A group in Galway Camogie have formed with the intention of producing a book on the history of the game in the county, at club, school, college and county level.
This history will encompass the development of the game, which took off locally very soon after the Camogie Association was founded in 1904. There are numerous mentions of the game in the Connacht Tribune and Tuam Herald newspapers from those very early years, with different leagues and challenges being played, mostly in the town of Galway. It was much later before the game migrated into the countryside with any lasting success.
There are fragmentary records of county championships being played in the 1920s and 1930s. In fact, Galway appeared in the first inter-county All-Ireland final in 1932. It would be another 64 years before the O’Duffy Cup would finally cross the Shannon for the first time, in one of the very last 11-a-side finals, 1996, 25 years ago. This team was rightly celebrated at half-time in this year’s senior final. Galway have added three more senior titles since then: 2013, 2019, and this year, gloriously so! Truly great times for the game in the county.
Many other Galway teams have won All-Ireland titles since the first Junior title was annexed in 1972, almost 50 years ago. Multiple Ashbourne Cup victories have been secured by University College Galway (NUIG) since its inception in 1915, along with second-level colleges titles by local schools in the modern era. Galway are one of the most successful counties in terms of All-Ireland club titles, as well as U-16 and Minor championship victories too.
There are over 35 active clubs in the county of Galway, along with a number of Mayo-based clubs playing in Galway as they have no competitions of their own. Roscommon clubs in the past have also competed in Galway adult and juvenile competitions. Each of these clubs have their own history, which will also be captured in the proposed book if space and material permits. Four local clubs have produced their own written histories in one form or another over the last 30 years: Glenamaddy, Athenry, Davitts, and Mullagh.
The local senior championship has been running continuously since the late 1950s, if not earlier, and is a very hotly contested competition, as are the other four adult grades, along with the all-county Under 12 to minor competitions that are organised every year. Not forgetting the outstanding work done since the 1970s by Cumann na mBunscol around the county. Many of these winning teams were captured in this yearbook since the late-1970s. The Galway GAA Yearbook has charted the modern rise of the game in detail over all this time and will be extensively referenced when the proposed history book is being put together.
If you have material that might be of use to this research effort, please contact GalwayCamogieHistory@gmail.com or James Lundon at 085-1436727. Alternatively, contact the group via our online contact form. Such material may be as simple as photographs, programmes, minute books, medals, even just stories or folklore associated with the game, championships, and clubs in the county. All material help with the project is similarly solicited.