On this Day: 4th March 1927: Letterkenny Rovers win the GAA Championship
In 1924, two GAA clubs were formed in Letterkenny, the Geraldines and Letterkenny Rovers, both sharing a pitch at Ballymacool known locally as the Burn Field. Success came for the Geraldines in 1926 when they won the Dr. McGinley Cup (League) without defeat while Letterkenny Rovers had to wait for their silverware, being defeated in the Championship Final by Ardara, 5 points to 2. They did not have long to wait though, as the following season saw them win the County Championship for the first time for a Letterkenny club.
Run on a league format in the Spring of 1927, on 4th March in Newtowncunningham with a crowd of over 300 watching, victory against Carrigans assured them of the title with a scoreline of 1-5 to 0-3. The Rovers team consisted of Patrick Doherty (capt.), Michael Peoples, John Harvey, William O’Donnell, John McManus, Anthony Gallagher, Frank Larkin, Jack Doherty, William Strain, William Roarty, Hugh McGlynn, Patsy Sweeney, Phil Doherty and John Larkin.
However, only a few weeks after this Championship success, due to the majority of their team being decimated by emigration, the club merged with the Geraldines to form St. Eunan’s GAA Club in August 1927. This club was in existence for only a short time though, playing only 15 matches, and broke up in June 1928. Two years later, a meeting was held in the Literary Institute to reform and take on all debts of the old club and the current St. Eunan’s GAA Club was born. The first match for this new club took place on 2nd March 1930 on the grounds of St. Conal’s Hospital, almost three years to the day of the Championship success of Letterkenny Rovers. Fittingly, former Rovers star Anthony Gallagher from Sallaghgraine was chosen as captain.