Strand Celtic build from solid foundations


Strand Celtic build from solid foundations

The excellent work done at Strand Celtic in County Sligo through the years has led to them achieving FAI Club Mark status.
14th Jul 2022

Laying the Foundations
Strand Celtic FC was officially founded on January 12th 1972. Those attending the first meeting included Michael Weir, Terry Kiely, Liam Flannery, Jim McMorrow, Cyril Meehan, Aidan McMorrow, Jim Kivlehan and Joey Mullaney. The clubs first chairman was Jimmy Mc Morrow with Joey Mullaney acting as secretary while Aiden Mc Morrow took on the responsibility of treasurer.

Aiden McMorrow had the distinction of scoring the clubs first ever goal when he scored against the then high flying and now defunct Gillooly Rangers. The first excursion was something of a disaster as despite Aidan McMorrow’s first ever goal the Celts went down by six goals to one against Gillooly Rangers.  Martin O’Connor was the clubs first ever manager.

However with hard work, dedication and commitment O Connor gradually turned the teams fortunes around with players like Francie O Connor, Dessie O Connor, Declan Curran, Tony Flynn, Dermot Cawley, Brian Byrne and the late Gerry McMorrow.

In the first year Celtic were forced to play all their games away. The generosity of Collegians helped in that Celtic was allowed to use their ground at Scarden and in 1974/75 Celtic moved to Browns field on the Strandhill road in 1974.While Collegians provided their ground in the first season Strand Celtic did not repay the favor as they defeated the then Division One Champions 2-1 in the old League cup competition. Gillooly Rangers came through the other semi-final defeating Calry Bohemians.

In the final the more experienced Gillooly Rangers defeated Strand Celtic by three goals to one but the club had established itself as a respected and well organised club despite its infancy. O’Connor was team manager for two years and put a tremendous effort into the club. There were other in charge before Joey Mullaney took over the reins as the club moved to Browns Field.

Moving into the 21st Century
A colts section for young children was created in 2002 by Maurice Monaghan. This caters for young children, both boys and girls, between the ages of five and ten. This section continues to thrive and has grown from an initial membership of twenty children to over one hundred and forty children. The Colts section has ensured a plentiful supply of coaches to our Youth section as a large number of parents have got involved over the years. In addition our Colts section has provided the kids with free club gear each year ranging from training tops to tracksuits, which is always part of its appeal.

A number of the clubs senior players have also gone on to play league of Ireland football. Three players at the club have also won Irish Junior International Caps. These were Gavin Dykes, who of course went on to play for Sligo Rovers and Derry City, Stephen Rooney (1994) and Jimmy Colreavy.

In 2006/2007 Strand Celtic had their first ever under age international players when Barry O Mahoney and Bronagh Kerins received international caps for the Irish Schoolboys and Schoolgirls teams respectively. Barry and Bronagh were two outstanding players for our under age teams. This was a marvelous achievement for both players who had turned in outstanding seasons.

Thriving Development of Girls Football
The club had a girls section which was founded in 1999 by Finola Monaghan. This continues to thrive and the club has girls players involved at U6, U 8 and U10 with separate girls teams at U12, U14,  U16 and U18. Successes have included winning all the various age group titles including three of the four titles in 2012. This was the clubs best ever season as our U14 girls also took our first ever girls Connacht cup and our U16 girls took the Connacht Shield.

Club Infrastructure
In recent years enormous strides have been made with the launch of the clubs development plan in 2006 under the chairmanship of Mick McEnroe. Phase One of this project consisted of the development of two pitches by Haffey Construction, supported by the LEADER program, in 2007. Phase II, which involved the development of a new clubhouse completed. The third phase saw the completion of the Car Park, Fencing and Installation of Dug Outs and was supported by our Development Committee, led by Damien Henry. The fourth phase saw the completion of our Astro Park and the installation of a multi-sports surface. The fifth phase saw the installation of our new floodlights with the support of the Sports Capital programme.

The club have worked closely with the park trustees over this period to ensure the continued development of the park for our community. In addition to maintaining the park the club now ensures that many groups utilise the facilities including our local Bridge Club, Mother and Baby Club, Youth Club, Yoga, Fitness Classes, Music classes and a wide variety of other groups. In addition our over 35 group play every Monday night and we also provide the park to the local Mental Health Services for their use as a remedial facility with patients. The Strand Celtic Clubhouse is also used by a variety of local business and community groups for meetings

Come on the Hoops
The club has always played in the green and white hoped jerseys made famous by Glasgow Celtic. All of the club teams today continue to play in the famous green and white hoops and this will never change. We are often called ‘The Hoops’ or ‘The Celts’ or indeed the ‘Seasiders’. Our crest has always been the canon symbol, in recognition of the canon at the seafront in Strandhill.

Latest projects

  • Low energy LED lighting.
  • New waste and foul water systems
  • Rainwater harvesting system to feed our pitch irrigation system.
  • Solar power to operate all power and lighting.
  • New scoreboard for main pitch.
  • New underground sprinklers for main pitch.
  • New spectator area with disability access.
  • A bicycle storage area to encourage kids to reduce car usage.
  • A floodlit community walkway around our pitches for people walking/jogging.
  • A mother and baby changing area for people in the playground

The club has formed a special commemorative organizing committee. To commemorate this special occasion, the club has planned a series of events to mark the year which will include:

  • - Official opening of our new environmentally friendly park and community walkway
  • - Senior team game against Sligo Rovers
  • - Commemorative golf classic
  • - Commemorative dinner dance
  • - Commemorative book on club history
  • - Former chairman’s evening
  • - Youth tournaments for boys and girls
  • - Special academy events
  • - Art competition in conjunction with our schools

Other events are being planned to mark the occasion and particularly to link the past, present and future members of our club. More information on the clubs history and upcoming events can be found on