Saggart has a long and proud tradition in Gaelic sports. Although the Gaelic Athletic Association was formed in 1884, the parish of Saggart has sporting roots dating back to 1760.
The Faulkner's Journal , 29th March 1760 records as follows;
"On Tuesday next great preparations will be made to celebrate that day and subscriptions are being made for the purse of 100 Guineas and a half, to be imposed for a public diversion in Saggart in the County of Dublin in the following manner: Twelve Guineas to be paid to the winners of the match of hurling, twelve on a side to be chosen in a field from the parishes of Kill, Lyon and Newcastle against the same number from the parishes of Saggart Rathcoole and Tallaght. Six barrels of ale and 30 gallons of whiskey, 30 loaves of bread and some cheese with red and salt herrings for the use of the company.
A saddle and bridle of 30 shillings price, to be run by plough horses, a beaver hat value 25 shillings to be run by lads not exceeding the age of 21 years. What ever remains shall be given to the poor. The hurling shall begin at eleven in the morning."
It was obviously a great occasion of which no remnants remain with the exception of the ale and the whiskey to which the club still has a great passion.
The next record we find is Saggart being represented at the Dublin County Committee meeting in March 1888. The club was then known as Home Rulers. The following month they were defeated by Round Towers Clondalkin in two games held in Saggart.
On February 17th 1889 the Home Rulers Tournament finals at Saggart attracted 1,600 spectators and the music was provided by the St. James' Band. Dublin's Young Irelands beat O'Donnell ABU (Maynooth) and Round Towers Clondalkin won narrowly from Sunburst Parnells (Thomas Street) by 0-3 to 0-1.
In April 1900 a Son's of Erin team from Rathcoole played Round Towers in Clonskeagh. The team was J. Smyth, T. Regan, M. Connor, C. McDonnell, P. Cooney, M. Ward, Ryan, Byrne, H. Mullally, T. Crossdale, D. Smith (Capt), H. McLoughlin, T. Dunbar, Reilly, Reilly, J. Byrne.
In the early days of the G.A.A. Saggart parish had the distinction of supporting six football clubs, all now defunct except for St. Finians, Newcastle and St. Mary's. St. Mary's was founded in 1906 and took to the playing fields in 1907, winning the Junior league in 1908.
They were then missing from the lists until 1914 when they were re-formed by Rev. Fr. Val Burke and James Keane. They then won again the Junior league in 1915 and for some reason became known as Son's of Erin in 1917, under which name they played until 1923 when they dis-banded, during which time they won the Intermediate championship in 1918 involving many of St. Mary's players.
The present club was re-formed in 1928 by Pat Cullen, Joe Nolan, Pat Dunne, Ned Quinn, Kevin Jacob, William Hennessy (whose grandson and great grandson are involved with the U-21 football team today) and W. McDermott (Junior Football Board).
Since then St. Mary's has maintained a fine standard and have brought many honours to South County Dublin which include;
Senior League 1935,1936, 1937, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1967, 1992
St Vincent De Paul Cup 1935, 1958
Evening Herald Floodlit Cup 2003
Intermediate League 1932
Intermediate Championship 1918, 1934, 1976
South County Championship 1930
Junior Championship 2002, 2003
Junior League 1906, 1908, 1914, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1995/6, 2000, 2002, 2003
Martin Murphy Cup 1943, 1944, 1946
Norton Cup 1981
Loving Cup 1933, 1934
U-21 League 1981, 1995/6, 2000
Minor League 1966, 1996, 1997
Jim Murphy Cup 1996, 1997
Add to that impressive list tournament honours from Tallaght, Leixlip, Chapelizod, Donard, Kilcullen and the countless juvenile trophies and leagues won over the years.
Many St. Mary's players have played for Dublin over the years.
1930 Patrick Hopkins, James Coffey
1931 Pat Dunne, George Stewart, Pat Cullen
1933 George Stewart, James O'Hare, Michael McDermott, William Roche
1934 George Behan, Pat Treacy, Hugh Kelly, D. Walsh
1934-1943 Paddy Bermingham
1936-1943 Peter O'Reilly
1941 Caleb Crone, Con Martin
When Dublin won the 1942 All Ireland Final against Galway, St. Mary's had five players on the team. These were Paddy Bermingham, Gerry Fitzgerald, Peter O'Reilly, Caleb Crone and Paddy O'Connor. Caleb Crone later went on to win another All Ireland medal with Cork in 1945.
Other St. Mary's players who played for Dublin were Paddy Fitzgerald, John Fitzgerald, Kevin Cooney, P Keogh, Garratt Weldon, Tom Healy, Liam Murray, Liam Quinn, Brian Dowling, Eamonn Hall and P.J. Considine.
In 1958 John Timmons and Jim Timmons helped Dublin to win the All Ireland title.
In the following year 1959, John Dowling and Neil Granger won All Ireland Minor medals with Dublin.
In 1963 Pascal Flynn was goalkeeper for Dublin when they beat Galway for the All Ireland title.
Other players who played for St. Mary's went on to become famous in other codes. Joe Reilly won twenty international caps playing soccer for Ireland. Charlie Gavin played international rugby with Scotland. Con Martin is the father of international player Mick Martin. Tommy Murphy played St. Mary's for two years and for Laois for twenty years and never won a medal.
St. Mary's purchased their home ground in Saggart in 1978 and since then a sum exceeding £350,000 has been spent by the club on its development including clubhouse in 1990.
This year the club fields teams at U-9, U-11, U-14, U-16, Minor, U-21, Adult 4 (Inter 2), Adult 10 (Junior 8), Adult 12 (Junior 10) and Adult 1 (Senior1). We also field two Ladies teams at U-14 and U-16 and every summer run a Street League for children under the age of 10 averaging 150 children and host the annual Leinster G.A.A./Dublin County Board Summer camp for all children aged from 7 to 12.
Since our promotion back to Division 1 in 2000 the Senior team has been consistent in their league position with a forth place finish in 2001 and improving in 2002 and 2003 with a top four place, which under the new GAC structures involved the club in the play-offs for the league.
Our first Junior team since winning Junior 4 in 1996 has won promotion every two years, culminating last year with winning the AFL Div 5 and promotion to the old Intermediate 2 league and have also won the Dublin Junior Championship for the first time in the club's history.
The club has been fortunate to have an abundance of players in that we could field a second Junior team who have this year won the Dublin AFL Div 12 and have brought the club its second Junior Championship by winning the Dublin Junior D Championship.
The life blood of every club are its under-age players. A lot of hard work and dedication by our mentors and players has resulted in one of our most successful season at all under-age for many years.
2002 saw the re-structuring of the club’s adult and juvenile football sections, which introduced new mentors to most of the teams and the formation of two U-9 teams.
With the club’s successes on the playing fields, the club’s Executive Committee decided that the club’s infrastructure needed to be modernised to reflect this success.
The first step taken was to provide our members a modern first class lounge. This work commenced in November 2000 and the lounge was first opened on 5th July 2001. The Official Opening Ceremony was performed on 22nd November 2001 by An Tanaiste Mary Harney TD with Dublin County Board Chairman John Bailey and Secretary John Costello in attendance.
This work on the lounge had only finished when work on the current Development Plan was started. This was unveiled to the members at the club’s AGM of 2001. This plan was worked out in three stages,
1. Development and landscaping of the car-park to provide a new entrance, extra drainage, extra car parking, lighting and a three step viewing terrace.
2. Pitch improvements in sanding, seeding and improved drainage, completion of the railing of the pitch, the piping and draining of the ditch and the provision of floodlighting.
3. Modernisation of the clubhouse to provide two new dressing rooms and showers, the modernisation of the existing dressing rooms, showers and toilets, the building of a new lounge and toilets downstairs, games room and meeting room off the upstairs lounge, new physiotherapy room and a small equipped gymnasium.
Much of this work has already been finished or due for completion by December 2004. It is planned that work will be commence shortly on the floodlighting and completion of the second phase of the pitch drainage and levelling.
The completion of the modernisation of the old dressing rooms, showers and toilets, along with the provision of two new dressing rooms, kitchen, games and committee room were officially opened by Mayor Jim Daly, South Dublin Co. Council on 6 June 2003, in the attendance of John Bailey, Chairman Dublin County Board and Nicky Brennan, Chairman Leinster Council.
None of this success and work both on and off the pitch could have been possible without a lot of hard work being carried out by many dedicated club members for whom we could never thank enough.
We would also have to thank all our sponsors and benefactors, The National Lottery and The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, An Tanaiste Mary Harney TD., South Dublin County Council and Councillors, Dublin County Board and the Leinster Council.
The future for St. Mary's looks very promising with the current development within the club giving a more centralised focal point for our members and players and with the proposed housing developments in Saggart and Rathcoole the growth potential of the club is enormous. Also for consideration will be the future development of the land owned by Dublin County Board in the Olympic Park between Saggart and Rathcoole into training grounds and pitches. There are also planning proposal for the Fortunestown Lane / Garter Lane which includes housing, nursing home and a floodlit all-weather pitch for local use.
Go To Top Of Page