Nichola Mallon announces planning approval for the new Casement Park

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has today announced the planning approval for Casement Park’s redevelopment has been granted.

Earlier today the Minister signed off on plans for the new stadium on the same site as the old one, which has been lying dorment for eight years now.

Ms Mallon said it was “an historic day for the GAA in Ulster and for Gaels across our island”.

“Last October I announced my intention to grant planning approval and I am delighted that all the statutory processes have now been completed to make that decision official and allow the Ulster Council of the GAA to proceed with their development plans.

“This has been a long and complex process, predating my time as minister, however we must now move forward and see progress on the ground, progress that will bring many sporting, social and economic benefits not just to west Belfast but right across the city and beyond.

“This will be fantastic news for the GAA family across Ulster and Ireland, particularly with the Ulster Final taking place this Sunday.

“Here’s to an exciting Ulster final and many memorable games to come in a new state-of-the-art stadium in Casement, now that the GAA is to finally have the home it deserves in Ulster.”

The news gives some hope for Antrim Gaels who have seen their dreams of a new Casement dashed on many occassions along the way. Knowing the history of the project there will be many who will have serious doubts about the news but hopefully it will at last be a step in the right direction.

Under-20 Football League Previews (Wed 28th July)

Progress has been slow in the under-2O league competition which is to be a fore runner for a championship at this level. Just a handful of games being completed thus far and several sides have in fact withdrawn from the competition with another handful of games fixed for Wednesday evening.

Under-20 Football league (all games at 7.45)

Division One

Section A

Erin’s Own Cargin v St Mary’s Aghagallon

Having taken back to back minor titles in 2019/20 Cargin may well be strong contenders for this competition and credentials may well be tested therein as Aghagallon come a calling to their Shore road abode for this assignment.

Aghagallon have assumed the lead in the ratings with a victory in round one and a drawn affair with the visiting St Gall’s last time out and they will ensure the home side have to work for success.

St Gall’s v Patrick Sarsfield’s

St Gall’s have earned a place at the top of the ratings with an unbeaten record thus far and they will seek to remain in such positivity as Sarsfield’s come a calling.

The Paddies proved too strong for the visiting Dunloy on the Bear Pit in their opening assignment and in such form they will be asking questions aplenty to the Milltown men.

Division 2

Lamh Dhearg v Casement’s Portglenone

Casement’s travel up to Hannahstown in this one to cross swords with Lamh Dhearg which is their respective opening games of the season.

The home side are usually strong and ground advantage may well tip the balance in their favour but it could go either way.

St. Ergnats v Naomh Padraig

Naomh Padraig made a good start to their U20 campaign when they defeated St. Joseph’s Glenavy at Kirkwood Park but they are likely to face a stiffer test when the visit Moneyglass and a home win looks the likely outcome.

Covid 19 Update – Chairman’s address

Tá súil agam go bhfuil sibh tú go maith,

As you are aware Covid 19 is on the rise again and spreading rapidly among our population especially young adults, I would ask all clubs to use their influence within our communities to help stop the spread of Covid 19 by urging all adults within clubs to avail of Covid 19 vaccinations as recommended by public health guidelines.I would also ask all clubs to double down on internal covid procedures within club, i.e. teams working in bubbles, not to use indoor facilities such as halls , changing rooms etc , making sure Foireann return to play system implemented for all players, and other common-sense controls measures to help reduce the spread off Covid infection within our clubs.

Clubs within Antrim have been to the forefront of ensuring a safe return to training and playing our games during a very difficult 16 month period and I am aware we are all war weary when it comes to Covid, but I would ask you to keep the good work up and help reduce covid infection spreading within our community and thus keep our members and local community safe and ensure coming into the championship period of the season we can keep training and playing our games.Bí sábháilte coain a chéile/Stay safe and protect each other.

Ciarán Mc Cavana/ Ciarán Mac an MhanaighCathaoirleach CLG Aontroma

Clarkey picks up Presidents award

Ulster GAA confirms President’s Awards Winners

Ulster GAA has announced the award winners for the 2020 Ulster GAA President’s Awards, in association with O’Neills.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the annual awards ceremony was unable to take place at the end of last year however, it was important to highlight the achievements of some of our special and significant contributors to the Association in Ulster during the year.

This year there were a reduced number of awards for Footballer, Hurler and Referee of the Year, as well as a special Lifetime Service to GAA award, sponsored by O’Neill’s. Each of the award winners represents the many more who make such valuable contributions to the GAA across the nine Ulster counties.

Below is a list of all the awards winners:

  • Recipient of the O’Neill’s Ulster GAA Lifetime Service to the GAA Award, Liam Nelis (centre), with Kieran Kennedy, O’Neill’s Sportswear (left), and Oliver Galligan, Ulster GAA President (right).
  • O’Neill’s Ulster GAA Lifetime Service to the GAA Award – Liam Nelis, Tír Eoghain

    Liam Nelis served his home club Urney St Columba’s and also Edendork St Malachy’s for many years, before serving as vice-chair and chair of Tyrone GAA County Board, where he oversaw the development of O’Neill’s Healy Park and the Garvaghy Centre of Excellence. Liam continues to contribute to Ulster GAA, where he continues to assist with event control duties with Championship matches.

    Footballer of the Year – Raymond Galligan, An Cabhán

    It was a memorable season for the Lacken club man Raymond Galligan, captaining Cavan to their first Ulster Senior title since 1997. The Breffni goalkeeper was inspirational throughout the campaign, not only making critical saves and important interventions in his goal, but also scoring vital points at the other end to help his team to victory.

    Hurler of the Year – Ciarán Clarke, Aontroim

    Clarke was a key figure for Antrim as they earned promotion to Division One of the Allianz National Hurling League before going on to win the Joe McDonagh Cup by defeating Kerry in the final at Croke Park. The Ballycastle man was prolific throughout the year with his high scoring displays that helped propel the Saffrons to glory.

    The McGlinchey Cup for Referee of the Year – Paul Faloon, An Dún

    Drumgath club man Faloon established himself as one of the top young referees in the country last year. He stepped up to the Senior Championship referees’ panel before taking charge of his first Championship game, the Ulster SFC Quarter Final between Cavan and Antrim at Kingspan Breffni. Paul capped off his memorable year by officiating the All-Ireland U-20 Football Final between Galway and Dublin at Croke Park.

    Gorts impress in high scoring win over Casements

    All County U-17 football league Div 2

    Quick Starting Gorts Impress in Victory

    Casement’s Portglenone 3-07 Gort na Mona 9-12

    An impressive opening period and a huge twenty point lead gained in the opening half gave Gort na Mona the platform for ultimate success at O’ Cahan Park as they proved too strong for the Portglenone men in their under-17 league assignment on Sunday last.

    The West Belfast side were in top form right from the off and an early major by Lewis Dillon in the 3rd minute provided got them off to a flyer, and at the interval they had earned a more than healthy 5-08 to 1-00 advantage.

    The city lads settled well into the task on hand in the blazing heat and the early goal despatched by full forward Lewis Dillon saw them away in style.

    The full forward was well served by a Conor Scannell delivery and the finish was as good as the delivery.

    The West Belfast lads added a second major via Kaydan Smith shortly afterwards and although Sean Burn set up Paddy Murray for a Casements goal, the visitors soon provided a stern response.

    Dominating the central zone where David Mc Keown and the impressive Connor Scannell reigned supreme the Casement’s rear guard were put under extreme pressure and with Lewis Dillon providing  a couple of majors and Tarlach Enright adding another they enjoyed a more than healthy 5-03 to1-00 lead at the first water break.

    The second quarter continued to be dominated by the visitors and although Sean Burn did provide a couple of points for the South West side the impressive Gorts held a 5-10 to1-02 advantage at the short blast and the points look secured

    The introduction of John Mc Atamney did aid the Casement’s cause and the home side seemed to settle into the groove in the latter stages with Sean Burn and the replacement leading the offensive but by such juncture the die was well cast.

    Gort na Mona were again quickly out of the starting blocks and after their net minder Chris Keenan came to their aid to make an excellent save from Casement’s replacement John Mc Atamney a quick, well laid counter strike saw Ciaran Mc Kiernan find the net at the other end before Chris Kelly, Jack Thompson and Tarlach Enright followed with points apiece.

    A 46th minute penalty strike saw wing forward Tarlach Enright find the net and at the last break the advantage was 7-13 to 1-05.

    Casements, to their credit kept battling and in the last minutes retained focus, and their best player Sean Burns did find the net in the 24th minute and Michael Mc Garry provided another long range special.

    But in the event such scores were mere consolation as Gort na Mona were ‘home and hosed’ by this stage and Jack Thompson added another major in injury time to ensure an emphatic 9-12 to 3-07 winning scoreline .

    This latest victory ensures the residents on Enright Park hold firm in their second place in the table with a couple of points in arrears of the pace setting St Gall’s

    Referee Jarlath O’ Donnell (Con Magees)

    Teams

    Casement’s

    Rory O’ Hagan, Peter Mc Cann, Chris Mc Aleese, Hugo Eddis, Conor Mc Atamney, Ryan Mc Keever, Ryan Mc Allister (0-01), Jack Addison, Ryan Addison, Michal Mc Garry (1-00), Sean Burn (1-04), Jason Kelly (0-01, Paddy Murray (1-00), Fiontan O’ Connell, Conor Mc Cann.

    Subs

    John Mc Atamney for J Addison

    Gort na Mona

    Christopher Keenan, Barra Cordner, Aaron Mc Clean, Lee Davis (0-01), Kriston Walsh, Chris Kelly (0-01), Rian Brown (0-01), David Mc Keown, Conor Scannell (0-01), Ciaran Mc Kernan (1-01),  Jack Thompson (1-00), Tarlach Enright (3-03), Christopher Keenan, Lewis Dillon (2-01), Kaydan Smith (2-01)