The prolific and successful Brothers Pearse camogie club was formed in 1991 after Noreen Heston approached Brothers Pearse hurling and football club with a view to setting up a camogie club. Togeather with Gerry Rea, Bill Riley, and Kevin Murphy a meeting was held in the Duke of Clarence.
The debut Brothers Pearse camogie match took place at the Richmond Irish Festival against Tara camogie club and marked the birth of one of the most successful camogie clubs in London. As the existing Brothers Pearse club colours of green and white were already in use by another camogie club in London and so Brothers Pearse camogie club opted for the team to tog out in green, red and white, the colours of the original founder, Noreen Heston’s home county, Mayo. Bill Riley sponsored their first set of jerseys and Gerry Rea was made team manager. The team trained in Aylestone Avenue, Willesden, where they rented their own pitch.
Click on a time period on the timeline below to read more about our history.
1991 – 1993
Within the first year of being formed the club had already made their mark in the London camogie scene having secured their first piece of silverware as winners of the London Junior and England Camogie Provincial Championship of 1991. This marked the beginning of an upward spiral of achievements including winning the London Senior Championship and League for five consecutive years from 1998 – 2002.
In 1993 the club team were upgraded from junior to intermediate however this did not faze the Brothers Pearse players and they showed their ability at this level by winning the championship title in this their first year in the competition.
1994 – 1998
Upgrading again took place in 1994 having won the intermediate title in 1993. Brothers Pearse joined the senior ranks and participated from 1994 to 1997 without success at senior level. However in 1995 Brothers Pearse did defeat Erin Go Bragh in the senior reserve championship. Brothers Pearse reign in London camogie started in 1998.
In 1996 the camogie club established it’s own individual committee and embarked on a recruitment drive for new players and members. In 1997 the club were in the fortuitous position of entering both senior and junior teams in the London camogie board competitions.
In 1998 Brothers Pearse camogie club progressed further and entered senior, intermediate and junior teams to take part in London domestic competitions. This was the first and only time in London camogie’s history that a club entered teams at all three levels. Paddy Carr, Galway took charge of the training, management and selection of all three teams. A position he would hold within the club until his sudden death in December 2006.
Brothers Pearse senior team won both league and championship in 1998 for the first time in its history. This was a huge achievement for the club and something they had been chasing since reaching senior ranks in 1994. Following the senior championship final Brothers Pearse travelled to Liatroim Fontenoys, Co. Down to take part in the All-Ireland club championship quarter final. However with Laitroim Fontenoys in their fourth assault on All-Ireland club victory this was not to be Brothers Pearse’s year.
In 1998 the Irish World presented an award to the most outstanding camogie player in London (alongside football and hurling awards). Frances Killeen was the first player in London to be presented this prestigious award for her efforts at full back for the Pearses ladies.
1999 – 2000
1999 was Brothers Pearse camogie club’s most successful year to date. In 1999 the club achieved the ultimate goal – winning both junior and senior league and championship titles. Following this success the senior squad represented London in the All-Ireland club championship quarter final but failed to overthrow Davitts of Galway. A memorable weekend was had by the club, however it did become apparent there was a huge gap between the level of senior clubs playing in London and those competing in senior competitions in Ireland.
In 2000 the club achieved three in a row success with the senior team defeating Tara camogie club in the senior championship final. In the junior championship Brothers Pearse defeated Fr. Murphy’s in the championship final. In the All-Ireland club championship Brothers Pearse played host to a youthful Rathnure team and once again faced defeat by their visitors from home.
Roisin O’Neill and Therese Doyle were awarded the Irish World Camogie Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
2001 – 2002
In October 2001 Brothers Pearse celebrated its 10th Anniversary and the occasion was marked by the club hosting a tournament at Tir Chonnaill Park, Greenford. A total of eight teams travelled from near and far to participate. The day was a great success with Tipperary’s Toomevara winning on the day at senior level and John Mitchell’s Birmingham proving victorious at junior level. A social event was also organised to ensure the celebrations continued late into the night.
The club participated in the House of Wentworth Festival of Hurling and Shinty Exhibition at Stamford Bridge in May 2001. A memorable day for those involved which will go down in the history books of London gaelic games.
Later in the season the senior team narrowly defeated Erin Go Bragh, by 4 points in the championship final and also topped the league to cap off what was a wonderful year for the club.
In 2002 the club once again secured senior league and championship titles defeating Erin Go Bragh and Croydon in the respective competitions. Lisa Woods received the Irish World Player of the year for 2002.
2003 – 2005
For many in the club the championship of 2003 will be remembered as the ash clashed harder than ever before in Ruislip as the senior camogie championship final reached fever pitch proportions. Although Brothers Pearse were defeated by arch rivals Croydon a thrilling display of skill and commitment was shown by the Brothers Pearse ladies and the game was in itself a tribute to how much London camogie has evolved since it’s early days. However later in the year the Pearses ladies got their revenge on Croydon defeating them in the league final and thus sharing the senior silverware with another club for the first time in six years.
In 2004 the Pearses aim was to retain the championship title which they had given up to Croydon in 2003, bringing to an end the dream of six in a row – something no other London club had achieved. Pearses also proceeded to the league final in 2004 however once again it was a battle with Croydon which ended the dream of doing the double once more at senior level. Croydon won the league in 2004 sharing the silverware with Pearses. Pearses played Castletara of Cavan in the Ulster club championship. Pearses were defeated at the Emerald Grounds Ruislip although came within 5 points of the Cavan champions. Roisín O’ Neill was awarded the Irish World Player of the Year for 2004.
2004 also saw the introduction of the London All-Star Awards, held in the Emerald Grounds Ruislip along with the London Ladies Football All-Stars. Brothers Pearse were awarded six of the fifteen awards – recipients were Mary Cahill (goalkeeper), Lisa Woods (full back), Roisin O’Neill (centre field), Claire Walshe (centre field) Patricia Nihill (right half forward) and Emma Linnane (full forward). In addition nine of the Brothers Pearse girls were amongst the panel of players which represented Britain in the International Camogie Competion which was held for the Association’s centenary celebrations. Britain lost this final to the home side which was played in Croke Park, in October, as a curtain raiser to the International Rules Series
2005 was the year for the Pearses junior team. Having been without silverware since their championship win in 2000 the junior players were determined to do well. They trained throughout the year with unquestionable commitment and in October were rewarded by defeating Green Isle, favourites for the title, in a thrilling final which went to extra time. For the senior squad 2005 was one of the most disappointing years loosing to Croydon in the semi-final of the championship. This was the first time in eight years that Pearses were not to feature in the senior final. However, the senior team did gather themselves later in the season to retain the league title and dull the sting from loosing the championship.
In the second year of the London All-Stars Awards five of the Pearses players were recognised – Roisin O’Neill (centre back), Bronwyn Keeshan (centre field), Patricia Nihill (left half forward), Emma Linnane (full forward) and Aoife O’Connell (left corner forward)
In 2005 Bronwyn Keeshan received the Irish World Player of the Year award.
2006 – 2009
2006 has seen Pearses get themselves back to the top of London camogie winning both senior championship and league. The senior team remained undefeated throughout the season in London and eventually went down to a young Gaultier side from Waterford in the Munster Junior Club Championship by the narrow margin of 7 points. Our junior team competed in both championship and league, however having lost a number of long serving players struggled throughout the season.
Once again Pearses players were recognised at the annual All-Star event held in the Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood – Emma Linnane (goal keeper), Therese Doyle (right corner back), Roisin O’Neill (centre back), Bronwyn Keeshan (centre field), Sinead McMahon (centre forward), Patricia Nihill (left half forward) and Suzanne Deasy (full forward).
2010 – Today
In 2011, the club went on to win the Junior Championship again and in the same year celebrated its 20th anniversary. On 5th November 2011 past players competed against current players in an exhibition game, the winners being awarded with the Paddy Carr Memorial Cup. A fantastic weekend was had as past players travelled from near and far to attend the game and the dinner dance which followed that night.
In 2012, as many long standing players went in to retirement and some leaving London altogether, the club was then regarded to junior status. And, it has since undergone somewhat of a revival with a new generation of players joining the ranks. These players took Brothers Pearse to the Junior Championship final in 2013, unfortunately losing out to a strong Green Isle side on the day.
In 2014, Brothers Pearse past camogie player, Roisin O’Neill was bestowed with the wonderful honour of being named ‘London Camogie Player of the Decade’ and she was invited to Croke Park on Camogie All-Ireland Final day, where she was presented with her award.
Roisin was a dedicated player at both club and county level during her time in London. Roisin won Brothers Pearse Senior Player of the year in 2005,2006 and 2007. She also won Brother Pearse club person of the year in 2005, 2006 and 2007. She played as part of the Brothers Pearse Senior Team that won the Senior championship in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004. She was also played as part of the Brothers Pearse team that won the Senior League in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005. She also captained the Brothers Pearse Team that won the Senior Championship and Senior League in 2006.
Roisin was not only involved at club level but also played camogie for London. She captained the London Camogie team in 2006 and won London All Stars in 2005, 2006 and 2007. She was a London County Camogie player throughout her London playing career. She also won the Irish World award in 1999 and 2004
Roisin was a driving force behind London’s fundraising to enable London to compete at Inter County League and Championship level in Ireland. Without her efforts London may not have been given the opportunity to play at inter county level. She was also nominated as the Camogie Ambassador for London during the Centenary celebrations.
Roisin was a consistent and dedicated member of both Club & County Boards. She was PRO for the County Board and Chairperson of the County Board. During her time as Brothers Pearse she was Secretary, chairperson and PRO for our club. She was a referee between 2005 and 2008. She also Promoted and developed Underage Camogie in London 2005.
This is a fantastic achievement and is more than well deserved. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Roisin on this amazing achievement.
Brothers Pearse on Tour
Since it’s formation in 1991 Brothers Pearse camogie club have travelled far and wide to play camogie and to promote the club. The club has travelled to Boston, USA in 2000, Tir Chonaill Harps, Glasgow, Scotland in 2004 and to various clubs throughout Ireland including Duffey Rovers (Co Wexford) Liatroim Fontenoys (Co. Down), Davitts (Co. Galway) and Gaultier (Co. Waterford). The club have also hosted Burgess (Co. Tipperary), Rathnure (Co. Wexford), St. Brigids (Co. Armagh) and Toomevara (Co. Tipperary). The club’s willingness to travel and host visitors to London helps promote integration between Irish and British clubs along with raising the level of awareness of camogie in Britain. Further trips are planned in the near future.