Clann Na H’eireann, Coventry’s first and only Ladies Gaelic Football Team, originated in 1995.

It transpired through the wishes of Maggie Gallagher wanting to participate in a team sport. She called upon a meeting of her mates in a local pub in February 1995 to toss ideas around. This set a precedent for all future meetings!

Together it was decided to give Gaelic football a try. A sport, which became immediately obvious no one knew anything about. Who says we’re not game for a laugh!

The name of the team came to birth after many a meeting in the pub of course, with many a beer sank and names too rude to mention. In fact it took Ann Boyle, a pioneer, whose ingenuity suggested Clann Na H’eireann. Family of Eire..

Team Philosophy

• To promote Coventry and the Irish community of Coventry to other towns and cities.

• To represent our traditional cultural and geographical heritage with pride, spirit and professionalism.

• To earn the respect of other teams and their supporters for behaviour beyond reproach both on and off the field; through sportsmanship on and through generous hospitality and good manners off.

• To encourage support for and involvement with the team by people of all races, ages and both sexes by providing good family entertainment in an unthreatening and welcoming environment.

• To be ambassadors for women’s sport in general and to encourage a higher level of participation by other women and girls.

• To always work for a win but regardless of outcome to enjoy it!

Early Seasons

Now having a full strip and managing to bribe girls into playing, clan Na H’eireann were off to Birmingham, for their first match – a friendly against St Chad’s. Despite having to iron our minor problems of how to fit 15 girls in a small van and realising we needed official leather size 4 footballs to play with, the match was enjoyed by all and no major injuries were sustained.

We may have scored the first point, but this was as far as we got, ending up being defeated by an embarrassing cricket score. Regardless of losing the girls celebrated their first match in true Celtic style.

Season One

During our first season we encountered some very tough competition, resulting in quite a few match results resembling cricket scores. However, we managed to gain self confidence as the season progressed, when in the Warwickshire round Robin tournament we came 4th.

Our first season was left on a high note with us celebrating our success in reaching the semi final of the county cup.

Season Two

The second season seemed to get off to a bad start. But as the weather improved so did we. We achieved 3rd place in the County Round Robin Tournament.

With the score lines drawing closer, we found it less necessary to mumble about some of the scores. We, for the second year made it only as far as the semi final of the County Cup.

Season Three

Our third season saw our team coming together as a more solid and successful unit, with a family like atmosphere. Our new manager, Kieran Boyle, helped us reach the semi final of the Provincial Cup.

At the Provincial 9-a-side Tournament in Manchester, we got to the final of the shield. Our enjoyment and excitement of the day led to us being voted the most sociable team of the day. As some of the girls exhibited their skills in line dancing and general game for a laugh entertainment.

We won all, but one of our league matches, coming joint first – but losing in the play off.

The Lighter Side of Gaelic

After coming to grips with the physical and skilful side of Gaelic, Clann Na H’eireann soon became well recognised on the social scene.

The comradery of Clann Na H’eireann continued to grow and the proof was in the pudding with many a thousand raised for club gain and associated fellow sports players.

With manager come Karaoke King, Liam O’Sullivan, hot to improve our Gaelic talents it soon became clear that Clann Na H’eireann’s dulcet tones also needed sharpening.

So with an Irish rap and 15 biddies with attitude, our four verse ditty surpassed our playing abilities.

Team Song – Clann Na H’eireann

Lemme introduce you to my family,

The women’s football possee from Coventry.

Now Clann Na H’eireann is our name,

Playing Gaelic football’s how we earn our fame.

We play for one another and we never yield,

You won’t find us in the kitchen we’re out on the field.

Ain’t no one to match us when we’re in the mood,

And we call ourselves the biddies with attitude.

Tain’t the winning that’s important – it’s playing football,

We extend the hand of friendship to one an all.

You may have good players but you’ll never have better,

‘cos we’re beef to our heels like Mullingar heifers.

Culture and craic go hand in hand,

Celebrating both is what we’ve got planned.

So after the game you won’t have to look far,

We’ll be singing our harts out propping up the bar!

The Difficult Times

During the close season of 97-98, Clann Na H’eireann lost almost half of their core team. Four key players left for warmer climates, to which many of the remaining players believed that close door meetings had been held, tempting players to foreign teams for costly transfer fees!

Matters worsened for Clann Na H’eireann with long term injuries befalling the gamble siblings and cousin O’Kelly. Although rumours talked of family mafia problems, the players could not rule out the possibility of internal Gaelic espionage!!

The Merger

Having lost so many core players, concerns arose about the continuation of Clann Na H’eireann Ladies tam. However, fears were allayed when Roger Casement’s Men’s GFC propositioned us to join their club. Already having a senior, junior and two youth squads, they were eager to enlist a women’s team to complete their squad.

With Roger Casement’s being a well established club and offering help with promotional and advertising, as well as taking over the financial and admin side of the game, our team couldn’t refuse. So, from January 1998 Clann Na H’eireann was proud to become Roger Casements.

With a new sponsorship deal from Mick Walsh – Proprietor of the Spittlemoor Hotel, our red and green Carlow kit was replaced with the traditional Casements red and black County Down strip.

Season Four

With batteries re-charged by joining Roger Casements, attempts were made to recruit new players. Current players took the game promoting it to the wider community outside the Irish scene. Seeking new defenders and attackers ….

Several new players were found, most of who had never heard of Gaelic football.

Coupled with the determination and commitment of the original team members, the new players soon picked up the game and became vital and valued team members.

This was reflected throughout the season, eventually coming third in the league tables and having come runners up in the Irish Post 9-a-side tournament.

Roger Casement Ladies also had good representation within the Warwickshire County team, having six players involved in the teams winning the All Britain Junior Championship and following on to play County Tyrone in the All Ireland.

Ladies Gaelic Football Association

Cumann Peile Gael No mBan


1994 saw Warwickshire ladies football affiliate to the Provincial Council of Britain. A first for ladies football within the county. A small step forward but a huge leap for Warwickshire.

The early days saw Warwickshire with no County Board and not a great deal of interest from other clubs. So there were just three teams: St. Barnabas of Nottingham, Corby-based, O’Rahilly’s and John Mitchel’s from Birmingham.

Help was always at hand from the men’s County Board. Dr Ryan and Billy Collins; the Chairman of the Warwickshire County Board, which was always greatly appreciated.

The first Warwickshire Championship in those days was won by John Mitchel’s but interest in the ladies football within the county slowly began to fade and only for the Erin-Go-Bragh run GAA for Africa festival held in July every year, Warwickshire would have lost ladies football completely.

In June 1994 Warwickshire were asked and supported by the Provincial County of Britain, to try forming a ladies County Board within Warwickshire. With the help of the Provincial Council the first Warwickshire County Board was set up, consisting of three teams: St. Brendan’s from Kings Heath, St Chad’s from Erdington and Erin-Go-Bragh also of Erdington.

Erin-Go-Bragh became the winners of the championship by beating St. Chad’s at Jaffray Road in Erdington. Shortly after came the league final, which turned out to be another Erdington derby, seeing St. Chad’s fall to the same fate – another Erin-Go-Bragh victory.

Achievements did not stop there. Warwickshire then formed the County team, and on 10th July 1994 they travelled to Manchester to play Lancashire in the All Ireland Junior Ladies semi final but unfortunately Warwickshire were beaten and Lancashire went on to meet Donegal in Ireland.

Warwickshire List of Officers 1994

Chairperson Geraldine Sheridan

Vice Chairperson Sue Sullivan

Secretary John Dennehey

Ass. Secretary Mary Boxwell

Treasurer Siobhan Moroney

Ass. Treasurer Julie McCarthy

Registrar Michelle Gardiner

Pro Lorraine McLoughlin

Delicates to Provincial Sue Weir

Caroline Tolan

Fixtures Maggie Roache

Central Council Any of the above officers

List of Officers from Warwickshire

Elected to Provincial Council 1994

Vice President Geraldine Sheridan

Development Officer John Dennehey

The year 1995 started with two Warwickshire Officers elected to Provincial Council; Geraldine Sheridan of John Mitchel’s and John Dennehey of St. Chad’s. We were also represented in Waterford at the Annual Congress of Central Council by Susan Weir of Erin-Go-Bragh and John Dennehey.

Already, interest in ladies football has grown within Warwickshire and this year has seen three newly formed teams: Clann Na H’eireann from Coventry, Young Irelands from Leicester and John Mitchel’s from Kings Norton, Birmingham. The season kicked off with a rules and referees seminar in which the President, Helen O’Rourke and the Treasurer, Mick Fitzgerald came from Ireland. Our first tournament was also held on this weekend, it was ‘The Irish Post Shield’. This was won by the newly formed John Mitchel’s.

Erin-Go-Bragh held a women’s festival in which teams participated in the football and tug-of-war events but Erin-Go-Bragh were the only camgie team to field. Erin-Go-Bragh won the football beating John Mitchel’s in the final. John Mitchel’s won the Tug-O-War beating St. Chad’s. Arleen O’Shaughnessy of John Mitchel’s was awarded the Player of Tournament for football and Melissa Jordan was awarded the comgie player of the Tournament by The Irish Post and this gave John Mitchel’s and Erin-Go-Bragh a great lift within their teams.

The championship was played with all teams participating in great strength. The holders Erin-Go-Bragh were knocked out in the first round by John Mitchel’s who then went on to meet St Chad’s in the final. St Chad’s after reaching the final for the second consecutive year were by no means going to hand it to them on a plate but unfortunately in the latter stages of the game John Mitchel’s pulled away to becoming the reigning champions. This then took John Mitchel’s into the Club Championship of Britain Final. John Mitchel’s played Parnells of London in the final but proved to be no match for Parnells who went on to be defeated in Ireland by Ballymacarbarry of Waterford in the All Ireland Club Championship.

The league was played on a basis of the top two teams going forward for a final play off. All teams played each other twice, with Erin-Go-Bragh just beating St Chad’s into second place behind John Mitchel’s. The final was a great success with Erin-Go-Bragh beating John Mitchel’s to retain their title for the second consecutive year.

As a newly formed club in Warwickshire, Young Ireland of Leicester took on and ran a very successful Gala Day in which they highlighted Gaelic Football and Tug-O-War. John Mitchel’s won the football with the host team having a runaway victory in the Tug-O-War.

The first ever under 16 All Girls Tournament sponsored by Birmingham City Council took place at Pairc Na H’Eireann this year with two teams participating, Erin-Go-Bragh and John Mitchel’s. After a very close match the game went on to extra time and with the teams still locked at the end of extra time it was decided that because of their great skill and achievement shown by both teams it would be only fair to share the trophy. This is a great achievement for ladies football as these girls hopefully will go on to be our senior teams in the future.

The league was played on a basis of the top two teams going forward for a final play off. All teams played each other twice, with Erin-Go-Bragh just beating St Chad’s into second place behind John Mitchel’s. The final was a great success with Erin-Go-Bragh beating John Mitchel’s to retain their title for the second consecutive year.

As a newly formed club in Warwickshire, Young Ireland of Leicester took on and ran a very successful Gala Day in which they highlighted Gaelic Football and Tug-O-War. John Mitchel’s won the football with the host team having a runaway victory in the Tug-O-War.

The first ever under 16 All Girls Tournament sponsored by Birmingham City Council took place at Pairc Na H’Eireann this year with two teams participating, Erin-Go-Bragh and John Mitchel’s. After a very close match the game went on to extra time and with the teams still locked at the end of extra time it was decided that because of their great skill and achievement shown by both teams it would be only fair to share the trophy. This is a great achievement for ladies football as these girls hopefully will go on to be our senior teams in the future.

We would like to give our appreciation to the Provincial Council of Britain in their help and support given to the formation of the existing Warwickshire Ladies County Board. The Board would also like to thank all participating clubs and all who support ladies football throughout, especially in Warwickshire, because without them, there would be no Warwickshire Ladies Board.

1997 saw all Warwickshire teams enter into a nine-a-side provincial competition and The Provincial Junior Club competition. Two teams got through to the semi final stage in the club competition and all teams did extremely well in the nine-a-sides.

Erin-Go-Bragh won the League, Championship and The Irish Post Shield. They beat John Mitchel’s in the Shield and St. Brendan’s in the championship.

Young Ireland had a very successful day. The Ladies festival held by Erin-Go-Bragh had a very good turn out as in previous years.

The Warwickshire county team did not do well again this year with Lancashire beating them in the final. Hopefully they will do better next year.

We held a rules and referees seminar this year but due to lack of interest from the clubs only seven people turned out. This was a very bad day and each club apologised for not putting the effort in.

A disco was held to end the year off and thankfully every club turned out. On the night Erin-Go-Bragh were presented with all their trophies and medals for the year.

1998 was a successful year for the county. Firstly every club was entered into the nine-a-side and the Provincial Club Junior Championships. Erin-Go-Bragh reached the final but sadly was beaten by Emerald Gaels.

Secondly Emerald Gaels were allowed to enter our league this year. This enabled more games for them and us. This also strengthened all the teams, as Emerald Gaels are a very strong squad.

Our final success was beating Lancashire in the All Britain County finals in July. This was the first time since affiliating in 1994. Then Warwickshire won a chance to play in the quarterfinals in Ireland. This is our most successful achievement to date and hopefully not our last.

Before we went to Ireland we had to raise £4,000. We received 1,000 punts grant from Ireland and raised £1,000 in the form of a sponsored pub craw but the main bulk was made in the form of sponsorship from stenaline. They gave us free travel for the coach and players onto the boat. We also received money from many Irish businesses. We also had a training top sponsored. Without the help of all these people we would not have been able to travel and we thank them for their great help.

We played Tyrone in Omagh on 15th August but they proved too strong for our county team. We have a long way to go but the only way is forward for us is to play teams like Tyrone in Ireland and to have more competitive county game in England.

Warwickshire Ladies GAA

1999 was a great year for the ladies in Warwickshire. The year started with a new chairperson, Mick Quigley who is the only man to have held this position since Warwickshire Ladies formed in 1994. A new team Sean McDermott’s was formed making a total of 7 teams in Warwickshire.

7 teams affiliated to Warwickshire this year were:

St Brendan’s, Young Irelands, John Mitchel’s, Sean McDermott’s, roger Casements, Emerald Gaels and Erin-Go-Bragh.


Our club championship winners this year were John Mitchel’s beating Roger Casements in a thrilling final at Pairc na H’eireann. The score for this match was 6-15 to 1-1.

The Irish Post Shield

John Mitchel’s also won the Irish Post Shield in our nine-a-side tournament held in November. Again they met Roger Casement in the finals but only beating them by a smaller margin of 2-3 to 1-4. Erin-Go-Bragh met St. Brendan’s beating them by 3-10 to 1-8 in The Brennan Shield.


Our league winners were Emerald Gaels (Manchester) who successfully won all their league matches.


Roger Casements and John Mitchel’s reached semi final stage in the All Britain Club Championship with John Mitchel’s going on to play Emerald Gaels in the final held in Manchester. This was the second time John Mitchel’s met Emerald Gaels in the All Britain Final and again the result was the same with Mitchel’s losing on the day by a well skilled side in the Emerald Gael’s team.


Our County team captain this year was Claire Ebrey from Roger Casements who helped her team in fine performances in London and Birmingham.

Warwickshire went on to meet London in the final. The match was held on GAA for Africa day and both teams gave some outstanding performances of skill and ability. Unfortunately we were not to be victors this year.


Our plans for next year to team up with Manchester and play as the rest of Britain in the Internationals to be held in September.

We also hope to beat Lancashire and London in the County Championships and hopefully play Munster in Birmingham next year. This would be a great achievement for us, as we have never played an Irish team in Birmingham before.

Also we hope to develop under age football within our clubs and schools.

Our greatest thanks goes to the Men’s Board, Irish Post and Claddagh Travel who without them we would not have been able to have such a successful year.

Mick Quigley – Chairperson 1999

Our officers for 1999 were:

Chairperson Mick Quigley (St. Brendan’s)

Vice Chairperson Karen Callaghan (Young Irelands)

Secretary Seamus Gantly (Mitchel’s), Clare Brennan (St. Brendan’s)

Ass. Secretary Noreen Gill (Roger Casements)

Treasurer/Registrar Teresa Baggott (Mitchel’s)

P.R.O. Louise Breen (Mitchel’s)

Warwickshire Ladies

This year, 2000, it was decided that we should change the format of our competitions. We decided that there was not enough games at the beginning of the year and too many at the end of the season. The Irish Post Shield will now be played as it was before as the kick off for our season, so instead of November we will not be playing the tournament in March.

Also Erin-Go-Bragh informed us that they had new facilities at Spring Lane and we could have the use of the pitches. So we also moved the venue to Spring Lane for the Irish Post Shield.

Again this year 7 teams affiliated to Warwickshire and they were:

St Brendan’s, Young Irelands, John Mitchel’s, Sean McDermott’s, Roger Casements, Emerald Gaels and Erin-Go-Bragh.

The Irish Post Shield

The Irish Post Shield nine-a-side tournament was run very successfully with all teams taking part. John Mitchel’s met Roger Casements in the final with Roger Casements coming out the victors with a score of 2-7 to 2-5. The Brennan Shield final was Erin-Go-Bragh versus St. Brendan’s with Erin-Go-Bragh winning by 4-6 to 3-7.


The Championship final saw Roger Casements meeting John Mitchel’s again but this time John Mitchel’s were out for revenge and indeed they did this with a score of 3-10 to 3-8.


Our League has yet to finish as with such a busy schedule we could not get all our games in.

Provincial Competitions

In the Provincial nine-a-side we were delighted to see a Warwickshire team win the cup, proving that the standard of football has improved within our county over the last few years. Roger Casements were outstanding victors beating Fr Murphy’s in the final. Holoway Gaels of London beat John Mitchel’s of Birmingham in the Shield.

The Provincial championships again saw John Mitchel’s make it to the final against last year’s winners Emerald Gaels but once again it was a repeat performance and John Mitchel’s lost by 4-3 to 2-5. At half time Mitchel’s were winning by 2-1 to no score but Emerald Gaels came back after half time. Mitchel’s had 2 players including their goalkeeper come off with injuries but still battled on, but Emerald Gaels proved far too strong for them.

Schools Competition

In July Bishop Chancellor held a schools competition in conjunction with Warwickshire Ladies. There were 8 under 14 teams taking part and every girl went home with a certificate (donated by the Irish Post) and medal (donated by Provincial Council of Britain). Teams travelled from all over Birmingham and 1 team came from London. Bishop Chancellor won the cup with St. Paul’s winning the Shield.

County Team

Warwickshire County team played Lancashire in the All Britain final in July, with Lancashire taking revenge for last year’s defeat, when Warwickshire knocked them out in the semi final stage. The game was played in Pairc Na H’eireann, Birmingham in July. Over 1000 people attended the match, as it was the main match for GAA for Africa Day. Captain for the year 2000 was Rachel Duffy from John Mitchel’s.

It was sad that half way through the year we lost Young Irelands from our competitions as they were struggling to field a team, but hopefully will be able to try next year.


This year saw us go into the ladies internationals with Lancashire as part of the All Britain team. We had 14 members and 2 mentors go to Ireland to play teams from Canada, Australia, Europe, North America and London. We came 5th in the competition but the experience proved far greater than any score. The team was, Sarah Bowles (Y.I), Louise Breen (JM), Maggie Gamble (RC), Kim Wheeler (SB), Karen O’Connor (JM), Rachel Duffy (KM), Aisling Mann (JM), Clare Ebrey (RC), Kim Hilley (RC), Amy Walsh (JM), Annie Leahy (RC), Nancy Stone (RC), Jane Patterson (SB) and Gemma Mooney (SB). Mentors Mick Quigley and Clare Brennan.

Our thanks this year goes to the Men’s County Board, Claddagh Travel (jersey sponsors), The Irish Post newspaper, Gerry Feeney Travel, Kevin McEvoy and the Bishop Chancellor School (under age development). Also all the contributions we had towards our international players.

Mick Quigley – Chairperson 2000

Officers for 2000 were:

Chairperson Mick Quigley (SB)

Vice Chairperson Karen Callahan (YI)

Secretary Clare Brennan (SB)

Ass. Secretary Noreen Gill (RC)

Treasurer/Registrar Teresa Baggott (JM)

P.R.O. Leonie Austin (SB)


The Best Live Sport

Hopping along to spread the Gaelic gospel

Angela Baggott is on a mission to recruit converts – by telling them to hop it. She is trying to make women’s Gaelic football popular in Birmingham.

You know the game. It is as Irish as the River Liffey and appears to the layman to be a mix of soccer, rugby and Australian rules.

At the moment, there is a select band of around 90 women helping to keep the game alive for women on this side of the Irish Sea.

They are playing for three Birmingham clubs, which take on other teams based in Leicester, Coventry and Manchester.

But Angela, from Perry Barr, wants those numbers to grow, and plans to catch them young and teach them how to hop it, a term meaning a run and kick.

“We have a 10 year old who sometimes plays for us”, said Angela who plays for the Kings Norton-based John Mitchells club.

“At the moment, she’s not strong enough to take part in every match, but what we hope will happen is that she will tell her friends about the game and others will follow her.”

Some would say the sport is having a hard time in England with reports of women returning back to the Emerald Isle, enticed by the prospect of better paid jobs in Ireland. And that is why Angela wants to dispel the belief that only people with Irish connections will want to play the game.

“There are more and more people taking up the game who have nothing to do with Ireland,” she said “It’s an enjoyable game and we ant to get that message across. We have one girl who joined us and is a policewoman. Now she is one of our best players. We have maybe four or five women out of 33 who are non-Irish.”

There are two other clubs in the city, one of which Erdington’s Erin-Gra-Bragh, came close to taking on the best of the Irish clubs after losing the English final to Manchester. But Angela knows she faces a battle to get her sport accepted. After all, it took 100 years for the women’s game to be recognised by the men.

“We go into the schools but soccer’s killing us really,” she said. “People still want to play football but we’re starting to win a few teachers over. The sport’s still young in this county for women. It’s been going in London for around five years because when most people come over here, that’s where they head for. We are trying to get ourselves noticed but the press bias is always weighted heavily in favour of the men’s teams.”

Anyone interested in playing should contact Angela on 0121 356 1206.

History Report

John Mitchel’s Ladies

Back in 1987 Jimmy Walsh, Damien and Geraldine Sheridan decided to try and form a ladies Gaelic team. The team mainly consisted of player’s wives, friends and relatives from the men’s team. They played only three games in their first year and were very successful in all games. Because of the lack of games the team dwindled apart.

It was only in 1995 that they decided to try again. Only 2 members of the original team Geraldine Sheridan and Marie Cleary were able to take part in the new team as the rest were unavailable through other commitments etc.

This time because Geraldine Sheridan was chairperson of the Warwickshire Ladies, there were more games as Warwickshire already had 3 teams playing championship and league competitions.

The team first started training in January 1995 at Newman College and later at Wythall.Their first competitive match was in the ladies festival in which they came second. This was a great boost for the team.

In 1995 they won Championship, Irish Post Shield and The Countess Markievic Cup.

This was to be their most successful year to date.

Mitchels carried on training throughout the winter indoors at Newman College. We succeeded in recruiting a few new players.

In 1996 they won the League and the Irish Post Shield and also were runners up in the Provincial Junior Club competition. They were beaten in the championship by Erin-go-Bragh.

In October 1996 Geraldine Sheridan left the club and county to take her family to live in Navan, Co Meath, Ireland. This was a sad loss for club, county and Provincial, as Geraldine was club and county chairperson and Vice-President of Provincial.

This year was also the year that the Under 14 County went to the feile in Mayo, a first for county and Britain. Within that Under 14 team we had the great pleasure of having 12 players from our team participate.

Also that year was the first ever under 16 competition which John Mitchels played in the final. This was a brilliant final, which went to extra time and extra time again. It was decided that because of the effort of both teams that the cup should be shared.

In 1997 John Mitchels had a relatively bad year. Trainer Jimmy Walsh did his utmost to keep the team alive and succeeded by getting them to the final of the League which they won and the Irish Post Shield which they were beaten by Erin-Go-Bragh by a point. Also that year we saw two of our member’s graduate in teaching.

1998 saw John Mitchels with a new trainer called Seamus Gantley who was previously a player in the men’s team. With the help of Jimmy Walsh and Seamus Gantley the team reached the final in the championship which went to a replay because of an injury to one of our players who needed an ambulance which by the time she was taken off the field light had decided the outcome. The replay was played 2 weeks later and we lost this championship by a mere point.

We went on to win the league and The Irish Post Shield. This year we also had 11 members of our team picked to play in The All Britain County Championship against Lancashire. The County won that match and then went on to play Tyrone in the All Ireland quarterfinals. Also a previous player Angela Baggott was nominated as Provincial President.

Mitchel’s ladies also received a new kit from their sponsors, The Bank of Ireland. To promote the game and the club, Angela and Teresa Baggott contacted papers and this finally worked with a write up in the local paper and a spot on cable television.

Over the years we have lost good players who were going home to Ireland and we thank them for their input into our club but we also have kept a strong team because mainly our team consists of second generation Irish. This year on a panel of thirty players only nine of these were born in Ireland. This shows that our tem can grow from strength to strength.

St. Brendan’s Ladies GAA History

The name St. Brendan’s comes from our men’s team, which was founded in 1959 by Mick and Katherine Sugrue along with some others.

St Brendan’s Ladies GAA was formed in 1994 by two girls who decided that they wanted to play Gaelic football. Out of this simple idea the St. Brendan’s Ladies club was founded. Times were hard and with the help of the men’s team the club could function both physically and financially.

1995 brought brighter days when Claddah Travel took it on to sponsor the team with a full kit. Also a couple of our girls joined the Warwickshire County Board. Also some of our girls made it into the Warwickshire County team. Our ladies club also had a piece in the Hogan Stand Magazine along with our photo.

1996 – 1997 We decided to organise ourselves more so we voted in our first St. Brendan’s Ladies Board, which was:

Chairperson: Clare Brennan

Secretary: Lisa Cunningham

Treasurer: Julie McCarthy

We based ourselves at a club in King’s Heath called St. Dunstan’s who kindly sponsored our team with drill tops.

1997 also we saw a few more of our girls make it to the county team.

31st August 1997 We reached the semi final against Young Irelands who we beat. We met Erin-Go-Bragh in the final and lost to them.

We have also adopted a charity called Sense in the Midlands so when we do our fundraising events we make a donation to them. We also organise events together, which so far we have had discos and done a pub crawl. We hope to do more in 1998.

For the first year we had awards for our players, they were for:

Best Newcomer: Jane Patterson

Best Improved Player: Louise Nesbitt

Best Player: Julie McCarthy

We also take part in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is in Birmingham each year and is growing bigger.

Through the years we have lost and gained players but we still have a few of the original team. Most of our girls come from Irish backgrounds so we know what the game is all about.

For 1998 we hope we can achieve more with the help of our lads teams, trainers and our supporters.

All our girls would like to extend their gratitude to our Sponsors Martin and Lou at Claddah Travel, Anne and Tom O’Neill of St. Dunstan’s Club, Murphy’s and Whelan’s. Also our thanks to our men’s team once again for their support.

The History of The Pennine League

Ladies Gaelic football was first played in Lancashire in 1983 by two teams, Osians and St. Richards. Tir Conaill Gaels formed a year later and amalgamated with St. Richards and are now known as Emerald Gaels. It wasn’t until 1988 when the first committee meeting took place with Lancashire and Yorkshire coming together to form the Pennine League. The elected officers were:

President Tom Rogers Emerald Gaels

Chairman Joe Cahill Shannon Rangers

Secretary Philomena McGowan Brother Pearce

Treasurer Caroline Foggarty Emerald Gaels

There were five clubs now playing football in the Pennine.

St. Brendans, Emerald Gaels, Brother Pearce, Pride of Erin and Shannon Rangers.

The standard of the game was rapidly improved over the years due to officers and clubs travelling to and from Ireland and London gaining greater skills and experience.

A County team was formed in 1988 by Tom Rogers and Mick Connor. The County’s first match was against the London County team. Although the County team has continued to strengthen over the years, the quality of the London team have always managed to better us so far! These clashes have always stirred a lot of interest between the two Counties over the years.

Emerald Gaels have proved to be the strongest team in the Pennine by winning the Championship and League for the last four years, with Bros. Pearce and St Brendans as fierce contenders and growing stronger all the time.

In October 1990 Emerald Gaels won the All Britain Championship and went on to play Ballinasloe, in their home County of Galway. Although Emerald Gaels were unsuccessful in their attempt to win the Club Championship, they had a good game.

In 1989, Pennine and London met together in Birmingham to form the first Provincial Council of Britain.

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