Stair Club Sheáin Uí Eislin

Tá cáil ar an gclub, ní hamháin i Liatroim ach ar fud na tíre. The club is the most successful in Leitrim in terms of titles won. O’Heslins have won 20 Senior Championships and 21 Minor Championships. The club consistently fields in all grades in hurling and football, one of only two clubs in Leitrim to do so. Since the club was founded in 1889 it has contributed to county teams at every grade and the club is central to every development in the GAA in Leitrim. The club is based in the town of Ballinamore and its players come from the town and a few surrounding townlands. The Ballinamore area and the surrounding parishes is regarded as the heartland of the GAA in Leitrim. Tá lucht an chlub ana bhróidiuil as an méid atá bainte amach ag an gclub.

SOH People SOH and Wife

Tosnú an Chlub

The GAA was founded in Ballinamore on 31 January 1889 at a meeting in McGauran’s Railway Hotel, now the Allied Irish Bank. A plaque was erected on the wall of the bank as part of the club’s centenary celebrations in 1989.

Sean O’Heslin

Sean O’Heslin, a teacher in Ballinamore who was a native of Drumcoman, Corraleehan, Ballinamore, Sean mother was also a teacher in Clogher. Sean was the driving force behind the club in its most successful period, the 1930s. Fuair sé bás i 1942, nuair nach raibh ach 55 bliain slánaithe aige. The club was named after him in 1953.

Successful Teams

Sean O’Heslins has been highly successful in every grade of football. The club contested the first ever Leitrim Senior Championship in 1890 and reached the final but lost to Mohill. Twenty-three years later they won their first senior championship, in 1913. The greatest periods in the clubs history were the 1930s when five senior titles were won and then a prolonged period of success from 1964 to 1990 when twelve senior titles were won. Probably the club’s greatest achievement was a three-in-a-row between 1967-1969. During the 1990s the club had a very strong team which coincided with Leitrim’s period of greatness. However they failed to win a senior championship after 1990, despite having no less than five players on the Leitrim panel which won the 1994 Connacht championship. In 2003 the club won the Senior B Championship, the club’s first senior success since 1990.


In 1952, Sean O’Heslin Park was opened, the first GAA grounds in Leitrim. It was the centre for county games of all sorts until Páirc Seán MacDiarmada opened in Carrick-on-Shannon in 1964. It continued to host smaller county fixtures until it fell into disrepair in the 1990s. The club has now completed a major development at the site and two excellent pitches have been developed and a new stand/dressingrooms have been erected and were officially opened by Uachtaran Christy Cooney on 24 Bealtaine 2009.


The club runs a very successful lotto which takes place every monday night in the pubs of the town. Lotto night is a great social occasion and it also serves as a club meeting where all the business of the week is transacted.

Club of the Century

In 1984, Sean O’Heslins was selected as “Club of the Century” for Leitrim

Millennium Team

In 2000, Leitrim’s team of the millennium was selected. Sean O’Heslins had three players selected: Noel Crossan, Ollie Honeyman and Paddy Dolan. No other Leitrim club had three players selected.

Most Medals

Noel Flynn of Kiltyhugh holds the record for the most senior champiobnship medals won in Leitrim. Noel has won 9 senior championships, 7 with Ballinamore and 2 with Aughawillan. Paddy Dolan has the highest number of senior championship medals won with Ballinamore.He won eight. He missed out on the 1975 win. Patsy Prior also has eight, six with Ballinamore and two with Aughawillan. There are of course a number of Aughawillan men who won eight with Aughawillan.

Railway Cup medals

Columba Cryan is the only Ballinamore man to have won a railway cup medal. He won two with Connacht as a sub. Paul Kieran won a railway cup shield medal.


Tommy Moran was the club’s most famous referee. He refereed a National League Final (1980), All Ireland Minor Final (1977), All Ireland Under 21 Final (1982), All Ireland Senior Semi-Final (1978), All Ireland Club Final (1979), Connacht Senior Finals (1975 and 1977). Jim Creamer refereed the 1952 Connacht Final. Others who refereed at inter county level were Charlie McCormack and Aidan Crossan.

Minor Titles

Twenty-one minor football championships have come to Ballinamore. Threre are three players who have a fairly unique record of having won four minor championship medals. Thomas Galligan and Dermot Gannon played on the 1958.1959, 1960 and 1961 teams. Gerry Logan played on the 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1978 teams. Adrian Gallogly won four minor hurling medals in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994.

League Titles

Seán O’Heslins won the Senior League on eleven occasions, the first in 1967. Seán Kavanagh played on nine winning teams. Paddy Dolan was involved in nine successes but missed out on one final. Brendan Burns a sub in 1967 and played in eight subsequent successes. Therefore, all three have won nine Senior League medals. Nobody else in Leitrim can match that.


There are three publications on the club’s history.

a) Gallogly, Fr Dan: Ballinamore Seán O’Heslins 1889-1984

b) Ó Suilleabháin, Seán (Editor): Come on Cannaboe, 100 years
of Ballinamore Seán O’Heslins GAA club.

c) Ceann na Bo go Deo: The story of Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins GAA club. DVD produced

by Seán Ó Suilleabháin and Tomás Ó Moráin

(Copies of the latter are still available from Leitrim Genealogy Centre, ph 071-9644012)