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(Páirc Cluain Daimh)
|Senior Club Championships|
Press reports show the history of Gaelic football in Clonduff reaching as far back as 1887 when the parish sported two teams: the Hilltown Amateurs and The Red Hands. Gaelic games flourished for a few years but then subsided and it was not until 1910 that the parish again fielded a Gaelic team. During the next ten years the parish fielded teams at Junior and Senior level under names such as The Emeralds, The Harps and The Sarsfields.
1920 can be identified as the founding year of the modern Clonduff Shamrocks. Success on the playing field over the next few years was commonplace and it was in this era that Clonduff’s long tradition of providing quality County players began – McPolin, Brannigan, Doyle, Mussen and O’Hanlon were synonymous with both the Clonduff and County teams.
For most of the thirties the club was hardly a force to be reckoned with but re-emerged in the early forties. Their tradition of providing County players was to the fore again and when Down won the 1946 All Ireland, Clonduff provided six of the panel.
In 1955 the club split into two distinct entities – Cabra and Hilltown – the two ends of the parish. Two years later they met in the County Final. The teams amalgamated in 1959 and the following year two of their players won All-Ireland Senior football medals with Kevin Mussen being the first Northerner to bring the Sam Maguire across the border.
The club opened its own grounds in 1968 and became one of the leading clubs in the newly formed Scór competitions.
In Centenary year, Clonduff published its McNamee Award winning history and in 1987 when Down won its second All Ireland Minor Championship, the club provided six of the panel. In the All Ireland wins of 1991 and 1994, Clonduff’s Ross Carr played a pivotal role. Cathal Murray was also on the panel in 1991.
The Meadow Of The Ox
The team crest depicts a scene with an ox, a thorn bush and a church.
It is reputed that St Comghall of Bangor sent his followers to this area of County Down to spread Christianity. They began building their church in the townland of Ballynanny (located on The Kilkeel Road below Spelga Dam). Each morning, the previous day's work would be demolished. Upon investigation, it wasdiscovered that an ox, belonging to the local Druid came down from the mountain (The Mournes) each night and razed the building. One of the monks cut a thorn stick and stuck it into the ground between the ox's meadow and the new church. The stick grew into a thorn bush and the monk defied the ox to pass the thorn bush - it never did and the building of the church was completed. The area where the thorn bush allegedly grew is known as Bushtown to this day. The church was eventually destroyed during Cromwell's invasion of Ireland in 1649. The remains of the church are still standing today on the Kilkeel Road end of Old Clonduff Road.
|1887||The Banbridge Chronicle of 6 November 1398 carried an account of a Gaelic Football match between Ballyroney (Rathfriland) and a Clonduff team known as The Hilltown Amateurs|
|1888||A team from Lenish (one of Clonduff’s 14 townlands) competed in a Gaelic Football Tournament for a "set of crosses"|
|1888||A Clonduff team known as the "Red Hands" played two games against St Patrick’s Mayobridge in May 1888|
|1898||A team from Cabra called "The Harps" and one from Hilltown called the "Ninety-Eights" took part in the ’98 tournament organised by the Young Ireland League to commemorate the Centenary of 1798|
|1912||The "Frontier Sentinel" dated 9 April 1912 gives a report of a 1st round County Championship meeting between Mayobridge and a Clonduff team called "Hilltown". The Hilltown team read: John Crilly, Bernard O’Hagan, Patrick Morgan, James Magill, James Brady, Michael Fegan, Arthur Ronan, Hugh Doyle, Hugh Morgan, Michael Morgan, James Brown, Frank O’Hare, John O’Hagan|
|1916||Registrations – still extant – show that two teams, known as "Emeralds Gaelic Football Club" and "Cabra", were registered with the Down County Board of 1916-17|
|1916||An unofficial team known as "John Attey’s Men" or "Faugh an Ballagh" played games here and there during this period. A report of a famous match between Mullaghmore and John Attey’s Men, played on Easter Sunday 1916 still lives on in the folk memory of the district|
|1918||Clonduff take part in "The Gaelic Sunday" protest matches of 4 August 1918 called in defiance of the ban on Gaelic matches under The Defence of the Realm Act|
|1918||Clonduff men John McPolin and John McAlinden play for Down on 9 May against Louth in Newcastle|
|1920||A new Parish team called Clonduff Shamrocks was formed and entered in Shanahan Cup Competition by Willie Woods and John McPolin. "The jerseys were yellow and there were Shamrocks embroidered on them. Two girls, Maggie O’Hare and Sarah Magennis it was who sewed them on. Their playing pitch was John Murphy’s and it was Paddy Murphy who gave the pound to enter the team."|
|1920||Clonduff win Shanahan Cup|
|1921||George Mussen chosen on the Railway Cup Panel|
|1922||Clonduff win Shanahan Cup|
|1926||Clonduff win McLoughlin Cup|
|1930||Clonduff win their first Down Senior Championship|
|1931||On 13 September, Dan Mussen becomes first Clonduff man to play in an All-Ireland Football Semi-Final|
|1932||Club wins The Shanahan Cup outright|
|1934||George Mussen captains the first Down team to play in Croke Park|
|1935||Jimmy Doyle in Ulster Railway Cup panel|
|1937||Clonduff re-enters South Down and Mourne League|
|1938||Armagh play Down in National League in Hilltown with Jimmy Doyle starring at right full-forward|
|1943||Clonduff defeat Ardtole by 15 points to 11 to win Down Junior Championship on 12 September but Ardtole awarded game on an objection|
|1944||Clonduff win their 2nd Senior County Championship|
|1945||Clonduff win their 3rd Senior County Championship|
|1946||Down win Junior All-Ireland and Clonduff have on the panel: Henry, Tom and Pat Brown, Eddie Grant, Paddy O’Hagan and Andy Murnin|
|1947||Clonduff win their 4th Senior County Championship|
|1949||Clonduff win their 5th Senior County Championship|
|1949||James Brown on Railway Cup panel|
|1952||Clonduff win League, Championship (6th) and County Sevens|
|1953||Clonduff’s 19-year-old Kevin Mussen selected on Ulster Railway Cup|
|1956||Cabra Harps win Down Junior Championship|
|1957||The two Parish teams – Cabra Harps and The Shamrocks – meet in County Senior Championship final – Shamrocks win|
|1959||Patsy O’Hagan scores 2 goals in a 3-9 to 1-4 victory for Down in the Wembley Tournament|