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Sunday, 23 March 2014












Club History ...... 1900's

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Mullabrack football club was formed in 1903 by local school teacher, James Cotter.  Master Cotter, a native of Cork moved to Markethill with his wife Alice to take up the position of headteacher at the local Catholic school.


In 1906, James Cotter was elected as chairman of the Armagh County Board.  At the first County Board meeting under his tenure on 3rd March, a letter was read by Father Montague (CC Loughgilly Parish) offering a silver cup for a league competition in the county.  This offer had originated from a William McKillop from Glasgow who was the Nationalist member of Parliament for South Armagh.  The offer was accepted on the proposal of James Cotter and Owen Fagan.  James Cotter, Fr. Montague and Peter McKnight (Keady Dwyers) were appointed the trustees.  In 1906, the McKillop Cup as it became known, could be won by a team achieving three outright leagues wins in a row or by winning four games in all.  This regulation was eventually changed in 1931 and the McKillop Cup was transferred to the county senior football championship, as it still is to this present day.


James Cotter also acted as a referee in those days and was in the middle for the 17th June 1906 first round meeting between Keady Michael Dwyers and Whitecross.  Later that year he was given the task of refereeing the county senior football championship final in Whitecross on 16th September between Crossmaglen Red Hands and Camlough Shane OíNeills.  The match was won by Crossmaglen with a finishing scoreline of 1-4 to 0-6, and was the first of many titles to be won by them, and to be displayed in the shop window of James Short, a tradition which prevails today.


In 1907, James Cotter was re-elected as county chairman and was also appointed as an Ulster council delegate.  He was eventually replaced as county chairman in 1909 by Pat Fardley from Crossmaglen.


James Cotter remained a native of Markethill until his death on 13th August 1947.  He is interned at Mullabrack chapel beside his beloved wife, who was also a local schoolteacher.


The Early Days of the Shamrocks

In 1903, Mullabrack was known as the Shamrocks.  They retained this name until the mid 1930ís.  Little is known of the team in the early years but during the 1930ís, they played their matches at various locations around the parish.  Mallonís meadow was one such place, as was the Cunningham field at the Poke Mill in Drumachee.  Games at this time were also played in Ballindarragh just outside the village of Markethill in a field which belonged to a Mr Rice, who at that time resided in America.  The team colours of this era were green, with a green shamrock on the shoulder.  Some of the team players in 1930 were Francie Brown, Thomas and Michael Callaghan, the three Toner brothers from Lissummon, Jim McSherry from Poyntspass, Paddy Convery, Joseph and Patrick Lennon and John Lennon from Clady.

In 1933, the local club had nine county players amongst the panel.  These included S Toner; Eddie Loy; Paddy Convery, Jim McSherry, Mickey McCone and John Lennon. Other family names who played in the 1930ís included McParland, McClure, Daly, McGeown, Mallon, Boylan and Cunningham.




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