DECLAN MEEHAN, who won two All-Stars plus All-Ireland medals with club and county, in Galway SFC quarter-final action against Alan O’Donovan (left) and Seamus Treacy of Corofin.


Recalling Caltra’s remarkable rise to Galway, Connacht and All-Ireland glory

ST. PATRICK'S DAY just gone by marked the 20th anniversary of the Caltra senior footballers' All-Ireland final victory over An Ghaeltacht. It remains one of the most storied achievements in the history of club competitions more than half a century old.

A 24-hour non-stop Gameathon, a joint fundraising initiative by Caltra GAA’s men and Caltra Cuans ladies that raised in excess of €116,000, kickstarted a weekend of celebration around the national feast day and it culminated in a gathering of the club's all-conquering team of 2003-'04, along with family, clubmates and supporters at the Community Centre adjacent to their impressive facilities.

To say Caltra came from nowhere two decades ago wouldn't exactly be true. Yet there's no denying the small rural East Galway parish were well down the county's pecking order before emerging to win it all — first Galway, then Connacht, and ultimately the Holy Grail of an All-Ireland in front of more than 40,000 spectators at Croke Park.

Theirs is the story of a club that had only once previously contested a county senior final in 1975 before the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, they captured a first-ever Frank Fox Cup and unstoppable momentum swept them all the way to provincial and All-Ireland silverware.

Herald Sport met up with several of the players who made it happen, the men who turned every club in the land's dream into their very own living, breathing reality. Brian Kilroy, Jarlath Murray, Kevin Gavin, Oisín Kelly, Damien Cunniffe, Brian Laffey, Matthew Killilea and brothers Michael and Noel Meehan shared their memories from the most unforgettable of campaigns…

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A day never to be forgetten for Caltra supporters as they poured onto the Pearse Stadium pitch after their 2003 final victory over Killererin.