Division 1A Clan na nGael St Marys

U12 Division 1B Four Roads St Brigids

U12 Division 2A Kilglass Gaels Michael Glaveys

U12 Division 2B Kilbride Roscommon Gaels

U14 Division 1A St Brigids St Marys

U14 Division 2A Kilglass Gaels Ballinameen

U16 15-a-side A Final Clan na nGael St Brigids

U16 15-a-side B Final St Marys Four Roads

U16 9-a-side A Final Kilmore Eire Og

U16 9-a-side B Final St Faithleaps Kilglass Gaels

Intermediate Final Roscommon Gaels Michael Glaveys

Senior Final Padraig Pearses St Brigids

Minor 9-a-side Final Four Roads Western Gaels

Minor 9-a-side B Final Kilglass Gaels Michael Glaveys

Minor 15-a-side A Final Kilbride St Brigids

Minor 15-a-side B Final Roscommon Gaels St Marys

Shield Final (Senior) (Draw) refixed for 14/1/06

Junior A Final Kilbride Oran

Junior B Final Ballinameen Western Gaels

TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Championship Final

Roscommon Joy

Roscommon 1-12 Down 1-05

Roscommon claimed the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup and the TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Championship, in glorious sunshine at St Loman’s Mullingar. Before the action got underway, Niamh O’Shea expertly sang out our National Anthem. Niamh from the Shandonagh ladies club in Westmeath, has many achievements in Scor and anyone present at the game could see why, as she sang Amhran na bhFiann.

The re-introduction of the Intermediate Championship is a unique opportunity for teams that have participated to maintain the county senior side playing for a longer period during the summer months and to develop and build a squad for the future, with the added advantage of an All Ireland title at the end. Five sides including Kildare, Clare, Louth and the two finalists battled it out. The title last won in 2000 by Laois who went on to take the Brendan Martin Cup twelve months later.

As for the game itself, it was the Ulster side that opened the brighter and raced into an early four point lead. Just three minutes had elapsed, when Michaela Downey landed a free for the opening score. The sme player struck for the opening goal seven minutes later when she go onto a pinpoint pass from Karen Keown.

Roscommon were rocked, but they soon began to find their feet and call the shots. They went onto dominate proceedings with six unanswered points. That dominance, helped by a towering display, from midfielder Diane Dolan and the lively Steffi Carty at corner forward. It was Carty that got them off the mark on 18 minutes and the same play added two further points soon after.

Six minutes from the interval, Ann Marie Carley gave the westerners the lead, which they were not to lose. Further points from Cathy McCann and Dolan helped the Roscommon girls into a 0-6 to 1-1 interval lead.

They continued where they left off, after the restart, with early points from Michelle Carey and Carley after the introduction of Sarah Sharkey, added even more life into the Roscommon side.

Down out of the game for long periods were not helped when Aileen Pyers was sin-binned. Despite the numerical disadvantage it seemed to lift them and they hit back with points from Karen Keown and a fine score from Kyla Treanor. Yet any thoughts of getting back into the game were dashed with a Roscommon goal ten minutes from time. The game was all but wrapped up ten minutes from time when player of the match Carty fired to the Down net. Down responded with two find points from Grainne McClean but it was the eventual winners that finished the stronger.

They wrapped up the title with the final four points of the game from Carey, McCann, Carley and the star of the day, Carty, for a deserved victory. Overall this was a good run out for both sides and shows the tournament to have been a success and surely will once again be an annual event.

Roscommon:

Eimear Walsh, Ursula Brooks, Laura Sharkey, Louise Tully, Olivia Keogh Annette McGeaney (capt), Caroline Conway, Diane Dolan (0-1), Aisling Creighton, Lizzie Glennon, Natasha Beegan, Cathy Conway (0-2), Michelle Carey (0-2), Ann Marie Carley (0-2), Steffi Carty (1-4, 2f).

Subs used:

Sarah Finnery for E Walshe (17 mins), Sarah Sharkey for L Glennon (41 mins), Regina Mullaney for C McCann, Feena Beirne for O Keogh, Tara Taylor for M Carey (60 mins).

Down:

Elaine McCourt, Niamh Lennon, Eliza Downey, Aveen McEvoy, Aine Keary, Bronagh McCurry, Patricia McKibben, Denise Maguire, Aoibheann Downey, Kyla Trainor (0-1), Michaela Downey (1-1, a f), Lynsey Cunningham, Aileen Pyers, Ailis McConville (capt), Karen Keown (0-1).

Subs used:

Grainne McClean (0-2) for L Cunningham (HT), Michelle Fearon for A Pyers (59 mins).

Referee: Ciaran Groome (Offaly)

Young Players of the Year

By Alan Gunn

The Star of Roscommon – Claire Shanagher

The smile on Claire Shanagher as she stepped on stage to collect the Connacht Young Player of the Year said it all and just what this award meant to one of the stars of the future in both Roscommon football and indeed nationwide.

Like all her other colleagues on the night the St Brigid’s girl was shocked when she heard the news of the award, “I just could not believe it when my Dad told me I had won the award, to be picked from Roscommon was an honour on its own but then to hear I was the Connaught winner was just fantastic and I was losst for words in disbelief. I was so excited to be chosen and honoured”.

On the night itself, to be going up in front of so many people would be a little daunting to anyone and the Roscommon star was the first to be awarded on the night and making that walk as the spotlight focused in on her. “I was first to go up so I was a bit unsure to go up on stage or not and then I seen them waiting for me to present the trophy, I was so excited at seeing the trophy but a bit nervous but absolutely honoured on such a big night for ladies football”.

The award in the Citywest back in November was not the first individual award Claire had picked up for the year in recognition for the last 12 months. “I won the Summerhill Junior Sports Star of the year award and was brilliant to win and also a major surprise with so many top class sports people around”.

Every player’s dream is to set foot on Croke Park either in a game or just to walk around it, and this year this wonderful player was given that opportunity. “Yes it was great to get to Croke Park on Ladies final day and it was my first time on the pitch. I had been there before watching Roscommon ladies and men’s teams but never on the pitch. To get on the field and to kick the ball around was the best feeling, the pitch is so massive when you are down on it”.

It all started for this young star at just 8 years of age and now she finds herself on the brink of making the breakthrough into the Roscommon senior set up. “I started playing with the boys when I was 8. Since then I have played for my club up to senior and the county up to U16 but next year I hope to play both minor and also try to make the county senior side and begin training with them. I felt I was still too young to try for the senior side but I think I am ready now to give it a go”.

For every good player there is usually a strong footballing background and for the newly crowned Connaught Young Player it is no different. “My Mum’s brother was on the Roscommon senior side and my Dad and all his brother all played so there is a very good footballing background in the family. My two younger brothers (twins) are also now playing. My main inspiration is my Dad, he is always at my games and watching me and been kicking the ball with me since I was small and showing me the skills of the game and teaching me”.

With been involved now for a number of years like most players, the St Brigid’s girl has looked up to so many great players of the game.

“There are so many great players in Roscommon, players like Diane Dolan, Claire Grehan and Christine O’Malley and its so great to go and watch players like than play, never mind to get playing alongside some of them. Other players like Orla and Fiona Gavin, it is just wonderful to be on the same pitch as them and playing alongside them”.

Gaelic football is not the only sport the Connaught girl has made a name for herself in her short career to date. “I have been involved in both soccer and basketball also and I really love all three games. Its hard to combine all but the basketball really helps my football as I can use some of the basketball moves on the pitch and in games. I captained the Kiltoom/Carn basketball U16 side this year and we also won the soccer All Ireland or Summerhill and I really enjoy all three sports so you can make them all work”.

A truly wonderful star and a name I know many will be looking out for in the future and one that is already a big name back in her own club so how did the announcement of this award go down back home. “Everyone was ringing me to congratulate me and in the local newspaper there was a big write up. The club chairman also rang me and they were all so proud of me so it made me feel very good but a lot of people made it happen over a number of years and my fellow players around me are just as good”.

So as we move into a New Year what does the future hold and the dreams of Claire Shanagher. “I am in transition year now so I will have a little more time. I hope to try out for the county senior team but definitely going for the minors next year. Just keep trying to improve as a player and improve my fitness. In the long term as with everyone you want to be in Croke Park and winning All Irelands so hopefully that day will come”.

Apart from this award what other highlights have you of the last 12 months. “To get selected on the U16 county team, just to play with girls from all over Roscommon and to get to know them,. The feeling of pulling on your county jersey and even you are not to win just what you learn by training with them”.

SENIOR 76

Galway and Roscommon in a draw in Athenry 0-6 2-0

Replay Galway and Roscommon in Athleague 1-8 1-6

We’re not sure if that was S/F

Junior 89

Galway Leitrim in Connacht final 6-5 0-1

‘90

Galway v Roscommon in Ballinasloe 2-10 1-1

Minor ‘88

Roscommon v Mayo in Castlebar 1-6 0-6

Played Wexford in S/F at end of Aug.

‘80

Roscommon v Leitrim in Strokestown, 4-7 2-4

‘90

Roscommon v Mayo Frenchpark, Final 2-4 1-5

Lost to Dublin in S/F. 2-9

Roscommon 3-3 O’Toole Park, Dublin.

‘92

Roscommon v Mayo in Frenchpark 3-6 0-6 Connacht Final

‘95

S/F Roscommon V Galway 3-10 0-3 in Hyde Park

Final Roscommon v Mayo 6-3 3-8 in Hyde Park

Lost to Waterford 3-12 to 2-4 in Portlaoise.

‘96

Roscommon beat Leitrim by cricket score in Cloone, Co. Leitrim

(3 best players 2 mid field & 1 forward) stayed at home.

Lost to Galway in final.

’99

(prelim) Roscommon hammered by Leitrim in Kilglass Co. Roscommon.

M. Hogan (Westmeath Ref.).

Started in 90 in Blitz format

U-14 1991 played Mayo in Castlebar. Mayo won

’92

Mayo won.

’93

Roscommon beat Mayo in 1st round of blitz 4-5 3-1

Final

Roscommon v Mayo 2-6 2-4 in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon

All-Ireland S/F

Roscommon v Laois 4-7 3-7 in Tullamore

Final

Roscommon v Kerry 4-3 7-11 in Ennis

Champion Basis

’94 S/F

Galway v Roscommon 6-2 3-6 in Ballinlough

’90 Club

Roscommon Co. Final replay played on date they should have been playing in Provincial Club Champ.

‘78

St. Comans v St. Barrys Co. Final in Dec. 0-2 0-2 replay in Mar’79

‘84

Western Gales organised and played in a tournament for the Centenary of G.A.A.

Co. Board set up as a result of these games.

Post Primary

1992, 1993, 1994, Summerhill Convent of Mercy won Co. Final

1989

Dunmore (Gal) v Convent of Mercy C’Rea, Prov. Final.

Portlaoise v Convent of Mercy S/F 1-7 0-3 in Castlerea

Tarbert v Castlerea 1-5 4-2 in Kiltormer Final.

1992 Junior

Connacht final Galway beat Roscommon in Woodmount

(Contary to what was written on original score list)

1993 S/F

Roscommon v Galway 0-9 1-0 Croughwell (Gal)

Final Roscommon v Mayo 1-8 2-4 Tourmakeady, Mayo

All-Ireland S/F

London v Roscommon 0-11 0-5 Hyde Park

1996

Prelim

Roscommon v Galway 5-9 2-3

S/F

Roscommon v Mayo 9-21 0-1 Ballyleague, Roscommon

Final

Roscommon v Sligo 2-8 1-6 Kent Park, Sligo

All-Ireland Q/F

Roscommon v Lancashire 9-22 1-1 Manchester

S/F

Tyrone v Roscommon 1-7 0-9 Omagh.

1999

S/F

Roscommon v Sligo 0-19 2-6 Ballyleague

Final

Leitrim v Roscommon 1-10 1-7 Carrick-on-shannon

1991

Minor

S/F

Roscommon v Mayo 2-7 1-4 Ballindine, Mayo

Final

Roscommon v Leitrim 7-6 0-6 Tulsk, Roscommon

All-Ireland S/F

Roscommon v Monaghan 0-8 2-2 Ballyleague, Roscommon

Replay

Roscommon v Monaghan 2-6 2-5 Rockcorry, Co. Monaghan

Final

Waterford v Roscommon 6-15 1-3 Ennis.

1994

Minor

S/F

Roscommon v Galway 9-17 1-2 Killanin (Gal)

Final

Mayo v Roscommon 1-9 1-8 Tulsk

1995

Prelim

Roscommon v Leitrim 5-11 3-1 Annaduff

S/F

Mayo v Roscommon 1-13 2-6 Hollymount

1991

U-16

S/F

Roscommon v Mayo 5-7 2-10 Ballyleague

Final

Roscommon v Galway 4-12 1-1

All-Ireland

S/F

Roscommon v Monaghan Ballyleague

All-Ireland

Waterford v Roscommon 4-4 2-1 Ennis

1992

Mayo v Roscommon 3-9 1-4 Hollymount

1993

S/F

Roscommon v Leitrim 7-17 1-2

Final

Mayo v Roscommon 2-10 3-2 Kiltoom (Roscommon)

1994

S/F

Roscommon v Galway 10-5 1-7 Claregalway

Final

Mayo v Roscommon 4-5 3-2

1996

Prelim

Roscommon v Leitrim 8-20 2-8 Cloone, Leitrim

S/F

Galway v Roscommon 1-14 2-4 Cahairlistrane

1997

S/F

Roscommon (won) v Galway

Final

Roscommon v Mayo (won) in Ballinrobe

1999

Prelim

Roscommon (Hammered) Leitrim (won) Kilglass (Ros.)

1997

Club

Hollymount v Clan na Gael 0-11 1-5 Johnstown

1998

Roscommon did not participate in Connacht Club Championship.

1999

Padraig Pearses won final

Played (Galway) All-Ireland winners in Galway Clonberne/Kilkevin.

MARTINA CARROLL

2001 was been a truly outstanding year for Ladies Gaelic Football in Co. Roscommon, with the Co. Junior team winning the All-Ireland title on Sunday, 30th September. It will be a day that will be etched in all our minds forever, but it had a special significance for one person – Martina Carroll. On talking to Martina, she stated that after the match, “that the feeling she got on hearing the final whistle, was a feeling she will never forget, and thoughts of all her efforts and hard work over the past seventeen years, just faded away, it was worth it for that success”.

Martina, from Ballinagare, is daughter of Gerry and Mae Finneran. It was only natural that she would become involved in the G.A.A., taking into account the great G.A.A. tradition in her household. Her father, Gerry, was involved with the Co. Northern Board for many years before taking up the position of Co. Treasurer in 1984. Her only brother, Michael, was one of the stars of the Roscommon team who won four successive Connacht titles (1977-1980), the National League in 1979, and reached the All-Ireland Final in 1980. She recalls that “Michael was a great inspiration to her and helped her to develop many of her football skills”. She remembers with fondness the many hours they spent playing football together.

Martina started playing competitive football with Ballinagare N.S. She started playing club football with Ballintubber in 1978, and she made her inter-county debut at U-16 level, in that year also. She went on to win two Connacht U-16 titles and one Connacht Minor title.

Ladies football went into decline in the early 1980s in Roscommon. In 1984, the G.A.A. had a “La na gClub” to mark the centenary year of the G.A.A. A number of clubs, including Western Gaels, organised Ladies Football matches to be held as part of their activities on the day. After the match in Frenchpark, the girls decided that they would meet again during the following week to train. Whilst training one evening, Tina Flanagan and Marie Bailey from the St. Mary’s club, came to Frenchpark to see if Western Gaels would play a challenge match against them. One thing led to another, and it was decided to run off a tournament between Western Gaels, Eire Og and St. Mary’s, with Western Gaels being the eventual winners. It was then decided that a Co. Board should be formed, so a meeting was called for the Percy French Hotel in Strokestown. Martina’s father, Gerry, came along to the meeting to help set up the Board. Sean Flanagan was appointed as Chairperson (he is now the Chairperson of the Co. Board once more), and Martina was appointed Secretary, a position she still held until the Annual General Meeting of 2004. During that period, she has also held the positions of Fixtures Secretary and P.R.O. also). She has also been one of the Central Council and Connacht Council delegates for a number of years. She is also the current Connacht Council Treasurer and has been for a number of years.

Whilst being Co. Secretary, she continued to play Club and Co. Football. When the Western Gaels club disbanded, she joined the St. Mary’s club and won two Co. Senior titles in 1989 and 1990. She recalls these successes as being two of the highlights of her playing career. She also has fond memories of a trip to London with an Irish selection, when they went over to try and promote the game in London.

She played with some of the best Co. players at the time, including a number of the Kerry team who were dominating Ladies Football at that time. Martina is also very proud of the fact that her former Post-Primary school, Convent of Mercy, Castlerea, won the All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools’ title in 1989.

In 1993, Martina was a selector with the Co. Junior team who won the Connacht Final, but were defeated by London, the eventual All-Ireland winners, in the All-Ireland semi-final. The Co. Junior team won the Connacht Final in 1997, but lost the semi-final by one point to Tyrone. In 1998, Martina was bitterly disappointed when the Co. Junior team were defeated by Louth in the All-Ireland Final. In 2001, when she rang P.J. Rabbitte to tell him that he was successful in getting the job of Co. Manager, he asked her if she would be one of his selectors. Having thought about it for a week, she decided to take on the job, even though she knew it would take a lot of commitment and sacrifice. However, now she is delighted that she made that decision, after having an unbelievably successful year – winning the National League title in June; the Connacht title in August and the All-Ireland title in September. She is proud of all these successes, but is quick to point out that it was a huge effort on the part of players, management and Co. Board. At the All-Ireland Final in Croke Park, and the homecoming to Roscommon after the All-Ireland, she recalls that the amount of support and good will towards all concerned, was outstanding and will live in all our memories forever.

Martina was also part of a group who travelled to London in 2001 for the Roscommon Association Dinner in the Irish Centre, Camden. She said that it was a wonderful occasion, and they were treated so well by all involved with the Association.

Martina has a number of awards to her credit. She won the “Roscommon Ladies G.A.A. Personality of the Year” Award, organised by Co. Roscommon Sports Advisory Body, in 1985 and again in 1997. In 2001, she was very honoured to receive one of the “People of the Year” awards, an event organised by the Roscommon Champion. In 2004, she was also honoured to be invited to a Garden Party at Aras an Uachtaran hosted by President Mary McAleese, to honour people from various different sports for their contribution to their particular sport.

Martina is married to Daniel Carroll from Kilmore, a club that is also steeped in the G.A.A. tradition. She is also quick to acknowledge the great support and encouragement that she receives from Daniel. Without his support, it would be extremely difficult for her to give so much time to a sport that is so much a part of her life!