129 Years ago, a young man from came home from Terenure College for the Easter Break to Rathmore, Ashford. He was very excited about a new Irish game, which had been introduced in the college, so he called a meeting of the local boys to consider the affiliation of a club in Ashford.
They all agreed it was a great idea and straight away they decided to join the new association.
His name was Jack Byrne and they called him “Doctor Jack” for short, because he was thinking at the time of studying for a medical degree.
And so Ashford became the cradle of the GAA in Wicklow, the first club to affiliate with the new association.
The first sports under the GAA rules were held in Ashford on Monday, September 21st 1885. It was also the venue for the first game under GAA rules, and Ashford was the first Wicklow team to take to the field under the same rules. They played Dalkey at
Ashford later in 1885, and they were involved against Barndarrig in the first match between two Wicklow teams at Barndarrig on St. Stephens Day 1885.
P. O’Byrne was secretary of Ashford Club in 1886/87 according to the list of Secretaries for that period.
They played in six matches, one-day tournament at Avondale on October 31st, 1886, and held the Wexford side, Ballymore, to 0-00 to 0-00.
They beat Kilmacanogue 1-04 to 0-01 at Courtfoyle in the first round of the championship, and on May 8th 1887 they beat Newtown 0-05 to 0-01, before 8,000 people at Avondale.
“Doctor Jack” came in for a special mention at that game.