TYRONE GAA REELING IN THE YEARS IN THE CARDINAL Ó FIAICH LIBRARY
To launch its designation as the official ‘Cartlann CLG Uladh’ / ‘Ulster GAA Archive’, the Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library and Archive, Armagh, will host its first Tyrone GAA history event, on Tuesday 12 October 2010, at 7.30 p.m.
This Tyrone event will concentrate on early research into the early history at local and club level, and the highlight will be the showing of old film footage of GAA games and events from the county, most of which has rarely been seen before, if ever, in the sixty-plus years since it was recorded.
The most remarkable of these is a short film of a ‘Gold Medal tournament’ football game, Tír Eoghain versus Aontroim, at Dungannon in 1929. This newly discovered film contains the oldest-known footage of a Gaelic game in Ulster.
This is followed by privately recorded footage of the opening of the first three proper GAA grounds in the county: O Neill Park, Dungannon, in 1947, which is unique for the fact that is in full colour; Plunkett Park, Pomeroy, in 1948; and Cardinal MacRory Park, Coalisland, in 1949. Also among the films from this period to be shown are a black-and-white film of Dungannon, Coalisland and other clubs playing football and hurling games at O Neill Park; construction work on the Coalisland ground; and a sports-day at Washingbay or Maghery.
The other highlight of the film segment of the evening will be footage of the Tyrone minor football team training at Pomeroy for the All-Ireland final of 1948, some clips of the final itself at Croke Park, and also the team’s victorious homecoming to Dungannon and Coalisland. Several of the players from the victorious minor teams of 1947-48 will be in attendance, as will the Tom Markham Cup.
Altogether this amounts to a package of footage which it believed to be unparalleled in any other county at that time, and we have it because of the late Vincent Daly of Coalisland, who operated a mobile cinema and recorded many local events in the period.
The film clips will be preceded by three short talks, based on new research at local level. The first, by Alan Rodgers of Beragh, will outline the survival of camán / commons and hurling in the county in the decades immediately before and after the formation of the GAA. The second, by Dónal McAnallen of the CÓFLA staff, will explore the story of the first GAA club in the county, Owen Roe O’Neill’s of Cookstown – exactly 120 years to the day since contested the second Ulster football final of 1890 with Armagh Harps, at Blaris, Lisburn. The final talk, by Bertie Foley of Dungannon, will deal with some of the early history of the GAA in that town and in particular the development of the two O Neill Parks.
The event will conclude with the unveiling of the ‘Cartlann CLG Uladh’ / ‘Ulster GAA Archive’ project. Towards this end, Fr Rock’s GAC, Cookstown, have very generously donated their minute-books from as far back as 1907 to the archive, and this will be acknowledged on the night.
CÓFLA, as the official archive for Gaelic games-related material in Ulster, aims to work with each county in the province to help to deliver their culture and heritage strategies. County-history nights for Armagh and Down have already been hosted at the library. CÓFLA will work to complement and support CLG Thír Eoghain in development of the cultural component of its county centre at Garvaghey, which is due to open in 2013. A second Tír Eoghain night, focusing more on the later period, will be held in CÓFLA in January 2011.
Admission is free of charge, and light refreshments will be provided. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact the library on 028 3752 2981 or email email@example.com by Friday 8 October.
CLÁR FOR THE EVENING:
Part 1 – TALKS
1. Alan Rodgers – ‘A Common Phenomenon: Camán, Hurling & Handball in Tyrone, 1850-1920’
2. Dónal McAnallen –‘Cookstown: the GAA Pioneers of Tyrone, 1890 Ulster finalists & a Club Apart’
3. Bertie Foley – The Early GAA in Dungannon – TBC]
Part 2 – FILM ARCHIVE FOOTAGE
1. Tír Eoghain-Aontroim football game at Dungannon, 1929
2. Opening of O Neill Park, Dungannon, June 1947
3. Feis Sunday, Dungannon, including club hurling and football, [1947?]
4. Opening of Plunkett Park, Pomeroy, August 1948
5. Tír Eoghain minor football training in Pomeroy, September 1948
6. All-Ireland Minor football final, September 1948
7. Minors’ homecoming to Dungannon, 1948
8. Minors’ homecoming to Coalisland, 1948
9. Construction work on Cardinal MacRory Park, Coalisland, 1948-49
10. Opening of Cardinal MacRory Park, 1949
11. Sports-day at Washingbay or Maghery, late 1940s
Part 3 – LAUNCH OF ARCHIVE
Formal presentation of old club minute-books, 1907-80s, to CÓFLA, by Fr Rock’s GAC, Cookstown
Distribution of newly compiled archive inventory
Formal launch of archive by Comhairle Uladh representative.
Important – Please contact Donal should you wish to attend – 028 3752 2981