Ulster Colleges hurling history

Can you help?

This is the photograph taken after St MacNissi’s Garron Tower had won the Ulster Colleges’ Senior Hurling league in 1954. The names (thanks to Denis O’Hara) are below.

Prior to the presentation of the Dr Mageean Cup in 1963 a senior hurling competition was running under the auspices of Ulster Colleges from 1952.

I have carried out some research and found that St MacNissi’s Garron Tower and St Malachy’s Belfast each won a number of titles between 1952 and 1963. St Mary’s CBS Belfast shared the 1954-55 title with St MacNissi’s. It appears that St Michael’s Omeath may have won one title in 1959 or 1960, while there is a reference in one document that Hardinge Street CBS may have won it as well. The other school taking part was St Patrick’s HS Downpatrick (Red High). Both St Michael’s and Hardinge Street closed quite a while ago and records from the participation of either in hurling will be difficult to source.

If anyone has memories or photographs (not necessarily winning teams) from playing with ANY of the schools in senior hurling during the period 1952 through to 1970, please get in contact or send me an email to seamasmac@sky.com

I am also very interested to receive any information about the Shield presented to the winners – was there a name on it? Where did it go after the Mageean Cup replaced it in the 1963-64 seasons?

I am not sure from where this 1954 team photograph came, but I would appreciate if someone could provide me with a better quality photograph, or at least direct me to someone who can provide same.

1954 St MacNissi’s Garron Tower team picture.

Back: Fr Paddy McKavanagh (coach), Liam Vaughan (Ballymena), Jim McGrath (Fermanagh and later Belfast St Agnes club player), Francis McRory (Ballymena), Anthony Logan (Dunloy), Brendan MacAuley (Cushendall), Bernard O’Kane (Coleraine), Stanley Parfitt (Belfast St Agnes).

Front: Dan Gillan (Loughgiel Shamrocks), Denis O’Hara (Cushendun), Mickey Young (Newbridge), Willie Devlin capt (Glen Rovers Armoy), Carl O’Neill (Ballymena), James Brown (Glenravel/Dunloy), Tom Gillan (Loughgiel Shamrocks).

Three players missed the picture call – Patsy Black (Glenariffe), Jim Mitchell (Glenariffe) and Neil McKillop (Cushendall).

Séamas McAleenan


  1. RE 1954 St MacNissis ulster colleges senior hurling team the former Fermanagh footballer in the back row, Jim McGrath, is ex Gael Uladh player and not St. Agnes player.


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