Club Championship Records - Research Notes
About the Research
The most recent research into Longford GAA club championship records was undertaken in 2014. Prior to that activity, previous records and rolls of honour had been recorded in print via newspapers, yearbooks, centenary publications and County Final match programmes from 1980’s onwards (some rolls of honour appeared prior to that, but most appear from 1980 onwards). These records had previously been augmented by research done by Seán Ó Suilleabháin’s in the early 1980’s which documented county final scores from some of the early years which had been missing previously. The 2014 research went further using newly digitised records to uncover corrections to the records, and fill in gaps which had existed previously. Corrections and clarifications from that 2014 research are outlined on this page.
The latest research gave rise to a number of material changes to club title records and rolls of honour. A thorough examination of published sources also led to clarification of whether particular competitions were championship or league (a conflation which was often common in the early years of competition). The league competition had a different format in the early years, and while it was often referred to as the League-Championship, this was simply a means of reference to the fact that semi-finals and final followed a regular ‘league’ format.
Some score-lines were added to the roster over the past quarter of a century via the great work of Seán Ó Suilleabháin and others, but by 2014 the picture was still far from complete, and in some instances the conclusions drawn were now provably inaccurate. The 2014 research established a complete record for Senior Football Championships including county final results & scores dating back to the first decider in 1890, as well as a complete record of all Senior Hurling Championship titles as well as Junior, Intermediate, U21/20, Minor, Juvenile and U14 Football Championship titles – using a range of published and verifiable sources including local newspaper archives and a fantastic array of records and Longford GAA history via local historical publications. The resulting updates to the club records and rolls of honour was submitted to the Longford County Board in 2014 and published on the Longford GAA website and in various Longford GAA publications from October 2014. Further research into the Minor Championship records was completed and added to the website later, thus completing research into Club Championship titles in Longford.
1888 GAA reaches Longford
While it had been long assumed that 1887 was the first year of official activity in Longford, it seems more likely that the foundation of the Granard Healys club makes 1888 the year of initiation of the GAA in the county. The Granard Healys club was formed in late September 1888, named after Tim Michael healy, the Member of Parliament for North Longford. It had previously been assumed that Longford Davitts was the first club, having been formed on December 2nd 1888, however Granard Healys beat them to the prize by a few months.
1889 1st County Board & 1st Game Played
The first Longford county committee was elected at a meeting at the Market Square in Longford town in October 1889. The first official game in Longford was between Longford Davitts and Ballymahon O’Briens in late February 1889. Many more clubs were founded in 1889 and the first tournament took place on Easter Sunday 1889 with football games and other athletic events taking place. On the 13th of October 1889 two matches took place in Longford involving Longford Davitts vs Killoe Erin’s Pride and Drumlish Emmets vs Clough Dillons. After these games the first County Board meeting was held that same day with delegates from Ballinamuck, Drumlish, Clough, Columbkille, Drumard, Killoe, Longford and Clonguish. This meeting appointed the following to the first County Board… President: JP Farrell, Secretary: JH Dunne & Treasurer: Francis McGuinness. By the time of the draw for a first football championship in 1890, twenty one clubs had been established and were ready for competitive action in Longford. Almost all would be inactive by the turn of the century.
League vs Championship clarification
While Championship title allocations in the early years is now clearer, the League (or League-Championship) in those early years is more complex with competition not ending in some years and often stretching across years. The League-Championship was often regarded as of equal (or by some, greater) importance to Championship in the early years, but for record purposes we need to draw a clear delineation between titles which are Championship and titles which are League (League-Championship). Granard won the League-Championship in a few of the years from 1914 to 1917 with the 1917 campaign taking two years to complete and the final between Granard & Killashee held on 23rd February 1919 with Granard winning by 2-4 to 0-0. A letter in the paper complained about the length of time taken to complete the competition. The 1919 Championship draw took place immediately after the delayed 1917 League-Championship final in February 1919 and the Championship final took place in July with Clonbroney Camlin Rovers winning the Championship title. The draw for the 1919 League then took place on 23rd of July 1919 with the first games kicking off August 10th 1919. Long delays between November 1919 and February 1920 delayed matters on account of objections and lack of light at afternoon matches which ran into evenings. League action resumed in February 1920 with the semi finals in March and the League final on April 11th 1920 in which Clonguish beat Mullinalaghta to claim the league (League-Championship) title of 1919. These League (League-Championship) titles are not included in the record of Senior Football Championships captured on this website, as the League was a distinctly different competition to the Senior Football Championship.
Title Allocations – Clarification:
In the various title tables, championship titles are allocated to clubs/teams not to parishes or geographic areas. Longford has had over 100 different club names down the years, and there are a few instances where titles have been won by teams or clubs of different names, hence it was necessary to establish lineage in those instances to ensure correct allocation of titles.
Longford Town Clubs – Title Allocations
Longford Town has been home to many different clubs since 1888, including Longford Davitts, Longford Leo Caseys, Longford Shamrocks, Longford Commercials, Longford Rovers, Longford Wanderers, Whiterock Slashers and Longford Slashers. Of those clubs, four won Championship titles at various grades down the years… Longford Leo Caseys, Longford Wanderers, Whiterock Slashers and Longford Slashers. The establishment of the Longford Slashers club came about via the merging of Longford Wanderers & Whiterock Slashers club to form a new club in 1954.
For the Titles Table, we do not combine titles of Longford Slashers with those of Longford Wanderers or Whiterock Slashers because all three are separate clubs, with Longford Wanderers and Whiterock Slashers playing each other in 1938 Senior Championship final. Titles for Longford Slashers, Longford Wanderers and Whiterock Slashers are kept separate in the Titles Table because any club formed by the joining of two or more separate clubs or any club formed to replace more than one previous club will have titles of the new club kept separate from those of the original individual clubs that preceded it. The Longford Leo Casey titles are also kept separate too because this was a separate and different club to Longford Wanderers, Whiterock Slashers or Longford Slashers.
Drumlish & Ballinamuck Clubs – Title Allocations
The parish of Drumlish had different competing clubs during the first four decades of the 20th Century, most notably Drumlish and Ballinamuck 98s. The first Senior Championship title won by a club from the parish was won by Ballinamuck 98s in 1920 having won the Junior League the year prior. Drumlish won their first Championship in 1927, beating Ballinamuck 98s in the County Final. Drumlish went on to win eight Senior Championship titles in 1927, 28, 32, 37, 39, 40, 43 & 45 while Ballinamuck won the Junior Championship in 1938. Throughout that period both clubs co-existed and competed separately as individual clubs. By 1949 the Ballinamuck club was participating in Junior competition while the Drumlish club was not affiliated (last noted activity in the 1940’s was the 1947 Leader Cup Final). By late 1949 there are indications in local media that both clubs are combining into one, however Drumlish is recorded as returning to Senior football in 1950 (first time since 1947) and also competed in Junior and Senior competition in 1950. The preview to the first league match of 1950 refers to the team as the ‘reorganised locals’. The Drumlish club contests the 1950 Junior League final losing to Ardagh. There is no Ballinamuck club in competition in 1950 and no reference to any Ballinamuck club in action from 1950 until 1967 when a Ballinamuck club re-appears briefly at Junior grade for two years prior to the formation of the Fr. Manning Gaels club in 1969. Hence by the close of the 1940’s the available evidence shows Drumlish club active after a few years of inactivity and Ballinamuck 98’s club not active anymore.
In 1951 the Young Irelands club was formed. The first published reference to the club appears in 1951 when the club is cited in local media as a ‘Drumlish-Ballinamuck combination’ club during the championship previews of 1951. The team photo in the preview to the County Final in local media is titled ‘Drumlish-Ballinamuck combination’. Young Irelands won Senior Championship titles in 1951, 1953 & 1955 as well as reaching County Finals in 1958, 1961 & 1966. The club name pivoted to the Irish version Éire Óg at some point during the 1950’s. By December 1966 local media reported that a meeting was held in the ’98 hall in Ballinamuck with a view to forming a separate club in Ballinamuck. That Ballinamuck club makes its maiden appearance in the Junior Leagues in 1967 while Éire Óg continues in senior ranks. Éire Óg is struggling to compete by 1967/68 and forced to concede back-to-back Leader Cup games in 1968. Éire Óg is then noted as ‘out of football for a period’ in local media by March 1969. The Ballinamuck club continues to participate in the Junior League during that period. Having beaten Dromard in the Junior League in March 1960, Ballinamuck are scheduled to play Mullinalaghta in the next round of the Junior League as noted in a local media report on 23rd March 1969. However, on 18th March 1969, delegates from both clubs advised the County Board that they were no longer in a position to field separately and have decided to unite. This was noted in the Longford Leader that same weekend under the ‘Clubs Unite’ headline. A join meeting of the two clubs was held on 24th March 1969 at which it was agreed to name the unified club Fr. Manning Gaels. A new committee was formed, and affiliation sought under the new name. A confirmation article appeared the local paper that same week. Fr. Manning Gaels competed in the Special Senior League and Intermediate Championship of 1969.
Titles won by Fr Manning Gaels and Young Irelands (Éire Óg) are shown together in the Titles Table because both are ‘Drumlish & Ballinamuck’ clubs. However they are not combined with titles won by Drumlish or Ballinamuck 98s – those are recorded separately because any club formed by the joining of two or more separate clubs or any club formed to replace more than one existing club will have titles of the new club kept separate from those of the original individual clubs that preceded it.
Ardagh & Moydow Clubs – Title Allocations
The parish of Ardagh & Moydow consisted of two separate clubs (Ardagh St. Patricks and Moydow Harpers) for over a century up until 2016 when both clubs merged to form the ‘Ardagh Moydow’ club. Thus any titles won by Ardagh St. Patricks or Moydow Harpers prior to the merge of both clubs, are kept separate in titles tables from any titles won by Ardagh Moydow because any club formed by the joining of two or more separate clubs or any club formed to replace more than one previous club will have titles of the new club kept separate from those of the original individual clubs that preceded it.
Senior Football Championship:
The following clarifications and corrections are applied to Senior Football Championship records as a result of findings from the 2013 & 2014 research.
1890 The 1st Senior Football Championship
The 1st Senior Championship was held in 1890 with 21 clubs participating (teams were 21-a-side at that time). The County Final was played between Columbkille St Columbkilles and Rathcline John Martins in Abbeycartron on 8th June 1890, with the North Longford side winning by 1-0 to 0-4. Lest anyone be confused by that score-line, it should be noted that a goal at that time could not be beaten by any number of points.
After such encouraging beginnings, the 1891 championships would involve 26 teams, but was beset by problems from the start. There was confusion over the notice given for first round games and as a result, teams that failed to field were given a second chance with an additional round. Objections had also become a common feature of competitions and only three of the eight second round matches were declared by the time the championship came to a halt.
The GAA was faced with its first crisis in the aftermath of the Parnell affair, and activities and structures in Longford and other counties had effectively ceased. It should be noted that Longford was predominantly anti-Parnell during the crisis period. The 1891 championship remained unfinished and another decade would pass before games resumed. The number of clubs in Ireland dropped from 879 to 200 between 1890 and 1892 – the height of the Parnell scandal. The impact on Longford was a decimation of clubs and competition.
A challenge game involving Granard Slashers and Longford Shamrocks in 1896 was previously recorded as a county final, however available evidence shows that the game had no official standing, particularly and critically as there was no Longford County Board and no official county competition in place at that time. Hence this was an unofficial county final of sorts, won by Longford Shamrocks on scoreline of 2-4 to 0-9, but is not part of our official tally of Senior Championship titles.
The Longford County Board was re-established in 1904. With the resumption of GAA affairs in Longford, the senior championship draws would now involve a far smaller group of clubs. The 1904 competition had nine teams and in the decider, Longford Leo Caseys defeated Killoe Young Emmets by 2-7 to 0-1 in the final. The three local newspapers of the time (Longford Leader, Roscommon Herald and Longford Journal) had each reported different score-lines, but a closer analysis of these reports suggests that the Roscommon Herald carried the accurate result.
Club championships were few and far between in the period that followed. In fact, only eight competitions were successfully completed in the 37 years after the first championship of 1890. This can be attributed to a number of reasons and factors, including the significant impact of the Parnellite split of of 1891 and the conflicts and turmoil that became a common feature of Irish life in the first two decades of the 20th Century. All games played from the early 1880’s until 1912 were 17-a-side, while 15-a-side came into being in Longford from 1913.
Prior Longford GAA publications in the 1980’s had allocated the 1910 title to Clonguish Red Branch Knights, however there was no championship played in 1910 and no title won.
1911 & 1912 Correction
Killoe became the first team to enjoy a dominant period of success, winning four championships (1907, 1911, 1913, 1915) over a nine year period between 1907 and 1915. However, having previously crediting Killoe with the 1912 championship, it is now established that this final was in fact the conclusion of the 1911 competition in 1912. In previous records, the 1911 championship had seemingly concluded with the awarding of the title to Killoe (who had defeated Drumlish in the semi-final in November 1911) due to the fact that the second semi-final between Clonguish and Edgeworthstown had not been played as a result of a dispute. The 1912 final had previously been recorded as a 0-2 to 0-1 victory for Young Emmets over Edgeworthstown in a final played on 3 March 1912.
However, having examined all available information, it appears that the only competitive game played between November 1911 and the Killoe vs Edgeworthstown final of March 1912 was the meeting of Clonguish and Edgeworthstown in February 1912 (which was won by Edgeworthstown). It can be concluded therefore that the 1911 semi-final under dispute was eventually re-fixed and played in February 1912 and the winners advanced to play Killoe in the delayed 1911 final in March 1912 with Killoe winning that delayed 1911 Championship. However no 1912 championship was actually played.
Killoe Young Emmets won the 1913 Championship with victory over Longford Commercials in the final. This was previously thought to be the first 3-in-a-row of Championship titles, however the correction to the records for 1912 now debunks that assumption.
There is no evidence of any championship competition for 1914. This title had been allocated to Granard Slashers in Longford GAA publications from the 1980’s, however Granard won the League-Championship title in 1914.
Killoe Young Emmets won the 1915 Championship with victory over Clonguish Gallowglasses in the county final which was eventually played in July 1916. Granard are recorded as winning the League-Championship in September 1915.
There is no evidence of any championship competition for 1916. As cited above, the 1915 championship final was played in July 1916. There would be no further championship action until 1919. The 1916 Championship had been allocated to Ardagh St. Brigids in previous publications from the 1980’s and older rolls of honour, however there is no evidence to support this claim.
A chapter on the early county final records in ‘Comóradh an Chéid’ (the Longford GAA centenary publication of 1987) states that for the period 1917 to 1919, Clonbroney appear to have won the 1917 Championship with victory over Killoe in a replay, and Clonguish emerged victorious over Mullinalaghta to win 1919 Championship title.
However, closer examination of the records shows that no championship was played in 1917 with newspaper reports carrying the following official notice… “Owing to the somewhat disturbed state of the country, all football fixtures are postponed until further notice”. The 1917 League (League-Championship) took two years to complete and the final between Granard and Killashee was held on 23rd February 1919 with Granard winning by 2-4 to 0-0.
There is no evidence of any championship title for 1918, perhaps due in part to the conscription crisis & Spanish flu pandemic in that year which put fixtures on hold. On 21st September 1918 the Longford Leader reports that the Longford Championship semi-final between Granard and Killoe was to be played. However It does not appear to have been played and was subsequently re-scheduled. No further reports or evidence relating to 1918 championship has been found. Longford GAA publications in the 1980’s allocated the 1918 title to Ballinamuck or Granard, but no evidence exists to support this claim.
Newspaper reports for 1919 record the progress of the 1919 championship, which concluded with a county final victory for Clonbroney Camlin Rovers over Killoe Young Emmets in a replay, on a scoreline of 1-3 to 0-3 on 3rd August 1919. The Clonbroney club was later renamed Sean Connolly’s, hence this title appears in our table of titles as Seán Connollys. The 1919 title was previously credited to Clonguish Gaels in publications prior to 2014, however the available evidence shows Clonguish actually won the 1919 League (or League-Championship) beating Mullinalaghta in the final played on 11th April 1920.
Ballinamuck 98s won the 1920 championship title with victory over Longford Wanderers.
Due to a combination of factors, including the civil war, Longford’s prolonged involvement in the 1924 Junior championship (they reached the All-Ireland final which was played in July 1925), and the controversy over the county’s suspension by the Leinster Council (1926-27), there was no senior championship competitions played in any of the years from 1921 and 1926.
The titles of 1922 and 1923 previously credited to Longford Wanderers were in fact League titles (or League-Championship titles) and the available evidence shows that there were no championship finals played in either of these years.
A 1926 final between Granard and Mullinalaghta, was abandoned due to violent scenes (and two arrests). This was previously recorded as a Championship final, but was in fact the League (or League-Championship) final.
Championship action eventually resumed in 1927 with Drumlish winning their first title by beating Ballinamuck 98s in the County Final. (It is worth noting that Drumlish and Ballinamuck had separate competing clubs during the first four decades of the 20th Century).
Drumlish retained the senior championship title in 1928 as a result of being awarded the final (the game was scheduled for 27 May 1928, but Longford Wanderers failed to field).
All efforts to establish the final result of 1932 have proven fruitless (it is the only county final record which does not have a scoreline). In reporting the game between Drumlish and Granard for the Longford Leader, Jim Mannix apologised to readers for doing so a week later than expected as he had been ill. However, the brief report did not include the score-line. It should be noted however that Jim provided the GAA reports for the Leader for many years and without this commitment and service, we may have struggled to confirm many of the final score-lines for the 1930s and 1940s.
The 1939 final was abandoned and Drumlish were eventually awarded the title as a result of an appeal to the Leinster Council.
1946 No Score Final
A noteworthy stat is the County Final drawn game of 1946 between Dromard and Ballymahon which ended 0-0 to 0-0.
Senior Hurling Championship:
The following clarifications and corrections are applied to Hurling Championship records as a result of findings from the 2013 & 2014 research.
1902 1st Hurling Club
The first hurling club in Longford was Longford Leo Caseys, formed on 4th October 1902.
1905 The 1st Hurling Championship
The first Longford Hurling Championship Final took place in 1905 (though it likely started in 1904) and was contested between Longford Leo Caseys and Killoe Young Emmets. Leo Caseys won on a scoreline of 2-4 to 0-1. However the final had to be replayed following an objection by Killoe and Leo Casey’s emerged victorious in the replayed game on score of 1-3 to 1-2 to take the first Longford Hurling title.
1906 No Competition
There is no evidence of any hurling championship competition for 1906.
1907 Hurling Final
Killoe Young Emmets would gain revenge over Longford Leo Caseys by winning the clubs only Hurling Championship title in 1907 on a scoreline of 3-3 to 0-0.
1908-1931 No Competition
There is no evidence of any hurling championship competition in the years from 1908 to 1931.
1932, 1933 & 1934 Hurling Championships
Granard won three in a row hurling titles in 1932, 1933 & 1934. Granard won the 1932 title with victory over Longford on scoreline of 4-2 to 0-3, and then made it back-to-back titles by winning the 1933 hurling championship by virtue of topping the table that year, thus there is no county final game recorded. Granard won the 1934 title with 3-2 to 1-3 victory over Longford to complete a unique three-in-a-row.
1935 – 1981 No Competition
There is no evidence of any hurling championship competition in the years from 1935 to 1981.
2011 No Hurling Final
The 2011 Hurling Championship final was not played. Clonguish had asked the County Board to postpone the hurling final until they had finished up in the county football championship because some dual players involved with their hurling team were also involved with the senior football team. Wolfe Tones turned up on the day and maintained that Clonguish failed to fulfill the fixture and that they should be awarded the title. In the meantime, Clonguish were knocked out of the football championship on 11 September 2011 and the fixtures committee set a new date for the Hurling final (9 October 2011). Wolfe Tones refused to play on that date because they felt they fulfilled the original fixture and as far as they are concerned they were now the champions. No final was played and no title officially awarded.
Leader Cup (Senior Football League):
1938 Leader Cup
The 1937 Leader Cup continued into late 1938, hence it was too late to start a new league in 1938, so the competition started afresh in 1939. Thus no Leader Cup title for 1938.
1967 Leader Cup
The 1965 & 1966 Leader Cup finals were decided in 1967, which left no time in that year to play a 1967 Leader Cup. Thus there is no Leader Cup title for 1967.
2018 Leader Cup
The 2018 Leader Cup final was never played. Mullinalaghta and Killoe reached the decider but it was not played due to Mullinalaghta’s successful Leinster Club Championship campaign and ongoing activity in the All Ireland Club Championship which stretched into 2019. Thus there is no Leader Cup title for 2018.
2020 Leader Cup
The 2020 Leader Cup competition was not played due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Intermediate Football Championship:
In January 1931 it was proposed at the County Board meeting to establish three grades of football instead of two leading to the implementation of the Intermediate Championship to encourage more football for clubs. In the first final Mullinalaghta defeated Clonbroney 4-8 to 1-2. This result was missing from all Intermediate Championship statistics prior to the 2014 research.
The competition was retained in 1932 when Edgeworthstown Young Irelands defeated Mullinalaghta in the final.
The Intermediate Championship was discontinued in 1933 and did not restart until 1966. The Intermediate Championship which continues today can trace its uninterrupted beginning back to 1966.
Junior Football Championship:
In December 1916 a board overseeing Junior competition is mentioned in the Longford Leader. Records show that the first Junior competition (ran on a League basis) began in August 1917 and this competition appears initially to have been an underage competition. Longford beat Carra Gaels 0-6 to 0-2 to win the first Junior title. In 1918 Clonguish beat Mullinalaghta 1-1 to 0-2 in the Junior League final. In 1919 Edgeworthstown beat Ballinamuck 98s 1-3 to 0-5 in the Junior League final played in Jan 1920, but following an objection the game was replayed with Ballinamuck 98s coming out as winners. The 1920 Junior League was awarded to St. Mel’s College over Ballymore. No further Junior League competition was played until 1924 when Longford Rovers defeated Clondra 2-2 to 0-1 in a final played in September 1925, and were promoted to Senior grade. Drumlish won the 1925 Junior League, finishing top of the table. Mullinalaghta were previously credited as the first winners of the Junior Championship in 1924, however no published evidence can be found to support this claim, with all available evidence pointing instead to the first Junior Championship taking place in 1927. All Junior competition prior to 1927 was played on a league basis (League-Championship similar to that which existed at senior level in those years) and is distinctly different from the knock-out Junior Championship competition which began in 1927 and continues to this day. For record purposes all Junior competition prior to 1927 is regarded as League not Championship.
1927 Correction – The first Junior Championship (as opposed to League in the years preceding) was played based on knockout basis in 1927 with Ardagh defeating Colmcille 4 points to 1 in April 1927. Granard were previously credited with this Junior Championship title but they in fact won the 1927 Junior League defeating Ballymahon 5 points to 1 in Jan 1928.
1928 Correction – Clonguish defeated Drumlish in this Junior Championship final, although no scoreline can be found. Granard were previously credited with this title but they reached the Junior League final only to be defeated 2-4 to 2-3 by Clonguish in September 1929.
1930 Correction – Ardagh were awarded the replay of the 1930 Junior Championship final against Colmcille as the referee adjudged the latter not to have fielded in the allotted time.
1935 Correction – Whiterock Slashers defeated Seán Connollys in the Junior Championship final in late 1935. Seán Connollys objected and the available evidence suggests that this objection was upheld in early 1936 with the title going to Seán Connollys.
1936 Correction – Whiterock Slashers beat Dromard in this Junior Championship final. Dromard objected and were awarded the title. Slashers counter-objected and were re-awarded the title. Hence the record shows Whiterock Slashers as champions.
1940 Correction – Killoe Young Emmets defeated Mostrim 1-5 to 1-4 in this Junior Championship final. However Mostrim lodged an objection which was upheld in November 1940 and Mostrim were awarded the title and medals.
1942 Correction – Cashel had previously been recorded as winners of the 1942 Junior Championship, however available evidence show that Longford Wanderers defeated Seán Connollys in the Junior Championship final. Newtowncashel St. Ciaráns defeated Killoe Young Emmets in the Junior League final of 1942 and this may have been mistaken for the championship in previous research.
1944 Correction – Previous records omitted this year. Available evidence shows that Dromard beat Longford Wanderers in this Junior Championship final and a full account of the match is noted in the Longford Leader of October 28th 1944.
1949 Correction – Killoe’s Young Emmets victory over Ardagh St. Patricks in this Junior Championship final was overturned on appeal. No title was awarded.
2016 & 2017 Update – Junior Championship was not played in 2016 & 2017, and replaced by Intermediate B Championship instead. Junior Championship competition resumed from 2018.
2020 Competition – The Junior Championship was not completed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
U20 Football Championship:
The U20 competition used to be U21 competition until 2018 and changed to U20 from 2018 onwards.
Kenagh won the 1968 title as St. Dominics Kenagh.
There was no U20 competition held in 2020 due to impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
Minor Football Championship:
The first Minor Football competition is mentioned in 1934 with the first Minor Championship competition held in 1936 and won in June 1937 by Killoe with victory over Longford on a scoreline of 6-4 to 0-6. The next Minor Championship title was won by Mullinalaghta in 1938 (with a team that contained some players from Seán Connollys). There was no Minor Championship won in 1937 or from 1939 to 1949 inclusive. Minor Championship competition was not very common in these early years, while Minor League was played in a number of years, and in some instances referred to as Minor Competition or Minor Championship. Here is a summary of those early years from 1934 to 1954 with clarifications and corrections applied to the Minor Championship records.
1934 Clarification: Minor teams were entered into competition in 1934 from Clonbroney, Whiterock Slashers, United Gaels (Longford + Clonguish + Ardagh), Drumlish, St. Brigid’s and St. Mary’s. Fixtures were arranged in May 1934 but nothing more is recorded.
1935 Clarification: Competition organised in 1935 but the Minor Board Notes from early 1936 indicated that the 1935 competition was not completed. No record of any Minor final exists, but a notice regarding a medal presentation in Apr 1937 noted Longford as 1935 Minor League winners. No record of any Championship played.
(Preview to the Minor Board convention in March 1936 notes Longford as the winners of the 1935 Minor Competition. However no report of the final has been found and one week prior to the final it was noted that the 1935 competitions were ‘unfinished’. Further research is needed but all evidence available indicates that this Minor competition was played in a format similar to the 1936 league and was therefore the League. Longford were also not listed in the Minor Championship roll of honour published in 1944).
1936 Clarification: Just six teams entered competition in 1936 with Clonguish taking the League title over Dromard by 4-6 to 1-0 in Sep 1936. In July, the Minor Board decided to run a Minor Championship (straight knockout competition). The Championship ran into 1937 with Killoe defeating Longford in the final by 6-4 to 0-6 in June 1937.
1937 Clarification: The 1936 Championship was noted played until June 1937 which may explain the absence of a championship title for 1937. A Minor League was played in 1937 and was at an advanced stage up to end of October 1937. Four teams played in that Minor League with some teams having played two games by end of Oct 1937. The County Board AGM in January 1938 noted a lack of progress in local competition at every level including lack of support for underage competitions. It seems the Minor league competition was not finished and additionally no Championship was played in 1937 either.
1938 Clarification: Minor League begins in April and continues into November. The preview to a Mullinalaghta v Ballymahon game on 1st November notes that Mullinalaghta are leading the Minor League. No definite record of the league final game exists, but we can tell from media references that Mullinalaghta went on to win the league competition. There is no written record in newspapers of the Mullinalaghta 1938 Minor Championship win, however winner medals exist with the year, club and competition to verify the 1938 Mullinalaghta Minor Championship title. It should be noted that some players from Seán Connollys club played on this winning team, but it was not an amalgamation, with only ‘Mullinalaghta’ inscribed on the winners medals.
1939 Clarification: Minor League commenced at the end of February 1939 and fixtures continue to be arranged sparingly up to the end of May after which no fixtures appear with no record of the competition being finished. A roll of honour published in 1944 indicated Clonguish were Minor winners, however the evidence suggests this was the Minor League and that no championship was played in 1939.
1940 Clarification: Six clubs entered into Minor Competition and a league commenced in April 1940 with teams playing home and away ties. The league continued into November 1940 and was at a very advanced stage but no definite record of a winner. The 1940 Minor Board AGM referred to unfinished underage competitions and lack of support for these games. This would imply that the league was not finished but there is no definitive proof either way. A roll of honour published in 1944 indicated that Clonguish won back-to-back titles 1939-40 and the examination of all available evidence supports these being Minor League titles, not Championship titles.
1941 Clarification: Just four teams affiliated in 1941 and the draw for the league was arranged, commencing in March 1941. Similar to the 1940 competition, the league seemed to be at an advanced stage by the end of July 1941 but no definite record exists of any league winner. No records exist of any Minor Championship played in 1941.
1942 Clarification: No record of any Minor Championship in 1942.
1943 Clarification: No record of any Minor Championship in 1943.
1944 Clarification: No record of any Minor Championship in 1944.
1945 Clarification: Calls for a Minor Competition to be organised on a number of occasions at the beginning of 1945. First set of fixtures organised in July on a league basis and continue into October after which no further fixtures are noted and no record of a league winner. No record of any Minor Championship played in 1945.
1946 Clarification: League commenced in August 1946 with Abbeylara and Ardagh reaching the final with the original fixture in Dec postponed. The league final was eventually played in Apr 1947 with Abbeylara emerging victorious. This is the first definite winner of any Minor competition recorded since 1938. No championship played in 1946.
Note: The 1946 final stated Abbeylara but at stages during the competition they were referred to as Granard and in on instance ‘Abbeylara (Granard)’. While they were solely referred to as Abbeylara in the final and their success noted alongside the clubs Junior double as an overall ‘treble’, the Granard GAA History book records this as a minor amalgamation between both clubs. The Granard GAA book also notes this as a Minor Championship win though this is never referred to in that way in contemporary records. At the end of the section on this final they note that “there are no County Board records of Minor Championship winners from 1938 to 1949”.
1947 Clarification: Six teams affiliated and league competition began in September 1947. According to Minor Board records, the league reached the playoff stage for each section but was not completed. No record exists for any Minor Championship played in 1947.
1948 Clarification: Eleven teams affiliated and a Minor league competition was arranged and split into three sections – North, South and Mid-Longford. Games were run on a double-league basis (home and away games) similar to previous years. Killoe beat Longford Wanderers 2-1 to 0-2 in the league final in March 1949. There was an objection raised on the eligibility of some Killoe players and the result was subsequently declared void and no replay occurred. No record exists for Minor Championship played in 1948.
Note: This 1948 league final was initially thought to be a Championship Final but this was played on a league basis similar to previous years and therefore evidence shows it to be a League competition. The Minor Board introduced a new trophy (Harte Cup) for this newly structured league competition which was due to be presented to the Minor League winners in 1948. However, with the 1948 final declared void, the new cup was not presented.
1949 Correction: Previous records showed Mostrim as winners of the 1949 Minor Championship. However an examination of all available records & evidence shows that while the Minor League was played in 1949 with Clonguish defeating Rathcline by 3-3 to 2-2 in the Minor League final in February 1950, there was no Minor Championship competition played in 1949. Also Mostrim did not have an active underage club in 1949. Hence the record has been corrected to show ‘No Competition’ for 1949.
1950 Clarification: Following the completion of the 1949 league competition in Feb 1950, the Minor Board meeting held March 10th 1950 noted that 8 teams were affiliated for that year, and it was decided to run a league and a championship in 1950. The 1950 League commences in April and finished in Sep 1950 with Colmcille taking the honours beating Rathcline 2-3 to 0-4 in the league final. An Aug 25th 1950 article previews of the Clonguish vs Rathcline league semi-final noted Clonguish as the holders (of the league). Rathcline won the match with the report noting that they defeated the holders. The preview to the Colmcille vs Rathcline league final noted that both sides are deciding who should “hold the Harte Cup – the Minor trophy for the League winners”. Colmcille went on to win the league final, but they did not receive the Harte Cup. A Minor Board meeting held on 15th September 1950 congratulated Colmcille on winning the Minor League and also unanimously decided to play a Minor Championship in 1950 too and to “present the Harte Cup for this competition instead of the league”. Clonguish beat Young Ireland’s (Drumlish/Ballinamuck) 2-1 to 0-2 to win the Minor Championship in November 1950 and thus lift the Harte Cup. This is the first record of any knockout Championship being held at Minor grade since 1938 and Clonguish were the first club to receive the Harte Cup for winning the Minor Championship title.
1951 Correction: The 1951 Minor Championship started but dragged on thru the end of the year and never completed. The Minor Board meeting in February 1952 formally agreed to drop the incomplete 1951 Minor Championship (as recorded in Longford Leader on 8th March 1952). Previously it had been assumed that Clonguish had won the 1951 Minor Championship and in some records it was assumed that Clonguish had won a three-in-a-row of Minor Championships from 1949-1951, however in those years Clonguish won Minor League titles in 1949 & 1951 and Minor Championship in 1950. Hence the record has been corrected to show ‘Not Completed’ for 1951.
Note: There are references in some records to Clonguish Minors achieving a 3 in a row of Minor successes from 1949 – 1951 (including a contemporary letter to the paper congratulating the team on this achievement upon winning the 1951 league). Records show that they did win 3 titles in those years… 1 Minor Championship and 2 Minor Leagues.
1952 Clarification: At the Feb 1952 Minor competition, the draw for the championship was arranged (once the completion of the 1951 Championship was dropped in Feb 1952). It was agreed to run the championship on league lines with three sections – North, South and mid. Ballymahon beat Clonguish 5-11 to 2-4 to win the 1952 Minor Championship in Apr 1953. This is a somewhat unique championship because it was run on league lines. No separate league competition was held in 1952.
1953 Clarification: A motion to arrange separate league and championship competitions in 1953 was rejected and the championship continued to be played on a league basis in 1953. Colmcille beat Ballymahon 1-4 to 1-3 to win the Minor Championship in Sep 1953. No separate league competition was held in 1953.
1954 Clarification: Separate league and championship competitions were arranged in 1954, thus moving away from the Championship via league structure which was utilised in 1952 & 1953. Carrickedmond beat Ardagh 3-7 to 0-0 in the Minor Championship final. Longford Slashers won the Minor league with a walkover after Granard failed to field in the final. The Minor Board review of the year for 1954 referenced the introduction of the Minor League during the year and noting that the Championship was played on a knockout basis. The article notes that “in former years the Minor Championship was played on a league basis”. Available evidence suggests this refers to the 1952 and 1953 Minor Championship competitions, both of which were played on league basis.
1974 Confusion: The Harte Cup displays ‘Longford Slashers’ as 1974 winners, however it should be Mostrim + Abbeylara (Wolfe Tones + St. Bernards). The Longford Leader of September 13th 1974 contains the match report for the final which ended with the scoreline Mostrim + Abbeylara 1-11 vs Ardagh Region 0-02, making it back-to-back Minor Championships for the Mostrim & Abbeylara combination in 1973 & 1974.
Harte Cup Correction: It was previously assumed that Mostrim were the first winners of the Harte Cup in 1949. This has been proven incorrect not least because Mostrim did not have an underage club or team in 1949. Clonguish was the first club to get their hands on the Harte Cup when it first appeared in 1949 – They received it for winning the Minor League (there was no Championship competition that year) when the 1949 league finally concluded in February 1950. However a County Board meeting later in 1950 decided the cup should be presented to Minor Championship winners instead of Minor League winners from 1950 onward. Hence Clonguish by virtue of winning the Minor Championship of 1950 became the first holders of the Harte Cup for winning the Minor Championship. They are uniquely the only team to have won the Harte Cup for both Minor Championship (1950) and Minor League (1949) title wins.
Juvenile & U14 Football Championships:
The Juvenile (U16) Championship began in 1954 with St. Michaels (Longford Slashers) winning the first title.
The Juvenile Championship was split into County (Co) and Club (Cl) competitions in 2016 & 2017.
The 2019 Juvenile Championship Final was not played due to an objection which is still ongoing.
The U14 Championship began in 1965 with St. Michaels (Longford Slashers) winning the first title.
The U14 Championship was split into County (Co) and Club (Cl) competitions in 2016 & 2017.
The U14 Championship was split into Urban (u) and Rural (r) sections from 1976 to 1988.