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The Kilmeena ambush was the scene of a defeat for the local Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence. On 19 May 1921, British troops surprised an IRA ambush party at Kilmeena. Six IRA men were killed and seven wounded. The remainder of the column fled over the mountains to Skerdagh. One Royal Irish Constabulary man and one Black and Tans member were also killed in the action. The British forces threw the dead and wounded IRA men into the street outside the Police barracks in nearby Westport, causing widespread revulsion among the local people.
Kilmeena GAA Club was founded in 1889. Club records show that they played their first game against Westport at Kilmeena on 10 March 1889. The club was affiliated to the County Board in the same year. They contested their first county senior final against the mighty Ballina Stephenites and were beaten. Gate receipts for that match which was played at the Showground's in Claremorris was £3. 15.9; of this total, 14 shillings was for labour and gatemen. £2. 13. 11 for the use of the grounds and the remainder for the County Board.
Despite contesting a number of county finals at various levels without success throughout the following years, it wasn’t until 1968 the first breakthrough came in the Junior A division, when the Club won the West Mayo Cusack Cup for the first time, beating Westport in the final in Westport. They had a further wait until 1977 before they won their first County Junior title, beating Carramore in the final in McHale Park Castlebar. Incidentally, the under14 team of 1970 can justifiably lay claim to bringing the first county title to the club by winning the championship that year. Many members of that under 14 team were also part of the winning junior team of 77.
The Club secured their own grounds in 1938. It was named Saint Brendan's Park. (It is said that St Brendan, a holy man on his way to assist St. Patrick during his stay on the Reek spent a pleasant day or two in Myna and thus Kilmeena got its name, CilmIodhna - Church of Myna) Coincidentally, this was the same year that the late Michéal O'Hehir made his first radio sports broadcast as an 18 year old teenager. The club grounds have undergone considerable development over the years. The playing pitch is now floodlit, accommodating after dark training sessions during the winter months. As a consequence of this upgrading of the facilities, the club has hosted a number of training sessions for the Mayo county team. In addition, new training grounds have recently been secured and developed adjacent to the existing playing field, while a stand and new clubhouse has also been erected on the grounds. Pat Holmes, who was the manager of the Mayo senior team at the time, was given the privilege of formally opening the Club House in 2000.