Mayo Gaels Ladies, Mayo Abbey in Co. Mayo

NB This article was written a few years ago and some of it may be out of date. If anyone would like to send an update please email  contributors@mayo-ireland.ie

Mayo Gaels Ladies G.A.A. Club was set-up on April 14th 1999, in the South Mayo village of Mayo Abbey. Our Club caters for girls aged 11 to 19 yrs. from the Mayo Abbey & Balla parishes, to-date we have members from Mayo Abbey, Facefield, Balla, Manulla, Belcarra and Ballyglass areas. In an area of thriving G.A.A. traditions, well established football clubs with many avid supporters; there was a great need for some sporting activity, which would cater for the Ladies in the area. Indeed with the success of the Mayo Ladies County Team this increased the interest in forming a Ladies Football Club in Mayo Abbey. There had been numerous attempts in the past to set up a Club locally in both Mayo Abbey & Balla unfortunately the demand and interest wasn't enough at the time to sustain these clubs.

We are delighted to say that we are established and growing in numbers. Our Club have received great encouragement from so many clubs and people locally; they are very supportive in attending matches and through our fundraising efforts. Without a doubt we would not be in existence today were it not for the tremendous support that we have received from the Chairman, Officers and Members of the Mayo Gaels Senior Men's Club and our local Bord Na N-Og Club. On initial start up of the Club we were assisted and advised in every possible way and we are extremely grateful.

The Chairperson Agnes Mulligan, and Secretary of the Ladies County Board Declan Corcoran; kindly took the time to attend two of our initial meetings to inform the Club on the rules of the game, registration and affiliation of players and how to go about setting up a new Club. As we had no Club funds to speak of our start-up expenses were kindly covered by our Senior Club. We remained under the Chairman of the Senior Men's Club Bernard Commons and Denise Duggan took over the Secretarial/Registrar duties. Michael Gibbons & Denise Duggan offered their services as Trainers for the Ladies Team.

Officiers

Chairperson: Anna Gibbons (094) 65469

Joint-Secretaries: Marie Niland (087) 9511066, Mariea Sheridan (094) 65516

Joint-P.R.Os: Josephine Prendergast (094) 71194, Anne-Marie Brett (094) 65713

Joint-Treasurers: Miriam Flatley (094) 65257, Claudine Byrne: (094) 65005

Registrar: Denise Duggan (094) 65531

Managers: Michael Gibbons & Denise Duggan

Our Club has succeeded and is going from strength to strength. There are many dedicated people who have put in long hours to ensure the Club runs smoothly, Managers, Trainers, Parents, and other club officials have often done thankless tasks at their own expense for the sake of the Club - without these people there would be no Club. To "Our players", who are the reason we put in the long hours; they give us tremendous dedication and effort, from the youngest to the eldest, and it's this that makes the "hassle" of football so worthwhile in the end.

May 2000

In May 2000, we registered 40 players and entered competitions at U-14, U-16 and Minor Levels. We had a great bunch of girls that trained in the wind and rain and still came back for more, some of them only 12 years of age but determined as any other member to make their place on the team.

Attendance at local derbies also increased as more were coming out to see what the girls could do! The first milestone for us was when Mr. Patrick Prendergast, Prendergast Construction, Dromady, Mayo Abbey came to our rescue and became our main sponsor and presented us with a beautiful set of jerseys.

Now the girls could really wear the Gaels jersey with style!

Mayo Gaels Ladies 2001

For 2001 our girls have become a lot more confident and determined. In February we elected our first Official Officers of the Club, which is made up of Players with the help of Adult Leaders. We remain under the umbrella of the Men's Club and still rely heavily on their financial assistance for transport to games etc., and we try to help out with their fundraising efforts whenever we can.

We have three girls with the County U-14 panel this year: Margaret Maguire, Kathriona Nally & Laura Roughneen. To-date we have 60 girls registered with our Club and have entered at U-12 grade for the first time, we again have entered at U-14, 16's, Minor and Junior levels and expect to bring some silverware home with us this year - watch this space!