BRISBANE - Australia's most livable city - is home to the Shamrocks Gaelic Football Club. The city has a population of 1.5 million people, and is the capital of the sunshine state of Queensland that boasts the world heritage's Great Barrier Reef.
Shamrocks was a founding club of the Queensland Gaelic Football Association in 1983, and was a power from inception, winning back-to-back senior mens League and Championship doubles in the inaugural competitions of 1984 and 1985.
The club back then was called "Wests" and had red uniforms. In 1990 the name was changed to “Shamrocks” and its current green/white and gold colours adopted, while continuing to proudly represent Brisbane’s western suburbs.
Shamrocks went close to folding in 1997 when the club struggled to field even just a senior mens team each week. However, in 1998 then club president Gerry O’Neill commenced a golden age that in the ensuing eight years, Shamrocks would win 22 of its current 33 titles.
That 1998 season included the return of 1995 Championship coach Jimmy Walsh as mens coach, the formation of a competitive team in Australia's first reserve mens competition, and a strong team in Queensland's first full ladies league that went on to win the inaugural trophies.
In 1999 the club elected Harold Peacock as its first Australian-born president, a post he would hold for three years. He had previously won the Australian Society of Sports Administrators' Sports Administrator of the Year award when working with basketball national leagues, and went on to also be QGFA secretary for three years. Membership continued to rise, and in 1999 the club won a record eight of the 12 trophies on offer, including the reserve mens Championship. That was followed with the senior mens Championship in 2000, and the ladies Championship in 2001, making it a unique three Championships in three years.
The Shamrocks 2000 senior mens Championship included a young player, who upon his return to Ireland stepped straight into his senior county team – today Eoin Mulligan is a star with Tyrone having won All-Ireland championships and All-star selection.
When Australasia won its first ladies World Cup in 2000, the team included three Shamrocks players and Queensland Championship winners the following year– Jacqueline Peacock, Angie Doyle and Louise O’Neill. Three Shamrocks representatives were again selected for the successful World Cup defense in 2002, and five for the three-peat in 2005.
The 2005 president Paul Rice presided over an historic moment when Jacqueline Peacock, a Queensland and World Championship player, was appointed overall club coach. She therefore became the world’s first female coach of a senior mens gaelic football team. Success was immediate including Shamrocks regaining the senior mens League title for the first time in seven years, although they lost the Championship final by a solitary point.
In 2008 new president Luke Devitt updated the club's 1980 logo to mark its 25 years anniversary, and in 2009 to reflect its membership being drawn from across south east Queensland, the Shamrocks training home was moved to Brisbane’s southside, marking Shamrocks evolution from representing Brisbane’s western suburbs to the whole of the Brisbane and Gold Coast region.
In recognition of the on-field ability of its players, the club presents its own annual awards, including the Stuart Clement Perpetual Trophy presented since 1984, making it the oldest continuing Gaelic football trophy in Queensland. In 2007 the senior mens best and fairest award was named the Paul Daly Cup in honour of Paul Daly, the leading scorer and best player in the historic 2005 season, who died tragically in Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland.
Major achievements for Shamrocks include:
Queensland titles won include:
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