Tourmakeady GAA Club has been in steady existence since 1965 although there were a number of earlier incarnations, going all the way back to Partry GAA Club in 1907. On the occasion of the club’s 50th anniversary dinner dance in August 2015, a 324-page book documenting the history of Gaelic games in our parish was launched by Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Spare copies (soft-back or hard-back) at discounted rates can be purchased on-line or by contacting the club secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org
The book, titled “By the Shores of Lough Mask: A history of Gaelic games in Partraí and Tuar Mhic Éadaigh” can be previewed by clicking here. We are constantly on the look-out for interesting stories, photographs, souvenirs, or other contributions to add to the club’s history records. If you have anything to share, please contact us.
In 1949, a Gaelic football club was established in Tourmakeady, affiliated with the South Mayo Board. The founding committee included Rev. A. Fair, Rev. T. Canning, T. Rabette N.T. and Tony Timoney who kept the books. The team played such teams as Partry, Aughagower, Turlough and Ballyburke in a field in Gorteenmore beside the Church. At that time, a set of jerseys in 1949 cost £6 and 10 shillings.
This club lasted for a few years, and then football in Tourmakeady fell away until September 1965, when the present Tourmakeady club was formed, the founding members being Sean Cronin, Sean O’Shea, Owen Dennehy and Tom Garvey.
A field was rented from Martin Heaney, though much of the training was done in Churchfield. At this time efforts were made to affiliate Ballintubber and Tourmakeady under the name of the ‘Saints’. However this did not materialise, and Ballintubber wished Tourmakeady the best of luck in their newly formed club.
The membership fee for the new Tourmakeady club was two shillings and six pence and a set of black and white jerseys were purchased. Funds were raised by running dances and concerts and through a national fund raising campaign called “Ciste na Banban”. This team played its first game against Ballinrobe on 13th February 1966 and its first championship game against Achill on 1st May 1966 – Tourmakeady lost both the games. This first championship team included the following: T. Lydon, M. Lally, M. Staunton, J. O’Brien, B. Dermody, T. Prendergast, M. Power, S. Cronin, S. Sullivan, T. Garvey, O. Dennehy, P. Melia and C. Feeney. The team also took part in the winter league, but won very few games.
In 1970 Tourmakeady reached the West Mayo semi-final but was defeated. With the expansion of the local knitwear factory came a number of experienced players to the club. Among these were Kevin Melia, John Quinn, Sean Cronin and Charlie O’Donnell. These formed a major part of a Tourmakeady team who reached their first ever West Mayo championship final in the club’s history in 1972. The team defeated Islandeady in the semi-final but was defeated by a strong Louisburgh team in the final. However this team had showed great courage and talent and was also made up of such local players as Christy and Kevin Dermody, Pat Gibbons, Joe Brown, Vincent Hennelly and Pat Naughton.
The following year, a complete Mayo team, backboned by Tourmakeady players won the Sean de Lapp Trophy in the All-Ireland Inter-county Gaeltacht competition. Lean years followed however, semi-final after semi-final without a win. Ten years after its formation in 1975, the club still had no divisional honours. However, changes were taking place. Local under-age footballers were being catered for and this is the basis for our present day side. Tourmakeady began to prove their worth in tournaments by winning the Kavanagh, Nally and Staunton Cups and finally in 1978 Tourmakeady after 13 years of denial won the West Mayo Junior football league – success at last!
In more recent years, Tourmakeady were crowned Mayo and Connacht Intermediate Football Champions in 2006, narrowly missing out on a place in the All-Ireland final by one point. This team again contested the Mayo County Final in 2009, but unfortunately lost to Westport, again by a single point. We bounced back in 2010 and beat Burrishoole in the County Final to claim a third Intermediate title for the club, now second place in the all-time Mayo honours rank at this grade.