Tír Conaill Harps

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Tir Conaill Harps GAC
CLG Cláirsigh Thír Conaill
Tir Conaill Harps Badge 1.jpg
Founded: 1994
County: Scotland
Nickname: The Harps, TCH
Na Cláirsigh
Club Colours: Green and Gold
Glas agus Buí
Grounds: Pearse Park, Cambuslang
Páirc an Phiarsaigh, Camas Long
Standard colours

Tír Conaill Harps Gaelic Athletics Club (GAC), (Irish: Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Cláirsigh Thír Conaill) is a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Club based in Glasgow, Scotland. The club plays Gaelic Football, Ladies' Gaelic Football as well as Camogie and Women's Shinty. The club is the biggest GAA club in Scotland in terms of structure and has a fully integrated youth system fielding teams for all age groups. The club's colours are green and gold.

History[edit]

The Tír Conaill Harps club was formed in 1994 following an amicable break away from the Pearse Harps club by the underage football section, who left to form the club, at a meeting in the Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre, in Glasgow's south side.

Tir Conaill is the Irish for land of Connell, an ancient name for the area now mostly known as County Donegal in the north west of Ireland. This reflects the long tradition of people from there settling in the area. A number of members and players have family links to the county.

Tir Conaill Harps is a community based registered charity which provides opportunities for young people to play and enjoy the gaelic and Celtic sports of Gaelic football, Hurling, Camogie, Women's Shinty and Ladies' Gaelic Football. The club welcome new members regardless of their ability or age. The club also provides access to a wide range of coaching and personal development opportunities for its members.

Mission Statement - To strengthen communities in Glasgow through the provision of Gaelic Sports for young people in an affordable, safe and fun environment.

Competition for Gaelic Football honours in recent years has seen the side build up a fierce and competitive rivalry with both local rivals, Glaschu Gaels and inter-city rivals Dúnedin Connolly.

Home Ground[edit]

The club is traditionally linked with Glasgow's South side and played their Gaelic Football home games at the GAA owned Pearse Park in Cambuslang. Formally known as East Field. The Park was the first GAA sports field in Glasgow and was made possible by the great efforts of Eoin "Owenie" Kelly from County Fermanagh. After the park was condemned for health and safety reasons by the GAA the club moved to Nethercraigs Sports Complex, Corkerhill using a Rugby pitch. The club has a strong anti-drugs policy and as a reward for such a gaelic ground was constructed by Glasgow City Council in Bellahouston Park for the club to play their home matches. However the poor playing surface had seen the club forced to remain at nearby Nethercraigs. Early in the 2009 season, following a reversal of the GAA's previous decision the Harps moved from their temporary home at Nethercraigs and returned to their previous home ground Pearse Park.

The Women's Shinty team play their home games at the Glasgow City Council owned Peterson Park, in the Glasgow district of Yoker. The team share the pitch with Glasgow Mid Argyll, who field two Men's and two Women's Shinty teams.

Senior Gaelic Football[edit]

Tir Conaill Harps Davitt Shield winning side of 2009

The club captain is currently Connor Manning. Other notable players include Anton Gallagher, Seán Rafter, Adrian Diver and Paul Doohan. In 2007 Tír Conaill Harps has formed a link up with Glasgow Caledonian University GAC which sees university players compete at club level for the Harps. Players to feature for both sides include John Lyttle, Chris Pendergast, Eoghan Quinn, Gavin O'Kane, Cathal O'Kane, Mickey Mullan, Paddy McCauley and John O'Neill

The Harps won their first major honours in the 2001 season, lifting the League and Championship. This was followed by a league win the following year. The following years however saw Harps unable to match their previous success having to wait a further fours years before lifting another trophy when they won the 2006 Michael Davitt Shield.

The Harps were to enter another difficult spell ending the 2007 and 2008 season trophyless. The club had been without a manager since early in the 2007 and the team was organised by the senior players. Harps recruited management duo and former Mulroy Gaels players, Stephen McFadden as manager and Michael Coyle as assistant manager. The team started the 2009 season brightly under the new management team beating Dúnedin Connolly in the Michael Davitt Shield Quarter-Final in Portobello. This was the Harps first victory over the Edinburgh side in 7 years. The good form was continued as they defeated the new Aberdeen/Dundee side at Stirling Universityto book a place in the final. On 30 April 2009, the Harps ended their three year trophy drought by lifting the Davitt Shield by beating city-rivals Glaschu Gaels 1-10 to 1-06 at Coatbridge.

Tir Conaill Harps

2012 was to be one of the Harps best season's on record, reaching all three major finals. The first being the league final which they lost to Edinburgh side Dunedin Connolly’s 0-07 to 0-09. Both sides met again in the Davitt Shield Final. This time however the Harps were victorious, beating Connolly’s 1-10 to 0-06. The big win came though in the championship final. Tir Conaill Harps hadn't reached the final since they last won it back in 2001. The final itself was as entertaining as it comes. With the Harps dominating the game and leading by 11 points early in the second half, thanks to 2 quick goals from the restart, Dunedin Connolly’s soon started a comeback. With only a minute left Connolly’s edged a point in front. However with the last play of the game the ball was kicked into the goal area and Tir Conaill man Barry Russell rose above everyone else to punch the ball into the net and secure the championship for the Harps. Finally Tir Conaill Harps long wait to bring the championship home was over.

Camogie & Women's Shinty[edit]

Tir Conaill in action
Tír Conaill Harps

The team formed as a Camogie team in 1995 but due to lack of competition the club decided to set up a Shinty team. The team has had much success in recent years in recruiting players and currently field two teams, with one competing in the National Division 1 and the second competing in South Division Two.

The club won the Valerie Fraser Trophy for the first time in 2008 beating Glengarry in the final.[1]. They followed this up by finishing as runners up in both the Valerie Fraser Trophy and National Division One league in 2009 [2]

Honours[edit]

Senior Gaelic Football[edit]

Camogie & Women's Shinty[edit]

  • Hilda Dooley, Women's Shinty Player of the Year, 2005 [3]
  • Tara Camogie Club, West London,[4] Tournament Junior Plate Winners, 2006
  • Women's Shinty Valerie Fraser Cup Winners, 2008 [5]
  • Glasgow Feile Na mBan camogie tournament winners, 2009
  • South Shinty League Winners, 2009
  • Cowal and Bute (shinty) South Shinty Sixes tournament winners, 2009
  • Women's Shinty Valerie Fraser Cup Runners Up, 2009 [6]
  • Shinty National 1st Division runners up, 2009

External links[edit]