The third stage of this history begins in 1935. The first meeting to launch, the Kevin Barry’s as they were to be called was held at the foot of Joe Lavery’s garden at the Milltown, and the three men present were Joe Lavery, Charlie Walsh, and Billy Barbour.
These three ran the team for the next three years, and, needless to say, had many a headache trying to keep it going. The whole-hearted work and sacrifice which Joe Lavery in particular put in for the club is worthy of special mention.
In 1937, with the added strength of John O’Neill and James Joseph O’Neill, the club changed its name from Kevin Barry to Clan Eireann, by which it is still known.
For the past twelve years Tannaghmore has had a team on the field, but ten of them had passed before effort was rewarded with success.
In 1945 Clan Eireann were Armagh Junior Champions, and the first team in 13 years to bring this coveted honour to Lurgan. They defeated a strong Crossmaglen combination at Derrymacash in the final, and having consistently played good football that year their success was fully merited. The players who did duty for the club during the championship bid were: F. McCrory, G. Fegan, J. McCrory, A. Lavery, J. Heaney, P. McGeown, Isaac, Harry, and Willie Henderson, S. Blaney, H. Thompson, W. Dummigan, L. Magee, D. McCaffrey, J. Haughey, T. Magill, A. Murray, J. Duff, T. Smyth, T. Knox, and T. Henderson.
A player not included with that team is Eddie McLaughlin, who gave some of his best years to Clan Eireann, and, with Alf Murray, played a vital part in bringing the first Railway Cup to Ulster.
The Committee in power during Clan Eireann’s championship year were J. O’Neill, J. Rooney, H. Walls, C. Lavery, G. Fegan, F. Brady, and J. McRoberts. Others who served on the Committee in recent years were D. Thompson, D. Lynch, L. Magee, P. McKavanagh, T. McKavanagh, and A. Lavery.
Back Row L-R: Jimmy Rooney, Pearse McGeown, Harry Henderson, Sean Blaney, Hugh Thompson, Fra McCrory, Terry Magill, Larry Magee, Des McCaffrey, Bill Dummigan, Joe Haughey, Isaac Henderson, John O’Neill.
Front Row L-R: Charles Lavery, Tony Smyth, Seamus Magill, Ambrose Lavery, Gerry Fagan, Joe McCrory, Jim Heaney, Hugh Walls.
The club colours are orange and green, and it is interesting to recall that the team’s present rig had its first baptism in the mecca of all Gaels – Croke Park-when it was worn by the victorious Ulster Railway Cup team of 1943.
This history could not be complete without a special word for John O’Neill. When fortunes were low and success far distant “Jaunty” always remained, and for many years has been, as we hope he will continue to be, one of the soundest pillars of the G.A.A.
in Lurgan and district.