Dunderry

Founded 1890

Co. Meath

Club History

Dunderry GAA Club was formed in 1890’s with games between Dunderry and Kilbride taking place in the “football field” in Eskaroon. Football was believed to have been played in the parish as far back as the mid 1800’s and continued in Eskaroon until the early 1900’s. During the 1930’s football and hurling moved to Mulligans on the Meadstown Road and onto the Tromard up to the 1950’s. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the club moved to Joe Clarkes and then onto the current pitch in Dunderry village. This was opened on 15th May 1988 with a Challenge match between All Ireland Champions Meath and near neighbours Cavan.

Football

Dunderry’s Football team dates back to members of the parish on Meath’s first All-Ireland representatives, Pearce O’Mahony’s in the 1895 final. Dunderry competed in their own right in the Junior Championship of 1907 and 1908 and then fell foul of the County Committee and were banned. It wasn’t until the arrival of Father Flood as P.P. in 1941 that Dunderry resumed competitive action in both football and hurling. Dunderry contested the Intermediate Final in 1943, losing to Navan Parnells, but the following year were victorious in bpth the 43 Feis Cup and Intermediate Championship, winning against Castletown. By 1947 Dunderry were back in the Intermediate Championship, winning the final by 4 points against Ballivor.

Fast Forward to the next milestone to 1970 where Dunderry win the Intermediate Football Championship. 23 years to the day since the last championship win, Dunderry lined out against Flathouse and were victorious by 2.9 to 1.3. Dunderry were trained by Billy Bligh, captained by Pete Conaty and backboned by the Callaghans, Newmans and more. The intermediate league final was later won, making 1970 a double year. In 1971, Dunderry got to the senior semi-final, only to lose out to Skryne.

During the 1980’s the adult team did not have much success, however a promising bunch of underage footballers and hurlers were coming through the ranks, ably trained by Tony Brennan, Seamus Brady, Tommy Weldon, Ned Howley & Mickey Daly. This underage structure was beginning to bear fruit as the club competed again in the intermediate final of 1987, losing out to Oldcastle by a score of 3:4 to 5:6. The Division three league final was claimed in 1987 added to the Club of the Year title.

1988 was to prove a historic year, as the club moved into its own pitch and dressing rooms, and again were back contesting the Intermediate final. Bernard Flynn inspired St Colmcilles to a one point win, and Dunderry were left cursing what might have been. 1989 saw Dunderry pipped again in the final this time to Martin O’Connell’s St Michaels team by 2 points – 0.9 to 0.11.

1990 was the year of the long awaited breakthrough into the senior ranks of Meath Football. In the clubs fourth successive year in the IFC final, Dunderry overcame Dunboyne by 0.16 – 1.7. This was a sweet victory for a side with huge experience and backboned by stars Sean Kelly, Tommy Dowd and John Brady.  Dunderry cemented their place in the senior ranks and reached the semi-finals in 93 and 94. 1995 was to be the biggest year in the club’s history when John Brady collected the senior championship cup after a four point win over Kilmainhamwood. Tony Brennan led a team of determined, courageous and skilful footballers to the Promised Land. Tommy Down inspired victory with a man of the match performance, but it was a true team performance with Phil Cahill, Barry Callaghan and Sean Kelly prominent. The celebrations that night and long into the week are the stuff of legend. The 1995 Feis Cup final was played in 1996 and rounded off a wonderful year with a win over Slane.

The following years in the 1990’s saw Junior C Championship success in 1997 where experience and youth were blended by Billy Bligh harnessing the next crop of future senior players. Division 2 league honours were won in the same year. 1998, 99 and 2000 saw Dunderry complete a hat trick of under 21 titles under Sean Kelly’s stewardship. 1999 saw a senior semi-final defeat to the talented Dunshaughlin team who were to embark on their own journey. The new millennium was marked by captain Fiachra Geraghty lifting the Junior B title where Billy Bligh again expertly marshalled a team to victory.  

Hurling

Hurling in the parish began in 1920, and was very popular through to the 1930’s where a junior title was secured in 1934. The club broke up in 1936 after a difficult time in the senior ranks. Players from the parish played with neighbouring clubs over the years but it wasn’t until 1977 that hurling was reborn, at underage level. Underage success followed in the early 80’s leading to a minor final appearance in 85 and winning the 86 division 2 junior hurling championship against near rivals, Trim. 1987 saw a minor hurling championship win and the Junior championship as the late 1980’s proved a very fruitful time in both codes. 1988 saw Dunderry make their intermediate debut and reached the semi final, losing to Kells.

Having claimed the 1990 Intermediate football championship, 1991 saw the hurlers repeat the trick with a convincing win over Wolfe Tones. Philip Cahill excelled in the final ending with 5 points, assisted by Eamonn Howley and John Brady. It wasn’t until 2000 when another hurling title was secured, this time the Junior B team completing the double.

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