The next North Antrim Cultural Event, Dónal McAnallen will
cover the history of the GAA in North Antrim. It will be in Carey Parish Hall
Saturday 23rd February 8.00pm. Contact your North Antrim club or Jimmy Gaston
for tickets or pay at the door on the night.
North Antrim has been a place apart in Gaelic games since
the earliest days of the GAA. While the ‘prairie fire’ started by Michael
Cusack spread quickly to much of the rest of Ulster as a football frenzy, the
Glens of the north-east took longer. When they eventually ignited they drew on
a long tradition of regional Shinny-playing to create a distinctive hurling
culture that would endure largely in isolation.
Following on from last year’s talk by Eamon Phoenix, this
talk will outline how the establishment of the North Antrim Board from the
1900s catalysed the development of a club scene and became the bulwark of a new
county hurling tradition, with Camogie and Gaelic football taking their place
also; the ways in which clubs faced and overcame challenges on a local level,
and North Antrim evolved as a group within a segmented Belfast-centric county
framework, will figure strongly among the topics explored. Due attention will
be paid to the clubs that made North Antrim: Armoy, Ballycastle, Carey,
Cloughmills, Cushendall, Cushendun, Dunloy, Glenariffe, Glenarm, Glenravel,
Larne and Loughgiel. It will be shown that the formative forty-year period up
to the 1940s defined the structure and character of the GAA in North Antrim
that we know today.
Dr Dónal McAnallen is an historian with a special research
interest in sporting heritage. He authored ‘The Cups that Cheered’ (2012), a
history of inter-varsity Gaelic games; was a joint editor of ‘The Evolution of
the GAA: Ulaidh, Éire agus Eile’ (2009); and contributed to several
international journals. More recently he edited ‘Reflections on the Revolution
in Ulster’ (2015), and wrote the biography, ‘The Pursuit of Perfection’ (2017).
A History graduate of Queen’s University and NUI Galway, he
has worked as a magazine editor, teacher and lecturer and on several
development and outreach projects with the Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library and
Archive in Armagh. He is now employed as the Community Engagement Officer for
National Museums NI project ‘Making the Future’. He is currently the
Irish-language Editor of the local historical journal, Dúiche Néill, a member
of the GAA’s National History Committee, and Cultural Officer for his club, An
With the new season under way and the Saffron Gael well into
its second year of publication we again make an appeal for financial
assistance. While this may not be a particularly busy time of the year for most
clubs there has never the less been a lot of activity on the GAA scene and we
have been there to cover it all.
Last weekend we had photographers and reporters in Croke
Park and Parnell Park to cover St. Enda’s bid for All Ireland Intermediate
glory and Ruairi Ogs heart breaking defeat to St. Thomas of Galway in the All
Ireland Hurling club championship semi-final. The same weekend we carried
coverage of Cross & Passion Camog’s success in the All Ireland semi-final
We have covered all of Antrim’s McKenna Cup and National
football league games and all the county’s hurling games to date as well as
Antrim ladies National football league games and the camogs opening game in
The Saffron Gael has carried coverage of all the games at
Creggan Kickham’s-Bank of Ireland-Paddy McLarnon Cup and we were there on
Sunday for an excellent final between winners Dromore and Carryduff.
This weekend we also covered the opening of Davitt’s excellent
new facilities along with a host of other events including the North Antrim U8
Indoor finals and the Airborne indoor hurling which was played at two different
All enjoyable but incurring considerable expense as well as
being time consuming! Over the last two weekends we have had up to eight
photographers and reporters working and all need paying for their time and
Views on the Saffron Gael site reached 2, 250,000 this
weekend so it is obvious by viewing figures and indeed by what you tell us that
it is extremely popular with Gaels within the county and much further afield.
Clubs, including those mentioned earlier in this article
have been very generous but unfortunately some clubs have continued to ignore our
appeal for financial help. If you think this venture is worth your support
please have a word with your club and ask if they have donated.
We are fortunate to have some excellent sponsors and without
them we could not have continued to grow but we still need more and if you feel
your business would like to sponsor us go to the link on the site or contact
John on 07885226348 or at email@example.com
or Paddy on 07511111378 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also make a personal donation through the link on
the Saffron Gael site and all donations are gratefully appreciated.
We look forward to seeing you at a game or an event linked to the GAA or Irish culture in the coming year and we will endeavour to cover as many events as possible as we continued in our quest to promote and develop Gaelic games and culture within the Saffron County.
draws were made for the various South West competitions on Monday evening in
both juvenile and adult competitions.
the premier event, the O’ Cahan cup the holders of the silverware, Kickham’s
Creggan were awarded a bye in the opening round as did Tir na Nog, Ahoghill,
Aldergrove, and Glenavy.
three games are required to decide the remaining quarter finalists but although
all look attractive the meeting of the reigning county champions, Cargin and St
Mary’s Aghagallon looks the pick.
will cross swords with Rasharkin in an opening round encounter whilst
Casement’s will play hosts to All Saint’s to complete the first phase with the
winner faced with a trip to Creggan in a quarter final assignment.
team which emerges from the Cargin Aghagallon clash are to be favoured with
home advantage in the quarters where they will play hosts to the men from
Antrim ladies snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as
Fermanagh overturned an eight-point deficit at the break to leave the Dub with
a 3-11-3-09 win over the Saffrons in this afternoon’s Lidl National Football
The hosts were magnificent in the opening half and held a
3-05-0-06 lead thanks to goals Maeve McCurdy, Cathy Carey and Niamh Enright.
Fermanagh didn’t roll over easily however and found a route
back into the game through a goal from full-forward Joanne Donnan.
That sparked the visitors and gave them momentum and a
second Donnan goal – followed by a point from substitute Aoife Flanaghan
levelled proceedings at the death.
Antrim's Lara Dahunsi has her shot at goal blocked down by Fermanagh's Joanne Donnan during Sunday's Ladies Gaelic Football National Football League Division 4 game at the Dub.
Antrim substitute Aoife Taggart appeared to have secured the
spoils – though eight minutes into injury-time Joanne Donnan rifled home her
third goal of the half to spark scenes of jubilation amongst the visitors and
leave Antrim dejected at the full-time whistle.
Over an hour earlier the hosts gave themselves a solid
platform on which to build on as full-forward Maeve McCurdy rifled to the
Fermanagh past goalkeeper Donna Owens.
But within eight minutes the game was all square, Joanne
Donnan opened the Erne woman’s account for the afternoon with a well taken
Eimear Smyth conjured up a second and a converted free from
Donnan levelled the scores at 1-00-0-03 with ten minutes on the clock.
Donnan registered her third of the half to edge Fermanagh
ahead for the first-time – but back to back scores from corner-forward Grainne
McLaughlin restored Antrim’s lead (1-02-0-04).
With nineteen minutes on the clock Antrim found their second
goal of the afternoon – half-forward Cathy Carey outsmarted Owens from a free
which dropped under the crossbar and into the net to make it 2-02-0-04.
Joanne Donnan replied with a fourth point of the half;
though Fermanagh appeared to be in trouble as Niamh Enright crashed home a
third goal to give Antrim a six-point lead with seven minutes to the break
Antrim's Lara Dahunsi is challenged by Fermanagh's Courtney Miurphy.
Fermanagh full-forward Donnan was almost singlehandedly
carrying the fight to Antrim and replied yet again to bring her personal tally
Anna McCann was called into action late in the half to
smother a low drive from Eimear Smyth – though the hosts ended the half with
the final two scores.
Cathy Carey pointed from a free and a further score from the
hard grafting Lara Dahunsi ensured that the hosts were in command at the break
– leading 3-05-0-06 against the breeze.
Antrim increased their lead upon the games resumption as
Lara Dahunsi secured a second successive score from an acute angle.
Two converted frees from Eimear Smyth cut the gap before
Antrim substitute Aoife Taggart responded from a similar scenario to make it an
eight-point game once again, 3-07-0-08.
Fermanagh cut the deficit ten minutes into the second period
as Joanne Donnan managed to find the net in a congested goal mouth to make it
The Erne woman had the momentum and points from Eimear Smyth
and Aisling O’Brien made it a three-point game with less than a quarter of an
Niamh Enright stretched Antrim’s lead with little under ten
minutes to play and both sides battled through the elements with the game in
the melting point.
Antrim goalkeeper Anna McCann makes a spectacular save during Sunday's Ladies Gaelic Football National Football League Division 4 game at the Dub.
Fermanagh were dealt a blow as referee Kieran McKeever
sin-binned midfielder Roisin O’Reilly – but on the 58th minute the
visitors reduced arrears to the bare minimum as Joanne Donnan blasted past
McCann to the net and made it 3-08-2-10.
With the bit between their teeth substitute Aoife Flanaghan
showed composure and bravery under pressure to level the scores for just the
second time in the game.
Fermanagh’s substitute goalkeeper Roisin Gleeson denied
Cathy Carey from blasting to the net in time added on – the hosts would regain
their slender advantage three minutes into time added on through a curling
effort from Aoife Taggart.
It was a lead they held until the eighth minute of
additional time when Kinawley’s Donnan turned on sixpence and guided her driven
shot into the top corner of the net to spark scenes of joy amongst the
Fermanagh faithful on the sideline.
Arguably a cruel blow it was ultimately one that the Saffrons failed to recover from and at the final whistle Fermanagh celebrated a 3-11-3-09 win that left the hosts deflated.
Antrim: A McCann, C Brown, C Stewart, N Killen, K Farren, J
McCavana, S Tenyson, M Magee, A Tubridy, N Enright (1-01), C Carey (1-02,
1-01f), L Wallace, L Dahunsi (0-02), M McCurdy (1-00), G McLaughlin (0-02).
Subs: A Taggart (0-02, 0-01f) for G McLaughlin (31 mins), N Webb for N Enright
(54 mins), A Carleton for L Wallace (57 mins).
Fermanagh: D Owens, E Woods, E Murphy, M Flynn, E Cadden, C
Murphy, A Maguire, R O’Reilly, A McGovern, B Bogue, E Smyth (0-04, 0-02f), D
Maguire, A O’Brien (0-01), J Donnan (3-05, 0-01f). Subs: R Gleeson for D Owens
(31 mins), L Maguire for B Bogue (31 mins), A Flanaghan (0-01) for D Maguire
The boys and girls of the North Antrim Primary Schools came together today (Friday 8th February) on what was a cold blustery morning in Cushendun to contest the annual North Antrim Cumann na mBunscol Quiz, hosted by St Ciaran’s.
Quiz Master Mrs Donnelly (Principal, St Ciaran’s) took charge of a very entertaining and competitive event, expertly put together by Mr F Close ( Principal, Glenann PS).
Congratulations and well done to all participating schools ; hats off to St Patrick’s Glenariffe who came out tops with a fantastic 74 points. They were closely followed by St. Mary’s (Cushendall) in second place on 67 points and St Patrick’s & St. Brigid’s (Ballycastle) and St Brigid’s (Cloughmills) in joint third with 64 points each.
Thank you to the teachers and staff from all the schools who attended and a special mention again to St Ciaran’s for hosting.).