Ladies football in County Derry can be traced back to about 1990 when Greenlough Primary School, managed by Joe Lagan, played the first official girls football match against Lissan Primary School, managed by Peadar Totten. In the years which followed an annual primary school’s blitz tournament was played the winning team representing the county at the INTO Mini Seven’s trials. Over the years quite a number of Derry girls have appeared at half time in the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals in Croke Park.

The early 90’s were big years in the GAA in Derry: 3 National league titles and Sam Maguire came to visit. One young lady, Leona McEldowney from Maghera, decided there was no reason why girls couldn’t do as well as the boys and set about finding out how to get ladies football started in the county. She contacted Philip O’Hare from Ulster Council and they set up a meeting of all interested parties. Helen O’Rourke and Mick Fitzgerald from Central Council came to the meeting but unfortunately not too many Derry folk turned up for the meeting. The few who did were well impressed and set to work through all the local clubs to kindle the fire of ladies football. The first county board was set up in 1995 with Leona McEldowney (Glen) in the chair, Mavourneen Convery (Glen) as secretary, Olivia McCormack (Magherafelt) as vice-chairperson and Brenda Niblock (Magherafelt) as Treasurer. The County affiliated to Ulster Council with 5 clubs: Dungiven, Desertmartin, Magherafelt, Swatragh and Glen. Leona McEldowney and Matt Covery (both Glen) represented Derry as delegates to Ulster and Central Councils. The first County Championship was won by Dungiven who donated the Evalyn McGonagle Memorial Cup as the perpetual trophy for the competition.

1996 county board was again chaired by Leona McEldowney with Gregory McGonagle (Dungiven) and Peter and Ann Gormley (Desertmartin) and Therese Connery (Desertmartin) taking up executive positions. In 1996 Derry entered a county team in inter-county competitions for the first time under the management of Pat Kidd (Desertmartin) and Peter John Cassidy (Ballinderry).

There were still only the 5 clubs in the county. The county championship was won by Glen.

In 1997 the club count went down to 4 with Swatragh club folding due to the pressures of their very strong camogie club. Pat Kidd once again managed the county team who were beginning to show some potential. The 1997 county championship was once again won by Glen.

In 1998 the Magherafelt club folded but four new clubs were formed: Ballinascreen, Ballerin, Ogra Colmcille and Ballinderry. With eight teams competing in the county league matches were more plentiful and it was decided to have two grades in the championship. These were decided by league positions: top 4 played in the “Senior” championship while the rest played in the “Junior”.

Desertmartin became “senior” champions for the first time while Ballerin won the “junior” title in their very first season. Management of the county team was taken over by Frank Taylor (Ogra Colmcille) with Gregory McGonagle (Dungiven) as team coach. The team reached the final of the Trudy Kearns Cup again but were beaten by Down.

1999 brought Glen the county championship and a place in the Junior Ulster Club Championship. They reached the final where they were narrowly beaten by Newtownbutler from Co. Fermanagh after extra time. Craigbane won the “Junior” title in 1999. The county team were unsuccessful in both the championship, losing to Donegal, and in the Trudy Kearns Cup going out at the hands of Fermanagh.

The 2000 season brought another new club: Ardtrea. The championship was changed to an open draw with winners of the first round going on to contest the Intermediate championship semi-finals and the losers plus Ardtrea, the new club, competing for the Junior title. Glen won the county title and reached the semi-final of Ulster Club Championship but failed to beat Scotstown (Co.Monaghan). The junior title in 2000 was once again won by Craigbane who then lost to Cleenish (Co. Fermanagh) in the first round of the Ulster Junior Club Championship. Glen Ladies travelled to Toronto to play and win the “Powerscreen Seven’s”, a first ever win by a travelling team.

The county team won their first round Ulster Championship game against neighbours Antrim but fell to Donegal in the semi-final. They lost to Monaghan “B” in the semi-final of the Trudy Kearns Cup.

The 2001 season brought another 3 new clubs to the county scene…

Doire Colmcille, Faughanvale and Bellaghy. Ogra Colmcille decided to take a year out so their players, who wished to, were given 12 month licences to play for the two neighbouring teams, Ardtrea and Ballinderry. A new format for the league, which involved play-offs, was introduced to raise the profile of the competition and with 11 clubs plus 2 Co. Antrim clubs, Moneyglass and Creggan, participating it was, like the championship divided into two grades … Intermediate and Junior.

Unfortunately “Foot and Mouth” had a very bad effect on the league but it was finished eventually with Dungiven winning the Intermediate final and Doire Colmcille were beaten in the first round of the “Ulster” by O’Neill’s Shamrocks (Co Monaghan) the eventual winners, while Glen beat Annaclone (Co. Down) in the first round but lost narrowly to Donaghmoyne (Co. Monaghan) the eventual winners, in the semi-final.

The Glen Ladies 7-a-side team were runners-up in the All-Ireland Intermediate Sevens, the county’s first prize winners at this competition.

The county team were again drawn against Antrim in the first round of the Ulster Championship but Antrim did not field a team. This left Derry in the semi-final again with Donegal as their opponents. The result, although the game was a very close affair, went Donegal’s way again. In the Trudy Kearns Cup Derry have beaten Armagh in the quarter-final and Monaghan “B” in the semi-final.

They now meet Co. Fermanagh in the final. Frank Taylor (county manager) has laboured long and hard with the county team and will, in the fullness of time, bring inter-county success to Derry. Perhaps this will be the year for our first bit of silverware.

Over the years many people have given of their free time to work for the county and clubs as members of the county board and their work is much appreciated. Among those who served on the county executive were Dympna Cassidy (Glen) who served 3 years as county registrar, Michael Vallelly (Desertmartin) who served as secretary, chairperson and more recently treasurer, John Groogan (Ballinascreen) who was development officer and has been chairperson for the last 2 years, Joe Lagan (Glen) who served as development officer for a year and for the last 2 years has been secretary and Gregory McGonagle (Dungiven) who was secretary for 3 years and chairperson for a year and P.R.O. for a year.

Others who served as various officials are Ursula O’Connell (Ballerin), Seamus McEldowney (Glen), Therese Connery (Desertmartin), Therese O’Connell (Ballerin), Leonie Neeson (Glen), Shauna Vallelly (Desertmartin), John McEldowney (Ballinascreen), Claire Donnelly (Desertmartin) and Tony Moran (Ballinascreen). (My sincere apologies to anyone I have forgotten to mention).

The county board has worked hard over the years to facilitate clubs and keep competitions running but little was done for underage players until Joe Lagan became Development Officer in 2000 and set about organising blitz competitions at Under 14 Championship.

Ballinascreen met Glen in the first final with Ballinascreen winning by a single point. It was just the start the competition needed. Ballinascreen won the 2001 final against Doire Ban (a combination of Craigbane and Doire Colmcille) but had to work all the way with single point wins in the quarterfinal against Glen and against Bellaghy in the semi-final. In 2001 an inter-county under 14 team was formed under the management of John McEldowney and although beaten by Cavan in the first round of the championship did give great hope for the future. Joe Lagan has managed the Under 18 inter-county team in both 2000 and 2001 and although they have yet to record a win they are playing excellent football and will improve with experience.

Also in 2001 the first Under 12 blitz tournaments were held in Ballerin and Ballinascreen with teams from Faughanvale, Ballinascreen, Ballerin, Bellaghy and Glen taking part. They brought some very fine performances and much hope for the future of these clubs. We hope next year to introduce an under 16 championship and, if finance allows, have an under 16 county side.

In both 2000 and 2001 the Ballinascreen club have hosted the Ulster under 14 Blitz: a 15-a-side tournament for county champions at this level. The competition has been a resounding success with all Ulster counties represented over the two years. Clones (Co. Monaghan) won in 2000 and Errigal Ciaran (Co. Tyrone) won 2001. The competition is generously sponsored by Toner’s Supermarkets … many thanks to them.

2001 also saw for the first time a Derry Ladies referee officiating in inter-county competitions. Gerry McCrystal (Desertmartin) has refereed at Junior National League level and Ulster Intermediate Club Championship level as well as the under 14 Ulster Championship Final.

Things are on the up in Derry but like all counties finance is a big problem. We have been fortunate enough to have had sponsorship for county senior team from Millar’s Toys in Dungiven and more recently we received quite a sizeable sponsorship from H & A Mechanical Services, in Draperstown. We thank these two companies for their generous help.

Evalyn McGonagle Cup Junior Championship County League

1995 Dungiven N/A Dungiven

1996 Glen N/A Dungiven

1997 Glen N/A Desertmartin

1998 Desertmartin Ballerin Desertmartin

1999 Glen Craigbane Glen

2000 Glen Craigbane Glen

2001 Glen Doire Colmcille Int. Dungiven

Jun. Doire Colmcille

Under 14 Championship U 14 Blitz U 18 Blitz

2000 Ballinascreen Ballinascreen Glen

2001 Ballinascreen Bellaghy Glen

Under 16 Blitz U 12 Blitz (Ballerin) U 12 Blitz


2001 Glen/Doire Colmcille Ballinascreen Ballinascreen

2002 … The year started with the A.G.M held in Ballinascreen G.F.C. The new county board were elected as follows:

Chairman: John (Jock) Groogan (Ballinascreen)

Vice Chairman: Eamon King (Faughanvale)

Secretary: Joe Lagan (Glen)

Treasurer: Michael Vallelly (Ardtrea)

Development Officer: John McEldowney (Vallinascreen)

Registrar: Shauna Vallelly (Ardtrea)

P.R.O: Carole Kearney (Glen)

Moneyglass (Co. Antrim) were again given permission to play in our Intermediate league bringing the number of clubs competing to 6. Glen, Dungiven, Doire Colmcille, Craigbane, Ballerin and Moneyglass. Desertmartin asked permission to drop to the Junior section and when this was granted we had 7 teams in this section: Ardtrea, Bellaghy, Faughanvale, Ballinascreen, Desertmartin and new clubs Ardmore and Lavey. Later in the year Ardmore withdrew from the league and championship with intentions of preparing for the following season.

The leagues and championship went well with the following results:

Junior League and Championship won by Ardtrea.

Intermediate League and Championship won by Glen.

The under 18 Blitz was won by Doire Colmcille.

The under 14 championship was won by Ballinascreen.

The under 14 blitz was won by Glenavy (Co. Antrim)

The under 12 Blitz (held at Glen) was won by Ballymaguigan (a new underage only club)

Glen was runner-up in the All-Ireland Intermediate 7-a-side plate.

The county underage teams competed in the Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18 Ulster championship but without winning any matches. The managers were: Under 14: John McEldowney (Ballinascreen) Under 16: Paula Fleming (Doire Colmcille) and Under 18: Joe Lagan (Glen). The county junior team reached the quarterfinal of the National League Div 3 but lost to Cork “B”. They reached the final of the Trudy Kearns Cup but were beaten by Fermanagh. They were beaten by Donegal in Ogra Colmcille in the first round of the Ulster Championship. Team managers were Frank Taylor and Joe Clarke.

Three referees from the county officiated at inter-county level this year: Gerry McCrystal (Desertmartin) Patsy McGilligan (Dungiven) and Aidan McAlynn (Ardtrea).

2003: The AGM was held in Ballinascreen GFC and the following county board were elected:

Chairman: John Groogan (B’screen)

Vice chairman: Mary Jo Walls (Glen)

Secretary: John McEldowney (B’screen)

Ass. Sec: Eamon King (F’vale)

Treasurer: Michael Vallelly (Ardtrea)

Ass. Treasurer: Therese McGilligan (Ballerin)

Registrar: Terri O’Connor (Glen)

P.R.O: Carole Kearney (Glen)

Development Officer: Paula Fleming (Doire Colmcille).

Three clubs joined the leagues and championships: Ardmore, Ballymaguigan and Claudy. A new underage club was formed … Steelstow.

Intermediate clubs … Glen, Dungiven, Ballerin, Ardtrea and Doire Colmcille.

Junior Clubs … Ballinascreen, Faughanvale, Desertmartin, Lavey, Craigbane, Claudy, Ardmore and Ballymaguigan.

The Junior section was divided into two sets of four for the league … the three new clubs and Lavey were Junior “B” while the other four were Junior “A”.

Glen won the Intermediate league and championship. Glen has gone on to win the Ulster Intermediate Club Championship beating O’Neill Shamrocks from Monaghan in the final.

The junior championship was won by Faughanvale who were knocked out of the Ulster Club Championship at the semi-final stage by Rockcorry of Monaghan. Craigbane won the Junior league.

Underage Blitzes were held by Ballymaguigan, Faughanvale and Glen with Under 12 tournaments at all three being won by Glen, the under 14 at Glen won by Ardtrea and the Under 16 at Ballymaguigan won by Faughanvale. The annual under 18 blitz at Glen was unexpectedly won by the home side that beat the strong favourites, Doire Colmcille, in the final.

The under 14 league was won by Faughanvale who beat Ballymaguigan in the final. Ballymaguigan won the under 14-championship beating Ballinascreen in the final.

The county junior team under new management: Paddy Donnelly, Brendan Walls and Seamus Fleming; reached the semi-final of the National League Div 3 where they were defeated by Galway “B”. They also reached the final of the Trudy Kearns (Ulster “B” Championship) but were beaten by Armagh. In the first round the team were beaten in Ballinascreen by Monaghan “B”.

The under 14 county team under Madonna Donnelly, Shauna Vallelly and Brendan Walls, reached the semi-final of the championship but were beaten by Cavan, the eventual Ulster Champions. They won the shield section of the Ulster blitz at Emyvale beating Co. Down in the final. The under 16 team out in the first round of the championship to Fermanagh at Loup while the under 18 team lost in the first round to Donegal in Ballybofey.

Derry Clubs (13 at present)


Ballerin – founded 1998; Won Co Junior Championship in 1998

Dungiven – founded 1995; Won Co. Intermediate Championship 1995; Won Co League Title 1995, 1996, 2001.

Glen – founded 1995; Won Co. Inter Champ. 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003; Won Ulster Club Inter Champ. 2003, Won Co. League 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003.

Doire Colmcille – founded 2001; Won Co Junior Champ 2001; Won Co Junior League 2001.

Ardtrea – founded 2000; Won Co Junior Champ 2002; Won Co Junior League 2002.


Craigbane – founded 1999, Won Junior Champ 1999, 2000; Won Co Junior League 2003.

Ballinascreen – founded 1998; Junior Champ finalists 1999, 2002 & 2003.

Desertmartin – founded 1995; Won Co Inter Champ 1998; Won Co League 1998.

Lavey – founded 2002

Ballymaguigan – founded 2002; Won Junior B League 2003

Ardmore – founded 2003

Claudy – founded 2003

Faughanvale – founded 2001; Won Co Junior Champ 2003.

Leona McEldowney – Glen Ladies

Leona had a dream of playing Gaelic Football just like the boys. So late in 1994 she called a meeting at which Helen O’Rourke and Mick Fitzgerald of Central Council and Philip O’Hare and Dolores Taggart of Ulster Council along with a few representatives of our local clubs attended. Out of this meeting ladies football in Co. Derry was born.


Doire Colmcille G.A.C. are proud to join with the 9 member affiliated County Boards and the 135 member affiliated clubs in congratulating Comhairle Uladh Peil na mBan and in celebrating with them 10 highly successful years of progress. Well Done Comhairle Uladh.

Anyone coming to live and to work in the city of Derry and wishing to join the above club as a member may do so by contacting either:

Seamus Fleming (Ladies Secretary)

149 Comhill


BT48 8BG

Tel No: 028 7128 5322


P.J Loughran (Male Secretary)

30 Gweebarrce Park

Foyle Springs



Tel No: 028 7126 0832

The Intermediate Championship 2003


The intermediate championship was contested by eight of the nine counties, with Antrim, excused to junior status until a title is won at provincial level, this has been decreed, in wisdom to enable football to develop in the county.

In the quarter finals Clann Eireann (Armagh) defeated Fr Rocks (Tyrone) by 3-12 to 1-11 in a keenly contested match on the Armagh champs own sod, O’Neill Shamrocks who would have been the “Paddy Powers” favourites after they dismissed “Owen The Great” girls from Tyholland, in the Monaghan final, and had a very young Donegal team from Moville as visitors, and the Farney girls compounded their favourites tag with comprehensive victory winning by 4-14 to 1-6, with the Moville girls a bit too young and inexperienced on the day.

Lurgan the Cavan champions, destroyed the new Fermanagh kingpins Belcoo, at Belcoo winning by 3-15 to 0-3 in a very much mis-fitting quarter- final, indicating the low water level of Fermanagh football at present. In the semi-final at Virginia, Lurgan and O’Neill’s played a great match, and again the experience of Monaghan champions been the difference on the day where a goal was the dividing factor at the finish. O’Neill’s won by 2-9 to 1-9 to give them their second Ulster final in three years.

Glen the Derry champions, who have dominated in the Oak Leafs for many years and have been appointed favourite, within their category in every years campaign, but failed to deliver when the questions were asked. This year they would be especially confident that they would go places they had never been, when old rivals Newtownbutler, finally were laid to rest on the banks of the Erne, and who were a huge stumbling block for Glen to avoid in the past. Glen travelled to the foot of the “Mournes” to play Downpatrick in the quarter finals and had a convincing win of 4-15 to 3-6, however there was concern that they had leaked 3. However the radar is fully operational, and further indicates that there were forwards about behind those scores.

Glen then had Clann Eireann Armagh at Mahera in the semi-final, and that power house of team work was again in action when they again ran up a replica score line as the Downpatrick match, devastating the Orchard maids by 4-13 to 3-7 with a place in the final against O’Neill’s Shamrocks from Monaghan, and another trip to Clones their reward.

With a score tally of 8-28 in the campaign Paddy’s Power odds on Clontribret by now would have been greatly reduced, as it was going to take a great back line to close out those destructive forwards, however those gremlins and questions asked, had to be laid to rest to allay fears on what was the fabric of Glen, “Silk or Muslin”.

The much awaited final never reached the heights expected and true to the form book, Glens weapons of mass destruction, their forwards and a mid field struck terror into a moderate O’Neill’s, outfit, but credit must be given to them they never gave up the fight, but were confined to damage limitation, of containment, and pincer catch up exercise, and would have been relieved to hear the final whistle, with perhaps a future year for glory with a very young team with plenty of time to mature. Final score 4-13 to 1-07.

The Glen victory was greeted by players and supporters ecstatically with this trophy much awaited, and the first silverware to the Oakleaf County since they affiliated in 1995. Mary Jo Walls gave an outstanding victory speech, unique in its length and volume of thank you’s to all concerned. One must consider as she was in Clones, the homeplace of one Barry Finbarr McGuigan, and she the good sense or advise, not to include “Mr Eastwood” in her litany of divine praises. Glen now look forward to a visit of the Munster champions from Cork as visitors to Mahera, with perhaps an All Ireland title report as postscript for “Decade of football in Derry”.

That postscript can now be written, without further glory for the Glen girls who took on the Naomh Aban team in the quarter final at the “Watty Graham” grounds at Mahera. The Cork girls making the long trip from the Gael Teac are of west Cork, having been around before where they annexed the junior title. This was a nail-biting encounter with the home girls keeping their noses in front and were ahead by 6 pts to 4pts at the interval.

The second half was a similar affair with the backs on both teams dealing with many of the attacks, with it could be said the home team squandering the most, many a promising attack went astray by a bad pass, or one too many, and this cause the luxury of 5 or 6 points ahead not being on the scoreboard that would have withstood a final onslaught by the Cork girls, however deep into the extended injury time that killer blow came when the Naomh Aban team threw the final dice, when been led by 10 points to 8, they gathered a ball around the middle of the field, with the centre forward busting her way towards Glen goals, she was allowed to continue into the square and was fouled by two over enthusiastic backs, who committed football suicide with a penalty duly awarded and with a last kick scenario the ball was in the net the whistle went and Glen were out of the football championship for 2003 and the dreams that was in their grasp gone as it was the case in previous years at junior and intermediate level. The big guns did not fire on the day, and again as it was for Dublin, in this years All-Ireland too much pre match hype and pressure was placed on key players, where as the physiological work should have been on the lesser.

Final score Naomh Aban Cork 1-8 Glen Derry 0-10.

The Glen Team

Bridgeen Cassidy, Donna Letters, Claire Devlin, Sinead Graham, Breige Convery, Kathy Conway, Clare Logan, Louise Glass, Mary Jo Walls (Capt), Dervia McMasters, Madonna Donnelly, Maria McAlary, Ursula Mullan, Nuala O’Hagan, Michelle McAleer, Terri O’Connor, Andrea McNally, Kathy Madden, Stephanie Taylor, Shauna McCusker.

Management: Pearce McCallan, Rory McGilligan, and Joe Lagan.

2004 …..

County Teams:

The season was marked by the County Under 14 team once again being successful at Ulster level winning the shield competition at the Ulster Blitz and winning the newly created Under 14 B Championship beating Armagh in the final. They were managed by Terri O’Connor (Glen), Shauna Vallelly (Ardtrea) and Emma Kelly (Desertmartin).

The other county teams didn’t fair too well with the under 16’s failing to win either of their championship games and worse still the minor team failing to field at all. The junior team reached the semi-final of the Championship but were beaten convincingly by the eventual winners Armagh. The junior management team was Pearse McCallan (Glen), Frank Taylor (Ardtrea) and Madonna Donnelly (Glen).

The clubs:

On the club scene two new clubs Slaughmanus from North Derry and Steelstown from Derry City entered the adult league and championship at junior level. Faughanvale were promoted from Junior to Intermediate while Glen Ladies after their Ulster success in 2003 became the first senior club in the county. As they had no other senior teams to play against, Glen asked for and got permission from our neighbours Tyrone to play in their Senior league and won two of their nine league games.

The junior championship and league were won by Ballinascreen beating Ballymaguigan in the final of the championship. The Intermediate championship was won by Ardtrea beating Doire Colmcille in the final. The league final between the same two clubs had to be postponed to the early part of next season because of poor weather conditions and so lack of playable pitches.

The Minor blitz was won by Faughanvale beating Ballinascreen in the final while the Under 14 league and championship were won by Glen ladies beating Ardtrea in the championship final and Dungiven in the league final.

Individual Player Honours:

Derry players who represented Ulster in the Inter-provincial competition were Mary Jo Walls (Glen), Aisling Kealey (Dungiven), Kathy Conway (Glen), Ciara Moore (Craigbane) and Louise Glass (Glen); while Dervla McMaster (Glen) was the only Derry player to win an Ulster jersey at third level education.


Referees who worked at inter-county level this season were Gerry McCrystal (Desertmartin), John Groogan (Ballinascreen), Aidan McAlynn (Ardtrea) and Sean Hamill (Ballerin).

County Board Executive Members:

John Groogan served as County Chairperson with John McEldowney as Secretary, Mary Jo Walls as Vice Chairperson, Sonia McCloskey as Ass Secretary, Seamus Fleming as Fixtures Secretary, Michael Vallelly as Treasurer, Shauna Vallelly as Ass Treasurer, Aisling Kealey as Development Officer, Terri O’Connor as Registrar, Rory McGilligan as P.R.O. and Mairead Crabtree as Cultural Officer.

Mary Jo Walls

Player Profile:

Age: 25

Occupation: Physiotherapist.

Mary Jo has played her club football for the Glen club in County Derry since 1997 during which time she won county championship medals every season (runners-up 1998, winners, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2003) and won Ulster club medals (Junior Runners-up 1999 and Intermediate winners 2003). She captained her club team in both 2002 and 2003.

She played third level colleges football with Trinity College, Dublin. She has represented her county on numerous occasions and captained the county team in 2003. Unfortunately the county team have not been successful as yet.

She has also represented Ulster in both 2003 and 2004 and has the distinction of winning

“Player of the Inter-provincial Tournament” 2003.

Joe Lagan Ulster President 2004/2005.

Joe was involved in ladies football as far back as 1985 as a member of the South Derry Primary Schools Sports Committee who organised girl’s Gaelic football as part of the annual programme for the 28 schools in the area. However it was not until 1999 that he became involved with Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, first at club level with the Glen ladies where he was Assistant Manager and at county board level in Derry as Development Officer. In 2000 Joe became the Co. Derry secretary and held the post for three years. He also served as Ass. Secretary for Ulster council in 2000 and 2001. In 2002 he was appointed as Ulster Council P.R.O. but due to ill health was forced to resign his post early in the season. He returned to the Ulster Council executive in 2003 again as Ass. Secretary. During the years 2000 to 2003 Joe was a Co. Derry delegate to Central Council and became well known for his singing and guitar playing at Annual Congress.

In 2004 Joe was elected as Ulster President and set as one of his main aims the development, particularly at underage level, of ladies football in Ulster. During his first year in office a new post of Ulster Administrator was created and Mary Keegan from Armagh became the first to occupy the ladies football office at the Ulster GAA headquarters in Armagh City. Joe has also pioneered a new initiative based on the Fundamentals Training Programme whereby Ulster counties will receive basic training equipment from Ulster Council to facilitate planned underage development in their county. Joe has been returned unopposed as Ulster President for the 2005 season.

Derry Clubs (13 at present).

Senior: Glen.

Ardtrea founded 2000. Won Intermediate C/ship.

Intermediate:- Ballerin – founded 1998.

Won Co. Junior Champ in 1998.

Dungiven – founded 1995.

Won Co. Inter, champ 1995.

Won Co. League Title 1995, 1996, 2001.

Glen – founded 1995.

Won Co. Inter Champ 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001,

2002, 2003.

Won Ulster Club Inter Champ 2003.

Won Co. League 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003.

Doire Colmcille founded 2001.

Won Co. Junior Champ 2001.

Won Co. Junior League 2001.

Won Co. Junior Champ 2002.

Won Co. Junior League 2002.

Faughanvale founded 2001.

Junior Champ finalists 1999, 2002 & 2003.

Junior: Craigbane – founded 1999.

Won Junior Champ. 1999, 2000.

Won Co. Junior League 2003.

Ballinascreen – founded 1998, 2004 Championship League winners.

Desertmartin – founded 1995.

Won Co. Inter Champ 1998.

Won Co. League 1998.

Lavey – founded 2002.

Ballymaguigan – founded 2002.

Won Junior B League 2003.

Ardmore – founded 2003.

Claudy – founded 2003.

Won Co. Junior Champ 2003.

Slaughmanus – founded 2005.

Steelstown (City) – founded 2005.


County Teams

Junior: This has been one of the most disappointing seasons yet for Junior inter-county football in the county. The league campaign was marked by failure to win any games at all and many of the county’s more experienced players not committing themselves to the county team.

As championship time arrived a new manager was sought urgently and one was found in the person of Colm Rocks of the Ardtrea Club. He gave temporary commitment for the round robin stages of the championship if all the players in the county would rally round and make themselves available.

This they did and after putting up a spirited performance against the future All Ireland Junior champions, Armagh, they won their first game of the season by beating Antrim and so qualifying for the semi final of the Ulster Championship. Unfortunately, Colm was unable to give further time to the team and with him gone and many of the girls leaving to play football in America, the rest of the girls gave up and a team couldn’t be found to represent the county in the semi-final. A humiliating end to a very poor season for the Junior team.

Under 14: The Under 14s had a more successful season reaching the final of the Ulster B Championship but could not match the excellent performance of the Down girls who won convincingly. The same management team as in 2004 were appointed for the Under 14s but with Shauna going to America and Emma often not available, it was left to Terri O’Connor to do the giant share of the work with the girls. Well done Terri.

Under 16 and Minors: The Under 16s didn’t fair too well and fell at the first hurdle in the Ulster Championship ad did the minors.

The Clubs:

Ardtrea joined Glen in the senior grade and both played in the Division 1 League alongside Ballinascreen, Faughanvale, Doire Colmcille and Moneyglass (Antrim). Division 1 was won by Glen. Division 2 was made up of both intermediate teams and junior teams, namely Dungiven, Ballerin, Slaughmanus Craigbone, Ballymaguigan and Desertmartin. Division 2 was won by Dungiven.

Division 3 was made up of the rest of the junior teams, namely Lavey, Steelstown, Claudy and Ardmore. Division 3 was won by Claudy.

The three adult championships resulted in Claudy winning the junior title, Doire Colmcille winning the intermediate title while the senior title went to Glen.

Another knockout competition was played at adult level in the three sections for the county league trophies. Junior was won by Ballymacguigan, Intermediate by Ballinascreen and senior by glen.

At underage levels, completion of competitions was slow and especially at Under 16 level were the games were still being played in late November. The Under 14 title went to Ardtrea who beat Ballinascreen in the final while Faughanvale won an exciting Under 16 final against Ardtrea.

The annual minor county blitz was won by Ballimaguigan beating a gallant but very young Glen side in the final.

Individual honours:

Una Harkin and Victoria Mallet (Doire Colmcille) represented Ulster in the inter-provincial competition and Una won an Ulster All Star (sponsored by ‘The Game’ sports newspaper), Dervla McMaster (Glen) won an Ulster ‘Jersey’ at third level colleges.


Once again Gerry McCrystal (Desertmartin), Jock Groogan (Ballinascreen), Sean Hamill (Ballerin) and Aiden McAlynn (Ardtrea) refereed at Ulster Club and inter-county level.

County Board Executive Members:

Chairman: John McEldowney

Vice-Chairman: John Groogan

Secretary: Helen McKinney (resigned mid-season)

Assistant Secretary: Shauna Vallely (went to America mid-season)

Treasurer: Seamus Fleming

Assistant Treasurer: Brendan Walls

Registrar: Terri O’Connor

Fixtures Secretary: Clare McClarnan

Development Officer: Declan O’Connor

Culture Officer: Mairead Crabtree

Child Protection Officer: Paula Fleming

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