Loughgiel’s Fr Barrett Park opened 30 years ago this May

Loughgiel’s second pitch opened in May 1990 with Antrim hurlers playing Dublin in a challenge game and the host club playing neighbours Dunloy. The fllowing is a short report which appeared in the Ballymean Chroncile at the time.

‘The sun shone brightly on the crowds who turned up on Sunday for the opening of Fr.Barrett Memorial Park in Loughgiel.
The ground will of course just be used as the club’s second pitch but such is the quality of the pitch and the magnificent setting that any club would be proud of it as their first choice.
That fact was one of the points mentioned by GAA president elect, Peter Quinn in his address before the official blessing. The highly articulate Mr Quinn praised the Loughgiel club on their new grounds, on their achievements and on the tremendous work which they had done for the youth of the parish over the years.
County Chairman Oliver Kelly was also high in praise for the shamrocks club and wished them every success on their new grounds.
The official blessing was carried out by local Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Kevin Donnelly, a native of Ballycastle.
Club secretary Finvola McIntyre and Club chairman Dominic Casey kept things running smoothly and though visitors Dunloy spoiled the party a little when they beat the home team in a senior hurling challenge, few had any complaints. Overall another good day for the shamrocks club and the association.’

Club secretary Finvola McIntyre address the crowd.
Loughgiel captain Niall Patterson leads his team out while Dunloy players form a guard of honour at the opening of Fr Barrett Park in 1990
The Loughgiel committee and their guests at the opening of Fr Barrett Park in 1990
Club secretary Finvola McIntyre presents a specially engraved mirror to Dunloy secretary Martin Cochrance before the Loughgiel v Dunloy game

Loughgiel Blitz Leveled Liatroim in 1997 final

1997 Ulster Club Camogie Final from Liatroim

Liatroim: 2-06 Loughgiel 6-11

Loughgiel Shamrocks recaptured the Ulster Club title in emphatic style in Liatroim yesterday.

Turing round at half-time facing into a stiff breeze with only a four point lead, they tore the holders defence apart and fired home four goals and five points.

It looked so different in the first half with Mairin McAleenan ramming home a goal for the holders in the third minute.

However, by the end of the first quarter Ursula Cuthbertson and Claire McGarry had tied the scores when Grace McMullan picked up a poor puck-out and fired to the net.

Liatroim were still playing well against the breeze and were unlucky to concede a second goal to Ciara McGarry in the 25th minute.

However, they should have been more comfortable only having to make up a four point deficit in the second half.

The turning point came in the opening minutes of that half when a goal bound effort by Liatroim came off a post and was swept down the field for Ursula Cuthbertson to double overhead a Grace McMullan centre to the net.

From then on Loughgiel took complete control.

Claire McGarry’s free taking was immaculate and before the end all four forwards had scored goals.

Catriona Higgins finished off good work by Rosie Watson in the 12th minute.

Rosie herself picked up on some hesitancy in the Liatroim defence a minute later while Grace McMullan appropriately finished with a goal in injury time.

Loughgiel on the day were the much better side, well organised in defence, strong in midfield and brilliantly accurate in attack.

And this all despite the fact that they had to start without Mary Connolly who had broke her wrist in Croke Park a fortnight ago.

Tactically they were superior to Liatroim and only in the first half did their defence look dodgy with the forays of Majella Murray and Mairin McAleenan.

Player of the match award went to Ursula Cuthbertson but in truth any one of five or six Loughgiel players could have taken it on the day.

Loughgiel: Imelda Gillan, Carmel McGarry, Siobhan McCloskey, Nuala McCloskey, Colette Traynor, Ciara McGarry (1-0), Claire McGarry (Capt.) (0-6), Rosie Boyle, Catriona Higgins (1-3), Rosie Watson (1-0), Ursula Cuthbertson (1-2), Grace McMullan (2-0).

Subs: Helena Connolly for Rosie Watson (50 mins), Joanne McKendry for Ciara McGarry (56 mins).

Liatroim: Joan Brown, Maureen O’Higgins, Teresa Burns, Donna Greenan, Anne Morgan, Bernie Kelly, Monica Rooney, Brenda Gallagher, Grainne McCrickard (0-1), Mairin McAleenan (Capt.) (2-2), Monica Doherty, Majella Murray (0-3).

Subs: Roisin O’Higgins for Grainne McCrickard (38 mins), Nuala Magee for Monica Doherty (50 mins).

Referee: Geraldine Clarke (Monaghan)

Saffron Gael Table Quiz on Facebook

Dunloy table quiz aficionado Vincent ‘Bamber’ Rainey has generously agreed to do a GAA Quiz on Saffron Gael starting next Monday evening at 8pm. So we would ask all you GAA trivia fans to tuned in for the opening night. Format is not finally decided yet but probably be 4 rounds of 10 questions, some general and some specific to the Saffron county of Antrim

The quiz will go out on the Saffron Gael Facebook page

Looking forward to it

Dr ‘Nick’ in the front line of the fight against Covid 19

By John McIlwaine

Baby Nicholas McNaughton had his photo taken in the Sam Maguire Cup when Derry great Anthony Tohill visited Loughgiel in 1993

I was scanning old photos at the weekend of Anthony Tohill’s visit to Magherahoney Hall with the Sam Magurie Cup back in 1993 when I came across this pic of a baby sitting in the famous trophy, standard practice on a night like that. At the time I took the photo I would have taken the names for the paper, but they are long gone, but I thought the young lad in the cup looked familiar, and when I then saw his grandmother Mary McNaughton in one of the other pics it strengthened my suspicion that it was Nicholas McNaughton. I messaged the photo to the McNaughton family and my suspicions were confirmed.

Of course Nicholas McNaughton is now Dr Nicholas McNaughton who is one of the many great people who are leading the fight against the dreaded Covid 19 virus which has brought the whole world to a virtual standstill. Nicholas, who plays his hurling with Loughgiel Shamrocks, studied Medicine at Queens University, Belfast and qualified just two years ago. Since that time he has worked in the Royal Victoria, the Mater, and the Causeway Hospitals before moving to Antrim Area Hospital where is one of a dedicated team of doctors and nurses in the ICU Unit, in the very front line of the fight against this deadly virus.

Mary McNaughton with Anthony Tohill in Magherahoney Hall in 1993. Mary was a member of the Antrim team who won the All Ireland Senior Camogie title in 1947

Nicholas McNaughton comes for a great hurling family. His grandmother Mary McNaughton (nee McGarry) who took him along that cold winter night to Magherahoney Hall, won an All Ireland Senior Camogie medal with Antrim in 1947 as an eighteen year old. His grandfather John was on the Loughgiel team who on the 1956 Antrim Senior Championship.

Nicholas’ father Seamus ‘Crow’ McNaughton (7th from left in the back row) on the Loughgiel team who won the club’s first All Ireland Senior Club Hurling title in 1983

His father Seamus ‘Crow’ McNaughton played on the Loughgiel team who beat St Rynagh’s of Offaly in the 1983 All Ireland Club final replay at Casement Park to become the first Antrim team to take the Tommy Moore Cup, and his brother James is a member of the current Antrim team who had qualified for the Division 2 National League final when Covid 19 stepped in and brought the campaign to a premature halt.

His older sister Una played camogie with both club and county and was the captain of the last Loughgiel team to win an Ulster Club title when they beat Slaughtneil in the 2015 final in Armagh. Una is currently in lock-down in Melbourne, Australia after immigrating to Oz a couple of years ago. His other sister Rioghnach has also won championship medals with the Shamrocks.

Nicholas and James with the Antrim Senior Championship cup after the Shamrocks win over Cushendall in the 2016 final in Ballycastle. Included are his sisters Lucia (left), Una (front cnetre) and Rioghnach, mum Mary Rose, dad Seamus, grandfather John and uncle Jack (2nd left)

Sister Lucia is a member of the current Antrim senior camogie team who also were in with a good chance of promotion under the new management team of Paul McKillen and Jingo McKernan when the National Camogie League were halted. Lucia is also is also in the frontline in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic as she is Repertory Physiotherapist at Causeway Hospital, Coleraine.

Lucia McNaughton in action for Antrim camogs