Clonard GFC

Founded 1895

Co. Meath

Club History

Clonard G.A.A. was founded in 1895, eleven years after the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association. During the club’s early years, it was known as ‘Clonard Warriors’.

Competitive games were played on Sundays in Kit McNevin’s field with matches against local clubs Edenderry, Summerhill and The Downs. One such game versus Summerhill was reputed to ended at halt-time due to the introduction of a half-barrel of porter!

The club was inactive during the war years with some players transferring over the border to Kinnegad GAA Club, who won the Westmeath Championship in 1916.

In 1925, the club was re-organised on a formal basis and renamed “Ballyboggan Football Club” with games played in Shanleys at Ballyboggan. Many games were played in the Meath Junior Championship until 1934 when they transferred their teams back Clonard and renamed the club “Clonard GAA”.

In 1935 Clonard won The Junior Division final. They reached the Junior Championship Final in 1958, 1960 and 1962.  In that era club player Paddy Hanley won a minor All Ireland medal with Meath in 1957.

Underage training and games on the 50’s and 60’s continued with some success with the help of local Parish Priest Fr. O’Reilly who provided transport to the away games, with the team loaded in his Simca car!

1971 saw the breakthrough at adult level when they won the Junior B Championship, a great performance from such a small club. David Connolly was rewarded for his great efforts and played with the Meath Senior team in the early 70’s.

In 1986, the club formally leased the playing field from Pat O’Donovan to the rear of ‘Paddy’s Bar’ where many successes and disappointments took place.

The club in the 90’s enjoyed success in the junior grade but narrowly missed out on Junior B honours when defeated in two finals in Pairc Tailteann and numerous semi-final defeats. Niall Walsh won an all-Ireland minor medal on the victorious Meath Minor team of 1992.

Former Meath legend and All-Ireland winner, Kevin Foley, scorer of the famous last minute goal in the “4 game saga” against Dublin in 1991, got involved in the underage ranks in 2001 and earned success at U15, U16, U18 finals and an U21 semi-final.

Further success followed at adult level with a Division 5A league title against Dunsany in Longwood in 2008, the club’s first adult trophy in 37 years. This was followed by a Division 7B league final victory against Kilmainham in 2009 when the club fielded it’s first ever adult reserve side.

2011 was a tremendous year for the club as Kevin Foley managed the team to a Junior B championship title, the Larry Kearns Cup, only the second championship title in the club’s long history.  The success of this team followed with Adam Flanagan now representing his County on the Meath Senior Team, a great role-model for the growing underage members in the club.

2014 saw the club establish it’s first juvenile committee and also commence the first Under 6 Nursery programme, under the guidance of Alan & David Campbell for the ever-increasing young population in the area. In doing so ‘Clonard Óg’ was born, the benefits of which can already be seen in the current ‘Go-Games’ teams and bodes well for the future of the overall underage structure in Clonard.

The club’s first underage girls teams competed in 2015 and continue to grow from strength to strength, and now also compete at adult level for the first time.

In 2015, 120 years since foundation of the club, it purchased 9 acres of land at the rear of local service station in the village, and within just 18 months the club developed modern recreational facilities on the site, one of the best in the county, and found itself a new home in 2017, deserving of the great support and community that it serves.

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