|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2007)|
- For more information see Wexford Senior Hurling Championship and Wexford Senior Football Championship
|Nickname(s):||The Model County
The Strawberry Pickers
|County colours:||Purple and Gold|
|Ground(s):||Wexford Park, Wexford|
|Dominant sport:||Dual county|
|Football Championship:||Sam Maguire Cup|
|Hurling Championship:||Liam McCarthy Cup|
|Ladies' Gaelic football:||Brendan Martin Cup|
The Wexford County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: Cumann Luthchleas Gael Coiste Chontae Loch Garman) or Wexford GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Wexford. The county board is also responsible for the Wexford inter-county teams.
Hurling has been played in Wexford from medieval times. Evidence of this can be found in the hurling ballads of the 15th and 16th centuries. The nickname "Yellowbellies" is said to have been given to the county's hurlers by Sir Caesar Colclough of Tintern in south Wexford, following a 17th-century game between a team of hurlers under his patronage and a team of hurlers from Cornwall, near Glynn in county Wexford. Others have said that King George III shouted "come on the yellow bellies" at an exhibition match near London, in which the Wexford hurlers were wearing yellow ribbons.
Wexford had one of the greatest football teams in the history of the GAA in the 1910s, winning six Leinster and four All-Ireland titles in a row. The team was trained by 1900 star James 'the bull' Roche - who had fought for the World Heavyweight boxing Championship, and featured Father Ned Wheeler, Aidan Doyle and the O'Kennedy brothers, Gus and Sean. The latter was the team captain. The six-in-a-row in Leinster was unequalled until Dublin's winning sequence between 1974 and 1979.
Wexford's last major football success was winning the Leinster title in 1945. From then on, hurling took precedent in Wexford and as a consequence, the Wexford footballers suffered and descended into obscurity for many years. More recently, Wexford have had a strong team. The team reached the Division 1 League final of 2005 under the management of Pat Roe but were beaten by a strong Armagh team that day.
In April 2008, in Jason Ryan's first year as manager of the team, Wexford beat Fermanagh to win the Division 3 League final. This proved to be the first success of what would be a historic year for Wexford football, as they reached their first Leinster final in over 50 years. Along the way they stunned favourites Meath by coming from ten points in arrears to win their Quarter Final in Carlow and then beat Laois comprehensively in the semi final. This was Wexford's 5th consecutive appearance in the provincial semi final, but their first victory. In the final they were thoroughly defeated by a strong Dublin team in the final, 3-23 to 0-9.
Dublin were well beaten in their All Ireland Quarter Final by Tyrone, while Wexford recovered from their humiliation and came through the back door, beating Down by seven points in a shock result to reach the last eight and a game with Armagh. From here, they produced one of the shocks of the championship, winning by 1-14 to 0-12 to reach their first All Ireland semi-final since 1945. They were beaten by 6 points by Tyrone, having been within two points of the eventual champions in the closing stages.
Current football team
- Manager: Aidan O'Brien
- All-Ireland Senior Football Championships: 5
- 1893, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918
- All-Ireland Junior Football Championships: 1
- Leinster Senior Football Championships: 10
- 1890, 1893, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1925, 1945
- Leinster Minor Football Championship: 3
- 1937, 1950, 1969
- Leinster Junior Football Championship: 6
- 1911, 1963, 1984, 1992, 2000, 2007
- Leinster Under-21 Football Championship: 1
Hurling is also played in Wexford. This is in evidence in several one-sided results over the years: Kildare were beaten by 14-15 to 1-1 in an 1897 Croke Cup match. The Antrim team were beaten by 12-17 to 2-3 in a 1954 All-Ireland semi-final. Nicky Rackard, who scored 7-7 at that day, was Wexford's greatest hurler. He starred in two great clashes with Cork in 1954 and 1956. Wexford lost the first after having a goal disallowed, but won the second with the combination of a great Art Foley save and Nicky Rackard goal in the closing minutes.
In the 1970s, the distinctive red-haired Tony Doran was the star as Kilkenny and Wexford played ten rousing Leinster finals in succession. In 1984 they claimed that the final whistle was blown prematurely when they were beaten by a single point in the Leinster final.
Wexford had a great team during the 1990s and their hard work was rewarded in 1996 when Wexford, led by Liam Griffin and captained by Martin Storey, brought the Liam McCarthy Cup back to Slaneyside for the first time since 1968, they were waiting 28 years. Cork and Kilkenny have dominated the honours in recent years.
Wexford's most recent hurling success was in the Leinster Final of 2004 when they defeated Offaly. In the Leinster semi final, they shocked Kilkenny by beating them with a last-gasp goal scored by Michael Jacob after a clinical sideline cut by Adrian Fenlon fell into the hand of Kilkenny centre back Peter Barry, only for the brilliant Michael Jacob to block him down as he tried to get rid of the ball and Jacob subsequently fired the ball to the back of the Kilkenny net ending Kilkenny's 6 year reign as Leinster Champions. Unfortunately, however, hurling in Wexford has been on the slide since 1996, their last All-Ireland success, and the Leinster title in 2004 simply papered over the cracks. Since hitting rock bottom in 2006 Wexford have made great progress so far this season and there are signs that Wexford are becoming contenders again.
In 2009, Wexford took part in Division 2 of the Allianz National Hurling League. After their shock defeat by Antrim, in which the Saffrons made a memorable comeback, Wexford improved to take a place in the division final against Offaly. The yellowbellies were favourites, having beaten them earlier in the league, however Colm Bonnar's men did not perform on the day. It was a massive disappointment, meaning Wexford will be outside of hurling's top tier for the second year running. The Leinster championship arrived and Wexford had a chance for redemption with an opening round clash against Offaly. They gained revenge with Stephen Banville starring in a comfortable victory, with the aid of home advantage. Up next was Dublin and a younger more talented city side prevailed. However it became more shocking during the qualifiers after they were early exited by Limerick.
In 2010 Wexford took part in Division 2 of the Allianz National Hurling League once again playing this time against Clare. The Model men were once again the favourites, having such a good league experience. Despite a disappointing performance Wexford still ran out winners at the end only to be promoted back to Division 1 of the Allianz National Hurling League after waiting three years. Wexford began the Leinster Championship 2010 with a defeat to Galway in Nowlan Park despite having a good second half.
In 2011, Wexford took part in the division 1 Allianz National Hurling League. Throughout the league campaign, it seemed the standard of The Model County was poor, but when it mattered in the last two games to stay up, they beat Offaly and Cork. They defeated Cork by 1-16 to 1-15 before drawing level with champions Tipperary. The championship began with the opening against Antrim which proved too easy for Wexford. The second game saw The Model County with home advantage against old rivals Kilkenny however it was Kilkenny's evening.Wexford were exited in the qualifiers by Limerick after that Colm Bonnar resigned as manager. Bonnar was replaced by Oulart the Ballagh manager Liam Dunne.
Current hurling team
- All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships: 6
- 1910, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1996
- All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championships: 4
- 1961, 1968, 2005, 2007
- All-Ireland Junior Hurling Championships: 2
- 1985, 1992
- All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championships: 1
- All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championships: 3
- 1963, 1966, 1968
- National Hurling Leagues: 4
- 1956, 1958, 1967, 1973
- National Hurling League Div 2 1
- Leinster Senior Hurling Championships: 19
- 1890, 1891, 1899, 1901, 1910, 1918, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1976, 1977, 1996, 1997, 2004
- Walsh Cups: 15
- 1954, 1956, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. 2000, 2001, 2002
- Kehoe Cup: 1
After winning promotion form intermediate in the late 1950s, Wexford won their first All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship in 1968, and won further All Ireland titles in 1969, 1975, 2007, 2010 and 2011. They contested the first National Camogie League final in 1977, won the second competition and returned to win it three times in a row between 2009 and 2011. Buffers Alley (5) and Rathnure (1995) have won the All Ireland senior club championship.
Notable players include team of the century members Mary Sinnott and Margaret O'Leary, player of the year award-winners Bridget Doyle and Kate Kelly, All Star award winners Áine Codd, Mags Darcy, Mary Leacy, Ursula Jacob. Una Leacy, Claire O'Connor, Catherine O'Loughlin, Katrina Parrock and All Ireland final stars Mary Walsh and Gretta Quigley.
- All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championships: 6
- All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championships: 1
- All-Ireland Minor Camogie Championships: 1
- National Camogie Leagues: 4
Ladies' Gaelic football
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
- All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Championship Finalists: 3
- 1983, 1986, 1989
- All-Ireland Junior Ladies' Football Championship Finalists: 2
- 1986, 1987
- All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies' Football Championship Finalists: 1
- All-Ireland Under-18 Ladies' Football Championships: 3
- 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986
- All-Ireland Under-16 Ladies' Football Championship: 3
- 1981, 1982, 1983
- "The 'Yellow Bellies' and the Hurling men of Cornwall". History Ireland. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- "Yellow Bellies". Ask About Ireland. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- Enniscorthy Guardian, 2006
- Wexford Four in a Row
- "Aidan Un-Leashes, his team". Wexford GAA. 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- "Wexford side for Thurles clash with Clare named". Wexford GAA. 9-7-2013. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- All-stars on camogie.ie
- Irish Independent March 29 2010: Final goal for camogie
- National Development Plan 2010-2015, Our Game, Our Passion information page on camogie.ie, pdf download (778k) from Camogie.ie download site
- 2011 final Wexford 2-7 Galway 1-8 Report in Irish Examiener, Irish Independent, Irish Times, Camogie.ie, RTE Online, Preview in Irish Examiner Irish Times Irish Independent
- 2011 final Wexford 2-12 Antrim 0-15 Report in Irish Times
- Wexford GAA site
- Wexford on Hoganstand.com
- National and provincial titles won by Wexford teams
- Club championship winners
- Wexford GAA Discussion Board