Naomh Mearnóg GAA club is located in Portmarnock, north county Dublin. We are a community-based club, with most of our members coming from the parish of Portmarnock. Founded in 1975, we offer Gaelic Football, Hurling, Ladies Football, Camogie and Rounders to those of all ages and abilities. Our clubhouse, with bar and function room, opened in 2000.
We recently launched a major development programme, with all-weather pitch facilities, a hurling wall and floodlit pitches.
The Club's full-time Games Promotion Officer is Paddy Gorey, who in addition to organising the Naomh Mearnóg Academy for our younger members, is also involved in coaching in our local schools, with whom we have always had strong links. The Club also offers Special Needs Football to members of our community with special needs. This, along with Social Football and Hurling, is part of our policy of offering games for all, both competitive and non-competitive.
On the social side, we hold live music nights, cards, a dinner dance and summer barbecue. Our function room (refurbished in 2007) is available for parties and social events of all kinds.
In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s there were two grades of Adult inter-club football: Senior and Junior. It was the same at Inter-County level. The interest in
In the late 1920’s there was a temporary break-up of the Innisfails Junior Football team in Balgriffin, and as a result it was decided to form a team in Portmarnock. At that time Portmarnock would have been what we now call Old Portmarnock. The population was sparse and if a team lost a few players it found it very difficult to survive.
Success came to the newly formed team quite quickly. (The team wore a black jersey with an amber sash.) In their first year of competition they were runners-up in Division 3 of the Fingal League. In the following years they won the Fingal League Division 1 on two occasions: the Fingal Championship once. During those years 7-a-side tournaments were very popular and drew huge crowds to the venues. St. Marnock’s were beaten by St. Margaret’s in the final of the Swords tournament played on August Monday 1930, after extra time. They won the Fintan Lalor tournament, beating Erins Isle in the final. This final was played at ‘The Thatch’, where the present Whitehall Catholic Church stands. Quite often St. Marnocks travelled to their ‘away’ games by train. The Club secretary would fill in a form by the Thursday before the game and the team consequently travelled at a reduced rate.
Their home games were played at different venues during those years:
a) A field behind Freaney’s house in Old Portmarnock.
b) The site of the old St. Anne’s Church
c) The site of the present St. Anne’s Church. (By sheer coincidence the newly formed Naomh Mearnóg played many of their early games on the same site.)
Other teams that St. Marnocks would have played against during those years were:
Pioneers (Balbriggan):Ballyboughal: St. Maurs: Parnells: Wild Geese: Peadar Mackens: St. Laurences (Howth) Erins Isle: Fingallians and many others.
The McLernon referred to was of course Tommy McLernon, who lived at the junction of
There’s no doubt about it that the high point of those years was beating Fingallians in the final of the Dublin Junior Football Championship in
Tom Tighe, all from Malahide. Naturally the players and supporters were very disappointed that the team did not remain senior for very long after that.
The team that lined out in the Junior Final was:
J. McManus, F. Morris J. Brady N. Morton, J. Rafferty, J. Connor, F. Donnelly,
T. McLernon, M. Reilly, D. Fitzgerald, P. French, T. Tighe, E. Kealy, M. Gilsenan and J. Fogarty
In the Drogheda Independent of
“Because of the absence of the above-mentioned necessities”.
As late as 1935 it was reported that St. Marnocks could not field a team against Innisfails (they were back in action again), at
The following September St. Marnocks beat the reigning
Semi-final of the Loving Cup by 1-4 to 0-2.
It was reported in the Drogheda Independent of
“Do you know that Innisfails: Pioneers: St. Marnocks and
Naomh Mearnog Re-launch
At the relaunch of the Club, which took place in the North Coast Hotel (now Sands) under the genial host, Leo Nealon, some members of the
The meetings during that first year to set up the club on a proper footing were held at various locations aside from the North Coast Hotel. These locations were in the main the homes of the five musketeers. Indeed I have been reliably informed by the wife of one of those involved that she still has the cigarette marks on her furniture to verify the intensity of these meetings.
Having made the initial breakthrough, it was deemed appropriate to have the club affiliated to the
The meeting was also attended by Liam Price of Naomh Maur who was later to become chairman of the Fingal Football Board. Eanna Mac Caba as acting Treasurer reported to the meeting that while a very successful event to I successful
In the course of his report, the Secretary in waiting reported that the visit of the
The meeting decided that a football and hurling team be registered with the
Also at this meeting Patsy Haran commenced his long and distinguished career in football management when he was chosen to manage the club’s adult football team. Eugene Keaveney was selected team Captain and Pat Dillon was chosen as Vice-Captain. Robert Kenny was selected as trainer of this team. Selectors on the junior football side were to be Danny McCormick, Jackie Hughes and Vincent Hughes.
A juvenile committee was also set up to organise under age games in the Club under the auspices of the following: Frank McNulty, Patsy Haran, Micheál O’Braonáin, Pat Keaveney and Christy Dwyer.
On the playing side two teams were registered at under 11 and under 13 in the Dublin Football League. This historic event took place on
In May 1976 Fr. Philips was appointed Club President, a position he held until his departure some years later to Ballymun.
Just to show that things have remained unchanged this first meeting set up a Finance Committee with the following members; Tom Farrelly, Pat Keaveney, Brendan Shannon, Martin McDonagh and Frank McNulty.
WHERE DID WE PLAY?
In 1976 there was no Carrickhill Pitches or Woodlands Pitches as we know them today. Our games during these early formative years of the Club were held on the grounds that now houses St. Helen’s Senior and Junior Schools. Later games were also played at the site of the present St. Anne’s Church. Notwithstanding all of this and to show the remarkable endeavour and foresight of that first executive, efforts were being made even at the very initial stages of the Club to procure its own lands. In this regard the then owner of the present Malahide Golf Club Lands, Mr. McEnery, was contacted and while agreement in principle to purchase some lands from Mr. McEnery was reached, unfortunately, the deal was not proceeded with.
The Club’s first official Annual General Meeting was held at the North Coast Hotel (Sands) on
Chairman: Danny McCormick
Vice-Chairman: Vincent Hughes
Secretary: Jackie Hughes
Treasurer: Eugene Keaveney
Ass. Treasurer: Noel McKenna
Ass. Secretary: Tony Jordan
Registrar : Patsy Haran
1977 was a year of consolidation in the Club with many local competitions organised within the parish in an effort to have teams properly prepared and coached for the Dublin Leagues. In this regard no praise is great enough for the efforts of the juvenile committee in respect of their work during this period.
1978 was a year of intense activity on the playing fields. During this period also the first juvenile hurling teams to represent the club were at Under 10 and under 15. The junior footballers were to win the famous Malahide Tournament in 1978 and in the same year they transferred from the Dublin League to the Fingal League.
In 1978 Shane Redmond presented the club with 4 cups for under 10,11, 12 and 14 (football) to be played for in a tournament. These trophies were to form a very important part of the Club’s development as was a cup donated by one of the Great Dubs stars Jimmy Keaveney. These trophies continue to this day to be played for in our mini leagues with literally hundreds of boys and girls.
The panel was Mick O’Connor, Bill Staunton, Tom Scott, Frank Fahy, Pat Monaghan (still playing), Gerry Gleeson, Joe Reale, Denis Sheehan, Pat Coughlan, Tony Larkin, Michael Lenihan,
Following a close second to that historic victory was the decision of Dublin County Council to make 2 pitches available to the Club at Carrickhill. The significance of this decision cannot be overemphasised as, up until then, the Club was totally reliant on the generosity and goodwill of the Church authorities who made the present school site at Martello available to us.