The Early Years


In the early 80’s there were only three ladies Gaelic football teams in Manchester, St Richards, Oisins and St Lawrences Ladies.

St Richards ladies Gaelic football club was first established back in 1983; named after their base on Sutcliffe Avenue, Longsight, South Manchester.

St Lawrences Ladies was formed in the same season as part of the thriving St Lawrence’s GAA Club in Old Trafford. Barney Mullen who was St Lawrence’s Youth Officer at the time felt the time had come for an inter-county ladies competition to be established.

(Oisin’s early history is proving difficult to track down..)

Coach for the Ladies was, Eddie Lyons.

1985: No sources found.

1986: St Richards disbanded and reformed as Tir Connaill Gaels, (more research in progress.)

1987: History was made at Michael Davitt Sportsgrounds, Leeds, when a ladies’ Gaelic football match was played there for the first time. Manchester’s Tir Connail Gaels team formed in the previous year met the newly formed Leeds Irish Centre Team who gave an encouraging performance before going under by a single point 2-5 to 1-7.

Tir Connail Gaels (Lancashire) Team,

Caroline Burke, Maureen McHugh, Michelle Duff, Philomena O’Malley, Gina Hardiman, Mary O’Malley, Caroline Fogarty, Martina McColgan, Anne McGoldrick and Rita Horgan.

1988: Blackburn Irish Festival: Father Fullen Trophy

On a day that all girls should have been given a medal for just turning out Tir Connail Gaels overran a gallant Bros. Pearse side (Huddersfield), but they had no answer to the power or skills of this Gaels side.

The dedication of these girls is out of this world and skill of girls like Martina McColgan at full back and Rita Horgan at centre half with Maureen McHugh at midfield is something else. Michelle Duff at centre half forward played as if her life depended on it and Caroline Burke with her left foot was just denied a hat trick by the width of the pass.

Every player who lined out played her heart out –Mary O’Malley played with a broken finger taped to two other fingers. Manager Tom Rodgers, who although the Gaels did not have a commanding lead at half time decided that all girls in the panel, would get a game and he made 7 or 8 changes at half time. But it made no difference 0 the Gales were a different class.

Team: P O’Malley (Capt), D Chadwick, C Fogarty, M McColgan, S Hardiman, M O’Malley, R Horgan, M Duff, G Hamnett, C Burke, G Hardiman, A Armitage.

Subs: M Egan, P McColgan, D Rodgers, C Hawkworth, C Noonan and M Graham.

All the teams were entertained in the clubhouse afterward and the Festival Committee laid on a meal. In presenting the Fr.Fullen Memorial Shield to Philomena O’Malley (Capt); the Mayor of Blackburn Mr M Madigan said it was a credit to both teams to play in such conditions.

In August Manchester-based Tir Connaill Gaels GAA Club held a presentation dance in the Irish World Heritage Centre, Cheetham Hill, Manchester to celebrate a successful season.

During the event Tom Rodgers, who managed and trained the Ladies Football team, was presented with a special trophy from the girls in appreciation of all his hard work and he received his special award from Rita Horgan on behalf of the Ladies team.

This would be the last year of Tir Connaill Gaels.


Ladies Gaelic football was at its peak in the Pennine area boasting 6 teams;

Emerald Gaels (Longsight – many of the old Tir Connaill team formed Emerald Gaels),

St Lawrences (Turn Moss, Stretford),

Pride of Eireann (Cheetham Hill),

St Brendan’s (Old Trafford),

Shannon Rangers (Bolton), and

Bros. Pearse (Huddersfield).

In this year Emerald Gaels won the Pennine League Ladies football final at Scot Hall Road, Leeds with a 2-5 to 1-3 win over the Huddersfield side, Bros. Pearse.

Irish World (8/12/89)

Emerald Gaels win Ladies’ final:

Emerald Gaels of Manchester won the Pennine League ladies’ football final at Scot Hall Road, Leeds with a 2-5 to 1-4 win over the Huddersfield side Bros. Pearse.

This was an excellent game, full of classy and skills that could be a lesson for the men. Emerald Gaels led by 1-3 to 1-2 at the break and their superior fitness saw them through in a hard-fought second half.

Nora Maguire, Gillie Hamet, Michelle Duffy and Philomena O’Malley were all outstanding for the winners. Best for Bros. Pearse were Philomena McGovern, Catherine O’Connor, Teresa Mone and Marie Walsh.

Irish Post (9/12/89)

Emerald Gaels 2-5 Bros Pearse Huddersfield 1-3

In a fine entertaining ladies final at Leeds, Emerald Gaels completed the double for the second year in succession when they beat Bros Pearse. Level 1-3 each at half time the more experienced Gaels pulled away in the second half.

C Fogarty, C Dempsey, M McHugh and Nora Maguire and Jill Hamnett were best for the winners. J O’Connor, Betty O’Mahony and Anne Duffy were best for the losers.

This victory now meant that Emerald Gaels could now progress into the Provincial Competition, where they would meet The Kingdom Ladies (champions for London for 2 years running) at Pairc Na Eireann, Bickenhill, Warwickshire.

The London ladies led at the interval by 1-3 to 0-2 after having faced the wind in the first half. The underfoot conditions had been terrible but the players had coped admirably. Emerald Gaels had performed quite well in the opening half but for some hesitancy in front of goal they could have had a much better score at the interval. However the Kingdom took over in the second half and kept their opponents scoreless while they added 2-1 to their own tally, resulting in the Kingdom being crowned worthy Provincial Club Champions for 1989.

Miriam Tate (1-1), Paula McElligott (2-0), Ogie O’Sullivan (0-1), Mary Horgan (0-2), Mary Cronin and Mary Brennan were in excellent form for the Kingdom. Philomena O’Malley starred in midfield for Emerald Gaels. Also impressive were Rita and Geraldine Horgan and Maureen McHugh.

Emerald Gaels G.A.A.

Present their

First Annual

Dinner Dance


The Irish World Heritage Centre

Cheetham Hill


Friday, 15th December 1989

Decade Of Change 1990-1999


In his address to the well attended Annual General meeting of the Emerald Gaels GAA club in Manchester, the chairman, Martin Coughlan, congratulated the Ladies Gaelic football team on their marvellous achievements during the past year. He hoped they would go one better this year and win the Provincial title.

The outgoing treasurer, Shaunagh Hardiman, revealed that the club was in a sound financial position but stressed that with increased costs and expansion within the club, that more funds would be urgently needed.

The following officers were elected for the 1990 season at the meeting in St Richard’s social club:

President: Gerry McGranaghan

Vice President: Jim McDaid

Chairman: Martin Coughlan

Vice Chairman: John Flanagan

Secretary: Caroline Dempsey

Assistant Secretary: Chris Walsh

Registrar: J.P. McHale

Youth Officer: Gerry McGranaghan

P.R.O. Adele Armitage

Team Manager (Men): Liam Crumlish

Team Manager (Ladies): Tom Rodgers

Team Captain (Men): Sean McDermott Roe

Vice Captain (Men): John O’Ryan

Team Captain (Ladies) Maureen McHugh

Vice Captain (Ladies) Gina Hardiman

Manchester’s newest GAA Club, Emerald Gaels, not yet a year old, held its first dinner-dance at the Irish World Heritage Centre in January 200; and there was a splendid turnout of members and supporters.

Although the men’s team had yet to win anything of note, the ladies’ team had won practically every competition so far entered and there was so much talent within the squad that further honours looked assured.

August saw the annual St Brendan’s sports day take place on what was a gorgeous summer day. Gaelic sports fans turned up in their hundreds for the family sports day organized by the St Brendan’s GAA Club at St Paul’s Schools grounds, Urmston, Manchester on Bank Holiday Monday.

The day was a major success. The non-stop disco playing all the favourite Irish tunes throughout the brilliant sunny afternoon, the refreshments from the bar and sandwiches stall and families picnicking on the grass provided a superb back up to the more strenuous Gaelic games.

All the known GAA stars from the Lancashire area were there. Even a team from London (Parnells) had made the journey to the capital of the Northwest.

Several competitions were run off, senior football sevens, junior football sevens, Ladies football sevens and hurling sevens.

St Brendan’s Ladies and Emerald Gaels met in the final with only a point to split the two in favour of Emerald Gaels. The brilliant day was rounded off with a presentation dance in the English Martyrs’ club where Johnny Loughrey provided the music.


The Gaels of Manchester, Liverpool and Bolton provided a full house at the Irish World Heritage Centre, Cheetham Hill, Manchester in January when the Lancashire GAA County Board held its annual presentation function to honour the successful clubs and players of 1990. Aside from picking up their trophies, the players and supporters were able to sing and dance the night away courtesy of Stena Sealink who sponsored the function.

Jim Phelan presented the trophies during the evening on behalf of Stena Sealink and he accompined representatives from the Manchester based Emerald Gaels Ladies’ GAA club, which completed the hat trick of Pennine League, Pennine Cup and Provincial Championship of Britain winners.

League Results

14th April 1991 Emerald Gaels 4-8 Bros Pearse 0-2

28th April 1991 Emerald Gaels 6-1 Pride of Eireann 0-1

21st July 1991 Emerald Gaels 7-14 St Lawrence’s 0-0

GAA For Africa Day:

Pairc Na Eireann (Warwickshire)

Sun shines for Africa Sports:

GAA for Africa Day attracted a huge attendance to Pairc Na hEireann, ensuring that the Gaels of Warwickshire will again contribute handsomely to the Save the Children Fund.

A Widely varied programme was thoroughly enjoyed in glorious weather. St Brendan’s Manchester took the football competition, beating Sean Mc Dermott’s, Birmingham, in the final and Emerald Gaels completed a double for Manchester by beating Geraldine’s London, in the final of the ladies’ football event.

John Mitchell’s, Birmingham, beat local rivals Sean Mc Dermott’s in the hurling final. Erin go Bragh won the Under-10 football and Sean Mc Dermott’s won the Under-16 competition.

The Camogie event saw London Irish victorious while Erin go Bragh maintained their impressive progress by beating London Irish by 3-1 to 1-2 in the semi final of the London division two camogie championship.

Save the Children Festival

A vast crowd attended the Save the Children Festival at the Erin go Bragh GAA Club in Birmingham. In a day of excellent tournaments, St Brendan’s of Manchester emerged to take the Senior crown defeating Sean Mc Dermott’s in the final.

The hurling final was an all Warwickshire affair, with John Mitchell’s beating Sean Mc Dermott’s. The camogie tournament was won by London Irish, while Emerald of Manchester beat Geraldine’s of London in the Ladies football final.

Erin go Bragh triumphed in the Under 10 competition, with Sean Mc Dermott’s taking the honours at Under 16.

County Scene 1991

The London Ladies Senior footballers retained their Provincial Championship crown at Turn Moss, Manchester beating the Pennine by 2-9 to 0-3. Next on the agenda for the winners was a Junior All Ireland Semi-Final clash against Leinster Champions, which was scheduled for Sunday 25th August in Dr Cullen Park Carlow.


Only information so far:

12th January: Annual General Meeting took place.

7th/8th March: Women’s GAA for Africa Day (Pairc Na Eireann, Birmingham)

Final: Parnells 1-5 Emerald Gaels 1-13

5th July: County Final: Lancashire Vs London

30th August: St Brendan’s 9-a-side invite at St Peter’s school, Urmston

8th November: Lancashire Club Championship

Emerald Gaels 5-3 St Lawrences 0-3


Again very little at present on this year:

20th March: John Flanagan (Lancashire) was appointed as President of Provincial Council of Britain at Pairc Na Eireann, Birmingham.

Pennine as it was known was in dire straits. Morale was at an all time low.

May: Interprovincials in Ennis, Co Clare

Representatives from Lancashire were involved. Joanne Greatbanks, Maureen McHugh, Nora Maguire, Martina McColgan, Tracey O’Mahony and Sinead Whelehan.


Ladies GAA Provincial Club SFC Final

“Tise ends up the hat-trick heroine.”

Parnell’s completed a clean sweep of honours in Britain this year following their 3-5 to 1-2 defeat of Pennine League representatives Emerald Gaels in the Provincial Championship, final at Pairc na hEireann.

The London team showed they had recovered from the previous weekend’s trashing at the hands of All-Ireland champions Ballymacarby to prove themselves the best side on this side of the Irish Sea, even though they were short half a dozen of their first choice players.

They had to contend with a stern Manchester challenge and a bitterly cold strong wind, which made conditions difficult particularly in the second half. Most of the scoring was done before the interval with the Gaels finding the net when Parnell’s goalkeeper Jackie McCowen misjudged the flight of the shot. She made amends later in the game, though, pulling off a fine save to prevent a second green flag from being raised.

In front of her full back Maggie Malone earned the vote for player of the match with a fine performance aided by Irene Sheridan’s showing the unfamiliar role of centre back.

At the other end midfielder, Tise Mimna weighted in with a hat trick of goals, two in the first half. There were no scores for the player wearing the number 15 shirt, but surly a place in ladies’ football for club, county and provincial secretary Mary Munnelly, who lined out along side daughters Geraldine, Sonia and Josephine.

Prior to the Provincial final the Warwickshire ladies football title went to Erin go Bragh, winners by 2-6 to 2-2 over St Brendan’s. Julie Watchorn and Julie Boxwell starred for the winners with Julie McCarthy and Geraldine Sheridan impressing for St Brendan’s.


Due to the state of Ladies Football in the County Lancashire requested that the All Britain Final be played at a Lancashire venue in an attempt to try and raise the profile of the game.

Provincial Council agreed and the final was set for Sunday 9th July at Turn Moss, Stretford Manchester. Lancashire beat Warwickshire.

28th August 1994

Lancashire went on to meet the Ulster Champions, Donegal in the All Ireland Junior Football Championship semi-final.

This fixture was due to be a home fixture for Lancashire. Donegal requested that Lancashire travel to Ulster instead. The venue was Tir Connail Park, Donegal Town home of Four Masters GAA Club.


13th July: Quarter Finals, Fr Murphys Vs Emerald Gaels (played at Ealing Rugby Club in London)

4th August: All Britain Final

Lancashire 3-11 London 2-7

18th August: All Ireland Quarter Finals

Lancashire 0-0 Longford 4-18

Played at Ruislip GAA grounds, London

6th October: All Britain Club Final

Emerald Gaels Vs John Mitchells

The Irish Post, October 26th 1996

Manchester Double: Old Bedians was the scene of a Manchester double with St Brendan’s and Emerald Gaels having plenty to celebrate. The former, beat old rivals St Peter’s to lift the Lancashire senior football championship trophy, whilst the Gaels won the Provincial ladies’ junior football title with a convincing victory over John Mitchell’s of Warwickshire.

Emerald Gaels went out of the Provincial senior competition at the semi-final stage, beaten at Pairc Na hEireann by defending champions Parnell’s of London.


The Irish Post, August 10,1996

It’s Lancashire on the treble!

Lancashire are Britain’s provincial Junior ladies football Champions for the third year running, thanks to Sunday’s seven point victory over a scratch London side in the final at Pairc na hEireann. It was their first ever win over London and sets up an All Ireland quarter-final clash with Leinster Champions Longford, which takes place at Ruislip on Sunday week, August 18th, throw in 1.00pm.

First half goals from full forward Emma Inghamp and Joanee Greatbanks got the ball rolling and whilst London found the net themselves through Mags Dineen and Margaret Byrne, Lancashire looked the more composed side and deserved their 2-5 to 2-4 interval lead.

Tracey Mahoney at wing-forward proved to be a constant threat to the London defence; her accurate kicking reaped a rich dividend before Rachel Taffe killed off the London challenge when she claimed her side’s third goal.

Longford are likely to present Lancashire with a far stiffer test, but there is no reason why the British champions who had some fine performances from Martina Horan, Theresa Lloyd and Sinead Whelehan, can’t acquit themselves with some distinction.

For a team that came together just three weeks beforehand, London showed a remarkable level of progress and will undoubtedly benefit next year by a greater understanding and better preparation. The county had been given the chance to enter the competition as late as the second week in July and suffered through key players been away on holidays, but those that made up the team gave a spirited performance.

Credit too must be paid to Darren Howlin, for undertaking the responsibility of training the side at such short notice and to county chairperson Ann Slattery and Irene Sheridan for their help and involvement in getting the team together.

Lancashire: Emily Nearney, Helena McSharrey, Martina Horan, Carol Lavin, Patricia Ruddy, Maureen Huane, Maura McCaffrey, Sinead Whelehan (0-2), Rachel (1-1), Joanne Greatbanks (1-2), Tracey Mahoney (0-3), Theresa Lloyd (0-1), Nollagh Gallagher (0-1), Emma Inghamp (1-0), Claire McLoughlin

Sub: Fiona Finnegan (0-2)

London: Ann Slattery, Trish McGreavy, Mary Sheridan, Suzanne Lynch (sub Mary Whooly), June Melia, Siobhan Donoghue (0-1), Christina McNamara, Mags Dineen (1-0), Ciara Redican, Mary Holland, Grainne O’Sullivan (0-4), Mairead Sherry (0-1), Marie Scanlon, Margaret Byrne

(1-0), Breda Séller (0-1)

Sub: Noreen Morris



Secretary’s Report

Well 1996 was a very successful year for our county both at club and county standard. Being honest; if you’d asked me 12 months ago about ladies Gaelic football in Lancashire, I wouldn’t have been too optimistic. We’ve through it though and its due to 100% pure commitment and determination from the county as a whole- from manager to player- from the meeting room to the training field.

Financially speaking, we’re struggling but money should not prevent us from playing and promoting ladies Gaelic football; yet it is very important to be realistic and to recognise that without a sound financial policy we will falter. Therefore we are at present actively exploring different avenues in order to have a healthier balance for 1997.


Our club team Emerald Gaels GFC won the Lancashire Championship. In the Junior All-Britain Club Championship Final they met John Mitchell’s of Warwickshire in the final at Old Bedians Rugby Club, Didsbury on 6th October.

Lancashire overcame London in a very close and sporting final held at Pairc Na hEireann, Birmingham to go forward and meet Longford at Ruislip Playing fields in London. This match was a big learning experience for Lancashire and once again brought light the difference in standards between Britain and Ireland. Not to take anything away from Lancashire who put on a fine display full of determination right up to the final whistle.

Congratulations to Parnells of London who beat Emerald Gaels in the Championship of Great Britain. This was a hard fought match. I don’t know which was the most difficult; trying to overcome a very strong Parnells team or battling against the horrendous.


I would like to thank all the referees and officials who officiated during the year. Your services are greatly appreciated.


On behalf of the Lancashire Ladies County board, I would like to extend my sincere sympathies to all those clubs that suffered bereavements in 1996. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Lancashire would like to express sincere thanks to Emily Nerney who carried out such great work for us last year. Her commitment and service really kept the club and county above water. Unfortunately Emily has returned to Ireland and will soon be taking off round the world for a year. We wish her all the best for the coming year and indeed for the future.

And finally…..

I would like to thank Tommy Donohue and all the Provincial Board for their sterling work and dedication in 1996 and also to wish all the clubs and counties much success for the coming 1997.

Is mise le meas

Sinead Ni Faeolochain


Treasurer’s Report

Income and Expenditure Account @ 1996-97

Income Expenditure

£ £

Affiliation 1x 30 30.00 Affiliation 1x 30 30.00

Registration 35 x £2.50 87.50 Registration 35 x £2.50 87.50

Central Council 35 x £2 70.00 Central Council 35 x £2 70.00

Central Council/injury fund Central Council/injury fund

27 x £4 108.00 27 x £4 108.00

7 x £1.50 10.50 7 x £1.50 10.50

Raffles 350.00 Raffles for Provincial 50.00

Fines 50.00

Medals 59.00

TDC/Council meeting 50.00

Mini Bus Hire-London 70.00

Petrol 30.00

Book Rules x 2

Registration x 1

Team x 1 18.00

Balance at bank 22.10

656.00 656.00

Expenses to be paid Provincial 23.00

Cumann Peile Gael Na mBan

(London County Board)




Junior – 1.00 pm

Lancashire V Longford

Referee: Frankie Roofe (Fermanagh)

Senior – 2.30pm

London V Mayo

Referee: John O’Keefe (Cork)


SUNDAY 18th August 1996


The Emerald GAA Grounds


Luach £1

Lancashire Meet the Players

Name: Maura McCaffrey (Capt) Name: Fiona Finnegan

Age: 25 Age: 19

From: Monaghan From: Manchester

Occupation: Pharmacist Occupation: Trainee Accountant

Name: Teresa Lloyd Name: Carol Lavin

Age: 37 Age: 13

From: Manchester From: Manchester

Occupation: Social Worker Occupation: Student

Name: Clare McGloughlin Name: Emma Inghamp

Age: 23 Age: 20

From: Monaghan From: Manchester

Occupation: Pharmacist Occupation: Student

Name: Brenda Harkin Name: Clare Lloyd

Age: 36 Age: 12

From: Dublin From: Manchester

Occupation: Child Minder Occupation: Student

Name: Nollagh Gallagher Name: Clare Lloyd

Age: 19 Age: 23

From: Mayo From: Kildare

Occupation: Accounts Clerk Occupation: Nurse

Name: Helen McSherry Name: Martina Horan

Age: 27 Age: 28

From: Bolton From: Manchester

Occupation: Secretary Occupation:

Name: Joanne Greatbanks Name: Tracey O’Mahony (V.Capt)

Age: 32 Age: 26

From: Manchester From: Bolton

Occupation: Social Worker Occupation: PE Teacher

Name: Katherine Smith Name: Sinead Whelahan

Age: 20 Age: 22

From: London From: Antrim

Occupation: Student Occupation: Fitness Consultant

Name: Regina Lavin Name: Patricia Ruddy

Age: 14 Age: 21

From: Manchester From: Manchester

Occupation: Student Occupation: Student

Name: Sinead Whelan Name: Maureen Haune

Age: 15 Age: 32

From: Manchester From: Manchester

Occupation: Student Occupation: Revenue Officer

Name: Michelle Healey Name: Emily Nerney

Age: 12 Age: 24

From: Manchester From: Laois

Occupation: Student Occupation: Horologist

Name: John Fitzpatrick (Manager)

Age: 30+

From: Mayo

Occupation: Plant Manager

Longford Meet The Players

Eilish Rhathigan (St.Helens) Jennifer Hennessy (Killoe)

Age: 23 Position: Corner Forward Age: 18 Position: Midfield

Hons: Leinster Jnr ‘96 Hons: Senior B C’ship. Leinster Jnr ‘96

Geraldine Hanley (Rathcline) Michelle Walsh (St. Helens)

Age: 18 Position: Half Back Age: 18 Hons: U16 League 93,94

Hons: Schools C’ship, Leinster Jnr ‘96 U16 C’ship 93,U18 League/C’ship 93 Senior 9-A-Side League C’ship/ League

Corina Mullvihill (Rathcline) 93,94, Senior League/ C’ship 93,94 Leinster

Age: 16 Position: Goal Keeper Jnr ‘96

Hons: U14 League/C’ship, U16 C’ship

Leinster Jnr ’96 Mary Doherty (Killoe)

Age: 17 Position: Midfield

Sheila Farrell (Rathcline) Hons: Senior B C’ship 95. Leinster Jnr 96

Age: 14 Position: Half Forward

Hons: Schools C’ship, Leinster Jnr 96 Michelle Smith (Ballymore)

Age: 14 Position: Half Forward

Paula Kenny (Rathcline) Hons: Leinster Schools, 9-A-side

Age: 16 Position: Full Forward League C’ship 95, League/C’ship 95

Hons: U13, U14, U16 C’ship,

Leinster Jnr 96 Katherine Donlon (Rathcline)

Age: 16 Hons: U13, U14 League, U13,

Nicola Cawley (St. Helens) U14, U16 C’ship, Leinster Jnr 96

Hons: U16 League 88,93,96, U16 C’ship

90,93. U16 League/C’ship 92, U18 Josephine Donlon (Ratcline)

League 93, U18 C’ship 93, Senior 9-A-Side Age: 16 Position: Corner Back

League/C’ship 90,92,93,94, Senior League Hons: U13, U14 league, U13, 14,16 C’ship

90,91,92,93,94, Senior C’ship 91,92,93,94 Leinster Jnr 96

Schools 95, 96, Leinster Jnr 96.

Laura Doherty (Killoe)

Dara Gill (St. Helens) Vice Capt Age: 15 Position: Wing Half Back

Age: 18 Position: Centre-half forward Hons: B C’ship 95, Leinster ‘96

U14 League/C’ship 91,92, U16 League

87,88,93,94, U16 C’ship 88,90,93, U16 Paula Harkin (Ballymore)

League/C’ship 92, U18 League 89,93, Age: 16 Position: Corner Forward

U18 C’ship 88, 89, Senior 9-A-Side Hons: Senior 9-A-Side League/C’ship 95,

League/C’ship 90,92,93,94, Senior League Senior league/ C’ship 95, Leinster Jnr 96

90,91,92,93,94, Schools 91,95,96. Leinster

C’ship Jnr 96. Senior C’ship, 90,91,92,93,94

Fiona Blessington (Ballymore) Christina Jordan (St. Helens)

Age: 15 Position: Midfield Position: Full Back

Hons: Leinster Schools 95,96 Hons: 9-A-Side League/C’ship 89,90,91,92

Senior 9-A-Side League/C’ship 95, 93,94, Senior League, 85,90,92,93,94,

Senior League/C’ship 95, Leinster Jnr 95 Senior C’ship 87,89,90,93,94. Leinster Inter

Provincials 83. Leinster Jnr C’ship 96

Irene Keirnan (Ballymore)

Age: 17 Position: Corner Back Sharon Mc Kearn (St. Helens)

Hons: Senior 9-A-Side league/C’ship 95 Age: 15 Position: Corner Forward

Senior League 95, Senior C’ship 95, Hons: Schools 95, 96, Leinster Jnr 96

Leinster B Primary Schools. Leinster

Jnr 96 Barbara MacElvanney (Ballymore)

Age: 16 Position: Centre Half Back

Mary McKiernan (Ballymore) Capt Hons: 2 Leinster Schools Medals, Senior

Age: 20 Position: Center half Forward 9-A-Side League/C’ship 95, Senior

Hons: Senior B C’ship 90, Senior 9-A-side League/C’ship 95, Senior league 95,

League/C’ship 95, Senior League 95, Leinster Jnr 96

Senior C’ship 91, 95, Leinster School

League 95, Leinster Jnr 96 Una Flynn (Clonguish)

Age: 16

Teresa Gerty (St. Helens) Hons: Leinster Jnr C’ship 96

Age: 22 Hons: League 87, 88,

U16 C’ship 88, U18 League 89, U18 C’ship Mary Burke (Clonguish)

88, Senior 9-A-Side League/C’ship 89,90, Age: 20 Position: Centre Half Back

93, 94, Senior League 90, 93,94, Senior C’ship Hons: C’ship 89, Leinster Jnr 96

89, 90,93,94. Primary Schools 91,

Leinster Schools 91, Inter Provincials 96,

Leinster Jnr 96


Team Manager: John Fitzpatrick

1. Brenda Harkin

(Emerald Gaels)

2.Martina Horan 3.Carol Lavin 4.Helena McSherry

(Emerald Gaels) (Emerald Gaels) (Emerald Gaels)

5. Patricia Ruddy 6. Maureen Haune 7. Maura McCaffrey (Capt)

(Emerald Gaels) (Emerald Gaels) (Emerald Gaels)

8. Sinead Whelahan 9. Nollagh Gallaghar

(Emerald Gaels) (Emerald Gaels)

10. Tracy O’Mahony (V. Capt) 11. Emma Inghamp 12. Teresa Lloyd

(Emerald Gales) (Emerald Gales) (Emerald Gaels)

13. Joanne Greatbanks 14. Emily Neary 15. Fiona Finnegan

(Emerald Gaels) (Emerald Gaels) (Emerald Gaels)


Clare McGloughlin, Katherine Smith, Regina Lavin, Sinead Whelan, Clare Lloyds, Michelle Healy, Suzanne Delaney ~ (Emerald Gaels)


Team Manager: Martin Reilly

Selectors: Christine Jordan, Peter Donlon, Liam Forde

1.Corina Mulvihill


2.Josephine Donlon 3.Katherina Donlon 4.Irene Keirnan

(Rathcline) (Rathcline) (Ballymore)

5. Jennifer Hennessy 6. Barbara MacElvanney 7. Sheila Farrell

(Killoe) (Ballymore) (Rathcline)

8. Mary Keirnan (Capt) 9. Michelle Hanniffy

(Ballymore) (St. Helens)

10. Dara Gill (V.Capt) 11. Fiona Blessington 12. Paula Harkins

(St. Helens) (Ballymore) (Ballymore)

13. Una Flynn 14. Mary Burke 15. Paula Kenny

(Clonguish) (Clonguish) (Rathcline)


Christina Jordan, Sharon McKearn, Nicola Cawley, Eilish Rathigan, Michelle Walsh, Teresa Gerty (St. Helens),

Geraldine Hanley (Rathcline), Michelle Smith (Ballymore),

Laura Doherty, Marie Doherty (Killoe)

The Irish World, 23rd August 1996

Lancashire Ladies

Maybe the next time….

The Lancashire ladies senior football team, which lost heavily at Ruislip on Sunday, in the quarter final of the All Ireland Senior Football Championship.

The Lancashire girls lost 4-18 to 0-0, but never stopped trying for the full hour in difficult warm conditions.



Report for 1998 Season


Emma Ingham

Sinead Whelehan

Brenda Harkin

Lancashire Ladies County Board

Chairpersons Report (1998)

Last season was a season of mixed fortunes for Lancashire Gaelic Football Teams.

Lancashire was defending the provincial county championship for the fifth time and faced a Warwickshire side determined to end Lancashire’s domination in this competition. Lancashire performed well but in the end Warwickshire finished deserved champions and went on to face Tyrone in the next round.

Emerald Gaels G.F.C. had another great season by successfully defending their Junior Club Championship for the third year in succession beating Erin Go Bragh in a thrilling final. They went on to the All Ireland semi-final in Dublin but sadly lost admirably to a very experienced Cooley (Co.Louth) side.

Emerald Gaels were also invited to join the Warwickshire League, which provided vital match practice and preparation for the club championship. Emerald Gaels finished runners-up to John Mitchell’s, an excellent achievement for a club, which has struggled to maintain a full, complemented of players all season.

Thank you to the players of Emerald Gaels GFC for representing Lancashire so well yet again.

Last season was my final season as Chairperson of Lancashire and Emerald Gaels GFC. I would like to thank my committee especially Brenda Harkin and Sinead Whelehan for all their hard work last year and I am grateful to them for remaining on the committee for hopefully another successful season. I also wish Shennagh Laverty all the best as Chairperson and look forward to the season ahead.

Finally on behalf of Lancashire I would like to thank Angela Baggott for her efforts as President and wish all the very best to everybody for the new season.

Emma Ingham Chairperson Lancashire County Board 1998

Lancashire Ladies

County board

Secretary’s Report for 1998

Good after noon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Annual Convention of the Ladies Provincial Council of Britain. As secretary of the Lancashire Ladies Board I would like to report on a year that was not as successful in terms of titles as 1997; yet was rewarding in other areas.

I would like to start off by thanking all who have helped to keep the ladies Gaelic running; particularly in our own county- particularly the board and the players. To the council of the Irish Associations for all their continued support and anyone else who have supported us in anyway.


Congratulations to Parnells Ladies GFC who won the AIB 9-A-Side competition and Tara Ladies who lifted the shield on what was a very enjoyable day down at Parnell Park. I think every one was delighted to see that this competition has been maintained.

In July, Lancashire ladies traveled to meet Warwickshire on their home territory at Pairc Na Eireann in Birmingham. This young Warwickshire side has been threatening for some seasons now and deservedly came out on top to lift the title of All Britain Junior County Champions.

I think it is a great shame that yet again London failed to field a team in this competition. Hopefully this is an issue that can be addressed for this year.

Once again the Junior Club Championship title went to our club team Emerald Gaels of Manchester. This was a thrilling and well-contested final against Erin Go Bragh of Warwickshire held at Pairc Na Eireann. This brought them into the next round to face Leinster Champions, Cooley

(Co. Louth). This match was staged at Westmanstown Gardai Club in Dublin. Congratulations to the Cooley Ladies on their well-deserved victory.

Parnells Ladies played in the senior tie at the same venue against Portobello. Congratulations on your valiant effort. We in Lancashire feel that 1999 may be your season.

The International Gaelic Competition was held in September in the run up to All-Ireland weekend. Lancashire were extremely disappointed that along with Warwickshire they could not manage to enter a Rest Of Britain side. It was a fantastic week and anyone that experienced it felt that the GAA finally gave something back to the players. A big congratulations to London Ladies who went on to win the ladies overall title in a thrilling final against North American Board held in Parnell Park. It is a personal aim for me to see that Lancashire and Warwickshire really pull together for the competition in 2000.


As the season go by this area is becoming a high priority for Lancashire and one, which we really hope to get off the ground in 1999. The county is in dire need of new blood and competition in the area. To introduce ladies Gaelic football to the youth of Lancashire is our long-term aim.


Thank you to the Irish Post, Irish World for the coverage they have given the country throughout the year. I feel that it is important that the people in all parts of Britain are aware that we have a wonderful sport and that they can have some part in helping its growth.


On behalf of the Lancashire Ladies county board we offer our sincere sympathy to all that suffered bereavements in 1998. We particularly remember Clare Brennan (Secretary of Warwickshire) and family circle on the passing of her father. We also remember all that lost lives in the appalling atrocity in Omagh in August. Our thought and prayers are with them all.

And Finally…

On behalf of Lancashire I would like to thank our President Angela Baggott, Vice President Tommy Donoghue and indeed the whole council for their sterling work and dedication in 1998. Thankfully through their leadership we are in a much stronger position.

Thank you to the proprietors of the Willesden Junction Hotel for the use of their premises today.

Lancashire would like to wish both Warwickshire and London counties and clubs all the very best for the 1999 season.

Go raibh maith agaibh go leir

Sinead Whelehan




Income Expenditure

Balance(£) Balance (£)

Affiliation from EGGFC 2 x 30 60.00 Affiliation from EGGFC 2 x 30 60.00

Registration 23 x 5 115.00 Registration 23 x 5 115.00

C.Council 23 x 2 46.00 C.Council 23 x 2 46.00

C.Council injury 21 x 6 128.00 C.Council injury 21 x 6 128.00

C.C. 2 x 4 8.00 Fund 2 x 4 8.00

Donations from EGGFC 50.00 AIB 9-A-Side EGGFC 50.00

Dance 160.26 Match Fee 15 x 2 30.00

T/D/C/C meetings 103.00

TOTAL 565.26 TOTAL 538.00

Balance at Bank 27.26




Chairperson Sheenagh Lavery

Vice-Chairperson Nollaigh Gallagher

Secretary Sinead Whelehan

Assistant Secretary Tracy O’Mahony

Treasurer Brenda Harkin

Assistant Treasurer Theresa Lloyd

Registrar Brenda Harkin

P.R.O. Lucy Brione/ Jacqueline Watters


Chairperson: Sheenagh Lavery

Vice- Chairperson: Nollaigh Gallagher

Secretary: Sinead Whelehan

Assistant Secretary: Tracy O’Mahony

Treasurer/ Registrar: Brenda Harkin

P.R.O.: Lucy Brione

Club Captain: Patricia Ruddy

Manager: None

This season started off back on 21st February, with the restart of training down at Hough End Playing Fields. This gave the girls three weeks to get back into the swing of things before their traditional season. This year however the season would start slightly differently. The Emerald Gaels had come through a few difficult seasons with the help from various quarters and felt because of this support they wanted to give something back in thanks. Or otherwise to acknowledge this help. One of the groups that had been at the root of keeping Emerald Gaels going and had continued to show support for the club was the Manchester Council of Irish Associations. The Chairperson at the time of Emerald Gaels affiliation had been Peter Merrigan who sadly after a lengthy illness had passed away in 1997. Peter had for most of his time in Manchester been heavily active in the Gaelic Football scene, particularly with Oisins GFC. So with the permission of his surviving wife Bernadette, Emerald Gaels decided they would hold an annual tournament in memory of their great friend Peter Merrigan.

It was decided that the tournament would take place as part of the Manchester Irish Festival held in March to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. So on Saturday 13th March 1999, Emerald Gaels held the inaugural Peter Merrigan Memorial Tournament at Hough End Playing Fields. As many of the Irish born girls in the team had contacts with clubs in Ireland, Emerald Gaels welcomed Clan Na Eireann Ladies (Lurgan, Co.Armagh) and Ballyhagen Ladies (Co. Armagh). Also taking part were St.Brendans (Birmingham).

The first round of the tournament brought together two derby games. The Armagh derby saw Clan Na Eireann take the honours by 1-5 to Ballyhagens 0-3; with Emerald Gaels finishing 2-6 to St.Brendans 0-2.

The second round was the eventual rehearsal to the final with Emerald Gaels coming up against Clan Na Eireann in what was a closely contested match. It concluded with 2 points in it in Emeralds favour, 1-2 to 1-0. In the other tie St.Brendans finished 2-0 to Ballyhagen 0-4.

The third round matches were just a formality as Clan Na Eireann were favourites on their previous performances to overcome St.Brendans and beat them they did 3-10 to no score.

A minute’s silence preceded the final between Emerald Gaels and Clan Na Eireann in remembrance of Alf Murray (past president of Clan Na Eireann) who sadly passed away the previous evening.

By the final stages of the day it was a case of mind over matter as heavy legs and fatigue set in. emeralds got off to a flying start by scoring 2 points and continued to flight to the final whistle. Final score Emerald Gaels 2-4 to 0-2.

The weekend didn’t stop at the final whistle though. An evening presentation and buffet/dance took place that evening in Chorlton Irish Centre. Then after the dancing had stopped the girls put on a spirited display in the St. Patrick’s Parade through Manchester City Centre with all the other Irish/Cultural groups.

The Warwickshire scene began on Sunday 18th April 1999. A successful season was to follow as the match reports below describe.

18th April 1999: Emerald Ladies Win First League Game

The Warwickshire league started well for the Manchester side. Emerald Gaels won their game at home (Hough End) against Young Irelands from Leicester by 7-18 to 2-4. The Emerald girls began the onslaught from the start to the build up of 2-10 to 0-1 at half time. In the second half, Young Irelands started to get into the match but Emeralds responded with accurate scoring to win the game by a 29-point’s margin.

Only for a great performance in goals by the Young Irelands keeper Sarah Bowles the margin would have been a lot bigger. Bowles was deservedly awarded the ‘Player of the Match.’

After a good start in the league the Emeralds hoped they could continue the good work into the All-British Club Championship. Unfortunately they were going to have to wait longer then anticipated to find out as they received a walkover in the first round when St.Anthony’s from Reading failed to field on 25th April. Until then they would have to concentrate on the league. Their next opponents were St.Brendans.

2nd May 1999: Emerald Gaels Ladies Defeat St Brendan’s

Emerald Gaels Ladies GFC registered their second win in two matches in the Warwickshire League by defeating St Brendan’s away 7-16 to 1-1. The game held at Pairc Na Eireann near Birmingham was comparatively tame in a first half that ended 2-5 to 0-1 in the Gaels favour. In the second half however, Emerald Gaels stepped up a gear after a tactical reorganization to win emphatically by a 33-point’s margin.

Two wins to start the season but was this going to be good enough for the county scene. This year had seen the re-entry of the London Ladies into the All Britain County Championship. This could only be good for the standard in the Province. This also meant the structure of the competition had to change. So far so good Lancashire had got the home tie but Lancashire knew they had to beat London to leave themselves any chance of retaking the title they had lost 2 years ago to Warwickshire.

The game which was held at Old Bedians Sportsgrounds in Didsbury on Sunday 9th May saw Lancashire struggle from the start against an altogether taller, faster and more organised London team whose attacks were relentless. At half time Lancashire were trailing by 9 points but it was not until the second half that London converted their domination into heavy scoring: 3-6 to no score. The game finished London 4-14 to 0-2 in favour of London. This now left Lancashire with a massive pressure to win the game against Warwickshire to progress to the All-Britain Final.

Worse was to come. A month later Lancashire travelled to Pairc Na Eireann. Birmingham to take on Warwickshire the current holders. All of Lancashire luck was to desert them that day (Sunday 6ht June). Lancashire County run came to an end with a defeat of 4-11 to 0-4. With not having played any games since their last county match against London due to another walkover in the Club Championship to Young Irelands (Leicester) and also a league cancellation on 30th May by John Mitchells (Birmingham) the Lancashire squad had been deprived of vital matches. This was to be the first time in 6 years that Lancashire failed to reach the All Britain County Final.

This now meant the club team (Emerald Gaels) could concentrate on the league and club championship which they still had to play a game in. to reach the semi-finals and not to have played a game was not what Emerald wanted but that’s what happened. So on the 20th June after a bad run, the Emeralds won their first game since May against St Brendan’s (Birmingham) in the Provincial Club Semi-Final.

After a nervous start under a menacing Birmingham sky, Emerald Gaels found their feet as the weather cleared. At half time, the score was 2-6 to 0-2, which reflected the fact that the girls had found their old form again and dominated St Brendan’s. The second half saw more of the same by Emeralds and St Brendan’s could not find a way back. The match finished 3-14 to 0-2 in favour of Emerald Gaels. This took Emeralds into their fourth club championship final in a row. Before that they had the league to carry on in.

4th July 1999: Another Emerald Gaels win

Emerald Gaels Ladies registered another win against a tired Erin Go Bragh. They remain undefeated in the Warwickshire League. Was it because they had just played a camogie game or for another unexplained lapse that Erin Go Bragh failed to make any impression on Emerald Gaels, we might never know. Emerald Gaels meanwhile played one of their passing games of the season; were solid at the back and sharp in the attack despite key players missing. The game, played at |Pairc Na Eireann in Birmingham, was a decidedly one-sided affair by the score 6-12 to 0-0 in Emerald Gaels favour.

1st August 1999: Emerald Gaels Ladies defeat St Brendan’s

Emerald Gaels came up against St Brendan’s of Birmingham in their second meeting in the league. The game was played in Manchester on a very hot Sunday. The first half was slow going because of the heat and there was nothing between the two teams. With the majority of the play concentrated on the right wing.

Both sides scored two similar goals. At half time only 4 points separated the two teams: 1-6 to 1-2 in Emerald favour. In the second half, the players got out of their sun-induced torpor and produced a fast moving game. Emerald Gaels scored another goal and a couple more efforts came off the post. The play was spread more evenly on the pitch and although St Brendan’s applied more pressure and had a couple of good chances to score another goal, but lost the match by 6 points. Final score 2-8 to 1-5.

8th August 1999: Emerald Gaels V’s Roger Casements

Emerald Gaels remain unbeaten in the Warwickshire League after 7 fixtures. On Sunday they beat Roger Casements of Coventry by 2-14 to 2-3. Emerald Gaels got caught on their own ground by the liveliness of their opponents. After barely two minutes, Roger Casements were ahead 1-1 to no score. After this rude awakening, Emerald Gaels began to reconstruct and shift the plat to Casements’ territory. At half time, Emerald Gaels had gained the lead 0-8 to 1-2 despite a lot of wide shots. The second half saw a better hand passing game from the midfield upwards by the Emeralds which reaped a further 6 points and 2 goals, one of them being scored from a free set piece. Roger Casements managed to sustain the same level of scoring (1-1) but it was not enough to prevent a defeat by 11 points.

10th October: Emerald Gales are the Warwickshire Champions

Emerald Gaels came up against Roger Casements to win the Warwickshire League by 1 point. The tight match was won 4-11 to 5-7 at Coventry. Emerald Gaels started the game in good form and scored a couple of early points. However, Roger Casements stepped up a gear and gave it as good as they got until the final whistle. Even so, they always chased the game but gave Emerald Gaels a good test. The game was very eventful, with a flurry of goals being scored on both sides and an Emerald Gaels being sent off 15 minutes before time for stepping on an opponent. At this point Emerald Gaels were really stretched and Roger Casements made up most of their point difference in that period. In the dying minutes when they were trailing by just 4 points, Roger Casements were awarded a penalty after some desperate defending by the Emeralds. The penalty was successfully converted and left Emerald Gaels hanging on tight to snatch the game – and the league title – by just one point with a final score of 4-11 to 5-7.

With the league out of the way the Emeralds would have hoped their season was finished. However the Provincial club champions had still not been decided. The final had been scheduled to take place on the 25th July but owing to an appeal by Holloway Gales (London) against John Mitchells (Birmingham) following the other semi final tie the final was held up. The eventual date for the final 31st October. The Emeralds used the occasion to have their new strip presented by their sponsors Irish World Heritage Centre, Manchester.

Ladies All Britain Junior Club Final

Four in a row for Emerald Gaels

Emerald Gaels (Lancashire) 5-9 – John Mitchells (Birmingham) 0-13

Emerald Gaels won their fourth successive All Britain title at the hands of a very fit and very young John Mitchells outfit at Old Bedians Sportsgrounds, Didsbury, Manchester. However, the Emerald Gaels did take advantage of some poor handling in defence by the Birmingham side.

Emma Ingram opened the scoring after just fifteen seconds for Emerald Gaels; however, two points in the fourth and sixth minutes saw the visitors go ahead for the first and only time in the game. These scores came via a free from Rachel Duffy, followed by one from play by the very impressive Ashling Mann, who was a constant thorn in the Emeralds’ defence and along, with Ida Reidy and Debbie Breen, put it up to the home side throughout.

John Mitchells lacked penetration in front of the goal and, while creating many point-scoring opportunities, only had one chance on goal in the fifth minute, which was badly fluffed by Kerry McDonagh. It was a goal that early on in the game might have put pressure on Emerald Gaels but instead Emma Ingham struck for the Manchester side on the 16th minute and it was an uphill battle for Mitchells after that. But battle they did and went in at half time Emeralds 2-4 Mitchells 0-5, Mitchells having conceded a soft goal on the stroke of the interval.

Sinead Whelehan and Susan O’Donnell dominated midfield despite the best efforts of Rachel Duffy and Amy Walsh for John Mitchells. However, the Birmingham side kicked eight wides in the first half to the Gaels’ three.

Mitchells started the second half in determined fashion and two quick points from Debbie Breen and Ashling Mann returned the deficit to a goal. The outcome of this final was decided in the next five minutes as Emerald Gaels scored 3-2 without reply. The first of these goals came from an excellent strike from midfielder Susan O’Donnell, who contributed two goals on the day. With 13 minutes left to play, the game was marred by an accidental injury to the Emeralds Captain Sinead Whelehan, who suffered a broken collarbone in a collision with an opponent. Play resumed once Whelehan had been removed to hospital, but her loss was felt immediately as Mitchells came attacking in droves. They scored four points in the closing minutes but the lead was insurmountable at that stage. Nevertheless, Mitchells are a team for the future.

Players who impressed on the day for Emerald Gaels were Martina Horan, Patricia Ruddy, Sinead Whelehan, Susan O’Donnell, Nollaigh Gallagher and Emma Ingham. Best for John Mitchells were Debbit Breen, Ida Reidy, Ashling Mann, Rachel Duffy and Amy Walsh. Player of the Match: Sinead Whelehan (Emerald Gaels).

Emerald Gaels: Brenda Harkin, Maureen Ruane, Martina Horan, Claire Lloyd, Patricia Ruddy, Sarah Murdoch, Sheenagh Lavery, Susan O’Donnell (2-0), Sinead Whelehan (0-2), Tracey O’Mahony (0-1), Nollaigh Gallagher (0-2), Nicky Pheasy (0-1), Lucy Brione, Emma Ingham (3-1), Theresa Lloyd (0-1). Subs: Joanne Greatbanks (0-1), Tammy Bowes.

John Mitchells: Louise Breen, Collette Fallon, Emma Thompson, Mary McDonald, Dee Brough, Alice Heron, Karen O’Connor, Rachel Duffy (0-3), Amy Walsh, Aishling Mann (0-4), Kerry McDonagh, Ida Reidy, Suzanne Morgan, Debbie Breen (0-6), Martina Keane. Subs: Maria Cleary, Colette O’Connor, Maria Loughrey, and Vicky Blagriff.

President of the Provincial Council of Britain Angela Baggott presented the Tommy Donoghue Trophy to vice captain Sheenagh Lavery, who also accepted the Player of the Match trophy on behalf of the injured Sinead Whelehan. That was presented by Finbarr O’Driscoll, PRO of Cumann Peil Gael na nBan (Ladies Gaelic Football Association), who was a guest visitor from Ireland.

The Emerald season should have continued for at least another fortnight. As on the 14th of November they were due to travel to Sligo to take on St Nathys Ladies G.F.C. (Connacht Champions). Unfortunately with a small squad to start with and further depleted by injury following the All-Britain final the Manchester side reluctantly admitted defeat and surrendered the game to St Nathys.

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