A statistical account for the development and successes of An Cumann Peil Gael Na mBan in Co Monaghan
1991 – 2004
Football arrived to County Monaghan, when on the 13th January 1991 Magheracloone affiliated to Cumann Peile Gael na mBan. By then on the 12 - 3 - 91 with plenty of enthusiasm and expertise from Pat Quill, Peter Rice, Helen O’Rourke and Christy Byrne from Central Council the first Ladies County Board was formed with representatives from two clubs; namely Magheracloone, and Monaghan Harps. Elected on that night in the Riverdale Hotel, Ballybay were Chairman Philip Kelly Magheracloone. The meeting elected Secretary Eileen McElvaney Monaghan Harps, Treasurer Elizabeth Martin Magheracloone. At a subsequent meeting on the 26 – 3 – 91 to the above list were added Vice-Chair Oliver Gavan Aghabog, Youth Officer Paddy Flood Aghabog and P.R.O. Damien Morgan Monaghan Harps.
This meeting was to be the beginning of a phenomenal rise of Ladies football – not only in Monaghan but also in Ulster as in 1992 counties Armagh, Tyrone and Donegal followed Monaghan’s lead. In 1993 Fermanagh joined the ranks and by the Spring of 1994 seven third level colleges/universities were active in competitions.
The ladies from Monaghan were so enthusiastic about this new found sport, that in 1992 – at only their second attempt they were to become All-Ireland Junior Champions capturing the John Timmins Cup at Croke Park on the 3 – 10 – 1992 defeating London by two points.
In 1975 pictures and reports in the “Northern Standard” give accounts of Monaghan Ladies Competing against St. Brigid’s Ardee in the Psychiatric hospitals competitions. The report reads –
Ladies match: The curtain raiser on the football programme was a ladies match between St Davnet’s nurses and St Brigid’s Louth St Davnet’s Monaghan – were victors by 2 - 2 to 1 - 0. After falling behind through conceding an early goal, the St Davnet’s girls were rampant in the second half. Scorers for St Davnet’s were R. Connolly 1- 1, E. Treanor 0 - 1, J. Murray 1- 0, St. Brigid’s scorer was M. Martin 1- 0.
Another photograph taken in 1979 protrays a South Monaghan team from Magheracloone, known as the “Red Devils” after competing at sports against a team from Fyans town county Meath.
Another very important match for ladies football in Ulster could have been the meeting of Aghabog and Magheracloone on the 14th October 1990 when Aghabog scored 4 - 8 to Magheracloone’s 2 – 6.
1991 – on After the inaugural setting up of Monaghan’s first County Board on the 12 - 3 - 91 and the further meeting on the 26 - 3 - 91 Pat Quill again returned to the Riverdale Hotel, Ballybay on the 31 - 3 - 91 where four clubs had approximately 50 people present namely Magheracloone 19, Aghabog 16, Monaghan Harps 8, Corduff 7 and Brenda Macklin from Ballybay.
Ladies football in Monaghan was up an running, to such an extent that at Donaghmoyne on 14 – 4 – 91 the first ever Monaghan Ladies county team took to the field with Longford as their opposition and lining out for Monaghan were: Blathnaid Carolan Aghabog, Jennifer Treanor Mon Harps, Mairead Kelly Aghabog, Celia Marron Magheracloone, Aoife Murphy Mon Harps, Brenda Macklin Mon Harps, Aisling Smith Aghabog, Linda Farrelly Magheracloone, Susan Maxwell Magheracloone, Rosemary McCabe M’cloone, Jennifer Greenan Aghabog, Eileen McElvaney Mon Harps, Anne Gavan Aghabog, Margaret Kierans Aghabog, Cora Jones Magheracloone, Subs used Catherine Finnegan, Marie Gargan and Karen Kelly all Magheracloone also Seanine McConnell Mon Harps, Patricia Goodman, Elizabeth Martin Magheracloone, Eilish Ní Mhurchũ & Michelle McKenna Mon Harps, Amanda Moloney Aghabog.
Manager: Paddy Flood Aghabog, Selectors: Philip Kelly & Maurice Kindlow Magheracloone, Oliver Gavan Aghabog. The final score of the above historic encounter was Monaghan 1 - 4 Longford 3 - 5. Monaghan scorers were Jennifer Greenan 0 - 2, Margaret Kierans 0 - 1, Ann Gavan
0 - 1, and Marie Gargan 1- 0.
By the end of their league campaign Monaghan were in possession of ten points from a possible twelve, some however were awarded by default, for various reasons and important subsequent results for 1991 were as follows:
U16 All-Ireland Semi final: Roscommon 3 - 5, Monaghan 0 - 4.
Inver College Carrickmacross 5 - 6 Castleblayney 0 - 0.
1992 The final act of 1991 was the County Convention in the Riverdale Hotel, Ballybay and with Oliver Gavan as acting Chairman the following officers were elected to serve for what was to be an historic 1992 –
Chairman - Mr P.J. Finnegan Magheracloone,