Cortown GAA – A History from 1969 – 2000 (Taken from The Parish of St. Ultan: Bohermeen, Cortown and Boyerstown – The Great Jubilee Record of 2000)
Cortown GAA Club was founded in 1969, however the history of Gaelic games in the area goes back much further. Several clubs under various names preceded Baile Corr. In the early 1000’s there was Girley Shamrocks, while at the same time Fordstown True Blues, comprised mainly of R.I.C. men from the local barracks fielded teams. Later on in 1926 Girley St. Reids was formed. In 1947 it was the turn of Fordstown. They won the Junior Championship in 1954. Fordstown disbanded in 1959 after contesting the previous years Intermediate Final. For the next ten years players from the area played with neighbouring clubs e.g. Kells, Bohermeen, Martry, Athboy etc. There are reports of Hurling & Camogie having been played in Nugentstown and in Cookstown in the 1920s but unfortunately the playing of these games did not continue and records are not available of their exploits.
Cortown was launched in January 1969 with great enthusiasm. The first officers were, Brendan Duffy President, Ben Ward Chairman, Johnny Meehan Vice Chairman, Johnny Henry, replaced by Pat Keane, Secretary, Paddy Henry Treasurer. Committee members were Bill Dunne, Billy Rennicks, Tom Brady, Paddy Rennicks, Paddy Tully, Jim Flanagan, Michael Rogers and Ned Neary. A great run of successes brought the club to the Junior final in 1970 in which they lost to Ratoath and were then promoted to Intermediate status. Unfortunately, this early promise was not maintained and the club were back in Junior ranks in 1972. A defeat in the Division 3 final was followed by the clubs first Championship victory when they beat Bohermeen in the Division 3 final on the 11th October 1981 with Brendan Cahill of Navan O’Mahonys in charge of preparations. The winning score was a goal from a penalty scored by our great full back Tom Caffrey. The success was followed by great scenes for jubilation in the area with bonfires at Cortown, Fordstown etc. The winning panes was ; P. Woods, M Rourke, S. Loughran, T. Caffrey, F Flanagan, L. Keane, Derek Brady, T. Loughran, P. Brien, K Keating, K. Casserly, M. Coyne, J. Hogan, F. Smith, C. Sheridan, F. McFadden, T. Ward, J. Keating, J. Casserly, K. Barry, J. Meehan, David Brady, E. Brady, B. Rourke, G. Daly, F. Higgins and R. Clarke.
Once again however there was a lull for a few years during which it looked as if we might join numerous other clubs in the county who could not and still have not won the Junior Championship. Under the tutelage of Pat Coffey the prospect of the big breakthrough was maintained with several tournament victories. Finally the Junior final was reached again in 1987 where defeat by Moynalty was the result. However ever since that the club has been reaching Semi Finals and Finals at various grades regularly. The Under 21 Championship was annexed in 1990 with the following players; K. Timmons, P. Keane, L. Rennicks, B. Henry, B. Sheridan, P. O Brien, J. Henry, D. Henry, K. Henry, C. Henry, J. Rennicks, T. Coyne, J. Murtagh, C. McGrath, M. Henry, A. Heary, C. Gaynor, M. O Brien, E Brady, M. Reilly and C. Meehan (Johnny Murtagh subsequently achieved international acclaim as a world class jockey).
When Brian Murtagh took over as Coach/Manager from Pat Coffey in 1993 it heralded a glorious period in Cortown’s history; With John Kerrigan and Pat Coffey as his selectors the Junior Championship was won in that year; the Intermediate Championship in 1996; the Senior semi final was reached in 1997 and the Quarter final in 1999. The players who gained promotion to Senior football for Cortown were G. Daly, L. Keane, V. Keating, L. Rennicks, B. Casserly, M. Reilly, D. Henry, F. Smith, J. Henry, T. Coyne, C. Henry, I. Coyne, J. Rennicks, M. Barry, P. Henry, E. Brady, P. O’Brien, G. Loughran, K. Henry, A. Waters, M. Waters, and M. O’Brien. Not to be outdone during this great period our second team won the Junior C Championship in 1998. Both the Senior and Junior teams won their way up from Division 3 status and both now operate in Division 1 of their respective leagues.