Only four years after the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association there was a team formed in Killeavy under the name of “The Parnells”. It is recorded that in the year 1888 the Killeavy “Parnells” played the Camlough “O’Briens” in a field near Camlough. They also played against Cornamuckla at Omeath, but the most talked of game at this time was when they played Dundalk “Young Irelands”, who were then the first All-Ireland Champions, in Ferrigans Field on the Newtown Cloughogue road.
Some of the players that took the field that day were Peter Mallon, Meigh; James Murphy, Lr Killeen; Thomas Murphy, Lr. Killeen; James Kenny, Lr. Killeen; Dan Kenny, Lr. Killeen; Ed. Kenny, Lr. Killeen; Peter McDonnell, Lr. Killeen; Jim Rice. Edentubber; Peter Rice, Faughil; Thomas Rice, Faughil; John Foley. Faughil; Owen Rice. Ayallogue (Captain); James Keeffe, Fathom; John Keeffe, Fathom; Willie Hollywood. Fathom;Peter Matthews, Fathom; Stephen Fearon, Fathom; Eddie O’Neill, Fathom; John Hollywood, Fathom; Ed Cassidy, Fathom and Michael Hollywood, Cloughogue.
After the lapse of the “Parnells” there were occasional townland teams which kept the game alive, but no serious effort was made to organise football on a proper basis till 1912. On December 21st, 1912, a largely attended meeting of the young men of the Parish was held, at which the first “St. Moninna” Gaelic Football Club was formed. The officers of the newly formed club were: John Marron, Chairman: Matt Cunningham, Treasurer; Thomas O’Neill, Secretary; P. J. Hollywood. Captain.
The first game at Killeavy’s ground at Heath Hall (now the site of the Memorial Park) took place on June 15, 1913, in the McKillop Cup competition, the opposing team being Crossmaglen “Rangers”. Killeavy won this game by scoring 8 goals to Rangers 3 goals 1 point.
In the County Championship games for 1914 Killeavy played Culloville in the semi-final, winning by 2 goals 5 points to Culloville’s 1 goal 2 points and on September 13, 1914, “St. Moninnas” met Crossmaglen in the final and became County Champions for the first time, the score being Killeavy 3 goals 2 points, Crossmaglen 1 goal 1 point. The players for Killeavy in this game were: Dan Barry, P.J. Hollywood (Capt.), Matt Cunningham, Patrick Hollywood, Mick Murphy, P. McShane, John Cunningham, Mick Morgan, Tom O’Neill, John O’Reilly, Jack Ward, John Murphy, and John Fearon.
On November 7th, 1915 the McKillop Cup was brought to Killeavy for the second time, when after wins against Forkhill, Crossmaglen and Culloville, St Moninna’s defeated Bessbrook “Geraldines” by the score of 4 points to 2 points.