All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship
The All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship is an annual Gaelic football tournament which began in season 1970–71. It is the top-tier competition for the senior football clubs of Ireland and London.
|All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship|
|Current season or competition:|
2019–20 All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship
|Irish||Craobh Shinsear Peile Chlub na hÉireann|
|Trophy||Andy Merrigan Cup|
|Title holders||Corofin (5th title)|
|Most titles||Nemo Rangers (7 titles)|
|TV partner(s)||TG4, Eir Sport|
The current trophy is the Andy Merrigan Cup, named after a footballer who played for Castletown and Wexford who died as a result of a farm accident at the height of his playing career. It was first presented in 1974.
Ireland's 32 counties play their county championships between their senior Gaelic football clubs. Each county decides the format for determining their county champions. The format can be knockout, double-elimination, league, etc. or a combination. For instance, Kerry organise two separate championships - one for clubs only and one for clubs and divisional sides.
Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster each organise a provincial championship for their participating county champions. All matches are knock-out and two ten minute periods of extra time are played if it's a draw at the end of normal time.
The winners of the London club championship play one of the four provincial champions in a single match in mid-December referred to as a quarter-final. Two semi-finals are then played in mid-February. The All-Ireland final is traditionally played in Croke Park on St. Patrick's Day, 17 March.
In an attempt to shorten the season for club players, the semi-finals and final were brought forward for the 2019–20 season. The semi finals were played on the first weekend in January with the final scheduled for 19 January.
County championships – April to November
Provincial championships – October to December
All-Ireland quarter-final – mid-December or January
All-Ireland semi-finals – mid-February
All-Ireland final – 17 March in Croke Park, Dublin
Ulster and Connacht tournaments were first held in the 1960s and the first unofficial All Ireland Final took place in 1968. The final was contested by Dunmore McHales of Galway and St Josephs of Donegal. It was a two leg affair with St Josephs emerging as the winners. The motion was then brought to the GAA National Congress in 1969. Despite opposition from many delegations the motion received the necessary two-thirds majority.
The first winners in 1970–71 were an East Kerry divisional team (nowadays amalgamations of clubs are not allowed to enter the All-Ireland). In the following year, Bellaghy GAC from Derry, became the first individual club to win the All-Ireland Club Championship by defeating UCC of Cork in the final at Croke Park.
Dublin clubs (UCD x2 and St. Vincent's of Marino) won a three-in-a-row of All-Irelands in 1974–76, before Kerry and Cork clubs began to dominate, winning 9 titles in 13 years, 1977–89, including four for Nemo Rangers of Cork. Clann na nGael won 7 Connacht titles in 8 years (1983–90), but did not win a single All-Ireland.
St. Mary's Burren of Down ended a 14-year Ulster drought when they were victorious in 1986. Baltinglass caused a major shock in 1990 by winning their and Wicklow's first national honour, while Nemo pulled ahead with their fifth title in 1994. In 1998, Corofin won Galway's and Connacht's first national award, six months before the county team's first All-Ireland for 32 years.
In the late 1990s the club championship rose to national prominence with regular TV coverage and the prestigious St. Patrick's Day fixture in Croke Park for the final. Crossmaglen Rangers claimed 3 All-Irelands in 4 years from 1997 to 2000. While the Caltra club of Galway won their first Galway title, first Connacht award and first All-Ireland in one year, 2003–04. 2006 saw Salthill-Knocknacarra of Galway complete a Connacht three-in-a-row.
All-Ireland Finals Listed By YearEdit
Summary of All-Ireland ChampionsEdit
|Nemo Rangers (Cork)||7||Munster|
|Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh)||6||Ulster|
|St. Vincent's (Dublin)||3||Leinster|
|St. Finbarr's (Cork)||Munster|
|Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin)||2||Leinster|
|St. Mary's Burren (Down)||Ulster|
|Dr Crokes (Kerry)||Munster|
Nineteen unlisted clubs have managed to win a single title.
L, M, U, C refer to Leinster/Munster/Ulster/Connacht championships won by clubs from the county. "Most recent winning team" gives the name of the club from the county which last won the All-Ireland; if no club has, the name of the last provincial champion is given in italic type.
|Province||All-Irelands||Most recent winning team|
|Munster clubs||18||Dr Crokes (Kerry), 2016-17|
|Ulster clubs||12||Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh), 2011–12|
|Connacht clubs||10||Corofin (Galway), 2019–20|
|Leinster clubs||10||Ballyboden St. Enda's (Dublin), 2015–16|
Provincial champions listed by yearEdit
All-Ireland winners are shaded gold, and counties are given in brackets.
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- "Colm Cooper completes the set with Dr Crokes glory". RTÉ Sport. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
- "Ballyboden stroll to a first All-Ireland football club success". RTÉ Sport. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Ballyboden dominate Castlebar to win first ever All Ireland title". Irish Independent. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Corofin claim title at HQ". RTÉ Sport. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "St. Vincent's crowned champions courtesy of Connolly masterclass". Irish Independent. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
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- "Ballina best in dogged decider". Hogan Stand. 17 March 2005. Retrieved 9 July 2014.