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Aodh Ruadh Ladies Football

By Mary Gillespie

The Aodh Ruadh Ladies Football Club was formally established on 20th February 1992, with Paul O'Loughlin taking charge of managing the senior team and Sean Og's as sponsors.

The following year saw the introduction of our first underage team at U-16 level and the start of many 'Krazy Nites' at Sean Og's. Breda Tinney, Grace Meade and Tracey Flood won Ulster medals with the county team and along with Frances Kane reached the Junior All-Ireland final.

By 1994 the senior team was well established, competing with the best in the county, MacCumhaill's and St. Eunan's. Grace Meade captained the Donegal team to another Junior All-Ireland appearance with club players Jenny McGloin and Marita Maguire also involved. The team was managed by Paul O'Loughlin and Alan Kane was a mentor.

1995 saw the introduction of U-14 football to the club with Alan and Teddy Kane now well involved. The winning of the senior county championship and the 7-a-side All-Ireland Shield makes this the most successful year in the history of the ladies club to date. Sylvester Maguire, Malachy Cullen, Michael Horan, Alan Kane and Josie Boyle were instrumental in these victories.

The 7-a-side All-Ireland Shield winners, 1995.
The 7-a-side All-Ireland Shield winners, 1995.

For the remaining years of the 90s the senior team were second best to St. Eunan's in both league and championship encounters. However, our underage structure was developing well with the U-14 team reaching their first county final in 1997 managed by Bernie Maguire and Grace Meade. Donegal hosted the All-Ireland Feile competition in 1997 and 1998 with our U-14 girls participating on both occasions.

In 1998, Jenny Mc Gloin managed the club's first U-12 team.

In 2000, Dicey Reilly's came on board as senior team sponsors, with the fancy dress BBQ held there a great club night out.

2001 saw the U-12 girls team participating in the Willie Rodgers Memorial Tournament; this being the first time a girl's section had been included in a club memorial tournament.

Grace Meade, Marita Maguire, Frances Hoy and Marie Loughlin made Ulster final appearances with the county team in 2000 and 2001; taking home winners medals in 2001.

For the first time in 10 years no adult team was entered in competition for the 2002 season; however, U-12, U-14 and Minor teams continued to participate in competition. Grace Meade, Frances Hoy and Donna Martin won Ulster titles but were beaten in the All-Ireland final at which Aoife Buggy made her first Croke Park appearance, playing in the mini-7's competition.

By 2003 the future of the Ladies Club was on the way up again. Underage football was well established thanks to the commitment of Claire Flood, Mary Gillespie, Gabby McGloin, Louise Foy, Marita and Bernie Maguire in the more recent years. The U-14's reached the 'B' semi-final and the U-16's the 'A' final. Sarah Patton played with the U-14 county team and Ciara Buggy the U-16 county squad.

Under 16 County Finalists, 2003.
Aodh Ruadh Under 16 County Finalists, 2003.

An Intermediate team, managed by Teddy Kane contested the county final against a stronger Moville team.

Aodh Ruadh Intermediate County Finalists, 2003.
Aodh Ruadh Intermediate County Finalists, 2003.

Big success for club players Frances Hoy and Donna Martin and mentors Gary Walsh and Brendan Drummond on their All-Ireland victory over Kildare Ciara Dolan played in the mini-7's that day.

2004 was the U-14 girls year, beating Ardara in the county 'A' final.

Sarah Patton and Lorraine Roper played with the U-16 county team.

In 2005, Ciara Buggy and Lorraine Roper win Ulster medals with the county Minor team, losing out to Galway in the All-Ireland final.

Lorraine Roper and Sarah Patton reach an Ulster final with the county U-16 team.

Barry Ward took on the management of the Intermediate panel assisted by Teddy Kane. This team beat Termon in the county final to bridge a 10 year gap to bring an adult trophy back to the ladies club.