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The History of Clann na nGael GAA Club


  • Clonown GAA Club - 1889

    It is reasonably certain that the first GAA club in the parish was started in Clonown in approximately 1889 or 1890, initially playing Hurling and athletics. By the beginning of the century, Football became the main sport in the area and the club competed in local Leagues and Championship, reaching the Final of 1909, but the strong Kilbride team of the early 1900's reigned supreme.

    Clonown did have some success, winning a number of Leagues in the 1920's and other tournaments in the Midlands. However, club activities declined during the 1930's.

  • Drum GAA Club - 1928

    The pastime of Gaelic Football is recorded in Drum during the 1900's, with Bealnamulla, Cornafulla, Kielty and Thomastown competing in local competitions. In 1928, these villages came together to form the Drum club, allowing them to compete with the likes of Clonown and Taughmaconnell who were the successful teams of the early 20th century.

    The foundation of the Drum club was the second major milestone in the history of GAA in our local area. The two half parishes of Drum and Clonown took part in competitions as two distinct clubs until 1936 when an amalgamation of the two half parishes was agreed upon.

  • Clann na nGael - 1936

    During 1935, the two clubs of Drum and Clonown were beginning to realise the futility of fielding two teams in one small parish. Some efforts were made to get the two sides to amalgamate and make a renewed effort to capture some of the trophies which were being played for in the area.

    In early 1936, representatives of Drum and Clonown met in Kielty Hall and an amalgamation was agreed upon, choosing the name Clann na nGael, which, is believed to be a reference to the successful Clann team of Dublin at the time.

    The members present on this historic day included Jim, Frank and Ned Killeen, Michael Nolan, Terry Hynes, Owen Shine, Jack McManus and Mike Henry.

    The new club found immediate success in local tournaments such as the O'Meara Cup, McCrann Cup and Millar Tournaments. The following decade saw Clann compete in the Junior Championship, but they did not acheive the success of victory until 1954, when they made the step up to Senior ranks.

  • Senior Success in the 60's

    The dawn of this new decade in the history of Clann na nGael Football Club brought new hopes and youthful enthusiasm. These hopes were based principally on the promising displays shown by our team during the latter part of the 1950’s and by the youthful enthusiasm of the many players who had progressed from Minor ranks on to our Senior panel.

    Clann set their marker at Senior level in 1960 by winning the O'Rourke Cup for the very first time, and would go on to dominate in the Senior League, winning another 6 titles in the decade.

    However, the great breakthrough was made in 1961 when Clann won the Senior Championship for the first time after defeating Elphin 2-08 to 1-10. Clann would go on to win another title in 1966 and establish the club as Kingpins of Senior Football in Roscommon.

  • Continued Success in the 70's

    Clann started to have numorous successess at underage level, including U.14 success in 1970 and Minor titles in 1973 and 1974. Those wins were important as those teenagers went on to play major roles in the future of the club.

    Clann na nGael, with a blend of youth and experience, reached the Senior county final of 1976 and upset the odds by beating a strong Roscommon Gaels side.

    Clann would go on to win further titles in 1977 and 1979, setting a trend for the coming decade that saw the club go from strength to strength.

  • Clann's Golden Era - 80's

    The 1980's saw Clann dominate both Roscommon and Connacht, reaching All-Ireland Finals but falling short each time. Household names began to emerge, especially the McManus' - Tony, Eamon Snr and Jnr, Martin, Owen, Anthony, Paul and Jimmy helped fashion the glory era for Clann.

    The first Connaucht Club Championship was won in 1982 and defeat followed in the All-Ireland Final against Portlaoise. Eight Roscommon Senior titles were won in succession (1984-1991), a remarkable run by any standard.

    Clann na nGael also won six Connaucht Club titles in succession in that era (1984-1989) and appeared in four successive All-Ireland Finals (1987-1990). During this period, Clann also captured the All-Ireland 7-A-Side crown in 1989.

  • Mixed Fortunes - 90's & 00's

    During the 1990's Clann, continued to be to the forefront in Roscommon football, winning further Senior county titles in 1993, 1995 and 1996. A lull followed in the late 90's and 00's where our Senior Men failed to pick up any silverware for over a decade.

    However, there was success at other levels. Our U.14's were victorious in the All-Ireland Féile competition which was held in Carlow, with Donie Shine Jnr and David Flynn two of the stand-out players.

    Our Ladies won Roscommon & Connacht Intermediate titles in 2002 and were narrowly beaten by Rockban of Cork in the All-Ireland Final.

    In 2006, Roscommon claimed the All-Ireland Minor Championship title for only the 4th time and first time in 55 years after a replay against Kerry. The team was captained by Clann's David Flynn and the talisman upfront was Donie Shine Jnr, who scored 11 points between the Final and the Replay.

  • A New Era - Present Day

    The last decade has been more prosperous, with a number of U.16 and Minor titles followed by an O'Rourke Cup win in 2013, the first time to win a Senior title in 13 years.

    The group of players kept the momentum growing over the years and claimed their first Senior Championship title since 1996 in 2015, beating neighbours Padraig Pearses 1-09 to 0-11.

    2018 was a year of huge success for the club, Clann's 21st Senior title was achieved when they defeated neighbours St. Brigid's 4-15 to 1-12. Added to this were the O'Rourke Cup, U.20 Championship and Tansey Cup, which was won for the very first time.


The Clann Museum, Johnstown.

Clann na nGael

Clann na nGael GAA Club
Johnstown,
Athlone,
Co. Roscommon.
N37 DX94

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