Neha Patil (Editor)

All Ireland Senior Club Football Championship

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Covid-19
Founded  1970–71
Trophy  Andy Merrigan Cup
Region  Ireland (GAA)
First winner  East Kerry
Irish  Craobh Shinsear Peile Chlub na hÉireann
Title holders  Ballyboden St. Enda's (1st title)

The All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship is an annual Gaelic football tournament which began in season 1970-71. It is the top tier competition for the senior football clubs of Ireland and London.

Contents

The current champions are Ballyboden of Dublin who defeated Castlebar Mitchels of Mayo on 17 March 2016 to win their first title.

The current trophy is the Andy Merrigan Cup, named after a footballer who played for Castletown and Wexford who died as a result of a farm accident at the height of his playing career. It was first presented in 1974.

Format

County Championships

Ireland's 32 counties play their county championships between their senior Gaelic football clubs. Each county decides the format for determining their county champions. The format can be knockout, double-elimination, league, etc. or a combination. For instance, Kerry organise two separate championships - one for clubs only and one for clubs and divisional sides.

Provincial Championships

Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster each organise a provincial championship for their participating county champions. All matches are knock-out and two ten minute periods of extra time are played if it's a draw at the end of normal time.

All-Ireland

The winners of the London club championship play one of the four provincial champions in a single match in mid-December referred to as a quarter-final. Two semi-finals are then played in mid-February. The All-Ireland final is traditionally played in Croke Park on St. Patrick's Day, the 17th of March.

Initial Schedule

County championships – April 2015 to November 2015
Provincial championships – October 2015 to December 2015
All-Ireland quarter-final – mid-December 2015 or January 2016
All-Ireland semi-finals – mid-February 2016
All-Ireland final – 17 March 2016

History

Ulster and Connacht tournaments were first held in the 1960s before an All-Ireland tournament was mooted at the GAA National Congress in 1969. Despite opposition from many delegations the motion received the necessary two-thirds majority.

The first winners in 1970–71 were an East Kerry divisional team (nowadays amalgamations of clubs are not allowed to enter the All-Ireland). In the following year, Bellaghy GAC from Derry, became the first individual club to win the All-Ireland Club Championship by defeating UCC of Cork in the final at Croke Park.

The Andy Merrigan Cup was first awarded in 1974, donated by the Castletown club in memory of the great Wexford footballer who died in a farming accident at the height of his career.

Dublin clubs (UCD x2 and St. Vincent's of Marino) won a three-in-a-row of All-Irelands in 1974–76, before Kerry and Cork clubs began to dominate, winning 9 titles in 13 years, 1977–89, including four for Nemo Rangers of Cork. Clann na nGael won 7 Connacht titles in 8 years (1983–90), but did not win a single All-Ireland.

St. Mary's Burren of Down ended a 14-year Ulster drought when they were victorious in 1986. Baltinglass caused a major shock in 1990 by winning their and Wicklow's first national honour, while Nemo pulled ahead with their fifth title in 1994. In 1998, Corofin won Galway's and Connacht's first national award, six months before the county team's first All-Ireland for 32 years.

In the late 1990s the club championship rose to national prominence with regular TV coverage and the prestigious St. Patrick's Day fixture in Croke Park for the final. Crossmaglen Rangers claimed 3 All-Irelands in 4 years from 1997–2000. While the Caltra club of Galway won their first Galway title, first Connacht award and first All-Ireland in one year, 2003–04. 2006 saw Salthill-Knocknacarra of Galway complete a Connacht three-in-a-row.

In 2010, St. Gall's of Belfast in Antrim beat Kilmurry Ibrickane of Clare to win their first title.

By club

Twenty unlisted clubs have managed to win a single title.

By county

L, M, U, C refer to Leinster/Munster/Ulster/Connacht championships won by clubs from the county. "Last winning team" gives the name of the club from the county which last won the All-Ireland; if no club has, the name of the last provincial champion is given in italic type.

No club from Cavan, Fermanagh, Kilkenny, Leitrim, London, Longford, Louth, Waterford or Wexford has ever won a national or provincial title.

Provincial champions listed by season

All-Ireland winners are shaded gold, and counties are given in brackets.

References

All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship Wikipedia


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