Cushendall progress to their first All-Ireland final

6 02 2016


Antrim Champions Ruairí Ogs Cushendall advanced to their first ever All-Ireland Club SHC final with an emphatic 3-12 to 1-06 win over Sarsfields of Galway in their semi final played at Pairc Tailteann Navan.

An early penalty goal from Neil McManus signalled the intent of the Antrim men who went on to (uncharacteristically !! ) led at half time with score of Cushendall 1-04 Sarsfields 0-5

A brilliant second half goal from Sean McAfee and a last minute tap in from substitute Karl McKeegan sealed the outcome in favour of the Ulster Champions.

A great team effort with star performances from Ryan McCambridge, Sean McAfee and Paddy McGill making for an All-Ireland final date in Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day.

Cross and Passion College – All Ireland Champions

4 04 2015


Ballycastle SDLP representative Dónal Cunningham has warmly congratulated Cross and Passion College on their All Ireland Final Colleges win in Thurles, on a scoreline of 1-16 to 1-12 the North Antrim College showed all of their battling qualities to edge out Mountrath Community School and lift the Paddy Buggy Cup for the third time in 8 years.

Cumann MacÚilin Ballycastle successfully host Feile na nGael group stages

21 06 2014


Ballycastle Councillor and current chair of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham paid tribute to McQuillan GAC  and Ballycastle Camogie Club for  what he  called the professionalism of their staging of the group stages and Cup and Shield quarter finals  of the national u-14 Hurling Feile na  nGael tournament.

“If the success of any tournament is measured in the numbers of people who participate; spectators and visitors who enjoy the event  then the group stages/Shield and Cup quarter finals of Feile na nGael has to be declared a magnificent success.

In glorious sunshine in Pairc MacUilin over Friday and Saturday, the  club played host to top Dublin side St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh with the vistors impressing with a 3-9 to 0-4 win, up in Loughgiel  Kilkenny’s Bennettsbridge  finished 4 points ahead of Loughgiel 0-9 to 0-5.

With all of the action in Ballycastle on Saturday morning Plunketts continued their winning streak with a 4-5 to 0-5 win over Loughgiel, meanwhile Bennettsbridge set up an intriguing final group match with a 1-8 to 0-2 win over McQuillans Ballycastle. In a tense and pulsating final group game  Bennettsbridge edged out Plunketts by the narrowest of margins 3-7 to 4-3, an ever improving Ballycastle scored their first victory of the group with a 2-3 to 1-5 win over Loughgiel Shamrocks.

The various quarter finals saw victories for Dunloy over Plunketts, Cushendall over Loughgiel, St Eamon’s over Bennettsbridge and Ballycastle over Castletown.

A fabulous few days of hurling in splendid facilities (well done Cathal and groundstaff). Good Luck to all the sides in tomorrows semi finals.




Ballycastle to host Antrim’s National Hurling League matches in 2014

22 11 2013


Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has expressed his delight that his home GAA club McQuillan GAC will host both of Antrim’s Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B home matches at Páirc MacUílín in 2014.

The Ballycastle venue will see the Saffrons entertain Wexford and Cork on February 16 and March 16 respectively.

Councillor Cunningham has urged local accommodation providers to make a special effort whether through advertising or special rates to encourage as many visitors as possible from both Wexford and Cork.

“Let’s make these two weekends memorable for the Club, Town and County”

Good Luck – Cross and Passion Hurlers

23 10 2013



Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has sent his best wishes to Cross & Passion College Hurling Teams who are playing in the Ulster Final on Friday night. The McNamee Team (U-13 1/2) play St Killian’s Garron Tower at 6:30 pm while the Mageean Team (U-18 1/2) play St Pat’s Maghera at 8:00 pm  Both games are in Queens Playing Fields – The Dub – Belfast

Chluichí Ceannais Iomána Faoi 21 na hÉireann

14 09 2013

Ciaran Clarke

Good Luck to Matthew Donnelly, Stephen McAfee and Ciaran Clarke and the rest of the Antrim lads in todays All-Ireland U-21 Hurling final in Thurles.

Cunningham congratulates Antrim U-21 Hurlers

24 08 2013

Ciaran Clarke

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor has congratulated manager Kevin Ryan and the Antrim U-21 Hurlers on their historic success  in the All-Ireland Hurling Championship Semi-final.

The Saffron’s qualified for their first ever All Ireland U- 21 Hurling Championship Final defeating Wexford 2-15 to 1-16 . The Antrim lads dominated the scoring throughout with Stephen McAfee and Ciaran Clarke goals contributing to a half time lead of 2-7 to 0-9..

Councillor Cunningham said “Antrim Gaels are extremely proud of the entire teams performance,  but as a Ballycastle man I am delighted by the massive contribution made by club players Matthew Donnelly, Stephen McAfee and Ciaran Clarke”.

“We can look forward in hope to an All-Ireland final  this year and the bold prediction by manager Kevin Ryan of All –Ireland success at this grade by 2015 looks a realistic prospect.”

Ulster GAA launch Irish Scholarships

14 07 2013

Ulster GAA has announced a major sponsorship programme for adult students of the Irish language in conjunction with the University of Ulster. The scholarship scheme will run in partnership with the School of Irish Language and Literature and is to be known as Gaeilge sa Chlub (or ‘Irish in the Club’). It aims to promote the use of Irish within clubs throughout Ulster by providing financial assistance to GAA members who sign up for the Diploma in Irish Language course at Ulster.

This two-year (part-time) course is currently available at the UU Belfast and Magee campuses, plus the university outcentres at Cookstown, Ranafast and Downings. It runs for three months in the autumn (starting 23 September) and three months in the spring (starting 27 January) and classes are taught in each centre on Monday and Wednesday evenings (5.30-8.20pm). Students are instructed in listening, speaking, reading and writing and many diploma graduates progress to the degree course in Irish Language and Literature.

Martin McAviney, President of Ulster GAA commented on the developing relationship between Ulster GAA and the University: “This initiative enhances the existing strong links between Comhairle Uladh and the University of Ulster, developing the current sporting partnership with a new cultural and linguistic dimension.”

Ryan Feeney, Head of Community Development, Strategy and Public Affairs with Ulster GAA spoke of the importance of this scheme at community level: “This scholarship scheme is an investment in GAA volunteers at grassroots level and will enable many people to achieve a university qualification in Irish, developing their own career prospects and enriching their communities.”

Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Head of School of Irish Language and Literature at Ulster complemented Ulster GAA for this ‘pioneering’ scheme: “This is a significant investment by Ulster GAA in club members throughout the province. There is a growing appreciation of increased employability for Irish language graduates and this pioneering project is in keeping with the ethos of the GAA and the current DCAL initiative for Líofa 2015.”

There is sure to be much interest in this scheme throughout the GAA clubs of Ulster. Donegal All-Ireland winning footballer Éamonn McGee, who graduated with the Diploma in Irish Language at Magee campus this month, has given a strong endorsement of the course: “The Diploma was a real game-changer for me – now I’m starting the Degree in September. The part-time course is ideal for someone with a busy lifestyle!”

Further information on the Diploma in Irish Language is available from Mrs Ros O’Hagan in the School of Irish Language and Literature: or +44 (0)28 7167 5277.

To apply for a Gaeilge sa Chlub scholarship, contact Dónal McAnallen, Ulster GAA Cultural Education & Outreach Officer: or +44 (0)28 37517180.


22 05 2013


SDLP Economy Spokesperson and Chairman of the Enterprise Trade and Investment Committee at Stormont, Patsy McGlone has said there should be a report into the economic and social benefits of the GAA.

This comes following a report commissioned by the Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland on the economic benefits of Loyal Orders.

 Mr McGlone said:

 “The report compiled for the Department for Social Development (“DSD”) demonstrates that loyal orders and their bands contribute £15m to the Northern Irish Economy annually.  

 “This needs to be balanced against the cost of policing parades in the North last summer, which was estimated to be £7.4m.

 “I welcome the collection of any data which gives us a fuller picture of the social and economic factors that contribute to our society.

 “While not equating the two I believe a similar study into the economic and social impact of the GAA across the North must be commissioned by DSD as well as the cultural benefits fully factored in through the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure.

 “I have submitted an assembly question to Minister McCausland on this issue and look forward to hearing his response in due course.”

What an advertisement for Club Hurling !!

10 02 2013


 Loughgiel Shamrocks 3-19  St Thomas’s 1-25  (AET)

 Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham described the drawn All- Ireland Club Hurling semi-final between Antrim and Ulster Champions Loughgiel and Galway’s St Thomas’ as a wonderful advertisement for club hurling.

“It was an amazing contest – such is the resilience and determination of this Loughgiel side that although trailing by four points in the final minutes of extra time they still found enough in them to secure another meeting”

“”TG4 pundits made  Conor Cooney their man of the match – for me Joey Scullion’s performance was every bit the equal”