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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Derry GAA
Derry GAA crest.jpg
Irish:CLG Dhoire
Nickname(s):The Oak Leaf County
Dominant sport:Gaelic football
Ground(s):Celtic Park, Derry
Owenbeg, Dungiven
County colours:  
County teams
NFL:Division 2
NHL:Division 2B
Football Championship:Sam Maguire Cup
Hurling Championship:Christy Ring Cup
Ladies' Gaelic football:Brendan Martin Cup
Camogie:Jack McGrath Cup
The Derry starting fifteen which lost to Dublin in the 1958 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final
The Derry starting fifteen which lost to Dublin in the 1958 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final

The Derry County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Coiste Chontae Dhoire) or Derry GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland. It is responsible for Gaelic games in County Londonderry in Northern Ireland (the GAA refers to the county as Derry).[1] The county board is also responsible for the Derry county teams.

Football is the most popular of the county board's Gaelic games. The county football team won an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1993; it was the fourth from the province of Ulster to do so, following Cavan, Donegal and Down. The county team has also won six National League titles and seven Ulster Championships.

However, Derry is also regarded as a small dual county.[2]


Within a year of the GAA's foundation in 1884, GAA clubs were established around the county in Derry, Desertmartin and Magherafelt.[3] However, the administration of Gaelic sports in the county took some time to get properly organised. A Derry county board was established in 1888 and paid affiliation fees to the GAA Central Council. By the following year, although 14 clubs were active, the then GAA President Maurice Davin told the national Congress that the county lacked enough clubs to have its own board. South Derry and North Derry regional boards were established in the 1890s. In the early decades (up to the 1930s), the Derry GAA competitions took in a number of clubs from County Donegal and Tyrone. At various times clubs in South Derry played in the Antrim GAA or Tyrone leagues. The local Catholic Church's opposition to playing games on Sundays hampered growth in the 1890s, but there was something of a revival in the 1900s, especially in hurling. The county also competed sporadically in the Ulster Football Championship from 1904. After the disruption caused by political conflict in the 1910s and early '20s, the county board was re-established briefly in 1926, and definitively in 1929, since when it has remained in existence.[3]


The GAA in the county is administered by a County Committee (or County Board) with a representative from each GAA club in the County, a Management Committee and a variable number of sub-committees.[4] The county administrative headquarters and centre of excellence are located at Owenbeg, Dungiven.[4]

Facilities and management

Derry home games are played in the county grounds at Celtic Park. Derry and Owenbeg, Dungiven.[5] Home football games are also sometimes held in Watty Graham Park, Glen or Dean McGlinchey Park, Ballinascreen, which are regarded as secondary stadia.[5] Hurling games are also held at Lavey or Fr McNally Park, Banagher.

The current senior football team manager is Rory Gallagher, while John McEvoy is the Derry senior hurling team manager. Mickey Donnelly is in charge of the under-20 football team. The minor football manager (under-17) is Martin Boyle. The management teams for the under-20 and minor hurlers includes Ryan O'Neill, Martin Birt and Kevin Kelly.

Club scene

Derry has 40 affiliated clubs; 32 of which are football, two of which are hurling and six of which are dual.[4] Many Derry GAA followers taken a keener interest in the club scene than the inter-county scene,[6] which can adversely affect attendances at Derry senior matches.



Bellaghy have four Ulster Senior Club Football Championships and an All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship.

Ballinderry Shamrocks have three Ulster Senior Club Football Championships and an All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship.

Slaughneil have three Ulster Senior Club Football Championships.

The Derry Senior Football Championship is an annual club competition between the top Derry clubs. It is recognised[by whom?] as one of the hardest club championships to get out of successfully in Ireland,[citation needed] as there are a variety of teams like, Ballinderry, Bellaghy, An Lúb, Slaughtneil, Lavey and Dungiven who have previously won Ulster titles, with some winning the All-Ireland title. Attendances at matches are particularly high, with many neutrals from the neighbouring counties of Tyrone, Donegal and Antrim also going to matches, as many[who?] view it as the highest standard of club football in Ulster.[citation needed] The winners of the Derry Championship qualify to represent their county in the Ulster Senior Club Football Championship and if they win, go on to the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship.

County team

In 1947, Derry won the National Football League. The group leaders were invited to play in the League semi-finals because heavy snow had disrupted the competition. Francie Niblock scored one of the finest goals in League history in Croke Park as Derry beat Clare. In 1958, the county won its first Ulster Senior Football Championship and secured a surprise victory in that year's All-Ireland semi-final, beating Kerry thanks to a Sean O'Connell goal three minutes from the end. In the final, Derry scored a goal ten minutes into the second half through Owen Gribben, but Dublin secured victory with goals scored by Paddy Farnan and Johnny Joyce. In 1965, the Derry minor team won the All-Ireland Minor Championship, and three years later, at under-21 level, the bulk of that team captured the All-Ireland Under 21 Championship. Derry won the Ulster Senior Championship three times in the 1970s (1970, 1975 and 1976), but failed to advance past the All-Ireland semi-final stage on each occasion. In 1973, Anthony McGurk became the first player from Derry to receive an All Star Award. The 1980s saw the county win two further All-Ireland Minor Championships (1983 and 1989) and their fifth Ulster Senior Championship (1987).

The 1990s proved to be the county's most successful decade. They won the county's second National League title in 1992, before winning the Ulster Championship and a first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1993. Derry won back-to-back National Leagues in 1995 and 1996, and the under-21 team won the 1997 All-Ireland Under-21 Championship. In 1998, Derry won another Ulster Senior Championship. In 2008, the Derry side of the 1990s was rated as one of the best of the previous twenty years and would have achieved more were it not for several unexpected defeats such as to Down in 1994, Tyrone in 1995 and Cavan in 1997.[7] Derry won the 2000 National League and the county's minor team won their fourth All-Ireland Minor Championship in 2002. Derry won the 2008 National League, their sixth in all.

The 2010’s proved to be a fruitful decade for Derry underage teams as they enjoyed a great run of success, winning multiple Ulster titles before falling one hurdle before the All Ireland Minor Championship summit in 2017. They were beaten by a gallant Kerry team led by the Powerhouse that was David Clifford, as he overpowered the Derry team to lead Kerry to victory. However, Derry’s day would come in 2021, as they were able to avenge their 2017 counterparts and reach the All Ireland summit. Through a late penalty won by Ballinderry Shamrocks’ Niall O’Donnell. Which was slotted away coolly by their very own captain, Lavey Gac’s Matthew Downey. (Son of Henry Downey ,captain of the 1993 All-Ireland winning team.)



Derry Senior Hurling Championship

County team

Derry was a hotbed of early hurling activity, with the city's St Patrick's club winning the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship in 1902–03; county teams mainly drawn from the city won the 1906 championship by a walkover, and the contested 1909 final. However, soon afterwards football become the dominant sport in the county, and hurling activity declined, especially in the city where association football clubs were active.[8]

It was the 1970s before Derry claimed any more major hurling honours. The county won two Ulster Junior Championships in 1974 and 1975, as well as the 1975 All-Ireland Junior Championship. The county also won the Ulster Minor Championship twice during the decade in 1973/4? and 1979, before going on to win the next four at the start of the 1980s (1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983); giving the county five consecutive Ulster Minor titles. Derry also won another Ulster Junior (1984) and All-Ireland Junior Championship (1982), with Rory Stevenson still holding a record of his own, as the youngest person ever to play in a Final in Croke Park, that year (1982), playing for Kevin Lynch's Hurling Club Under 14 All-Ireland Féile na nGael winning team.[citation needed]

The 1990s started with Derry claiming back-to-back Ulster Minor titles in 1990 and 1991. The Under 21 side won two more Ulster Under 21 Championships in 1993 and 1997. Derry won the All-Ireland 'B' Senior Hurling Championship in 1996 and the Ulster Intermediate Championship the following year.[citation needed]

In 2000 Derry won its first Ulster Senior Hurling Championship in 92 years, and successfully defended it the following year. The county also won the Ulster Minor Championship in 2001. The Seniors won the Nicky Rackard Cup in 2006. Derry Under 21s claimed back-to-back Ulster Under 21 titles in 2007 and 2008.[9]


Derry Camogie operates as a sister body of Derry GAA, but along with ladies' football, handball and the GAA county board, the Derry camogie clubs are working towards greater integration among the Gaelic games units in the county.[10]


As early as 1934, there were ten Derry camogie clubs.[11] Derry drew with Antrim in the Maguire Cup in 1954, and built on this progress to beat Antrim in that year's Ulster Senior Camogie Championship final by 5–02 to 2-02 - the county's first Ulster Senior Camogie Championship title.[11] They went on to defeat Mayo and London en route to the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship final.[11] However they were beaten by an impressive Dublin side, who had not lost a competitive match since 1947, on a scoreline of 10–04 to 4-02.[11] Theresa Halferty, Carrie Rankin, Patsy McCloskey and Pat O'Brien from this team were chosen on the Ulster team for the inaugural Gael Linn Cup inter-provincial series, but the county's appearance in the 1954 All-Ireland decider did little to further the game in Derry.[11] The county won the Ulster championship and contested the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship final in 1954. They had previously defeated Antrim in the first round of the 1948 championship, but then surprisingly lost to Down.

Derry reached the final of the All Ireland intermediate championship in 2001, and won the All-Ireland Junior Camogie Championship four times, in 1969, 1978, 2000 and 2007. Derry dominated the new under-16 B championship after its introduction in 2006, winning the finals of 2006,[12] 2007[13] 2008[14] and 2010[15] They followed up by winning the Minor B championship in 2010[16]

Derry won further Ulster Senior Camogie Championships in 1989, 1990, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006.[17] The county have also won Ulster Junior Camogie Championships 1960, 1967, 1969, 1978, 1986, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2007.[18] The minor camogie side have won the Ulster Minor Championship on nine occasions (1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003).[19]

Swatragh qualified for the final of the All-Ireland Senior Club Camogie Championship in 2001. Lavey won the 2009 All Ireland junior club title.[20]

Under Camogie's National Development Plan 2010–2015, "Our Game, Our Passion",[21] five new camogie clubs were to be established in the county by 2015.[22]

Notable players include All Star award winners[23] Aisling Diamond and Grainne McGoldrick.


  • Ulster Senior: 8
1954, 1989, 1990, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006
1969, 1978, 2000 and 2007.
  • Ulster Junior: 12
1960, 1967, 1969, 1978, 1986, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007
  • Ulster Minor: 9
1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
2006, 2008, 2010
2010, 2012

Notes: The above list of honours may be incomplete. Please add any other honours you know of.

Players' honours

All Stars

The Camogie All Star Awards were first introduced in 2004[24] and Aisling Diamond of Bellaghy won became the first winner from Derry in 2007.[25]

In 2010 Intermediate Soaring Stars were introduced. Two Derry players have received this award:

2012: Sinead Cassidy
2012: Katie McAnely

Ladies' football

Derry has a ladies' football team.


Books published about Gaelic games in County Londonderry include Oakboys: Derry's Football Dream Come True by Eoghan Corry.


  1. ^ See for example "Contact Us" Archived 7 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine page on Derry GAA website
  2. ^ Brolly, Joe (23 August 2020). "The possibility of not entering a senior team in the championship may sound radical, but it is the inevitable". Sunday Independent. Archived from the original on 19 October 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020. In a small dual county, in a vain bid to keep up with the Joneses, we have been spending over £45,000 a month on our senior teams... What has all this expenditure bought us? To Division 4. And now, Division 3 mid-table mediocrity.
  3. ^ a b Corry, Eoghan (1993). Oakboys. Dublin, Ireland: Torc Books Ltd.
  4. ^ a b c "Derry profile". Ulster Council website. Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
  5. ^ a b Scott, Ronan (13 February 2009). "'Screen to win back hearts of Derry fans". Gaelic Life. p. 3.
  6. ^ Scott, Ronan (10 October 2008). "Mind the gap...". Gaelic Life. p. 12.
  7. ^ Rodgers, Alan (10 October 2008). "Experts say Tyrone rank among the best". Gaelic Life. pp. 20–21.
  8. ^ Corry, Eoghan (1993). Oakboys: Derry's Football Dream Come True. Dublin, Ireland: Torc Books Ltd. pp. 54–61. ISBN 1-898142-10-6.
  9. ^ "Derry U21s secure Ulster triumph". BBC Sport. 31 July 2008. Archived from the original on 23 September 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
  10. ^ Derry Camogie Archived 2013-04-12 at website
  11. ^ a b c d e Corry, Eoghan (1993). Oakboys: Derry's Football Dream Come True. Dublin, Ireland: Torc Books Ltd. pp. 92–93. ISBN 1-898142-10-6.
  12. ^ 2006 u16b Derry 3-3 Armagh 1-2 report on Hogan Stand Archived 2010-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ 2007 u16b Derry 2-7 Waterford 3-4 Blanchardstown report on Derry camogie site) replay Derry 3-14 Waterford 2-2 St Peregrines Dublin report on Derry Camogie site
  14. ^ 2008 u16b Derry 6-18 Offaly 0-6 at Ashbourne reports on RTE online, Derry camogie site Archived 2010-04-16 at
  15. ^ 2010 u16b Derry 3-9 Limerick 1-6 report on Camogie ie Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ 2010 All Ireland Minor B, Derry 3-10 Antrim 0-9 report in Sunday Independent Archived 24 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine and on and scorers
  17. ^ "Ulster Camogie Council - Ulster Senior Championship Roll of Honour". Ulster Camogie Council website. Retrieved 28 October 2008.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Ulster Camogie Council - Ulster Junior Championship Roll of Honour". Ulster Camogie Council website. Retrieved 28 October 2008.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Ulster Camogie Council - Ulster Minor Championship Roll of Honour". Ulster Camogie Council website. Retrieved 28 October 2008.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ 2009 Junior Lavey 1-11 Dunhill 1-11 report in Irish Times Archived 21 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Irish Independent, and on RTE online
  21. ^ "Final goal for camogie". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 29 March 2010. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  22. ^ National Development Plan 2010-2015, Our Game, Our Passion information page on Archived 1 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine, pdf download (778k) from download site Archived 16 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "All-stars on". Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  24. ^ McAleenan, Seamus (18 October 2006). "Oak Leafers receive double nomination". The Irish News. p. ?. Retrieved 11 November 2008.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Staff Reporter (17 October 2008). "Adams in contention for award". The Irish News. p. 53. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2008.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 February 2022, at 20:19
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