A short piece on the Club History of Firhouse Notre Dame
Firhouse Notre Dame Girls Basketball Club was founded in 1989. The club was founded by a lady called Denise Brett.
A local group of girls approached Denise in the summer of 1989 at the outdoor courts in Ballyroan National School.
The first ever team was made up of a group of local friends whose brothers played for the local boys’ team known as Notre Dame.
Some of the first players included Molly Nolan, Bronagh Gallagher, Sorcha Daly, Jenny Byrne, Margaret Murphy, Niamh O'Dwyer, Ann Behan, Michelle Kelly & Rita Byrne.
This team was entered in the Dublin league and was an U17 (B) team. Some of the players were only 11 and 12 years of age at the time.
The team was based and played all its home games in Firhouse Community Centre which eventually led to them to incorporating Firhouse into the team name,
becoming known as Firhouse Notre Dame.
After the first year it soon became clear that there was a huge interest in the area for girl’s basketball,
and it wasn’t long before many other teams were formed.
These teams were once again made up of friends and sisters of the boys club but also with the addition of some local girls from the Firhouse area.
The second team was entered into the U13 Dublin league & the third into the U15 league.
Denise Brett coached all three teams but it was time for new coaches to join to help expand and improve the club.
In 1990 Pat Gately became involved with the club, Pat was teaching in the local primary school Scoil Treasa and this proved very successful
for the club and a tight link was formed between the two which still exists today.
Sean Fallon was assistant coach to Pat in 1991 and in 1992 Sean coached the U13 team within the club.
Sean also acted as Club Chairperson for many years.
Once the first team was established there was no stopping the expansion and success of the club.
The second year in existence Firhouse Notre Dame won “club of the year.”
The club also won the McDonalds Basketball Tournament which was a very prominent tournament for both clubs and primary schools at the time.
In the 1991/92 season Firhouse Notre Dame U16 team won the All-Ireland Final in Mosney.
The team was coached by Pat Gately and the players included Emer Doyle (Captain), Claire Groarke,
Sinead Groarke, Linda O'Connell, Niamh Keohan, Edel McGreal, Jenny Ball, Suzanne Kenny, Leanne O Farrell & Tara Ryan.
Jerome Howe was brought in as senior coach and he helped to develop the senior cycle of the club & in 1993
the senior team represented the club at National League level where they remained for a number of seasons.
The club has also had a number of players represented at International level including Eimir Mc Mahon, Sinead Groarke,
Rosemary Tuckey & Bronagh Gallagher as well as a number of players and coaches representing Dublin.
Sean Fallon was awarded the President's Award in the '98/'99 season by the President of the D.L.B.B., Bernie Priestly.
Sean accepted this award as a compliment to our club which was trying to develop all our players to reach their potential.
Today the club has seven competitive teams all of which compete in the Dublin leagues,
five underage teams including U12, U13, U15, U16 & U18 and three senior teams playing in the Senior 1 and Senior 3 Dublin Leagues.
In June 2007 the club also set up a Junior Academy for players aged 6 – 10 years of age.
This Junior Academy is to provide the foundations for the future of the club.
It is open to all girls from 6 years of age and takes place in Firhouse Community Centre every Friday from 6.30pm to 7.30pm and every Saturday from 11.30am – 12.30pm.