The History of GAA in Belfast
It is the intention of the South Antrim Executive Commitee, to set up a History link within theWebsite. In doing this we shall attempt to record a brief history of the Clubs that played an active role in establishing the GAA in the greater Belfast area.
Clubs of a long gone era, clubs from a not too distant past and clubs present to this day, will be mentioned within this section. All the information will be taken from archived materials already in existence. This is not an attempt to define the growth of the South Antrim Board, but merely to enhance our website and hopefully generate some healthy debate amongst our fellow Gaels.
This is not a definitive history of Antrim Gaa in the Belfast area, it is a compilation of material already archived, but also scattered throughout many sources. Clubs that were there at the beginning and sadly, are now just mentioned in folklore, but were never the less, vibrant functioning clubs of that era. It must be remembered that the passage of time distorts history, and if there are slight inaccuracies, then so be it. If nothing else it will generate debate.
When dealing with history of this nature, there will be little pieces of information, that will link people, places or events to a later period of time. These will unfold as we go along. So rather than wait until all the information has been gathered we have decided to incorporate the information that we have and publish to site. We will cover the period of 1891-1921 first and continue to add as we move through the years until the present day. We hope this will encourage people to view the site, time after time.
There will be clubs listed with little or no written history, we will continue our research into these clubs and attempt to fill in the missing information as we go along. BE PATIENT!!!!!

We are trying to cover a time span of over 100 years. This will take time. We are simply custodians of our history and heritage, we take ownership for a brief period, then leave it to the next person.

If anyone can help us fill in the missing links, please contact me at:Brendan.wilson2@ntlworld.com  chairman.south.antrim@gaa.ie
  • This would simply not have been possible without the help of Gilbert McIlhatton, who is an absolute font of knowledge on all things "Antrim GAA". His notes and photographs were invaluable.
  • My Brother-in Law, the late Hugh Lawell, "The Solid Man", from St John's club, whose notes were passed to me by the present county secretary, his nephew Frankie Quinn. Hugh researched material for the St John's booklet, recording the club's "Great US Tour of 1992".
  • F J Mc Carragher ( former secretary of St Gall's GAC) booklet. Antrim in the early days, up to 1915, published Circa 1947-1948. cost one shilling.* This little booklet was an absolute gem of information.
  • The Irish News sports archive
  • Maire MacBride - The GAA in Belfast 1885-1921 - Her dissertation for the Degree of Bachelor of Education at Queen's University 1976

* For our younger generation- there was 20 shillings in £1.00