C.L.G. Ghaoth Dobhair
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C.L.G. Ghaoth Dobhair

CLG Ghaoth Dobhair
Nickname:Gaeltacht Men
Colours:   Green and White
Grounds:Áras Mhic Eiteagáin, Machaire Gathlán
Coordinates:55°04?56.97?N 8°18?34.29?W / 55.0824917°N 8.3095250°W / 55.0824917; -8.3095250Coordinates: 55°04?56.97?N 8°18?34.29?W / 55.0824917°N 8.3095250°W / 55.0824917; -8.3095250
Playing kits
Standard colours
Senior Club Championships
All Ireland Ulster
Football: - 1 15

CLG Ghaoth Dobhair[1] is a GAA club based in the parish of Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair) in northwest County Donegal, Republic of Ireland. They are one of the strongholds of Gaelic football in County Donegal.[2]

Their home ground is at Machaire Gathlán, and they are the most successful club in both the Donegal Senior Football Championship and Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta.


Early records of Gaelic football played in Gaoth Dobhair date back as far as 1918.[3] The sport of association football was a dominant rival in these years, with locals who worked in Scotland being influenced by the emergence of Celtic Football Club in Glasgow in the late 1880s.[3] Then the Great War came and with it the influence of association football was greatly diminished in the locality.[3] The scene was set for the re-emergence of Gaelic football.[3]

Two teams existed in the parish until the late 1920s -- one comprising players from the east of Derrybeg church, the other comprising players from the west of the same building.[3] Matches drew enormous herds of people, an official record for one of these, played in 1928, indicated a gate collection of £12 from the passing of a cap among the crowd.[3] However, an official club was yet to emerge.[3]Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Ghaoth Dobhair was founded one night in November 1931, rather accidentally. Following the production of a play, a meeting had been held to form a drama group; at the meeting it was suggested by a man named Charlie Owenie that a Gaelic football team might as well be formed as well.[3] A man by the name of Jim Size agreed and the club's first chairman, Dan Maloney, was appointed.[3]

The first official team was established at the end of 1931 or start of 1932.[3] A minor county title provided the parish with its first success of note in 1933; Gaoth Dobhair defeated Ballyshannon by a scoreline of 1-04 to 0-02.[3] Gaoth Dobhair retained their title, winning against Letterkenny in 1934 by a scoreline of 3-10 to 1-04.[3] A first senior title followed in 1935, with a defeat of Bundoran by a scoreline of 1-08 to 0-03 made possible by the progression of many of the minor players of the previous two years.[3] Players on that 1935 side included Paddy Coll, John Chit, Hughie Dunlop, Danny Neddy (Gillespie), Nial Mac Aoidh, Con McLaughlin, Jimí Ó Baoill, Jimmy Phádaí Bhig and Owenie Phádaí Pheadai.[3]

However, a long barren spell at senior level was experienced when the club went without a single senior county title from 1961 to 2002.

Gaoth Dobhair are known for their physical handpassing and "never say die attitude" style of play.

The club is also famous for its Thursday night discos during the summer which has been running since the 1970s.[] This is a massive income provider for the club and people travel from as far as Downings and Killybegs to attend due to its good reputation and unique setting.[]

After a decline following the club's 2006 senior championship win, underage development began to improve during the mid-2010s, with successes in the under-14, under-15, under-16 and under-21 levels after a considerable drought. This success was attributed largely to coaching plans and an underage structure put in place by a number of members in the early 2000s. These underage teams have provided five senior players, eight under-21 and eleven minor players for their respective county teams in the past three years.

In the summer of 2012, Gaoth Dobhair won the Donegal and All-Ireland Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta on their own pitch.

In the summer of 2012, after years of planning and development, a new pitch was built beside the clubhouse. In 2016 plans were laid down to replace the old pitch with a brand new one featuring a small stand opposite the clubhouse.

A delegation of coaches from the club visited La Masia (after FC Barcelona's youth farmhouse overtook the Ajax Youth Academy) to see if they could apply its techniques to their young players.[4]

Mervyn O'Donnell took over as manager in 2017. The following year Gaoth Dobhair their first Donegal Senior Football League since 2006.[5] They then won their first senior championship, also for twelve years.[6] They followed this with an historic first ever Ulster Senior Club Football Championship.[7][8]

Despite dominating the local football scene, only two Gaoth Dobhair players have ever played in any of their county's All-Ireland Senior Football Championship-winning finals: these were Eamon and Neil McGee, both of whom started and finished the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final when Donegal defeated Mayo. Eamon McGee received a yellow card during that game but was allowed to remain on the field of play. Peter McGee was also a squad member that day but had no part to play in the final. Meanwhile, an additional one of the club's players has contested a losing final: Odhrán Mac Niallais played for Donegal in the 2014 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final.[9]


Gaoth Dobhair's stadium is Áras Mhic Eiteagáin, which is located in the Machaire Gathlán area.

Gaoth Dobhair grounds in Machaire Gathlán


Squad as per Gaoth Dobhair v Scotstown, 2018 Ulster Senior Club Football Championship Final, 2 December 2018

Non-playing personnel

Position Staff
Manager Mervyn O'Donnell
Coach Michael Boyle


Years Manager
200?- N/A
c. 2006 Declan Bonner
200?- N/A
200?- Tom "Beag" Gillespie
200?- N/A
c. 2014 Kevin Cassidy[10][11]
200?- N/A
2017-present Mervyn O'Donnell


The following men have been chairman of the club.

Years Chairman
1931- Dan Maloney[3]
2020-present Piaras Mac Giolla Chóill


Gaoth Dobhair have won a total of 15 Donegal Senior County Championships, which makes them the county's most successful club at senior level. They are the most successful team in Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta history also, with nine wins, including one on their own pitch in 2012.

  • Ulster Under-21 Club Football Championship: 2017-18
  • Donegal Under-21 Football Championship: 1971, 1984, 1991, 2005, 2016, 2017
  • Donegal Under-18 Football Championship: 1933, 1934, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1976, 1987, 1999, 2014
  • Donegal Under-16 Football Championship: 1958, 1962, 2011, 2012, 2017
  • Donegal Under-15 Football Championship: 2011, 2012
  • Donegal Under-14 Football Championship: 1967, 1986, 2010, 2012
  • Donegal Under-13 Football Championship: 1985, 2016
  • Donegal Under-12 Football Championship: 1985


  1. ^ "Cassidy at a loss to explain dismissal". The Irish Times. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 2011. But the Gaoth Dobhair club man, who was only persuaded to come back into the panel by McGuinness at the start of last season before going on to win an All-Star as Donegal reached the All-Ireland semi-finals, feels no confidences were broken in the book.
  2. ^ Cullen, Damian (20 September 2012). "Final countdown". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2012. The strongholds of Gaelic football in the county - particularly since the turn of this century - such as Gweedores Gaoth Dobhair, Letterkennys St Eunans, Ardara, Four Masters from Donegal Town and Naomh Conaill from Glenties have all been well represented on the pitch this summer.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "A brief History of Gaoth Dobhair GAA club". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016.
  4. ^ Bogue, Declan (6 May 2020). "How Bayern Munich are leading by example in nurturing kids the right way". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ a b "GAA: Gaoth Dobhair are the new Donegal All-County League Division One champions". Donegal Now. 26 August 2018. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b Campbell, Peter (21 October 2018). "Gaoth Dobhair end 12 years of pain with dominant display". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. Archived from the original on 6 November 2018.
  7. ^ Boyle, Donnchadh (3 December 2018). "Composed Ferry has final say as Gaoth Dobhair see off Scotstown: Carey sees red as Monaghan men come up just short in Ulster decider". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ a b Mooney, Francis (2 December 2018). "Gaoth Dobhair edge out Scotstown in extra-time to win historic Ulster title". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018.
  9. ^ O'Toole, Fintan (21 September 2014). "As It Happened: Kerry v Donegal, All-Ireland senior football final". Archived from the original on 22 September 2014.
  10. ^ Bogue, Declan (17 November 2018). "Missing the medal: Best decision I ever made, says Kevin Cassidy". Irish Examiner. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. He tackled the role himself, becoming manager at 34 with an inside knowledge of the depth of talent coming through the underage structures through his close friendship with Tom Beag Gillespie, a man who gave hundreds of hours to perfecting Cassidy's shooting with endless drills in all weathers. But that year of 2014, Donegal seniors and minors went all the way to the All-Ireland final. Cassidy got his players back five days before the Championship commenced and they never got out of their group. "I enjoyed the time but it was probably the wrong time for me to take it," he says. "Will I ever manage again? Probably not!
  11. ^ McNulty, Chris (9 January 2015). "Liam Bradley looks to set bar high for Malin". Donegal News. Retrieved 2015. He is the father of Eoin and Paddy Bradley. Last year, Paddy was a part of Kevin Cassidy's backroom team at Gaoth Dobhair.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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