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Sunday, 23 March 2014












Mullabrack Camogie

The first record of camogie in Mullabrack was in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s.  Two local girls Josie Toner and the late Marie McConnell who played for Ballymacnab, at the time.  They decided to try and get a camogie team started in Mullabrack.  They were successful in getting a team together but unfortunately it only lasted a short period of time.


The next attempt in 1983 was more successful when Brendan O’Hanlon approached the local priest to call a meeting with the view to starting a camogie team.  The meeting was successful and a committee was formed as follows.


Chairperson: Rose Pickering

Vice –chairperson: Brendan O’Hanlon

Secretary: Roisin O’Hanlon

Treasurer: Johnny O’Reilly

Committee members.  Mary Livingstone; Margaret Livingstone; Joan Reilly; Mary Reilly; Eithne Rice; Mary Loughran; Teasie McKeown with Ita Crossan joining the committee a short time later.


Fr McAnulty, the parish priest donated £100 to help buy equipment.  This was supplemented by the organisation of a number of other activities – sponsored walks; whist drives; raffles and fashion shows.


Rose Pickering (nee Devlin), an ex county player from Ballymacnab was the only person that had any camogie experience.  Rose had numerous contact in camogie circles and enlisted the help of various coaches; Jimmy Carlisle (Armagh); Aiden Reynolds (Portadown); Brendan Beattie (Craigavon) and Eddie Grew (Maghery), to name but a few.  Noel Quinn was the last trainer that the club had.


The camogie club had many successes.  In 1984, they won Club of the Year.

In 1987, Mullabrack won the Junior Championship and the Division 3 League.

 In 1988, they won the Intermediate Championship, post Primary Championship and Under-12 seven a side.


Intermediate Champions 1988

Back Row: M Reilly, S Mallon, J Reilly,  R Pickering

Middle Row: F Loye, L Gray, B Murphy, H Mc Keown, S Mc Geown,

J Rice

 Front Row E Crossan, G Pickering K Pickering, M Loughran, J Loughran, S Conlon, J Loye.


In 1989, the camogie club continued their success by winning the Juvenile League and Championship and the Emma Donnely tournament in Port Mor.  The Juvenile team represented County Armagh in the Feile na Gael in Laois. They were beaten by County Clare by one point in the final.


Juvenile Champions 1989


1990 was a lean year as regards winning on the field of play, but success came again in 1991 when the senior team won Division Two League.  The senior team continued to win the Intermediate Championship in 1992.  Also in this year, the Under-18 team won their championship. 


Intermediate Champions 1992


Back Row L-R: N.Quinn, Trainer, E.Conlon, S.McGivern, K.Pickering, L.McGeown, M.Reilly, J.Reilly.

Front Row L-R: G.Crossan, H.McKeown, K.Boyle, J.Rice(capt), S.Conlon, C.Rice, G.Pickering.


A calendar was printed in 1993 to mark a decade of camogie in Mullabrack and was a huge fundraising success. 


In 1994, the senior team won the Division 3 League.  But alas, 15 a side camogie was being introduces at county level and was having an impact on small clubs who didn’t have the numbers to cope with this change, and  Mullabrack was one such club.  The committee struggled to keep camogie going at an underage level and failed due to lack of interest and commitment. When camogie was active, many friendships were enjoyed, both on and off the field.  Many good nights of social entertainment were enjoyed and memories of winning and losing still live on in the memories of the many girls who were registered with O’Donovan Rossa Camogie club


Many of these girls have also done honours to Mullabrack through the school they attended.  The St Catherine’s under 14 team who reached the Ulster Final in 1984 had six members from the Mullabrack club namely Joan Rice; Joanne Loughran; Brenda Murphy; Helen McKeown; Joanne Loye and Sharon McGeown.


There have also been a number of ex Mullabrack players on county teams; Sharon McGeown; Geraldine Pickering; Helen McKeown; Joan Rice; Kerry Boyle and Eilish McGeown.


Joan Rice played on the Co. Armagh team which won the 1993 National League and All Ireland Junior Championship.  Joan plays her camogie with Crosmaglen and is captain of the county team who have won the Senior Championship, this year for the first time.


As the numbers of young  girls in the primary school has recently increased perhaps this may be a sign that there is a future for Camogie in the Mullabrack area.







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