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For more details of Mayo GAA see Mayo Senior Club Football Championship or Mayo Senior Club Hurling Championship.

The Mayo County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) ( ) or Mayo GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Irelandmarker, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Mayomarker and the Mayo inter-county teams.


Though not affiliated through the 1890s, there is strong evidence of GAA activity in Mayo and the rivalry with Galway that brought success to both counties from the 1930s on was already in evidence.This History between Mayo and Galway has produced two of the finest footballing teams in the game. At present both counties have an equal amount of Connacht titles.Mayo have an unequalled number of consecutive National Football League titles having won it in 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, and 1939.

Gaelic football

Mayo have had past players named on the GAA team of the Millennium. Distinguished players in Mayo's past include Willie Joe Padden, Liam McHale, Tom Langan, Sean Flanagan and Seamus O'Malley.

Early Years - Mayo's First All-Ireland

One of the great turning points in GAA history west of the Shannon was the 1935 Connacht Final when 26,000 turned out to see National League Champions Mayo beat the All-Ireland champions Galway in Roscommonmarker. In the 1936 Connacht Final Mayo were leading by a goal in the last minute when Brendan Nestor scored an equalising goal for Galway - he raised the flag himself and caused a riot. However, Mayo won the replay and went on to capture their first All-Ireland Title, beating Laois by 4-11 (23) to 0-5 (5) in the final. The following year, 1937, they were the victim of a Louis Blessing last-minute goal in the All Ireland Semi-Final against Cavan in another match that featured a pitch invasion. It ended Mayo's run of 57 matches without defeat. Mayo dominated the National Football League for six years, but pulled out of the 1939-40 league in a grievance over the 1939 semi-final, a bad-tempered draw and replay with Kerry. Mayo returned to the competition to win their seventh National Football League title in 1941. Unfortunately, due to World War II, the league was suspended for four seasons until 1946, and Mayo were unable to add to these successes.

1940s and 1950s - Mayo's Greatest Ever Team

Following Mayo's 1939 Connacht Final victory, it took the team nine years to emerge from Connacht again, but they narrowly lost the 1948 All-Ireland Final to Cavan and 1949 semi-final to Meath. However, they returned to Croke Park in 1950 to win an extraordinary All-Ireland Title when Louth's Sean Boyle had his kick-out charged down and Mick Flanagan broke through for a freak winning goal, Mayo winning the game by 2-5 (11) to 1-6 (9). In 1951 Mayo retained the All-Ireland Title, winning their third title overall, with three late points from Padraig Carney (known as the flying doctor because he had returned from the United Statesmarker to play the game) giving Mayo a 2-8 (14) to 0-9 (9) win over Meath. During this period, Mayo also won the National Football League in 1949 and 1954, their eight and ninth titles in this competition. Eight wides and a one point defeat in the replayed 1955 All-Ireland Semi-Final against Dublin brought this particular era to an end.

Mayo went 12 years without winning another Connacht Championship title, however the Mayo team of the late 1960s won the Connacht Championship in 1967 (destroying Galway's 4-in-a-row All-Ireland hopes in the process) and again in 1969. Mayo also added their tenth National League Title to their collection in 1970, beating Down in the final on a scoreline of 4-7 (19) to 0-10 (10). Despite this success, the 1970s was arguably the the least successful decade in the history of Mayo football, as the team failed to win a Connacht Championship title throughout the decade, coming closest when losing the 1975 final to Sligo following a replay.

Modern Era - Mayo's Return To Prominence

The 1980s saw a marked improvement in the team's fortunes, with the side winning four Connacht titles (1981, 1985, 1988 and 1989). The 1989 Connacht title winning team, managed by current manager John O'Mahony, went on to defeat Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final before going close to winning a shock All-Ireland title in Mayo's first All-Ireland Final appearance in 38 years, eventually losing the game to Cork on a scoreline of 0-17 (17) to 1-11 (14).

Despite winning Connacht titles in 1992 and 1993, the early 1990s was a largely unsuccessful period for Mayo, as Connacht football in general suffered a severe drop in standards between 1990 and 1995. Numerous managers including Brian McDonald, Jack O'Shea and Anthony Egan failed to improve the team's fortunes and in late 1995, following another unsuccessful season which included the team's relegation to Division 3 of the National Football League, former player John Maughan, who had achieved some notable successes as manager of unfancied Clare including a shock 1992 Munster Championship title win, was brought in as manager in an effort to improve the team's standing. The improvements were swift with Mayo winning Division 3 of the National League in 1996 before going on to win their third Connacht title of the decade. Maughan's unfancied side produced their performance of the year in the All-Ireland Semi-Final against Kerry, winning by 2-13 (19) to 1-10 (13), an outstanding lobbed goal from 40 metres by James Horan in the last minute of the game sealing the victory.

In the All-Ireland Final against Meath Ray Dempsey's 45th minute goal gave Mayo a lead of six points, however a remarkable Meath comeback, culminating in a last minute Colm Coyle long range point saw the game end in a draw on a scoreline of 1-9 (12) to 0-12 (12). During a bad-tempered replay - which included an infamous brawl in which Liam McHale, one of Mayo's most influential players, was sent off - Mayo led by four points at half-time only to succumb to a Tommy Dowd goal, losing the game by one point on a scoreline of 2-9 (15) to 1-11 (14).

Mayo retained the Connacht title in 1997, beating Sligo in the final, and went on to reach their second successive All-Ireland Final following a 0-13 to 0-7 victory over the Leinster Champions, Offaly. However Mayo again lost out in the final, losing by 0-13 (13) to 1-7 (10) to Kerry. Mayo returned to Division 1 of the National Football League and another Connacht title (Mayo's fifth of the decade) followed in 1999, however Mayo failed to reach another All-Ireland Final and manager John Maughan resigned.

Under new manager, Pat Holmes, Mayo won their eleventh National Football League title in 2001, beating arch rivals Galway in the final on a scoreline of 0-13 to 0-12 courtesy of a late point from substitute Marty McNicholas, in the only ever national final played between the two western rivals. However, Mayo failed to win a Connacht title under Holmes and his departure at the end of the 2002 season paved the way for John Maughan's return for a second stint as manager of the team. His first season in charge was not particularly successful however, with Mayo eventually falling to Fermanagh in the last 12 of the championship following a Connacht Final defeat to Galway.

In 2004, Mayo regained the Connacht title with ease following facile wins over New York, Galway and Roscommon, with none of these teams able to finish their matches within five points of Mayo. Mayo followed this success with a surprise victory over reigning All-Ireland Champions Tyrone in the All-Ireland Quarter Final (the quarter final staqe having been added to the championship in 2001) on a scoreline of 0-16 (16) to 1-09 (12). However, Mayo's form rapidly deteriorated following this win, and the team struggled to see off surprise semi-finalists Fermanagh following a replay before losing the All-Ireland Final to Kerry by eight points on a scoreline of 1-20 (23) to 2-9 (15). Mayo failed to retain their Connacht title in 2005 and, following a three point All-Ireland Quarter Final defeat to Kerry the same year, Maughan again resigned as manager.

In 2006, Mickey Moran became Mayo's first manager from outside the county since Jack O'Shea managed the team in the early 1990s. Moran guided the team to another Connacht title and, following an unconvincing replay victory over Laois in the All-Ireland Quarter Final, Mayo produced arguably their greatest performance of the modern era to come from seven points behind with 20 minutes remaining to defeat favourites Dublin on a scoreline of 1-16 (19) to 2-12 (18) in the All-Ireland Semi-Final in front of an attendance of 82,300 at Croke Park. Kerry again awaited Mayo in the All Ireland Final and for the third time in 10 years they defeated Mayo, this time on a scoreline of 4-15 (27) to 3-5 (14). Despite the relative success of the 2006 season, rumours persisted of divisions between Moran and the Mayo County Board and Moran was not retained as manager for the 2007 season.

In 2007, John O'Mahony returned as Mayo manager following a 16 year absence during which he had won a Connacht title with Leitrim (1994) as well as two All-Ireland titles with Galway (1998 and 2001) and in his first season led the team to the National League Final, where they were defeated by Donegal. Mayo have retained their Division 1 status to date under O'Mahony, but failed to win a Connacht title or reach the last eight of the All-Ireland Football Championship during the first two years of his tenure. In 2008, the team reached the last 12 of the All Ireland Championship, but were narrowly beaten by Tyrone, who went on to become All Ireland Champions. An injury time point by Peader Gardiner saw Mayo win their first Connacht Title since O'Mahony's return, and their 42nd title overall, when they beat Galway in the 2009 Connacht Final on a scoreline of 2-12 (18) to 1-14 (17).

Mayo Football All-Stars

The annual All-Star Team awards the players considered to be the best in their selected positions in the country in any given year. The awards were instituted in 1971 and Mayo's John Carey was among the inaugural selection in that year. Despite winning only two awards in total during their unsuccessful 1970s period, Mayo have been one of the most successful teams nationally in terms of All-Star awards gained overall, with Mayo players winning 24 awards to date. Willie Joe Padden and Dermot Flanagan became the first Mayo players to win multiple awards, both winning their second in 1989. Kenneth Mortimer achieved the same feat in 1997 as did James Horan in 1999 and James Nallen in 2004. Mortimer became the first (and to date only) Mayo player to win back to back awards, winning in both 1996 and 1997. Kenneth and Conor Mortimer became the first Mayo siblings to win awards when Conor won an All-Star in 2006. The full list of Mayo All-Stars by year is detailed below.

1971: John Carey

1979: Joe McGrath

1985: Dermot Flanagan, Willie Joe Padden, Kevin McStay

1989: Gabriel Irwin, Jimmy Browne, Dermot Flanagan, Willie Joe Padden, Noel Durkin

1992: TJ Kilgallon

1993: Kevin O'Neill

1996: Kenneth Mortimer, Pat Holmes, James Nallen, Liam McHale, James Horan

1997: Kenneth Mortimer, Pat Fallon

1999: James Horan

2004: James Nallen, Ciaran McDonald

2006: Alan Dillon, Conor Mortimer

Mayo Gaelic Football Squad 2009

Following Mayo's fourth place finish in the 2009 National Football League, the finalised 2009 Mayo Gaelic Football Squad for the All-Ireland Football Championship was announced on April 20th 2009 and is listed below. Due to an injury to David Clarke, Robert Hennelly has been called up to the squad as goalkeeping cover, bring the total number of players to 31. Mayo opened their 2009 All-Ireland Championship campaign with a 2-19 (25) to 0-10 (10) win over New York at Gaelic Park, The Bronx on May 10, 2009. They followed this up with a 3-18 (27) to 0-7 (7) win over Roscommon on June 20, 2009 at McHale Park, Castlebar. This result equalled their biggest ever wining margin over Roscommon, a record set in 1929. Mayo's score of 3-18 (27) was also their highest ever score against Roscommon. Mayo regained the Connacht Championship with a 2-12 (18) to 1-14 (17) victory over Galway at Pearse Stadium, Galway on July 19th, 2009. The victory saw the team reach the All-Ireland Series for the first time in three years. Mayo's next game will be an All-Ireland Quarter Final match against Meath on August 9th 2009 at Croke Park, Dublin. The starting team and squad named for that game is listed below.

Number Player Position Age (June 2009) Club
1 Kenneth O'Malley Goalkeeper 22 Ballinrobe
2 Donal Vaughan Right Full Back 20 Ballinrobe
3 Ger Cafferkey Full Back 21 Ballina Stephenites
4 Keith Higgins Left Full Back 24 Ballyhaunis
5 Peadar Gardiner Right Half Back 30 Crossmolina Deel Rovers
6 Trevor Howley Centre Back 23 Knockmore
7 Andy Moran Left Half Back 25 Ballaghaderreen
8 David Heaney Midfield 32 Swinford
9 Ronan McGarrity Midfield 27 Ballina Stephenites
10 Pat Harte Right Half Forward 26 Ballina Stephenites
11 Trevor Mortimer (Captain) Centre Forward 28 Shrule-Glencorrib
12 Alan Dillon Left Half Forward 26 Ballintubber
13 Aidan Kilcoyne Right Full Forward 23 Knockmore
14 Barry Moran Full Forward 23 Castlebar Mitchels
15 Aidan O'Shea Left Full Forward 18 Breaffy
Substitutes Player Position Age (June 2009) Club
16 David Clarke Goalkeeper 25 Ballina Stephenites
17 Chris Barrett Defender 22 Belmullet
18 Kieran Conroy Defender 22 Shrule-Glencorrib
19 Kevin McLoughlin Defender 20 Knockmore
20 Conor Mortimer Forward 27 Shrule-Glencorrib
21 James Nallen Defender 35 Crossmolina Deel Rovers
22 Austin O'Malley Forward 29 St Vincents, Dublin (Previously Louisburgh)
23 Liam O'Malley Defender 25 Burrishoole
24 Seamus O'Shea Midfielder 22 Breaffy
25 Billy Joe Padden Midfielder/Forward 27 Belmullet
26 Tom Parsons Midfielder 21 Charlestown Sarsfields
27 Mark Ronaldson Forward 22 Shrule-Glencorrib
28 Michael Sweeney Forward 20 Kiltane
29 Robert Hennelly Goalkeeper 19 Breaffy
Other Squad Members Player Position Age (June 2009) Club
Injured Barry Kelly Forward 23 Ballaghaderreen
Injured Tom Cunniffe Defender 22 Castlebar Mitchels
Manager John O'Mahony 56 Ballaghaderreen
Selector Tommy Lyons
Selector Kieran Gallagher



Gaelic football is the dominant game in county Mayo and Mayo's only tier-one senior hurling championship match successes since beating Galway by 10-1 to 4-1 in the 1908 Connacht final have been against Sligo in 1991 and 1992. They are currently playing in Tier Two of the hurling championship, the Christy Ring Cup. Davey Synnott, who helped Connacht to Railway cup victories in 1982 and 1983, was a notable player. On the current team, Keith Higgins and Stephen Broderick are the best-known players.



Ladies' Gaelic football


  • All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Championships : 4
    • 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003
  • All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Finalists:
    • 2001, 2007
  • All-Ireland Junior Ladies' Football Championships: 1
    • 1987
  • All-Ireland Minor Ladies' Football Championships: 1
    • 1987


  • Mayo's Football Triumphs by M A Clune (Dublin, Pearse Press 1954)
  • The Green Above The Red, A Compilation Of Mayo's All-Ireland Triumphs At All Levels by Terry Reilly And Ivan Neill (Ballina 1985).

External links


1. [188781]

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