Our History

About Us

Rathdowney Errill GAA Club is a small club with circa xx members situated in the South West of County Laois. The club is an amalgamation of the Rathdowney GAA Club and the Errill GAA Club. Our Club colours are Red, Green and White.

Rathdowney Errill GAA History

Prior to the foundation of the Errill GAA Club in 1928, players from Errill and surrounding areas played their hurling with Rathdowney. In the 1970s and 1980s, both Rathdowney and Errill joined forces at Minor and Under 21 level, competing in eight minor finals, including seven in a row from 1976 to 1982. This amalgamation proved successful winning a total of five Laois Minor Hurling Championship titles, including a four in a row 1976-1979. At Under 21 level success was achieved as 'St Kierans' in 1980 and under the Rathdowney/Errill banner in 1985.

Tentative suggestions were made in 1999 about a possible merger of the clubs. At the time these discussions did not reach any agreement, but in 2002 the juvenile sections of both clubs decided to come together and since then they have been successful.

With the smooth running of juvenile affairs taking place in the parish, the suggestion of joining together to become a strong Senior Club was once again raised in January 2005. Both adult clubs held simultaneous meetings on Friday evening 4 February 2005 to discuss a possible merger. Over three quarters of the members in both clubs voted to amalgamate.

Rathdowney had not won a Laois SHC since 1941. The last time they appeared in a final was 1969 when they lost to Camross. Rathdowney had won 18 Senior Titles. Errill last competed in the SHC in 1986, and won just two Titles, the first against Rathdowney in 1936 and the last in 1952.

Senior Achievements

In 2006 the Rathdowney-Errill team won the Laois Senior Hurling Championship for the first time, defeating Tinnahinch. Liam Wynne captained the club and became the first man from the parish to captain a county senior hurling championship winning team since 1952. They repeated the feat in 2008 after a final against Portlaoise which Rathdowney-Errill won on a score of 1-19 to 2-15, and were captained by John Purcell.

In 2010 Liam Tynan captained Rathdowney-Errill to their third Laois Senior Hurling Championship, becoming the third Errill man to do so. They defeated Camross.

Shane Dollard became the first Rathdowney man to bring the Bob O'Keefe trophy across the Gully when he captained Rathdowney-Errill to a Senior County title victory over Clough-Ballacolla, in 2012.

In the Leinster Club Championship of 2012, Rathdowney-Errill defeated Clonkill(Wesmeath) in O'Moore Park Portlaoise. This was their first victory in the Leinster Club Championship after defeats to Rathnure(2006), Ballyhale Shamrocks(2008) andO'Loughlin_Gaels(2010). They were edged out by Kilcormac-Killoughey(Offaly) in a titanic struggle in the Leinster Club Championship Semi-Final.