Football for girls started to flourish in local schools in the early 1990s. In 1995 three Garrycastle enthusiasts namely Gerry O’Neill, Michael McCormack and Bernie Duignan established the Ladies section of the Garrycastle Club to cater for the growing interest in the sport in the area.
They brought on board a number of others to help launch the team and then going house to house they gathered together sufficient numbers to start a junior team and enter the 1996 junior championship. Following the example of their male counterparts, a special emphasis was put on underage coaching and this led to success on the playing field at all age groups.
The Path to Senior Ranks
With the initial set up under their belts and the experience of ’96 behind them the Garrycastle junior team under the guidance of Michael McCormack and Gerry O’Neill trained in earnest and were justly rewarded when they reached the junior final of ’97 after a great win over Mullingar Shamrocks in the semi-final. The team were privileged to play this game in Cusack Park - a rare treat for the girls from Westmeath. On the day the girls made history and were victorious claiming their first title when they overcame Milltown on a score-line of 3-3 to 1-3. In Leinster, the team went on to beat St Fortuns of Carlow and progress to the semi-final where they were beaten by the Meath champions.
In 1998 with numbers increasing, the club made the decision to enter teams in the Under 16 and minor grades of the county championship. This proved to be very fruitful with both teams making the finals and a very young minor side were hailed Minor champions after an emphatic win over Rochfortbridge (3-11 to 3-3).
The junior champions of ’97 also made their way to the final of ’98 and once again taking on Milltown but unfortunately on this occasion Milltown claimed the title.
1999 saw the junior side back in the final this time taking on Moate and claiming victory once again, (4-9 to 0-7). This time the Garrycastle side were beaten in the first round of Leinster after travelling to Dublin to take on Na Fianna who proved too strong on the day.
The Junior win of ’99 saw the team step up a grade and progress to the Intermediate ranks and after 2 years at the grade the Garrycastle girls were once again facing a county final in 2001 where once again Miltown were on the opposing side. This proved to be a great contest with nothing between the sides and the match ended all square - Garrycastle 1-9 Milltown 0-12. The replay followed and again things were tight but this time Garrycastle edged victory on a score-line of 2-12 to 2-10 and take this young side into the senior ranks. The side had a great run in Leinster when they beat Simonstown of Meath in the first round (1-13 to 0-8) and went on to meet O’Hanrahans of Carlow in the Leinster Junior semi-final. Once again the task proved too much for Garrycastle and they were narrowly defeated 0-13 to 2-4
In the Senior Ranks
In 2003, which was their second year at senior a young Garrycastle side made it to the Senior final where they were to face a very experienced Rochfortbridge side aiming to get their 24th title on the day. This did not deter the very young guns from Garrycastle led by captain Lorraine Cummins and managed by Tom Flanagan. After a magnificent display of football they were yet again victorious on final day and took home the silverware. Indeed 2003 proved to be a golden year for Garrycastle where they won the Westmeath Senior championship for the first time and had the unique distinction of contesting all four underage finals, winning both U16 and U14 A titles and losing out in the Minor and U12 A Finals. In addition, the Under 14s represented Westmeath in Féile na nÓg and won the All-Ireland Division 3 title in Galway and a year later followed it up with an All-Ireland Division 2 title in Tyrone.
Garrycastle Senior Ladies team have gone through a purple patch winning 3 in a row Westmeath Senior championships between 2008 and 2010 and following it up in 2012 with another county title. Contesting four county finals in 5 years and winning them all is some achievement by this dedicated group of ladies.
At the 2017 AGMs of both the Garrycastle Ladies club and the Garrycastle Mens club, it was agreed to embrace the 'One Club' approach, whereby both ladies and Mens affairs would be handled under the Garrycastle GAA Club committee, with a dedicated ladies committee formed.
The Garrycastle 'one club' concept was brought into effect in 2018.
Roll of Honour
2020 : Ladies Senior-B champions, Girls under-16 Division 2 champions.
2018 : Girls Under-14 'B' champions, Girls Under-12 'C' Champions.
2013 : U-16 C Winners, U14 Runners-Up
2012 : Senior Championship Winners , Senior League Runners-Up, U-16 B Runners-Up, Minor B Runners-Up
2011 : U-16 B Runners-Up
2010 : Senior Championship Winners, Senior League Winners, U-12 C Runners-Up
2009 : Senior Championship Winners, Leinster Intermediate – Runners Up, Senior League Winners, Minor A Winners, U-16 A Winners, U-12 C Runners Up
2008 : Senior Championship Winners, Minor A Runners Up, U-16 A Runners Up, U-12 A Championship Winners
2007 : U-16 A Runners Up, U-14 A Championship Winners
2006 : U-16 A Championship Winners
2005 : Minor B Championship Winners, U-12 A Championship
2004 : U-14 Championship Winners, All Ireland Féile Division 2 Winners, All-Ireland U-14 Kilmacud Sevens Champions
2003 : Senior Championship Winners, Minor A Runners Up, U-16 Championship Winners, U-14 Championship Winners, All Ireland Féile Division 3 Winners, U-12 A Runners Up
2002 : Minor B Championship Winners, U-12 B Championship Winners
2001 : Intermediate Championship Winners, Westmeath Féile Winners
1999 : Junior Championship Winners, U-14 B championship Winners
1998 : Junior Runners Up, Minor Championship, U-16 Runners Up
1997 : Junior Championship
1995 : Garrycastle Ladies Club Founded
Since their foundation Garrycastle Ladies have put a significant effort in to raising money for charity including Crumlin Childrens Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy, Special Olympics, Operation Zambia, Athlone Drug Awareness and the Carers Association. See pictures from fundraising events in Club Photos Fundraising.
Garrycastle Ladies GAA Club wish to acknowledge and thank all their sponsors McDonalds Drive Thru, Michael Mannion, Spar, Athlone Equestrian, Dans Tavern, Pat Redington, O'Neills Bar, Centra Glasson.