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.

1909

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.

1920s

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.

1922
De La Salle Brothers established in the town.

1923
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.

1924
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.

1929
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.

1930s

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.

1930
The Aodh Ruadh Football team won their first ever League title.

1932
The Aodh Ruadh Football team won their second championship defeating Dungloe by 1-7 to 0-1.

1937
The third football Championship was won, defeating Gaoth Dobhair by 3-8 to 4-2.

1939
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.

1940s

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.

1941
The footballers won the Democrat Cup League title.

1942
The footballers won their fifth senior title, defeating Glenties by 2-8 to 1-4.

1942
The footballers won their sixth senior title, defeating Convoy by 1-9 to 2-1.

1942/43
'Red' Jack Gallagher was part of the Ulster team which won the Railway Cup for the first win for the province.

1944
The Democrat Cup was won by Aodh Ruadh.

1945
The Democrat Cup was won by Aodh Ruadh.

1947
Aodh Ruadh again won the League to capture the Democrat Cup.

1947
After being defeated in the two previous finals, Corlea won the Junior Championship.

1948
De La Salle opened their Post Primary School.

1949
A rocky field was purchased for £1,050 - later to be transformed into the Fr. Tierney Park.

1950s

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.

1951
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.

1951
Aodh Ruadh defeat St. Eunan's by 1-6 to 1-5 to win their 7th Senior Championship.

1954
Fr. Tierney Park officially opened.

1955
Aodh Ruadh wins sixth Democrat Cup.

Aodh Ruadh defeats Burt to win County Juvenile hurling title.

1956
Sean McHugh, Owen Roe O'Neill on Donegal minor panel which wins first Ulster minor title.

1957
Bakery Cup played for first time.

1960s

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.

1963
Donegal wins first Ulster U-21 Championship with Michael McLoone on team.

1964
Donegal again wins Ulster U-21 Championship with Michael McLoone on team.

1964
Donegal wins first Ulster V.S. title with P. Boyle, P. McShea, S. Martin, and T. Quinn.

1964-67
Harry Carey, a native of Corlea, is President of Ulster Council.

1965
St. Josephs win first of seven County titles.

1966
Donegal wins 3rd Ulster U-21 Championship with B. Dowling, M. McLoone and P. McShea on team.

1966
St. Josephs win first unofficial Ulster Club Championship defeating St. Johns 1-10 to 3-3.

1967
St. Josephs defeat Crossmaglen in unofficial Ulster Club Championship 0-9 to 0-8.

1968
St. Josephs win unofficial All-Ireland Club title, beating Dunmore McHale's of Galway over two legs.

Hurling

1964
Erne Valley wins County Hurling Championship.

1966 Erne Valley wins County Hurling Championship.

Underage

County Juvenile Hurling title in 1962.

County Minor Hurling titles in 1963 and 1964.

Minor Football Championships in 1961 and 1963.

1970s

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.

1972
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.

1973-76
St. Josephs win four Championships in-a-row.

1975
St. Josephs win first official Ulster Club Championship - the only one by a Donegal team, beating Castleblayney 3-6 to 1-8.

1973
Martin Carney wins Railway Cup medal with Combined Universities.

1974
Pauric McShea captained Donegal to second Ulster title with Martin Carney, Alan Kane and Thomas Quinn also on panel. Jim 'Natch' Gallagher is mentor.

Hurling

1975
Aodh Ruadh wins senior hurling title.

1977
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.

Underage

1972
Aodh Ruadh wins first and only U-14 County title.

1973
'74, '76 - Aodh Ruadh win U-12 titles.

1974
'78, '79 - Aodh Ruadh win U-16 titles.

1979
Óg Sport (Under 15) Donegal County title.

1979
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.

1980s

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.

1980
De La Salle wins McLarnon Cup and go on to win the All-Ireland.

1981
Club commences its involvement as a Community Employment Sponsor.

1981
Aodh Ruadh selected as AIB Club of the Year (Donegal), represented by Club Chairman, Tom Daly.

1981
New stand is opened at Fr. Tierney Park.

1981
Aodh Ruadh wins first County U-21 title.

1982
Aodh Ruadh retains County U-21 title.

1982
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.

1983
Donegal wins third Ulster Senior Championship. Tommy McDermott is corner back. Gary Walsh is sub.

1984
Tommy McDermott wins Railway Cup medal with Ulster.

1985
Diarmaid Keon, Pat McGovern and Mark Cleary are members of Donegal minor team which wins Ulster title. P.J. Buggy is mentor.

1986
Tommy McDermott captained Aodh Ruadh to win 8th senior championship.

1987
Brian Tuohy captained Aodh Ruadh to win 9th senior championship.

1987
Diarmaid Keon is playing member of Donegal team to win All-Ireland U-21 Championship.

1988
U-21s win County Championship.

1989
U-21s win County Championship.

Sylvester Maguire wins Ulster Junior Hurling Championship medal.

1989
Gary Walsh is Donegal Player of the Year.

1989
Senior Hurlers win Donegal Senior Hurling Shield Final against Setanta.

1989
New dressing rooms and club shop officially opened at Fr. Tierney Park.

1987
'Munday's Field' where Aodh Ruadh's first games were played in 1909 is purchased, following an intense lobbying campaign, from Donegal County Council.

Underage

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)

1990s

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.

1990
The club win first running of Senior Reserve Championship.

Intermediate Camogie title is won.

1991
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.

1992
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.

1993
Aodh Ruadh wins County U-21 title.

1993-94
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.

1994
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.

1995
John Rooney part of the Donegal hurling team that won NHL division four.

1994/95
Brian Murray wins two Railway Cup medals.

1995
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.

1995-96
David Greene wins All-Ireland V.S. medals with Donegal.

1996
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.

1997
The 11th Senior Football Championship is won, while league success bridges 42 year gap.

1998
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.

1999
The Senior Reserve team retain their Championship.

De La Salle wins their third McLarnon Cup.

Underage

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.

2000s

2000
Arás Aoidh Ruaidh, our new club house and media facility was officially opened - The Club's Millennium Year Project.

Win under 14 Football Championship.

2000
Jim Gallagher - County Hall of Fame

2002
Scór na nÓg All Ireland win, Pauric Buggy, Naomi Campbell, Turlough McIntyre.

2003
Win Junior Hurling Championship.

2004
Win Junior 'B' Football Championship.

2005
Win Intermediate Ladies Football Championship.

Win under 16 'A' Hurling Championship.

2006
Win Minor 'A' Hurling Championship.

Win Under 16 'A' Hurling Championship.

2006
Aiden Begley receives Nicky Rackard All Star Award.

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

2007
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.

2008
Win Division 4 Football League.

Win Under 14 'B' Hurling Championship.

2009
Colm Kelly represents Donegal in Feile na Gael skills final in Tullamore.


Brian Roper sets new record for Donegal appearances

2009
Aodh Ruadh Centenary Year.