Contribution To Down

Over the years, the club has made a substantial contribution to Down football with many outstanding players in every decade since the 1930’s. Tom O’Hare was a member of the Junior team beaten by Louth in the Junior semi-final of 1934.

Terry McCormack, Gerry and Johnny Carr and John McClorey featured in the first Ulster Senior final against Cavan in 1940. In 1944 when the Mc Kenna cup was won for the first time no fewer than seven Point men lined out for the final.

Gerry Carr captained the Down Junior team that brought the first All-Ireland to the County in 1946 and Emmett McGivern was the goalkeeper on that occasion. Barney Carr, Joe O’Boyle, Liam O’Hare, Tim Donoghue and John O’Hare were all stars of the County team in the 1940’s.

The great breakthrough on the National scene was in 1960 when Down brought the Sam Maguire Cup across the Border for the first time, Barney Carr was one of the central figures as Manager of the Down Senior football team in 1960 and 1961. In 1968 the youthful Peter Rooney made his mark in no uncertain manner in Down’s All-Ireland Senior football success.

Miceal Magill played and Eamon Connolly was on the panel of the victorious Down All-Ireland Senior football team in 1994. Emmett T. McGivern, Seamus Carr and Sean McNulty won All-Ireland Minor medals in 1977 and Brenda Kearney won a similar honour with Down in 1999, as did Gary Boylan and Colm Carty in 2005. Gervaise O’Hare won an All-Ireland Under 21 medal with Down in 1979.

Five Warrenpoint players were selected in the Irish News feature article in February 2009, selecting the Top 50 Down players, in the 125 Years of the GAA. The five players were:

  1. Terry McCormack;
  2. John McClorey;
  3. Barney Carr;
  4. Gerry Carr; and
  5. Peter Rooney.

Peter Rooney was also selected in the top 125 Ulster Gaelic Footballers in the 125 Years History of the GAA by the Irish News in 2009.

The Club continues to provide many players to County Football, Hurling and Camogie teams.

In 2009, Cumann Pheadair Naofa had the unique achivement of boasting the captain of both the Down Minor Football Team (Ross McGarry) and the Down Minor Hurling Team (Matthew Teague).

Over the years the club has produced a number of quality referees. Hugh Carr refereed the Railway Cup Football Final in 1954.

In 2009, Club referee Brendan Rice, won the South Down Referee of the Year Award. In the past club referee Micheal Cranny refereed a number of County Finals and was an established inter-county referee. Indeed in 2009, the club’s three referees, all refereed Down County Finals: Brendan Rice (Intermediate Football Championship Final); Declan Ryan (Division 4 County Football League Final); and Gerry Couglan (Under-age Hurling Final).

In 2011, Club Referee Brendan Rice had the honour of refereeing the Down County Senior Football Championship Final and Brendan also refereed the Ulster Minor Football Championship Final between Tyrone and Monaghan at Clones on Sunday 21 July 2013.

Club Referee Micheal Moore won the South Down Young Referee of the Year Award in 2014.

For many years Eamon O’Hare was a coaching co-ordinator for the County.
On the administrative side there has been a fair contribution also, with the club providing three County Chairmen. As far back as the mid 20’s Warrenpoint man Paddy McGivern had a spell as County chairman. Father Alex McMullan during his time in Warrenpoint held the position for six years and more recently Donal McCormack has made his mark first as County chairman and then as County secretary.

Leaving all the foregoing aside, one of the biggest single contributions made to the association in Down was the County history (O’Shiol go Blath) by club member Sile Nic Ultaigh. Sile was a very distinguished club member, known the length and breath of Ireland. O’Shiol go Blath won a national GAA McNamee Communications Award.

The late Dan O’Rourke of Roscommon was a teacher in Warrenpoint in the 1920’s and took an interest in the club, when he was in the town. He later became President of the GAA.

In the wider community as a result of the high level of Warrenpoint involvement in Gaelic Sport, and of the achievements of its players, administrators and members over the years, the club is very well known in County Down, throughout Ulster and indeed at National GAA level. This profile has been further enhanced by the increased media coverage of Gaelic games in recent years.

It should be noted that club member Feargal McCormack along with Colm Fitzpatrick (Rostrevor) was responsible for the highly acclaimed Media Report in 1982 which carried out detailed emperical market research of GAA coverage in the media in Ulster in terms of newspapers, TV stations and radio. The report published in October 1982 is recognised as the starting point for the commencement of major negotiations with UTV, BBC and the Belfast Telegraph to significantly improve media coverage of GAA activities.

In 1984 as part of the GAA Centenary Celebrations, club member, Feargal McCormack, was chosen as the Youth Representative in the 100 personalities chosen by the GAA to celebrate its Centenary at a State Banquet at Dublin Castle, hosted by the then Taoiseach Dr. Garret Fitzgerald.

Ronan McMahon as County P.R.O. in 2010 was presented with the Ulster GAA Young Official of the Year Award by the Ulster GAA President.

In November 2012, Brendan Rice was awarded an Ulster GAA President’s Award in recognition of his services to the GAA, through education.

In 2010, Club P.R.O. and Development Officer, Feargal McCormack chaired the Down GAA Congress Host Committee which organised the GAA 2010 Congress at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle.

In November 2010, club trustee Barney Carr, was awarded the South Down GAA Hall of Fame Award at the South Down GAA Awards Dinner. Long serving club administrator Donal McCormack who uniquely held both the key chairman and secretary roles for his club, The Down Youth Board, The South Down GAA Board and Down GAA County Board was awarded the South Down GAA Hall of Fame Award in 2014.

Barney Carr won the Gerry Bagnall Hall of Fame Award at the 2013 Newry and Mourne Sports Awards.