CUMANN SHEÁIN UÍ NÉILL”Mól an Óige agus Tíocfaidh sí “
Camloch, Co. Ard Mhacha
Seán Ó Néill, anglicised Shane O'Neill (1530 – 1567), nicknamed 'Shane The Proud',
was an Irish king of the O’Neill dynasty of Ulster in the mid 16th century.
Shane O'Neill's career was marked by his ambition to be The Ó Néill Mór - Sovereign
of the dominant Ó Néill Mór family of Tyrone... and thus head overking or Rí ruirech
of the entire province. This brought him into conflict with competing branches of
the O'Neill family and with the English government in Ireland, who recognised a rival
The club is situated on the edge of Camloch, a small village four miles outside the
historic City of Newry. Camloch is the gateway to South Armagh and has been home
to a football club since 1888.
Shane O’Neill - The Man
The Shane O’Neill’s that we know today was previously known as William O’Brien’s
GFC. William O'Brien's was founded by a group of locals, including William Osbourne
who was elected as President. The name William O'Brien's was dropped after a political
split in the Irish party in 1890 and the name Shane O'Neill's was adopted in 1905.
The Shane’s were extremely successful in the next 6 years, winning the Armagh Championship
on two occasions: in 1907 on Boxing Day by defeating local rivals the Bessbrook Geraldines
in Crossmaglen by the scoreline of 2-01 to 1-03, and in 1910 they defeated Crossmaglen
in Newtown by the same scoreline of 2-01 to 1-03. The Shane’s also reached the Championship
final in 1906 and 1911 but were defeated on both occasions by Cross Red Hands (1906)
and Crossmaglen (1911).
1888 - 1911
In his private character Shane O'Neill was perceived by the English as a brutal,
uneducated savage. However, Irish history is often written by English historians.
Shane was tough, but a brilliant politician and fighter at times. He frustrated the
English to no end with his ability to defeat them in the field and then again at
The Shane's began to fade away during 1912, and the clubs only involvement in any
Armagh Championship final for the next few decades was the hosting of the Junior
Final on two occasions (1925 & 1927).
On the 5th of October, 1941 Shane O’Neill’s were once again Armagh Champions, this
time at Junior Level when they defeated Ballyhegan in Armagh City by a scoreline
of 0-10 to 1-02.
After the joys of the 1941 season, steady success continued to come and go until
emigration and financial troubles led to the demise of Shane O’Neill’s GFC in February
1912 - 1967
After the demise of Shane O'Neill's in 1967, a generation of young people in the
Camloch area were deprived of the opportunity to carry on the tradition that had
been built over the previous 100 years and most people at the time imagined that
the name Shane O'Neill's was only a memory and that they would never be heard of
again. However, in 1984 a group of ex-members of the Shane’s and others got together
and started talking about reforming the club. These people were confident that the
youth of the area at the time would rally to their call and play their part in carrying
on the great tradition.
Shane O'Neill's was formally relaunched on the 13th of February 1985 when the first
AGM for 18 years was held in Doyle's Public house in Camloch.
The club reentered teams into the Armagh leagues and had little success until the
historic All Ireland Féile title in 1987 - the first time an Armagh Club ever won
1984 - 2003
This was quite an achievement for a little club in South Armagh.
An achievement which at the time was not even mentioned by the county board in the
secretary's report of that year.
Over the next 7 years the Shane’s had little success in the Intermediate Championship,
eventually dropping back into the Junior in 2001.
Also during this time the Shane’s floated between Div IV and III, getting promoted
one year, but relegated the next. Not the success the Junior win in ‘94 had promised.
In 2004, the Shane’s appointed a new manager, Down native Marty Lynch, and little
did we know that the glory days weren’t far away.
In 2004, with a new manager, a change of attitude, and a blend of youth and experience,
the Shane’s pipped Derrynoose to the Division IV title and that winning feeling drifted
throughout the whole club, from underage right up to Senior level. Yet again, this
promise didn’t materialise and the Shane's were relegated back to Div IV in 2005
by none other than Derrynoose.
The year 2005 wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Shane’s as it was also the 100th
anniversary of the clubs formation. The new clubhouse and pitch were officially opened
and blessed on the 26th of February 2006 by Bishop Gerard Clifford, an occasion which
was marked with a challenge match between Armagh and Louth Senior teams.
In 2006, the committee appointed Peader McLoughlin, a longtime Shane O’Neill’s member
and successful schools Gaelic coach, as the new senior manager. Unfortunately his
2 years at the club were not as fruitful as expected and the seniors continued to
languish in Div IV of the Armagh League.
Although the Seniors were not playing to their potential, the underage structures
at the club were blossoming, and the Shane’s were now one of the top clubs at underage
level throughout Armagh.
2004 - 2007
In 2008, after a few baron years at Senior Level, the committee reinstated Marty
Lynch as manager. Once again the team came together and against all expectations
they romped to the Div IV title, losing only one game during the whole season.
2009 will long be remembered as the year the GAA celebrated its 125th anniversary,
the year Armagh Minors ended their 60 year wait to pick up an All-Ireland title and,
from our own clubs point of view, the Seniors, managed by Marty Lynch, successfully
accomplished their set target for the year by avoiding relegation from Div III, the
first time a team from the club has ever done so. But the icing was well and truly
put on the cake when on the 16th of October they also lifted the clubs third Armagh
Junior Championship title with a win over their local rivals Belleeks by a scoreline
of 0-13 to 0-07. This championship victory saw the club take part in the Ulster Junior
Championship for the first time in the history, winning their quarter-final against
Sean Dolan’s of Derry before being narrowly defeated at the semi-final stage by the
eventual winners Emyvale of Monaghan.
A few years previous to 2009, the Shane's formed a girls team and this was the year
they reaped the rewards. Our U14 Girls had a great year – winning the county championship,
runners-up in the U14 league, taking part in the Ulster Féile competition, taking
part in the All-Ireland Féile in Co. Kildare where, despite not losing a game, they
were eliminated on the points scored rule and finally, taking part in the annual
Kilmacud 7’s competition.
2008 - 2011
In 2010, the Girls continued their success and were league and championship winners
at a Under 12 & Under 14 level.
The Under 14’s also took part in the All-Ireland Féile competition in Co. Derry,
losing in the final to Cahir of Co. Tipperary.
For the Seniors, 2010 was another successful and historic year as they were eventually
crowned Div III champions on the 12th of September with an away win over Lissummon
and will be the first Shane O’Neill’s team to play Div II football for the club.
As if 2010 had not been a successful enough year for the club, on Sunday the 17th
October in Crossmaglen the Shanes Minors were crowned Armagh Championship winners
for the very first time after a tough encounter with Tír ná nÓg of Portadown.
This team was a mixture of the successful 2006 & 2007 Féíle teams, and along with
the managerial skills of Mick Mackin Jnr and Kieran Murphy, they managed to make
2010 the most successful year in the club’s long history.
The clubs next big success was in 1994, when the majority of the winning 1987 Féile
team had graduated to the Senior ranks. These 14 year old boys were now men playing
in their first, and the Shane's second, Junior Championship final. To get to this
final the Shane’s had to defeat their close rivals Belleeks in the Quarter Final
which took place in Carrickcruppen. The Shanes ran out deserving winners by a scoreline
of 2-18 to 1-07, and were described in a local newspaper as giving a “blistering
exhibition of attacking football.”
On the 21st of August, 1994 the Shane’s went to Armagh in the hope of bringing back
the Junior trophy for he first time in 53 years. Up against the previous years beaten
finalists, Ballymacnab, and without some first choice players, the Shane’s ran out
two point winners by a scoreline of 1-13 to 2-08.
Shane O’Neill’s U14 All Ireland Féile Winning Team 1987
Shane O’Neill’s Junior Championship Winning Team 1994
This was evident in 2006 and 2007 when the Shane’s were crowned back to back Armagh
Féile Champions at Under 14 level.
They went on to represent Co. Armagh in the All Ireland series in Wicklow (2006)
and Leitrim (2007), winning ‘Best Dressed Club’ on both occassions.
Shane O’Neill’s U14 Armagh Féile Winning Team 2006
Shane O’Neill’s Girls U14 Armagh Féile Winning Team 2010
Junior Championship Winning Team 2009
Shane O’Neill’s Minor Armagh Championship Winning Team 2010
2012 was another huge year for the club and in particular our Senior Men's team.
They wrote their name into another chapter of the Shane O’Neill’s and Armagh GAA
history books by winning the first ever Intermediate League (Old Division 2) after
to 1-11 victory over St.Paul’s, Lurgan in the leagues playoff final.
In 2013, they then played their first ever Senior League (Old Division 1) fixture
and finished a very creditable 8th place.
For the Men’s team, 2013 was a success as they managed to stay up and secure Senior
League and Championship status for 2014.
Shane O’Neill’s Intermediate League Champions 2012
2012 - Present
Our biggest success in 2013 were our Ladies teams, who all had very fruitful seasons.
Our U12’s were Championship Finalists, U14’s were League & Championship winners,
U16’s were Championship Finalists, Our Minor team won the Armagh Championship but
also the Ulster Minor Championships after beating Moville (Donegal) 6-13 to 5-13
enthralling final. If that wasn’t enough, our Senior Ladies also won the Armagh Junior
Championship, defeating Dorsey Emmetts and were crowned Ulster Junior Ladies Champions
after defeating Aghyaran (Tyrone) in another great display from the girls in the
Hopefully 2014 can live up to the hype of the past few years at the club. The Ladies
have a tall order to match their 2013 season, and with a new management team, the
Senior Men have a tough task when they compete in the Senior Championship for the
very first time.
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Shane O’Neill’s Ulster Junior LadiesChampionship Team 2013