Monaghan United were founded in 1979, originally playing their games in Belgium Park, before moving to Gortakeegan in 1985. Under the guidance of Sean McCaffrey, the club entered the League of Ireland B Division in 1983/84 season.
They became one of a few clubs which helped form the First Division in the 85/86 season. In the 92/93 season they became the first ever LOI club to gain promotion through the play offs beating Waterford Utd 5 – 2 on aggregate. They have played in the Premier Division on three separate occasions including making the League Cup Final in 2010 losing narrowly 1 – 0 to Sligo Rovers.
United withdrew from the LOI in 2012 in order to safeguard their Gortakeegan facilities as they are one of very few LOI clubs that owned their own ground. The decision came during the midst of the mid-season break shortly after knocking FAI Cup holders Sligo Rovers. Gortakeegan now serves as a designated FAI Regional Centre catering for the Emerging Talent squads and school matches.
There have been many notable players who have developed at the club. Some of whom include Aaron Mc Carey, Mark Connolly, Johnny Douglas, James Hand, Noel Melvin (RIP) and Paul Shiels to name just a few.
The club’s efforts have come to fruition as they are now one of the strongest clubs in the North East area with boys’ and girls’ teams at every age group. The programme has also given all local coaches the opportunity to progress in their coach education.
At underage level the club boast many competitive sides who play in the Cavan Monaghan Under League – CMUL.
The club has been very successful winning numerous league titles and cups each year. The club established a link with English club Mowbray Rangers from Leicester and for the past three years, teams have travelled over to their International tournament held every May.
Recently the club decided to create a senior team to play at junior level rather than play in the League of Ireland. The first team now compete and play in the local Monaghan/Cavan League with a large majority of players having come through their schoolboy ranks.
Together with the increasing popularity of girls’ football which has occurred throughout both Cavan and Monaghan the club has put a major emphasis on the development of this side of their club. The United ladies’ team were successful during the 2010’s and they hope to reach those heights once again.
Off the Pitch
Monaghan United have proven themselves to be more than just a football club. Great strides have been made off the pitch as shortly after the withdrawal from senior football, the club introduced their Football4All programme which made football accessible to every child in the area. It is a non-competitive fun family orientated programme with over 200 boys and girls participating every year.
United play an integral part in the community with their association of the U3A, a group which caters for over 600 adult members using the Gortakeegan facilities every week.
The club have also linked up with SNAP – Special Needs Active Parents, a local group who cater for families dealing with autism.
Monaghan Utd are also involved with many other projects within the local community such as Garda Diversion Project, Teach Na nDaoine, Errigal Truagh Special Needs, Community Games and the Monaghan Probation Service to name just a few who pass through the Gortakeegan gates every week.
Recently, the Monaghan Phoenix Marathon Festival was held at the Gortakeegan facilities.
The current chairman Ronan Callan together with his management committee continue to develop the club both on and off the pitch. Each year there has been an increase in the number of children and adults using the facilities.
Upgrading of Gortakeegan is very high on the agenda within the club with plans to install new floodlights on the main pitch, upgrading of the astro pitch and the opening of the new Monaghan United Club Shop taking place before Christmas.
2019 marked the 40th Anniversary of the club, a lot has happened over those past few years and a bright future is envisaged thanks to those who continue to volunteer at the club.