History

The Shamrock Gaels GAA club was formed on 16th March 1972, when members of the Sooey and Knockalassa clubs came together at a meeting in Riverstown Hall.

Both clubs had a long and proud tradition within the GAA in County Sligo, a tradition that stretched back to the very foundation of the Association. Over these years, Sooey contested six senior county finals, winning the Senior Championship in 1949 and 1959. Knockalassa played in five finals, winning the title in 1915 and 1933.

The seeds of the eventual amalgamation were sown when a Sooey / Knockalassa combination, called St. Joseph's, contested the 1966 Under 16 and Minor county finals. The U16 team lost to Múire Naófa, but the Minors won the county championship, beating Drumcliffe in the final. The two clubs joined forces again in 1969 to contest the Senior Championship, but lost in the first round against Gurteen / Bunninadden.

By the beginning of the 1970's however, both clubs had fallen on lean times and members of both clubs began to realise the absurdity of two Junior clubs, based in the same parish, struggling to put out teams from a relatively small pool of players - thus the fateful meeting in Riverstown Hall on 16th March 1972.

The name 'Shamrock Gaels' was suggested by the late Paddy Gannon, who had played for a team called Shamrocks whilst he was living in London. The name was especially appropriate given the date on which the Club was formed.

 

The first Officers of Shamrock Gaels were;

Patron: Very Rev. M Canon Brennan, P.P.
President: Rev. M Owens, C.C.
Chairman: Paddy Joe Quigley
Vice Chairmen: Mick Kelly and Brett Bartley
Secretary: Leo Kearns
Assistant Secretary: Liam Dennedy
Joint Treasurers: Dominic Quinn and Paddy Gethins
Delegate to Divisional Board: Gerry Conboy
Delegates to County Board: Paddy Joe Quigley and Gerry Conboy
Selection Committee: Chairman, Secretary, Padraig Lang, Paddy Gannon and Gerry Conboy
Committee: Gerry Conboy, Paddy Gannon, Jim Gilmartin, Tommy Feeney, Tom Flanagan, Padraig Lang, Tommy Fowley, Johnny Lyons, Tommy Kelly, Tommy Noone, Tommy Mc Dermott, Tom Joe Hamilton, Seamus Kerrigan, Seamus Mc Cormack and Peter Torsney.

 

The Shamrock Gaels Club area comprises the parishes of Sooey, Gleann, Riverstown and Ballyrush.
The new Club got off to a flying start, winning the Minor title in 1972 and again in 1973.

At Senior level, Shamrock Gaels played their first game against Tulsk in a challenge match played in Tulsk. Their first competitive win at Senior level came with a win against Craobh Rua in the league in June, 1972.

In 1975, Sligo's first Connacht title in 47 years was an especially proud day for Shamrock Gaels, with Gaels clubman, Frank Henry, lining out at left-half forward on the victorious team.

From the very outset, Shamrock Gaels adopted a progressive youth policy and this was reflected in the contesting of eight Under 14 County Finals between 1973 and 1984, winning four titles. The nucleus of these panels would go on to win three successive Under 21 titles in 1987, 1988 and 1989.

In 1990, the Club formed a Bord na nÓg, which would go on to transform under-age activities within the club.

The culmination of all of these years of effort, both on and off the playing fields, was the winning of the Senior County Championship in 1990. Shamrock Gaels then went on to win a second title in 1992.

The next major development in the Club was the official opening of Shamrock Gaels Park on Sunday 3rd June 1998, when a challenge match was played between Sligo and the reigning All Ireland Champions, Kerry. The Sligo team was captained on the day by Gaels clubman, Bernard Mulhern.

The opening of Shamrock Gaels Park was the realisation of a long cherished ambition to own our own grounds and was the result of many long years of hard work at fundraising through the late 1980's and early 1990's.

Today, Shamrock Gaels is a modern and progressive club, catering for all levels and aspects of GAA activity, from adult football, under-age football and hurling, ladies football and through to camóige and Scór