The first organised Gaelic football club in Clontarf was the legendary Brian Boro Club, formed in 1919. That club opened in the turbulent earliest years of our state and proudly and defiantly kept the Gaelic Football flag waving on the seafront until their ship hit troubled waters and sank in 1941. Two efforts were made – both unfortunately unsuccessful – to re-float the ship under the name Clontarf G.A.A. Club in the 1950’s. The club finally ceased to function in 1957 due to the lack of both players and mentors. Clontarf was bereft of any organised G.A.A. activity until today’s club was formally established at a meeting in Belgrove Boys School on 11th April 1961.
Just a hurling club at first, success was instant, when the under 13 side under Frank McGuire won the North Dublin hurling league (the Denis Guiney Cup), just three months after the clubs inauguration. The club then, as it still does, fed off the output of boys in Belgrove Boys School and very soon began to field football teams as well as hurling sides. The school itself entered it’s first team in the Dublin primary schools league as far back as 1948.
Since the beginning the club has experienced crest and troughs on and off the field. But, it has always been expanding – if only gradually at times – and introducing Gaelic Games to new generations. The streets leagues, first mooted in 1961 became a series of fiercely competitive and prestigious competitions. In February 1965 Clontarf played their first game in Croke Park – a juvenile football championship game against Clanna Gael which Clontarf lost by one point. In June 1965 Paddy Donnelly became the first Clontarf Clubman to wear the blue and navy of Dublin – being picked for the Dublin Minor Hurling team. Gerry O’Connor was the first clubman to appear in an All Ireland Final – on the losing Dublin under 21 hurling side in 1972. Gerry in fact has the unusual distinction of wearing the Dublin colours in both hurling and football. The biggest honour won to date by a clubman is the All Ireland medal won by Jim Ronayne in 1983, while Noel McCaffrey Dublin’s stalwart number 6 for many years received an all star award in 1988 and a Railway Cup medal in 1986. Derek Murphy also holds the distinction of winning an All-Ireland minor medal.
In 1967, Clontarf first put an adult team into competition – competing in the Dublin Junior League Championship. In 1973 the club gained intermediate status and finally in 1979 became a senior club. In 1985 Clontarf Seniors reached the county championship final only to be beaten by Ballymun Kickhams
Hurling, which had been abandoned in the mid 1970’s by the club due to a severe shortage of mentors, was revived in 1981. But it was not until 1993 that the club first fielded an adult hurling team. In 1999 the hurlers became the first club team to win an adult championship, capturing the Junior C title.
Ladies football, the success story of 2004 in winning the clubs first Adult football championship, began back in 1996. The team continues to grow in stature each year and acts as a great inspiration to our thriving under age girls teams from U10 to U16).
Camogie came into the club in 1981, thanks to the efforts of Agnes Doyle and Aileen Tutty. While camogie thrived through the 80’s, it sadly declined in the 90’s. However a revial is under way at present thanks to the local schools.
In refereeing circles our club has provided many knights of the whistle over the years and none more prominent than former chairman Aidan Shiells.
Of course the official opening of our clubhouse in 1998, gave our club a home base, a headquarters from which all aspects of club activities operates.We now look forward to the final chapter in facilities development with the proposed upgrading of the pitches and pavilion at St. Annes.