Tuesday, May 23, 2023

In attendance at a reunion of the 1973 Republic of Ireland women’s national team at The Westin Hotel in Dublin are, from left, Anne Griffith, Annie Jordan, Mary Reid O’Callaghan, Ursula Grace and Kathleen Ramsbottom. Photos: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile.

The Irish trailblazers who paved the way for the likes of Ciara Grant and so many more, including the Irish squad that will make history this summer in Australia by competing at a World Cup Finals for the very first time were hnoured recently and amongst them was a very proud Waterford woman.
The first women to pull on the Ireland jersey to represent the Women’s National Team in official games, in 1973, were reunited at a special event at the Westin Hotel Dublin before going on to star on that night’s Late Late Show on RTE.
It’s all part of the Football Association of Ireland’s 50-Year Anniversary Celebrations of Women and Girls’ Football.
Representing eight different counties, the women who helped Ireland defeat Wales 3-2 on May 13th, 1973 and who beat Northern Ireland 4-1 on June 30th, 1973 in Bluebell, Dublin were reunited for the first time in five decades.
Waterford’s representative was the one and only Mary O’Callaghan.
At a lunch event, each of the players received a special gift to mark the occasion, which was attended by Minister of State at Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Thomas Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy, FAI President Gerry McAnaney and FAI CEO Jonathan Hill.
Along with the players, there were also a number of key personnel who helped to create the early foundations of women and girls’ football at both domestic and international level in Ireland present at the event.
The players will be special guests of the current Ireland WNT at their International Friendly against France on July 6th in Tallaght Stadium – their final home game before FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Waterford’s Mary Reid O’Callaghan poses for a portrait during a reunion of the 1973 Republic of Ireland women’s national team at The Westin Hotel in Dublin.


Wales 2-3 Ireland, 13 May, 1973
Goalscorer: Paula Gorham x3
Goalkeeper: Anne Griffith
Defenders: Nora McHugh, Geraldine Molloy, Sally Bownes, Mary O’Callaghan
Midfielders: Mary Gavin, Carol Carr, Linda Gorman, Margaret O’Connell, Catherine Rafferty
Forwards: Paula Gorham
Substitutes: Teresa Holland, Eleanor Carroll, Geraldine Grace
Selected but couldn’t travel: Kathleen Ramsbottom, Ursula Grace

Ireland 4-1 Northern Ireland, 30 June, 1973
Goalscorers: Maureen Stokes, Breda Hanlon, Joan Williams x2
Goalkeeper: Anne Griffith
Defenders: Nora McHugh, Anne O’Brien, Margaret O’Connell, Maureen Stokes
Midfielders: Violet Elliott, Linda Gorman, Eileen Brennan, Breda Hanlon
Forwards: Joan Williams, Paula Gorham
Substitutes: Mary Gavin, Carol Doran, Marian Donnelly, Margaret O’Driscoll, Marion Slattery.
Well done to Mary and all these wonderful women who are getting much overdue recognition.

Members of the 1973 Republic of Ireland women’s national team during a reunion at The Westin Hotel in Dublin. 

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