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The history of Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney or AGB, as probably suggested by name, is the result of an amalgamation between two local clubs Arklow Geraldine’s and Ballymoney. As you will see from the history of both clubs each had its own successes at various stages, but the time had come when, in the interest of GAA in Arklow, merging of clubs was necessary.
The amalgamation went ahead in 1999. In our first year of competition the club entered two adult teams, Junior A and Junior B. The Junior A team went unbeaten over the entire season on their way to a clean sweep of junior titles in both championship and league. The Junior B team lost out in the county semi-final. It was a promising start.
Arklow Geraldine’s Club
The first meeting of Arklow Geraldine’s was held on March 26th 1940, a time when Gaelic games had reached a low ebb in the town. Founder members at the historic meeting included Blly Byrne, Pat Kinsella, Matt Curran, Bill O’ Neill, Joe Ne, Mick and Sean Boucher.
The following year, 1941 they won a junior championship defeating Greystones in the final. They also won the Ballycoogue gold medal tournament in the same year. In 1942 they won the junior hurling championship -beating Ashford after a replay. In 1947 the club reached the Intermediate final only to be beaten 1-7 to 1-2 by St. Patrick’s Wicklow. However the club won the junior hurl;ing championship of that year. In 1963 they made a bold bid for the senior football title but were defeated by Baltinglass after a thrilling final. Two years later they contested the senior hurling final and lost out by the narrowest of margins to Carnew Emmets.
Despite winning U21, minor and a multiplicity of underage titles in various grades the club never won that elusive senior title. For many years they dominated all competitions at under age level but failed to reap the rewards at adult level.
Ballymoney GAA Club
Ballymoney GAA Club dates back to 1906. Its name is derived from a small townland north of Arklow town. They reached the County hurling final in 1911 but lost to Rathnew. Many of the players left to join the newly formed Ballinacor club.
Ballymoney reformed in 1942 but had to wait until the fifties to experience real success on the playing fields. They achieved the famous three in a row between 1955 and 1957 in the South Junior hurling and football leagues. The club also won the County Junior B Championship of 1955. Despite their successes the club disbanded again in 1962 and twelve years elapsed before the club was reformed. Reformed in November 1974 they received intermediate status in 1980. The same year they acquired a new playing pitch at Shelton. In 1981 they won the intermediate championship. In 1994 the club won the Junior A Championship. In the intervening years they also won many juvenile championships. Despite being disbanded on two occasions the club wrote its name into the history books of Wicklow GAA folklore.
The Ladies section of the Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney Club started in April 2003, when a group of energetic girls saw a gap in the market for a ladies Gaelic football club in the town. Since then, the girls have proved themselves as a force to be reckoned with. They have excelled on the sport front and thrived when it comes to their endless achievements. Success was reached the very first year winning junior shield; this was followed the following year with the junior championship. They then reached the senior final in both 2005 and 2006 with luck not on their side, but this was quickly made up for as the Senior’s took home the Joe Jacob cup and coveted County Championship title in 2008 and again in 2009. In 2008 the team was named “Team of the Year” in the Mayor’s People of the Year Awards. Since then the ladies section has won more leagues and championship titles.