In November 2008, a juvenile hurling club was set up in Carracastle to cater for an increasing interest in this ancient sport in the east Mayo village.
Children in the local primary school had been playing hurling for a few years and were eager to get further involved with the game. A public meeting was convened and so great was the support at that meeting that the Caiseal Gaels Juvenile Hurling Club was founded.
The name Caiseal Gaels was chosen for the new club based on the word ‘caiseal’ - the Irish word for stone fort - because there are many such forts in the villages surrounding Carracastle.
Many of the places where the forts are located - such as Brusna, Dernabroc and Kilmovee - provide a number of players for the Caiseal Gaels team.
The primary schools in these areas have hurling included in their games schedule and they have all experienced the excitement of reaching schools’ county hurling finals in recent years.
Caiseal Gaels played their first club games in 2009, winning the Mayo u-12 and u-13 B titles that year. The u-12 team travelled to Dublin in 2009 and played matches on the hallowed turf of Croke Park as part of the ‘Play and Stay with the GAA’ initiative.
The club went from strength to strength in the following years with players joining from the towns of Ballaghaderreen and Charlestown and in 2010 and 2011 they reached A finals in u-13 and u-14. In 2012 the u-16’s won the Eugene O’ Shea Shield and the u-14's qualified to represent Mayo in the Feile na nGael festival of hurling, held in Dublin from July 5th-7th.
Partaking in Feile was the highlight of their year and a marvellous occasion for the players and their families, experiencing the honour of marching in the Feile Parade from Croke Park to O’Connell Street, behind the Artane Boys’ Band.
Ireland's legendary commentator Micheal O’Muircheartaigh was MC for the parade, and as he gave a brief history of the club from the viewing podium on the nation’s main thoroughfare, it was a proud moment for the Caiseal Gaels Club who had made great strides in a short period of time.
Caiseal Gaels is a vibrant young club which competes at underage level in the Mayo Hurling leagues. The club now caters for players from u-8 to u-16 and continue to extend an invitation to new players to come along and try out the game of hurling.
They currently train in Carracastle on the community pitch behind Carracastle National School with the kind permission of the local Community Council.