Gweedore United earn FAI Club Mark

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Gweedore United earn FAI Club Mark

Donegal's Gweedore United are the latest club to earn the FAI Club Mark.
5th Nov 2020

The club was founded in 1977 by Mici Beag “na Locha” Ó Gallachóir (RIP), Padraig Mac Aodha, Frank Mac Aodha and Sean Ó Duibhir.

Gweedore United began playing their matches at 'An Rannaí' in Lunniagh Beag, Derrybeg. They joined the Gaeltacht League in September of 1977. Their first manager was Mici Beag “Na Locha” Ó Gallachóir. They played their first match on the 11th of September 1977 against Dunlewey Celtic winning the match, 6-2. They went on to come in as runners up in the league in the first season. The following season they had a good season but once again missed out on the title. It was third time lucky in 1979/80 when United finally lifted their first piece of silverware in the Gaeltacht League Championship beating Leitir United 6-4 to clinch the title.  

The club joined the Donegal League in 1980, and won the Division One title six years later, before briefly joining the Ulster Senior League for two seasons. The returned to the Donegal League and remain there to this day.

In 2002, Gweedore United re-structured their youth system and now have teams at different age levels from Under 6, Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 up to Under 18 competing in the Donegal Schoolboys & Youth League League and Donegal Women’s League respectively. They appear to be enjoying the rewards of their new youth structure with players from the youths coming into the reserve and senior teams in recent times

Their youth teams have enjoyed league and cups success in the irrespective ages over the last 18 years. Players from the clubs youth structure have also gone on to represent their county along with Finn Harps and Derry City in the SSE Airtricity Leagues.

A number of players have represented Ireland in recent years. Players from the Club that received international caps are: Dáíre Ó Baoill in 2015, Fionnan Coyle (2017 - present) and Patrick Ferry (2019 – present).

Facility Development - Planned Development Phases 1- 4

Phase 1: Gweedore United upgraded all their facilities when they installed state of the art floodlighting around their well known pitch at Carrickboyle. They also constructed a new all weather pitch with a modern 3G surface and floodlighting. This phase also included new facilities for referees and the public including the construction of new toilets for all abilities. This phase was completed in 2011.

Phase 2  – Main grass pitch upgrade works and installation of new dugouts was completed in 2014

Phase 3 – They completed a full renovation and upgraded of the existing stand and fitted 144 seats in the stand. The new stand was named in memory of one of the clubs founding members Micí Beag " Na Locha" Ó Gallachóir in recognition of his hard work and dedication to the club until his untimely passing in 1985. The stand was officially opened on the 4th October 2015 by his family in front of a large turn out.

Phase 4 - (Final stage of planned development) - They have recently been granted planning permission in 2019 to construct a new grass pitch and extend their existing clubhouse to consist of a new kitchen, meeting room/training room, and gymnasium. They hope to begin the construction of this final stage in early 2021 all going well. 

The FAI Club Mark is free and optional for clubs and aims to:

•          Improve the management of clubs ‘off the field’

•          Establish and promote best practice

•          Empower and support clubs

•          Recognise and reward clubs for achieving high standards

•          Increase a club’s capacity to operate effectively and grow football in communities throughout Ireland.

If your club is interested in learning more about the FAI Club Mark please complete this short Registration Form