History of St. James Gaels

By Niall McCague

As a result of the amalgamation of An Caisleán and Guinness GAA Clubs in July 1994, St. James’s Gaels GAA Club was formed.  The decision to form one strong unit was crucial in keeping Gaelic games alive as the clubs struggled due to the increasing age profile within their respective areas.

An Caisleán’s existence can be traced back a few weeks after Dublin’s All Ireland success in September 1958.   A group of church stewards in Walkinstown believed that a parish GAA Club was a great way to encourage the identity of the area.  With the blessing of the parish clergy they formed CLG Naomh Gearóid, and went on to become a dominant force in the local community.

A new club premises was purchased a short time later in what is now the Robinhood Industrial Estate on the Long Mile Road.  However, due to financial reasons, the club was forced to resell the property to pay off their debts.

In 1966, the club formed an alliance with the Drimnagh Castle CBS School allowing them to continue playing their football within parish boundaries.  This alliance allowed the club to use the school pitches and dressing rooms.  As part of this association, the club members agreed to change their name to An Caisleán and thus served for the local people in the Walkinstown area.  Forty years on, the club continues to use the Drimnagh Castle grounds as their juvenile home venue.

Guinness GAA Club’s history dates back further than An Caisleán’s. The first club to represent Dublin and win an All Ireland Championship in 1891 was a team called Young Irelands (the players were all laborers in the Guinness’s brewery).  Young Irelands were the dominant force in the 1890’s winning several All Ireland titles.

Young Irelands went out of existence in the early years of the twentieth century, replaced in the brewery by a new club called Phoenix GFC.  This club enjoyed limited success and were then replaced in the mid-forties by Guinness Hurling and Football Club who were based in the Iveagh Grounds.

The merging of An Caisleán and Guinness GAA Clubs into St James’s Gaels has been a thriving amalgamation in its first fifteen years and continues to provide the excellent service of gaelic games within the local area.

Fográ: The minor team completed an excellent double recently, adding their League crown to the championship trophy they won earlier in the season.

It took a superb second half performance, full of determination, skill and commitment, to pull away from an impressive Fingal Ravens side to secure this trophy.

Results (27th February):

AFL6 – St. James Gaels 1-9, St. Mary’s Saggart 0-10

AFL 10S – St. Finnian’s 0-9, St. James Gaels 2-5

U13 – St. Pat’s Palmerstown 5-10, St. James Gaels 5-5

U13 – St. James Gaels 3-15, O’Tooles 1-4

U-15 – St. James Gaels 3-4, Lucan Sarsfields 1-9

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