- Name: Killoe Young Emmets (Emmet Óg)
- Established: 1889*
- Colours: White & Green
- Teams: Senior, Reserve Senior, Intermediate B, U21
The first GAA club in Killoe was founded in 1889* as Killoe Erins Pride, and while clubs came and went in the parish in those early years, a single unified club bearing the name ‘Killoe Young Emmets’ emerged in the early 1900’s and continues to this day.
There is sometimes confusion about what to call the club. The official club name is Killoe Young Emmets and there is no evidence of any use of ‘Emmet Óg’ in any official or unofficial capacity between 1900 and 1960’s. Indeed Killoe Young Emmets is one of the longest surviving club names in the county, dating back to approximately 1905. The use of ‘Emmet Óg’ or in more recent years ‘Killoe Emmet Óg’ has its origins in an effort by certain members of the County Board in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s to convert existing club names into an Irish form by popular acclaim. Club names affected included Young Irelands (became Éire Óg), Young Grattans (became Grattan Óg) and Killoe Young Emmets (started to be referred to in official circles as ‘Emmet Óg). Hence the dual naming convention which has continued since the 1960’s. While many refer to the club as ‘Emmet Óg’ or ‘Killoe Emmet Óg’ (neither of which are accurate Gaelic transations – the correct translation of Killoe Young Emmets is ‘Na h’Eiméad Óige’), the official club name is Killoe Young Emmets.
1889-1919: Founding & Winning
Amid the great upheavals of Irish political and social life after the famine and towards the latter years of the 19th century, there came a revival of Gaelic culture, sport, language and traditions. A meeting in Hayes’ Hotel, Thurles on 1st November 1884 gave birth to the one organisation among many that would flourish best, and to the present day the GAA remains one of the great movements of modern Irish history. In the years that followed its foundation, the Gaelic Athletic Association permeated throughout the country with the establishment of clubs, competitions and county structures.
By 1888, the association had been instituted in Longford and soon new clubs sprang up across the county. In 1889 the first club was formed in Killoe – Killoe Erin’s Pride (originally named Killoe Erin’s Hopes), and this was followed by a second club in 1890 called Killoe McMahons. Some local divisions had given rise to two GAA entities (on either side of the River Camlin), though a single club would eventually prevail by 1905 under the name Killoe Young Emmets. While the Erin’s Pride name can be easily explained, it seems that the second club was named in honour of Heber McMahon, the Bishop of Clogher who led the northern forces against Cromwell in the 17th century.
The Association across Ireland could not escape the divisions of the Parnellite split of 1891 which were particularly evident in Longford, and the GAA in the county as elsewhere went into decline for the remaining years of the century. By the early 1900s, Erin’s Pride had been re-established as well as the newly formed Killoe Young Emmets (after the patriot Robert Emmet). Another short-lived unit called Soran O’Connell’s existed in the parish, though Killoe Young Emmets quickly became the established unified club and were to enjoy a prominent place and an abundance of success during the next ten years.
In 1904 Killoe Young Emmets featured in their first Senior County Final, beaten by Longford Leo Caseys. The same town club overcame the Killoe hurlers in the final of 1905. Killoe would claim their first football and hurling titles by winning the double in 1907 as Killoe Young Emmets, and held the senior football title for 9 years, between 1907 and 1915. Some of these championships may not have been finished, and it seems that Killoe won 4 finals during this period, as some championships took two years to complete. JJ Heslin captained the first championship winning team in 1907, when Killoe beat Drumlish/Ballinamuck by 1-8 to 1-0 at Newtownforbes. Around this time, Paddy Hagan of Rhyne served as Longford GAA Chairman from 1908-12.
In the years that followed, the legendary ‘Rabbit’ Morgan emerged one of the great Killoe and Longford players of that time. He featured on the county team between 1904 and 1907 and scored seven points as they beat Westmeath 1-13 to 1-12 in 1907. Morgan also played a major role in the championship successes between 1905 and 1916.
While the records had previously credited Killoe with the 1911 and 1912 titles, it seems certain that the records are all from the same 1911 championship. The listed final of 1911 was actually the semi final, and after some uncertainty over the final opponents, the eventually overcame Edgeworthstown in early 1912. This information, which confirmed the two titles as only one, came to light following analysis of the championship records in 2014.
In 1913 Killoe defeated Longford by two points to one in a replayed final. Killoe’s championship final in 1915 resulted in a win by three goals to Clonguish’s three points, but the game was not played until July 1916. With no championships in the years that followed due to revolution and Spanish flu, it would be 1919 before action resumed in Longford and Killoe would once again find themselves in a County Final, this time against near neighbours Clonbroney Camlin Rovers. The Ballinalee men won the day after a replay and thus ended what was the most successful period for any club in Co. Longford in the early years of the GAA.
1920-1969: Mixture of Fortunes
After losing out to Clonbroney in a final replay of 1919, the club went into decline from 1920 and would re-emerge mostly in the Junior ranks for most of the next 40 years. It was not unusual for a club to go through periods of inactivity and re-emergence and Killoe were to reconstitute in both 1926 and 1949. On all occasions, they would return to the name of Killoe Young Emmets.
Jimmy Quinn was a member of the Longford team that won the first Leinster Minor title in 1929 and Dinny Hughes was a sub on the All-Ireland Junior winning side of ’37. The Junior League and Championship were won in 1931, when Dromard were beaten in the championship final and Mullinalaghta in the league decider after a replay, eventually decided in 1933. In 1939 Killoe won the Junior League defeating O’Connells in the final. The team in that final was: B. Corrigan, J. Hughes, J. Mollaghan, P. McCormack, J. Quinn, J. Canavan, M. Lennon, J. McGuire, B. Tynan, J. Canning, E. Hughes, H. Hughes, James McGuire, P. Lennon and J. Bratten. They beat Mostrim in the championship final the following year but the title was subsequently awarded to Mostrim on account of two ineligible players in the Killoe lineup and despite beating Ardagh in the 1949 final, an objection due to the late appearance of the Young Emmets team on the pitch resulted in the title being rescinded. In 1951 Killoe won the Junior for a second time beating Clonguish and returned to senior football, but were to revert back to junior ranks in the following years.
Around this time the club was amalgamated with Shroid Slashers under the umbrella name Killoe Slashers until a meeting of the Killoe members in Esker Hall in 1956/57 resolved to secede and return to the field as a one-parish club. During this time, the county board encouraged and used the Irish form of club names in the late fifties and early sixties (including Grattan Óg, Éire Óg & Emmet Óg). The use of “Emmet Óg” alongside the official club name of Killoe Young Emmets continues to this day.
In 1957 Killoe won the Junior Championship and returned to senior football once again. Billy Morgan was the outstanding Killoe footballer of that era. Son of the legendary ‘Rabbit’ he won a Monaghan championship for Ballybay in 1952 and was a member of the Longford Junior team that won the Leinster title a year later. In 2000 he was named on the Longford Team of the Century.
Killoe’s return to senior football in 1958 precipitated a period of prominence that would yield two league titles and a championship. They lost the Leader Cup (senior league) decider to Longford Slashers in 58, though they exacted revenge the following year. The rivalry with Slashers was a particular feature of those years and the town side overcame Killoe in the championship final replay of 1959. When the same sides met again the county final the following year, Killoe reversed the result and claimed their first senior championship in 45 years. The occasion and achievement is now an important part of local folklore as the men of 1960 earned an iconic standing in the parish. Billy Morgan captained the side (who were the first winners of the Sean Connolly Cup) while Mickey Bracken was declared as Man of the Match, described in the Longford Leader as “the 25 year old Rock of Gibraltar, the small human dynamo who roved all over his half of the pitch eliminating any promising Slashers movement, as well as prompting his forwards with slick passes”. The team that won on a scoreline of 2-10 to 1-6 was George Doherty, Jack Toher, Sean McGoey, Liam Quinn, John Hagan, John Bracken, Mickey Bracken, Billy Morgan, Vincent Duignan, Seamus Igoe, Tom McGoldrick, James McGoldrick, Joe Quinn, Davy Sheeran, Séamus McGuire, with subs Tom Brady, Brian O’Hara, Jimmy O’Hara, John Kiernan, Johnny Clarke, John Pat Mahon, Tom O’Leary, Tony Bracken, Eamon Quinn and Mickey Hehir.
Victory again in the Leader Cup followed in 1961 (over Slashers) with some of the younger players like John Kiernan, Hughie Clarke, Pat Devaney, Tommy Browne and Brendan Igoe among the medallists. They could well have defended their league crown in 62, but amid controversy and confusion over the scoreline in the final, the result went the way of Slashers. Thereafter however, Killoe’s fortunes declined with retirements and emigration and they would eventually surrender their senior status in 1965. While Longford’s fortunes were on the rise with a National League title in 1966 and a Leinster crown in 68, Killoe struggled at times to remain in existence against a positive backdrop for followers of the county team.
1970’s: Revival & Growth
The seventies marked the foundation of the Killoe Minor Club in 1975, and led to a return to senior football by the end of the decade. A growing young population gave rise to the prospect that Killoe’s fortunes would be on the rise and a number of key individuals played major roles in ensuring that the club was on the ascent.
For much of the early 1970’s Killoe played at Intermediate level, and amalgamated with Sean Connolly’s as ‘Killoe Connollys’ (1972-1974 & 1976-1977) and with Abbeylara as ‘Killoe/Abbeylara’ (1975) to compete in a qualifier series for the Senior Championship which existed in those years (Intermediate teams could enter amalgamation sides to compete against the Senior club teams in the Senior Championship from 1972 to 1979).
In 1975 Killoe reached the Intermediate Championship final only to suffer a defeat at the hands of Fr. Manning Gaels. Despite this defeat it was becoming clear that an intermediate title was very much on the horizon, and in 1976 they reached the Intermediate Championship final again only to lose out to Abbeylara. This second Intermediate Final defeat in a row was a particularly disappointing result for players and supporters alike.
The 1976/77 season was to prove the most successful for the club since the great days of the early sixties as the team remained unbeaten throughout to capture the Intermediate League, the Special Intermediate League and the Intermediate Championship, defeating Dromard in the championship final. Two weeks later in Kiltycon, the two sides met in the first round of the League and Killoe won this game, with John ‘Speedy’ McCormack making his debut at senior level. This young player was to be instrumental in the success ahead.
The seventies also brought underage success which signalled better days to come with a Schools title in 1977, Minor Championship in 1978 and the U-21 title in 1979. That U-21 winning team was: Gerry O’Donnell, Hugh Flynn, John Toher, Mark Mimnagh, Frank Rowley, Eugene Murphy (capt), Eugene McNerney, Frank Kennedy, Brendan Lennon, Matt Duggan, John McCormack, Michael Caherly, Declan Rowley, James McGoldrick, Gerry Rowley, Damien Bennett and super sub Barney Mahon. There was a poignant feature however to the last few years of the decade as the club lost Frankie Farrelly following his untimely and tragic passing in 1978.
1980’s: Success at last
Their return to senior status didn’t bring immediate success, but the emergence of a thriving Minor club would eventually pay dividends. In 1983 Killoe finally reached the Senior Championship final, only to be beaten by Cashel by the narrowest of margins. Despite this defeat, Killoe had signalled its definitive return to the top level. The 1983 team was: Michael McKeon, Eugene Bratten, John Toher, Brendan Bracken, Frank Kennedy, Eugene Murphy (capt), Gerry O’Donnell, Frank Kiernan, Matt Duggan, Brendan Lennon, John McCormack, Declan Rowley, Seamus Nolan, Mark Mimnagh & Damien Bennett. Rowley, Duggan and Bennett had featured for St Mel’s in their Leinster championship winning side of 1982.
Emigration however began to rob the parish of some talented players by the middle of the decade, though one of the stars was making a name for himself on the provincial and national scene. John ‘Speedy’ McCormack was by now an established intercounty player of note and topped the scoring charts in the GAA’s centenary year. He won a Railway Cup with Leinster in 1988 and was rewarded with three successive Allstar nominations.
In 1985 Killoe captured the Leader Cup for the first time in 24 years under McCormack’s captaincy (defeating old foes Longford Slashers by 1-5 to 0-5), keeping hopes of a senior title very much alive, and in 87 they reached the Senior Championship final again, only to be beaten at the finish by Paul Victory’s last minute goal on a scoreline of 2-6 to 1-8. Brendan Lennon captained the team was honoured with the man-of-the-match award (he remains the only player from a losing side to win the Fr McGee trophy). The 1987 final team was Kevin Bracken, Brendan Bracken, John Toher, Mickey Bracken, Frank Kennedy, Paul Rowley, Brendan Lennon, Matt Duggan, M.J. Keogh, Jimmy O’Neill, John McCormack, Declan Rowley, Mark Mimnagh, John Hughes & Eugene Murphy. Subs used were Howard Carrigy, Frank Kiernan and Billy Bratten. Defeat was a particularly difficult pill to swallow as it was another one-point loss and still the Connolly Cup evaded the club’s grasp. The Killoe jersey was to change appearance slightly in 1987 with the return of the ‘green hoop’ which remained until recent years.
1988 marked the arrival of the McCormack brothers from Clonguish and a new trainer in Dessie Dolan. Success finally came in dramatic circumstances and Killoe would create history by becoming the first club to win both the Senior Championship and Junior Championship in the same year. Having overcome Cashel and Slashers (both by a point) to reach another decider, they entered the final as underdogs to Mostrim. The day itself was characterised by some noteworthy features and events – a late arrival on the pitch by a Killoe side that were deep in prayer; a first point that landed while the Artane Band were still on the field; and a trio of second half goals from the McCormack brothers, two of which came while Mostrim suffered a calamity of errors in their defence. Declan Rowley captained the team that prevailed by 3-7 to 1-7 and Frank Kennedy was man of the match. The cavalcade left the town that evening en route to the chapel in Ennybegs and a parish parade as Killoe celebrated an end to a 28 year wait. The 1988 Championship winning team was: Seamus Finnan, Eugene Murphy, John Toher, Billy Bratten, Jimmy O’Neill, Frank Kennedy, Michael Bracken, Declan Rowley (capt), Terry McCormack, Kevin Dooner, M.J. Keogh, John McCormack, Jimmy McCormack, John Hughes, Mark Mimnagh. Subs used: Brendan Bracken & Declan Bracken. Thus began a rich harvest.
1990’s: Killoe builds on successes
While they struggled to add immediately to the success of 1988, the senior team remained among the top sides in the county alongside Slashers, Mostrim, Ardagh and Colmcille. The minor team, in an amalgamation with Clonbroney won a fourth championship in 1990 and the blend of youth and experience at senior level would eventually pay dividends. The junior team would provide an important conveyor belt to the next level and Killoe won the Special Junior Championship in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 – an amazing five-in-a-row; winning it again in 1997 and 1999 ensured that they were indeed kings of the junior grade. Along with this, came success in the Junior League in 1993& 1994 and the Intermediate (1A) League in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 & 1997.
At senior level, 1993 brought renewed interest in the senior team and their fortunes with the opening of the fantastic new grounds at Emmet Park in Clonee and the appointment of Tommy McCormack as team manager. The new development was opened by Peter Quinn in June 2003 as Killoe defeated Fr Manning Gaels while Roscommon under Dermot Earley overcame Offaly in the intercounty challenge.
Suddenly the time was right for another tilt at the title, though it would come against expectation. Slashers were favourites to regain their crown and were drawn against the Killoe men in round one. The two great rivals would meet for three years running in the opening round of the championship – all three encounters went to a replay. Killoe overcame the town side in 93 and qualified for the decider after victories over Rathcline and Mostrim (by a point). In the final, they defeated a Granard side that were making their first appearance in the county decider since 1982 by 0-9 to 0-7 and the legendary John McCormack was honoured as man-of-the-match as well as winning captain. A lacklustre game will be remembered for a brace of goals scored by the late Micheál Kiernan, which were all ruled out by the referee. As in 1988, they failed to break past the first round of the Leinster championship, losing out in Carlow to the reigning winners Eire Óg by 2-12 to 2-5 (in 88 they lost out to Athlone). A potential double was denied with defeat to Ardagh in the Leader Cup Final
Away from the field of play, the Killoe Scór na nÓg team were winning their way through Leinster and into the clubs first All Ireland Final, with the Novelty Act ‘Heavens just a sin away’. The Leinster title was captured on the stage of the Olympia Theatre, while the group came very close to victory in the All Ireland in the Gaiety Theatre in February 1993. Killoe reached the Leinster Final with the Novelty Act again in 1995 and 1999 but were unsuccessful, though the Ballad Group claimed a second provincial title in 2005.
In 1995 with Tommy McCormack still at the helm, the Young Emmets showed fine spirit in capturing the Senior Championship crown for the eight time – after a gruelling championship campaign, they overcame Ardagh in the decider by 0-11 to 1-5. The 1995 championship will be remembered for the titanic struggles and replays with Longford Slashers and Colmcille en-route to the final – the second game with Slashers regarded as one of the finest club games in Longford of modern times. In the final, they fell behind and trailed by four points at the break but recovered to seal the title. Mark Mimnagh doubled as captain and club chairman, while John Toher was man-of-the-match. A week later, they won their sole Dublin Sevens title in Islandbridge before finishing the year with a visit to New York. St Marys’ Ardee ended any Leinster ambitions after yet another replay and Mostrim put paid to a possible double winning an ill-tempered Leader Cup final.
In the following years, Killoe captured another Junior B Championship title in 1997 as well as winning minor league titles in 1995, 1999 and 2000. The ladies team began their rise as a successful club during the late 1990’s, capturing the Senior B Championship title in 1995, 1996 and 1998.
A number of tragic episodes hit the locality in 1995-96 and the untimely loss of star player Micheál Kiernan brought a wave of grief to the club and parish.
The golden era of the 1980’s and 1990’s eventually came to an end as the established players succumbed to retirement and left the stage. They had given their parish the best of times, with three county titles and a host of memorable days. In the years that closed out the century, Fr Manning Gaels, Dromard and Abbeylara emerged as new or renewed forces, while Killoe failed to make another decider and struggled to make an impression at senior level. The following years would see the seniors take a backseat in terms of prominence to the emerging force of the Killoe underage system.
2000: Transition and Rebuilding
The new millennium brought with it a period of transition for the club as they struggled to maintain the high levels set during the previous decade and while they suffered unlucky defeats in the 2000 and 2003 semi-finals to Abbeylara and Ballymahon respectively, ultimately Killoe were no longer a consistent force and came perilously close to losing their senior status in 2004 coming through a relegation play-off against Ardagh by a solitary point. There was some success to be had during this period though with an Intermediate League in 2001 and a Junior League in 2002 and the Minor Club’s re-emergence as an underage force promised better days ahead.
2005 brought renewed optimism with the senior’s producing their most consistent season in a number of years winning the Division 1 title for the first time having led the table throughout and reaching the Leader Cup Final. In the decider Killoe faced off against Ballymahon in what was a titanic struggle involving extra time, two red cards and a change of referee during the game. Sean McCormack scored eight points that day and with Michael Dunne particularly impressive on the ’40; Killoe won their first title in a decade by 0-14 to 0-13. The Minor Championship victory that same year provided further cause for hope.
The following years brought great promise but ultimately disappointment with a cruel one point defeat to eventual winners Colmcille in the 2008 semi-final the closest they had come. The declining economic fortunes during this period were beginning to take their toll on clubs throughout the country with Killoe hit hard by the loss of prominent players to foreign shores. By the decade’s end the club was in an almost continuous state of transition and were working hard behind the scenes to make that elusive breakthrough.
Beyond 2010: Back at the Top
In 2010 former Leitrim All-Star Seamus Quinn took the helm and guided the team to the top of Division 1 pipping county champions Longford Slashers to the title in the dying moments of the final day after a gruelling campaign involving 15 teams. The two sides met in the Leader Cup final for the seventh time in what was a very tense and tight match that went down to the wire with Thomas Nolan outstanding at midfield and Joe McCormack landing the winning point deep into stoppage time amidst very heavy fog. Final score Killoe 0-9 Longford Slashers 0-8. This success was just the springboard the club needed and the following year the U-21’s bridged a 32 year gap in defeating Fr. Manning Gaels 2-9 to 0-8 to win the championship crown. At county level, Killoe players were making a big impression with Sean McCormack, Padraig McCormack and Michael Quinn playing significant roles in the National League successes of 2011 and 2012.
2012 would prove to be the pivotal year for GAA in Killoe with victories in almost all grades from underage to ladies to senior, and after an epic County Final replay – including an unprecedented run of 9 Senior Championship games – Killoe Young Emmets made their long overdue return to the top of Longford Gaelic Football with victory over Longford Slashers to claim their 9th Senior Championship. The first game was a tough physical encounter dominated by both defences with a late free earning Killoe a second-day out. The replay turned out to be an absorbing contest with the lead changing hands on numerous occasions culminating in Daniel Mimnagh’s superbly taken point in the dying moments to bring the game into extra-time. Killoe scored five unanswered points to emerge victorious by 0-15 to 0-12. Cousins Joe and Sean McCormack had the honour of lifting the Sean Connolly Cup while Sean was awarded the man of the match. The expressions of pride, joy and relief across the parish was followed quickly by historic first successes in the Leinster Club Championship with victories over St. Annes Wexford by 2-7 to 2-4 and Navan O’Mahony’s on a scoreline of 2-13 to 0-8 before bowing out to Portlaoise in the semi-finals after a tight encounter (1-11 to 2-5). The success continued with the Senior team completing the double for the first time in the clubs history, beating Longford Slashers 3-11 to 1-7 in the Leader Cup Final and the U-21 team successfully defending their championship title against neighbours Fr. Manning Gaels by 4-16 to 0-7. This brought to a close the most successful year in the club’s history and by virtue of the Senior Championship, Leader Cup, U21 and Minor titles, ensures Killoe’s place in history as the first Longford club to complete the ‘quadruple’.
Sean McCormack would make his mark on the National Football League in 2013, ending the league campaign as joint top scorer and earning a national reputation as a noted marksman. Senior Championship success would come quickly again in 2014, with Killoe beating Mullinalaghta in the County Final to capture our 10th Senior Championship title, which was quickly followed by the Leader Cup title and the U21 Championship title in a year when Killoe teams won 15 different county titles. The Killoe GAA website captured the last title of the year by receiving the Leinster GAA ‘Website of the Year’ award.
As Killoe GAA celebrated its 125th Year in 2014, there was much to be proud of across a century of immense political and cultural change. Killoe retained the Senior Championship title for the first time in the clubs history in 2015 with victory over Abbeylara in the county final and progressed to the semi-final of the Leinster Club Championship. The club ended 2015 by winning the Leader Cup to achieve the 1st back-to-back League & Championship titles in the history of Longford GAA and would go on to capture the ACFL Division 1 title in 2016.
History researched & compiled by John & Colm Devaney.
- Name: Killoe Óg
- Established: 1975
- Colours: White & Green
- Teams: U18, U17, U16, U15, U14, U13, U12
While the Killoe Minor Club was formed in 1975, one of the first arenas of competitive football for Killoe underage came about much earlier, with the creation of the School’s League in the early 1930’s. Cullyfad N.S. had tremendous success in those early years reaching three finals, claiming the league in 1934 over Drumlish with James Doogue noted as team captain. Two years later Killoe became the first winners of the new Minor Championship overcoming their Longford town counterparts by 6-4 to 0-6 in the final. The squad included T. Farrell, P. Lennon, T. Masterson, D. Hughes, B. McLoughlin, J. Mitchell, M. Kilmeade, J. Brady, M. Bratton, E. Doherty, J J. Doherty, J J Morgan, H. Hughes, J. Brady, J J. Hagan. There was little activity of note during the 40’s but in 1948 an underage team organised by Tom McManus reached the Minor Championship final. The game against Longford Wanderers was declared void due to uncertainty over the eligibility of certain players and no winner was declared.
Killoe schoolboys went through a series of near misses in the late 1950’s losing finals in 1958, 59 and again in ‘63. A rare appearance in the Juvenile 9-a-side final in 1965 resulted in defeat to Granard. The late sixties eventually brought success with schoolboy titles in 1966 and 1969. More significantly, this group of talented young footballers would go on to provide the backbone to the 1970’s Intermediate teams and the club’s eventual return to senior status.
1970’s – Formation of Minor Club
Two key events in the early 1970’s had a profound effect on the development of underage football. 1971 saw the opening of St Therese’s N.S., the first centralised school in the parish. For the first time young footballers in the parish now played as a unified entity and thus fostered closer ties from an early age, the benefits of which would be seen as the decade progressed. The very same year saw the formation of the first Minor Committee chaired by PJ Bennett. The concept was to provide structure to underage football in the parish and would lay the groundwork for the official formation of the Killoe Minor Club in 1975. Packie Joe Lynch acted as Chairman alongside Tom Mahon, Frank Toher and John Reilly.
It has an almost instant impact on the pitch too as the Juvenile team reached the 9-a-side League final going down to St Vincent’s (Drumlish/Ballinamuck). They Minor team gained revenge over the same foe in 1976 winning the 9-a-side title by 5-7 to 2-7, the parish’s fist success at Minor Level since 1936. The historic team were: Mark Mimnagh, John Toher, Francis Rowley, Eugene Murphy (c), Eugene McNerney, John McCormack, Frank Kennedy, James Devaney, Barney Mahon subs: Brendan Lennon, James McGoldrick. The title would be regained in 1978 again beating St Vincent’s and along with Clonbroney and Shroid, the Killoe Region amalgamation proved too strong for Granard in the championship final by 2-7 to 0-3.
The success of the U-21’s in 1979 was the culmination of the previous years and with the club’s long awaited return to senior status complete by 1979, hopes were high of greater days to follow.
1980’s – Successful Foundations
This period of success continued into the next decade with an incredible treble of victories for the Juveniles – a first Championship title along with both 9-a-side and 13-a-side Leagues. The championship victory over Mostrim was achieved as an amalgamation with Clonbroney and Colmcille. A first U-14 Championship followed in 1981 with this squad going on to win a Juvenile double in 1983 and a Minor double in 1985 – the latter championship success coming against Colmcille after a replay. By the clubs official 10th anniversary, they had amassed 16 underage titles – a golden period for underage football.
Killoe continued to remain one of the top underage club’s during the remainder of the decade with Minor Championship final appearances in 1986 and 1988 and a 9-a-side League victory in 1987. The Juveniles regularly featured in league finals during this period and there was a welcome success for the Schoolboys with a championship title in 1987 after missing out in a number of finals in the preceding years.
1990’s – Mixed Fortunes
In 1990 the Minors (amalgamated with Clonbroney) captured the Minor Championship title staging a terrific second half comeback to beat rivals Drumlish by 2-9 to 2-6. The Juvenile 9-a-side team claimed league honours too beating Carrickedmond. This proved to be a high point in the 90’s as success at underage level diminished with only a handful of league titles at Juveniles level (1995 & 1998) and Minor (1995 & 1999) to show for their efforts. The Minor League in 1995 was perhaps the highlight of these successes with this strong squad making up for the final defeat 12 months previously by beating Dromard after a replay with Ian Browne providing an exhibition of point scoring in very windy conditions at Pearse Park.
The latter part of the decade saw a renaissance at schoolboy level under the guidance of Colm Harte with League titles in 1994, 95, 98 & 99, thereby sowing the seeds of success in the new millennium.
2000’s – Underage domination
With a solid and successful foundation in place at schoolboy level, Killoe Minor Club was about to undergo their most successful period yet as a series of talented teams swept all before them. In 2000 the minor team (amalgamated with Sean Connolly’s as Camlin Rovers) reached the championship final and retained the Division 2 League. The main success that year was the all-conquering U-14 team who completed the historic treble of league, championship and feile with some emphatic victories along the way. The league and championship would be retained the following year.
Killoe were now regularly involved in the shakeup for honours winning Juvenile Leagues in 2002 and 2005, a Minor League in 2004 and bridging a 15 year gap the following year winning the Minor Championship over neighbours Clonguish by 2-11 to 2-7. Seven members of that squad would go onto win the 2012 Senior Championship.
The latter half of the decade saw an explosion of titles as Killoe emerged alongside Northern Gaels and St Vincent’s as the foremost clubs in the county. The Juvenile team won back to back league and championship titles in 2007 and 2008. The U-14’s would also achieve similar double success in 2008 and 2009. The Minor team reached both league and championship finals in 2008 losing both to Northern Gaels. The following year in 2009 they made amends with a comprehensive 2-14 to 0-11 win over St Vincent’s in the championship final. Man of the match Mark Hughes scored a whopping 10 points while Patrick Thompson bagged both goals.
At inter-county level, Longford Minors won only their fourth Leinster title upsetting the odds against Offaly with 5 Killoe players involved – Ronan Keogh, Darragh Bennett, Padraig McCormack, Mark Hughes and Paddy Thompson.
Beyond 2010 – Success & Optimism
The Juvenile team won back to back championships in 2010 and 2011 and went on to participate in and win the inaugural Leinster U-16 League beating Navan O’Mahony’s 2-15 to 4-4. 2012 to be a landmark year for Killoe underage teams, winning 13 underage titles at every grade from Schoolboys to Minor – the most achieved by any Longford club in one year. The U-14 team won the treble for the second time and went a step further by winning the All-Ireland Feile Division 4 title beating Newtown Blues of Louth 2-3 to 0-6 in the final. Coming just 12 months after the club won the Leinster Juvenile title; this represents a massive leap forward for underage football in the club.
These provincial successes are the culmination of a decade of tremendous work and progress for underage football in the parish as Killoe rose to become one of the leading Minor clubs in the county winning almost 30 league and championship titles since 2000, more than the previous three decades combined.
Perhaps the most telling example of this prominence was Longford’s Leinster U-21 Championship final appearance in 2013 in which no less than eight Killoe players featured during the game with Padraig McCormack captaining the side. The retaining of the U21 Championship in 2014 shows the depth of talent flowing into the senior ranks from the underage structure. With no sign of this success abating, the Killoe Minor club entered its 40th Anniversary year in 2015 with a proud legacy and great optimism for the future. In 2017 the club added another Minor Football Championship title to the long list of successes across the most successful period in the history of the club.
History researched & compiled by John & Colm Devaney
- Name: Killoe Ladies
- Established: 1980
- Colours: White & Green
- Teams: Senior, Junior, U18, U16, U14, U12
The origins of the Killoe Ladies club dates back to 1980 when the newly formed Ladies team competed against Legan, Dromard, Abbeylara and Colmcille for the inaugural Ladies County Title.
Killoe reached the final in 1980, beating Legan to capture the Anthony Curran Cup by 1-3 to 0-2. The team: Aine McGuire, Roisin McGuire, Anne Bratton (c), Jacqueline Quinn, Josephine Reynolds, Geraldine Brady, Marie Bracken, Mary Bratton, Patricia Morgan, Ann McGoldrick, Helen Gray, Ann Thompson, Mae Fealy, Patricia Monaghan, Teresa Morgan. The management team included Terry McCormack, Tony Bracken and Colm O’Donnell.
The success of the inaugural league led to an explosion of interest in ladies football with 16 clubs registering for the 1981 competition making Killoe’s task at retaining the title all the more difficult. They did make it through the group and into the semi-finals before losing out to Longford Slashers. The year did end on a high note by winning the Drumlish tournament beating the hosts in the final. 1982 saw the launch of the first Senior Championship with Killoe losing out to Longford Slashers in a quarter-final replay. The main success story that year was that of the County team who reached the Leinster Final with Killoe footballer Mary Bratton as captain.
By 1983, Killoe were beginning to struggle for numbers as many of their players were involved with exams at different levels. The decision was made early that year to pull out of all competitions. It would be another eight years before Ladies football would be back on the agenda in the parish.
1990 to 2000 – A Club Reborn
In the early 1990’s, Killoe re-emerged as one of the leading ladies clubs in the county and a strong focus on underage development set the stage for the successful teams of the late 1990’s and beyond. The first signs of progress came in 1993 by reaching both the 13-a-side and 9-a-side league finals losing both to St Helen’s. Success came in 1995 with a Senior B Championship beating Clonguish 1-12 to 1-7 and again in 1996 defeating the same opposition 4-4 to 0-9 beginning a long running rivalry with their neighbouring club. The team were: Patricia Lynch, Tracy Rehill, Claire Farrell, Deirdre Rehill, Maria Doherty (c), Michelle Carrigy, Caitriona McDonald, Jennifer Hennessy, Claire Kiernan, Amanda Lennon, Aileen Devaney, Sharon Treacy, Aoife Doherty, Helen Reilly, Marie Carrigy.
Their first Senior Championship Final appearance in 1997 ended in defeat to a strong Ballymore side by 5-10 to 3-6. That same year saw the county team win the All-Ireland Junior title with four Killoe players in the team in the squad – Laura Doherty, Jennifer Hennessy, Carmel Hennessy and Patricia Lynch. In 1998 Killoe defeated Clonguish 3-10 to 1-10 to win the Junior Championship with Amanda Lennon scoring all three goals. 1999 saw Killoe reach the Senior Championship Final only to lose out to Ballymore while the following year they reached the decider again for the third time in four years only to suffer a cruel one point to Rathcline by 3-4 to 2-6.
The rebirth of Ladies football in Killoe in the 1990’s had much to do with the dedication of a small core group of people, including Marian Lynch, Christine Lee, Pat Doherty and the hard work of team manager Gary Fenelon.
2000 to 2010 – Success & Dominance
In 2001 Killoe ladies captured the Intermediate title hammering Mullinalaghta 4-15 to 0-4 and regained the title two years later defeating Clonguish by a solitary point. This allowed Killoe to compete in the Leinster championship for the first time and after beating St Fintans (Wexford) and St Conleths (Laois) along the way, reached the final against Na Fianna (Dublin) going down by 1-16 to 2-7.
The building blocks of the 1990’s would finally lead to significant success in the new millenium. In 2004, Killoe reached the senior final but again had to settle for second best against Clonguish 2-10 to 2-8. However they did gain some revenge defeating the same opposition by four points to win their first League title since 1980. Underage success was very much prevalent during these years with five Minor Championships in a row between 2001 and 2005 as well as U-16, U-14 and U-13 championships with many of these players helping to shape the senior team for the rest of the decade. The seniors reached the championship final in 2006 against Clonguish and this time they made no mistake romping to an impressive 3-14 to 1-7 victory to claim their very first Senior Championship. The historic team included Louise Clarke, Maggie Brady, Antoinette Brady, Claire Kiernan, Helen Carrigy, Marie Carrigy, Laura Gallagher; Elizabeth Brady, Edel Quinn, Ann Marie Bratten, Sabrina Hackett, Alison Kenny, Anna McDonnell, Caroline McCormack, Sharon Treacy (c), Therese Brady, Niamh Devaney, Jacinta Brady, Doireann Fox, Maree Kiernan, Ita Glennon, Orla Toher, Martha Reilly, Siobhan Sorohan, Ann-Marie Molloghan.
Two years later, the club claimed its first double of league and championship. Victory in the 2008 championship final was sealed with goals from Beanie Hackett (2) and player-of-the-match Edel Quinn who finished with a personal tally of 1-7. Final score 3-9 to 0-7. In the Leinster Intermediate Championship they accounted for Rhode (Offaly) and Foxrock/Cabinteely (Dublin) to reach the Leinster final against Railyard (Kilkenny). Despite trailing 1-3 to 0-0 early on, goals from Sharon Treacy and Orlaith Doherty either side of the break and a strong finish yielding five unanswered points were enough to claim the provincial title by 2-8 to 1-8 amidst wild celebrations. After defeating London champions Fr. Murphy’s in Ruislip, Killoe’s odyssey came to an end in Cork to Ballingeary/Inchigeela after extra time bringing to a close a magnificent year for this highly talented group.
2010 and beyond
While they and Clonguish emerged as leading contenders during the latter part of the decade, in more recent years Killoe have emerged as the dominant side in the county wining the league and championship double for four consecutive years from 2010 – 2013 along with back to back Gold Cup (9-a-side) victories and a Leinster League title in 2013.
In 2014 this successful group of players would retain the Gold Cup and win the new League Cup title en route to contesting the Senior Championship final (v Ballymore) and completing a unique five-in-a-row of Senior Championship titles.
2016 would see the Killoe ladies sweep the boards at senior level with Senior Championship, Senior League, League Cup and Gold Cup success to consolidate the position of the Killoe Ladies Senior team as the most successful Ladies GAA team in Longford.
History researched & compiled by John & Colm Devaney
The yew tree (Eo in Irish) in abstract form is central to the crest design, set in front of the cross, reflecting the church (Cill in Irish) and the spiritual heritage within the community. The name of the parish in Irish (Killoe derives from the Irish Cill Eo, Church of the Yew Tree) is set above the Irish form of the county, An Longfort. The establishment of the GAA in Killoe can be traced back to 1889.
The official GAA insignia, which was introduced in 2009, is at the base of the design. The colours of white and green that dominate the crest are those worn by Killoe Senior, Minor & Ladies Club teams. For branding purposes (jerseys, training gear, flags, letterhead etc.), the respective name of ‘Emmet Óg’, ‘Killoe Óg’ or ‘Killoe Ladies’ can be placed below the crest in either script or scroll design.
This modern Killoe GAA crest replaced the previous design from the early 1990s. The new design first appeared in June 2012 and was gifted to the club to appear on Killoe jerseys during the Senior Championship in August 2012. Today the crest appears on Senior, Junior, U21, Underage & Ladies jerseys, flags and other club merchandise.
The Killoe GAA crest was gifted to the club in 2012 and is not bound by any trademarks or copyright. Download high resolution copy here.