Urris G.A.A Club
Strange as it may seem Urris G.A.A. Club owes a small debt of gratitude to the Cavan Senior Football Team in 1992 for making possible one of the most memorable days in the Club's history. The Urris Under 21 team, competing in the Donegal "B" Championship had disposed of the challenge of Carndonagh, Naomh Mura and Burt to win their way to the County Final. The opposition was provided by close neighbours Buncrana and the game took place at G.A.A. Headquarters in Ballybofey in late May. The boys were managed by John Canny and coached by their long time mentor John Friel. This was a very young team but they didn't let the occasion overawe them and took the game to their more mature opponents from the throw-in. Heading from the tenth minute, Urris held out until the final minute when Buncrana had an equalising point. So it was back to the drawing board for the team and mentors with the replay being fixed for two weeks later.
The following Sunday, Donegal played Cavan in the first round of the Ulster Senior Championship at Breffini Park. The usual band of supporters made their way south from Urris, Clonmany and Ballyliffin to cheer on the county side in the first step towards Croke Park in September. The game was thrilling but Cavan repeated Buncrana's feat and equalised with the last kick of the game. The replay was fixed for Ballybofey on Sunday 7th June and there was need for an interesting curtain raiser. The obvious choice was the replay of the Donegal Under 21 "B" Championship. And so it happened that Urris were given a really big occasion on which to display their talents in front of thousands of fans. Needless to say, the tension mounted in the following week but the Urris lads had their feet kept firmly on the ground by John Canny.
When the big day dawned, the weather was dull and grey but the spirits were high. The fans were packing in to MacCumhaill Park when Urris and Buncrana took the field. Playing against the breeze in the first half, Urris gave a good account of themselves and trailed by only one point at half time. In the second half they took over the game and there was a great cheer from the sizeable band of supporters who waved the red and black banners and flags high when the final whistle sounded. Urris had won by five points. Donegal did the business in the game against Cavan so celebrations were truely justified and celebrations were in the Strand Hotel and other venues in the parish on the end of a memorable occasion for the Urris Club. It may be a long time before an Urris team play such an important game again so thanks Cavan for the memories!
While the under 21 team were stealing the limelight this year, what else was the Club doing? Well, the Senior Team have been fielding in the Donegal Intermediate League. This is an all county competition so some of the trips are long and arduous but manager John Friel marshalls his troops well and the spirits are high. In the under age competitions, the Club field in the Inis Eoghain under 12 A and B, under 13, 14, 16 and 18 competitions while they fielded a team in the reserve and senior Inis Eoghain League Championships. All four schools in the parish play in the County Schools Football League while Clonrnany and Tiernasligo are playing Camogie.
Development is continuing at the Club's grounds and premises at Straid. This costs a lot of money as does the running expenses of the various teams so each Thursday throughout the year , Urris G .A.A run a bingo session in the Atlantic Ballroom, Ballyliffin. For the Clonmany Festival this year, there will be a monster session with a guaranteed top prize of £1,000 which must go.
Back to the playing filed and as usual, Urris will be running some special 'Festival' events this year. Along with the traditional 'nine - a - side' competition which the home club won for the first time in many years last year, there will be the final of the parish league which is played for the Denis Callaghan Memorial Trophy and a 'blitz' competition for the four National Schools.
An you can see Urris G.A.A Club is very much alive and well. The club extends a warm welcome to all visitors to the Festival and wishes to thank all their friends, supporters and sponsors for their great backing throughout the year.
Go mbeimid beo ag an am seo aris!