Club History

Club History

Mullinavat Football Club was formed in 1887, the first year of official G.A.A. championships. Football was the dominant sport in the parish until around 1913 when a hurling team from Mullinavat entered the Junior championship for the first time. In 1915 & 1916 Mullinavat won the Junior Championship. In 1939 the Junior Championship was won again and for the first time the club was represented at senior level. In 1940 and 1943 they reached the senior final but were defeated on both occasions by near neighbours Carrickshock. In the late 1940's the team dropped back to junior grade.

The present pitch was bought in 1953 for £590 . Fr. Joseph Gallavan C.C. was the driving force behind the purchase and development of the field. The appointment as parish priest in 1983 of the legendary Kilkenny coach Monsignor Tommy Maher was of crucial importance to the development of hurling in Mullinavat. Fr. Tommy as he is better known needs no introduction to followers of hurling.  

A past pupil of St. Kieran’s College, he was a member of the Kilkenny team beaten by Tipperary in the 1945 All-Ireland Final. He won a County Championship medal with Thomastown in 1946. In the mid-‘Fifties he became coach to the Kilkenny team and quickly made his presence felt as Kilkenny , in 1957 ended the Wexford dominance in Leinster. During his term as coach, which was a new concept then, Kilkenny captured seven All-Irelands.

In 1983 he was appointed Parish Priest of Mullinavat and immediately became involved in the local hurling scene. It came as no surprise to anybody that, in 1984 , Mullinavat won the Junior Championship, and in 1985, won the Special Junior B Championship. A couple of years later, he retired completely from the game but his interest has never waned and he is currently the Club President.

In 1989 Mullinavat won the Intermediate Championship when trained by Jim Walsh. Jim was a prominent hurler on the Mullinavat team for many years and played for the County minor team in 1966. He won an intermediate All-Ireland medal in 1972. The team reached the semi final of the senior championship in 1993 but were relegated to the intermediate grade in 1994. In 1997 they reached the semi final of this grade and in 1998 they contested the junior football final. In 1998 Fr. Tommy Maher retired as parish priest and was replaced by another famous hurling coach, Fr. Liam Barron who has guided the Kilkenny minor teams to many victories in recent times. The victory of the minor team in 1998 was the springboard for further championship success in the following years. In 1999 the Club won The Intermediate Football League, the Special Junior B Hurling league, the Roinn B under 21 Championship, and reached the final of the Intermediate Hurling Championship. In 2000 the Intermediate football championship was won and in 2001 the Club won the Intermediate Hurling championship. After a brief two years in the top flight the club was relegated back to Intermediate ranks but senior status was regained in 2006 after an emphatic victory in the Intermediate Championship. Sadly this return to the top flight was short lived and the club was relegated again in 2007. In 2010 the club narrowly missed out on promotion back to senior ranks when they were defeated in the Intermediate final by one point.

A major redevelopment project began in 2003 with the demolition of the old changing rooms and in May 2004 the club opened its new club rooms. This beautiful new building contains four changing rooms, referee's room, two meeting rooms and new toilets. Phase 2 of the development saw the construction of a stand and the provision of floodlighting. This work began in 2005 and was completed in 2006.

 In 2014 the club won the Intermediate title for the fourth time and created history by going on to win the Leinster intermediate title for the first time