The Early Years

The Early Years

The earliest account of Gaelic sport being played in the St Peter's or "Freecrow" area of Lurgan is to be found in the Davitt Park book for 1947. It reads: "Grattan's formed a Gaelic football team in 1930-31, with John Finnegan, chairman; Jas Heaney, secretary; John Finnegan (Kilmaine Street), treasurer; and the following committee - J Crossey, B Haughey, G O'Neill and John Lavery".

Committee meetings were held in Arthur Dyne's hut at the rear of Sweeney's Houses in Kilmaine Street. Competing in a local league in 1932-33, they finished in third place. Grattan's won their first match, a friendly with Clan na Gael, 11 points to 7. Members of the team were: Hugh McCluskey, P McConville, T Dummigan, John Lavery, J Finnegan, J Heaney (capt), J Crossey, J Monteith, G O'Neill, W Haughey, B Haughey, John Green, T McDonald and M Doran.

Their first match was played in Grattan Park, the Grattan's sporting colours black and gold. After this match, Grattan's joined the North Armagh league and procured Ferris' Field as a home ground. They were defeated in their first league match against Mullabrack, and indeed, won only two matches in this season.

Other teams in the league at the time were - Annaghmore, Maghery, Clonmore, Cuchullians, Portadown, Nappagh, Ballyhegan and Emmets (Ballinary). The following season the Grattan's finished third in the league, and they were unlucky to be beaten by Keady at Armagh Athletic Grounds in the MacOscar Cup Final. Football, however, was not enough for the "Freecrow" lads and in their second season, a hurling team was organised by J Heaney and B Haughey.  Sadly Hurling did not take root.  

St Peters 1946

St Peter's 1946

Back Row - Jimmy Quinn, Desy Hogan, Tommy Doran, Jack Gallery, Dean Doran, Phelim Corey, Billy McAlinden, Pat Derby, Seamus McKavangh, Pedie McCusker, Davy McGrann.

Front Row - Jimmy Toman, Joe Crossey, Seamus McIlduff, Jackie McSherry, Sean McConville, Gerald McGuinness, Nealie Moore.