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One Hundred Years

By Tom Daly

1909 - 2009
The Aodh Ruadh GAA Club was founded on October 24th 1909 at a public meeting called by Rev. Fr. James O'Daly C.C., a native of the Carrickmacross area. From the outset, it was established as a hurling and football club. A club had been formed in earlier years (1904), but once Aodh Ruadh was established in 1909 it maintained an unbroken existence and now celebrates its Centenary Year.


The beginnings of the Aodh Ruadh Club were based on the need for native pastimes in the area.

24th October:
Inaugural meeting of Aodh Ruadh elected the following: President, Rev. J. O'Daly; Vice President, James Rogan; Secretary, Cecil Stephens; Treasurer, John Downey; Committee, D. Quinn, M.D. Quigley, John McCormack, Thomas McCaffrey, W. Gillespie, J. Ward, A. McShea, T. Kelly, Mick Munday, E. Cassidy, T. Campbell and D. Campbell.

The first Aodh Ruadh team captains were hurling, Mick Munday, Vice-Captain J. Ward; Football, Thomas McCaffrey, Vice-Captain John McCormack.

31st October:
The first games were played at the Workhouse Meadow, now known as Munday's Field: this property was acquired by the Club in two phases during the 1980's and 1990's for use as a training facility. A new second Club ground has been developed there which will be officially opened later this year and will be known as Pairc Aoidh Ruaidh.

Prior to the club being formed Hurling and Handball had been an important part of the social activity of the area.


The first success for the club came in the 1920s with a Hurling Championship in 1924 and the first and only double completed in the county in 1929.

De La Salle Brothers established in the town.

Donegal won the Ulster Hurling Championship and were later to make history by being one of the first two teams to wear numbers on their jerseys when they met Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final. On the Donegal team were Paddy Rooney, Dan Lenihan and J. Clooney.

Aodh Ruadh won their first ever County title with the hurlers successful and Garda Dan Lenihan as captain. They defeated Letterkenny by 5-3 to 0-1.

The first football title was won by Aodh Ruadh, defeating Killygordon 0-7 to 0-5 with Aidan Sweeney as captain. The hurlers defeated Letterkenny again by 7-2 to 2-4, captained by Jim Daly.


The 1930s saw the club continue to be successful on the football front with one of the highlights being the winning of 3 in-a-row Minor Championships. Championships in Senior Football were won in 1932, 1937 and 1939.

The Aodh Ruadh Football team won their first ever League title.

The Aodh Ruadh Football team won their second championship defeating Dungloe by 1-7 to 0-1.

The third football Championship was won, defeating Gaoth Dobhair by 3-8 to 4-2.

The fourth football Championship was won, again defeating Gaoth Dobhair by 0-6 to 0-4.

The Minor Footballers completed a three in-a-row, winning the championship in 1935, 1936 and 1937.

In Hurling Donegal won an Ulster Championship in 1932, defeating Antrim by 5-4 to 4-5. On the team were Aodh Ruadh players Aidan Sweeney, John McDermott, J. Clooney, M. O'Sullivan, J. Mullin and J. Campbell.

The club side was defeated in the hurling finals of 1930, 1933, 1936 and 1937.


Apart from more senior football titles, the major highlight of the 40s was the purchase of a field at The Rock which was to become the permanent home of the club - the Fr. Tierney Park.

The footballers won the Democrat Cup League title.

The footballers won their fifth senior title, defeating Glenties by 2-8 to 1-4.

The footballers won their sixth senior title, defeating Convoy by 1-9 to 2-1.

'Red' Jack Gallagher was part of the Ulster team which won the Railway Cup for the first win for the province.

The Democrat Cup was won by Aodh Ruadh.

The Democrat Cup was won by Aodh Ruadh.

Aodh Ruadh again won the League to capture the Democrat Cup.

After being defeated in the two previous finals, Corlea won the Junior Championship.

De La Salle opened their Post Primary School.

A rocky field was purchased for £1,050 - later to be transformed into the Fr. Tierney Park.


The club's home ground was officially opened in 1954 with a challenge game against Armagh, while the Bakery Cup (U-14) was to become a regular competition.

Hugh Daly is elected secretary of Donegal County Board, the start of a term of 23 years in the post. He remained as Aodh Ruadh Club Treasurer throughout that period.

Aodh Ruadh defeat St. Eunan's by 1-6 to 1-5 to win their 7th Senior Championship.

Fr. Tierney Park officially opened.

Aodh Ruadh wins sixth Democrat Cup.

Aodh Ruadh defeats Burt to win County Juvenile hurling title.

Sean McHugh, Owen Roe O'Neill on Donegal minor panel which wins first Ulster minor title.

Bakery Cup played for first time.


The 1960s saw the start of the St. Joseph's era when a combined Ballyshannon/Bundoran team played at senior level. Both Clubs continued to function as separate entities. It was an era when Ballyshannon players represented the county at all levels and a return to success on the hurling fields.

Donegal wins first Ulster U-21 Championship with Michael McLoone on team.

Donegal again wins Ulster U-21 Championship with Michael McLoone on team.

Donegal wins first Ulster V.S. title with P. Boyle, P. McShea, S. Martin, and T. Quinn.

Harry Carey, a native of Corlea, is President of Ulster Council.

St. Josephs win first of seven County titles.

Donegal wins 3rd Ulster U-21 Championship with B. Dowling, M. McLoone and P. McShea on team.

St. Josephs win first unofficial Ulster Club Championship defeating St. Johns 1-10 to 3-3.

St. Josephs defeat Crossmaglen in unofficial Ulster Club Championship 0-9 to 0-8.

St. Josephs win unofficial All-Ireland Club title, beating Dunmore McHale's of Galway over two legs.


Erne Valley wins County Hurling Championship.

1966 Erne Valley wins County Hurling Championship.


County Juvenile Hurling title in 1962.

County Minor Hurling titles in 1963 and 1964.

Minor Football Championships in 1961 and 1963.


The launch of underage coaching was to revitalise the club for later years. Club players were involved in Donegal's breakthrough at Ulster level, while the hurlers reached the Ulster club final.

As part of the Donegal breakthrough at senior level in Ulster - Alan Kane, Pauric McShea and Martin Carney are on final team, while Thomas Quinn and Josie Boyle are on panel, with Jim 'Natch' Gallagher as mentor.

St. Josephs win four Championships in-a-row.

St. Josephs win first official Ulster Club Championship - the only one by a Donegal team, beating Castleblayney 3-6 to 1-8.

Martin Carney wins Railway Cup medal with Combined Universities.

Pauric McShea captained Donegal to second Ulster title with Martin Carney, Alan Kane and Thomas Quinn also on panel. Jim 'Natch' Gallagher is mentor.


Aodh Ruadh wins senior hurling title.

Aodh Ruadh win senior hurling title and later reach the final of the Ulster Club competition, losing to Cuchulainns of Armagh by 3-3 to 1-5.


Aodh Ruadh wins first and only U-14 County title.

'74, '76 - Aodh Ruadh win U-12 titles.

'78, '79 - Aodh Ruadh win U-16 titles.

Óg Sport (Under 15) Donegal County title.

Aodh Ruadh win first of four Minor titles in-a-row, the only time the feat was achieved in the county.

De La Salle wins Herald Cup (U-17) in 1978, Loch an Iuir 1976 and 1977.


The club had players involved in the winning of three All-Ireland titles, the most notable being the Colleges win of De La Salle, while Brian Tuohy was captain of the County U-21 side. On the football front the Championship wins of 1986 and 1987 bridged a 25 year gap, while there was unprecedented success at underage level. Major re-structuring and re-vitalisation of the Club took place.

De La Salle wins McLarnon Cup and go on to win the All-Ireland.

Club commences its involvement as a Community Employment Sponsor.

Aodh Ruadh selected as AIB Club of the Year (Donegal), represented by Club Chairman, Tom Daly.

New stand is opened at Fr. Tierney Park.

Aodh Ruadh wins first County U-21 title.

Aodh Ruadh retains County U-21 title.

Brian Tuohy captains Donegal to win first All-Ireland U-21 title. Also on team are Tommy McDermott and Sylvester Maguire, with then club players Pauric Gallagher (RIP) and Matt Gallagher.

Donegal wins third Ulster Senior Championship. Tommy McDermott is corner back. Gary Walsh is sub.

Tommy McDermott wins Railway Cup medal with Ulster.

Diarmaid Keon, Pat McGovern and Mark Cleary are members of Donegal minor team which wins Ulster title. P.J. Buggy is mentor.

Tommy McDermott captained Aodh Ruadh to win 8th senior championship.

Brian Tuohy captained Aodh Ruadh to win 9th senior championship.

Diarmaid Keon is playing member of Donegal team to win All-Ireland U-21 Championship.

U-21s win County Championship.

U-21s win County Championship.

Sylvester Maguire wins Ulster Junior Hurling Championship medal.

Gary Walsh is Donegal Player of the Year.

Senior Hurlers win Donegal Senior Hurling Shield Final against Setanta.

New dressing rooms and club shop officially opened at Fr. Tierney Park.

'Munday's Field' where Aodh Ruadh's first games were played in 1909 is purchased, following an intense lobbying campaign, from Donegal County Council.


Minor County Championships in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1988.

Minor League titles in 1980, 1982 and 1986.

U-16 County Championship in 1986.

U-12B County Championship in 1987.

U-16 Camogie Championships 1988, 1989.

U-14 Camogie Championship 1987.

De La Salle win Herald Cup in 1989 and Loch an Iuir in 1980. Community Games County titles are won in 1985, 1986, 1987 (runners-up in All-Ireland final in 1987)


Again success came easily at all levels with Championships won in football, hurling and camogie. The decade saw the advent of ladies football with the highlight in 1995, winning the Senior Ladies title.

The club win first running of Senior Reserve Championship.

Intermediate Camogie title is won.

Donal Buggy, Anthony McGrath and Al Travers are part of Donegal minor panel which wins Ulster title.

Hurlers win Junior Shield.

Gary Walsh wins Railway Cup medal.

Pat Sweeny wins All-Ireland Scór title for recitation.

Sylvester Maguire and Diarmaid Keon win Sigerson Cup Medals with UCG.

Sylvester Maguire is part of Donegal team who win first All-Ireland for Donegal. Gary Walsh and Brian Murray are also involved. Gary Walsh wins All-Star.

Aodh Ruadh wins County U-21 title.

Donegal Ladies win Ulster titles. Grace Meade, Breda Tinney and Bernie Ferry involved in '93. Grace is captain in 1994 along with Bernie Ferry and Jenny McGloin.

Sylvester Maguire captains the club to their 10th Senior Football Championship and also wins Donegal Player of the Year.

Hurlers win Junior Championship.

John Rooney is Donegal Hurler of the Year.

John Rooney part of the Donegal hurling team that won NHL division four.

Brian Murray wins two Railway Cup medals.

Ladies win Senior Championship.

Barry Ward, Brian Roper, Anthony McGrath, Donal Buggy, Eamonn O'Donnell and Niall McCready win Ulster U-21 medals with Donegal.

David Greene wins All-Ireland V.S. medals with Donegal.

David Greene, Stephen Ward, Martin Gallagher and Garret Blake win Ulster Minor Championship medals with Donegal.

De La Salle wins their second McLarnon Cup.

Hurlers win Intermediate Championship.

The 11th Senior Football Championship is won, while league success bridges 42 year gap.

The 12th Senior Football Championship comes to the club.

The Senior Reserve team are Championship winners.

Scor quiz team of P.J. Buggy, John Magee and Sylvester Maguire are Ulster Champions.

Intermediate Camogie title is won.

Grace Meade is Donegal Lady Player of the Year.

Sean Slevin - County Hall of Fame.

The Senior Reserve team retain their Championship.

De La Salle wins their third McLarnon Cup.


Minor Championships are won in 1990 and 1992.

U-16 Championships are won in 1993, 1995 and 1997.

U-13 Championship in 1993.

U-12 Championships in 1990, 1991 and 1997.

U-16B Hurling Championships in 1994 and 1995.

U-14B Hurling Championships in 1993 and 1994.

U-12B Hurling Championship in 1992.

U-12 Camogie League 1997, 1998.

U-10 Camogie Championship 1998.

De La Salle wins Chorn Colm Cille (U-14B) in 1991, Loch an Iuir 1992.

Community Games County titles won in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, while All-Ireland title is won in 1990.


Arás Aoidh Ruaidh, our new club house and media facility was officially opened - The Club's Millennium Year Project.

Win under 14 Football Championship.

Jim Gallagher - County Hall of Fame

Scór na nÓg All Ireland win, Pauric Buggy, Naomi Campbell, Turlough McIntyre.

Win Junior Hurling Championship.

Win Junior 'B' Football Championship.

Win Intermediate Ladies Football Championship.

Win under 16 'A' Hurling Championship.

Win Minor 'A' Hurling Championship.

Win Under 16 'A' Hurling Championship.

Aiden Begley receives Nicky Rackard All Star Award.

Aiden Begley, Peter Horan, Jonathon Dolan, Anthony Coughlin on Donegal panel which reached Nickey Rackard final.

Win Division 4 Football League.

Win Under 12 Football Championship.

Win Minor 'A' Hurling Championship.

Tom Daly is elected President of Ulster Council G.A.A. (February) and becomes Vice President nationally (April).

Brian Roper Donegal Player of the Year.

Win Division 4 Football League.

Win Under 14 'B' Hurling Championship.

Colm Kelly represents Donegal in Feile na Gael skills final in Tullamore.

Brian Roper sets new record for Donegal appearances

Aodh Ruadh Centenary Year.