Story of St. Kevin’s
St Kevin’s GAA club is a small rural club in the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh in the North West area of County Kildare. The club was founded in the winter of 1945 and was known as Staplestown GFC. The original club colours were green, white and gold and remained so until 1963 when the club added St Kevin’s to the Staplestown name and changed their colours to the current black and red.
Various locations in the area were used for matches until the present grounds was acquired in 1961.The dressing rooms were built in 1982, and the ground was named the Jack Casey Memorial Park in memory of the club secretary who had been so instrumental in purchasing the pitch originally. In 1998 the clubhouse was opened including a 3,100 sq ft sports hall, changing rooms and a fully licenced bar/lounge. These facilities provide a great deal of community activities including art classes, scouts and indoor football just to name a few. Five year later phase two of the development commenced incorporating a fully fitted kitchen, meeting rooms, and a 1000 sq ft general purpose area. These rooms are also made available to the community, who are encouraged to use these modern facilities for club and social activities.
The first official match played by the club was a Junior league game against Caragh in Prosperous in March 1946 losing out by 3-4 to 1-3.It took until the third round of the league to gain the first win, defeating another newly formed club Firmount 1-3 to 1-2 which was played in Allen. In our first ever championship match we defeated Rathcoffey 1-2 to 1-1 but lost to Straffan in the second round.
A few lean years followed until 1966 when we contested the Junior League final, the first ever final contested by the club, but were beaten by a point by Milltown.
The seventies proved to be the most successful decade for the club when we went from Junior ‘B’ to Senior. In that period the club contested two Junior ‘B’ finals, two Jack Higgins Cup finals, a Division Three Senior League final, a Division Two Senior League Final and two Junior League Division 2 finals. The Junior ‘B’ title was won in 1972, the first ever championship win for the club, by defeating Raheens 2-7 to 1-5. The Junior ‘A’ title was secured in 1976 by overcoming Leixlip 0-11 to 0-4 after a replay and the Intermediate crown came in 1979 when St Laurence’s were beaten 1-12 to 1-7. The senior league Division Three crown was also won in 1973 by going through the entire campaign unbeaten.
Although we lost the Senior league Division 2 final, promotion to Division One was won for the first time in the club’s history in 1980. Another Division 2 final defeat came in 1982.The club played in the senior championship from 1980 to 1990, where the high point was reaching the semi final in 1984 but were beaten by eventual winners Clane by five points.
The club returned to Intermediate status in 1991, and reached seven championship finals since then losing out in ’95 and 96 (replay),’98 and ’99 (replay),’04 and ’05 before eventually regaining the title in 2008. The Senior League Division Three title was won twice more in 1997 and 2004 and the Division Two title (the Jerome Casey Cup) was also won in 2008 and again in 2017.
Indeed 2008 was the most successful year in the club’s history, as apart from winning the Intermediate championship and the senior league division two, the following titles were also won, Under 21 ‘B’ championship, minor league division 3, Under 16 league division 3, under 15 league division 3, Under 13 North Board Spring League division 2 (joint winners), Under 10 North Board Autumn League and the Under 8 North Board Spring League (joint winners). The latest title won by the club was the under 21 ‘B’ championship in 2012.
The club has been quite successful at underage level since a committee was formed in 1979 dedicated to taking care of the underage teams. Many titles have been won by the club since and numerous players have represented the club at county level.
Currently the club is going from strength to strength with every year that passes and at present caters for 12 teams from under 7 to Senior.