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Eire Og Derriaghy GAC

1930's 1940 1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's

Eire Og's finest moment came when they won the 1948 Senior Football Championship

1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949

1940 saw promotion to the Senior Football League for the first time. Eire Og was only beaten by a single point in the first game by then county Champions, Gael Uladh. In 1941 Eire Og had arguably their best ever hurling team with many hurlers from Tipperary, Cork and Kilkenny in the side, including Reg Duane.

In 1947 Eire Og won the Junior Football League, but 16 years after its creation in 1932 Eire Og won its one and, so far, only Senior Football Championship in 1948 when we beat favourites St John’s 2-2 to 1-4 at Corrigan Park. It was well deserved as Eire Og had already knocked out the holders, O’Connell’s, in the semi-final winning quite comfortably 1-7 to 1-3, despite a late comeback by O’Connell’s. The winning Ogs team was a very young team - only five of them being over 21 years of age.

1948 Senior Football Champions

Back Row L-R: Sean McKeown, Peter O'Hara, Jimmy Roe, William O'Neill, Brian O'Kane, Tommy Hall, Dr. Tony Smith, Jimmy Morgan, Dinny McClarey, Dermot Denvir, Barney Roddy, Freddie McCorry

Front Row L-R: Matt Morgan, Tom Smith, Ted Gilligan, Jackie Johnston, Jimmy McConville, Gerry Bradley, Tom Forde, Andy Rice, Tommy Rice, Ciaran Lennon, Harry Greenwood

Others: Pat Morgan, Felix O'Kane, John Fogarty, Jackie Coll

Tommy Rice built the nucleus of the victorious 1948 team around the best young college players in Belfast at the time. He went to Peter O’Hara’s home on the Antrim Road first. Peter had been the captain of Antrim’s minor footballers for the past three years and had recently been drafted into the senior panel, as well as being captain of St Malachy’s college, the best school team in Belfast at the time. Peter was impressed by Tommy and promptly joined Eire Og, bringing with him fellow Malachians, Gerry Bradley, Dermot Denvir and Joe Murphy.

Tommy Rice then brought Peter O’Hara up the Lisburn Road to the O’Kane household to try to persuade Felix and Brian to join Eire Og. Apparently Brian O’Kane was so impressed that a current county player had called to his home that he was delighted to join Eire Og. Later Hugh O’Kane, Felix and Brian’s younger brother would also join the Ogs.

The O’Kane brothers were joined by some St Mary’s players, another prominent Belfast school team. Ciaran Lennon and Tony Smith, both St Mary’s, signed up for Eire Og and, along with the Morgans from Louth, they completed the youthful Eire Og side that would lift the Antrim Senior Championship. Indeed many of these young players would go on to represent their county with some success.

50 years after that Championship win, Eire Og held a commemorative dinner in honour of their success in 1998 at the Wellington Park Hotel. Below are some players of that victorious team.

Back Row L-R: Matt Morgan, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx
Front Row L-R: xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx

This is the path Eire Og took to win the 1948 Senior Football Championship final.

1st Round Beat Ardoyne 1-09 to 0-02
Quarter Final Beat Dunloy 3-10 to 1-09
Semi Final Beat O’Connell’s 1-07 to 1-03
Final Beat St John’s 2-02 to 1-04

Read the match reports from the Irish News about that success by clicking here.