C.L.C.G. Naomh Conaill

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C.L.C.G. Naomh Conaill[1]
C.L.C.G. Naomh Conaill
Founded: 1921
County: Donegal
Colours: Blue and white
Grounds: Davy Brennan Memorial Park (Pairc Daithí Ó Braonáin)
Coordinates: 54°47′44″N 8°17′40″W / 54.7956°N 8.2945°W / 54.7956; -8.2945Coordinates: 54°47′44″N 8°17′40″W / 54.7956°N 8.2945°W / 54.7956; -8.2945
Playing kits
Standard colours
Senior Club Championships
All Ireland Ulster
Football: 0 0 2
Davy Brennan Memorial Park, 2012

C.L.C.G. Naomh Conaill is a GAA club for the Glenties parish in south-west County Donegal. As well as the town of Glenties, the club also covers the area to the village of Fintown and the areas of Kilraine, The Glen and Maas down to the Gweebara Bridge. Much of this area lies within the Donegal Gaeltacht area.

Naomh Conaill is one of the strongholds of Gaelic football in County Donegal.[2] They reached the final of the 2010 Ulster Senior Club Football Championship.[3]

Club grounds[edit]

The club has used a number of different playing fields in its history before establishing the current Davy Brennan Memorial Park club grounds at Carrickbrack 1971. For a comprehensive history of club grounds pre 1971, refer to Daniel McGeehin's article on glenties.ie.[4] The club have had the honour of hosting the Donegal Senior Football Championship final on 12 occasions (1923,28,31,35,37,38,44,49,51,55,57,73).[5]


Early history[edit]

The club was formed in 1921, before this time other sports were played in the area, especially association football (soccer). The earliest record of Gaelic games in the area came from 1905, when a hurling match took place between Kilraine and Brackey (Ardara). This predates the organisation of Donegal GAA in 1906, the foundation of which was influenced by Alex McDyer (he became secretary), who jointly arranged this 1905 match and played in the first recorded Donegal team in 1906.
The club played its first match on 24 July 1921 between local teams - "The Town" and Kilraine. Friendly matches between Clady and Dungloe followed in the same year.[5] A first appearance in the Donegal Senior Football Championship Final followed with a defeat to Castlefin - the score is uncertain according to the Donegal Democrat, but Castlefin won by 3 points.[6] The following year the final between Ardara and Ballybofey was played in Glenties. From foundation to the late 1970s the club was usually referred to as Glenties (Na Gleanntaí) although through an amalgamation with the Fintown GAA club, it has since been referred to as Naomh Conaill.

Following this initial final appearance, the remainder of the 1920s did not yield any further documented success. However, there is a suggestion that the club did win a Junior football championship in 1928. The early 1930s saw the club suffer further county final defeats at the new Under 18 (Minor) Grade, losing to Letterkenny and in the first documented Junior county final in 1932 to Erin's Hope (Stranorlar) by a point. However success followed the next year in the Junior county final against Tamhnach na Mhullaigh, with the final score Na Gleanntai 0-2, Tamhnach na Mhullaigh 0-1. As well as these minor and junior finals, the club also contested the 1938 and 1939 minor finals - losing the former to St. Eunans by 2-2 to 1-3, but capturing the latter, its first County minor title on a score of 2-2 to Ballyshannon's 0-2.[7]

1940 - 1959[edit]

At the start of the 1940s the club continued to feature in a number of county finals, and it could be argued reached a new peak in terms of the quality of teams on the field. In 1941 the club contested both the senior and minor county finals, but failed to capture either title. The senior final was lost by the narrowest of margins to Gweedore(Played in Dungloe); who at this time were a prominent force in Donegal Football contesting seven senior finals in the 1940s, losing only once.

The chance to contest another senior county final arose the following year (played in Ardara), but again luck was not on Glenties' side as Ballyshannon took the cup home. A few players from these teams wore the Green and Gold of Donegal in the Ulster Senior Football Championship;[7] notably Columba McDyre and Davy Brennan (after whom the club's home ground is named). Columba later gained further fame as the first Donegal man to win a Senior All-Ireland football winners medal, when he lined out for Cavan in the 1947 final played at the Polo Grounds in New York City.[8]

1945 delivered further success with a second County Minor title secured at the expense of Gweedore with a scoreline of 0-9 to 1-5. The Minor final was reached once more in 1947, but a St. Eunans side on the 2nd leg of a three in a row were victorious. As the 1940s ended the club reached a sixth county decider, this time at the Junior grade, but were unsuccessful.

The 1950s were a lean period for the club, with no titles won.

1960 - 1970[edit]

The 1960s saw a second peak in the club's history with 10 finals contested across the decade. Following a final defeat in 1958; 1961 gave the club another chance at the U-16 crown, but defeat to Bundoran meant the wait would have to continue. The following year the club had some revenge against Bundoran by beating them to the 1962 Minor title by a score of 2-3 to 0-1. The club qualified for the 1963 minor final also but were unable to defend their title successfully, with Ballyshannon taking the title. This year also saw the club contest the Junior Championship final but Convoy took the cup. The following year yielded another success in the Junior Championship final, with victory over Castlefin with a score of (1-9 to 0-3). A first League division 2 title was secured in the 1963-64 season also. In 1964 the club won the Devine Cup hosted annually by Aghyaran St. Davogs's GFC.[9]

Building on the successes at Minor and Junior grades the club qualified for its 4th appearance in the senior decider in 1965. In a very close run final the score ended up as a draw: Na Gleantaí 0-10, St.Josephs 1-7. Unfortunately the replay did not go the club's way and our wait for the big prize continued. NB - St. Josephs were an amalgamated team of Ballyshannon and Bundoran.

Following 1965, the club had to wait until 1968 to contest another county final, and a strong underage group of players ensured repeat visits to U-16 and Minor finals in the following years. A first Under 16 crown was secured in 1968. The following year, the club's bid to retain the title ended with a final defeat to Droim Barr. In the same year the club reached the minor final as part of a joint team with neighbours (and local rivals) Ardara - the amalgamated team winning by eight points. This team then successfully defended the title in 1970 by defeating Buncrana.

1971 - 1989[edit]

The club's strong underage teams were again prominent in the early seventies. 1971 saw two finals contested by Na Gleanntaí, with mixed success. The U-16 team won the club's second county title at this grade, comprehensively defeating Urris. The second final of 1971 was at the U-21 grade (the first year this grade was played), but Gweedore took the title by 2 points. 1972 saw the club contest the Democrat Cup Final (Division 1 league) for the first time, but St. Josephs took the title. Underage teams came to the fore again in 1973 as the club reached the U-14 and U-16 finals, but sadly no victories were secured.

A first Senior football title for the club was won in 1974 with the capture of the Donegal Senior Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta - Naomh Conaill were however unsuccessful at the All-Ireland Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta in that year. In that same year a second appearance in the U-21 final was gained, but Kilcar ran out winners. A first appearance in an U-12 final occurred in 1976, and a single point gained Ballyshannon the title. Sadly, a wait of 8 years led us to the next county final appearance, this time at U-14. A strong St. Eunans team were the victors in Ballybofey (as in 1973). At this time the club's senior (first team) were playing in the Intermediate championship, and 1986 saw a final appearance against Dungloe in Ardara. Despite a good performance Dungloe took the cup. After a long wait since 1974 the club started to see some success in the late 1980s. A second League division 2 title was secured in the 1988 campaign, with a Division 3 shield following the next year.

The mid-1980s had seen the creation of 'B' Championships at U-12 and U-14 grades, and these new competitions gave the club new opportunity to develop its underage teams following a fallow period. In the second year of the U-14B Championship (1988), Naomh Conaill won the trophy, beating Termon in Ballybofey. The following year the U-12B Championship was also won after a replay in the old O'Donnell Park, Letterkenny. The first game with Buncrana finished all square at 2-3 each.[7]

In the late 1980s the club also fielded a camogie team, who won 2 County Intermediate titles in 1988 by 1-0 to 0-0 (against Four Masters) and in 1989 by 3-1 to 2-1 (against Glenfin) in Glenfin.

1990 - 1999[edit]

A landmark was reached for the club in 1990 with victory in the Intermediate Championship Final, a first county championship victory for the senior team over Bundoran. Another shield division 2 title was added in 1992. As well as being the year Donegal captured Sam for the first time, 1992 also saw Naomh Conaill capture an all-Ireland title in Scór na-nÓg; in the ballad group category. The team was composed of Shauna Ward, Eileen Rafferty, Tara Connaghan, Helena Bonner, Brenda Mc Elhinney and mentored by Jim Rafferty.[10]

The mid-nineties marked the start of an upturn in the club's fortunes, initially at underage level. By 1995 the "B" championships had been renamed A2 championships and the club secured both the Minor A2 and the U-12 A2 Championships at the expense of Kilcar and Glenfin after a replay (first game ended 2-9 to 3-6) respectively. . The club experienced mixed fortunes in 1997 losing the U-14 A2 Championship to Downings, but winning the U-13 A2 at the expense of Fanad Gaels.

A first shield division 1 was secured in 1995, and more significantly, success in the Senior Donegal Gaeltacht Championship was gained in the following year. A long-awaited return to success in the premier championship grades was fulfilled in 1998, when the club secured a first U-12 Championship, beating near neighbours Ardara. This was followed by a hat trick of Óg-sport Gael titles in 1999, 2000 and 2001.[10]

2000 - 2009[edit]

There is no argument that the current era is the most successful in the club's history, with a number of fine footballers wearing the blue jersey at all age grades. The pinnacle being the capture of the Dr. Maguire Cup (Donegal Senior Football Championship) in 2005 for the first time. During the first decade of the 21st century the club contested county finals in each year, with unparalleled success at various grades.

Building on the underage success of the late nineties; the club enjoyed continued good fortunes, capturing the U-12 A2 and óg-spórt county titles in successive years. In both 2000 and 2001, the club also contested finals at Minor A2, U-14 (2000) and U-16 (2001) without success. 2002 saw Naomh Conaill contest their second democrat cup final; and this time the cup was secured for the first time at the expense of St. Eunans. The following year saw the capture of the club's first Minor league (A1) title, but a first appearance in the senior reserve championship final ended in defeat to Gweedore. However, a first Minor championship as a single club since 1962; was achieved in this year.

2004 saw the club retain the minor championship, the first time a top grade football championship was held for more than one year (excluding combined teams). As mentioned previously, Naomh Conaill's finest hour was in 2005, with a first senior championship football title, at the fifth time of asking. It was a long time coming and the area has probably never celebrated a success as whole heartedly as they did this one. The club's first appearance in the Ulster club Championship ended at Mayobridge (Co. Down), Score: Mayobridge 0-10 Naomh Conaill 1-05.[11]

The success of 2005 gave way to an unprecedented five county finals in 2006, disappointingly only 1 success came at U-21 level (defeats came in the Senior reserve, Minor, U-13 and league division 1B). The second installment of an U-21 three-in-a-row was gained in 2007,[12] as was a second Minor A1 league title. In the minor championship Naomh Conaill were unable to overcome the challenge of Four Masters. St. Eunan's were the victors in the U-16 decider. More records were broken the following year with a third U-21 Championship in three years.

A sixth appearance in the senior championship county final in 2009, ended in defeat to St. Eunan's. This disappointment aside, 2009 was a vintage year with county titles at Minor and U-12, and final defeats in the U-21 (thus denying a four in a row), Minor league and division 5 county final. The minor team lost out at the quarter final stage of the Ulster Club Championship to Belcoo after extra time.[13] As 2009 closed, following a club record 6 county finals, the club has indeed come a long way in the last 89 years.[10]

2010 - present[edit]

They won the 2010 Donegal Senior Football Championship, with Leo McLoone in inspired form. They beat Killybegs in the final at MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.[14] Then they baet Cavan champions Kingscourt in the Ulster Championship preliminary round and baet Monaghan champions Clontibret in the first round proper to set up a semi-final against Tyrone champions Coalisland.[15]

In 2012 Naomh Conaill were once again in the county final against old foes Letterkenny. In an even game that was perhaps edged by Naomh Conaill on the pitch the club was narrowly beaten by a point after a late Mark McGowan 45.

In 2015 Naomh Conaill again contested the County Final against St. Eunans by a single point. This time they didn't disappoint as they atoned for losses to the same team in 2009 and 2012. Unfortunately, the club was beaten in the first round of the Ulster Championship by Tyrone champions Trillick.

In 2016 naomh conaill minors won the county championship against st eunans by 1-11 to 0-11 in convoy

Table of County Final results[edit]


Year Grade/Level Champion Runner-up
1921 Senior Championship Castlefin by 3 points Na Gleanntaí
1931 Minor Championship Letterkenny 2-5 Na Gleanntaí 0-4
1932 Junior Championship Erin's Hope 1-2 Na Gleanntaí 0-4
1933 Junior Championship Na Gleanntai 0-2 Tamhnach na Mhullaigh 0-1
1938 Minor Championship St. Eunans 2-2 Na Gleanntai 1-3
1939 Minor Championship Na Gleanntai 2-2 Ballyshannon 0-2
1941 Senior Championship Gweedore 0-10 Na Gleanntai 2-3
1941 Minor Championship St. Eunans 2-7 Na Gleanntai 1-4
1942 Senior Championship Ballyshannon 2-8 Na Gleanntai 1-4
1945 Minor Championship Na Gleanntai 0-9 Gweedore 1-5
1947 Minor Championship St. Eunans 3-5 Na Gleanntai 1-3
1949 Junior Championship Lios Cuaille 1-6 Na Gleanntaí 0-7
1953 Minor Championship Ruagairí na Rossan 4-13 Na Gleanntaí 2-6
1958 U-16 Championship Gweedore 1-4 Na Gleanntaí 0-3
1961 U-16 Championship Bundoran 0-8 Na Gleanntaí 0-1
1962 Minor Championship Na Gleanntaí 2-3 Bundoran 0-1
1963 Minor Championship Ballyshannon 2-6 Na Gleanntaí 1-6
1963 Junior Championship Convoy 2-7 Na Gleanntaí 1-6
1964 Junior Championship Na Gleanntaí 1-9 Castlefin 0-3
1965 Senior Championship St.Josephs (1-7) 1-11 Na Gleantaí (0-10) 0-10
1968 U-16 Championship Na Gleanntaí 0-10 Sean Mac Cumhaills 0-6
1969 U-16 Championship Droim Barr 2-11 Na Gleanntaí 0-9
1969 Minor Championship Na Gleanntaí/Ard an Rátha 2-10 Naomh Micheál 2-2
1970 Minor Championship Na Gleanntaí/Ard an Rátha 1-9 Buncranna 1-5
1971 U-16 Championship Na Gleanntaí 3-9 Urris 1-3
1971 U-21 Championship Gweedore 3-6 Na Gleanntaí 2-7
1973 U-16 Championship Sean Mac Cumhaills 1-7 Na Gleanntaí 2-0
1973 U-14 Championship St. Eunans 8-12 Na Gleanntaí 2-2
1974 U-21 Championship Kilcar 2-8 Na Gleanntaí 0-4
1976 U-12 Championship Ballyshannon 2-3 Na Gleanntaí 1-5
1984 U-14 Championship St. Eunans 4-13 Naomh Conaill 2-6
1986 Intermediate Championship Dungloe 0-8 Naomh Conaill 0-6
1988 U-14B Championship Naomh Conaill 2-8 Termon 1-4
1989 U-12B Championship Naomh Conaill 3-9 (2-3) Buncrana 2-3 (2-3)
1990 Intermediate Championship Naomh Conaill 2-12 Bundoran 2-10
1995 U-12 A2 Championship Naomh Conaill 1-13 (2-9) Glenfin 1-11 (3-6)
1995 Minor A2 Championship Naomh Conaill 1-10 Kilcar 1-5
1997 U-13 A2 Championship Naomh Conaill 4-10 Fanad Gaels 2-1
1997 U-14 A2 Championship Downings 1-13 Naomh Conaill 0-5
1998 U-12 Championship Naomh Conaill 4-16 Ardara 6-5
2000 Minor A2 Championship Burt 2-4 Naomh Conaill 0-3
2000 U-14 Championship Ballyshannon 5-8 Naomh Conaill 0-13
2000 U-12 A2 Championship Naomh Conaill 4-8 Convoy 3-7
2001 U-12 A2 Championship Naomh Conaill 6-11 St. Michaels 4-6
2001 U-16 Championship Buncrana 4-12 Naomh Conaill 2-8
2002 Democrat Cup Naomh Conaill 0-13 St. Eunans 0-9
2003 Minor Championship Naomh Conaill 1-11 Buncrana 2-5
2003 minor (A1 division) league Naomh Conaill 4-7 Glenfin 1-12
2003 Senior Reserve Championship Gweedore 1-10 Naomh Conaill 1-6
2004 Minor Championship Naomh Conaill 0-8 (2-5) Kilcar 0-6 (0-11)
2005 Senior Championship Naomh Conaill 0-10 (1-5) St. Eunans 1-5(0-8)
2006 U-21 Championship Naomh Conaill 1-9 Killybegs 0-9
2006 Senior Reserve Championship Gweedore 1-9 Naomh Conaill 0-6
2006 Minor Championship Killybegs 2-9 Naomh Conaill 0-11
2006 U-13 Championship Ardara 4-3 Naomh Conaill 1-7
2006 League Division 1B Dungloe 1-11 Naomh Conaill 2-6
2007 U-21 Championship Naomh Conaill 3-12 Ardara 1-9
2007 minor (A1 division) league Naomh Conaill 1-10 Cloughaneely 1-5
2007 Minor Championship Four Masters 1-7 Naomh Conaill 1-5
2007 U-16 Championship St. Eunans 2-13 Naomh Conaill 1-10
2008 U-21 Championship Naomh Conaill 0-11 St. Eunans 0-4
2009 Senior Championship St. Eunans 0-13 Naomh Conaill 0-7
2009 Minor Championship Naomh Conaill 1-14 St. Eunans 0-11
2009 U-12 Championship Naomh Conaill 3-12 St Eunans 2-6
2009 Division 5 county final Malin 1-9 Naomh Conaill 1-6
2009 Minor (A1 division) league Bundoran 2-9 Naomh Conaill 2-6
2009 U-21 Championship St. Michaels 0-13 Naomh Conaill 0-6
2010 Senior Championship Naomh Conaill 1-15 Killybegs 0-8
2012 Senior Championship St. Eunans 1-07 Naomh Conaill 0-09
2015 Senior Championship Naomh Conaill 0-11 St Eunans 0-10


  • 3 Donegal Senior Football Championships (2005, 2010, 2015[16])
  • 2 Donegal Senior League (Democrat Cup) (2002)(2012)
  • 1 Donegal Intermediate Football Championship (1990)
  • 3 Donegal Junior Football Championships (1928, 1933, 1964)
  • 3 Donegal League Div. 2 (1963-4, 1977, 1988)
  • 1 Donegal Shield Div. 1 (1995)
  • 1 Donegal Shield Div. 2 (1992)
  • 1 Donegal Shield Div. 3 (1989)
  • 4 Donegal Under 21 Championships (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010)
  • 9 Donegal Under 18 [Minor] Championships (1939, 1945, 1962, 1969, 1970, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2016)
  • 1 Donegal Under 18 A2 Championship (1995)
  • 3 Donegal Minor Leagues (2003, 2007, 2016 [Regional and Divisional])
  • 2 Donegal Under 16 Championships (1968, 1971)
  • 1 INTO 7-aside skills (1990)
  • 3 Óg Spórt Gaels (1999, 2000, 2001)
  • 1 Donegal Under 14B Championship (1988)
  • 1 Donegal Under 13 A2 Championship (1997)
  • 2 Donegal Under 12 Championships (1998, 2009)
  • 4 Donegal Under 12 A2 [formerly B] Championships (1989, 1995, 2000, 2001)
  • 2 Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta Dhún na nGall - Sinsír (1974, 1996)
  • 1 Glen McGinty Cup [Junior Football] (1990)
  • 2 Donegal Intermediate Camogie Championships (1988, 1989)


  1. ^ "Welcome". naomhconaill.ie. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Cullen, Damian (20 September 2012). "Final countdown". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 20 September 2012. The strongholds of Gaelic football in the county – particularly since the turn of this century – such as Gweedores Gaoth Dobhair, Letterkennys St Eunans, Ardara, Four Masters from Donegal Town and Naomh Conaill from Glenties have all been well represented on the pitch this summer. 
  3. ^ Keys, Colm (13 December 2010). "Kernan red card spurs on Cross'". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 November 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b On the Fields of Inishkeel by Danny Boyle
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "The Donegal Democrat" book of Donegal GAA Facts. Compiled by An tATH Seán Ó Gallchóir. (1989)
  8. ^ http://www.mcdyer.com/columbamcdyer.htm
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d The Book of Donegal GAA Facts. An tATH Seán Ó Gallchóir (2007).
  11. ^ "Ulster Club Championship results". BBC Sport. BBC. 6 November 2005. Retrieved 6 November 2005. 
  12. ^ http://www.donegalpost.com/2007/11/22/u-21-football-championship-final/
  13. ^ http://www.nwipp-newspapers.com/DN/free/343994502834884.php[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "McLoone proves too hot". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "Naomh Conaill's adventure continues with Coalisland test". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. 9 November 2010. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Gutsy Naomh Conaill edge to glory". Irish Examiner. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 

External links[edit]