Though steps had been taken to reform a GAA club in the summer of 1981, it wasn’t until January 1982 that the first official recognition of what has become St Josephs GAA came about. There were some meetings and unofficial underage games held during the late Summer and Autumn of 1981, the first meeting that we have a record of is from 19th January 1982.
Times were difficult at the beginning of the 1980’s with little funding available to organize any activity let alone a fledgling GAA club. St Josephs though forming in that year had come from a previous base of many clubs which covered our area for the best part of 70 years prior to our founding.
A number of clubs were in our area which included Bishopstown,Streamstown Erins Hope,Streamstown St Theresas Camogie Club,Ardnurcher Hurling Club,Streamstown Slashers Hurling Club,Boher Football club and finally Streamstown GAA which disbanded following the 1978 season. All those clubs played an important part in the History of the GAA in this part of South Westmeath with each of them making their mark in different ways with Championships, leagues and cup competitions being won over a long number of years.
Players from the area represented the County in both Football and Hurling with distinction and the village of Streamstown was a central place in Westmeath GAA during the 1920’s and 1930’s with a number of Senior County finals being held there, the last being in 1932. It is also interesting to note that Westmeath played Dublin in Streamstown in 1924 with the Artane band being on show and in the mid 1930’s Westmeath also played Meath in Streamstown. Also from that period County Chaimen of the County Board came from the Streamstown football and Ardnurcher hurling clubs respectively in successive years in 1934 and 1935.
So when St Josephs came into being in 1982, it wasn’t a new phenomenon for a GAA club to be in the area, it was just a reformation of what had been there before.