150 Years and Counting of GAA Handball in Loughmacrory…

http://aprazerhealthcare.com/?b=cialis-5mg-daily-reviews&4ff=0e GAA Handball has enjoyed a rich tradition in Loughmacrory for almost 150 years with the 1st official committee formed back in 1968.

The mid-Tyrone club are celebrating the 50th Anniversary Year and a new book entitled ‘150 Years of GAA Handball & Counting’ will be published in 2018, getting its name following a souvenir programme entitled “A Hundred Years of Handballing”, produced to mark the opening of the new alley 50 years ago.

Fr Peter Coyle, a member of the first official committee tells how…

“Starting back in 1968, the club built the 1st fully covered 60×30 court and the Handball Committee decided to include a new Community Hall to cater for the wider community and provide a hub for Loughmacrory. There was a strong team of people led by the likes of Peter and John Curran, Frank McCrystall, MJ Kelly, Hugh Duff and John Conway and it is terrific to see the legacy continue with another major redevelopment 50 years on.”

The club built a 40×20 handball court in 1981 and in 2014 added a unique One Wall International Handball Facility with 3 full sized courts, opened as part of a wider major Community Project on 28th June 2014. That year saw the Club also pick up the prestigious Ulster GAA Writers Handball Award while winning the Ulster Club of the year Awards in 2015 and 2016.

Mickey Conway was Tyrone’s first ever All Ireland Champion in 1970 while Ciaran Curran was the first ever Ulster handballer to win an All Ireland Juvenile title in 1984 and added 8 Ulster Senior singles titles, 27 All Ireland medals, 5 US National titles and a World 23&U title.

Players and members who were involved and played in the 2012 World Handball championships in Dublin

Significant National titles include All Ireland Under 14 clean sweeps by Ciaran Curran (1986 and 1987), Brian Donaghy (2003), Aoife Kelly (2010) and Mairead Fox (2016) while Antoin Fox was a 1stwinner of the All Ireland Under 16 60×30 Singles title for Tyrone in 2016. Conal Curran, Plunkett Kelly, Ciaran Meenagh, Shane McCullagh, Conor Duff, Chris Curran, Kenny Curran, Paul Donnelly, Patrick McCullagh, Pearse McKernan, Lisa McAleer, Nadine Kelly, Grainne McKernan, Caitlin Conway, Dara Curran, Shane Grimes, Ronan Curran, Eoin McElholm and Dearbhail Fox have also all won All Ireland gold medals in recent times.

One of the stand-out memories is a Guinness World Record 80 hour Handball Marathon by six members (John McCullagh, Pat O’Brien, Kieran Kelly, Pat Kelly, Paddy McGurk and Packie Coyle) in 1978 while Hugh Duff also captured the first All Ireland Masters Singles Championship title for Tyrone in 1985.

All Ireland Feile Division 1 success for the club came in 1984 (Chris Curran, Shane Kelly, Niall Curran, Seamus Curran) and in 2003 (Brian Donaghy, Conor Duff, Paul Donnelly, Sean O’Kane) while there has been Division 2 title wins in 1992 (Shane McCullagh, Eunan Donnelly, Carl Curran, Ciaran Meenagh, Aidan Toner) and then in 2014 with a 1st Boys and girls double through the Boys team of Antoin Fox, Dara Curran, Ronan Curran, Shane Grimes, Diarmaid Gallagher and the Girls team of Aideen Curran, Caitlin Conway, Mairead Fox and Michaela Curran.

Loughmacrory reached the All Ireland 60×30 Club Senior Championship final of 1980 with the team of Hugh Duff, John Curran, John McCullagh and Packie Coyle. In 2007, the club claimed the club and county’s first Ulster Mens Open Senior Club 40×20 Championship, defeating previous all Ireland winners St. Pauls HC, Belfast, and Gort na Mona en route to that crown. The team of Chris Curran, Ciaran Curran, Ciaran Meenagh and Stephen Conway lost to Ballaghadereen (Dessie Keegan, Joe McCann, Vinny Moran, Paul Flynn by 93-86 in the All Ireland Senior Club final, having defeated Kells (Meath) team of Tom Sheridan, Brian Carroll, Carl Browne and Gary McConnell en route to that final.

Current chairman, Chris Curran, was also CEO of GAA Handball Ireland from 2009 to 2013 and visualised, planned and overseen the record breaking 2,000+ player World Championships (Dublin 2012) and in August 2014 launched the inaugural Lough 1Wall Showdown when 252 players competed and over 1,000 spectators packed in to watch World Champions, Puerto Rico’s Wally Amaro and Cork’s Catriona Casey, win the first titles. Conor McElduff and Limerick’s Martina McMahon (Ladies Open) added to their National Open title wins to take the 2017 Open titles and the prestigious event in 2018 will take place from 29th June to 1st July.

We have an in-depth interview with Fr Coyle plus a wide range of interviews, features and profiles in our book which will be launched later this year entitled – “150 Years of GAA Handball and Counting…”

We will also be looking for past members and players to complete short profiles and submit photographs for the final book and we would ask that these are sent to chris@everystepmedia.com

With the LCDA leading a redevelopment of the Centre in 2018 the future looks bright as Loughmacrory GAA Handball Club develop the sport into the future. Check out all the plans, events and stories at www.loughmacrory.com

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