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 Strokestown GAA A History                     

At a meeting in Duffy's Hotel on the 13th of September, 1881, the Strokestown Club was founded. Mr. G. O'Reilly was elected President and J. Walpole was elected Captain and Treasurer.

Around that time there was much agitation concernong land and the Land League was very active in the area.

On New Year's Day, 1889, seventy men marched from Carnaska Church to the Racecourse, Ballinafad, to meet and play a game of Gaelic football. As well as people of the parish, they came from Kilgefin, Kilbride and Scramogue.

After the match a meeting was held and it was agreed that landlords and 'land-grabbers' could not be a part of a GAA club so it was agreed that Mr. J. Walpole, who lived in Castlenode and owned large parcels of land there and on nearby Sliabh Bán, should be expelled and a new club formed.

On the 18th of October, 1889, the club met and formally expelled Mr. J. Walpole on the gropunds that he was a landlord and a new club was formed. the club was to be known as the Strokestown Brian Boru's.

The club affiliated along with 14 other clubs to the newly formed County Board, and on the 9th of November, 1889, the Brian Boru's were beaten by Creeve, 3 points to nil. Later, on November 16th, a new club known as St. Patricks Strokestown was formed and beat Kilmore 2-0 to 0-0.

On the 12th of November, a meeting was held in Kiltrustan and a new

What have the following people got in common?

Tom Shelvin

Michael Donlon

Gerry Hagan

See below

club was known as Érin go Brea was formed.

On December the 7th Kilglass O'Connell's played Brian Boru's and beat them 1-4 to 0-1 in a field of Pat Duffy's or Erin go brea.

Thirty four teams entered a newly organised County championship for the Presidents's medals. the president of the county committee was Jasper Tully. Those clubs were Strokestown Clubs. The knockout competition was won by Strokestown St. Patricks on May 31st, 1890, beating Bornacoola O'Neills by 0-4 to 0-1, thus securing the Presidents medals.

In 1904 the next county title won by Strokestown St. Patricks' was against Roscommon Town on a score of 0-2 to 0-0.

Records show that in 1910 clubs were formed in Carniska and Cloonfree (Eamon Ceants).

Next came the great 4-in-a-row team when in 1915 Strokestown St. Patrick's, in blue jerseys and gold hoops, played and defeated Roscommon St. Coman's at Elphin, in a repeat of the 1914 final, when St. Coman's beat St. Patricks by 3-4 to 0-2. The tide had now turned and St. Patricks, beating St. Coman's by 2-4 to 1-4, were county champions.

Strokestown defeated Kilbride 0-7 to 0-4 in the 1916 final, in June 1918 Strokestown beat Roscommon 0-4 to 0-2 in the 1917 final and later that year beat Donamon by 2-4 to 1-4 to complete the 4 triumphs.

During this time, one of the greats of Strokestown football, Tom Shelvin, had moved into town. he was to become the Father figure of the club for over 40 years until his sad death. 

We had to wait until 1926 for Stroekstown's next county title when they defeated Roscommon 2-3 to 1-0. Two years later, in 1928, Strokestown defeated Knockcroghery by 1-5 to 12 in a field in Roscommon. Five years later, in 1933, the nest county title came to town when we defeated Oran 3-4 to 1-1. Two of the team that played in that final are with us today- Dr. Hugh Gibbons, (uncle of our present Chairman, Sean Collins, and grand-uncle of present players Emmet Collins and Thomas Hanly) and Luke Dolan (grandfather of present players Luke, Richard and Declan).

That was to be the last senior championship until 1992 when, after a replay, we defeated Roscomon Gaels at Orchard Park, Elphin, on a score of 1-14 to 0-10.

We had come close in 1988, losing to Clann na Gael in the final, in 1991, again losing to Clann na Gael in the final. After 1992 we reached the final in 1994 which we lost to Roscmmon Gaels. the next time we were to reach the final would be 2002.

At Junior level we won the County Championship in 1949 and again in 1961 defeating Knockcroghery. We won the Junior title for a third time in 1971 beating Kilbride 1012 to 0-5 in St. Coman's park. 

In 1998 we won our first Junior B title and in 1999 went straight on to win the Junior A title.

Unfortunately, the Junior A winning team was unable to progress on to intermediate status due to the relegation of the Senior team the same year.

The next year the junior team narrowly missed out on making it three titles in a row, losing to Padraig Pearses in freak weather condidtions after a replay.

However the team re-captured the title and secured promotion in 2001, beating Roscommon Gaels in Tulsk.

We won our first Intermediate title in 1977 when we defeated St. Croan's after a replay in the championship. The same team won the league that year beating Michael Glavey's.

Our second Intermediate title came in 2000 when we came straight back up from relegation the previous year.

At under-age we prospered in the 1950's when we won the County juvenile (U-15) championship in 1954, '55 and '56, and the minor championship in 1953, '54 and '55. We had to wait until 1981 to record our next under-age title when we beat St. Croan's 2-6 to 2-5 in the U-12 final. Two years later we won the U-14 final beating St. Croan's 5-6 to 0-7.

In 1990 we won our next county minor title defeating Tulsk at Tarmonbarry, 1-9 to 1-5. 

In 1993 we won our next U-12 team, convincingly beating Roscommon Gaels in Hyde park. This team was to go on to win the All-Ireland U-14 Feile na nOg competition in 1995, the first ever Roscommon team to do so. It was a fantastic achievement, with some very memorable matches along the way read about it here. The same team won the U-14 County title that year, beating Pagraig Pearses by 4-17 to 4-2 in a very one sided affair, Strokestown showing their dominance in their age level at the time. Many of that team still play on the Senior, Intermediate and Junior panels today. 

Over the years the club has had several representatives on county teams, including players that won All-Ireland medals: J.J. Fallon and H. Gibbons (senior), R.O'Bierne, A. McHugh and R. McPhillips (U 21), C. Bierne, J. Campbell and L. Duffy (minor), H. Gibbons and H. Bierne (Junior).

On the 11th of May 1997 the club officially re-dedicated the park with an inter-county match between Roscommon and Fermanagh and we currently have plans for up-grading and developing our facilities. 

This year we won the County Senior Title again, for the tenth time in the club's history, by defeating St. Brigids at Hyde Park.

It was a particularly interesting year as we lost our first round match to St. Aidans and then went on to become only the third ever Roscommon club to reach a Connacht Club Final. Add this to going from county champions to intermediate level back to county champions again in ten short years...!!




Strokestown GAA Great Players and Clubmen                      

Over the years Strokestown GAA has had many great clubmen and players.

Tom Shelvin  back-boned the running of the club for 40 years. The current Club ground is dedicated to Tom. It is said that he was one of the best footballers Roscommon ever produced. Originally from Carrickmacross he moved to Strokestown in 1913. 

In his time as a footballer he played senior football at the age of 12, and continued his career for 33 years, including captaining Strokestown for 20 years, and Roscommon for much of those. He played for his native Monaghon and Ulster, and afrter his arrival in Strokestown he was a County star with Roscommon and also played for Connacht. He played for Ireland against America in 1924 and 1928 in the Tailteann games. Unusually, he was also involved in the next Tailteann games in 1932 but as referee!

Tom was captain of Strokestown St Patricks when they won the county title in 1915, '18 '28 and '33. He was responsible for the set up of the present club grounds in 1950. He also went on to become County Chairman. He was awarded a Hall of Fame award in 1969, the same year he died. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

We have had many famous players from the club over the years, one such was a player known as 'The Jigger' (John O'Connor). The Jigger was a county star for many years. 

Michael Donlon,  a member of the 1992 winning team (scoring '9.5/10' for performance in the Roscommon Champion Match Report!!) and brother to a present player, Damien, was the county's corner forward for years, winning several Connaught titles.

Damien Donlon,  the senior teams present inspirational back, played senior for Strokestown since 1988 at the age of 18, and captained the county final winning side in '92. Damian was a member of the county panel since he was only 21, and in 1999 was nominated for an All-Star award for the position of full back. Damien is currently trainer/manager of the club's U-21 team. His work with this team last year undoubtedly contributed not only to last years Junior title victory, but to the County Senior Chamionship secured this year with the help of many of last years U-21's. 

Gerry Hagan managed the Towns junior team that won 3 titles in 4 years. During this period he also managed the Intermediate team, bringing them to Senior status, and set up the Towns third team, which he also managed. Gerry gave up countless hours to train the several teams he looked after, for which we owe him a debt of gratitude.

Coman Shiel: This one I am a bit biased about. Coman managed the age group I am a member of since we were under 14. he brought us to two Feile finals, in Kerry and Mayo, and helped us win one. Still under Comans management we narrowly lost the u-21 final last year and are progressing in this years competition. It is a testament to Coman that so many players that were on the U-14 panel are still playing today, on each of the towns three teams.

There are many many people who contribute to the running of the club, week in week out, were it not for people like Sean Collins, our club chairman, and the underage mentors right the way up, a victory like this years county title would not be possible. This years success is testament not only to the players and officials involved, but to the entire club network, players, officials and supporters alike.



Strokestown GAA 2003