The club was founded in 1966 under the banner of Cumann Naomh Ciarán. During the 1980s the Club became a major underage force in Galway football under the guidance of Club greats such as Tony Regan and Liam Sammon. This resulted in over ten championships at both minor and U-21 levels being won. This underage success was then transferred onto the Senior stage in 1990 with the Club winning its first Senior football county title followed by a Connaught Club title. The Club lost the All-Ireland Final in 1991 to Lavey of Derry after a spirited effort.
Salthill-Knocknacarra has traditionally been recognised mainly as a major GAA Club in Galway with a great reputation for producing strong underage teams. There has been significant expansion in hurling in the club since 2000, yielding two county juvenile championship titles to date, in addition to a number of runner-up finishes in Divisions A and A1 and increased representation on county underage panels each year, while our adult hurling team currently competes at Junior A. With a long tradition of camogie in club stretching back to 1979, the club has celebrated a mix of adult and juvenile county titles in each decade since and also won a Connacht Junior title. Ladies football also has flourished in recent years and the club has won titles at underage and junior level, capturing a Junior county title in 2003, and players are now playing for Galway on the inter-county stage.
Ladies football has flourished in recent years and the club has won titles at underage and junior level, capturing a Junior county title in 2003, and players are now playing for Galway on the inter-county stage.