St. Finian’s was formed in March 1943 through a meeting of local in the old schoolhouse. St. Finian’s began with a Junior team and progressed upwards, getting to and winning the intermediate championship in 1949. Billy Dunbar of Main Street was captain at the time. The club continued with Senior up to 1954, when it was re-graded to Intermediate. In 1976, St. Finian’s won the Intermediate league to go Senior for the second time in their history. The first pitch was donated by Paddy
Flanagan. The field, called Cat’s Meadow, was at the top of Aylmer Road, on the left-hand side going down. St. Finian’s played there from 1943 to 1951. Another field in Corner Park was donated by Tom Dunbar and used for the years ’51 – ’55. Then May Dowling, publican on Main Street, allowed the club use of the field behind the Gondola which continued as the main pitch until 1984. During the early years of the club, McEvoy’s and Dowling’s public houses were the meeting places.
The club wished to have its own grounds for the centenary year of the GAA in 1984. To this end, a sub-committee, comprising of John Finn, Seán Fitzgibbon and Michael Harney, were looking at different options on the purchase of a field. Negotiations with Harry Smith of Main Street for the purchase field in Corner Park finished at £34, 000. Some ‘luck money’ was given back as Harry had a great grá for the club, having been secretary and treasurer at different times in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
On the 27 th of January 1983, Denis Doherty of Main Street handed over cheque number 238, to be used as a deposit on the field. Harry and his sister Molly Smith allowed two years for full payment of the cost. This money was raised through draws, a Lord Mayor Campaign, club field days and members who donated between £200 and £500 each. These, people will remember, were tough times for the economy and the club is eternally grateful to those who entrusted their hard earned
money, in some cases up to a month’s wages. The field was then developed by local farmers who gave their time and machinery free of charge. A special thank you to Mick McBennet of Blundelstown.