Official Website of the Camogie Association

Armagh County Camogie has had another successful year on the domestic front while honours at county level was restricted to the county underage teams of Under14 and Under 18, both of these panels successfully winning their respective Ulster Shield Competitions. Our county juniors reached the semifinal of the Nancy Murray Cup. On the inter-county front a major step forward was attained in 2008 with the establishment of a County Teams Sub Committee that is charged with looking after the coaching, welfare and development of all our county teams. The fruits of their work are already being borne and Armagh Camogie looks forward to the roll-out of their 3-year plan for county teams success over the next three years.

There was heartening news in the early spring when it emerged that Armagh Camogie’s Intercounty referee Una Kearney had been honoured by GAA President Nicky Brennan for her contributions to camogie. Una was the sole female recipient of the ten recipients of the 2008 President’s Awards. Una has been a extrordinary ambassador for Armagh Camogie in 2008. She plays her club camogie with St. Brenda’s Ballymacnab and spends a lot of time refereeing intercounty, colleges and club matches. A very modest lady Una took charge of the 2008 Ulster Senior Camogie Final between Antrim and Derry and the 2008 All Ireland Junior Championship Final between Clare and Offaly in Croke Park. Chairperson of the National Referees Committee Una also undertakes tutoring at referee courses and held a very successfull course in Derrynoose in May for referees in her own county. The Orchard County whistler is always ready for a challenge and prepared to improve and maintain high standards of refereeing in camogie throughout Ireland. Una Kearney put Armagh camogie on the map at All Ireland Final Day 2008 when her name and county was read out over the loud speaker in Croke Park.

Armagh held annual Feile competition with the introduction of a new shield competition.  The Armagh representatives at Feile were St. Brenda’s Ballymacnab who gave a good account of themselves.  The winners of the Armagh Feile Shield Competition were Meabh O’Neill’s Camlough.  In addition to a team representative, Niamh McCarthy from St. Enda’s, Derrymacash represented Armagh in the Feile Skills Competition. 

Sally Rafferty (nee McCone) St. Brenda’s Ballymacnab was honoured as the camogie sporting star of the 80’s  at the Armagh City and District’s Sports Forum. Sally joined many other sporting stars such as Brian Canavan GAA, Dermot Kerr Athletics and June Humpheries Hockey.
There were changes at the County Executive table in 2008 with Yvonne Morgan taking on the reins as County Chairperson. Former great St. Joseph’s Madden and County player Yvonne’s vision was to showcase the good work of Armagh Camogie.  Executive members Margaret McKee (Vice-Chairperson), Marie Fanthorpe (Secretary), Anne Grimley (Asst. Secretary), Philomena Campbell (Treasurer), Nora Vallely (Asst. Treasurer), Celine McManus (Registrar), Eileen Canavan (PRO) and Breda Cunningham (Ulster Council Delegate). 
A very successfull club forum evening was held early in the year with a fabulous attendance of club representatives in Armagh Harps GFC. New sub committees were set up to evaluate various aspects of Armagh camogie such as finance, county teams, county managment, school links and intergration etc. Positive links were established with Paul Kelly Armagh County Hurling Chairman and the Hurling Board and these links will be fostered and developed in future years for the mutual benefit of both hurling and camogie.. The 200 Members Draw was resurrected with great success to raise much needed funds to help promote Armagh Camogie.
Mary O’Connor National Camogie Development Officer spent a day in June meeting with members of the Armagh Camogie Board and visiting schools. Due to the constraints of time Mary only got to visit six schools to express her appreciation to the teachers and coaches and pupils who work tirelessly in promoting camogie in the Armagh schools. Dual All Ireland medal winner in 2008 Mary promised to return to the Orchard County another day to visit a few more schools. Mary and County Camogie Chairperson Yvonne Morgan launched Armagh’s Camogie Development plan which received funding support from Croke Park. The success of this plan was evident within its first year with the sterling work of the U-14 County Team and Management resulting in winning the Ulster Shield and running hot favourites Antrim very close.
On the Club camogie sceen, St Patrick’s Keady continued to dominate at the senior level winning their 5th senior championship in a row and were very unlucky not to have regained their third consecutive Ulster Club title. St Brenda’s Ballymacnab finally broke the stranglehold of Keady in the Armagh Premier League with their first senior league title for more than a decade. Ballymacnab have reached the Ulster Club Shield League final against Coleraine which has yet to be played.

Premier – Ballymacnab
Division 1 – Crossmaglen
Division 2 – Aghagallon
U18 Div 1 – Keady
U18 Div 2 – Castleblayney
U16 Div 1 – Keady
U16 Div 2 – Middletown
U16 Div 3 – Aghagallon
U14 Div 1 – Ballymacnab
U14 Div 2 – Tullysarron
Post Primary Div 1 – Ballymacnab
Post Primary Div 2 – Camlough
Primary Div 1 – Madden
Primary Div 2 – Camlough
Primary Div 3 – Port Mor
Senior – Keady
Intermediate – Madden
Junior – no winners yet
‘B’ Championship – Middletown
U18 – Keady
U16 – Ballymacnab
U14 – Keady
Post Primary – Ballymacnab
Primary – Madden

One of the downsides of the growth and success of Armagh Camogie was the necessity to find alternative premises to our traditional home of Troddens’ (Phil McBrides) in Irish Street. This decision was not made lightly and while Armagh County Board meetings may now have more space to operate in, they will never be able to rekindle the sense of history, culture and hospitality that we always experienced at the hands of the McBride family to whom Armagh Camogie are and will always be indebted.
Finally Armagh Camogie wishes all gaels across the Orchard County, regardless of code and club, a Happy healthy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

By Eileen Canavan, PRO.

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