Club History by David Henry

July 4th, 2016 | by admin
Club History by David Henry
Club News
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St James’ G.A.A. club was founded on 22 March 1994 to cater for football in the areas of Mervue, Ballybane and Renmore. Initially it was a playing arrangement at adult level as the two existing clubs, Mervue and Renmore were struggling to field teams. Juvenile football remained strong in both communities and they continued to field teams at minor level until 2002 and juvenile level until 2007. Given the proud history of both clubs, their committee members were determined to build a strong force of players that would be capable of competing at the highest level in County Galway. Initially the new club was named Mervue/Renmore. The toss of a coin decided which name would come first. In 1998 the Mervue/Renmore club was renamed St. James’ Gaelic Football Club at the AGM that year. The new club colours were Green and White. The colours were chosen from their original clubs; Renmore wore a maroon and white kit, while Mervue wore red and green. Later the club decided to move away from the white and green strip and thus a new club colour strip was implemented. This resulted in the green and maroon strip and over time they became known as the ‘The Jimmies’.

The amalgamation was completed by 2007. This provided an ideal platform for the growth and development of Gaelic football in the east-side of the city, with facilities at two sites (Mervue and Renmore) and an experienced bank of on-site Coaches and Managers. Over the years Galway city expanded extensively and sprawling new estates began to emerge. This resulted in the St. James’ catchment area growing and a strengthening of the club. The catchment areas include Renmore, Mervue Ballybane, Ballybrit, Castle Park, Wellpark, Good Shepherd Parish Doughiska and Castlegar (Roscam, Roshill & Ballybrit). The club has gone from strength to strength and this is clear from the many successes it has achieved. The St. James Football Club was awarded the adult ‘Club of the Year in 2010’ in recognition of its outstanding achievements. In 2016, the Juvenile section received ‘Club of the Year’ from the Galway County Board.

It is worth noting that the St. James’ GAA brand is well rooted and it has been one of the most successful club amalgamations in recent years. The name chosen for the club was no accident as it was adopted from a very important site in the Mervue area. This is the Church of Saint James which dates from medieval times and an ancient cemetery is also associated with the site. There is a hugely interesting history to the church and indeed the cemetery, were many significant and important people were buried. While many of the graves have been identified, there are many more that remain unidentified. It was the burial place for families in the area including Mervue and Renmore. The club have included an image of the site on the club crest.

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