A Craughwell camogie team was entered in a competition in the early 1970’s by P. J. Callanan the then secretary of the Sean Mac Diarmada GAA Club, and of the Galway County Board. One of the games played was in Kilrickle against a Kilrickle team. The team included Carmel Cawley, Kitty Kinneen and Monica Gilligan and the game was refereed by Pat Kelly.
In the early 80s girls were playing hurling in Craughwell N.S. and Ballymana N.S. When the Primary Schools Camogie competition was born both schools entered teams. Ballymana N.S. played their first game against Abbey N.S. in 1985 in Abbey.
Craughwell N.S was soon producing future Galway players such as Sandra Farrell, Alisha McNamara, Denise Gilligan and Carmel Allen. Ballymana N.S. was also producing future Galway players Erin Dolan, Coleen Crowe, Fiona Healy and Aoife Connolly. This group of players were part of the five Galway and Connacht INTO Camogie Sevens won by Ballymana N.S. 1988-1992.
In 1986 Kathleen Geoghegan approached the Secretary of the recently formed Juvenile Hurling Committee with a view to start a Juvenile Camogie Club for the girls of both schools. The Juvenile Committee agreed to donate one hundred pounds towards the new club and Michael Geoghegan went to the County Board and entered the first Craughwell Under 13 & Under 14 team into the Feile championship in 1986.
In the early days there was no training pitch and the girls trained in Hallanan’s field, Ballymore, now the home of Ballymore Lane Estate.
In 1987 Craughwell entered an U12, 13, 14 & 16 into competitions. These groups went from strength from strength over the years.
In 1988 the clubs U16s went on to become a Junior A Team.
In 1989 they went on to win the Junior A County Title, beating Clarinbridge in the final. John Keane and mentors Michael Geoghegan & Jimmy Crowe trained the team and brought them on to win the Junior A League and Connaught Championship 1992.
In November 1991 Craughwell Camogie Club was officially formed. This was the first time a Chair, Secretary and Treasure were nominated. The official founders were Michael Geoghegan, Carmel Gilligan and John Keane. This year also saw the U14 team reached the Feile Final, losing by a close margin.
Craughwell’s first Junior A League Title was in 1992 when they played St. Colemans in the Junior A Final in Tourloughmore with a score of 2.5 to 2.3. The Team also went on to become the Connaught Champions this year.
In 1993 Craughwell’s U16s won the County A Championship and the U14s reached the All Ireland Feile Final but unfortunately were beaten by St. Colemans. Erin Dolan captained the Galway Minor team beaten in the All Ireland final after a replay. She was joined by Coleen Crowe, Ailish Mc Namara, Denise Gilligan, and Esther Martyn on the team.
1994 saw the Club win its first Intermediate Title. Many of the girls playing with the club were also All Ireland Minor winners: Easter Martyn, Alisha McNamara, Sandra Farrell, Denise Gilligan, Veronica Curtain and Fiona Healy. The club also had Junior All Ireland and National League players: Erin Dolan, Veronica Curtain and Denise Gilligan
From 1995 to 1997 Craughwell Camogie Club played at Senior level. Some of the girls played All Ireland Senior also: Fiona Healy, Carmel Allen, Veronica Curtain and Denise Gilligan.
Craughwell Camogie Club won the National Pan-celtic tournament in 1996, 1997 and in 2009.
In 1998 the club also had players part of the All Ireland Junior Galway Team: Fiona Healy and Aoife Connolly.
2003: Craughwell’s Ballymana N.S. win the County Galway 9 a-side Championship with many players from the Camogie Club on the squad.
The next title to be won was in 2004 with the U13 team winning the U13C County Championship.
In 2006 the U10 team win the U10A County Champions.
2007 saw the 10s win the County Championship for the second time in a row. This year saw the U12s also get to the county final but unfortunately lose by a close margin.
2008 saw the U12 become U12A1 County Champions. Craughwell N.S. win their first County Galway Schools Camogie Championship.
2009 was a fantastic year for the club with the following teams winning County Championships: U12, 13, 14, 16 and the Minor C.
Craughwell N.S win their second Galway Schools Camogie Championship.
In 2010 the U10s were crowned County Champions. The U14s reached the Feile finals and All Ireland semi-final.
Craughwell N.S. win their third Galway Schools Camogie Championship.
2011 saw the U13s win the City League and the U14s reached the All Ireland Feile semi-finals. This year also saw three players from the club play for Galway: Leanne Freaney, Emma Gaffney and Amy Hynes. All three girls played on County teams for a number of years.
In 2012 the club’s Junior A Team won the League, County and Connacht Championship.
In 2013 the U16 team become the U16A Galway Shield Winners. The U13s also win the City League title.
2014 saw the Junior A Team win the Junior A League promoting them to Intermediate status. The U12 team also became the U12A Galway Shield Winners. The U16s got to the U16A finals, losing narrowly to Sarsfield. 2014 also saw three of our players on the Galway U14 squad: Sandra Greaney, Lauren Gilligan and Ciana Reidy.
In 2015 The Junior A team won the Junior A League County and Connacht Championship. The U14 team won the Feile Championship. The U12 Team won the County Shield Final and the Junior C Team reached the final but were unfortunately beaten by Mullagh. This year also saw Amy Hynes, Emma Gaffney and Leanne Freaney play with the Galway Minors Team and Caoimhe Allen named the Galway U14 Player of the Year.
In 2016 the U10s won the Division 3 County Championship and our U14s won the B County Championship. The club also saw the Junior C Team win the Junior C Championship.
2016 was a fantastic year for the club with two of our players winning U16 All Ireland medals: Lauren Gilligan & Ciana Reidy and three players part of the Galway Minors Team: Leanne Freaney, Emma Waters and Emma Gaffney.
The club also had four players in the U14 Galway Team that won the U14 All Ireland: Sarah Mc Cartin, Zoe Gilligan, Sinead Keane and Eva Kelly.
Craughwell’s Shauna Burke has spent many years playing for the county and was Galway Camogie’s Senior Goalie both in 2016 & 2017.
The Club was delighted to have eight of their players part of St Brigid’s Team who won the Senior A Schools All Ireland Championship: Caoimhe Reidy, Aisling Connolly, Emma Byrne, Emma Waters, Alice Whirskey, Grace Whirskey, Ciana Reidy and Eva Kelly.
In 2017 the club was delighted to see our U12 Team win the U12A1 County Championships and the U14s win the County B Championship beating Cappatagle in the final.
Two of our U16s were on the winning Galway Camogie All Ireland U16 Team: Sarah Mc Cartin and Tara Stephens and two players were also on the Galway Minors winning team: Mary Dunphy and Katie Stephens. Leanne Freaney also played for the Galway Intermediate team making this her sixth year playing for the County.
Craughwell Camogie Club currently has one player with the Galway Team U14s, Aine Kelly, three players on the U13 Galway Team: Molly Sullivan, Kisha Coleman and Emily Miskella. And a number of players on the Galway Development Squads – U14s Aoife O’Connor, Sarah Kelly and Kate Reilly. U13 Development Rebekah Flynn and U12 Development Kasey Coleman and Jade Welton.
John Keane was involved with the club as a coach for many years. He was a fundamental part of the club right up until his death in 1997. There is a John Keane Tournament held in his honour. However, in the past few years it has not been played for various reasons. To mark the 20th anniversary of his death Craughwell Camogie Club plans to host an Under 16 Tournament and revive the Tournament to its full glory.
Note: To any current or past club members who we may have mistakenly excluded from the club’s history we apologize. Please feel free to contact us and we will rectify this.
We would like to thank Ann Freaney, Pat Kelly, Erin Dolan and Michael Geoghegan for helping compile the club history. Without them it would have been impossible to do!