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History of Athy GFC.

Athy Gaelic Football Club was formed on the 1st of September 1887. The first Chairman of our club was a local priest Rev. J Carroll and the first Captain was P.J. Lawlor. The club has continued each year since 1887.

It is on record that the first football tournament organised by Athy G.F.C. was in 1889 and the chief organiser of this tournament was Thomas Deegan - who was employed in Minch’s Malting firm – a native of Cork. Four teams participated in this tournament – Monastervin, Kellyville, Mountrice and the host club, Athy. Athy were the victors.

The playing pitch in these early days changed several times until 1905. In 1905 the club rented a field at the Dublin road from the South Kildare Agricultural Society – the present day Geraldine Park. The club had the initiative in those early days to erect a paling around the pitch and were the first club in Leinster to do so. This initiative and club’s effort were rewarded when the All Ireland finals were played in Athy in 1906 and 1907.

Athy won their first Kildare championship in 1907 in the junior grade. The club struggled in the senior grade for several years before reverting to intermediate.

In 1929 Fintan Brennan {later a Leinster Council Chairman} became Secretary of the club and with the able assistance of Willie Mahon {grandfather of the 1987 Chairman, also Willie}, set about reorganising the club. Willie Mahon filled the position of Chairman until 1945 and this coincided with the golden era of Athy GFC. We won the Intermediate Championship in 1932 and the Senior Championship in 1933, 1934, 1937, 1942. Athy lost the senior championship final in 1946 and this signalled an ebb in the fortunes of the club until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when men like Ted Wynne and Gerry O Sullivan resurrected the fortunes of Athy, especially in underage competitions. The club won the minor championship in 1966 and 1973 and won the Intermediate Championship in 1974.

After returning to the senior ranks in 1974 Athy struggled to win a senior championship, beaten finalists in 1978, until 1987 when we defeated Johnstownbridge {2.09 to 0.09} to win our first senior title in 45 years. Athy has maintained its senior status since 1974 and has been a major force in Kildare football over the last 34 years.

Athy GFC has provided many outstanding footballers, since it’s foundation in 1887, up to the present day who have represented Kildare at all grades and indeed several county board chairmen and Leinster council delegates. Players such as Tommy Mulhall, Mick Carolan, and Sean McGovern played with great distinction in the county colours. Michael Foley, who retired from inter county football in 2015, was a stalwart on the senior panel and in recent years has been joined by David Hyland and Niall Kelly and Darroch Mulhall. A number of our current panel have been involved with county minor and U/21 panels in recent years, with Cian Reynolds captaining the Minor team that reached the Leinster minor final in 2009. In 2013 nine Leinster medals were won by Athy players on the Junior, Minor and U/21 squads that delivered provincial honours.


In 1987, the clubs centenary year, the club finished and opened its new clubhouse in Geraldine Park. Today, Athy is as well equipped as any club in the county and our facilities are among the best in the county.. We have a strong and successful underage section winning many Minor Championships (2008, 2009, 2010) in recent years including the 2013 Championship (below).


The senior team have returned to Division 1 after winning Division 2 in 2009. In 2010 the Club celebrated its first ever win at U/21 level with a win over Clane in the final. The side, captained by Brian Kinahan, was made up entirely of players who were also eligible to play at U/21 level again in 2011. 2011 was a glorious year in the club’s long history, Athy’s sixth senior championship was clinched with a four point win over a gallant Carbury side. The team was captained by Michael Foley, who capped a wonderful year by being named on the all-star team, the first player from the club to achieve the honour. The U/21s finished the year in style by retaining the championship, beating Naas in the final on the Sunday before Christmas.


The club has recently acquired a second pitch adjacent to Geraldine Park. This fully floodlit pitch is a very welcome addition to the club.

The facilities at Geraldine Park have undergone a huge transformation in recent years and the club can now boast a modern, safe and well equipped playing environment which is something Athy GFC is very proud of.

Year on year Athy is chosen to hold many neutral Championship matches and of late has been used by Kildare U-21’and Minors in their training campaign matches.

As recent as early 2010 a new perimeter fence has been erected around the pitch and stand to allow for safe enjoyment of our National Sports and culture. This is a symbol of constant development within the club nurturing the youth and talent which is abundant in the area.

Athy GFC