Castlegar parish is located on the outskirts of Galway city, Galway city has been described in recent times as the fastest growing city in Europe. Castlegar Parish has always being associated at its core with the Castlegar Hurling Club. The Castlegar hurling club is renowned not only in County Galway but all around the globe.

Unfortunately no records exist or far as the club is aware, were ever written regarding hurling in Castlegar in 1880 or indeed in the years prior to that. Folklore has it that the parish had a hurling team in the 1880's and maybe even before that. The GAA as a national organisation was founded in 1884. In the early days there were two goalposts each side, one for the goals and one for the points, each team consisted of 21 players. There were no meetings of the club committees but after every match a return game was arranged. There were no teams, selectors or trainers and the team was not picked until the day of the game. Conditions and attire were far different form what we know of them. They did not wear hurling boots or togs but if you were picked to play you took off you jacket and waistcoat or indeed your Bainin and played away. The boots worn at the time were heavy studded and were more than adequate for playing the game. One of the rules of the game was that if a player was knocked down to the ground twice during a match by a fair shoulder the player could not be considered for the next game. Indeed it would appear that competitiveness existed in those bygone days. Most of the matches played by Castlegar in those days were played in Claregalway, Turloughmore and Oranmore. The players usually walked to these venues as no transport existed in those times. In and around 1880 Castlegar was considered to be the best team in the west of the city. A match was arranged between them and Craughwell. Willie Cullinane and Kelly, together with a William Francis and two others by the name of Collins and Francis started out for a venue at dawn with a horse and cart. Unfortunately they only had 3 hurleys between them so Kelly had brought a hatchet with him and a spoke-shave. They stopped at Merlin Park wood where they got the makings of a hurley. By the time they had reached Craughwell the hurley was formed and perfectly finished. As the match day was a Sunday they stopped for mass in Oranmore and had breakfast, which consisted of a small loaf for each of them. After the game was played, which by the way was uneventful, they each had a pint of porter, purchased 4 small loaves and headed for home. They arrived back in Ballinfoile at midnight. In all, these men in playing the match had spent 18 hours. This story will give you some indication of the determination and commitment of the players of some 100 years ago.



History will confirm that the first all- Ireland final in which teams of 15 players took part was in 1913 between Kilkenny and Tipperary. Hurling was very prominent in Castlegar but unfortunately there would appear to have been a division in the game in Galway in or around 1914/1915. However, in 1916 and the following years the whole county united and in particular Castlegar. It is a well-known fact that many of the Castlegar hurlers were involved in the 1916 rising. Indeed, some of them were imprisoned in England; others had their homes destroyed. Regardless of the fact that hurling was prominent in Castlegar it was not until 1929 that the parish got properly organised. They had 2 junior teams at the time with many of their players playing for Galway City. On the formation of their senior team they proved their unquestionable ability by winning 5 senior county championship titles in the 1930's. The best 10 years of hurling in Castlegar was from 1947/48 to 57/58. During this period the club won 5 county titles. In the sixties and seventies we won 3 county in each decade but we only one county title in the 1980's and none in the 90's. In 1980 the club won the ultimate prize by winning the all-Ireland club championship. 

Recent significant History.

Castlegar, was the Venue for Music Festivals - Radiohead, July 28th, 1996.

The Heineken Green Energy Festival - June 3rd, 2001. Site goes responsive, march 2014.

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