Éire Óg History

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History of the Éire Óg Club

Written by Stevie Moore with help from Peter Morris, Seamus Curran, Marty McCleery, Kathy Crangle & Derek Brennan. 


The Éire Óg G.A.C. Club was formed in 1969, to promote Gaelic Football and Gaelic Culture in the central Craigavon area, Brownlow as it is known.

The first recorded meeting took place in Arthur Campbell’s house in Meadowbrook. Those in attendance at the meeting were Frank Kennedy, Arthur Campbell, Jimmy Bogle, Pat Richardson, Jim Connolly, Brendan Curran and Peter McKeever.

Arthur Campbell was appointed the first official club senior team manager and Peter McKeever was to be the team’s captain. New committee members were also coming on board such as Joe Brennan and Pat McGahan, both of whom had an avid interest in setting up an athletics club.


The first club AGM took place on Friday 21st August 1970 in Moylinn Community Hall. In a poorly attended meeting, the first official club committee was elected as follows, Chairman: Brendan Curran, Vice-Chairman: Sam Canning, Secretary: Peter McKeever, Assistant Secretary: Pat Richardson, Treasurer: Arthur Campbell, Committee Members: Brendan Connolly and Pat Christie. ‘Big Pat’ was also elected captain of the football team at the meeting. Shortly afterwards four new members joined the committee, Jim Connolly, Jimmy Bogle, Eamon McCourt and Terry McGinnity.

The club began playing matches, at Monbrief,  in Division 4 of the All-county League in 1970 with Pat Richardson as senior team manager. Early matches were played against Maghery, Ballymacnab and Tir Na nOg. Local clubs provided plenty of help to the club in the early days. The first skip the senior team played in was donated by Clan Na Gael with Clann Eireann and Wolfe Tones providing equipment. The St. Peters’ club made the use of their Hall for the team to train in on Tuesday nights. With the Craigavon area growing rapidly the club had also established under-age teams. Women were also beginning to get involved with the club and a Ladies Committee was established in September 1970. 

 Throughout the year the club had obtained the playing field at Monbrief as a permanent base for both senior and under-age football; right from these early days Jimmy Bogle was the driving force behind the under-age teams.

Mettings took place in a wooden hut in the Moylinn Area, which was used as a post office during the week and a church on Sunday. Eight men attended this meeting from Gaelic backgrounds and the parishes priest FR. C Murray. A committee was formed, and a name given to the club. The club adopted the name Éire Óg (Young Ireland ). 

As there were only 2 estates in Brownlow at the time and our membership was very small. We purchased our first set of football jerseys second hand from a Gaelic club in Lurgan to meet the cost of the jerseys we ran a weekly raffle.

By 1970 Brownlow had expanded to 6 housing estates. We entered our senior team in the Armagh all county league with the large growth in the population and the opening of 2 primary schools we were able to enter under 12 and under 14 teams in the north Armagh leagues, home matches were still been played at Monbrief.

By 1972 Craigavon council had built a community hall in Tullygally and had made football pitches including two Gaelic pitches at Taghnevan. This was a great help to the club at this time as we used the community hall to raise funds for the Club and the football pitches were just a short distance from our area. We used the community hall for bingo on Monday nights and an underage disco on Friday nights. We also raised enough funds from these ventures that by the end of the year we were able to purchase a second-hand bus. We also provided a new senior football strip and 2 under age football strips.

These were in the clubs registered green, orange and amber. Unfortunately for us this hall was closed in 1973.

Also, by 1972 with Brownlow expanding all the time and with Lismore Comprehensive school built we were able to field teams in all age groups under 10, under 12, under 14, under 18 and minors in the north Armagh championships.

By 1974 with the formation of a ladies sub-committee, the club formed a camogie team. The girls fielded teams at senior under 11 and under 13 and played in the Armagh camogie leagues, it was also around the time that the club started to take part in the Scór.

By 1975/78 season with the football pitches at Taghnevan were overused. For underage football the club decided to erect goal posts on a piece of land which lay between Carrigart and Pinebank housing estates. This had been used to dump soil from building off these 2 housing estates. There was about enough room in the centre of the field between two mounds of soil for underage pitch, the camogie team also used the pitch. 

Other Key milestones – 1970’s

In the 1971 AGM Fr. Murray was appointed President and in 1972 York Smith was Senior team manager with Dessie Rogers helping at underage levels.  Arthur Campbell successfully won referee of the year 1972 and in 1973 the club hosted a Scór in Tullygally Hall and Frankie Bogle/ Kevin McGibbon/ T. Connolly were opted onto the committee. 1974 seen the club promoted to Division 2 and Dessie Furphy joined committee with Dessie Rogers appointed secretary in 1975.    During this time Eugene Quinn was Vice Chairman and Dessie Furphy became Senior Team Manager  1978 seen Patsy Donnelly on senior team selection committee and Christy Reid.  1979 seen Kieran McGurk on committee alongside Bob McEvoy

As regards development in 1979 while using the field for football and camogie we tried unsuccessfully for years to find who owned this piece of land until this date when we developed the ground by levelling and soiling it and making it into a full-size playing field. It was always an ambition of the clubs to purchase the ground and erect permanent brick changing room and youth faculties, and extending the playing and spectator areas.  This vision was to come to fruition some years later.


PJ Lawless was appointed B Team manager in 1980 with Patsy Donnelly joint senior manager alongside Peter McKeever.   Player of the Year in 1980 was Kieran McGurk with most Improved Player Malachy Rogers.  Player of the decade was awarded to George Sewelll.  It was in 1981 that the Camogie Club was formed with help from Brendan Beattie.  At the AGM Mickey Catney and Danny Trainor were co-opted with the committee including Willie McConville (Chairman 1982) , Seamus Curran and John McConnell. 

The club successfully won the 1985 Armagh Junior Championship beating Collegeland.  Mentors around the time at the club included the likes of Seamus Curran, John McConnell, Jimmy Bogle, Peter Morris, Willie McConville and Frank Hendron.  The 2011 squad emulated their success and followed it up with another Junior Championship in that year.

Éire Óg Armagh Junior Champion Winners 1985

1987 seen Eugene Quinn Treasurer and John McConnell Secretary.  Youth Club was run by Joe Berry and the club played in Senior Team Division 2 with Jim Burns Senior Team Manager.  Planning permission for pitch and clubrooms was granted. 1988 saw Danny Trainor Senior Team Manager and in 1989 Joe Clarke was on the committee and helped with the Minor teams of this period.  Sean Rogers was Chairman.

It can be said that during the eighties the club really took off and honours came thick and fast with the senior team getting promotion from the fourth to the third division of the Armagh all county league and winning the Junior championship and finishing runner up in the intermediate championship, during this period we also made a great impact at the underage level winning the north Armagh under 18 and under 18 championships and leagues.

Armagh Vs Meath (National Football League Final) Croke Park, Dublin 1994

Éire Óg county players – Back Row – 6 from right – Ger Reid Front Row – 2nd from left – Terence O’Hagan & 4th from left – Damian Horisk


Pat Christie was Chairman of the club.  1990 seen winners in u12s and runners-up, u21- winners and seniors’ runners up 1991.  Kieran Corr becoming chairman in 1993 and Bobby McVeigh senior team manager.  Éire Óg Seniors play in 1st Division in 1994.

Club Facilities Development

It was in 1998 when the old Craigavon Council basically said to the club that it had 6-8 weeks to buy the pitch or vacate it and lose the lease and potentially lose the club. Houses they said were planning to be built on the current site of the pitch.  Seamus Curran (Chairman) and Jim Greene (Treasurer) at the time and needed monies for solicitors’ costs to pay for the option to purchase the land where the club is all situated at the minute.  The club held a night at the races at the Goodyear Sports & Social club and raised the legal costs of approx £1,500.  

This allowed the club to then sell the land at the old waste land over in Gilpins town which John McConnell had helped purchase many years before.

In 1998/1999 the DOE finally handed over the lease to the club. This is where the club house and social club now sits and land next to Carrigart was purchased also. 

During this 10 year Development period Derek Brennan as Chairman and also Seamus Curran and Martin McCleery worked hard to apply for grants and Croke Park / Ulster GAA grants to help build the changing rooms

Derek Brennan as chairperson alongside Charlie McCartan, John Brennan, Andy Joe Murnin and Pat Brewster on the Committee at the time, when the successful idea of the house draw  came about and this helped raise over £100k for club funds also in the early 2000s to help with further development. 

This hard work made it all possible for the younger generation to enjoy all the superb facilities we have today.

A sense of achievement is about the area at present and 2000 was the most successful in the clubs history as they won the Intermediate championship for the first time and gained promotion to division two of the Armagh Leagues.

The year was finished in fine style as the club also gained the “Club of the Year” accolade in two separate awards ceremonies for both their on an off the field exploits. The club also entered into an all Ulster Football Competition for the first time

2001/2 was eagerly awaited by the club to play Senior football Championship competitions for the first time and for the first time will be able to welcome visiting clubs to its fine facilities and offer them some true hospitality.

2002 the club asked for volunteers to become life members, at a cost of £1000 each ( £20 a month over 5 years ). This money helped further to develop the facilities. These life members names are proudly presented on a board as you enter the social club. 


Ladies Camogie and Football

The Éire Óg crest with the Camogie hurls shows proud tradition of Ladies GAA games at Éire Óg.  During the early days of the club Éire Óg had a strong Camogie team.

With the success of Ladies Football since especially since the beginning of the new Millenium the football has overtaken the Camogie side of things.


2002 – All Ireland Winner (Celtic Cross medal) – Ger Reid & Ulster Championships Winner (1999, 2000, 2002)


Our referees during this period Barney Henry and Seamus O’Neill have represented the Éire Óg club with distinction for many years and were at the forefront throughout Armagh and further afield.  Barney was appointed to referee the 2008 Ladies All Ireland Intermediate Semi Final, the Ladies All Ireland Minor Semi final and the Ladies Ulster Minor Final at Clones.  Seamus has also represented his club and county officiating at Ulster League and Ulster Ladies Championship matches as well as Ladies National League matches.  Ferghal Connolly has continued this fine refereeing tradition to this day.

“Armagh Intermediate Championship Winners 2000”

“Mini Ogs”

During the 2000’s Ian O’Hagan spearheaded the coaching and development of skills of local primary school boys and girls through the launch of the successful “Mini Ogs” programme.  It continues to take place every Saturday morning during the season. Special mention must be paid to all the coaches, mentors, children and parents who have supported this brilliant initiative over the years”.

Éire Óg Mini Ogs assembled before the North Armagh GAA week parade with coaches Dermot McCluskey & Dougie Frazer. (2008)


Éire Óg has been competing in both Scór na nÓg and Sinsear Scór since the early years of the club’s foundation. Over the years the club has had the proud tradition of winning many Armagh and Ulster titles in areas such as Irish dancing novelty acts, recitation, and solo singing. In 1985 the Scór na nÓg dancers were runners up in the All-Ireland Final in Galway while in 2005 the instrumental group reached the All-Ireland finals in Killarney. The most recent achievement for the club was being awarded Armagh Club of the year in 2006. Even though the past year or so has not reaped any major awards optimism remains high and with Moya McConnell leading the way Scór will continue to flourish at Éire Óg. The Éire Óg club is the proud sponsor of a perpetual trophy in memory of the late Roisin Stewart RIP who tragically passed away a number of years ago as the result of a road accident. Roisin, a very talented solo singer was part of the club’s Scór na nÓg team. He rmemory lives on through the presentation of this coveted trophy to the winner of the Armagh Scór na nÓgsolo singing competition each year.

North Armagh Gaelic week (2008)

The week of events which took place during June was a great success for the GAA I both North Armagh and the Éire Óg club. One of our life members Stevie Moore was heavily involved as North Armagh PRO and member of the North Board working group to help make these events an all-round success. All the events were held at various clubs throughout North Armagh during the week and were well attended by many of our members. The Scór and Irish Culture night which took place in the Éire Óg social club on the Friday night saw a packed house being entertained to the highest standards by traditional music, Irish dancing, recitation, novelty acts. Our children, parents and members took pride of place on the Saturday morning when they came out en masse to take part in the parade, led by the Artane Boys band, through Lurgan which may have been a first for the GAA in North Armagh but by no means the last. Indeed, a great effort by everyone involved.

Éire Óg Parade committee (L to R) – Sean Connolly, Dougie Frazer, Dermot McCluskey, Dwaine Reid, Gary Griffin, Hugh Flannery, John Brennan, Ian O’Hagan, Tony Devlin, Frank Doherty, Gerard Creaney, Peter Morris and Barney Henry.

Artane Boys Band (Dublin) – North Armagh GAA week (2008)

Éire Óg Recreational GAA team (2008)


Exciting growth of Ladies Football at Éire Óg

In January 2015 we had our first (reformed) U12 girls training, around 20 girls showed up and that’s were the current girls set up began.

That first year was tough – a lot of the girls hadnt played much football before or any , so it was just about developing their basic skills and building their confidence. We didn’t win too many matches that year but what we did do was get the girls involved and they all loved it and wanted to keep coming back.

In the following years we built on our numbers and tried to offer football for as many girls as we could. In 2016 we entered 2 teams into the league (U12 & U14) .

In 2017 we had U12 & U16. Again they were tough years but along the way we were always learning and growing and we always knew that it would take at least 5 years to get our numbers up and all age groups going.


In 2018 along with everything that was going on with our underage teams we also had the resurgence of our Senior Ladies team. This was a major boost to the club and was an instant success with great numbers of ladies, both new and past players coming along to get involved.

As the girls numbers were growing so were the coaches. Each year we were getting a little more help and in turn this was improving the quality of training and performances. In 2019 we fielded at U10,12,14,16 and this was the first year that we would experience some well deserved success. Our fantastic U14 team who were the original first timers back in the January 2015 won the league and championship. A wonderful achievement and a sign of things to come for our girls.


As we all know 2020 wasn’t a great year for football with Covid restricting many games and our normal playing season. However it was a positive year for us as it was the first time in Eire Og’s history that we fielded girls teams at every age group from U8 right up to senior. Success continued to flow with our U12s winning another championship in 2021 and more importantly our structure by this stage was solid. Another amazing addition was our Gaelic for Mothers and Others programme which has gone from strength to strength since it was introduced in 2021. This has gave local women an outlet were they can get exercise, play football but more importantly have fun which they certainly do.

Fielding teams at every age group was an amazing achievement for us and something that had never happened in girls football in our club’s history. It is a massive credit to every person who has helped us along the way. Without these volunteers giving up their time there would simply be no football for our girls. We owe everything to those people and to Eire og club for giving us the opportunity, support and facilities to be able to play and compete.


Now in 2023 we are in a great position with full squads at every age group, teams of eager coaches, girls representing our club at county level, girls who started at U12 and who are now playing senior football. It couldn’t be any better or more positive. We have teams of underage age & senior girls all with dreams of championships, trophies and success. Eight years has flown by and when we look at what we have achieved in that time we are so excited for what is still to come.

Senior Team Management (2006) – PJ Lawless & Marty McCleery.


Éire Óg V Clonmore – North Armagh derby match won by Éire Óg in the Armagh Junior Championship Final on 9th October 2011. 

Éire Óg Armagh Junior Championship Winning Squad 2011


The Past, the present and the exciting future ahead

We firstly remember all those Éire Óg dedicated men and women who throughout the decades and through difficult times and who have now sadly passed away.  They have made our club what it is today.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha. (May they all rest in peace).

Éire Óg Dads and Lads & Mothers & Others

The Present acknowledging the Éire Óg community of the present who all still believe they can make the Armagh county squads.  A great attitude they all have “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”

Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí / Praise the youth and they will flourish

The club youth structures in 2023 at both girls and boysl evel are strong and the future is exciting.  There have been recent successes at girls and boys underage and this augers well for the future.


2023 – Put in current committee members.


The club has an exciting future ahead.  The current Éire Óg committee and volunteer effort aims to be able to offer enhanced playing and spectator facilities in the not too distant future.


We recognise the achievements of our past and we can all be so proud of the positive impact we have had on our community.  We are confident that the Éire Óg family will continue to support the GAA in the area.   Thank you one and all !

Our Gaelic Teams & Programs

Mini Ogs

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Learn More

Underage Boys & Girls

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Senior Ladies

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Senior Men

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Summer Camp

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Skills & Drills

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Personal Training

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