Jarlath "Ja" Fallon (born 1973) is a Gaelic footballer for County Galway and Tuam Stars. He is widely regarded as one of the finest players to come from Tuam since the legendary Seán Purcell and Frank Stockwell. He has been an integral part of Galway County Football for the past 15 years.
Fallon was born in Tuam and played Gaelic Football in secondary school with St. Jarlath's College Tuam.
He began his inter-county career with Galway in 1991, having already established himself with his local team Tuam Stars.
He became captain of the County side after Tuam Stars triumph in the Galway Senior Club Football Championship of 1994.
He led Galway to the 1995 Connacht Senior Football Championship but lost out to the Peter Canavan inspired Tyrone on a score-line of 1-13 to 0-13 in the Semi-finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. Galway failed to build on their success of that year in '96 and '97 but things turned around when John O'Mahony was appointed manager in August of '97.
Galway won the 1998 All-Ireland Football Title with Fallon playing a pivotal role in bringing back the Sam Maguire Cup to Galway for the first time since 1966 with brilliant individual performances in the Connacht Final replay against Roscommon, the Semi-Final against Derry and his 2nd half-performance in the final against Kildare where Galway came from behind at half-time to win by 1-14 to 1-10. He deservedly won Footballer Of The Year that year. Galway failed to defend their title the next year after losing to fierce rivals Mayo in the Connacht Final at Tuam stadium.
2000 was a year to forget for Ja as he suffered a cruciate ligament injury in a club game versus UCG (NUIG) in Caherlistrane. His loss was a massive blow to the Galway team as he could have a had big effect against Kerry in the All-Ireland Final that year in which Kerry were triumphant.
Fallon returned to the Galway set-up in 2001 and as usual, made an impact as Galway, despite losing to Roscommon in the Connacht SFC 2nd Round, reached the All-Ireland Final for the 3rd time in 4 years where they outclassed Meath on a score-line of 0-17 to 0-08. Galway reached the quarter-final stage of the 2002 Championship but lost to Kerry. In 2003, they reached the same stage again but lost to Donegal after a replay.
After the game, Fallon announced his retirement from Inter-County Football. In 2004, newly appointed county manager Peter Ford, chose Fallon as one of his 3 selectors on the Galway backroom staff.
In 2006, Fallon's fine form for Tuam Stars prompted him to come out of Inter-County retirement and play for Galway again. However, his fairytale return was short lived as he lasted less than 20 minutes in Galways 5th round defeat to Westmeath, suffering a broken-collarbone.
After a disappointing Championship season for Galway in 2007, Ja decided to retire from Inter-county football for the final time, to allow younger players to make a name for themselves. He continues to play club football with Tuam Stars.
In March 2013 he was profiled on the TG4 television programme Laochra Gael.