Louth GAA

Louth GAA
Irish: Lughbhadh or An Lú
Province: Leinster
Nickname(s): The Wee County
County colours:          
Ground(s): O'Raghallaighs GFC, Drogheda
Dominant sport: Gaelic football
NFL: Division 3
NHL: Division 3A
Football Championship: Sam Maguire Cup
Hurling Championship: Lory Meagher Cup
Standard kit
Regular kit
Change kit

The Louth County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, Coiste Chontae an Lú) or Louth GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Louth. The county board is also responsible for the Louth inter-county championship.


The earliest recorded inter-county football match took place in 1712 when Louth faced Meath at Slane.[1] A fragment of a poem from 1806 records a football match between Louth and Fermanagh at Inniskeen, Co Monaghan.

Gaelic football


When Louth GAA sent the team into training in Dundalk for the 1913 Croke Memorial replay under a soccer trainer from Belfast, the move caused more than a ripple through the Association. For thirty years full-time training in bursts of a week or so before a big match were common. After that the two or three times a week gatherings became more popular.

Between 1945 and 1953 Louth and Meath met 13 times. The crowds got bigger and bigger each time as they played draw after draw in the Championship. The attendance of 42,858 at a thrilling 1951 replay remained a record for a provincial match other than a final for forty years the four match series between Meath and Dublin in 1991. The rivalry with Meath has never fizzled out, as witnessed by a stirring Leinster semi-final in 1998. Nor has controversy, as witnessed by Graham Geraghty's "wide" 45th minute point. In 1957 showband star Dermot O'Brien was late for the All-Ireland final and joined the team when the parade was completed. Prior to the game O'Brien had captained the side in the semi final success, when the regular captain Patsy Coleman had been injured. Both Ardee men tossed a coin to see who would captain the team. O'Brien won the toss. Coleman today still has the match ball. O'Brien played a key role as Louth beat Cork with the help of a goal from Sean Cunningham with five minutes to go. Dermot O'Brien died on 21 May 2007. As both Cork and Louth wear Red and White, on that day Louth wore the green of Leinster, while Cork wore the blue of Munster.

Eamonn McEneaney was manager from 2006 to 2009 and guided them to their most recent success, the O'Byrne Cup when they defeated DCU in the 2009 final played in the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda.

On 27 June 2010, Louth reached their first Leinster Senior Championship Final in 50 years. During the Leinster Final on 11 July that year, anger and controversy erupted when, during the 74th minute of the match against Meath, a goal was awarded by the referee after brief consultation with only one of the match umpires (although close circuit camera evidence shown on the RTÉ Two coverage of the game proved that the ball was carried over the line by a Meath player). However, Meath received the 2010 Leinster Title and the cup. Louth have been represented by two players in the International Rules versus Australia in recent years, Paddy Keenan and Ciaran Byrne.[2]

2010 Leinster Football Final controversy

On 11 July 2010, Louth reached the Leinster Senior Football Championship Final where they took on neighbours Meath. Meath won what was a highly controversial match. Deep into injury time in the 74th minute of the match, the referee awarded a highly contentious goal to Meath. He did so after a brief consultation with only one of the match umpires, although television coverage of the game showed that the ball had been carried over the line by Meath player Joe Sherdian. Prior to the referee's decision, Meath were trailing Louth by one point. The referee blew his whistle shortly afterwards. The "goal" proved to be the decisive score.

Irate Louth fans stormed the pitch and commenced a process of chasing and physically assaulting the referee,[3][4][5] who had to be led away by a Garda escort in scenes broadcast to a live television audience. Other scenes of violence saw bottles being hurled from a stand, one striking a steward who fell to the ground[3][6] and Meath substitute Mark Ward was hit by a Louth fan.[7]

The situation led to much media debate in the days that followed, the violence was condemned and there were many calls in the national media for the game to be replayed (including from former Meath players Trevor Giles and Bernard Flynn).[8] GAA President Christy Cooney said the events were a "watershed" and one where the "circumstances were bizarre. I have never seen circumstances like it as long as I have been a member of this Association".[9] He promised life bans for those who assaulted the referee.[10] The day after the match the GAA released a statement confirming that Sludden admitted he had made an error.[11] The GAA also stated that the rules left it powerless to offer a replay and that this would be decided by Meath.[11] Following a Meath County Board meeting it emerged that, in his match report, the referee had originally blown for a penalty for Meath but when the ball ended up in the net he decided to award the "goal" instead. The county board decided not to offer a replay and judged that that would be "the end of the matter".[12] This decision was met in some quarters with mixed feelings and commented upon in one national newspaper, the Evening Herald, by three times All-Ireland winning manager Mickey Harte who said the Meath county board was even more culpable because their officers had time to form a considered opinion.[13] In the statement, the Louth County Board spoke of the enormous sense of injustice which was being felt in Louth GAA. They also questioned the referee's official report saying it was contrary to Playing Rules where he indicated in his report that he blew the whistle for a penalty, but then changed his mind and awarded a goal instead. The referee also wrote that "he made a terrible mistake".

Louth County board referred to Rule 6.41 Award //facts of game: The award of the game rests with the committee / council in charge acting on the referees report.

In doing so the Louth County Board intimated that the committee/council in charge erred in leaving the matter to Meath County Board to offer a replay without seeking clarification from the referee in relation to his match report and his statement that "he made a terrible mistake".

The debate concerning which team were official winners of the game is now over, with Meath recorded in the annals of history as the victors. However, numerous TV replays show that the Meath "goal" was indisputably a technical foul with regard to the Playing Rules of Gaelic football, as quoted below and as outlined in the GAA Official Guide. Also Paddy Keenan (St.Patricks) is the only Louth All-Star. - Part 2.[14]

Rules of Foul Play

RULE 4 - TECHNICAL FOULS 4.12 For a player attacking a goal to carry the ball over opponents’ goal-line.

2010 All-Ireland Qualifiers

Louth exited the All-Ireland championship on July 24 when defeated fairly convincingly by Dublin in the last qualifier round by 2-14 to 0-13.[15]


Current football squad

No. Player Position Club
1 Craig Lynch Goalkeeper St. Martin's
2 Pádraig Rath Right Corner Back Dreadnots
3 Patrick Reilly Full Back St. Bride's
4 Kevin Toner Left Corner Back St. Patrick's
5 Derek Maguire Right Half Back Dundalk Young Irelands
6 Darren McMahon Centre Back Naomh Mochtás
7 Anthony Williams Left Half Back Dreadnots
8 James Stewart Midfield Dundalk Gaels
9 James Califf Midfield Dreadnots
10 Declan Byrne Right Half Forward Naomh Mochtás
11 Jim McEneaney Centre Forward Geraldines
12 Conal McKeever Left Half Forward Clan Na Gael
13 Bevan Duffy Right Corner Forward St. Fechins
14 Conor Grimes Full Forward Glen Emmets
15 Ryan Burns Left Corner Forward Hunterstown Rovers
No. Player Position Club
16 Neil Gallagher Substitute Cooley Kickhams
17 John Bingham Substitute St. Mary's
18 David Finn Substitute Hunterstown Rovers
19 Keith McLoughlin Substitute Sean O'Mahony's
20 Cathal Bellew Substitute Kilkerley Emmets
21 Ruairí Moore Substitute O'Reilly's
22 Colm Judge Substitute Newtown Blues GAA
23 Gerard McSorley Substitute Dundalk Gaels
24 Ronan Holdcroft Substitute St. Fechins
25 Barry Flanagan Substitute O'Reilly's
26 Robert Curran Substitute Clan Na Gael

Squad as per Louth vs Carlow, 2016 Leinster Senior Football Championship, Preliminary Round, 14 May 2016

Ógsport Lú

Ógspórt Lú is the organisation in County Louth for the promotion of Gaelic Games and Activities among young children.

Its approach is new and innovative,concentrating on maximum participation, skill development and the inculcation of best practice.

It was founded in 2007 following a consultative process that identified the need for a new beginning and a system that would provide a solid foundation for the future development of Gaelic games in Louth.


Louth compete in the Nicky Rackard Cup, an extension of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and were runners up in the final in Croke Park to London in 2005 and to Sligo in 2008.



Louth contested two All Ireland senior finals in 1934 and 1936, captained by Rose Quigley from Darver, where Fr Tom Soraghan was zealously promoting the game. Kathleen and Nan Hegarty two of her Darver team-mates were leading players of the decade.

Notable players include junior player of the year winner in 1982 Vivienne Kelly.

Under Camogie's National Development Plan 2010-2015, “Our Game, Our Passion,”[16] Carlow, Cavan, Laois, Louth and Roscommon are to get a total of 17 new clubs by 2015.[17]


Runners Up: 1934, 1936


The former Louth GAA crest

In 2010, A Drogheda Gaelic Football Club O'Raghallaigh's tabled a motion for convention calling for the Boyne Valley Cable Bridge symbol to be removed from the Louth GAA crest because the bridge was mainly located in County Meath, this led to the county crest being changed to a more simple version. [18]


  1. http://www.the-kingdom.ie/news/story/?trs=cwsnkfauoj
  2. http://www.sportsfile.com/id/467438/
  3. 1 2 "Rough justice for heartbroken Louth". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  4. "Referee is attacked in Croke Park". RTÉ Sport. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  5. Reid, Philip (12 July 2010). "Dark clouds cast over Louth's big day in the sun". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  6. Keys, Colm & McHale, Michael (13 July 2010). "Meath call for extra time over Louth replay bid". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  7. "10 Key questions after Sunday's chaotic scenes at Croker". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  8. Irish Examiner (12 July 2010), Giles calls for replay, retrieved 12 July 2010
  9. "Cooney - Leinster final a watershed for GAA". RTÉ Sport. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  10. Foley, Cliona (17 July 2010). "We will impose life bans: Cooney". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  11. 1 2 "Referee admits error in awarding Meath goal". RTÉ Sport. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  12. "Meath decide against offering replay". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  13. Mickey Harte-Evening Herald (16 July 2010), Harte ire with royal 'replay - Decision not to offer refixture the biggest error of all, retrieved 16 July 2010
  14. GAA (16 July 2010), Louth have been represented by two players in International Rules against Australia, Paddy Keenan and Ciaran Byrne. ″had/Official_Guide_2009_Part2_100110194036.pdf Gaelic Athletic Association. Official Guide- Part 2 Check |url= value (help) (PDF), retrieved 16 July 2010
  15. Damian Lawlor - Irish Independent (26 July 2010), O'Gara crushes hope of Louth retribution, retrieved 26 July 2010
  16. "Final goal for camogie". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  17. National Development Plan 2010-2015, Our Game, Our Passion information page on camogie.ie, pdf download (778k) from Camogie.ie download site
  18. Review of the Year (November): Cable bridge gets the boot from Louth county crest - Independent.ie
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