Ballinasloe GAA

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Ballinasloe GAA
CLG Bhéal Átha na Slua
Founded: 2005
County: Galway
Colours: Black and Amber
Grounds: Dunlo GAA Grounds
Coordinates: 53°19′51.01″N 8°13′42.69″W / 53.3308361°N 8.2285250°W / 53.3308361; -8.2285250Coordinates: 53°19′51.01″N 8°13′42.69″W / 53.3308361°N 8.2285250°W / 53.3308361; -8.2285250
Playing kits
Standard colours

Ballinasloe GAA is a Gaelic Athletic Association gaelic football and hurling club located in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland.

It was formed on 1 December 2005 as the result of a merger of St Grellan's GFC and Ballinasloe Hurling Club.[1] Ballinasloe’s first ever hurling game took place on The Fair Green on Easter Monday 1884 between Killlimor and Eyrecourt. Since this date Gaelic Games have been a pillar in Ballinasloe’s society. Since the games’ inception its popularity in Ballinasloe has been integral to its success. The first football game in Ballinasloe GAA’s successful history took place on the 31st of March 1893 in a field in Pollboy. The game was between Creagh and Ballinasloe, Ballinasloe was captained by Thomas Cunningham and Creagh by T.F Burke. Creagh came out on top in a low scoring game of 2-01 to 1 point.

Late that year, June 1893, saw Ballinasloe fulfil another fixture where they were welcomed out to Kiltormer to take on Killoran in a Gaelic Football game under GAA rules.

As stated earlier, Ballinasloe’s association with Gaeilic games can be traced back beyond an inaugural meeting of the GAA which was held in Thurles on November 1st, 1884; on an earlier date in 1884 Killimor and the Dublin Metropolitan Hurling team played a hurling challenge in Ballinasloe and included in that Dublin team was Michael Cusack who, later in the same year, was to be a founder member of the Association. Nevertheless, by 1866, when several clubs in East Galway were affiliated to the GAA, there was no mention on Ballinasloe, probably for the reason that the main emphasis was on hurling and Ballinasloe, at this time, was not a hurling area. Records show that by 1889 Ballinasloe had a football club with J.F. Gibney as captain. Despite the Parnell crisis the Galway Football Championship for 1891 was playe and Ballinasloe participated, playing Mountbellew in Ahascragh on May 24th of that year. In 1892 P.D. Brennan of Ballinasloe became Assistant County Secretary. The stresses and strains experienced during these early years of the Association were ended in Galway on May 7th, 1896, from a County Committee meeting held in Ballinasloe the machinery of the organisation was finally streamlined.

Up to 1913 the Ballinasloe club had not enjoyed success on the field of play; between 1887 and 1912 Tuam won twelve Couny Titles, Dunmore won eight, other winners being Loughrea and Athenry while Ballinasloe was without a title.

In Ballinasloe the year 1913 will always be associated with the Father Broderick Town League which was to bring football to Ballinasloe and the county to new heights. From this Town League came the names that have become legendary: The Egan brothers, Denis, Johnny, Tom and Martin; Paddy Roche, “Trixie” Leech, Willie Smith, “Knacker” Walsh, Paddy Ganly, Leonard McGrath and a host of others. From 1913 to 1929 Ballinasloe powered by these men were undefeated in the Galway Championship.

In 1919 Ballinasloe’s Tom Egan captained the Galway team that beat Kerry in the replay of the All Ireland semi-final and thus set a precedent for 1938 when Galway, again captained by a Ballinasloe man, John Dunne, defeated Kerry in the replayed All-Ireland Final of that year. In 1924, these Ballinasloe stalwarts failed narrowly to Dublin (0-6 to 0-4) in the All- Ireland semi-final but made amends in 1925 when captained by “Knacker” Walsh, they won for Galway its first All Ireland Senior Football Title.

1931 saw Joe Kelleher lead Galway to All Ireland victory in the Junior Championship. Also on the team were Mick Connaire and John Dunne, men who were to become household names over the next decade. In Galway’s All Ireland victories in 1934 and 1938 these men, together with P.J. MacDonnell, Charlie Connolly and Johnny Casey were again to the fore.

Ballinasloe GAA has enjoyed continued success at all levels in both Hurling and Football. It has seen many of its members see the maroon and white of Galway. It continues to participate at a high level and with the amalgamation of hurling and football codes, development of their new facilities and recent announcement of further development in 2014, will surely continue to enjoy success far into the future.



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