A Very Brief History of Bailieboro Celtic A.F.C...

Formed in 1987 by a group of Bailieboro Co-Op employees the Club were originally known as Bailieboro Co-Op Celtic adopting the Co-Op colours of Blue as the official colours of the team. A set of jerseys were donated by Super - Valu and the team began life in Division 4A of the then fledgling Meath & District League. At its formation meeting a set of officers were duly elected & they were as follows :

  • Chairman : Gerry Carolan (R.I.P.)
  • Secretary : Sean Carolan
  • Treasurer : Neal Scanlon
  • Manager : Derek Lynch
A set of stainless steel goalposts were duly manufactured by Bailieboro Engineering under the guidance of Martin Gilsenan (R.I.P.) . A playing field was provided by Brendan O’Reilly of the Royal Breffni Tierworker and the team had a very encouraging season narrowly missing out on promotion at the first attempt. For the 1988-89 season the “Co-Op” was dropped from the name as the Club was opened up to the Town and this proved to be a decisive move as again under Derek Lynch and assistant Ray Gilsenan Bailieboro Celtic ended the season as champions of Division 4A.

Irelands fantastic exploits in the World Cup of 1990 had a very positive effect on the club with Bailieboro able to field a second team where under Brian Flanagan the next generation of Celtic players would develop and also that summer the club managed to secure it’s first serious commercial venture when “ The Castle Inn “ came on board as major sponsors.

Over the next few seasons the Club grew from strength to strength with both teams gaining rapid promotion through the divisions with the first team reaching Division 1 andcapturing the prestigious Stedfast Cup together with the Fitzsimons Cup & Electro Tournament.

Alongside this on field success it was decided in 1992 that Bailieboro Celtic should have a permanent home and with this in mind a 3 acre field was purchased on the Kingscourt Rd at Bexcourt which would hopefully end what had been up to that point a somewhat nomadic existence.

The early part of the new century saw a marked decline in the first team ’s fortunes as they tumbled back through the divisions of the M.D.L. . . . However this was more than offset by the rise of underage teams that began to emerge and soon it became apparent that, already the Bexcourt venue was not going to be large enough.

With the Bexcourt pitch already hemmed in by new housing developments it was decided that the club should sell & take advantage of the “Celtic Tiger” and re-locate outside the town boundaries where they would be able to properly expand & develop. In 2005 the spacious 17 acre lands of the late Roy White known as the Vale Meadow ( which had once hosted county gaa matches) were purchased and finally later that year the sale went through of the Bexcourt pitch.

In 2008 The Vale Meadow once again began to reverberate to the sights and sounds of football matches as the 1 st team crowned a great season winning promotion to Division 3 and also championship wins forthe U12’s & U15’s. Development since then has continued apace with the opening of a fully floodlit All-Weather playing surface and the completion of a second top-class playing pitch and also a 7-Side pitch to cater for the younger players.

The past 23 years has certainly seen a lot of changes in Bailieboro Celtic A.F.C. from the small beginnings of a factory team the Club has not only grown on the field but it has become an integral part of the wider Bailieborough Community Area and cemented it’s position as an important cornerstone for the development of it’s youth.

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