GAA Clubs in Letterkenny
As a quick follow up to the post on the Letterkenny Rovers and Geraldines GAA teams, there follows a (very) brief history of known GAA clubs in the town.
The first known club to have existed in Letterkenny was called Lámh Dearg and was formed following a meeting in the Literary Institute on the 18th September 1905 (see first news clipping). This was one month prior to the setting up of the County Board. Bishop Patrick O’Donnell was chosen as patron of the club while Patrick Sweeney was made captain and James McMonagle vice-captain.
By 1911, two new clubs had replaced Lámh Dearg, “Tirconaill” and “Faugh A Ballagh” (sometimes referred to as the Fag a Bailes) and by 1913, there was even a “Robert Emmet GFC” representing Letterkenny with J. Peoples as Chairman, F. Molloy as Secretary and W. Coyle as Treasurer (see second clipping).
One hundred years ago, on 29th March 1916, “The O’Donnell’s Gaelic Football & Hurling Club” club was established with Rev. J.J. O’Doherty as President, Edward McDaid as Secretary and Patrick Dawson as Treasurer (see third clipping).
Following the amalgamation of Letterkenny Rovers and the Geraldines in 1927, St. Eunan’s GAA club came into being (later reformed in 1930) while one year later a “St. Pat’s” team briefly appeared as a rival to the club. In 1937, “St. Columba’s” were formed, winning the Dr. McGinley Cup (the League) for the first time for the town since the Geraldines success in 1926. However, like their predecessors, the St. Columba’s Club gradually faded away in the 1940s with St. Eunan’s continuing as the sole GAA team in Letterkenny for fifty years until the formation of the “Letterkenny Gaels” in 1996.