Geoffrey McGonagle

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Geoffrey McGonagle
Personal information
Irish name Seathrún Mac Congáil
Sport Dual player
Football Position: Forward
Hurling Position: Forward
Born (1974-09-26) 26 September 1974 (age 42)
Dungiven, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Nickname Big Geoffrey
Years Club
Dungiven (F)
Kevin Lynch's (H)
Club titles
  Football Hurling
Derry titles 2 ?
Ulster titles 1 -
Years County
Derry (F)
Derry (H)
Inter-county titles
  Football Hurling
Ulster Titles 1 2
League titles -

Geoffrey McGonagle (born 26 September 1974) is an Irish dual GAA player who played Gaelic football and hurling for Derry in the 1990s and 2000s.

McGonagle plays club football for St. Canice's Dungiven and club hurling for Kevin Lynch's. He has had a highly successful career with both clubs.

McGonagle is a fan favourite for Derry, Dungiven and Kevin Lynch's followers. He is a cult hero in Derry Gaelic Athletic Association circles.[1] He is famed for his highly skilled play in both sports, larger-than-average weight and loud personality. Former team-mate Joe Brolly said "first and foremost he was a great entertainer and character."[1]

In football he played as a forward. For a big player he has extraordinary co-ordination and hand speed[1] and deceptive pace.[1] He is also famed for his ability to dummy players[1] and goal-getting skills.[1] Brolly said "there were many times when you could only marvel at his wizardry".[1] Brolly says when McGonagle "was on his game, there wasn't a footballer in the country who could have laced his boots"[1] and described him as a scoring machine.[1]

He also played in the forward line in hurling. He was a prolific scorer, with a keen eye for goal.

Personal life[edit]

McGonagle is from Dungiven. He went to primary school at St. Canice's in Dungiven[2] and secondary school at St. Pat's College in Maghera.

Football career[edit]


McGonagle won the Ulster Minor Club Football Championship with Dungiven in 1990.[2] He started playing for Dungiven Seniors while aged just 15.[2] He was part of the Dungiven side that won the 1991 Derry Senior Football Championship[2] - beating Newbridge in the final. Dungiven reached the final again in 1996, but were defeated by Bellaghy.[3]

McGonagle won another Derry Championship medal in 1997, this time Dungiven beat Castledawson in the final. They also went on to win the Ulster Senior Club Football Championship that year, with victory over Errigal Ciarán in the decider.

In 2008 in the twilight of his career McGonagle played as a goalkeeper for Dungiven.


McGonagle was part of the Derry Minor team from a young age[2] and won the 1990 Ulster Minor Football Championship with the county[2] - beating Down in the final.

He made his Senior debut in 1994 against Down in the National League.[2] In 1995 he won the National League with Derry,[2] and another the following year.[citation needed]

McGonagle helped Derry win the 1998 Ulster Senior Football Championship. In the final against Donegal, he set up fellow-Dungiven man Joe Brolly for the decisive goal late in the game. Derry beat Meath in the 2000 National League final, giving McGonagle another League medal.[4]


McGonagle had a successful school career winning seven Ulster College titles in football and hurling, including the Hogan Cup in 1990.

Hurling career[edit]


McGonagle has won the Derry Senior Hurling Championship with Kevin Lynch's on at least 6 occasions. The club also reached the Ulster Senior Club Hurling Championship final in 2003, 2006 and 2007, but were beaten each time.


McGonagle won one/two? Ulster Minor Hurling Championships with the Derry Minor team. He also won one/two? Ulster Senior Hurling Championships with the county in 2000??[citation needed] and 2001. McGonagle produced a "brilliant performance" in the 2001 decider against Antrim scoring 1-08.[5]

He retired from inter-county hurling in June 2005 after exiting the Ulster Championship.[6] He later returned.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brolly, Joe (5 October 2007). "Geoffrey remains 'The Daddy' of Dungiven!". Derry Journal. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Interview with Hogan Stand magazine - Geoffrey McGonagle". Hogan Stand. 5. June 1995. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  3. ^ O'Hara, Eamon (1996). "Cassidy double dumps Dungiven". The Irish News. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "Derry Football Roll of Honour". Official Derry GAA website. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Derry retain Ulster hurling title". RTÉ. 15 July 2001. Archived from the original on 18 February 2005. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "McGonigle quits the hurling scene". BBC Sport Online. 10 June 2005. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 

External links[edit]