Today, 19 November marks the 225th Anniversary of the death of Theobald Wolfe Tone of the United Irishmen. This remarkable date gives Cartlann Digiteach Cuala an opportunity to take another look over the hedge at local clubs who played in familiar places in times past. This time, were talking about a Glenageary-based club whose founding arose from national celebrations in 1898 to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1798 Rebellion. Such was the engagement in the Centenary Celebrations in Kingstown at the time, there emerged two 1798 Rebellion-related clubs, Wolf Tones (more another time) and ’98 Shamrocks Football Club which we deal with here.


’98 Shamrocks played their home games at Adelaide Road and fielded 2 Football teams. we have no indication of any participation in hurling.
Secretary was Daniel J McDonnell , a shipping Clerk of 14 Sanycove Road. Daniel was a native of Castletimon, near Brittas Bay.

The earliest fixture we can find was March 1898, when a game played at Adelaide Road saw ’98 Shamrocks line out against Geraldines (not our Cornelscourt friends but a Cabra-based side). Unfortunately, the Glenageary team was short 3 players and paid the price. Later the same month, player availability was not an issue when Shamrocks fielded two teams against Irishtown’s Sons of the Seas at Adelaide Road. The encounter was embellished with music provided by the Star of the Seas Band.

In May 1898, Adelaide Road was the venue for the Shamrocks Football Tournament that included –

Bray Commersials
Kingtown Wolf Tones
’98 Shamrocks
If crowds attending was a measure of success, then the Adelaide Road event was surely a show-stopper. Although reports of the event suggested that stewarding might have been improved.

When the Bray Parnell Monument Committee held a sports day at the Vevay in July 1898, Shamrocks featured in Tug-of-war and two Football fixtures –
Avon Rovers v ’98 Shamrocks #2
’98 Shamrocks #1 v C.J.Kickhams

But by September that year, the Dublin Board found it necessary to discuss Shamrocks failure to play Bray Commercials in another Shamrock Club Tournament. By October, the dispute was again before the Dublin Board. It seems the core issue was how how medals were disributed at the Tournament. The upshot was that ’98 Shamrocks were suspended. Their status was unchanged in November; Shamrocks were still noted as being suspended when the list of affiliated clubs was being reviewed by the board.

Incidently, local clubs being affiliated that year included
’98 Shamrocks, Sec. D McDonnell 14 Sandycove Road
Dalkey GFC, Sec, J.C.Browne, Sorrento Road
Wolf Tones, J.Butler Jnr., 9 Mulgrave St Kingstown

The situation dragged on into November when ’98 Shamrocks were once again asked to undertake to return the Tournament medals to the Board at which time their suspension would be re-considered . This time, Shamrocks complied and returned the Medals and – it seemed – normal business resumed. In fact, some Shamrock’s players were even selected by the Board for an exhibition match against the Dublin Champions, CJ Kickhams., in the run-up to Kickhams playing in the All Ireland final (club champions got to represent Counties in those days), the Dublin Board sanctioned a challenge game between Kickhams and a South Dublin selection which included players from Wolf Tones, Dalkey & ’98 Shamrocks.

However, more tensions arose at the County Board in Jan 1899 when ( not unlike certain modern Lilywhites) ’98 Shamrocks objected to playing a fixture against Bray Commercials “anywhere save at Adelaide Road”.  Later still, in March 1899, the earlier Medals dispute was once again brought to the attention of the County Board. This time, the Board entertained a deputation from Bray Commercials who, it seems, made a case for the medals to be awarded to them. But the Board took the view that the fairest outcome was for the match to be replayed at the grounds of Benburbs GFC in Clonskeagh. But the match was never played and the saga dragged on into 1900 where, in September, the County Board noted that the match was “still in abeyance” and the medals had yet to be decided.

And there, frustratingly, the ’98 Shamrock Football story dries up; no further mention in made in the contemporary newspapers.

Footnote: A different Shamrocks Club was founded at Carriglea in about 1900 – this time it was a Hurling outfit. We’ll return to that one in due course.


Cartlann Digiteach Cuala (Cuala Digital Archive) was established in 2009 to assemble an on-line archive of images, stories and memorabilia relating to Cuala and its ‘ancestral’ clubs.
If you have any information or material to share with us, please contact –
Michael Goodwin, +353 (0) 87 2266140,
Contributors can be assured that all material will be kept safe, treated with care and returned promptly.  
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