Clann Eireann Youth Teams

Little success was recorded by Clann Eireann in the early years until 1958 where the Minor team achievements are first mentioned.

In 1960 the Club entered an amalgamation with Clan na Gael at Minor level known as the Clan Og’s. This team included players like Roy McCafferty, Bobby Murray, Jim Brady, Colm Haddock and Michael Murtagh. This amalgamated team was successful in the Armagh Minor Championship of 1960 where they defeated the Red Hands and the Championship of 1962 where they defeated St. Malachy’s (Armagh).

It was in the latter years of the decade when our youth teams really came to the fore. In 1968 the club reaped the fruits of the labours of Brian Curran, Laurence Mitchell, Jim McAlinden and Francie McNeice by winning the Armagh Under 14 League with the following panel of players – Owen Culbert, Paddy Toman, Sean Haughian, Noel Hesketh, Harry Lavery, Sean McDonald, Martin O’Hagan, Tony McConville, Benedict Lavery, Kieran Towe, Davy Murtagh, Gary McDonald, Michael McAlernon, Denis Mincher, Sean Haughian, Teddy Mincher, Terry Magill, Paddy McAlernon and Sean Towe.

In the same year the club also triumphed in the Armagh Juvenile Championship beating Clan Na Gael in the final. This team includedGerard Towe, Jerome McGivern, Denis Breen, Maxi McIntyre, Billy Molloy, John Toman, Tony Magee, Damien Henderson, Martin O’Hagan, Kevin O’Loan, Seamus Devlin, Andy McDonald, Brian Devine, Michael McCorry, Gerry Fagan, Frank McStay, Laurence Lavery, Davy Murtagh, Kevin Lenaghan, Frank Toman, Don Drainey, David Kelly, Gerard Kane, Denis Mincher, Michael McCaughley, Gerry Watson and Paul Fox. That year the minor team were also beaten finalists in the Minor Championship.

The following year saw our first victory in the Minor Championship, in our own right when we defeated St. Patrick’s (Dorsey) in the final. The players from this team were Damien Henderson, Danny Shanks, Kevin O’Connor, Michael McCorry, Gerard Kane, Laurence Lavery, Don Drainey, Gerard Lynch, Albert Lavery, Martin Leathem, Gerry Fagan, Kevin Leneghan, Kevin O’Loan, David Kelly, Tommy Leneghan, John O’Loan, Frank Toman, Pat Shanks, Raymond Heaney and Jim Drainey.

The year 1970 again saw success at Juvenile Level in the Championship with the same panel of players who had previously won the Under 14 League in 1968winningthe title by beating Tir Na nOg.

A few barren years were to follow before our next title – the Under 12 League in 1975 under the guidance of Jim McAlinden, Francie McNeice and Danny McConville. The players from this team being Billy Hughes, Joe Corey, Seamus McCann, Kieran McManus, Jimmy Doran, Eamon McConville, Jim McAtinden, Dee McConville, Ronan O’Loan, Declan McNeill, Tommy Coleman, Mark Brady, Bobby Scullion, Gerard McCann, Brendan McKavanagh, Malachy Hogan, Brian Haughey, Gary Scullion, Patrick Gallery, Michael Lavery and two Lyness brothers.
The Club then suffered a lean spell for ten years without any successes. From 1983 an effort was made within the club to have more interest and involvement with the Youth teams from adult members. From this quite a few new faces came forward to help the long established trio of Laurence Mitchell, Jim McAlinden and Francie McNeice. These included Bobby Murray, Raymond Lavery, Joe Harte, Charles Lavery, Tommy Smyth, Liam McCafferty, Noel Hesketh, Michael Lavery, Michael McMahon, Danny McCrory and Gerard Totten. This helped to bring a new enthusiasm to the youth teams leading to success in the Under 12 League of 1985.

The following players were involved in that side: Thomas Smyth, Philip McGibbon, Pat McGibbon, Mark Lynn, Brian Beattie, Martin McConaghy, Jonathan Cullen, Mark Grogan, Dermot McCluskey, Sean Farquahar, Conell Tipping, David Cassidy, Jonathan McStay, Leo King, Brian White, Terence Fitzpatrick, Gary O’Carroll, Laurence Dolan, Patrick Breen, Gerard Thompson, Conor Scullion, Sean McCann and Jonathan McAreavey.

The year 1986 saw a clean sweep of titles for Clan Na Gael, but 1987 brought success for: Brendan O’Hara, Rory Owens, Geoffrey Doyle, Aodhan Tipping, Mark Beattie, Thomas Murray, Dominic Murray, Peadar McCann, Martin Toal, Damien Heaney, Paul Genessi, Christopher Drainey, Barry McCann, Simon White, Steven Scullion, Stephen McAreavey, Andrew Fearon, Chris Quinn, Gary Totten, Sean Hagan, Conor McAlinden, Neal Shanks, Keith Dunwoody and Henry McAreavey at Under 10 level under the guidance of Bobby Murray.

In the same year the Under 14 side won both the North Armagh League and Championship. Guided by Charles Lavery and Joe Harte the same panel of players who won the 197 Under 12 League plus Sean Campbell, Carl Meehan, Stephen Moore, Darren Whitmarsh, Rory Brady, Mark McKenna and Damien Kearney won the honours.

In 1988 Michael Lavery and Michael McMahon led the Under 16 team to success in the league despite having a small panel of players in:- Brian Mallon, Gary Lavery, Barry McConville, Martin McConaghy, Niall Creery, Thomas Smyth, Philip McGibbon, David Cassidy, Jonathan McStay, Brian Beattie, Sean Campbell, Carl Meehan, Dermot McCluskey, Sean Farquahar, Jonathan Cullen, Pat McGibbon, Gary O’Carroll, Mark McKenna, Leo King and Stephen Moore.

The Club finished off the 1980’s by winning the Under 12 Championship, a new competition run by the North Armagh Board for the Peadar Fagan Cup and the North Armagh Under 16 Championship.

These panels included: Under 12 – Brendan O’Hara, Rory Owens, Aodhan Tipping, Dominic Murray, Chris Quinn, Martin Toal, Barry McCann, Neal Shanks, Keith Dunwoody, Henry McAreavey, Michael Maguire, Chris Drainey, Geoffrey Doyle, Mark Beattie, Thomas Murray, Damien Heaney, Simon White, Sean Hagan, Paul Cassidy, Barry McAreavey and David Heaney.
Under 16 – Dermot McCluskey, Jonathan Cullen, Pat McGibbon, Leo King, Gary Carroll, Gerard Thompson, Sean McCann, Stephen Moore, Rory Brady, Mark McKenna, Damien Kearney, Paul Towe, Ian McMullan, Laurence Dolan.

As can be seen from this, the club finished off the 1960’s and 1980’s with a flourish and at present we are one of the stronger clubs within the North Board Area. At the moment we have quite a pool of young talent which can be seen by the high number of representatives that we have on the St. Michael’s School team. Hopefully, this talent will provide us with honours at county level in the forthcoming season.