The History of Milltown-Castlemaine GAA Club
Records show that football was played in the area as far back as 1889. In fact teams from both Milltown and Castlemaine competed in the 1890 championship. Records show that a team from the area competed at the turn of the century.
However in November 1906 the Kerry County Board, who organised the competition, ceased to exist until Sept 1907 and there is no account, bar 1913 when Annascaul beat Milltown and Castlegregory beat Castlemaine, of the club competing in the championship thereafter.
In fact very little is known about club activities until the formation of the Mid Kerry Board in 1947. This brought organised football to the area.
Both Milltown and Castlemaine were struggling to field numbers and decided to amalgamate, winning the first Mid Kerry Championship in 1947.
The club has won the Mid Kerry Championship on fifteen occasions, the last in 2014, while contesting a further eighteen finals.
In 1972 the club took part in the Towns Cup, in a Group with Rathmore, Sneem, St. Marys, Skellig Rangers Legion and G/G.
In 1973 the county leagues as we know them today were set up and M/C were in Div. 2 with Rathmore, St. Marys, Legion, Glenflesk, Moyvane, Finuge, Gneeveguilla, An Ghaeltacht, Legion and G/G.
We won Div. 3 & 2 in the late 80’s, enabling us to compete in Div. 1 for the first time in our history in 1990.
We have contested 5 Div. 1 finals, winning two; in 2001 v Austin Stacks, and 2009 v Dr. Crokes.
In fact we are the only club, along with Desmonds, outside the top four, to have won Div. 1 on more than one occasion.
We have club titles at Novice, Junior, Intermediate (4) and Senior and have had two recent spells in the Senior county championship – 2004 to 2007 and 2012 to 2016.
Our last Intermediate title in 2011 saw us represent Kerry and capture Munster and All Ireland titles, a time that was truly very special for the club and the community at large. It will live long in our memory.
The winning of the Senior club c/ship in 2004 also saw us represent Kerry in the Munster Senior club c/ship, where we lost out at the quarter final stage to Kilmurray/Ilbrickane of Clare.
The club has also been successful at junior, U21 and minor grades at both District and County level.
Last year the county celebrated the 50th anniversary of the setting up of Board Na nOg in Kerry. M/C embraced this venture and such people as Brother Fergal, Brother John, Albert King, Tom Griffin, George McKenna and the late Tommy O’Connor, to name just a few, put in tremendous work down through the years to help mould such a vibrant underage structure that exists today in the club.
And it is that explosion in underage numbers that leads us to where we are and to what we are about to embark on.
The Football Field
Back in the early days McKenna’s field in Milltown and the Priest’s field in Castlemaine were the venues when ball was kicked. Tog out by the bushes and wash when you went home (if you were lucky)!
Around 1960 a group from the area sat down and mooted the idea of having a permanent, club-owned playing facility. They bought and developed what is now the Paddy Burke Memorial Park. Many hours of free labour went into developing it and through more hard work and dedication dressing room, showers, toilets, the stand, lighting, a meeting room/office and a gym were added.
All this enhanced the great work done by those great men of vision over 50 years ago. They have left a lasting legacy.
The Paddy Burke Memorial Park has served the club well since the early 60’s. It has seen many glorious, pulsating and indeed heart-breaking games at all levels and has been a shining light in the Community down through the decades.
It is now up to us, the current executive, to follow in their footsteps and secure the next half a century with facilities to match the demands.
When you have seen our plans I hope you fit to join us on our journey, and help create the next chapter of our history, both on and off the field of play.