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Club History

 

 

Year founded. 1886.

Reformed. 1891, 1902, 1908, 1913, and 1921.

 

The Beginning:

Dunshaughlin GAA was formed in 1886 as St. Seachnall’s, and was one of the earliest GAA clubs in the country. By this time the GAA was only in existence for two years. Founded in Thurles in 1884 by Michael Cusack, the GAA was more concerned with athletics than with games so very few football and hurling teams were formed. 1886 was however a year of major growth in club numbers. In March there were approximately 60 affiliated clubs but none in Co. Meath, although there may have been many unaffiliated clubs in the county.

On Sunday January 30th 1887, Christopher Tallon led out Dunshaughlin Gaelic Football Club for its first game in the village under GAA rules. The opposition was provided by near neighbours Ross and was played in a field belonging to Mr. Patrick Delany. The game ended in victory for Tallon’s men “in the presence of a great number of people” according to the weekly paper ‘Sport’.

 

Dunshaughlin c. 1905

The origins of the club colours of “Black and Amber” can be traced back to a local racing patron called Stephen Kelly – a well known local business man in the village at the time. Stephen Kelly was the owner of The Fingal Arms, a hotel in the village and also had a number of horses whose racing colours were Black and Amber.  It is believed that the Club would have held their meetings in the Fingal Arms therefore they adopted the colours.

 

The Fingal Arms

 

Club Highlights:

 

 

Meath Senior Hurling Champions 1909 & 1910

1910 was a very successful year for the Dunshaughlin club as TWO Senior Hurling Championships were won. The 1909 final wasn’t played until January 1910 and Dunshaughlin defeated Dunboyne in Ratoath by 2-07 to 1-03. The 1910 Championship was the first time that goal posts as we know them were used. The changed scoring rules made no difference to Dunshaughlin as they underlined their status as the premier club in the county by defeating Longwood in the final by 8-01 to 3-00.

 

 

Meath Junior Football Champions 1950

Dunshaughlin finally won its first football title in 1950. Football success was slow in coming as it was all of 64 years since the club was formed. In the final played in May 1951, Dunshaughlin defeated Carnaross by 2-07 to 1-01 in Trim. The title was just reward for the years of effort and finally established Dunshaughlin as a Senior club again.

 

Meath Junior Football Champions 1967

Dunshaughlin’s second Junior title came in 1967. On route to the final, Dunshaughlin defeated Bellewstown, Star of the Sea, Flathouse as well as a well fancied Dunderry side. The final itself turned out to be a very one sided affair as the Black and Ambers annihilated Skryne by 5-03 to 0-04.

 

Meath Intermediate Football Champions 1977

In 1977 Dunshaughlin captured their first Intermediate Championship. After coming very close in the two previous years, Dunshaughlin finally got it right in ’77. Nobber provided the opposition in the final but the men in Black an Amber were much superior and won by a scoreline of 0-13 to 1-06. Everything went well on the day and in most sectors Dunshaughlin held the upper hand.

 

Meath Junior Hurling Champions 1982

The early 80’s seen a revival in hurling in Dunshaughlin and it was decided that the club would once again compete at Junior level in 1982. Despite losing their first round championship game to Baconstown, the newly formed team recorded victories over Rathmoylon, Trim, Athboy and Boardsmill before defeating Killyon in the final by 5-04 to 2-04.

 

Meath Intermediate Hurling Championship 1983

Victory in the Junior Hurling Championship in ’82 ensured promotion to the Intermediate grade for the following year. A narrow victory in the opening game against Donaghmore was followed by a more decisive win over Killyon. Ratoath temporarily upset Dunshaughlin’s title ambitions in the third round but the defeat of Athboy in the next match set up a final meeting with earlier conquerors Ratoath in the final. On a wet and windy day, Dunshaughlin avenged the earlier defeat to record a 1-05 to 0-06 win. This victory ensured that Dunshaughlin would be playing Senior hurling in the GAA centenary year of 1984

 

Meath Intermediate Football Champions 1997

The mid 90’s were proving very difficult for the club’s footballers after a number of semi-final defeats but in ’97 Dunshaughlin landed their second Intermediate title. The Black and Ambers disposed of neighbours Blackhall Gales in the semi-final before recording a facile 3-14 to 1-06 victory over Duleek in the final. This team was a lot younger than that of 20 years ago and the prospect of a longer spell in the Senior ranks was looking a lot brighter.

 

 

Meath Senior Football Championship Finalists 1999

1999 was a landmark year for the Club as they reached the Meath Senior Final for the first time in their history. After only competing for two years at Senior level, Dunshaughlin were certainly the surprise packets of 1999. Defeats over Trim, Simonstown, Dunderry and defending champions Dunboyne, earned Dunshaughlin a place in the decider against neighbours Skryne. However, experience told in the final as the Tara men broke Dunshaughlin hearts with a 1-12 to 0-08 victory.

 

 

Meath Senior Football Champions 2000

Many say, you have to lose one before you can win one and that proved to be the case for Dunshaughlin as they made up for the previous year’s disappointment by capturing the Meath Senior Football Championship for the first time in their long history. After a 2-11 to 0-12 victory over Trim in the semi-final, Dunshaughlin went into the final as slight favourites. In a match screened live to the nation on TG4, Dunshaughlin produced their best performance of the year to record a 1-19 to 2-06 victory over Kilmainhamwood. It was a truly memorable occasion and a culmination of many years of hard work by dedicated players, official and supports of the club down through the years.

 

 

Meath Senior Football Champions 2001

Retaining the Meath Senior Championship was proving very difficult for teams in previous years. However in 2001, Dunshaughlin broke that sequence and in the process proved beyond doubt that they were the kingpins of Meath. After topping their qualifying group, Dunshaughlin had victories over Oldcastle and Walterstown on route to a final showdown with 1999 champions Skryne. In a tight and tense encounter, Dunshaughlin held out to emerge victorious by 0-11 to 1-06.

 

Meath Senior Footall Champions 2002

With two Senior titles in the bag, Dunshaughlin set about achieving an unprecedented 3 in a row in 2002. Once again, the Black and Ambers topped their qualifying group with victory over Summerhill and draws with both Dunboyne and Gaeil Colmcille. After a quarter-final victory over Blackhall Gaels and a semi-final win over Seneschalstown, Dunshaughlin found themselves in touching distance of the Keegan Cup once again. Two late points in the final against Trim ensured that Dunshaughlin’s dominance of Meath football continued.

 

 

Leinster Senior Football Champions 2002

In Dunshaughlin’s two previous Leinster Championship campaigns it was widely felt that they didn’t do themselves justice, so in 2002 there was a big incentive for the players to prove their worth. The campaign began with a convincing win over Rathvilly of Carlow. This set up a semi-final meeting with old rivals Rathnew. After six meetings, including four draws and one win each in 2000 and 2001, it was no surprise that this tie ended up level. In the replay, Dunshaughlin eased passed the Wicklow men to set up a showpiece with Louth Champions Mattock Rangers. In a final played three days before Christmas, Dunshaughlin received the ultimate present of the Sean McCabe cup, and in doing so became only the third Meath club to experience Lainster glory.

As well as capturing the Meath and Leinster Championships, Dunshaughlin also gained outright victory in the All County A’League and Feis Cup and thus completed the most successful year in Meath football history.

 

 

List Of Major Honours:

 

Leinster Senior Football Champions 2002

Meath Senior Football Champions 2000, 2001 & 2002

Meath Intermediate Football Champions 1977 & 1997

Meath Junior Football Champions 1950, 1958 & 1967

Meath Minor Football Champions 2008

Meath Division 1 League Champions 2002

Meath Feis Cup Champions 2002, 2011

 

 

Club Crest:

 

The club had no official crest until quite recently. In the Mid Nineties the Club tasked Jim Gilligan with designing an official crest. The club was anxious to develop its own signature, something that people could readily identify. Jim had written the history of the club in the “Black and Amber” along with club stalwart Patsy McLoughlin. It was felt that given his close association with Dunshaughlin and his indepth knowledge of the club that he would be best equipped to come up with the most appropriate design for the new club crest.With this Jim set out on the road to giving the club a renewed sense of identity. He wanted to link various aspects of the clubs history along with a physical link to the village.The first two symbols that Jim wanted to include in the crest were a hurley and a football. The hurley to represent the origin of the club. The club was initially a hurling club and maintained its roots in the game until the 1980’s. The football on the crest was then to represent the modern club.

 

It was felt that a physical link to the village would tie the whole crest together. There were a number of options that were mused over, however the stand out options were the Crannog in Lagore and the Stone Arch in the old graveyard. The decision was eventually taken to go with the Stone Arch, as it was in the village itself and had a direct link with the name Dunshaughlin. The Stone Arch still stands in the Church of Ireland graveyard. The origin of Dunshaughlin comes from the first church built on the site by St. Seachnall in the 5th century, Domhnach Seachnall meaning Church of St. Seachnall. St. Seachnall is believed to have been sent to Ireland by St Patrick to establish Christian communities.

 

 

Eminent Members

Larry O’Brien [R.I.P] and Billy Rattigan – Leinster and All Ireland Senior Football medal winners in 1954. Larry also won an All Ireland Junior Football medal in 1952.

Jimmy Walsh – Leinster and All Ireland Senior football medal in 1967, Jimmy also won Leinster Junior Football medal in 1962 and Junior Hurling in 1970.

Noel Curran – All Ireland and Leinster Senior Football in 1967.

Val Dowd – Leinster Junior Football medal in 1964.

Mick Clusker and Christy Doran – All Ireland Junior Hurling medals in 1927.

Tommy Troy – Leinster and All Ireland Junior Hurling medal 1970 also Leinster Junior in 1961.

Gerry Flanagan – All Ireland Junior Hurling medal 1974 with Roscommon, also one Connacht Intermediate 1967 and three Junior 1963, 1965, 1974.

Martin Walsh – All Ireland and Leinster Special Minor hurling in 1983.

Pat and John Jennings [twins] – Leinster Minor Football 1972.

Brendan Kealy – Leinster and All Ireland Minor Football 1990 and Leinster and All Ireland U21 Football 1993.

Aidan Kealy – Leinster and All Ireland Minor Football 1992. Leinster Junior Football 1996 and 1997. O’Byrne cup 1994.

Dermot Kealy – Leinster Senior Football 2001. Leinster Junior Football 1996 and 1997. O’Byrne cup 1994.

Richie Kealy – Leinster and All Ireland Fenior football 1999. Leinster Senior Football 2001. Leinster U21 football 2001. O’Byrne Cup 2002. Leinster Junior Football 2007

David Crimmins – Leinster Senior Football 2001. Leinster U21 football 2001.O’Byrne cup 2002.

Niall Kelly – Leinster Senior Football 2001. Leinster U21 Football 2001. O’Byrne Cup 2002. Sigerson Cup 2001.

Cathal O’Dwyer – All-Ireland (Hogan Cup) and Leinster Senior Colleges Football 2004. Dublin Senior Football Championship 2006 (UCD).

Trevor Dowd Leinster Junior Football 2007

Caoimhin King – Leinster Senior Football 2010.