About Carnmore GAA Club
The Club are indebted to a host of people who, over the years, have given freely of their time and talents all for the benefit of Carnmore GAA Club at the various grades - they include Club Officers, Managers, Trainers, Voluntary Workers, Doctors, First Aid people and they are still doing it as intensely as ever today. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude, as it is their contribution and continued support that has build a club we are all proud to be associated with.
The townland of Carnmore is a small rural area in the parish of Claregalway. Carnmore is located approximately 8 kilometres east of Galway City on the Monviea road. Despite Carnmore's size, it is density populated with a population of approximately 1800, mostly due to the close proximity to Galway City and the thriving Carnmore National School and Claregalway College. The parish of Claregalway is one of County Galway's largest and offers both Carnmore Hurling and Claregalway Football clubs a strong catchment area. Carnmore is a central point for those travelling across County Galway. Carnmore Cross is a well known landmark to Galweigans and the focal point of the area linking the Limerick/Cork, Mayo/Sligo and M4 Galway-Dublin Motorway. Carnmore represent the parish in hurling and camogie and Claregalway represent us on the football fields.
Carnmore Hurling Club was not founded until 1944, even though there has been hurling played in the parish since the foundation of the GAA and much earlier. Records show that a team under the parish name of Claregalway played hurling in 1886 and reached their first county final in 1895. Carnmore have never won a County Senior Hurling Championship although it has taken part almost non-stop in county championships ever since with around equal representation of players from both ends of the parish.
When the Second World War broke out and bicycles became scarce and with the only playing field in the parish (Hession's field) being in Claregalway, the two ends of the parish became very far apart due to the lack of transport and with many young men around with little or no opportunity to emigrate many of the Carnmore lads began to puck a ball around in various farmer's fields to pass the time. As time wore on they decided to affiliate a Junior team of their own and so the Carnmore Hurling Club was founded in 1944. Needless to say when Carnmore and Claregalway met on the field the two teams had a bitter rivalry.
Players who had already played Senior with Claregalway were now playing with Carnmore and it did not take them long to make their mark and they went on to win a County Junior title against Clarinbridge in 1946. They went on to a Senior final in 1947 but were defeated by the Army. They remained Senior for some more years before being relegated to the Junior ranks again. During this time Carnmore was heavy represented on the county boards and committees. Tomas O'Connor who was the Chairman of the County Board in the 1940's and afterwards County Registrar for many years. A native of Kerry he was National Teacher in Claregalway. Paddy Ruane who gave a lifelong service to the GAA served as Treasurer of the County Board for fifteen years in the 1940's and 1950's. The present GAA field at Carnmore was acquired in 1961 with John McDonagh being the first President of Carnmore GAA Club. It was acquired through the Land Commission and is vested in local trustees. A series of Marquee dances were run from 1959 to 1965 to fundraise, develop and finance the Club.
In 1955 Carnmore once again claimed the County Junior Championship against Leitrim. In 1961 Carnmore would go on to win their first County Intermediate Championship against Loughrea. Carnmore's exploits on the hurling field was taking its toll on hurling in Claregalway and in the early 1960's the new ruling came to pass that there could only be one adult team in any grade in the same parish. This would eventually result in Carnmore becoming the sole hurling club in the parish with Claregalway continuing to to represent the parish on the football field. Carnmore reached two County Senior Hurling Finals in this time, losing them both to Tommy Larkins in 1971 and to Ardrahan in 1974. Carnmore again found themselves in Intermediate in the early 1980's. However with a strong team their stay in Intermediate was short as they claimed the Intermediate crown in 1988 beating Padraig Pearses, being captained by Malachy Hanley. Carnmore have remained Senior to this very day. During this time the club have competed unsuccessfully in three County Senior Finals to Sarsfields in 1992 (after a replay) and 1993 and to Athenry in 1996. To date Carnmore have yet to win a Senior title. In 2000 during the chairmanship of Padraig Fahy, a committee was tasked with creating a club crest for the launch of new supporters clothing and club jerseys. It was decided that this crest was to encompass a landmark which was synonymous with Carnmore and that the ethos of the club: Honour, Respect and Tradition should also be captivated in the new design. With all of this in mind a Celtic cross was chosen as the primary element of the new crest to represent Carnmore Cross. The letter C inter winded with a hurl was placed in the centre of the Celtic cross. Finally our club name and our county name were to be shown above and below the main body of the crest.
One of the inspirations for this crest came from the story of the Irish Volunteers of 1916 Easter rising, many of whom were from Carnmore and Claregalway who took it upon themselves to defended Carnmore Cross from a brigade of British police from Galway town who were on their way to Athenry were most of the volunteers were based. Under fire they held their positions behind stone walls and would not let the crown forces pass. These lads were no older that our senior team today and many were just teenagers.
Over the past number of years the club has undergone considerable changes, in particular to our club grounds. To date we have constructed three full sized hurling fields which regulary play host to games of all grades and competitions. We are continuing to build on our main field with the recent construction of a stand in 2015. We also have four ball alleys and mutiple dressing rooms, which all have been marked for further upgrade in the near future.
The Carnmore Community Centre is also located on the grounds of the hurling club. The Community centre houses a Player's Gym, meeting rooms, Squash and Handball courts, a main hall, which is used by our teams for training, the local drama group; Compantás Lir and Judo and fitness classes. There is also a Montessori School in the Community Centre.