Masterful presentation of Carrickcruppen history: 1944 to 1979

March 7, 2016

A superbly narrated and presented history of Carrickcruppen GFC, 1944- 1979, was made by Tommy Lynch before a full house at the club headquarters on Tuesday night last. It marked a culmination of long intensive work in assembling the details and records regarding the times, the personalities, the struggles and successes of the club  over the first thirty five years of  its history. The occasion was introduced by Philip Mc Govern and the entire presentation recorded for posterity by Damian Mc Cullough and Hugh Murphy.

Carrickcruppen GFC was founded specifically to give priority to gaelic games and to local gaelic players in the area.  The first chairman was Peter Farrelly, secretary Brendan Crilly and Treasurer James Gallogly with the committee comprised of  Francie Gallogly, Colin Crilly, Paddy Carlisel, Phil Mc Guinness, PJ Crilly, Donal Crilly, Gerard Crilly, and Oliver Loughran. Games were played in the early years at Collins Corner at the top of the Quarter Road and funds were raised with social events in such premises as the old AOH. The overall progress of the club through the forties and fifties was detailed leading to the great breakthrough in the winning of the Armagh Senior championship in I959. Later, the lengthy process of the purchase and development of the current grounds and the club rooms was a major development in the club’s history.

The foundation and development of the camogie team was outlined with the early involvement of the Crilly and the Kelly sisters, Mary Lynch, Eileen Jennings, Teresa and Eileen Mc Gleenan and joined later by such influential personalities as the outstanding Rose Mc Parland. Another central development was the creation of the Youth Club influenced in the beginning by such people as Ownie Mc Manus and Jimmy Mc Mahon followed by the great stalwart figure of Harry Shields. Tommy Lynch himself along with Pat and Rita Evans were leading figures in Carrickcruppen’s highly successful participation in the Scor over many years.

Carrickcruppen’s legendary participation in tournaments across the local counties was highlighted including the particular occasion when they played three games on the one day. And the important contribution of the club to county football at senior, junior and minor level was well presented, including players such as Oliver Loughran, Danny Kelly, Anthony Bennett, Ray Dowds, Peter Loughran, Jim Loughran, Eamonn Treanor, Peter Treanor, Ciaran Lewis, Gene Hughes, Leo Mc Cabe and Brian Canavan.

The presentation ended with the rise of the outstanding team that won the Armagh Senior Championship in 1978 and 1979 under the guidance of selectors Paddy Lynch, Cahal Boylan and Mickey Mc Cann.

Many of the stalwarts from the successful teams of the past were at the occasion in the club including Terry O’Hare, Mickey Mc Cann, Ciaran Lewis, Gerry O’Reilly, Jim Loughran, John Collins, Brian Canavan and Charlie O’Hanlon. Bridie Bennett, wife of the late Anthony Bennet and Maura O’Hanlon , wife of the late Patsy O’Hanlon  were also  present.

Tommy Lynch’s grasp of local and GAA history, his overall cultural awareness and abilities as a natural story teller combined to make this a memorable presentation. He also spoke with authority from the backdrop of his own immense contribution to the GAA as former County Chairman and League Chairman and for his critical leadership in the restoration of Armagh’s fortunes in the seventies when things were at a low ebb.