St. Michael’s GAA Club was formed in 1956 after a meeting which was held in Tom Connolly’s house in Lower Shantalla Road. Among those involved in the beginning were Pa Boyle, John Duignan, Mick O’Toole, Sergeant McNulty and Mick Higgins. The Claddagh, Shantalla and The West provided the players for the new club, with a huge reservoir of talent coming on stream in the Shantalla area where the Corporation had started building housing estates in 1943.
The new club put teams on the pitch for the first time in 1957, entering hurling and football competitions. They had a certain degree of success straight away when the footballers beat Clifden in the West Board final only to lose the match on an objection. The following year, they got to the West Board minor hurling final where they were beaten by Castlegar, but their first major success was in football when they won the county minor championship by beating Ballygar in the final. This was the start of three in a row minor successes which saw them beating Ballinasloe in the 1959 final, and defeating Milltown the following year after a replay. In that year 1960, no less than three players.Harry Anderson, Andy Donnelly and Sean Callaghan won All-Ireland medals with the victorious Galway minor team.
The photograph shows some members of the 1959 minor team celebrating having won the trophy. They are, from left to right, John Joe Walsh, Nicky Lawless, Sean Callaghan, Tom Corbett, Tommy Haddock, John Kilkelly, Paddy Ryan, Michael McNena (with the cup), Gerry Glynn, Frank Lydon, Martin Vaughan, Mick O’Toole, Peter Folan and Stan Shields.
Since their inception, St. Michael’s have introduced thousands of young Galwegians to Gaelic Games, with a very good under age structure . The club was the brainchild of Pa Boyle whose main aim was to encourage the local youth to enjoy competitive games. Through these games, strong bonds have been formed, and this has helped maintain strong commitment from a large group of players and volunteers. The Club is in rude health today and is now exclusively a football club.