Islandeady GAA Club History
Islandeady GAA club was established in 1904.The jerseys worn at the time
were black with a yellow stripe. The club didn’t own a pitch at the time so
games were played in various fields around the parish through the early
years such as Sonny Rice’s and Paddy Fitzgeralds (Cloggernagh) , Maura
Clarkes (Fairhill) and in Moing near the Three Bridges.
It was in 1928 that Green and White were registered as the club colours. In
general, during the 1930s and 40’s the local organisation of the Gaa was
very loose and Gaa activity suffered due to the war, lack of transport and
In May 1950 the club got going again and has been in existence ever since.
Some of the players at the time included Henry, Richie, Peter and Brendan
Needham (Lismolin), Dickie Conaboy (Cashel) Pat and Tom Conway (Cashel)
Mike, John, Frank, Jimmy and Paddy Bourke (Derrycoosh) Tommy O’ Malley
(Cloggernagh) Mick Quinn (Derrycoosh), Henry Kenny (Derrycoosh) and of
course the most famous Islandeady footballer, Peter Solan, the only
Islandeady man to ever win a senior All Ireland medal with Mayo.
· West Mayo titles were won in 1951,53 and again in 1959
The 60’s didn’t produce any titles but in 1960 Islandeady had three players
on the West Mayo team (an amalgamated team from Junior clubs) which won the
County Senior championship.They were Richie and Brendan Needham and Pat
Geraghty (Glenisland).The club also purchased it own pitch in 1965 with
funds raised from holding horse races which were held on and off between
1939 and 65.
In the early 70’s the club was on the verge of collapse due to lack of
success and many years in the doldrums. At the AGM at the end of 1973 many
young players expressed a desire to leave the club but it was decided to
make one last effort. The longest standing member of the club, Sean
Moylette, sponsored a parish league which got underway the following March.
Jackie Deffelys team emerged victorious and this league acted as a
springboard for the clubs most successful era.
Islandeady won the 1974 West Mayo championship defeating Westport in the
final on a scoreline of 1-5 to 1-2 and captained by John Fitzgerald, went
on to capture the County Junior championship beating Bohola 2-3 to 1-2 in
The following year Islandeady were playing at the Intermediate grade for
the first time in the history of the club. Not content with just
participating at a higher level Islandeady went on to win out the
championship by defeating Balla in the semi final and Ballinrobe in the
final in Castlebar captained by Peter Collins.
The club was now in the Senior football grade all in the space of two
years,a remarkable achievement. Though matching some of the best teams in
the County and reaching the County league final and Senior championship
semi final the major trophies eluded them. Some of the players at the time
were the McCormacks, the Kennys, the Collins, the Sweeneys, the Gibbons’and
In the early 1980s Islandeady returned to the Junior ranks but in 1985 won
another West Mayo and County Junior title and added another couple of West
Mayo titles in 1988 and 1990.In the late 80s and early 90s the club
redeveloped its grounds. A major fund raising drive took place and the
pitch underwent a complete makeover. The infamous dip was removed and a
superb new pitch was laid. In a brilliant show of unity and teamwork a
group of 54 members voluntarily built a six foot high 200 yard long wall
along the exterior of the grounds in just 10 hours on July 18th 1992. Over
the next few years facility upgrades continued and on Sunday 11th May 1997
the official opening of the new improvements took place with the Mayo
senior team playing Armagh in a senior football challenge.
On the pitch the Junior team struggled but the club set in motion a plan to
develop the underage section of the club so that they may reap the benefits
in later years. The under 14 team took part in the All Ireland feile
competition in 1996 reaching the semi finals.
In the early 00’s the work at underage began to pay off. Islandeady teams
began winning underage leagues and the under 21 team won the County ‘C’
title in 2002 and followed that up in 2003 by reaching the ‘B’ final before
losing to Crossmolina. Islandeady players also became more prominent on
colleges teams. In 2007 the Junior team were beaten in the County Junior
final by Achill but gained promotion to Div 1b of the league for the first
time since the late 70s following a dramatic playoff victory over Kiltimagh
In 2007 the club launched its new crest. The local national schools
participated in a competition to design the crest and Kyle Moran from
Cornanool emerged the winner.
2010 seen the under 21s win the County ‘C’ title again while the minor team
exceeded all expectation when they deservedly won the West Mayo ‘B’ title
and reached the county decider. The Junior team once again fell at the
final hurdle losing to Parke in the County final but continue to play in
the Div 1b of the senior league.
In 2011 Islandeady finally captured the County Junior title defeating Ardnaree in the final at a rain soaked McHale Park on a 1-10 to 0-9 scoreline.They also maintained their Div 1b league status.The Under 14s won the Div 4 League title and the Minors took part in the ‘A’ championship for the first time in decades.