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History of the GAA in Co. Meath

Almost from the foundation of the GAA, Meath has been regarded as one of the strongholds of Gaelic football. Twelve counties entered for the first All-Ireland Championship and Meath was one of them. Two of the earliest clubs in Meath were formed in 1885 – Duleek and Yellow Furze. In 1887 the First County Convention was held and there were 15 clubs present. The teams entered for the first championship were as follows: Dowdstown, Kells, Donore, Donecarney, Yellow Furze, Stackallen, Mullagh, Kilbeg, Kilmessan (St. Patrick’s), Marywell, Rathkenny and Grangegeeth.

The first Meath County Final took place on 17th April 1887 and was won by Dowdstown who defeated Kells on a scoreline of 1-0 to nil. Thus Dowdstown represented Meath in the first All-Ireland Championship.From the earliest days of Meath GAA it seemed that football was the preferred game. Between 1884 and 1901 there is only one hurling match recorded in the county. In 1886 Kilmessan defeated Dowdstown 0-4 to no score. In 1904 there were 8 teams in the Senior Hurling Championship – Navan Hibernians, Kilmessan, Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Navan Young Irelands, Kells, Athboy and Kilskyre. Trim, now probably seen as the hurling centre of Meath only started a hurling club in 1906. The first inter-county game involving a Meath hurling team seems to have been played in October 1902.

Meath teams have brought many honours to the county and those are listed below:

Title Total Years
All-Ireland S.F. Champions 7 1949, 1954, 1967, 1987, 1988, 1996, 1999
All-Ireland Jun. F. Champions 5 1947, 1952, 1962, 1988, 2003
All-Ireland M.F. Champions 3 1957, 1990, 1992
All-Ireland Jun. H. Champions 5 1927, 1948, 1970, 1998, 1999
National Football League Winners 7 1933, 1946, 1951, 1975, 1988, 1990, 1994
All-Ireland U-21 F. Champions 1 1993
All-Ireland S.F. Runners-up 9 1895, 1939, 1951, 1952, 1966, 1970, 1990, 1991, 2001
Leinster S. F. Champions 20 1895, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2001
Leinster Jun. F. Champions 16 1947, 1952, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006,
Leinster M. F. Champions 10 1957, 1972, 1977, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2006, 2008
Leinster U-21 F. Champions 8 1985, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2001
Leinster Jun. H. Champions 5 1927, 1948, 1961, 1970, 1972
Leinster M. H. Champions 1 1929

1927 All Ireland Junior Hurling Champions

Back row: W.Smith, P. Moran, E. Giles, T. Irwin, C. Doran, J. Loughran, T. Loughran, Middle row: J. Newman, J. Griffin, R. Collins, M. Clusker, C. Mitchell,M.Doherty,T.Brown, C.Curley, J. Giles. Front row: T. Carrigy, M. Madden, J. Finn, J. Doherty.

1948 All Ireland Junior Hurling Champions

Back Row; T.Mooney, M. Leonard, P. Donnelly, P. Kelly, M. O’Brien, J. Lane, B. Smith, D. O’Mahony, L. Wright, F. Foran, J. Fitzgerald, P. Yore, J. Clarke, Front Row : W. Donnelly, P. Kane, N. Collier, T. Donnelly, O’O’Reilly, R. Grogan, M. Kane, J. Kelly, D. Mulligan, P. McDermott.

1933 Training for NF League Final

Back Row : W. Clynch, W. Donnelly, M.(Ginger)Brennan, M. Beggan, Front row: P. Donnelly, T. Donnelly, T. Coogan, J. Loughran, P. Geraghty, M. Rogers, Centre Row: P. McEnroe, T. Meade, J. Maguire, W. Shaw, D. Cassidy.

1970 All Ireland Junior Hurling Champions

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