Club History

Kilbride (Cill Bríde) A Brief Club History

Honours:

Senior Football Champions: 1962 & 1968

Junior Football Champions: 1958 & 2007

Ladies Junior Champions: 2003

Ladies Senior B Champions: 2007

Early History

The Club was founded in 1954 by a select few with a vision to bring GAA tradition, values and community to Kilbride.  Initially the team played and trained in a large field behind the Community Hall with permission of the local land owner for about 20 years until the mid 70’s.

1958 Junior Team - Kilbride GAA

1958 Junior Team – Kilbride GAA

Billy & Lil Craul kindly allowed the Club to train on a field in the village heading in the direction of Oldcourt on the right-hand side.  Eventually the Club ended up on the pitch behind the National School, where it was the Club’s base right up until early 2019.

An awful lot of work was completed in the early days by the extended community trying to get the pitch in a playable condition, with drainage being the main issue. The dressing rooms were built in the mid 80’s, under the guidance of Peter & Mary Clarke as Club Chairman & Secretary, Tom McKeon as Treasurer and a number of other Club diehards. Donations and financial support were kindly received by the Club and eventually the Dressing Rooms were completed around 1984.

The Club were on the lookout for a plot of land that they could develop over the years and purchased a site on the N81 near Tinode in and around 1994, which never took off due to planning issues. In around 2006 the Club purchased a site in the village which is in the process of being developed and it is hoped will host its first adult games in May 2022.

New Pitch in Kilbride - January 2022

New Pitch in Kilbride – January 2022

The men of cloth in Kilbride GAA and 1954 Junior Championship

The contribution of the Catholic priests in Kilbride must be recognised with regard to the Club existence today, some believe if it were not for four specific priests the club may not exist today.  Father Michael O’Reilly played a big part in the reorganisation of the club in 1954 and following by player and administrator Father Joseph Collins.  Fr. Collins was about 30 or 31 years old when he played on the championship team that won the Junior Championship for Kilbride in 58 against Knockananna, 4 years after the Club’s foundation.  Fr. Collins left soon after to Phibsboro or Coolock in North Dublin.  The man that replaced Father Collins was Father Con McGillicuddy who didn’t play much ball but was very involved in the Juveniles.  Providing opportunity to as many kids as possible was his outlook.  The last priest to play for the Club was the great Father Cassidy who won Senior for Kilbride in 68.  The Club were very lucky to have these four men as priests who had a strong GAA pedigree and interest.  What would the landscape have been if not for these four men of the cloth?

1968 Kilbride Senior Champions

1968 Kilbride Senior Wicklow Champions

1958 Junior Wicklow Champions

paragraph coming soon

1962 & 1968 Wicklow Senior Football Champions

1968 & 62 – paragraph coming soon

 

 

1970’s – Junior Status

In the early 70’s a decision to re-grade the club to Junior status was agree by the Club Committee and it appeared as if the Club never fully recovered from that decision.  In fairness the great 60’s team were aging, emigration was rife, a few players retired, and the upcoming players weren’t quite up to it.  So, the Club went Junior in the 70’s and they ‘soon’ found out how hard it is to win a Junior championship!

Success after 39 Years…

In 2007, coming soon….local neighbours Blessington….

Finally, the club made the breakthrough in 2007, bridging a 39-year gap.  In a poor final against Blessington, Kilbride prevailed by a single point – poetic!

The club lost 6 junior football championship finals and one junior hurling final from 1969 till 2006.  The unwanted hall of horror reads:  Football: 2001 – An Tochar, 1995 – Ashford, 1992 – Rathnew, 1989 – Knockananna, 1987 – An Tochar, 1985 – Barndarrig.

 

Finally, a Junior Hurling Final in 1980 to Enniskerry.  Hurling in Kilbride was played for about 5 to 6 years, unfortunately attempts over the past number of years have failed to revive the code.  The Club are now aligned with Western Gales for Hurling, the current Western Gaels captain is Finn Craul, who in 2021 picked up the Junior A & B County titles.

Western Gaels Wicklow

Western Gaels win Junior A Championship 2021

 

Legacies from the 60’s Kilbride Team

The contribution of two of the Clarke brothers through the 60’s obviously left a profound imprint on the Wicklow GAA public as Peter and Tommy made the Wicklow Football Millennium Team – quite an achievement.  Both Tommy and Peter were also enrolled into the Wicklow Hall of Fame.

Tommy Clarke Kilbride Wicklow

Tommy Clarke Kilbride

Peter Clarke Kilbride Wicklow

Peter Clarke Kilbride

This team generally consisted of players, including: Bertie Hanlon, Andy Hanlon, Liam Craul, Ned Kearns, Jim Kelly, Duffy’s, Welsh – the rest of the squad is to follow…

Kilbride Ladies

The ladies team was founded in 2000. The first trainer was Liam Creighton and he had his work cut out for him taking the team on as most of the girls had never played football before, indeed many hadn’t played any sport.  In 2002 they had their first taste of glory winning the Junior League with Joe Craul as manager.  In 2003, under the hand of Joe again, they won the double, the Junior League and Junior Championship.

2003 Ladies Junior Champions

2003 Ladies Junior Champions

They were then promoted to Senior in 2004. They even managed to field a second team in 2004, in the Junior League. Their next bit of glory was winning the Senior B Championship Cup in 2007.  A great occasion for the Ladies team and indeed the club as this was the first senior cup to be brought back to the club since 1968.

2007 Ladies Senior B Champions

2007 Ladies Senior B Champions

Caitriona McKeon – Wicklow Ladies Captain and All Ireland Winner

Caitriona Captained the Wicklow Ladies to Junior All Ireland Honours in 2011 and was an incredible servant to Wicklow Ladies Football throughout here career.

Caitriona McKeon

Caitriona McKeon – Wicklow Ladies All Ireland Winning Captain

Wicklow Ladies All Ireland Junior Champions

Wicklow – Junior All Ireland Champions 2011

Also on the management team were two Kilbride stalwarts Orla & Nicki Donohoe who assisted the management team and squad.

Deirdre O’Riordan – All Ireland Winner with London

A wonderfully skilful footballer, Dee, scored the opening goal – an unstoppable overhead kick to the top corner of the net – in London’s junior championship final win over Derry at Croke Park in 2008.

It set the Exiles on the way to a 5-5 to 1-11 victory and gave London ladies a first All Ireland title since 1993.

Dee was also part of the Parnells team which won an All Ireland Club intermediate title in 2012, alongside Republic of Ireland and Liverpool soccer star Niamh Fahey.

Parnells defeated Tipperary’s Cahir by 2-14 to 1-2 in the final to become the first overseas Ladies club team to win an All Ireland title.

Dee also played camogie with Fr Murphy’s and also represented Wicklow winning a National Football League medal in 2005.

London v Wicklow - TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship Semi-Final

30 August 2008; Deidre O’Riordan, London, in action against Catriona Byrne, Wicklow. TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship Semi-Final, London v Wicklow, St. Peregrine’s, Blakestown Rd, Dublin.

Ciaran Jones

Club Captain and County Player tragically lost his life at the young age of  25 on the 24th of October 2011.  Ciarán was swept away at the Ballysmuttan Bridge as he came to the aid of motorists during torrential rain and flooding. A tragic loss.  Ciaran captained the Club to the Junior title in 2007.  Read Club Announcement from 2011, here.

Kilbride 2007 Junior Wicklow Champions

Kilbride 2007 Junior Wicklow Champions

Ciaran Jones

Ciaran in action for Wicklow

Ciaran Jones Playing for Wicklow

Ciaran in action for Wicklow

Juvenile & Adults Team Photos throughout the Years…

Kilbride & Lacken U12 B Champions 2011

Kilbride & Lacken U12 B Champions 2011

 

 

2006 U10 Team

2006 U10 Team

Kilbride Team 2013

2006 U12 Team

2006 U12 Team

Ladies Team 2017

Kilbride Small School Team

Kilbride Small School Team

Kilbride Intermediate Championship Team 2008 - Sporting Baltinglass Jerserys - v Aughrim in Baltinglass (Kilbride win)

Kilbride Intermediate Championship Team 2008 – Sporting Baltinglass Jerseys – v Aughrim in Baltinglass (Kilbride win)

U12's County Champions 2009

U12’s County Champions 2009

 

Kilbride Team Photo - Schools Team - Year