Founder member Barth O’Brien recalls the story of the birth of the club ..

In 1949 I put a motion to the AGM of the St. Mochta’s Branch of the Catholic Young Men’s Society (CYMS) that a football section be formed within the branch to be looked after by a sub-committee of the branch.

At the following executive committee meeting the committee asked me if I would organise the setting up of the section, I agreed to do so and immediately called a meeting of young people interested to decide on (a) whether they wanted the section to be formed, and (b) what type of football they wanted to be played? There was unanimous agreement that the section be formed and that the type of football would be soccer.

I then asked some local people with a good knowledge of the sport if they would be agreeable to come on to the sub-committee to run the club. Three of those people (all now deceased) were Joe Thewlis, Christy Somers, and Peter Proudfoot Senior. They set about the job ardently, getting all local lads who were playing football in localities on the periphery of the Clonsilla area to join the section. They succeeded in entering a team in the Athletic Union League, Third Division – Sunday, and reported to the executive committee on a monthly basis.

One important part of the organisation was amazingly let slip because of their over-enthusiasm to do the important things right. On the Friday evening prior to their first match on the following Sunday, Joe Thewlis came to me stating that they had no jerseys for the team and worse – no
money to buy them, but that they would be doing a door to door collection the following week. He asked me if I could do anything for them at that late stage and I said that I would try to get something cheap for them.

With what little money I had, which in effect was my own week’s wages and some little savings, I immediately went to see Brother Darcy who was in charge of all sports equipment in Castleknock College. He could not help with the provision of second hand jerseys as all were in use but he advise me to go to the sports section in the basement of Clery’s Store and to mention his name which might be helpful in obtaining the necessary jerseys.

On Saturday morning I went in to Clery’s with my tale of woe. The manager, a very nice man, put the first question which I wasn’t prepared for, ‘what colours do you want?’ I said I had heard nothing about colours, to which he replied, ‘I always keep a good stock of Castleknock College rugby jerseys and a set of those are readily available if you want them.’

I had seen the college play several times and knew that their colours were navy and sky blue so I said that these will have to be the colours of St. Mochta’s. “Right” he said I will give you a goalkeeper’s jersey, eleven outfield jerseys and a large carrier bag, for twelve pounds. I just had enough money to buy them and that Saturday evening a beaming Joe Thewlis got his jerseys, in the carrier bag, in the nick of time for the match. So began St. Mochta’s junior soccer football that Sunday at 3 pm.

The door to door collection the following week was a great success with the cost of the jerseys almost covered by two donations alone, one from Maxwell Arnott, the other from the Laidlaw family. Around the early 1960′ s the CYMS became defunct but the club carried on as St. Mochta’s and is to be congratulated on still being around and making a contribution.

Present & Future

Currently St Mochta’s fields two senior teams,and 13 schoolboy teams. Our senior teams are managed by Brian Mc Carthy, Victor and Donal Hickey all of which play in the Leinster Senior League. In 2013 our Senior team got promoted to the LSl 1A under the management of Brian Mc Carthy. The second senior team is seen in the club as critically important as it provides a conduit for younger players coming through. Our home pitches are on the Porterstown Road with another pitch in Beech Park Clonsilla. Sonny Keane is club President. His Grandson Eric Keane plays for our Under 11’s so its great the Keane name is still in the club.

Chairman of the club is Mick Keating who was a player and manager of the club for many years. The Keating family have a long history with the club. Mick’s brother Brendan was a player for many years. Brendan sadly passed away in 2003. His name lives on in all the great work, The Brendan Keating Memorial Fund do for various charities raising over € 200,000. Mick was the player manager of our side that had the famous FAI Cup run. Mick says that the club is always looking for new people to get involved and to help out in any way.

I think St Mochta’s FC is a very special club. We have a great history but we also have a great future. We are all ambitious and we have some exciting projects for the future. Its very important we all feel part of the club. Everybody has a role to play to keep this club the best in Dublin 15

Our Academy run by Director of football Brendan Kennedy is by far the best in Dublin 15 and beyond. Brendan holds a UEFA Coaching badge. All our teams get excellent coaching by all our qualified coaches. Training is geared towards children’s football development. We have laid a very strong structure in place to ensure the children at St Mochta’s Academy will finish their education at a very high level. St Mochta’s Fc is the only place to start playing football.

The club has played a part in the growth and development of children since 1949. Friends made as a schoolboy in St Mochta’s Fc are friends for life. We warmly welcome new volunteers. Club PRO Noel Crawford says ” The club is a family and like all families everything runs smoothly when more people get involved, being involved gives great personal satisfaction and i can highly recommend it”
The club has a rich history, with talented people helping the club develop, we have a glorious future.

St. Mochta’s players who have gone on to participate in the sport as professionals. Among them are…..

  • Mark Kennedy: Ipswich Town, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Man City, Wimbledon, QPR, Liverpool, Millwall and Ireland
  • Glen Crowe: Sporting Fingal, Bohemians FC, Shelbourne, Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City, Cardiff City, Wolves and Ireland
  • Stephen Paisley: Bohemians FC, Shelbourne, Sporting Fingal, St.Pat’s, Longford Town, Manchester City
  • Steven Foley: Bournmouth, Aston Villa
  • Trevor Nulty: Soccer Scholarship to USA
  • John O’Reilly: Soccer Scholarship to USA then Longford Town and UCD
  • Alan Byrne: Monaghan Utd
  • Derek Rodgers: Galway Utd
  • Michael Foley: Longford, Town, Drogheda Utd, Waterford Utd, St Patricks Ath, Liverpool
  • Damien Brennan: Huddersfield
  • Alan Burke: Newcastle Utd
  • Joe Smith: Home Farm, St Patricks Athletic
  • Martin Murray: Home Farm, Everton, Drogheda United ,Dundalk.
  • Aidan Collins : Athlone, Shelbourne.

Our Finest Hour

In 2000 the club reached the quarter-final of the senior competition and faced the might of Bohemians on the famed sod of Dalymount Park. In the first round of the FAI Cup, St Mochta’s had travelled to Cork to take on Leeds AFC and went a goal down early on. However, St Mochta’s regained their composure and dominated the game thereafter with goals from Eamon Balfe and Kieran Fitzpatrick putting them ahead at half-time. In the second half Gareth Groves added the third to give St Mochta’s a conclusive and emphatic 3-1 win.

This set up a home tie which saw St Mochta’s beat Evergreen from Kilkenny 3-1 to send the club into new territory. As if to emphasise the adventure of it all, they now faced the long haul to Donegal to play Swilly Rovers with the winners earning the right to play in the last eight of the competition. This was a hard-fought tie up in Ramelton in North Donegal but St Mochta’s came away as winners 2-1. The trip to Donegal was one of the best weekends in the clubs history.

The result set up the biggest day in the club’s history on the pitch where so much of Irish soccer history has been made. A large number of supporters made the trip to Dalymount and the team acquitted itself very well against a fully professional outfit in Bohemians. Hitting the post in the first-half raised expectations briefly but at the break it remained scoreless, before Bohemians took the day with two second-half goals to bring an end to a glorious adventure. This was St Mochta’s finest hour since they had reached the FAI Junior Cup semi-final in 1978-79 before they bowed out to East Wall United by the only goal of the game at Tolka Park.