Sinn Fein About

Sinn Fein GAA Club Melbourne is the Home of Gaelic Football, Hurling, Camogie and Ladies Football in Melbourne. We welcome all players and all skill levels. If you are interested please contact us or come on down to training in Albert Park.

Sinn Fein Club History

Sinn Fein G.A.C was founded in 1953 during a meeting at St. Georges Hall, Carlton. The meeting was convened through IAAA to address the formation of Gaelic clubs in the Melbourne area. A large crowd attended the meeting, which resulted in the formation of two clubs, namely Sinn Fein and Erin's Own. These two teams were the founding members of the organised GAA in Victoria. The Erin's Own club sadly no longer exists and through the years more teams have come and gone (Young Irelands, Four Provinces, Geelong, Sunshine, Western Gales, Pride of Erin).  

At the founding meeting at St. Georges Hall, the following office bearers were elected:

President: Harry McConville

Vice-President: B Hannifen

Secretary: M Behan

Treasurer: D Simmonds

Publicity Officer: J Lanigan


Over the next 6 months the executive developed the club's constitution and at the IAAA convention on the 24th November 1953, the club was accepted and the following office bearers for Sinn Fein were elected:

President: Harry McConville

Vice-President: B Hannifen

Secretary: L Kerr

Assistant Secretary: M Behan

Treasurer: J Lanigan

Publicity Officer: M Lyons


The name "Sinn Fein" in Irish history 

The name Sinn Fein has had a long association with Irish history. PJ Bartley from County Down initially coined the name Sinn Fein. It's literal translation in the Irish language means "Ourselves Alone". PJ Bartley was a close friend of the leaders of the 1916 rebellion (who were executed for their part in the fight for the Irish Republic) and of Arthur Griffith who was later accepted as the originator of the name.


On 17th March 1902, PJ Bartley met with prominent people in Oldcastle, County Meath to entertain Padraig Pearce (Irish revolutionary, later executed as a leader of the 1916 rebellion). They proposed the name Sinn Fein for a new newspaper that they were planning to publish. The name was unanimously approved and the full title was "Sinn Fein - The Oldcastle Monthly Review". Bartley was the editor of the newspaper and on the 14th June 1902, Arthur Griffith wrote "the first number of 'Sinn Fein', a monthly review have reached us". This was probably the first time the words Sinn Fein appeared in public.


In 1906 "The United Irishman" ceased publication and subsequently appeared under the title Sinn Fein edited by PJ Bartley, which then became a daily newspaper. In the years following this, the name Sinn Fein became the name of the national movement led by Arthur Griffith. A copy of the original "Sinn Fein - The Oldcastle Monthly Review" is exhibited in the National Museum, Dublin.


The naming of the Sinn Fein Gaelic Athletic Club

Harry McConville initially suggested the name of the club Sinn Fein at that famous meeting in St Georges Hall, Carlton in 1953. This was seconded by Martin McNamara (RIP) and so the Sinn Fein club was formed and named. We believe we are the only GAA club in the world with the name SiSinnn Fein, which is quite unique as often the name of Gaelic clubs are repeated wherever Gaelic Games are played.

PJ Bartley's son, Enda, lived in Victoria, who supported Eildon Athletic Club, was a great admirer of the Sinn Fein club in Melbourne.