Founded in 1886, Lucan Sarsfields GAA Club is the largest sporting organisation in West Dublin, and the oldest.The club was also the first in Ireland to be named after the great Irish hero Patrick Sarsfield - who was born in Lucan around 1649 and became Earl of Lucan in 1690 - and began life as most GAA clubs did, with a group of local young men getting together and forming a club.
Gaelic games in the Lucan area actually date back much further than that with records of early football games going back as far as the 14th century when teams from Lucan and Leixlip took on one another on the frozen river liffey.
Lucan Sarsfields were represented at the first Dublin County Board meeting in on 12 December 1886, at the rooms of the Regular Carpenters' Society on Aungier Street, by a Mr N. Hughes and in March 1887 Lucan Sarsfields took part in the first Dublin football championship - losing out to a strong Erin's Hope side in the first round.
By 1896, thirty-four clubs had survived to remain affiliated with the Dublin County Board (Lucan represented on this occasion by a J. Harris of Mount Joseph) and it was a golden year for the club as we reached our first - and to this day only senior club final - where we lost out to Young Irelands.
By 1904, Lucan Sarsfields were playing in the intermediate ranks, but the club's first silverware soon followed when they secured a famous win when they defeated Benburbs to win the Intermediate Football League.
That same year of 1904, the club's junior hurlers secured an historic double for the club when they won the county junior league. The team brought the Michael Smith Cup home to Lucan for the first time, but, rather amazingly, it would be another seventy years before the trophy would be seen again.Another famous feat took place in 1906. The game of camogie had only been invented in 1903, but by 1906 Lucan was already celebrating success after defeating all-comers to bring the Junior League back to the club, securing a famous win in the county final in the Phoenix Park. Two years later, the club would win the Minor Camogie League. These were the first major successes for the camogie section of Lucan Sarsfields on the field, but they most certainly would not be the last.
Records of the club at County Board level disappear for a time after this, but the 1973 Irisleabhar recalled a challenge game between long-time rivals Lucan and Leixlip on the Lock Road (the 12th Lock) in Lucan in 1914: The 12th Lock was just one of several grounds the club used in the early days; there are also records of Lucan playing games in Bleach Green in Lucan Demesne (close to Weir View), in a field behind Vesey Park, on lands belonging to a Mr Hickey in Dodsboro, Mr Royce in Tandy's Lane, and Mr Kavanagh in Ballydowd, before settling into Langan's Field in Ballydowd in the early 1950s.
Amazingly though, and largely coincidentally, Lucan Sarsfields would find themselves making a permanent home in the 12th Lock almost a century after first togging out there.
Throughout the Irish War of Independence, Lucan Sarsfields remained active on the field. In 1919, the club was drawn to face Sons of Erin in the Junior Football Championship and in 1920 they faced Portrane, while they also took part in tournaments in Celbridge and Leixlip, a tradition that would continue well into the 1980s.
In 1920, the club even began a tournament of its own, hosting twelve teams from around the local area. A major success had come for the club in 1919 too, when the junior hurlers won through to the league final to face St Cronan's of Bray on the hallowed soil of Jones' Road. In a thrilling game of hurling, Lucan emerged as one-point winners - although the Black and Tans rained on the Sarsfields parade when raiding the tram on the way back to Lucan.Lucan Sarsfields GAA, outside of mentions as an affiliate club in the County Board's records, all but disappears from significance in the 1920s. Listed as a rural senior club in the 1935 minutes of the County Board, Lucan were obviously playing at the highest standard but just failing to make the crucial breakthrough.
The oldest surviving minutes of Lucan Sarsfields GAA Club date to July 1943, recording a meeting that took place in Gahan's Café attended by Frank Brophy (chairman), E. Moffett (secretary), Ned Commiskey (treasurer), H. Condron, T. Malone, G. Parsons, Billy Kelly, Charles Molloy, P. Slattery and Joe Dignam.The club struggled through the rest of that decade but a major development came along in in 1949 with the first conserted efforts towards the development of underage Gaelic games in the Lucan, something that would change the course of the club's future for the better.