Killester Donnycarney Football Club is the colourful amalgamation of numerous clubs that were formed in Killester and Donnycarney over the past 100 years.
Killester village was built in the early 1920’s to house soldiers, who returned home from the battlefields of Europe after WW1. In 1928, some of the ex-servicemen, whom would have played football in army tournaments and friendly games, requested permission from the Soldiers and Sailors Land Trust to clear the scrubland at the end of The Nun’s Walk to convert it into a football pitch. Permission was granted and within a few years the very first team to play league football on the field was Kelburn FC, named after the owner of Kelburn House, on the Howth Road, purchased a kit for the team. By the mid 1930’s two clubs, St Brigid’s FC and Woodside United FC, made this field their home and played fixtures here on alternative weekends. The field, which went on to be named Hadden Park in the late 1960’s, has seen Association Football played on it ever since.
The poor economic conditions of the 1950’s took their toll on the village of Killester. Many of it’s young men emigrated in search of work and it became extremely difficult for St Brigid’s and Woodside to field teams. So on Sunday 26th May 1957 the committees of both clubs met in the Assembly Hall and merged to form Killester United Football Club. Jimmy Magee, who is still involved with the club to this day, was instrumental in bringing St. Brigids and Woodside together. The vision and foresight shown by the committee of Killester United, under the guidance of Bill Hadden, saw the club purchase the field from the Soldiers and Sailors Land Trust in 1964 and Hadden Park remains the jewel in our crown to this day.
Over the decades Killester United became one of the most respected clubs in Junior football. The club won the prestigious Leinster Junior Cup in 1964, but it was in the 2000’s that Killester United had unprecedented success when the Senior Team won three consecutive AUL Premier A titles, the 2003 Leinster Junior Cup and the 2007 FAI Junior Cup. These teams, under the management of Joey Graydon, are regarded by many as being amongst the best to ever compete in amateur football in Ireland.
Up to the beginning of the 20th century Donnycarney was a rural area that produced much of the food that fed the people of Dublin. In the 1930’s, Dublin Corporation decided to build the Donnycarney housing scheme to house the people from the inner city, who were living in dreadful conditions at the time. Soon enough a number of football clubs sprung up in the area, with St. Martin’s Boys FC becoming the Schoolboy Club most associated with Donnycarney. The area also managed to produce some very good Junior Teams, with Maypark FC and Donnycarney United in particular, regularly competing for honours in their heyday. During the 2000’s Ramble Inn Celtic became a force in Junior football and started to dominate the Major Division of the Amateur League.
By 2010 discussions had begun to take place between St. Martin’s and Ramble Inn Celtic about merging the two clubs in a bid to better serve the community. Led by Willie McGuirk of Ramble Inn Celtic and Frances Somers of St Martins Boys the members of both clubs agreed to amalgamate in 2011 and Donnycarney FC was born. Donnycarney FC went about setting up teams for men, women and children and it didn’t take long for the club to play a pivotal role within the community. The Senior Team, under the guidance of Thomas Heary, went on to have great success in the AUL, winning the Premier C and Premier B titles in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
In late 2017 the committees of Killester United and Donnycarney FC held meetings to discuss the merits of combining their efforts to form one strong and vibrant club in the community. Led by Bill Brennan of Killester United and Willie McGuirk of Donnycarney FC, the members of both clubs voted in favour of merging and in the summer of 2018 Killester Donnycarney Football Club was formed.
Killester Donnycarney Football Club is the natural successor of all these great clubs that came before us, and we certainly owe our predecessors a huge degree of gratitude for putting in place the foundations for what we have today. Our crest symbolises the interweaving of past, present and future generations of players, managers and volunteers, and we sincerely hope that Killester Donnycarney FC will continue to serve our community well in the years to come.