Gaelic Life All Star pics

Many thanks to the guys at Gaelic Life, and photographer Michael Cullen for these great pics from last weekend’s Gala dinner. Another great night

Saints & Slimmers at All Saints GAC

All Saints GAC Galgorm Resort “Saints & Slimmers” Up and Running

Ballymena’s All Saints GAC award winning health and well being programme, Saints & Slimmers, returned for a 5th successive year this week. Started in January 2016 the 6 week project has witnessed a record 160 participants sign up for this year’s programme. Those taking part are teamed with fellow “Slimmers” in a bid to be crowned overall Saints & Slimmers Champions, 2020.

With health and well-being at its heart Saints & Slimmers provides opportunities for regular team exercise, promotion of positive mental health, development of teamwork skills, dance and many social activities. Participants have been assigned to a team and are following a 6 week programme of activity. Those involved will be spin cycling in the early morning before winding down with a brisk walk that evening. Circuit training, aerobic workouts and the all important team challenges will keep everyone entertained while the finale dance-off in the splendour of the Tullyglass House Hotel will provide a fitting celebration of the participants efforts.

But don’t let the “Slimmers” reference mislead you. This programme is about far more than that as Club Chairman Jim Brady elaborates:

“Our annual programme places its emphasis clearly on the achievement of personal goals for all involved. For some that might be simply getting out of the house for an activity at a time of the year when the long nights and inclement weather may put you off leaving home. For others it may be an opportunity to meet new people, to try something new or indeed … to lose some weight. Whatever the goal the programme seems to have captured the imagination of local people in great numbers since it started 4 years ago with some 600 people in total taking part. As well as providing the participants with a range of activities to undertake we offer mental wellness sessions, a range of social events to attend and many opportunities to step outside of their comfort zone. All of our fitness tutors are locally based and that means that as well as channelling funding towards them during the programme they also get a chance to show off their product and attract spin-off business as a result throughout the remainder of the year”. 

In 2017 the programme was recognised at the Irish News Club & Volunteer Awards when it was awarded the prestigious award for best Club Health & Well Being initiative. This year’s programme sees participants range in age from 18 to 65 years of age and activities are tailored to individual need and fitness.

Charity features as an integral part of the programme and last year the organisers at All Saints designated the McMillan Unit at Antrim Area Hospital as the beneficiaries of their efforts. A sum of over £5k was raised principally through the team “Spinathon” at the Harmony Hub in the centre of Ballymena in February. This year a similar event on Saturday 8th February will raise funds to benefit the Children’s Hospice. 

The club would like to thank those local sponsors who have supported individual teams and events. They include Ballymena Running & Athletic Club, McKillop’s Spar Frys Road, Connolly’s Spar Dunclug, Tullyglass House Hotel and the overall programme sponsor Galgorm Resort and Spa. The theme for the teams this year are flowers and they are appropriately named as: The Teamkit Tulips, The Do-Jo Daffodils, The Doherty Meats Marigolds, The Fitzsimons Opticians Foxgloves, The Pizza Parlour Pansies, The Knockdene Healthcare Heathers, The Flamingo Forget Me Nots, The Sitting Room Snowdrops, the Studio 365 Sunflowers, The Steele Physio Primroses, the Prime Fitness Ponsettias and the Rafferty Property Roses. 

So over the next few weeks if you happen to see a group of Roses or Pansies jogging past you on the street give them a shout of encouragement and help them to bloom!

Dr Éamon Phoenix-History of the civil rights

C.L.G. Aontroim Thuaidh – North Antrim G.A.A.


Dr Éamon Phoenix

‘The History of the Civil rights Movement in the North of lreland: From the Unionist State to the Troubles’

Dunloy Parish Centre, 17 Bridge Road, Dunloy, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, BT44 9AN

Saturday 18th January 2020


Tickets (Táille £5.00) on sale from North Antrim GAA clubs

 This talk will briefly trace the history of the Northern state from partition; the Unionist state under Craigavon and Brookeborough; the impact of the British Welfare State and 1947 Education Act on the Nationalist minority; the 1956-62 campaign and how it caused a re-think among Republicans; the rise of O’Neill and the emergence of the Civil Rights movement by the late 1960s; the marches of 1968-69; the rise of Paisleyism; the reaction of Westminster and Stormont to the Civil Rights Campaign; the outbreak of the Troubles and the events of 1969-72

 Dr. Eamon Phoenix is a social and political historian specialising in Irish history and is a regular and well-known broadcaster.

He is Principal Lecturer in History and Head of Lifelong Learning at Stranmillis University College.

Éamon is the author and editor of a number of books on modern Irish history including Northern Nationalism 1890-1940 and Conflicts in the North of Ireland 1900-2000.

He compiles the daily series ‘On This Day’ column which reflects Irish News reports of historical events from a century ago. For 2019, however, he is focusing not just on the most significant events of 1919 but also those of 1969, both of which he describes as “critical periods in Irish history”.

He has written extensively on historical issues for The Irish Times

He gives talks on the Decade of Centenaries 1913-1923 and on the Civil Rights period – two strands of Irish history which are of major significance.

He is a Member of the Taoiseach’s Expert Advisory Committee on dealing with the Decade of Centenaries commemorations