One of the founding members of the League, the County Mayo club reached the FAI Women’s Cup Final in 2013 – narrowly losing to Raheny United after extra-time – and were also runners-up in the WNL Cup on two occasions.
The FAI state that the fantastic work done by the late Jeremy Dee through to the emergence of international players like Emma Hansberry, Sarah Rowe and Jessica Nolan, Castlebar have made a significant impact on the League during their involvement.
However, the club is unable to field the required number of players to fulfil their remaining fixtures this season. Therefore each of their results in the 2015/16 season have now been expunged.
“We are very disappointed with the club’s decision, especially considering that we recently met with the club regarding their future in the League,” said Fran Gavin, FAI Director of Competitions.
“Castlebar’s decision is very disappointing for a number of reasons, particularly when the FAI gave them as much support as possible and the current season is showcasing just how strong the domestic game has become for women’s football with four teams currently in the mix to win the title.
“Huge strides have been made in the development of the League – on and off the pitch – and the results can be seen in more international players than ever before representing the Republic of Ireland at various age levels and the improved standard of play.
“We will continue to push forward with plans to further enhance the League – along with our terrific sponsors Continental Tyres – and hope that each of our clubs continue to show the same level of commitment.
“We have received a strong application from another team in the north west with regard to joining the League next season. That application will be considered by the League Committee in due course.”
Reflecting on the club’s withdrawal, Castlebar secretary Michael O’Dwyer remarked that it “wasn’t an easy decision to make” but he was proud of their successes during a five-year stretch.
“Initially we have some very good seasons in the League when we first joined, which was under Jeremy Dee and he was the real driving force behind our women’s team,” said O’Dwyer.
“Unfortunately, Jeremy passed away in tragic circumstances. But we have had some great days, particularly the Cup Final at the Aviva Stadium against Raheny United – that was a real highlight for us.
“Some of those games will be forever in our memory and will be part of the history of the club. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t keep it going and had to make the difficult decision.”
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