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Derrygonnelly Harps launch book of club history


The People behind the Harps Book
Anita Rasdale, Michael Farrell, Eamon Greene & Brendan Rasdale

Derrygonnelly Harps launched their club history Friday, December 8th 2006, at a function held in Tom McGowan's Old Log Cabin, Drumcose.

The book, which also has a chapter devoted to the relatively short life span of Boho St Faber's – this club amalgamating with the Harps in 1975 – is the product of approximately three years of diligent researching by a quartet of Derrygonnelly club members, Michael Farrell, Brendan Rasdale, Anita Rasdale and Eamon Greene.

The main source of information for the compilers was the archives of the 'Fermanagh Herald' though other avenues were also sought out. Among these were the surviving minute books, a reasonable number of these still available, especially from the 1960s onwards, and a legion of personal reminiscences from former players, officials and supporters was also tapped into.

In this latter regard, the extensive memory bank of Michael Farrell as a primary source, was especially invaluable in shaping the end product.

The compilers express their deep appreciation to all those who have helped to contribute the vast store of information that has subsequently been sifted through and brought to print. Particular thanks go to all those who supplied photographic material, among these being John McVitty, Sean Smith, Jason Moncrieff and Tom McGowan.

And the project also was assisted in getting off the ground thanks to the generous sponsorship of many local concerns who are listed.

Derrygonnelly as a club first appeared in Fermanagh competition in 1924 and, appropriately enough, their first competitive game was against a neighbouring team from Garrison, the Devenish club there becoming one of their fiercest rivals over the decades. The engine room of that fledgling club was Sligo man John O'Grady with Fr O'Brien the inaugural Chairman.

The club had to wait until 1941 before winning their first adult silverware, the league of that season and in the following year they completed the championship and league double in that grade.

But over the next few years, the level of activity declined and for a three year spell, from 1945 to 1948, the club ceased to exist.

The rebirth in 1948 was mainly through the enthusiastic efforts of Michael Farrell, Tom Fee and Gene Cassidy and since then the Harps have been in continuous existence.

Once again, they had to wait sometime before the breakthrough came, the first Senior League not being claimed until 1959 and the long sought for Senior Championship was not to come to the parish until 1995.

Activity on other fronts was on-going. Originally, Dolan's Field, was the club ground but in 1962 the club formally opened a new development on the present site and since then further developments have been made. New changing facilities, covered stand and a second pitch, all indicative of the commitment to the GAA that is constant in the make up of the Harps.

Club officials have issued formal invitations to a wide group, which includes former club officials and other GAA personnel but are keen that anyone who wishes to be present on what is an historic occasion in the life of Derrygonnelly Harps, should not hesitate to attend and participate in what will be a memorable and enjoyable evening.

Web Master: Ronan McGurn

Doire Ó gConaile na Cláirsigh
Derrygonnelly Harps GFC

Canon Maguire Park
Co. Fermanagh
BT93 6ER

Tel: 02868641685