The first meeting of Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Carlow, Ireland was held in the CYMS (Catholic Young Men’s Society) Hall on College Street on April 2nd 1888. Nine clubs from around the county were represented at the meeting. During the following years structures were put in place to enable teams to represent Carlow at the various levels.
Teams at various levels went on to represent County Carlow in Leinster competitions. However it was not until 1941 that Carlow reached the Senior Football Championship final for the first time. The game was due to be played in August against Dublin but had to be postponed due an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. When the game finally took place on November 9th 1941 Dublin had an easy win over Carlow. The Carlow Senior football team reached the Leinster final again in 1942. Though there was a dispute following the game concerning the eligibility of one player, Dublin were finally awarded the Leinster title. In 1943 Carlow missed out on a place in the Leinster quarter final when they were narrowly beaten by Laois.
In 1944 the Carlow Senior Football team reached the Leinster final and once again the opposing team represented Dublin. The final was played in Geraldine Park, Athy before what was described as an enormous crowd. Despite the difficulties posed by World War II, people made their way to the game to support their team using every possible mode of transport.
On a day of pleasant weather the crowd witnessed a thrilling and close game. Supporters of both teams were kept on edge from the throw-in until the final whistle. The Carlow team [J. Quinlan (O’Hanrahans), J. Lawler (Fighting Cocks), J.Archbold (Tullow), P. Farrell (Kilbride), P. Whelan (Tinryland), B. O’Rourke (Ballymurphy), E. Joyce (Ballymurphy), L. Kelly (Ballymurphy), J. Morris (Erins Hope), J. Moore (O’Hanrahans), M. Byrne (O’Hanrahans), W. Hosey (Tinryland), P. Sullivan (Army and Tinryland), J. Doyle (Tinryland), J. Rea (O’Hanrahans)], made history by defeating Dublin 2-06 to 1-06.
Carlow Senior Football team won their first, and so far only, Leinster Senior Football title in the year 1944 On This Day.
Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow
Headquarters of Carlow GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association)