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History

PARISH

Annaghdown is a large parish situated in the barony of Clare and bounded on the west by Lough Corrib. It encompasses a large number of townlands and has at present a population of approximately 5,000. It takes its name from Eanach Dhúin, Irish for "the marsh of the fort". The village lies around Annaghdown Bay, an inlet of Lough Corrib. The parish is situated in the Archdiocese of Tuam.  Little is known of the early history of Annaghdown, which does not appear in the annals until the twelfth century. Two historical sources state it was granted to St. Brendan of Clonfert by King Áed mac Echach of Connacht. The ruins of Annaghdown Abbey and the 15th century cathedral survive as a National Monument.  Annaghdown Castle was erected by the O'Flaherties in the late 14th century, on the east shore of Lough Corrib, where it still stands, now restored

EARLY YEARS

The club was formed in 1887 and its history is documented in ''Annaghdown G.A.A. 1887-1989”.  The first game of football was played on July 31 1887 in John Cummins field in Corrandulla, with teams from Corofin and Caherlistrane it was a great sporting event. The first county title came in 1910 when the Junior Footballers won the county title but there is no record of this match only that Thomas Cunningham was captain.  Hurling can be traced back to 1926, when local teams played tournaments as there was no organised competition at the time. In 1928 Annaghdown won a hurling tournament played in Augclogeen.

FIRST SENIOR TITLE

In 1929 Annaghdown lost a West board junior football final to Carna only to win it the following year losing out to Tuam in the county final. Due to this success the club had to go senior for 1931. That year’s championship began with a win over Oughterard but as there was no other opposition in the West we were straight into the county final against Ballinasloe.  The game itself was played in Athenry and we won on a score line of 4-2 to 0-13.  The club also won the West Minor championship that year beating St Nicholas’ and Oughterard. 

40’S AND 50’S

By the late 30’s Annaghdown had reverted to the Junior grade and again won the county title in 1938 which was followed by a win in the West Board Senior grade in 1944.  Junior football couty titles were again won in 1956 and 1958 and the club fielded in Senior in 1957 and from 1959 to 1962.

HURLING REVIVAL

Hurling in the parish was revived in the mid-fifties with a North Junior League won in 1955 beating Cussane in the league final. The parishes Junior Hurling team remained very competitive over the next number of years and won the North Junior Hurling title in 1962 only to lose out narrowly to Killimordaly in the county semi-final. The North title was again won in 1964 and 65 with the side fielding at Intermediate level for 1966. 1967 Saw us back to junior again and the next ten years was a mixed bag of results but in 1979 we made history to win the county 'B' title beating St Thomas by 4-7 to 3-5.  In 1980 we became the first club in Galway to win a National Feile Title when we beat Moycullen in the final.

GOING SENIOR AGAIN 

With a good number of underage players coming through the club got to the North Junior Final in 1968 only to lose to Menlough but Senior Status was again attained in 1970 when we won the county Junior title again.  That was the launching pad for senior league titles in 1975 and 76 but we had to wait until 1982 to add to our lone football title.  

EIGHTIES IN FOOTBALL

The Club won three senior County Finals starting with 1982 followed by 1985 and 1987 and we lost another to Tuam in 1989, 

In 1982 we beat Ballinasloe by 1-9 to 1-7 in the fist round and had a two point win over Kilkererin in the Quarter-Final 0-10 to 0-8. The Semi-Final was against Dunmore McHales and another close call as the score was 0-7 to 0-6, The final was against Val Daly’s Mountbellew and we were the underdogs, but as the local press stated the following week-end "ANNAGHDOWN'S JOY DAY" The cup was back on winning score line of 1-9 to 0-7. We lost to Tourlestrane in the Connacht Semi-Final by 0-9 to 0-7.

In 1985 the Championship was run on a league grouping and with victories over Cortoon and St Gabriels and a draw with Tuam a quarter-final clash with Caherlistrane was achieved. Tuam Stars were our next test and once again it went down to the wire and another one point win 0-9 to 1-5 and we were in the County Final again, This time against Monivea/Abbknockmoy.  The Final was a low scoring game and it finished 0-6 each.  The re-play saw Annaghdown lead by 1-7 to 0-0 at half-time, but at the end is all so close with only two points in our favour 1-8 to 1-6, with Michael Burke scoring 1-4 of our total and received the 'Man of the match award.  Gerry Forde was senior footballer of the year in Galway.

The 1987 Championship we beat St.Grellans in our first game by 0-10 to 0-5, and followed that with a 2-13 to 0-12 win over St.Brendans, and we lost to Corofin in the final group game, but at that stage both teams were in the quarter-finals.  Salthill were our next team to play and we won the quarter final by 0-10 to 0-3.  The semi-final was against Tuam Stars and we won with only one to spare 0-11 to 0-10 despite the fact that we lead by seven points early in the second half. The final was against Milltown who were the fancied to win out.  The papers the next week said it all - 'GLORY DAY FOR TEAM OF THE DECADE' 'CHAMPION SHOW BY ANNAGHDOWN'. Annaghdown won by 1-7 to 0-7 with Tom Naughton scoring the match-winning goal while Willie Hughes won the man of the award.  In the Connacht Club we lost to Ballina Stephenites in Cregg by 1-6 to 0-6

In 1989 we lost the County Final to Tuam Stars by 2-9 to 0-5 after beating St Michaels, Ballinasloe and Corofin in the early rounds as the Championship was back to a knockout system again.

FIFTH TITLE

The year 2001 will forever be etched in our memories as in Tuam Stadium Annaghdown restored themselves to the top of Galway football for the first time since they dominated the grade back in the eighties. With Alan Keane back in their ranks and the two Joyce's, Tommy and Padriac in top form Killererin were hot favourites but an early Damien Burke goal from the penalty spot had the Annaghdown contingent in the large crowd in full voice and gave Annaghdown a cushion they held to the end.  The final score was Annagdown 1-7 to Killererin 0-8 with the Annaghdown scores coming from Damien Burke 1-3 (1-1 frees)  Pajo Fahy 0-2, Michael Newell and John Mannion 0-1 each.  Annaghdown again reached the county final in 2002 only to lose out to Corofin and the clubs senior side remained very competitive right throughout the first decade of the 21st century without scaling the heights of 2001.

INTERMEDIATE STATUS IN HURLING

In the 1970s, Brother Vincent, a monk who taught in Corrandulla school, and a native of Kilkenny, started juvenile coaching and this work saw Annaghdown win several underage titles in the '80's, culminating in the winning of the 1980 Feile na Gael All-Ireland U14 title. The work started by Brother Vincent was continued by many local people, and it has seen Annaghdown being competitive at underage since. In the late 1990’s Annaghdown’s fortunes improved at adult level as the club marched through the Junior grades in Galway winning Junior Special, Junior C and Junior B county titles in successive years from 1998 to 2000. While the clubs footballers scaled the heights of winning a county title in 2001 a large number of that side also wielded the caman to good effect to reach the county Junior A final only to lose out to Loughrea. In 2002 however it was a different story when after a replay with Turloughmore the clubs top hurling team was elevated to the Intermediate on winning the Junior A title for the first time. From 2002 until 2012 the clubs top hurling team trading its wares in the highly competitive Intermediate grade, reaching the semi-final for the first time in 2008 but after a poor showing in successive years the club reverted to Junior A hurling in 2013.  Two wonderful years followed when our premier hurling team reached successive Junior A finals and following a narrow loss to Craughwell in 2013 Annaghdown were back in Intermediate again with a 1-8 to 0-7 win over An Spideal.  Also in 2014 our hurlers won the Connacht Senior Hurling league and the County Junior 1 which is a competition for Junior only clubs and qualifies for the All-Ireland series.  Following a comprehensive win over Caulry  St Josephs in the Connacht Junior final we faced Bennettsbridge in the All-Ireland semi-final but despite a great first half effort which saw the men in maroon lead 0-7 to 0-4 we were well beaten in the end. 




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