early nineties saw the advent of Ladies football
played at club and county level in Ulster. In
1992, Monaghan Ladies won the All-Ireland Junior
title, and Ulster staged an inaugural Ulster Club
provided a catalyst to the growth of Ladies Gaelic
in the province, that this would spread to College
level was inevitable.
University Ladies Gaelic Football Club was founded
by Maura McCabe (Enniskillen) and Maura McArdle
(Killeavy), whose enthusiasm secured support from
the Men's G.F.C. Established as an arm of the
long standing QUB Gaelic Club , the Ladies set
up their own committee and a team. The first Ladies
Gaelic Team fielded in the inaugural Ulster League
and Championship which was organised by the newly
saw Queen's Ladies adopt their own Constitution
and were approved by the University as an independent
Club, with about thirty active members. QUB participated
for the first time at All-Ireland level in the
O'Connor Cup. A second round defeat in this competition
by UUJ saw the Poly progress to the Finals weekend
of the All-Ireland. The date however clashed with
their hosting of the Dowd Cup weekend. UUJ opted
to play in the former and Queen's hosted the Dowd
Cup at short notice. The Club's first attempt
at such an undertaking proved very successful
and QUB has proved to be a popular venue since.
our taste for hosting led to the inaugural QUB
Ulster 7-a-side Competition, co-ordinated by Martina
McCafferty and Cathy Gallagher. This proved to
be a well attended and highly successful event,
not least because we won it!
applied successfully to Colleges Central Council
to secure the hosting of the All-Ireland Championship
weekend, the O'Connor Cup 1997. This would be
the competition's first visit North in it's ten
year existence. On the field Queens' participated
in the inaugural Freshers All-Ireland 7-a-side
Blitz, and performed admirably, despite only having
of the clubs effort over such a short period of
existence , the University Colours Committee awarded
University Blues to qualifying members of the
squad. At this ceremony , for not only her contribution
to Ladies Gaelic but also QUB Snooker and Basketball,
Cathy Gallagher was awarded QUB Sports Personality
of the Year. Cathy is the first girl to receive
this highest sporting honour and joins the ranks
of Anthony Tohill and Paul Brewster in doing so.
proved to be a breakthrough year on the pitch
for Queens' Ladies. After narrow defeat in the
league by old friends , the Poly, the girls set
out to beat the bogie and bring home the Ulster
Championship. Tremendous behind the scenes work
went into this all out effort, and the Club as
a whole received a huge boost when Captain Hayley
Boyle lifted our first Dowd Cup.
effort was also underway to secure financial backing
and co-ordinate the O'Connor Cup All-Ireland Championship
Weekend. After ten matches and some extra time,
this event culminated in a banquet for the 180
guests. Guest speaker, newly appointed President
of Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, Noel Murray, praised
the Queens' Club for the organisation of the whole
event. Perhaps more importantly, the girls, many
of whom had never been North before, thoroughly
This year also saw the loss of many of the 'old
school' Queens' girls as only twelve remained
at the University.
success certainly does breed success, as Freshers
proved. Instead of the usual cajoling, girls were
actively seeking to join the Ladies Club.
to fifty girls consistently training, the committee
set up a second team, vowing to 'find the money
somewhere'. This team will participate in the
Ulster and All-Ireland League series, The Ulster
Championship and the All-Ireland Lynch Cup.
entered two teams in the All-Ireland Freshers
7's with the A Team, captained by Louth's Orlaith
Kirk, winning the Shield, the first national medals
to come to the University Ladies Gaelic Club.
Hopefully the first of many!