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GAA Football

Liatroim Fontenoys brought to book in updated history

Séamas McAleenan

Around three decades ago a flurry of publications hit the shelves as individual units of the GAA raced to record their involvement in Gaelic games.

One such club was Liatroim Fontenoys, who produced a 570-page volume to mark the centenary of the club’s foundation in 1888.

The Down club has launched an update to that volume that won them the 1990 MacNamee Communications Award.

Liatroim Fontenoys 1988-2013 covers the club’s first 125 years and runs to over 700 pages.

While the actual writing of the first volume fell basically to three members of the seven person committee with guests contributing short individual articles, more than a dozen authors contributed to this new volume.

PJ McGee and Michael McCartan once again make huge contribution, with McCArtan updating the first century of GAA activities with new evidence that has come to light following the original publication or through much wider access in digital records.

For example he widens the account of the founding fathers, JL Savage and the three McAleenan brothers, by tracing their involvement in the early years of the Down GAA Board 15 to 20 years after the formation of the club and their contribution to other cultural and political movements of the era.

The McAleenans were master builders and McCartan has researched their involvement in landmark buildings in local towns as well as churches dotted through the county and further afield.

Others from the early years get the same treatment including club emigrants who made their mark on GAA and cultural activities in New York.

Indeed towards the end of the book, more recent emigrants – Bronagh Morgan and Martin Armstrong – write on how, following that same tradition, they have continued their GAA careers in Perth, Australia, while, at home, the club has opened its arms with cultural diversity days.

In the main part of the book, each year from 1988 to 2013 gets individual treatment, the lows as well as the many highs that included Ulster final appearances in football, hurling and camogie.

Copies of “Liatroim Fontenoys 1988-2013” published by Ronan Cassidy (SugarProjects Enniskillen) can be purchased by contacting Patricia Quinn at pquinn45@hotmail.co.uk

GAA Football

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