Limerick's Geraldines AFC make local Club Mark history
Geraldines AFC or at times referred to as the (Dines) were formed in 1937 and this year enter their 84th year in football.
Since the club’s formation back in 1937, Geraldines AFC had been renowned for its dedicated officer’s and committees that have served the club so well in all those years.
Inspired by the upsurge of interest in football and sensing a need for such an outlet three young men namely Ger Tracey, Johnny Callaghan and Thomas Ollie McMahon met daily back in early 1937 to put together a club and this trio’s foresight saw Geraldines AFC been formed. It was a huge undertaking in an area where rugby and GAA games dominated. Undeterred their youthful enthusiasm ensured that the idea would be followed up.
Money or rather the lack of it was a permanent problem with many clubs even in today's climate but at the time they set about resolving that situation and were in fact quite effective in that aspect.
The (Dines) were now part of the footballing structure in Limerick and with the opening game looming the matter of fundraising was tackled with enthusiasm with a door-to-door house collection as then a new football was purchased, football boots and playing gear were scarce but some great improvisation saw jerseys and boots loaned for the opening games as even at the time studs were attached to shoes or boots by all involved. Since those early days, the club has really progressed.
Geraldines AFC is based in the heart of Garryowen in the shadow of St Johns Cathedral also the club's base is practically adjacent to the Markets Field, home of League of Ireland football in Limerick.
The club at present cater for many teams in all age groups from U7s right up to both Junior men’s outfits. Most of the club’s games take place in their pitch in Garryowen but the club also have a pitch in Rathurd to cater for games as with so many teams both pitches are vital. The club also use the neighboring pitch belonging to Richmond RFC and the club are grateful for this, and it really shows the community links which the club are proud of.
The club is very much part of the community in Garryowen and surrounding areas as the local schools namely St Patrick’s and St Johns are also vital links to the evolution of the club.
In the club's 84 years many trophies have found a resting place (under the Tower) with the 1970s been probably one of the most successful with out question the winning of the Munster Junior Cup in 1978/79 season being a major victory.
The underage teams in the club are a major success with many a local trophy been won.
With each passing year all age groups have grown from strength to strength and have always competed extremely well in the Limerick and District Schoolboy Leagues.
International honors have also come to Geraldines AFC as Paul Dillon, Jason Hughes, Pat Mullins and Ger Barron all playing for the Republic of Ireland at age groups from u15s to U18s.
As off the field honors have been achieved by club members as their long serving PRO Turlough McNamara who has been press officer for over 30 years was honoured in 2013 by the FAI in being named the FAI PRO of the Year and long serving club chairman Dave Connolly in 2017 along with Joe O Sullivan in 2018 club treasurer who also has given massive service to the Dines as both were honored with John Sherlock Service to Football Awards.
Another first for the club was that they were one of the first clubs in Junior and Schoolboy soccer to have a both a female president – Dolly Purcell and a female secretary – Catherine Gough at the same time.
On achieving this FAI Club Mark, a lot of work went into the application and the club are grateful to local Development Officer Jason O'Connor along with club secretary Turlough McNamara as the duo put in a lot of time and effort to achieve the club mark entry level.
In the last 84 years many great and brilliant people men and women have played their part on and off the pitch as their endeavors can never be forgotten. The award is great to get and the club look forward to building further on this achievement.
As finally Geraldines AFC would also like to thank all Officers, Committee members, coaches, players, volunteers, spouse’s past and present and all their families who have assisted Geraldines AFC since its formation in 1937.
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