Below is a brief history of Teemore Shamrocks GFC. A more in depth version of the clubs history is now available in book form and compiled by club president Hugh McGovern and Joe Cox. The book is the history of our local club from its formation in 1904 through to the present day and gives an insight into how our community has been shaped over that time. The book is available in Teemore Shop, Spar in Derrylin and Cassidys Shop and club members will be going around the local community in the coming weeks. Alternatively anyone who would like to purchase a copy should contact any member of the club executive or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The formation of the Teemore Shamrocks Club was in 1904, but we would have to go back 20 years further to establish the first Gaelic Football games played in the Teemore area. The first organised Gaelic Football team in the area were known as the Mitchels, who were formed in the late 1880's but did not affiliate to the GAA. Though RIC records and newspaper reports from the time recorded their existence and sometimes confused Teemore with Derrylin. The County Board at the time was not formally constituted and the Mitchels played their games in tournaments in the Fermanagh/Cavan border areas. They were at their most organised in 1891 prior to the so called Parnell split after which all GAA activity in the area ceased. Some of those who played a prominent role were the McAloon brothers (Drumanymore), the Currys (Kinoughtragh) and Master McManus (Teemore) who was one of the founder members. In 1892 the GAA in Fermanagh were a spent force and the Mitchels ceased to exist.
1904 - 1929
After a number of false starts the Fermanagh GAA County Board was established in 1904 and Teemore Shamrocks was registered with 3 other clubs: Enniskillen O'Neills, Donagh Sons of Erin and Belnaleck Art McMurroughs. The leading lights in the clubs history were the Clarke brothers (Drumanymore), James McBrien (Drumanymore), Pat Cassidy (Drumluck) and Felix Curry (Kinoughtragh) who was the first team captain. This team won the inaugural county championship in 1904 and followed this up with similar successes in 1905 and 1906. Four years later Teemore Shamrocks began a remarkable time in the clubs history by winning a record 8 championships in a row from 1910 to 1917. Teemore held the record for the most consecutive county championship titles won by any club in Ulster for 87 years before arguably the best ever club team in Ulster, if not Ireland, Crossmaglen Rangers of Armagh won a famous 9 in a row in 2004 to take Teemore's record. Crossmaglen Rangers featuring players like Oisín McConville, Francie Bellew, Paul Hearty, Aaron Kernan, Tony and John McEntee went on to win another 4 championships in a row after this to take the new record to 13 consecutive championship titles. There were no organised championships in Fermanagh in 1921, 1922 or 1923 but after 1917 Teemore next went on to win the county championship in 1924 followed by successes in 1926 and again in 1929. By 1929 a famous era of Teemore Shamrocks success with 14 championship wins in 25 years was over.
1929 - 1950
After the 1929 championship win Teemore had to wait until 1935 before tasting another championship success in a great display against Belnaleck Art McMurroughs played in Enniskillen. The leading players for this championship winning side were Master Jim Dunne, the two John Reilly's, Tom McManus, Barney Brady, Paddy Drumm, Pa Donohoe, John James Curry and Frank McKiernan. Games in those days were played in various venues including Killymacken, Jim McBrien's at Teemore, Umera and separate fields owned by John Burke of Gortaree. In the 1940's emigration grew in the area and there was a mass exodus of players to Belfast, England, Scotland and America. The late John James Curry often recalled how the Teemore team could not be selected until after second mass on Sunday because no one knew who from the previous Sunday's team had emigrated during the week.
During the late 40's and into the 1950's Teemore Shamrocks were a struggling club playing often less than a dozen games a year. There was no senior team, no underage structure and little or no organised training arrangements. Indeed in the early 1950's club secretary Joe McGovern announced at a county convention that Teemore would not be fielding a team the following year. This might have happened but for the encouragement of people like Tommy Fee and Gerry McGee. The club could easily have gone out of existence but for a small number of dedicated men like Jack Owens, James Cassidy and Sean Martin. Early in 1947 Teemore reached a senior championship final but were no match for a talented Lisnaskea team who were at their peak of football excellence at the time. In 1950 the club won the junior football league for the first time in their history with a team made up of the McGovern's, the Owens, the Clarkes and the Shannon's with Hugh and John Francis Lee from Derrylin. However, the lack of players and general low state of play in the area prevailed until 1959 when a junior championship title was won. That team was heavily dependant on families like the McGovern's, the Martins, the Coleman's and some new players like the Fitzpatrick's, Peter Quinn and Brian McCaffrey. However Teemore's outstanding player of that era was unquestionably James Cassidy who was Fermanagh's brilliant centre half back who played in Fermanagh's first ever national success when they won the All Ireland Junior Final in 1959 making it a highly successful year for Cassidy in both club and county fronts.
In the 1960's onwards things began to improve in Teemore, mainly due to the creation of jobs in the area. Another factor was the introduction of an intermediate league/Senior league division 2 which contributed immensely to the development of football in the area. Meanwhile a new Curate, Father Dessie O'Dowd came to Teemore and he took an active interest in the club and its activities. The team won the intermediate league/senior division 2 title in 1962 and 1964 and a new self belief and confidence was established within the club. Teemore were back playing senior league division 1 and senior championship football again in the latter half of the sixties and reached the senior league final in 1967, their first senior final appearance for 20 years. They lost narrowly to a Devenish team who had dominated senior football in Fermanagh for the last 6 years. Afterwards another new Curate, Father John Maguire who was a native of Crosserlough in County Cavan was appointed to Teemore. Father Maguire played a significant part in the clubs success which would follow. He arrived in the summer of 1969 and was instantly installed as manager of the Teemore team. The team, fuelled by the McCaffrey's, the Fitzpatrick's, the Quinns, the Reilly's and the aging Jim Cassidy who was now operating between the posts won the 1969 senior football championship with Peter Quinn as captain, drawing to a close a baron 34 year wait for the Shamrocks. A new era of Teemore Shamrocks football glory had dawned.
The early 1970's saw, along with Teemore, the emergence of a young Tempo team and the ensuing tussles that took place between the two clubs is now the stuff of legend. Tempo won in 1970, Teemore the double in 71, Tempo again with the double in 72 and 73 with Teemore the championship winners in 74 with another double in 1975 for the Shamrocks. Teemore added another senior league title in 1977 and a junior league in 1978. In the late part of the 70's Teemore encountered some near misses in the championship where they came very close to adding more championships to this already very successful decade. However the success enjoyed in the 70's did carry on into the 80's did carry on into the early stages of the 80's with another championship title added to Teemore's list of honours.
Like the late 70's Teemore had some near misses in the championship in the early 80's before the talented but aging Teemore side featuring players who won their first senior championship in 1969 came up against a strong Roslea team in the 1983 senior championship decider as a division 2 team being complete underdogs. Teemore, on the day defied all the odds and claimed a memorable 20th championship victory which along with the division 2 league title that same year proved to be the last titles for the clutch of players who enjoyed major successes in the late sixties, seventies and early eighties. For the remainder of the 80's Teemore were a team in transition where many of the experienced players began to retire from the game. In 1984 as the GAA celebrated its centenary year Teemore were the recipiants of an award for the most outstanding contribution to GAA in County Fermanagh.
In the year 1990 the Quinn family and indeed the Teemore club were honoured when the former player and championship winning captain for the club, Peter Quinn was elected to the highest position within the GAA as its president and held the role successfully from 1991 to 1994. During his tenure as president he over saw great days for Ulster football with All Ireland titles being won by Down (2), Derry and Donegal during his four years in office. Peter's reign is also remembered for his role in encouraging the expansion of GAA HQ, Croke Park, into the magnificant stadium we have today. Clubwise in the late 80's and early 90's great efforts were made by the to revitalise its fortunes from within. The old mountain road playing field which was the brainchild of Master Jim Dunne and John James Curry and was purchased in 1939 served the club handsomely for over half a century, however the need for new playing fields were great. In 1991 Teemore opened a new 8 acre development which now boasts a training field, a match field, a covered spectator stand, floodlighting for both pitches, changing rooms and a club house. Work with underage was more organised in the 90's and began to yield some success at this level. The club continued to improve and enhance underage structures throughout this decade. Through immense efforts of people like Declan Maguire, Joe Donnelly and all the staff at Saint Mary's primary school this was a period of unprecedented success in both football and camogie for Teemore. For 3 consecutive years St. Mary's primary school won the mini sevens with children from the school performing in Ulster and All Ireland final day in the half time game. The club later went on to win titles at all underage levels in division 1. Camogie in Teemore thrived throughout the 90's following its revival in the late 1980's after over a decade of not existing within the club. In the early 90's Teemore camogie teams at various age groups won national titles at the faile. In these years the Fermanagh camogie team, drawn almost exclusively from Teemore players won under 14 Ulster championship titles against Down and Antrim who were then the leading counties in the sport. In 1994 and again 1996 a team from Saint Aidans High School Derrylin with all but two players coming from Teemore reached the All Ireland secondry schools final losing both years to the Galway college of Loughry which was managed by the legendry hurler Cyril Farrell, now RTE pundit. Although the club didnt see a great deal of adult success the senior team did win the 1998 division 2 title and an emerging team contested the 1999 senior championship final only to be beaten by an exceptional Enniskillen Gaels team.
Teemore's first minor championship success was in the year 2000 and contained a clutch of players who went on the win senior league and championship titles for the club. The senior team continued their emergence in the early years of this decade, reaching the 2001 senior championship final only to lose out to Enniskillen Gaels once again at this juncture. In 2002 the career of Seamus Drumm who was a notable figure for Teemore and Fermanagh in and around the 1940's was acknowledged when he was nominated to the Fermanagh county board hall of fame. The senior team, learning from past final losses to Enniskillen won the senior league division 1 title in 2003 against Newtownbutler as the team began to play at their potential. In 2004 Teemore achieved the sports council gold club award in recognition of the work completed and the facilities in place. The 2004 season for the Fermanagh County team was a remarkable one with a memorable run to the All Ireland Semi Final, exiting only after a replay defeat to the Mayo team. The run put the Fermanagh senior team into the GAA championship spotlight and contained 5 Teemore men were on the team that year in Barry Owens, Ciaran O'Reilly, Decky O'Reilly, Hughie Brady and Sean Curry. For his performances at full back in Fermangh's run to the All Ireland Semi Final Barry Owens recieved many awards including an All Star on the 26th of November 2004. The 2005 season saw Teemore make the championship final once again, this time Newtownbutler would be the opposition in the game played in Enniskillen. In a tight game Teemore edged the contest on a scoreline of 0-11 points to Newtownbutlers 0-09. Teemore had claimed their 21st title and their first in 22 years. In the Ulster championship campaign that followed Teemore succummed to a strong Carrickmore team in the quarter final played in Healy Park, Omagh. The junior and minor teams also claimed success in 2005 claiming division 1 and 2 titles respectively. The following year, in another good season for the county team Barry Owens recieved a record second All Star Award after a number of impressive displays at full back. Teemore next made the championship final in 2007 but lost after a poor performance in a scrappy game against Newtownbutler. The Teemore junior team also lost out in the 2007 championship final to Roslea but came back stronger the following year to beat the same opposition in the final to claim the clubs first junior championship title since the 1959 win.
There was underage success in the shape of an U16 league title won in the 2010 season. In the same year the senior team unfortunatly finished in 9th spot of the league division 1 and had to drop to division 2 for the 2011 season. The Primary school children from Teemore became the first Teemore team to play on Croke park on 18th July 2011 when they played in a blitz against 3 other teams from Fermanagh During an Ulster day event in Croke Park. Teemore were unfortunate not to bring home any silverware in the 2011 season with the senior team making its way to the senior championship final against all the odds and despite operating from division 2. Teemore beat St. Josephs and Belcoo on their way and looked dead and burried in the semi final against Tempo before a second half fightback which included clawing back a 9 point deficit and scoring a goal in the final minute of injury time saw Teemore dramatically gain passage to their first final appearance since 2007. In the final Teemore pushed the reigning champions Roslea all the way but missed out narrowly on adding to their 21 senior football championship crowns. They could however have caused an upset if a few of the more crucial decisions went their way on the day. Teemore secured promotion back to division 1 with a few games to spare, finishing joint top with Erne Gaels. The youth teams, despite competing in finals at most levels were also short of luck on the big days and narrowly missed out getting their hands on silverware. On Sunday 20th November 2011, Teemore GFC launched its book on the history of the club researched and written by Hugh McGovern and Joe Cox. This book stretches back to the first known GAA games played in the area in 1888 and recalls the history of our local club from its formation in 1904 through to the present day and gives an insight into how our community has been shaped over that time. At the launch the crowd enjoyed passages and speeches from the County Chairman Peter Carty, Former player and GAA President Peter Quinn as well as various club representatives and supporters. In 2012 the club claimed silverware at U14, U16, Reserve and Senior levels in what was a profitable year on the field.