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Ballyclare Primary School


The success story that is Allianz Cumann na mBunscol in the Red Hand county, traces its roots back more than a quarter of a century. It all began in 1986 when the then County Board Chairman, Jimmy Treacy, contacted some teachers about the possibility of setting up a Tyrone Primary Schools Committee. This was in keeping with a request from CnmB National Committee that all 32 counties establish themselves at grassroots level. Arising out of this meeting in Omagh, Tyrone Cumann na mBunscol, in Tyrone, was born.

Bertie Foley served as our inaugural Chairman, and he was ably assisted by Seamus Kearney (secretary), Joe McCrory RIP(treasurer) and Iggy Jones RIP (committee). These great gaels served our fledgling cumann well, and they paved the way in difficult times, to where we are today. We must pay tribute to these leading lights and acknowledge their foresight and wisdom. Their contribution will forever more be cherished and never forgotten. Go raibh míle maith agaibh!

The baton has now been taken up by the current committee.

Under the unstinting leadership of Brian McGurk (Chairperson) our cumann continues to thrive and flourish. Eddie Doris (secretary & PRO) and Coaching & Games representative (Niall McQuaid) organise a whole series of GAA activities for our primary pupils and schools. They, together with others, devote a lot of time and energy in ensuring the smooth running of our impressive list of activities. In this respect, they are ably assisted by long-standing members Mickey Quinn, Pat McGivern (Ulster) and a very dedicated, enthusiastic committee.

          Below is a list of activities whereby primary school pupils get the opportunity to participate and represent their respective schools:

  • Indoor Hurling 
  • Indoor Camogie 
  • Girls’ 5-a-side Indoor Football 
  • Boys’ 5-a-side Indoor Football 
  • 4-Wall Handball: Boys’ U11 Singles
  • 4-Wall Handball: Boys’ U11 Doubles
  • 4-Wall Handball: Boys’ U13 Singles
  • 4-Wall Handball: Boys’ U13 Doubles
  • 4-Wall Handball: Girls’ U11 Singles
  • 4-Wall Handball: Girls’ U11 Doubles
  • 4-Wall Handball: Girls’ U13 Singles
  • 4-Wall Handball: Girls’ U13 Doubles
  • 1-Wall Boys & Girls
  • Tyrone CnmB Quiz Heats & Ulster Final
  • Skills Days in PDPS Coalisland & Garvaghey
  • Outdoor Football Leagues for Girls and Boys (70+ schools in 16 regional sections)
  • Mini-games (Half-time USFC Quarter-Finals x 18 pupils)
  • Ulster Finals for Skills Day qualifiers x 4 pupils
  • FINALS' DAY - playing for 5 Cups
  • Croke Park (Skills Day qualifiers) x 6 pupils

None of the above is possible, of course, without external help.

To this end, we are very thankful to have invaluable sponsorship from Allianz.

As a company, they are extremely supportive of GAA and we are truly grateful.

The Tyrone county board, led by Mickey Kerr (Chair), are tremendous backers of all we do. This is augmented courtesy of their coaching provision in our schools. Expertise from quality coaches e.g. Declan Sherlock (Hurling/camogie) and Tyrone legend, Conor ‘The block’ Gormley, amongst others, manifests itself in the high standard of skill displayed by our children in their play. Working in tandem with our cumann, Brian Laverty, Orla O’Neill and the Co. Board help ensure the wealth of opportunity for our young pupils is seemingly unending.  

The Tyrone county board’s PRO, Eugene McConnell, and Noel McGinn from also do fantastic work in showcasing our activities on their respective websites. This, alongside newspaper coverage, really promotes our cause, and the children relish reading reports and seeing themselves pictured.

The fact that we have several current county stars teaching in our primary schools; Stephen O’Neill, Jolene Donnelly, Niall Morgan, Mark Donnelly and Peter Harte, really gives our children something to aspire to. Who knows, their successors are possibly in our midst right now…

I hope this gives you a flavour of the great work being carried out currently in our primary schools. The project that began all those years ago, is as strong as ever and, we can be sure; the future of Tyrone GAA certainly looks to be in safe hands: RED HANDS! Tír Eoghain abú!

Eddie Doris

Allianz Cumann na mBunscol

Tyrone PRO/ Rúnaí