Club History

From an extract quoted on the Killeshandra Home Page Website - Fr Gerard Alwill writes the following - 
'Fr Dan Gallogly, in his book 'Cavan's Football Story', describes the parish of Killeshandra as 'the heart of football in Cavan'

  • In 1889 there were three clubs in the parish, Arva Davitts, Killeshandra National Leaguers and Cornafean Tom Moronies.

  • By the 1890's the G.A.A. had more or less died out in the area. However, by 1900 it began to re-emerge.

  • In 1901 there were two teams in the parish, Drumanery Emmets and Killeshandra De Wits. Throughout the next few years various teams in the parish would come and go.

  • During the 1910's and 1920's the Leaguers had great difficulty in surviving as a club.

  • Cornafean, founded in 1908, would quickly establish itself as one of the leading clubs in the county competing at Senior Level Football.  The glamour of playing senior football with this great club attracted many of the best players in the surrounding areas of Killeshandra, Arva, Kilmore, Gowna and Lacken

  • The 1930's was to mark the beginning of a great era for Cavan football. The parish of Killeshandra could boast of some of the best of the Cavan team; players like Packie Devlin, Packie Phair, Mick Dinneny, Willie Young, Big Tom O'Reilly. It didn't matter whether they played for Cornafean or for the Leaguers, they were all sons of the parish and they brought a sense of pride to the people of the parish.

  • At an A.G.M held in the Market House in 1932 the Leaguers we re-formed and a new committee was elected. Packie Devlin was chosen as captain. Devlin also trained the team.

  • Success happened when in 1935 they reached their first junior championship final. In the final they played Crubany and won easily by 11 points to 1.

  • The team was also known as Croghan during that period.

  • In 1939 they reached their second Junior Final against Crubany.Croghan went on to win.

  • As a result of this victory Killeshandra went Senior, but this lasted for one year only. This would be the last major championship win for 31 years.

  • During the 1940's  many good and loyal players served the club and from these Des Benson who won an All-Ireland with Cavan in 1948 playing in goals.

  • By the late fifties the club had lapsed but it was revived again at an A.G.M in 1960.

  • By 1970 the team was back in winning form. After a gap of 31 years they again won the Junior Championship beating Butlersbridge in the final.

  • In 1971 the Leaguers were defeated in the Intermediate final by Redhills 
    1981 The Leaguers were promoted to Division 2 and also they won the Division 5 League title defeating Knockbride .

  • 1982  Again the Club won  the Division 5 League Title.

  • In 1982 also the "Inspiration of the Club" - Sergeant Peter Maguire died in Breffni Park while the Club were playing Killygarry in that year's championship.

  • In 1982 - The Killeshandra  Leaguers Pitch - "Parc Phadraig Ui Dhoibhlinn"  was officially opened in this year also.

  • 1983 saw The Leaguers winning the Junior Championship  by defeating Kill in the final 
    In 1984  the Club gained promotion to Division 1  and also defeated Drung in the  Division 2 League Final.


Back row (L to R): Michael McGearty, Mick Fay (Manager), Andy Feeney (County Secretary), Shady O’Reilly,
John Brady, Brendan O’Reilly, Des Flanagan, Tom Downes, Paul O’Dowd, Seán McGearty, Tomás McDermott,
Shane Devine, Junior McKiernan, Johnny O’Reilly, Seán Feeney, Peter Brady, Tony McDonnell, Charlie Shanley
(Selector), Christy Woods (Selector).
Front row (L to R): Philip O’Reilly, Sean Magarahan, John Martin, Tomas McKiernan, Connor Flanagan, Harry
O’Reilly (RIP), Paddy Minagh, Stephen King, Bernard Brady, P. O’Reilly, Declan Feeney, Pat McGearty, Kieran
Barry-Murphy, Gerry Sheridan, Nudie McGovern.

  • 1986  saw the Club defeat Cuchullans in the Intermediate Championship Final 
    This was a "Golden Period" for the club and in 1987 they finished 4th in Division 1 League Table.

  • The Leaguers defeated their near neighbours Cornafean in the 1990 Junior C Fnal in Arva.

  • By 1991  they were  again on their winning ways by defeating Munterconnaught in the Intermediate Championship Final.

  • In 1992  they were beaten by  a Ramor United  side (who went on to win the Senior Championship) in the Quarterfinal of  that year's competition.

  • By 1993 some of this set of players had began to retire and due to these losses the Club were relegated to Division 2 that year.

  • The decline continued and the Club were relegated to Division 3 in 1996.

  • In 1997 somewhat of a revival of fortunes began with the Club winning the Division 3 League Title and  also by gaining promotion to Division 2 that year also.

  • The Club remained  in Division 2 for  years but were then relegated to Division 3 where we they remained until a youthful new team emerged from what was a "promising young underage team" to win the Junior Championship and League in 2007.

  • This brilliant young team went on to be the first Cavan Junior Team to represent the County in an Official GAA Ulster Council Championship Quarter Final - where they comprehensively defeated the Antrim Champions Aughohill in fine free flowing style in Breffni Park, Cavan.

  • Inexperience proved the undoing of the side when after a disappointing first half performance against "The Rock" from  Tyrone this young side were
    narrowly defeated.

  • In 2013 Killeshandra bet Shercock in a tight Intermediate Final to bring the Tommy Gilroy cup back to the town for the first time since 1991.  In the same year the won the Division 2 league and were promoted to Division 1. 

  • The clubs current status is Intermediate.


             Back row (L to R): Karl Reilly, Junior McKiernan, Austin Fitzpatrick, Colm Duffy, Daniel Luby, Declan McKiernan, Tomás O'Reilly,
Damien Higgins, Tomassi Budynec, John Sorohan, Gary Fay, Stephen King

             Front row (L to R): Glenn Shanley, Eamonn O'Reilly, Micheal Murphy, Cillian O'Reilly, Darragh Tighe, Justin Hayes, Shane Murphy, 
              Adie Burns, Darragh O'Reilly (mascot), Cyril Reilly, Ciaran Owens, Rory Braiden, Sean McKiernan, John Sweeney, Sven Johnson.