- Urney St Columba’s, 1-75, Bellspark Road, Strabane, BT82 9QY,
The current Urney St Columba’s has been in continuous existence since 1945. There have been clubs in the village from 1903. (Clady Rory Óg and 1921-1922 William Pearses).Anecdotal evidence has it that Gaelic games were played at Skelpy prior to 1900 but there is no concrete evidence of this.
Clady Rory Óg played Newtonstewart in 1903 at Newtonstewart. After discussion of the rules with Newtonstewart a game took place and the Rory Óg lost by 3 -00 to 1 – 00 The Rory Ógs won the return fixture.
In the 1907 Tyrone Championship Cup Strabane Lamh Dherg drew Clady Rory Óg and advanced to the next round. It was at this time that Rory Óg disappeared from the scene. At the 1908 County Convention Rory Óg were represented by J.P. Lennon.
In December 1919 Colemans of Omagh travelled to Clady for a challenge game and a second game took place in Omagh at Lisnamallard Holm on 11 January 1920. Clady were described as “one of the best Gaelic teams in Donegal.”In 1921 the Derry v Donegal Ulster Seniors football Championship was played at the Bog Road, Strabane. Derry won by 2 – 01 to 00 – 03 but note that the Donegal Scores came from two Clady players Elliot and Ó Flaherty, while other unfamiliar Clubs represented on the Donegal lineout were Rabstown (Ponsenby) and Bellalt (Maxwell).
On 24th July 1921 Clady travelled to Glenties so that the newly founded Glenties GAA team could learn some of the finer points of the game with the return fixture on 7th August 1921 which Glenties won by two points. A league was set up to cater for the Gaels of the North West Tyrone and South East Donegal; meetings took place in Barrack Street, while Leckpatrick Curate Fr Thomas Bradley was to the forefront of GAA activity in the area. The league included teams from Clady (William Pearses) and Clady (Fine Gael) and also included teams from Sion Mills (Owen Roes) Castlefin (St Marys). The league was short lived and ceased on 21st May 1922 due to difficulties in travelling.
The West Tyrone Board of the Tyrone GAA was set up in 1931 with twenty eight clubs registered by the 6th January 1932 with teams from Sion Mills and Clady included. In late 1932 a North Tyrone Board established a junior league to include a team from Clady. A Newspaper report Derry Journal 25th November 1932 held from that time stated “after a lapse of ten years a Gaelic football team has been formed in Clady.” It contains family names that still appear on team selects to-day. Haughey – Kane – Nelis – McNulty –Langan. Frank Canning refereed the game.
At this time 1933, there was a Gaelic revival in Clady and the Ulster Herald wrote “A great change has taken place in the quiet little village of Clady with its long rows of neat well kept cottages situated by the pleasant banks of the River Finn.” A Gaelic revival has come to stay; Irish dancing has taken its rightful place in the people’s innocent pastimes.
Urney consisting of players from Melmount, Sion Mills and Clady met Killyclogher in the Senior Championship at Clady. The Ulster Herald reported “it would be well to mention the position of the pitch which is unique in as much as it’s bordered on two sides by the Free State.” So it would be as well to park all cars belonging to the six counties in the village or vicinity. Urney lost on a score of 2 – 04 to 2 – 05.”
Football went well in 1934 and the names of Frank Haughey and Mick Kane appear to the fore in match reports. On 20th October 1934 Clady defeated Grange to win the North Tyrone Junior Championship having already won the league. They played Greencastle in 1935 in the County Semi-final and won 3 – 00 to 0 – 02.The final was played in Dregish on 16 February 1935 against Moortown with Urney taking the title on a score of 2 – 02 to 0 – 03. Alas, success was short lived as Moortown protested as to the composition to the Clady team deemed to have included a number of players from East Donegal. The game was lost in the Boardroom and it would take another fifty-six years before Urney would won the Junior Championship in 1990 when they beat Aghaloo on score of 2 – 08 to 0 – 07.
At this point Clady withdrew from all activities and took no part in GAA affairs for ten years. This takes us up to the formation our current club Urney St Columba’s.