New book will detail the history of GAA sport in Aghagallon area

A new book telling the story of GAA in the Aghagallon area goes on sale next month.

Compiled by local man, Gerard Lenehan, ‘A Century of GAA in Aghagallon 1907-2012’ contains details of teams, players and characters involved with the sport down the years.

The launch will take place on Saturday, December 7, at St Patrick’s Primary School with the launch itself taking place at 3pm.

There will be special guests including Jim Murray, County Antrim Board chairman, and Colm O’Boyle, current Antrim football captain.

Gerard said the idea of the book came to him when he organised a photo exhibition in 2007 to mark the centenary of the GAA in Aghagallon and the wider area including the North Armagh and South West Antrim areas.

He added: “Now in word and picture we have a fantastic sporting and cultural story going back over the decades.

“It is a story which tells of the players, teams and characters, the highs and lows, the good times and the bad, its all there.”

The book has taken Gerard four years to write and during that time he carried out all the interviews and research himself.

“I got a lot of good feedback from anyone I have spoken to. They have been very enthusiastic,” he added. “It is an interesting story which will be of interest to older people but there is something as well for the younger generation.”

The founding father of GAA in the area was Paddy Barnes, who played football and hurling for Antrim, and clubs which feature are Dalcassions, Shamrocks, Mitchells and St Patrick’s up to the present day St Mary’s.

While the Aghgallon club plays in the Antrim League it has long had connections withe Lurgan and the North Armagh area.

“It was hard but rewarding work and I am sure people will be very pleased with the final results,” he said. “It is a quality publication. I would like to thank all the people involved in the book especially my contributors and my sponsors and my family for all their support.”

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards club funds.