History

Any history of St John's, Drumnaquoile must include the history of Gaelic games in Drumaroad and Clanvaraghan. The GAA came early to the area and the newspaper "Sport" carried reports of games of Gaelic football between Clanvaraghan Harps and Belfast teams as far back as 1891-92. Clanvaraghan was again fielding teams in the 1917-1918 period.

The first football club officially registered as Drumnaquoile was formed in 1924 and they brought the parish its only Senior Football Championship title in 1929. Emigration took its toll and the club folded in 1934. It was re-formed in 1958 and had modest success, winning promotion to Senior "B" League in 1972.

In 1939 a hurling club was formed in Clanvaraghan which took the Junior Championship in 1941 but disbanded in 1945.

In 1964 a football club was formed in Drumaroad which was competing in Intermediate League by 1972.

On 20 October 1977, the Drumaroad and Drumnaquoile clubs agreed in principle to wind up and to join forces as St John's GAC, Drumnaquoile. The new club first met on 27 November 1977 with a committee comprising President Fr Gerry Park PP, Chairman Dan Fitzpatrick, Vice-Chairman Brendan McEvoy, Secretary Patsy Flynn, Assistant Secretary James Burns, Treasurers Patsy Murray and Rupert Rogan and other members Gerry Burns, P.F. Mc Cann, Henry O' Hare, Mickey Laverty, Seamus Savage, Joe Lavery, Seamus Laverty and James Mc Cann.

In 1974 Drumanquoile hurling club was formed and reached the JFC Final in 1981 and 1984. In 1986 this club amalgamated with the football club under the St John's banner, camogie followed a similar pattern. By 1986 all Gaelic games in the parish, football, hurling and camogie were administered by one club, St John's.

In 1984-85 the club organised a massive draw with £70,000 in prizes and set a deadline for a succession of other clubs and organisations to follow. With the proceeds the club has developed its own pitch, Paire Naoimh Eoin, and a magnificent social club complex. Unfortunately this complex was destroyed in an arson attack in 2008, just days prior to St John's winning the Down Junior Football Championship for the first time.

St John's recently opened their second full size pitch at Pairc Naomh Eoin and developed new and improved clubrooms to serve the community for years to come.
 


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