Getting Antrim to top of GAA ladder?

It shouldn’t be underestimated what a coup it is for the Belfast GAA club St Galls to make it to the All Ireland Club Final. Much of the recent effort has gone into building hurling capacity in the county. Born in the City Hospital (and therefore technically in Co Antrim), I’ve always taken an interest in Antrim football, but rarely been inspired by it. I’m more likely to pay good money to see Donegal or Down. However one initiative is determined to change all that. Club Aontroma has been launched to garner sufficient funds to build on successes like St Galls’, and begin to popularise the sport throughout the county.

  • circles

    “We’re blue, We’re white,
    we’re f***** dynamite,
    We’re St Galls,
    We’re St Gaaaallllls”
    Best of luck to milltown boys on Friday!!

  • It’s become a popular thing now for county boards to set up fundraising bodies to pump money into development of the games. Club Tyrone (, one of the first was set up a few years ago and has reaped the benefits. With the increasing intensity of competition and the drive for perfection of physical fitness requiring vast amounts of money this seems like the only way forward.

    Good luck to St Galls. Let’s hope the club title can join the Sam on Ulster soil.

  • Glensman

    Nice of you to plug St. Gall’s, it’s a great acheivement and i’ll be there to cheer them on. I would like to clarify though that the treatment of Antrim hurling, especially North Antrim Hurling has been shameful. This year has seen the appointment of Dr. John McSparran as county secretary, and a welcome appointment it is as he is the first North Antrim (non-belfast) secretary in the county’s history.
    The success of Glens clubs in hurling championships is down to sheer effort and determination, possibly some of this talent and success would filter to the county team should support for North Antrim clubs emerge.
    Up the Dall!

  • Young Fogey

    Didn’t O’Donovan Rossa win the All Ireland hurling competition back in the early 90s.

  • Donnie

    As far as I know only Loughgiel Shamrocks have won the All-Ireland Club C’ship and that was back in about 1982!

    As for Glensmans comments re. the treatment of N. Antrim hurling – he should be thankful he’s not trying to hurl anywhere in Ulster outside of Antrim or the Ards peninsula!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Best of luck to St Gall’s on Friday. It would be ecstasy for Antrim Gaels to see a Belfast club win the All Ireland – and I think they might just do it. It would give a great boost to Club Aontroma, just when it’s getting off the ground – it would be good to see Antrim get their act together.

    And speaking as an Armagh man, I’d be delighted to see our own John Rafferty guiding the Millfield men to glory.

    Yes, Loughgiel won the All Ireland club title in, I think, 1983. But am I right in saying that if St Gall’s were to win, Antrim would become only the third county (after Cork and Galway) to boast All Ireland winners in both hurling and football?

    – Billy Pilgrim

  • Todd

    Now lads, as much as I’d like to see Antrim win something…

    Its Gallimh for the double this Friday!!! and if the damn Bull was alive we’d take that too :)))

  • sean

    Good luck to St. Galls, a great football team.

  • brendan,belfast

    Glensman says

    “This year has seen the appointment of Dr. John McSparran as county secretary, and a welcome appointment it is as he is the first North Antrim (non-belfast) secretary in the county’s history.”

    McSparran is county chairman (jim Murray is the secretary) and he is a good force within the county. The chairman’s role is the more significant of the two. However the immediate past Chairman was Joe O’Boyle – not sure where Joe is form but he is certainly not a Belfast man!

  • Glen Taisie

    Joe is a Glenavy man.

    Ballycastle,Loughgiel,Rossa and Dunloy have all reached All-Ireland Club finals in Hurling with
    only Loughgiel tasting success.

    I think no Antrim football side has contested a final (St John’s went close in 73 and 78).

    Any way Good luck St Galls


  • Grimesy

    Salthill are the Chelsea of club football…although Galls aren’t pretty (their defeat of Nemo was particularly sore on the eyes), most football neutrals will be hoping for an Antrim victory…Just make sure to keep Kevin McGourty away from the cameras after the game, the lad has a face for radio!

  • Good luck to St Galls this Friday, its a coin toss as to who will win IMO.

  • Moyle Rover

    St Galls started a very serious underage coaching operation about 8-10 years in both hurling and football. They are now reaping the rewards of hard work with 5 antrim titles in a row and an all ireland appearance. Their hulers are improving also having won a county minor title two to three years ago and improving dramatically at senior level. Unfortunately for the hurlers many of the players are also footballers and I suspect with this success football will take preference.

  • P RING

    St Johns Belfast got to the All-Ireland club football final in 1978 where they were defeated by Thomond College of Limerick.

    Antrim hurling clubs have been defeated 6 times in the club final including 4 runners-up positions for Dunloy (‘95,96,03,04).

    Ballycastle (1980)and O’Donovan Rossa(1989)were the other two and of course Loughgiel were the champs in 1983.

    Naomh Gall abu.

  • dantheman

    Ballygalget nearly got to another this year, they were unlucky on the day.

  • audley

    Two UDA men are walking down the shank ill road to sign on, Iain and Billy.

    Iain says to Billy, “I tell ye wat, der’ll nevur be a united Ireland!”

    Billy replies, “Due to 50 years of a one party dictatorship at stormont and over 30 years of governance from Westminster, i have no education like. I’m from the shankill, and i’ve no education like. its all them fenians fault clearly. yup – der’ll nevur be the grey skies of a united Ireland – even there are no areas in the south as impoverished as our scumbag estate!”

    The next day the British army do what the have been planning for some time and withdraw from the last of their colonies. They call it Normalisation day – Gibraltar returns to be part of the great province of Andalusia once again, las malvinas return to argentina, and the temporary partition of their neighboring island is finished. The news is welcomed by the great majority in England, as the legacy of empire is confined to history and England prepares to focus on being a leading European player. Scotland and Wales, two proud nations, also find their independence and there is a harmonious feeling of good will on the island of Britain.

    The new Irish government legalized all drugs and prostitution for one week, effectively bankrupting the uda.

    One year on, Billy and Iain are down again in the Peter Hain/Wolfe Tone memorial pub on the lower shankill, watching Antrim playing in their first all-Ireland hurling final since 1989. They both have jobs now due to the Celtic tiger, and it is sunny every day on the shankill road. Iain turns to Billy and says

    “This is great, why did we ever fight in the first place and deny our own history? Now we don’t have to just pretend to be Irish when we are driving through France in our stolen cars?”

    Billy replies “I have no idea mo chara. No idea.”

    And the moral of this story…..

    Antrim have an all-Ireland in them.