Wednesday 17th October, 2012St. Macartan’s to celebrate 100 years of Gaelic Games at the Sem
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Chairperson of the St. Macartan's College Parents Association Kieran Lavelle
with members of the St. Macartan's MacRory Cup panel and team management at
the recent launch of the St. Macartan's college Gala Ball event.
At the turn of the century neither Gaelic Games nor the GAA were held in much favour by the Catholic Church. This was primarily due to the playing of games on Sundays. At schools like St. Macartan’s College this resulted in the promotion and the playing of Association Football or soccer. The game of soccer was apparently introduced to St. Macartan’s in 1890. St. Macartan’s played St. Patrick’s College Armagh in an annual soccer match between 1905 and 1916, however, in the changing political climate which prevailed in the aftermath of the Easter Rising and after a student vote in both schools it was decided that “ a game of football of the Gaelic variety would be played”. The “Armagh Match” as it was known was played under the Gaelic code from 1919 and in 1924 Dr. MacRory the then bishop of Down and Conor presented a cup for Gaelic football competitions among the secondary schools of Ulster. This was the beginning of the most prestigious schools Gaelic football competition in Ulster. A close scrutiny of a 1913 student publication in the school refers to the clandestine playing of Gaelic football, hence the celebration of 100 years of Gaelic football at the college beginning in the new year. The highlight of this celebration will be a Gala Ball to be held at the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan on February 16th. This event was launched by members of the current MacRory Cup panel and management team before the Parents Association AGM which took place at the College. Proceeds from the Gala Ball will go towards the school’s sports facilities development fund. It is hoped that the event will see as many of the schools former players as possible coming together for what is sure to be a night of sporting nostalgia. As part of this year’s celebrations, St. Macartan’s will revert to their original colours of black and amber for all Gaelic games competitions.