In the late 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 an able hurler who had given outstanding service to the Naomh Fionbarra Club in Cabra, recognised the need for a G.A.A. Club to cater for the growing young population. In July 1981 he called a meeting to which he invited ten people and so a new unit of the association was born. One of the schools in Balally had already been appropriately named St. Olafs because of its location in Balally which in old reference books is called Baile Mhic Amhlaoibh ( the town of the son of Olaf ). This Olaf is identified as Sitric Mac Amhlaoibh, Norse King of Dublin, who founded Christ Church Cathedral in the 11th century. Claret and blue were chosen as the official club colours.
The first A.G.M. was held in Queen of Angels School Hall on the 26th of November 1981. Thirty two people attended and the following committee was elected. President: Rev. Brother Philbert, Chairman: Mick Brown, Vice Chairman: Bill O` Brien Secretary: Frank Gaynor, Treasurer: Flan McCarthy, Registrar: Matt Bermingham, P.R.O.: Finbar Brogan. Committee: Brendan McGlynn, John Brady, Frank Harty, Dolores Buggy and Kevin O`Malley. 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.
Club Growth and Progression
In 1981/82, its first season in competition, the Club entered four football teams and two hurling teams all of them between the ages of 10 and 14 years of age. Playing facilities were provided by Dublin County Council at Wedgewood and the use of additional playing fields was generously afforded to the Club by St. Benildus College. Prefabs at St.Olafs Primary School were used as dressing rooms. In 1999 the former members of Dundrum/Churchtown G.A.A. Club joined Naomh Olaf.
The formation of the Club was widely welcomed throughout the area. Teachers in both schools in Balally Parish coached and encouraged the children to play Gaelic Games. The Club presented jerseys to the school teams and an excellent relationship developed between the schools and the Club. Over the years many of the primary teachers have done trojan work for our games but in the early years none have done more than Gerry Murphy, Tom and Mick Brennan, Finbar O`Driscoll, Barry Kenna, and Séimí Ó Néill.
In the early years the vibrancy of all concerned with the Club was infectious, as they strived to achieve a common goal i.e. to provide Gaelic games, culture and facilities in the area, for children and adults alike. The rapid progression of the Club’s first adult football team from under 21 in 1989 to Senior Division 1, in 1998, winning junior and intermediate Championships on the way, undoubtedly brought the Club widespread favourable attention, and certainly raised its profile.
The first adult hurling team, founded in 1990, won junior “C” and “B” Championships before being promoted to Senior level in 2002 thus securing the successful future of hurling in the Club.
The Ladies Senior football team, founded in 1991, reached the County senior Championship Finals in 1995, 1996, and 1998 and this marked a glorious period for Ladies football in the Club. 2012 saw the adult Ladies footballers win their Championship.
Camogie is now firmly established in the Club and in 2015 the Club fielded its first adult Camogie team.
In 2015 the Club fielded adult and juvenile teams of all ages in Hurling, Football, Ladies Football and Camogie, with a vibrant academy for younger children in all four disciplines.
The phenomenal success of the Club over the years is clearly reflected in the present standing of the Club within the local community, as well as within the larger Dublin G.A.A. community. Today the Club boasts a total of 732 adult members and 751 Juvenile members. The club has a number of players playing for Dublin in all codes and a large number of players on Dublin Development Squads. 2012 was a magnificent year for the club in seeing David Byrne captain Dublin to all-Ireland Minor Football success with Shane Mulvaney also on the team. Declan O'Dwyer was a member of the Dublin Senior hurling team for a number of years at this and won a Leinster Minor title together with League and Walsh Cup medals. 2015 saw two Naomh Olaf players captain Dublin teams - David Byrne captained the Dublin Under 21 football team and Clara O'Sullivan the Dublin Under 16 ladies football team. 2016 saw Naomh Olaf enjoy its proudest representative success when David Byrne was a member of the Dublin Senior Football team which won the all-Ireland title. Róisín McLoughlin also represented Dublin on the camogie field. 2017 has seen Clara O'Sullivan earn the unusual feat of being selected on both the Dublin Minor Camogie and Ladies Football teams.
The opening of the new Clubhouse by Mr Jack Boothman, President of the GAA, was a major milestone in the Club's development. While the Clubhouse did unofficially open in 1993, it was in April 1994 that the President of the G.A.A officially opened the Premises. Situated adjacent to the playing fields at Wedgewood, it is spacious and well designed, having four dressing rooms equipped with showers, as well as a large sports hall, and an attractive Lounge Bar. In 2002 the club added to its building complex by adding an extension to the bar area. The club now has a function room which is capable of holding over 130 people. The extension also incorporates a fully fitted restaurant kitchen which is capable of catering for large functions. In 2012 a state of the art hurling wall was erected at the back of the clubhouse. The Club and the Clubhouse are central to Club life and are a focal point for the wider community from Churchtown to Stillorgan and Milltown to Kilternan and beyond.
Páirc Uí Bhriain
Late in 2003 the club held a very special ceremony to rename the playing fields at Wedgewood "Páirc Uí Bhriain". They were named after Barry O'Brien who died tragically one year previously. Barry captained the Dublin U21 hurlers the summer before he died, was called in to the Dublin Senior Hurling squad and was also a very important player on the club's adult hurling team at midfield. Barry did a lot for the club in his short life particularly in a coaching capacity with the under 14 hurling Team which captured the Dublin Division 1 Féile title in 2001. The club felt that naming the playing fields after him was the least that that could have been done to honour a remarkable young man.
The Club was specially honoured in 2011 when the then President of the G.A.A., Christy Cooney, officially launched “Treasured Memories” a detailed thirty year history of the Club, compiled by Brendan McGlynn. It is a hardback in full colour, containing almost 400 pages and more than 280 photographs. A limited number of copies are available in the Clubhouse. Treasured Memories is a 'one stop shop' for the history of Naomh Olaf GAA.