Fanad United F.C.

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Fanad United F.C.
Fanad United F.C. crest
Full name Fanad United Football Club
Founded 1972
Ground Traigh-a-Loch
Chairman Martin McGonigle
Manager Arthur Lynch
League Ulster Senior League
A Championship
League of Ireland U19 Division

Fanad United Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Fanad, County Donegal. Their senior men's team currently plays in the Ulster Senior League. In 1986–87 they were both founding members and inaugural champions of the USL. They remain the USL's most successful club, having won fourteen titles. They also field teams in both the Donegal Youth League and the Donegal Women's League. They have previously fielded teams in both the A Championship and the League of Ireland U19 Division. They have also played in the FAI Cup, the League of Ireland Cup and the FAI Intermediate Cup. They have won the latter competition on two occasions, in 1987–88 and 1994–95.


Early years[edit]

Fanad United was founded in 1972 by Fr. Michael Sweeney, a pioneer of junior and intermediate association football in County Donegal. In addition to founding Fanad United, Sweeney was also instrumental in establishing two leagues the club initially played in, the Donegal League and the Ulster Senior League. He has also served on the board of Finn Harps. Between 1972–73 and 1983–84 Fanad United were Donegal champions five times before becoming both founding members and the inaugural champions of the USL in 1986–87. They subsequently became the USL's most successful club, winning fourteen league titles and ten league cups. [1][2][3][4][5]

National cups[edit]

Fr. Michael Sweeney also served as Fanad United's team manager and he was responsible for guiding the club to victory in two national cup competitions. In 1978–79 United won the FAI Youth Cup after defeating Shelbourne U19 3–1 in the final at Swilly Park. In 1987–88 they won the FAI Intermediate Cup after defeating Tramore Athletic 1–0 at Dalymount Park. Under player-manager Eamon McConigley, Fanad United won the FAI Intermediate Cup for a second time in 1994–95, this time defeating College Corinthians in the final at Terryland Park. In 1995–96 they were finalists for a second successive season but lost to Wayside Celtic. [1][2][3][6][7]

As winners of the Ulster Senior League, Fanad United have regularly been invited to participate in the League of Ireland Cup. Their best performance in this competition came in 1987–88 when they reached the semi-finals. After they finished top of their group, following three wins against Sligo Rovers, Derry City and Finn Harps, they qualified for the quarter-finals where they defeated Galway United 1–0. In the semi-final they lost 4–1 to Shamrock Rovers. [1][3][8] Fanad United have also achieved some notable results in the FAI Cup. In 1991–92, despite going down to nine men, they defeated Home Farm 2–0 away from home in the first round. In the second round they held St James's Gate to two 1–1 draws before eventually losing 3–2 in the second replay. In 1995–96 they defeated Bray Wanderers 4–0 at the Carlisle Grounds before losing 3–0 to St Patrick's Athletic in the round of sixteen. In the 2005 FAI Cup they played Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park losing 2–0. [1][3][9][10][11]

National leagues[edit]

In 2011 Fanad United entered a team in the A Championship. [12][13] They subsequently finished fourth in their group of eight. When the A Championship was disbanded Fanad United joined the League of Ireland U19 Division. [1][14]

Buncrana tragedy[edit]

In March 2016 Fanad United player Davitt Walsh came to national attention when he rescued a baby, Rioghnach-Ann McGrotty, following a tragic incident in Buncrana. Walsh risked his life while saving Rioghnach-Ann from drowning after the family car she was in accidentally slipped off the pier. Her two brothers, father, aunt and grandmother all lost their lives in the accident. Walsh's bravery was recognised by the Irish Government and he was awarded a gallantry medal by Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. [15][16][17]


Fanad United play their home games at Traigh-a-Loch, [18] located between Lough Swilly and Mulroy Bay.


  • Republic of Ireland Fr. Michael Sweeney
  • Republic of Ireland James Doherty
  • Republic of Ireland Eamon McConigley
  • Republic of Ireland Ollie Horgan
  • Scotland Michael Deeney
  • Republic of Ireland Arthur Lynch

Source: [2][3][18]


  • Ulster Senior League
    • Winners: 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2011: 14
  • Ulster Senior League League Cup
    • Winners: 1988–89, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007, 2008, 2011: 10
    • Runners Up: 1987–88, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2009 : 6
  • FAI Intermediate Cup
    • Winners: 1987–88, 1994–95: 2
    • Runners Up: 1995–96: 1
  • FAI Youth Cup
    • Winners: 1978–79: 1
  • Donegal League
    • Winners: 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1979–80, 1983–84: 5

Source: [1][4][5][7][18][6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Fanad United’s ruby anniversary to form part of festival of football". 11 July 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "USL founder member and Fanad United legend Fr Mick honoured". 2 October 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "‘Fr Mick’: Founding Father, guiding light and history maker". 7 June 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Ulster Senior League – Roll of Honour". Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Ulster Senior League – League Cup". Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "FAI Umbro Youth Challenge Cup Previous Winners". 2 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Ireland - FA Intermediate Cup Winners and Runners-Up". Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Ireland - Ireland League Cup 1973/74-2006". Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "Ireland - FA of Ireland Cup 1921/22-1993/94". Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Ireland 1995/96". Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  11. ^ "Shamrock Rovers v Fanad United Photos". 12 June 2005. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "A Championship 2011: Fanad United 0-3 UCD AFC". Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  13. ^ "Reserves: Dundalk 1-1 Fanad United". 9 April 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  14. ^ "Divisional Formations - 2012/13". Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  15. ^ "Buncrana: The father just looked at me and said ‘save my baby’". 21 March 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  16. ^ "Buncrana hero Davitt Walsh given guard of honour as he returns to football six weeks on from pier tragedy". 1 May 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  17. ^ "Gold Medal hero Davitt Walsh scores brace on return to action". 15 October 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c "Fanad United - Ulster Senior League". Retrieved 15 November 2016. 

External links[edit]