The strength and buoyancy of a community depends on the foresight and determination of its inhabitants. This is shown especially in their ability to avail of opportunities to add to the social life of the locality. Balbriggan, in 1918, showed this sense of responsibility, through the determination of a few local men, who strove to keep the Gaelic Games and pastimes alive following the demise of the Balbriggan Commercials Football Team.
Other Gaelic Football teams that had come and gone before O'Dwyer's came on the scene were Balbriggan Wanderers, who won the Gold Medal Tournament in 1902 and also Balbriggan Rovers competed the Dublin Junior Championship in 1913. O'Dwyer's, local rival for many years was the Pioneer Football Team. They were winners of the Dublin Junior Championship in 1932 and runners up in the Intermediate Championship in 1934.
On Tuesday night, 26th March, 1918, at a County Board meeting, held in 68 Parnell Square, O'Dwyer's G.F.C. was affiliated to the G.A.A. The club was granted the permission to enter a team in the Junior and Minor championships. Chairman of the County Board at the time was a well-known man called Harry Boland and the Hon. Sec. and treasurer was Larry O'Toole.
Contrary to the belief held by many, the Club was not called after the great Wicklow patriot Michael O'Dwyer, but takes its name from the great Limerick Prelate, the Most Rev. Dr. Edward Thomas O'Dwyer, Bishop of Limerick. Bishop O'Dwyer was born in Tipperary, on the banks of the Suir, in 1844. A Panegyric delivered by Most Rev. Michael Fogarty Bishop of Killaloe, on the occasion of the month's mind celebration of the death of Bishop O'Dwyer in St. john's Cathedral in Limerick on 18th September 1917 gives some insight into the type of person he was and why in 1918, the founders of O'Dwyer's G.A.A. club chose his name for their club.
Bishop Fogarty said "the greatness of Bishop O'Dwyer is now the possession of history. His memory is enshrined in the heart of Ireland and until the sacred vase is broken it will never be forgotten. This great Bishop in his day was a burning and shining light, first to the people of Limerick and then to Ireland. The tongue that set all hearts on fire is heard on longer. Hot tempered, fearless, gallant, quick at letters and manly exercises, these are the elements out of which greatness comes, and these are the qualities which distinguished young Edward O'Dwyer as a boy on the banks of the Suir, and these are the qualities that gave us the priest, the ardent apostle, the vehement churchmen, and the dauntless champion of his country's freedom."
To read more on this club, training sessions and upcoming games, please check out their website www.odwyersgaa.com