MustWatch: Crossmaglen, field of dreams…

Well worth – if you can get it on the iPlayer – but number five in the True North series on BBCNI focuses on Crossmaglen Rangers Gaelic Football Club and the passion it invokes and how an addiction to winning has helped transform the outlook of the local community.

Not every GAA club is as successful or as well supported as Cross is. But Thomas Niblock does pretty in teasing out just what the GAA and its resolutely amateur code routinely does for a local community. Just full of great moments.

(Although the most familiar bit for an ex Holywood ‘player’ is the bit when Drumantee turn up without the requisite number of players to the play the actual match.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Tochais Siorai

    Mick, the Dromintee thing was a protest by them against the county board not rescheduling the fixture (to accomodate the wedding of one of the players, I think). A no show would’ve got them a large fine so they just went on the pitch to prevent that.

  • Megatron

    Good show. They probably went a little far in presenting the situation as the british army randomly turning up and sure didn’t every one in cross just want to play football.

    God knows where those IRA volunteers came from.

    Suited all the narratives I suppose.

  • Zig70

    They jumped from 1920 to the troubles and didn’t mention the population makeup was honed by the rocky poor farmland and general poverty. I didn’t mind, I was watching it for the football. The judgment made by the soldiers and many others in NI on the affiliation to violent republicanism says more about them and the lack of intelligence the British army had of the area.

  • mickfealty

    Yes, that would not have been the case in lowly north Down (or south Antrim as we sometimes were for the purposes of finding someone closer to play).

  • Barneyt

    Oh my oh my…Dromintee please. We get Drumintee…a bit like some insist in throwing a “h” in Forkill…but jaysus the night….I’ve never seen Drumantee

    Dromintee had little choice. They needed to reshedule and when this could not be accommodated they found that the entire club would be thrown out of all competitions, depriving the youngsters of a sport they love. Turning up to conduct jeansgate prevented the game being removed from the community and its younger generations.

    Dromintee has a special place in the community and it gives as much as it receives. It may not be as successful as Cross however it does not suffer from support.