James McVeigh RIP

We at the Saffron Gael are saddened to hear of the untimely death of Tir na nÓg GAC stalwart James McVeigh Here we share the club’s tribute from their Facebook page

Tir na óg GAC

As a club we are lost for words…It is with a heavy heart that we announce the loss of our dear friend, committee member, former senior camogie, Gaelic for mother’s and others and u21 coach, former juvenile coordinator and current senior dual hurling and football coach, James. For the first time in our club history James helped to deliver a much sought after Intermediate Hurling Championship only months ago.We extend our sympathy to James’ family circle. We offer our condolences and will do all we can to support you in these challenging times.

Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam uasal Gaelach. Séamus Mac an Bheatha – fear uasal, Gael go smior, a thug a bheatha ar son a theaghlaigh, an chultúir Ghaelaigh agus ar son Thír na nÓg. Gabhaimd comhbhrón le Jim agus Louise agus lena theaghlach ar fad. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal Gaelach. Mairfidh tú linn go deo.(James McVeigh – a gentleman, an Irishman to the core who dedicated his life to his family, Irish culture and Tír na nÓg. We extend our sympathy to Jim and Louise and to all his family circle. May his noble Irish soul rest with God. We will never forget you.)

Harbour Lights sponsor St John’s Camogie Club, Carnlough.

St John’s Camogie Club are delighted to have Harbour Lights Café on-board as the Sponsors of our U-12 Team for the season ahead in 2021.

The Club was established in 2005 so is relatively young in comparison to other Clubs in Antrim. At one point teams were involved in the Antrim leagues from U-12 age group up to Senior level where Camogie was played in Division 3.

Following a bleak spell when many of the Senior players went to University and a team could not field at Senior level, club numbers dwindled and the only Camogie being played was at U-8 and U-10.

Ciaran Ward of Harbour Lights Café Carlough presents a new set of jerseys for the St John’s Camogie Club Under 12 team to club chairman Eamon McFadden, while looking on are team members Aoife, Daisy, Tegan, Orla, Michaela and Ciara.

In the past 3 years a lot of hard work has been put into strengthening the Club in terms of playing numbers and positive engagement through building links/relationships with our local community. St John’s want to stop the steady stream of talented players leaving for bigger clubs around the Glens and now have a strong foundation to do so by providing local girls the opportunity to play Camogie, improve their physical and mental well-being whilst benefiting from the many advantages that come from being part of a team sport.

2020 has been our busiest year so far building on the success of our participation in the “Mum and Me” project in 2019 and in 2020 for the first time in a number of years, the Club played in the Mid Antrim League at U-12. Our players come from all sections of the community, bringing children together from our three local schools; St Johns Primary School Carnlough, Seaview Integrated Primary School in Glenarm and Carnlough Integrated Primary School. All the schools have been instrumental in our recent success as have our valued parents and guardians of the players.

Like all Clubs we have seen first-hand the effect and impact COVID-19 has had on the community in Carnlough and whilst this has hindered play for both training and games, it has also allowed much development work to carry on in the background. During COVID we have worked hard to engage with all our members and involve them in organised positive activities. Recently we produced a video supporting the NHS, which was widely shared on social media, passing on the challenge to other Camogie Clubs to do the same. We also ran online Camogie skills competitions and online quizzes using prizes donated from local GAA suppliers, these were very popular.

As we leave 2020 behind, the future is still filled with many uncertainties and only time will tell when we get back to playing Camogie. However we as a Club look forward to this with much excitement and enthusiasm as we will be playing in both U-12 and also U-14 league in 2021. The hard work is now paying off and the launch of our U-12 kit and sponsor is another step in this exciting journey.

We are grateful for our sponsor Ciaran Ward of Harbour Lights Café and with a new kit and the sea air behind us, the future for St Johns Camogie is surely bright.

Finally a Happy Christmas and a very happy New Year to our members and supporters and wider GAA and Camogie community.

St. Joseph’s Glenavy-Loch Mor Dal gCais Juvenile Camogie Presentation

St. Joseph’s GAC, Glenavy-Loch Mor Dal gCais held their juvenile camogie presentations recently and here are the individual award winners from the amalgamated side.

 Ella O’Hare u14 Camogie Personality 2020

Charlotte Denny u12 camogie Personality 2020

Emily O’Boyle u10 Most Improved and Martha Denny (pink coat) u10 Most Improved

Anya Morgan u14 Players’ Player of the Year

Jessica Morgan u12 Players’ Player of the Year

Alanna Kemp u8 Most Improved Rose O’Hagan u8 camogie Personality

Elizabeth and Helena Mulholland joint u10 camogs Personality

Antrim dreams dashed by dominant Down in Intermediate final

Jack McGrath Cup final

Liberty Insurance All Ireland Intermediate Camogie Final

Antrim 2-10 Down 4-16

Antrim’s dreams of All Ireland glory were dashed by a brilliant Down side in Saturday’s All Ireland Intermediate Camogie final at Breffni Park, Cavan

The Saffrons got off to an excellent start with a goal from Roisin McCormick in the opening minute but Down battled their way back. The young Saffrons matched their opponents most of the way in a spirited first half performance and led 1-4 to 0-5 after 22 minutes and had a chance to extend their lead soon afterwards but Caitrin Dobbin’s grounds shot went narrowly wide. Down came back strongly in the closing stages of the half and a goal from Sara Louise Graffin in the 33d minute saw them lead 1-8 to 1-5 at the break.

Antrim’s Maeve Kelly breaks away from Down’s Karen McMullan during the opening half

Maeve Kelly, who was superb throughout for the Saffrons, burst through for an Antrim goal on the restart to edge her side 2-6 to 1-8 ahead after 34 minutes but slowly Down began to get on top and Niamh Mallon was quickest to react when the sliotar rebounded of an Antrim upright and she fired to the net to put Down three ahead with 37 minutes gone.

Antrim never gave up the fight but it was Down who were playing the more controlled camogie and Player of the Match Mallon added a second goal to leave her side 3-12 to 2-7 ahead at the second water break and it was a long way back for Antrim.

Despite their best efforts Antrim never looked like getting in for the goal that they needed to rekindle their fire with Down now moving the sliotar around confidently and a late goal from Clarke put the icing on a strong performance by the Mourne girls.

Roisin McCormick gets Antrim off to a great start with a goal in the opening minute


Antrim went into this Jack McGrath final as underdogs but got off to a perfect start when a Maeve Kelly delivery was spilled by Down keeper Catherine McGourty and Roisin McCormick was on hand to deliver an excellent finish with only a minute on the clock.

Down responded and after Paula O’Hagan was off target from a couple of frees they got back in touch with points from Aimee McAleenan, Niamh Mallon and a Paula O’Hagan free to draw level by the 8th minute.

Sara Louise Graffin edged Down ahead for the first time with a point in the 13th minute but just when it looked like the Mourne girls were taking control Antrim produced a response with points from Nicole O’Neill (free), Maeve Kelly and Kelly again to lead 1-4 to 0-5 after 22 minutes and they were good value for that lead.

They had a great opportunity to put further daylight between the sides when a Kelly flick put Caitrin Dobbin in the clear but as McGourty advance off the Down goalline the Loughgiel girl pulled her first time shot agonisingly wide of the right hand upright.

Sara Louise Graffin punches the air in celebration after scoring her team’s opening goal just before half time

Down responded to that let-off to draw level through points from Niamh Mallon and Saoirse McCartan before Clarke set up Sara Louise Graffin for a goal in the 33d minute to leave them leading 1-8 to 1-6 at the short whistle.


Antrim responded again at the start of the second half and after Caitrin Dobbin broke away from a ruck of players to fire over and excellent point, Maeve Kelly broke past the Down full back to fire to the net to put the Saffrons a point clear, but Down were level again within two minutes when Paula O’Hagan send over a free.

Down looked to be in for a goal in their next attack but Chloe Draine made a great last ditch tackle to deny Laura Clarke but the tide was beginning to turn in favour of the Mourne girls and Niamh Mallon reacted quickest when a Paula O’Hagan free came back of the upright to fire to the net.

Paula O’Hagan and Mallon added points and when Mallon added her second, and Down’s third goal in the 41st minute, it looked as good as over. An O’Hagan pointed free moved her side nine clear before Nicole O’Neill replied from a couple of frees to leave eight between the sides at the second water break.

Down’s Naimh Mallon is challenged by Antrim’s Amy Boyle

Down were now controlling the game at their own pace and after Saoirse McCartan and Nicole O’Neill traded points, Paula O’Hagan pointed a Down free before Lauren Clarke scooped the ball over the Antrim crossbar when a goal looked on.

Sarah Louise Clarke moved Down 11 ahead as the game entered 6 minutes of time added on with Nicole O’Neill replying from an Antrim free and the same player was then denied by Catherine McGourty from a 20 meter free after the Down keeper was penalised for lying on the ball.

Antrim were now playing for pride and Nicole O’Neill had their final score when she pointed a free in the 64th minute but it was a more clinical Down who finished strongly and Lauren Clarke had the final score of the game when she fired home Down’s fourth goal.

Lucia McNaughton solos towards the Down goal

A disappointing result in the end for this young Antrim side but I have no doubt they will be back again next year and if Paul McKillen, Jingo McKernan and Elaine Dowds remain on board and can keep this panel together they are more than capable of giving the Intermediate title a real bash next year.

ANTRIM: E Boyle; C Patterson, C Drain, C Conlon; N Donelly, M Connolly; E Laverty, L McNaughton; M Kelly (1-2), Christine Laverty, C Dobbin (0-1); R McCormick (1–2, 0-1f), Ciara Laverty, N O’Neill (0-5, 0-5fs).  

Subs: C McKillop for E Laverty (40mins), O O’Hara for Ciara Laverty (44mins), NA Donnelly for Patterson (46mins), A Donnelly for Christine Laverty (59mins).

DOWN: C McGourty; C Caldwell, D Magee, D Harrison; B Fitzpatrick, K McMullan, F Carr; A Keown, P O’Hagan (0-5, 0-3fs, 0-2 ’45s); A McAleenan (0-2), SL Graffin (1-3), C Cowen; N Mallon (2-3), L Clarke (1-1), S McCartan (0-2). 

Subs: C Rocks for Fitzpatrick (60mins), C Fitzpatrick for Cowen (61mins), I O’Hare for L Clarke (64mins).

REFEREE: J Heffernan (Wexford).