Monday, 23 October 2017

 

Antrim GAA Visit the Official Club Aontroma Website

History of the GAA in Antrim


Contae Aontroma Na Luathbhlianta

Ba sa bhliain 1885 a bunaíodh Gaeil Bhéal Feirste (nó Ceannródaithe Bhéal Feirste mar ab’fhearr aithne orthu san am), an chéad chlub de chuid Chumann Lúthchleas Gael i gContae Aontroma. Is don Athair J. Ó Raghallaigh (arbh as Loch gCaol ó dhúchas dó) a théann an chreidiúint uile as bratach Mhicheál Uí Chíosóg a ardú sa chontae.

Go gairid ina dhiaidh sin tháinig ceithre chlub iomána eile ar an fhód, mar a bhí: Cláirsigh Bhéal Feirste, Lámha Dearga Lios na gCearrbhach, Club William Orr agus Raonairí Divis.

Díol spéise é, b’fhéidir, an mhír eolais a tháinig ón Ard-Chomhairle lena chur in iúl "go bhfuarthas £3 ó Aontroim mar tháillí ballraíochta don bhliain 1885."

I ndiaidh Scoilt Pharnell, d’imigh na cúig chlub in Aontroim in éag agus níor tugadh faoi Chumann Lúthchleas Gael a chur ar a bhonnaí arís sa chontae go dtí mí Dheireadh Fómhair 1898. Ba é Club Iomána na Craoibhe Rua, nuair a bunaíodh é, a chuir tús leis an ghluaiseacht. Chuir oifigigh an chlub ráiteas amach ag impí "ar fheara C.L.G. Aontroma agus Uladh an t-aighneas polaitiúil a bhí eatarthu a chur i leataobh agus seasamh le chéile arís eile de mheon na aontachta agus na cairdine faoi bhratach na sean-Ghael sa bhliain stairiúil seo, comóradh céad bliain 1798."

Le himeacht aimsire, tháinig clubanna C.L.G. eile ar an fhód agus nuair a bunaíodh An Bord Contae i 1900/01 d’fhéadfaí a rá, gan aon amhras, go raibh Athnuachan Ghaelach na hÉireann in Aontroim faoin lán seoil.

Seo thíos cuid de na chéad oifigigh ar Bhord Chontae Aontroma: Laurence O’Neill (Cathaoirleach), James Mackie (Rúnaí) agus George Martin (Cisteoir). Agus ba é George Martin a bhí mar chéad uachtarán ar Chomhairle Uladh. Agus bhí sé ina Rúnaí Chomhairle Uladh idir 1904-1910.

The first G.A.A. Club to be founded in Antrim was the Belfast Gaels (or Pioneers, as they came Popularly to be known), which came into existence in 1885. To the Rev. J. O'Reilly (a native of Loughguile) must be accorded the signal honour of raising the banner of Michael Cusack in the county.

Hot foot upon the Belfast Gaels came four additional hurling clubs: Belfast Harps, Lisburn Red Hands, William Orrs and Divis Rangers.

It may be of interest to record that an official news item emanating from Central Council intimated "the receipt of the sum of £3, from Antrim, as affiliation fees for the year 1885".

Consequent upon the Parnell Split, the five Antrim clubs faded into the limbo of things forgotten and it was not until October 1898 that an effort to reorganise the G.A.A. in Antrim materialised.

The initiative was taken by the Red Branch Hurling Club, after its coming into existence. An appeal by their officers called upon "Antrim and Ulster G.A.A. men to sink their political differences and come together in unity and friendship under the old Gaelic banner once more, in this memorable year, the centenary year of 1798".

In due course more G.A.A. Clubs came into being and, with the formation of a County Board in 1900. The Irish Ireland revival in Antrim had become a concrete reality.

Oifigi mor le ra

Antrim has provided

2 Presidents of the G.A.A.
Padraig McNamee (1938 - 1943)
Seamus McFerran (1955 - 1958)

5 Presidents of the Ulster Council
George Martin (1903)
Seamus Dobbin (1919 - 1922)
Patrick McFadden (1925 - 1931)
Padraig McNamee (1935-1937) & (1943 – 1945)
Seamus McFerran (1949 - 1951)

1 Treasurer of the Ulster Council
Patrick McFadden (1923);
Michael Hasson (2010)

3 Secretaries of the Ulster Council
George Martin (1904 - 1910)
W.P. Gilmore (1911)
Patrick McFadden (1923 - 1924).

George Martin

George Martin - Ulster Council Secretary 1904-1910 George Martin, a Solicitor by profession, was born and raised off the Falls road, in Belfast, where he attended St Mary’s school in Divis street. As secretary of the Tir Na Nog Hurling club, in Belfast and a member of the Antrim County Board, he was associated with the revival of the GAA in Antrim at the turn of the century. He was elected as the first president of the Ulster council in 1903 and later served as Secretary of the Ulster Council from 1904 until 1910. In addition to all of the above responsibilities he also served as a member of the central Council and acted as the official handicapper of the Athletic Council.