The Club

Club History

Club History

In the late nineteen-sixties and early seventies the area between Dundrum and Sandyford was developed, and in 1977 a new parish was formed and named after the largest new housing estate, Balally.

One of the residents in Balally, Mick Brown, of Naomh Fionnbarra GAA club, Cabra, recognised the need for a new club to cater for the growing young population.

In July 1981 the new Naomh Ólaf club was offically formed. One of the schools in Balally had already been named St. Olafs after the Patron Saint of Norway, Olaf II Haraldsson, who was a Viking King of Norway from 1015 to 1028, converting Norway to Christianity. Balally in old reference books is called Baile Mhic Amhlaoibh ( the town of the son of Olaf ).

Claret and blue were chosen as the official club colours.

Origins of Naomh Ólaf
A Viking Club in a Viking City

Baile Mhic Amhlaoibh (Olafs Town) was the Irish name given to the local area now known as Balally.  The Olaf in question is Sigtrygg 'Silkbeard' Olafsson who was a Hiberno-Norse King, one of the first Viking Kings of Dublin.

After a trip to Rome he instigated the building of  Christ Church Cathedral, the oldest building in Dublin, around the year 1028.  It was originally made of wood. Sigtrygg was married to Brian Boru's daughter, Sláine.  He ruled a thriving Dublin for 42 years, and introduced the first use of coins. In Norwegian, Olav and Olaf are traditionally used when referring to Norwegian royalty of that name.

Warrior Queen Máel Muire was the daugher of Sitrygg and her surname was Ólafr/Amlaib leading armies into battle.

The viking ship on the Dublin GAA crest represents the DLR/Sandyford area (and of course our own viking Ballaly/Ólafs area) - and reflects the viking ship on the Naomh Ólaf crest - hence a Viking club in a Viking city.

King Olaf

Our Club Crest

Naomh Olaf Club Crest

The Naomh Ólaf GAA Club crest now has elements of both the Naomh Ólaf club on a blue background and the Dundrum /Churchtown club mounted on a claret field.

Sandyford (Áth an Ghainimh)
Crossing Stretch of Soft Sand

This element of the crest represents the raven in the Naomh Ólaf coat of arms and represents the Sandyford catchment.  It is derived from the Raven’s Rock on the Wicklow Way, a large rock which overlooks Dublin and Wicklow. In Norse mythology, a valkyrie (from Old Norse valkyrja "chooser of the slain") are female figures who choose who lives or dies in battle.  The valkyries, sometimes depicted as ravens, escorted  their chosen to the afterlife hall, Valhalla, ruled by the god Odin.

Naomh Olaf Crest - Sandyford
Naomh Olaf Crest - Dundrum
Dundrum (Dún Droma)
The Ridge Fort

The Usher monument represents the Dundrum area and celebrates Dr. Isaac Usher, a resident of the town, who was renowned for his work in support of the locality.  Dr. Usher was one of the first motoring fatalities in Ireland in 1917 and the stone obelisk was erected in his memory.

Balally (Baile Amhlaoibh)
Olaf's Town

The Viking ship was part of the family crest of Olaf (Amhlaoibh) and therefore acknowledges the Balally region of the club’s catchment area.  Dublin GAA  also has a Viking Ship on its crest.   Naomh Ólaf GAA Club is a Viking club in a Viking City. 

Naomh Olaf Crest - Balally
Naomh Olaf Crest - Churchtown
Churchtown (Baile an Teampaill)

The Bottle Tower is an iconic structure in Churchtown representing that region of the club’s catchment area.  It was constructed as famine relief work during the winter of 1741 - 42 and paid for by Major Hall, a notable resident of Churchtown.

Treasured Memories
A 30 Year History of Naomh Ólaf GAA Club: 1981 - 2011

Brendan McGlynn

Treasured Memories is the story of the founding, success and development of Naomh Ólaf Club. This book records every detail of the Club’s history, with hundreds of photographs, spanning a period of 30 years from 1981 to 2011.

Author and compiler Brendan McGlynn, has generously shared access to this informative and comprehensive history of Naomh Ólaf GAA club for all members, players, GAA and local historians, and all to read and enjoy.

Brendan helped co-found the club in 1981. He also served on the club commitee as chairman, PRO, and treasurer over a span of 21 years.

© The Authors and Naomh Olaf G.A.A. Club. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers.

First Published in 2011 by Naomh Olaf G.A.A. Club.

Viking Club.
Naomh Ólaf GAA- The Viking Club in a Viking City. Collaboration with Appletons, Stillorgan.

Club Beginnings

Naomh Olaf First AGM

First AGM Elected Committee, 1981.

Front row l to r: Matt Bermingham (Registrar), Dolores Buggy, Mick Brown (Chairman), Frank Gaynor (Secretary), Finbar Brogan (PRO).
Back row l to r:< Kevin O'Malley, Flan McCarthy (Treasurer), Brendan McGlynn, Bill O'Brien (Vice-Chairman), John Brady. (Absent: Frank Harty, Maurice Holland).


Naomh Ólaf GAA Club came into being in 1981. Mick Brown of Naomh Fionnbarra, Cabra is credited with being the founding father of the club.  He was ably assisted by a group of Balally residents who had the foresight to see the need and potential of Gaelic games in the area.

The first AGM of Naomh Ólaf GAA Club took place on Thursday, 26 November 1981, in Queen of Angels’ school.  The use of  playing fields was kindly granted to Naomh Ólaf GAA Club by St. Benildus College.  Dundrum/Churchtown GAA Club amalgated with Naomh Ólaf GAA Club in 1999.

Others deeply involved in the Club during the formative years were Ven Naughton, Jack Horgan, Pat McGuire, Mick Waters, Liam Kavanagh and Sean Mac Giolla Fhearga.


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