In late 1993 Mary Kelly from Drumree suggested the idea of an underage girls’ team to St. Martins. However, for reasons not entirely clear, the Ladies’ Football Board refused to accept an affiliation so the team could only play challenge games. Gabriel King initially, and later Ollie Bowe, were involved as team mentors.
There was a girls’ team in St. Seachnall’s NS in 1991-92, predating the St. Martins’ girls.
Eventually it was decided to set up a new club separate from St. Martins and at a meeting on 12th August 1995 presided over by Ollie Bowe it was decided to use the name Royal Gaels.
Those in attendance at the meeting were Mary Kelly, John Morgan, Ead Kealy, Maura O Neill, Doris Tugwell, Mary McConnon, Anita King, Catherine McHale, Róisín Farrell, Angela Donnelly, Marian Kane, Ann Power and Ollie Bowe. Joint Chairpersons were elected, Catherine McHale and Ead Kealy sharing the role, with Ann Power chosen as Secretary and Maura O Neill and Marian Kane as Treasurer and PRO respectively.
There was only one team initially, an Under 14 group. In the first year the team reached a county final but never got to play it as semi-final opponents Moylough objected to two girls on the Royal Gaels team who lived outside Dunshaughlin parish even though they went to school there and there was no girls team in their own parish.
The club’s first appearance in a final was the 1997 Under 14 decider when St. Ultans were far too strong for the Gaels.
By 2000 the club was able to field an adult team at Junior level and Maria Kealy and Caroline King were on the Meath team that won the All Ireland Under 16 title. Maria captained the side.
In 2001 the adult team reached its first final, but lost both the league and championship deciders. Seán Walsh and Peter Mooney had taken over coaching duties by this stage. A year later the Gaels won both championship and league, beating Moynalty in the former 3-12 to 0-4 and Boardsmill in the league 1-7 to 0-4.
The club’s greatest achievement was winning the intermediate final of 2007, beating Na Fianna 1-15 to 1-5, with Gemma Flanagan as captain and Seán Walsh as coach and Peter Mooney and Dan O Sullivan as selectors. The side also won the Division 2 league title that year, defeating Summerhill 3-8 to 0-9.
Mary O Regan has been Club Secretary since 2006 and Meath County Secretary since 2010. In 2006 Royal Gaels won the Meath Local Sports Partnership Club of the Year award.
Ollie Bowe won the Ladies’ Football Board’s Hall of Fame Award in 2014 for his commitment to Ladies football in the County.
The Club has continued to grow since its foundation and currently has over 200 members as well as a thriving Gaelic4 Mothers & Others team. At our 2012 AGM the club agreed to align with Dunshaughlin GFC while retaining our Royal Gaels identity. We have been warmly welcomed into the Club and the decision has proved very positive for the GAA Community as a whole.