February 15th, 2024


Armagh will have the continuing support of faithful backers Carrickdale Hotel when they make their long-awaited return to the National League’s top flight for the first time since 2017 with a home match against Waterford this weekend.

The orangewomen will be wearing their fourth redesigned jersey so far this decade when they take the field for their first fixture under new manager Greg McGonigle and new captain Clodagh McCambridge in Crossmaglen on Sunday (1pm).

It’s the start of a new chapter in Orchard history but the familiar Carrickdale crest displayed on the orange jerseys will provide a tangible link with the glory years of the mid-noughties, such an important period in shaping Armagh’s rich heritage in ladies gaelic.

What must surely be one of the longest sponsorship partnerships in Irish sport has reached the remarkable milestone of two decades, for the Carrickdale first became the Orchard county team’s main sponsor way back in 2004.

This is the 20th out of the 21 seasons since then that the Carrickdale name and logo will take pride of place on the front of the orange jersey, with the border hotel having been a sleeve sponsor in 2017, when Armagh were relegated from NFL Division One.

Armagh finally secured a return to the National League’s elite level by beating Laois last April, their first victory at Croke Park in over a decade, and can now look forward to tackling all of the country’s top teams between now and the end of March.

The Orchard outfit face a long trip to Cork on Sunday week, will be away to their former manager Shane McCormack’s Meath next month and are in Mayo on St Patrick’s Day but they have home advantage for four of the seven regular league games.

After hosting Waterford first up, Armagh can look forward to a visit from Galway in early February, National League title holders Kerry at the start of March and then All Ireland champions Dublin in the final fixture with at last some matches set for the Athletic Grounds.

The iconic Caroline O’Hanlon, about to embark upon her 23rd Orchard campaign, is the only player in the present panel to have worn an Armagh jersey without the Carrickdale logo while her clubmate, rising star Caitriona O’Hagan, wasn’t born until after the sponsorship started!

Both Armagh LGFA Chairperson Sinead Reel and incoming Orchard captain McCambridge have paid tribute to the support of the McParland family, who own the Carrickdale Hotel, and the team will hope to bring some silverware back there in the coming months.