Appealing to Gaels to support Darkness into Light Hannahstown 2019 walk

Lámh Dhearg in association with Hannahstown Community Association are hosting its third Darkness into Light walk on Saturday 11th May.The 5km walk that sets off at 4:15am in the morning helps raise awareness around suicide and mental health as well as providing vital funds to local organisations tackling the situation.

In May 2017 we held our first walk with over 1,100 people, embracing a cross representation of men women and children actively participated in our brisk and physically demanding walk in the early hours of the morning from darkness into light on the local roads around our clubrooms. Our walk raised a fantastic total of £29,000. The money was divided and donated between Pieta House and Suicide Awareness and Support Group.

In 2018 we expanded this programme and presented this initiative to local secondary schools, local GAA, sporting and cross community clubs. We held weekly promotional events in the local shopping centre (Kennedy Centre) and maintain an effective Facebook page with regular updates on the initiative. In May 2018 we had over 1600 members of the public walking the roads again through the night from the darkness and into the light raising a further £38,500 towards Pieta House and Suicide Awareness & Support Group.

It was very poignant to see our club fence decorated with yellow ribbons with the names of those from our local community that we have lost by suicide.

More significantly, the event helped raised the profile of mental health and suicide awareness within our membership and local community as it attracted coverage in the press, radio and television as well as social media as we had our own Darkness into Light social media pages. Through the monies raised last year Suicide Awareness have managed to hold an additional 1200 therapeutic sessions for those people bereaved or impacted by suicide.

The event provided much comfort and help to families who have experienced suicide of loved ones and they appreciated it as an unique opportunity to remember their loved ones and at the same time to significantly raise awareness of mental health issues and we have built up strong links with Suicide Awareness Charity.

Over the last number of years our club and the GAA & local community has been deeply affected by suicide and the stigma attached around mental health awareness.

Therefore we would appeal to all local Gaels and clubs to participate in the walk and you can enrol online by clicking on or at specially arranged enrolment sessions in the  Kennedy Centre 27th April 10.00-4.00pm or a Coffee Morning in Lámh Dhearg clubrooms on Saturday 4th May between 10.00am – 12.00 noon

St. Comhghall’s GAC Antrim-A night of entertainment and craic

St. Comhghall’s GAC, Antrim invite you an evening of entertainment and craic on Sunday the 5th May in St. Joseph’s Parish Centre. The progressive Antrim town club are staging the hilarious comedy, St. Mungo’s Luganhlk ‘The Umpire Strikes Back’ and it is a show not to be missed.

So why not come along and support St. Comhghall’s in their fund raising efforts while enjoying what promises to be an entertaining evening for all. Bar service will be provided and at just £15-00 per ticket it represents great value for your money.

To order tickets ring James on 00761291862, Angela 07795190900, Paddy 07808366134 or contact any club member.

Gaelic players making their mark in Aussie Rules football

A recent chat with a friend of mine, David McElhone regarding Aussie league football saw me travelling to Boucher Road on Saturday to watch Australian Rules football live for the first time. Let me explain! David is a member of the Belfast Redbacks who were hosting their annual tournament at the Belfast venue and had invited me along to take some photographs.

As you will know this site is dedicated to Gaelic games but David was quick to point out that 17 of the Redbacks 21 panel are Gaelic or former Gaelic footballers and it set me thinking about the long association between Aussie Rules and the GAA.

Players like Tadhg Kennelly, Colin O’Riordan, Paul Early, Jim Stynes, Tommy Walsh, Marty Clarke and more recently Conor Glass have made the move down under to pursue lucrative careers. Perhaps I would discover an emerging star and make my fortune as he made the move to the Australian league!

Sadly I didn’t discover that emerging star but what I did experience was a great day’s entertainment in a wonderfully organised tournament that ran like clockwork throughout and provided a number of very competitive games of football with the Redbacks retaining the trophy they won last year.

Of the Belfast Redbacks team that hosted the tournament 17 of the 21 man panel are Gaelic footballers, the remainder are from rugby backgrounds or are Australian players. Some of the players started playing whilst away living and working in Australia and continued to play when they got home and some guys just picked up the game here in Belfast.

The Redbacks have Gaelic players from 5 different counties in the Belfast squad. They have players from Antrim, Tyrone, Derry, Armagh and Down, some of which are ex-county players.

The Belfast Redbacks were formed in 2010 and have won three premierships since then and are currently the reigning premiers of the AFL Ireland league with a flawless unbeaten season last year and are now preparing for the champions league in Amsterdam on the 7th of April.

Joining the Belfast Redbacks in Saturday’s tournament were two teams from London, the London Swans and the London Giants, the Galway Magpies and the South Dublin Swans while on the adjoining pitch four ladies teams took part in the ladies tournament.

The tournament was played as a blitz with each team playing each other and the top two in both men’s and ladies meeting in the final.

The outstanding team on the day in the men’s tournament was the Belfast Redbacks who were unbeaten throughout and went on to beat the London Swans in the final with my friend David McElhone making a telling contribution.

David plays Gaelic for Erin’s Own Cargin, the Antrim county champions and was their reserve player of the year in 2018 and it seemed to me that skills honed on the Gaelic field gave the Redbacks an advantage over most of their opponents as they moved the ball fast and direct from back to front with a player always in support.

In the ladies tournament it was the Uni Shamrocks who emerged victorious and again their superb fitness and superior skills carried the day.

After the tournament both winning teams were presented with medals while there were awards for the Player of the Tournament in both codes. Free refreshments were available throughout the day but perhaps what impressed me most was the lack of dissent towards referees despite a number of very’ tasty’ challenges.

It was back to GAA duty on Sunday and a soaking at a Feile semi-final between All Saints and Dunloy in the morning and another soaking at a hurling match between Cloughmills and Tir na nOg in the evening but you know what, I wouldn’t change it for all the Aussie Rules in the world!

The two Redbacks captains, Benny McDevitt and Dean Skinner with David McElhone.  Dean skinner won the player of the tournament for the men’s section.

The ladies “Uni Shamrocks” team coach Michael Currane and the ladies captain Amanda McQuade

Carryduff win in Armagh

ACHL Div.3

Cuchullains 1-6 Carryduff 1-13

Carryduff travelled to Armagh to take on Cuchullain’s with hope of bouncing back from a difficult season last year, narrowly avoiding relegation to Division 4.

Cuchullains started the brighter with several pointed frees from half forward Conleth Lavery taking advantage of Carryduff overcarrying the ball on several occasions. Eoin Rooney responded by tipping over his first point of the game and Sean O’Callaghan’s frees edged Carryduff back into the game. With the wind sweeping towards the Carryduff net and midfielder Davy Bridges stamping his authority on the match, Cuchullains increased their pressure on the Carryduff defence. As Cuchullains’ forward Patrick Mackin attempted to strike against his former club, the Carryduff defence held strong with key tackles coming from Ciaran Goodwin and Conor Cassidy. Carryduff then had a breakthrough with a well worked team move starting from defence ending up with half-forward Daniel McCartan who made no mistake in burying the ball into the bottom corner of the Cuchullains’ net. An end-to-end first half concluded with Cuchullains bagging a goal of their own through the lively Mattie Rafferty at corner forward, pushing the home side one to the good at half-time. HT Score: Cuchullains 1-5 Carryduff 1-4.

Carryduff started the second half stronger with several long-range Sean O’Callaghan frees splitting the posts, with the help of the breeze which was now in the away side’s favour. Cuchullains struggled to get a foothold in the match after the break and two quickfire points through Eoin Rooney pushed Carryduff further ahead. With Carryduff’s lead extended to six points, this left the home side looking for goals toward the end of the match. A late Cuchullains charge led by centre-back Ciaran Clifford eventuated in several dropped balls into the Carryduff square which were well defended by corner back Eoin Maguire and goalkeeper Conor McLornan. Carryduff subsitute Pete Loughrane then came on to score a fine individual point to put the match out of sight for Cuchullains, with Carryduff securing the win by a seven point margin.

After a positive first half, Cuchullains will be disappointed to only score one point in the second half. They will hope for better fortune in a couple of weeks as they face Carryduff’s neighbours Bredagh. Carryduff will be happy to start their campaign with a victory and will have a difficult match against Rasharkin up next.

Scorers: Carryduff – Sean O’Callaghan 0-8 (0-7f), Daniel McCartan 1-1, Eoin Rooney 0-3, Pete Loughrane 0-1

Cuchullains: Conleth Lavery 0-5 (0-5f), Mattie Rafferty 1-1

St. Enda’s celebrate very successful season

Dinnéar Bliantúil | Annual Club Dinner

Saturday 23rd March saw the annual Naomh Éanna Awards dinner in the Europa Hotel. The club were celebrating their most successful season ever with an Ulster Intermediate football championship success and a place in the All Ireland final in Croke Park.

A prestigious event, in a fantastic setting ensured a good night was had by all, with much to celebrate and great night of celebration hosted by Club Chairman – Steven Jennings and special guests on the night included MC Gerry Donnelly, Peter Canavan – Football Legend and Ciarán McCavana – Antrim County Chairman.

There was plenty of excitement with all members celebrating the continuous progression and development of Naomh Éanna CLG, with awards for players in all codes, Football (Male & Female), Hurling and Camogie.

Guests were treated to a feast of traditional music in the Library bar and music provided by Glengormley School of Traditional Music, proceedings officially began with the Chairpersons welcome and Gaeilge singer Caoimhe Ní Chathail singing a beautiful rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann.

The highlight of the night was the presentation of the Antrim and Ulster winners medals and Ireland Final Runners Up medals, with most of the squad in attendance however James McAuley (Club Captain), Eoin Nagle and Odhrán Eastwood where absent, being on county duty against Limerick in Limerick, Special Guest Peter Canavan made the presentations.

Club President Mrs Prenter with the Naomh Éanna football squad

After the meal, all present were treated to an after dinner speech by Peter Canavan, an insight into his home club Errigal Ciarán (Tyrone and Ulster club Champions in 1993 & 2002), has played county football for Tyrone and is considered one of the great players in the GAA and is most certainly a very influential person within the GAA, also is one of the most decorated players in the game’s history, winning two All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals, six All Stars Awards, four provincial titles, and two National Leagues.

Peter Canavan represented Ireland in the International Rules Series on several occasions from 1998 until 2000.

With Stephen Jennings addressing the audience and recognising the journey since the last event in 2017 he introduced the award winners to be presented by Peter Canavan.

Paul McKeown (Naomh Éanna Secretary), Steven Jennings (Club Chairperson), Séamus Mac Domhnaill (Club PRO) and Club Person of the Year and Special Guest Peter Canavan,

Left to right: Orla McNulty, Peil na mBan Joint Minor Footballer of the Year 2018, Peil na mBan Joint Minor Footballer of the Year 2018 – Cliodhna Kane and Peil na mBan Senior Footballer of the Year 2018 – Orlaith Murray with Peadar Ó Catháin and Special Guest Peter Canavan

Left to Right: Peil na mBan Senior Players Player of the Year 2018 – Jane McNulty with Peter Canavan, Senior Camogie Most Improved Player 2018 – Enya Ross with Gavin Curran and Special Guest Peter Canavan. Senior Camogie Players Player of the Year 2018 – Lisa Marie Maskey with Gavin Curran and Special Guest Peter Canavan.

Left to Right: Senior Camogie Player of the Year 2018 – Maebh Curran with Gavin Curran Jim Davidson and Special Guest Peter Canavan. Minor Footballer of the Year 2018 – Rónan O’Neill with Paul McKeown (Naomh Éanna Secretary), Steven Jennings (Club Chairperson), Paul McCann and Special Guest Peter Canavan

Left to Right: Minor Hurler of the Year 2018 – Niall O’Connor with Eugene McGoldrick (Director of Hurling), Patricia Devlin, Dominic Millar and Special Guest Peter Canavan. Reserve Hurler of the Year 2018 – Matthew Muldoon. Pictured is Darrach Cooper and Special Guest Peter Canavan, Darrach received the award on Matthews behalf

Left to Right: Reserve Footballer of the Year 2018 – Martin Craig
with Kevin Park and Special Guest Peter Canavan and Senior Hurler of the Year 2018 – Matthew O’Hare with Ciarán McCavana (Antrim County Chairperson), and Special Guest Peter Canavan

Left to Right: Senior Footballer of the Year 2018 – Conan Lyttle with Patricia Devlin, and Special Guest Peter Canavan

Pictured with the Ulster Writers Award received in February for Club of the Year is Club Chairperson Steven Jennings, Special Guest Peter Canavan and Club Secretary Paul McKeown

Right to Left: County Chairperson, Ciarán McCavana, being presented with copies of the fantastic Irish news newspaper articles with Club Chairperson Stephen Jennings and Vice chair Niall Murphy. Dual Club player, Philly Curran, being presented with a copy of the fantastic Irish news newspaper article in the run up to the All-Ireland Final. With Philly is Vice chair Niall Murphy.