Shelmaliers GAA

Founded 1886

Co. Wexford

Club History

The club represent a parish of three centres – historic Castlebridge, Screen at the northern end, and the seaside area of Curracloe. There is a strong body of evidence, documentary, oral and in the song tradition, of the prominent place held by the game of hurling in the area long before the foundation of the G.A.A.

Our club is in the ‘over the water’ area, just north of Wexford town. It was in the year of 1886, the year of the G.A.A.’s foundation in Wexford, that we played our first game under the auspices of the association – a game of football against Our Lady’s Island, in October 1886.

Over the next fifty years our club, under various names, such as the Emmets, the Redmonds, and of course the famous Sally Beachers, enjoyed a golden age, winning thirteen senior hurling titles and one senior football. We represented Wexford in the All-Ireland championship five times, in the days when the county was represented by the champion club. Our finest hour was in glorious 1910, when Wexford, represented by Castlebridge, won its first All-Ireland senior hurling title, beating Limerick. Our parish had eleven representatives on the 1918 Wexford All-Ireland hurling team and we continued winning senior hurling titles through the 1930s.

The ‘Shelmaliers’ name was adopted in 1952, when the old Ibars and Ardcolm clubs merged. County junior hurling titles followed in 1954 and 1966. This was of course the great era of Wexford hurling, when the team of the Rackards, English, Flood, Wheeler et al, strode the national stage like giants, and our parish supplied men of the calibre of Séamus Hearne and Jack Harding to those teams.

Other titles have come our way in the intervening period, winning Junior football in 1985, and intermediate hurling in 1997. We have been competing consistently in senior hurling for ten years, and are knocking on the door of senior football.

The 1970s saw the club move to its present grounds at Hollymount, the start of a process of development which is continuing today. We now have three pitches, and have purchased land for a fourth pitch. We are in the process of building a complex to cater for the needs of a modern club in one of the fastest growing areas in County Wexford. The Shelmalier club is joined in this development by our sister clubs in Shelmalier St. Ibar’s Camogie Club and Shelmalier Ladies’ Football Club.

At under-age level the club has enjoyed unprecedented success over the last ten years, winning premier county titles at all grades of both hurling and football. In 2006 for example we were awarded ‘Wexford club of the year’, having won U12, & U14 football, as well as U14, U16 and Minor hurling, all premier titles. In 2005 our U14 footballers, having won the county Féile Peil, went on to win the All-Ireland title in Wexford’s division.

We are a club with a long and proud history – aware of our past and confident of our future, the Shelmalier club is ready to develop and promote our games to the generations yet to come.

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