Ballyliffin Golf Club
Golden Jubilee Commerative Booklet 1947 - 1997
Local Solicitor M. D., a legend in this area, was a very fitting first captain of our club. A keen golfer, he was a member of both Greencastle and Ballyliffin, A popular and jovial character, an abiding memory was his version of Molly Malone while pushing a chair up and down the floor of the old clubhouse.
Paddy McCormick came to Carndonagh in the 1940's as Manager of the then Northern Bank. A bachelor; he became involved in the setting up of the Golf Club and was honoured with being its 2nd Captain. Having completed his term in Carndonagh he returned to his native Balbriggan.
Like his predecessor in the chair. P. V. was a Bank Manager with the then National Bank, now Bank of Ireland. He also was a bachelor and resided in the well known Canny's Hotel. The early founders of the Golf Club were obviously keeping their options open having both Bank Managers as their captains!!
A Bank Manager with the then Northern Bank in Carndonagh. He was related through marriage to the local Stewart family. A quiet soft spoken man he was one of natures gentlemen. A dedicated golfer, his company was much sought after in fourballs.
A Co. Kilkenny man. Sean came to Carndonagh to work with the now defunct Ceinici Teoranta Co., as Manager of the local alcohol factory. An avid sportsman. Besides golf, he was a keen huntsman and fisherman. Quiet and softspoken. Sean nevertheless loved to tell and hear a good yarn. A committed member he returns regularly to see how the Club is getting on.
A member of a well-known local family Cahir has spent most of his working life in Dublin, though his heart has remained firmly rooted in his native area. One of life's characters, his jovial personality ensured he was a popular Captain and later President. He still attends and contributes to our AGM.'s.
A member of a well-known Derry family, Jim came to Carn as a young Veterinary Surgeon in the 1940's. A dedicated golf club member and tireless worker, he was very involved with the early development of our present 'Old' Course. Very prominent in the local farming community he was one of those responsible for the setting up of the local co-op.
An Engineer with the Co. Council, Brian lived in the Carndonagh area for many years before he moved to Greencastle. A keen sportsman, golf was his great love. No mean performer, to win the few bob from him in a fourball certainly required some battle.
A local man, Neil P. was the first of twelve school teachers to hold the post of Captain. His three great, loves were drama, soccer and golf and he worked tirelessly to promote these at local level An erudite and very witty man, memories abide to this day of many debates and anecdotes and especially of the 'crooked' finger raised in admonishment.
The first local Clonmany man to Captain the Club. James was a local businessman and politician, for many years being a member of Donegal Co Council. A man of wit, stories abound in the locality of his famous retorts and one liners.
The local doctor in Carndonagh for many years Dr. Frank was one of the most influential members in the development and history of Ballyllffin Golf Club. A keen golfer he played with his trusted friend Liam McGrenera right up to the latter years of his long life. Ballyliffin Golf Club was a very important part of his life and he gave unselfishly of his time and efforts promoting it.
Although originally from the Gleneely area James has been an adopted Clonmany man for a long time, having setup several successful businesses in the area. A keen and gifted natural golfer. James was very involved in the purchase of our present lands. His rapport and esteem in the local community ensured the smooth passage of the sale of the lands. His Dance Hall in Ballyliffin was used for many years for Golf Club functions, he also provided the original wooden framed clubhouse on the present site. He is the longest serving Trustee of our Club.
A local teacher Jim A. was principal of the local Vocational School or Tech, as it was often called. A keen golfer in his earlier years, his association with the Golf Club was not a long one since his main hobby later in life became beekeeping. He brought to the job however his usual commitment and attention to detail.
1960 -'61- Joe Doherty A member of the well-known Oregon family from Carndonagh. A keen golfer to this day, Joe's wit and repartee are well known in this area. A gifted sportsman he made the fairly usual transition from football to golf. As he had done in football he gave his all to the club and became one of our most valued members. Famous for his one liners, when asked "Have you a good lie in there Joe?" He replied "not yet".
Came from Killybegs and taught his lifetime in the Clonmany area. A fine all round sportsman Dinny represented his county at senior level in football, As Treasurer for many years he guarded the clubs finances as assiduously as he would his own. A dedicated club member; an abiding memory is at the laying of the second green on the 'Old' course in the the 70's, taking his usual care with the patting in of a sod with the words "I may need a putt across here for the Captain's Prize",.
One of Carn's great characters was next in the Captain's chair; Willie Jerry as he was affectionately known though small in stature was literally large as life. A fun loving individual, his company was much sought after in fourballs. He perfected the ball "down the trouser leg" technique, much to the amusement and sometimes consternation of his opponents.
Martin came to the Peninsula from his native Mayo as an Agricultural Inspector in the 1950's and married local girl Myra McGuinness, our present Lady President. His main hobby was golf and he set himself the task of improving the conditions at his beloved Ballyliffin Golf Club. To this end he worked tirelessly all his life. His contributions to the construction and well-being of the 'Old' course, particullarly the greens, is immeasurable. No rn~an golfer himself, especially round the greens, he and Myra were particularly adept at the Mixed Foursomes.
Like Denis Callaghan, Tom taught all his working life in the Parish of Clonmany having come the from Teelin in the 1950's. His two main hobbies were golf and beekeeping. He was always willing to give of his time to the promotion of the Golf Club as witnessed by his many terms on Council. A fun loving character; Tom was blessed with an easy going. affable manner.
A native of Carndonagh, Dan was a teacher all his life in that Parish. Having played both soccer and gaelic to a fairly high level he turned to the golf with the same enthusiasm. winning Harry Workman's Captain's Prize in 1951 .An affable man. he is accredited with having played a big part in helping to establish the Ladies Branch of our Club. which was formed in his year of Captaincy.
The Harkin name has always been synonymous with Ballyliffin Golf Club, and much of the credit for that must go to Barney Harkin and his wife Sarah. Their premises 'The Strand' was the clubhouse up to the early 70's, Barney was always there for the golfers when they came in from their game with a smile ahd a yarn. Many's the tale could be told about the back room. One of my favourites concerns the two captains on either side of Barney, D. J. G. and S. H. The former having given the latter's car a push, found himself left standing on Ballyliffin street as Sean proceeded home without him.
Like Tom Haughey a native of Teelin who settled in Carndonagh. A dedicated golfer. Sean liked nothing better than a good fourbalI and was most adept at arranging the "handicaps" to suit the fourball. In one 'purple patch' he lost five shots off his own handicap in two days. His caricatures in verse of his peers are real masterpieces, his one line retorts will never be forgotten by those who knew him.
Clement came to Ballyliffin from his native Ardara as a young teacher in the 1950's and has resided there since, having married local girl Josie Lavelle. He has been associate with Ballyliffin Golf Club for all that time and is currently one of our Trustees. Traditional music and golf are his two major hobbies and he has given dedicated service to furthering both for many years, culminating in his recent appointment as head of Comhaltas Ceolt6iri Eirann.
Owen was Sergeant of the Gardai in Carndonagh and was the first member of that profession to be captain of Ballyliffin Golf Club. He was a committed golfer, dedicated to his Club. He served for many years on Council and was very active in the work of setting up the 'Old' Course, helping with the manual work on many occasions.
Came to Carndonagh as a young teacher in the 1950's and taught in the Vocational School. He took up residence in the Ballyliffin area and immediately became involved in the Golf Club. Conal served for many years as a County Councillor with Donegal Co. He was captain at the time of the negotiations and purchase of the lands on which the present courses now stand.
Our present President, like the previous incumbent, came to Carndonagh as a young Primary Teacher in the 1950'5. Like most of his contemporaries he took up golf and became a very active member, serving for many years as Honorary Secretary .A keen and very capable golfer, himself and Sadie proved quite a combination in Mixed Foursomes. Like the others of his era he was often to be seen with the spade over the shoulder helping in the construction of the 'Old' course.
One of the first of the locally born and bred 'young guns' to be honoured with the captaincy, Danny ran a very successful furniture and auctioneering business in his native Carndonagh. He was an active member of the Club serving for many years on Council and like the others in that era was very involved in the setting up of the 'Old' course. Danny remained a very popular member up until his untimely death this year.
Tom became the seventh schoolteacher to become captain in a ten year spell and the tenth overall. He came to Carndonagh in 1959 and spent the rest of his career in the Boys School. A very popular figure, he was to be seen many evenings with a spade over his shoulder heading out on the 'Old' course to help with the laying of green sand tees. (see the photo in the booklet). He remains a committed member and keen golfer.
Dr. Murray came to Inishowen as a young Doctor in the 1950's and set up practice in the Clonmany Parish. The father of our present Honorary Secretary the whole family was heavily involved with the Golf Club, his wife Helen also having served as Captain of the Ladies Branch. His interest in golf has waned with the passing years but he retains a keen interest in the general well-being of the Club.
Brother of the 1953 Captain Jim, Frank is the father of a very well known golfing family in this area. A very capable golfer himself, he was widely known and respected throughout the golfing world. An astute businessman he was very instrumental in helping the then Competitions Secretary and present Vice-Captain, Oliver Gilmore to set up the system of sponsorship for all competitions.
A local businessman, Johnny, with his wife Vera, founded the Jay Bee factory in Carndonagh. He brought his considerable business skills to the running of the infant 18 hole Golf Course. A talented sportsman, he played football for the famous Carndonaah Rangers team before turning to golf .
Donal came as a young teacher to Bocan, Culdaff and very soon joined his contemporaries in taking up golf. A quiet yet sociable man, he proved to be a very popular captain. Like many in that era could often be seen, of an evening, helping with the setting up of the 'Old' course.
P. H. or Paddy Glackin as he is better known graduated from the hurling stick to the golf stick in the 1960's. Paddy has served the Golf Club as a member of Council for many years. He was appointed a Trustee of the Club, a position he still holds, and as such he is a regular contributor to council meetings.
1979- '80- Ignatius Farren Ignatius is a long time committed member of Ballyliffin Golf Club, having served on practically every committee in his time, his most notable contribution in recent years being as Greens Convenor. A keen and capable golfer, he has represented the Club many times. Like his predecessor, he presently holds the position of Trustee of the Club as well as serving on a number of its committees.
Known throughout Donegal and the North West, Patrick has been a terrific ambassador and Public Relations man for Ballyliffin Golf Club. A 'fairly handy' golfer he has represented Ballyliffin innumerable times in all competitions. He has served on Council for many years and is the immediate past President of the club. Like the two preceding captains he too is a Trustee. His speciality around Ballyliffin Golf Club is fourball arranging.
The first and only clergyman to date to hold the office of Captain. Fr. Morris has served most of his priestly life in Carndonagh and Clonmany as Curate and Parish Priest. Without doubt the quietest man ever to be Captain, he is much loved and respected by his parishioners particularly in Clonmany where he spent 30 years.
A Letterkenny man who married and settled in the Carndonagh area, Tommy was very popular with all who knew him. A brilliant entertainer, he often graced the stage in the clubhouse and many other local venues. He enjoyed his golf right up to his untimely stroke which prevented him from taking part any further.
The second and last to date; member of the Gardai Si6chana to serve as Captain, Mick was Sergeant in the Clonmany area for many years. He was a committed member of Ballyliffin Golf Club right up to his retirement, when he moved back to his native Co. Derry. A talented musician, he was part of the resident band in the clubhouse for many years.
One of the best known and most popular members of Ballyliffin Golf Club. John White, can definitely be categorised as one of our most dedicated members. He has been competitions Convenor for many years and as such has achieved tremendous success. Always ready to greet the visitor with a simile and a chat, John has been a terrific Public Relations man for the Club.
A native of Moville, Plunkett came to Clonmany to work with An Post, married and settled in the Parish. A long time and committed member of the Club, he really enjoys his golf, particularly since his retirement. He is very involved with the running of the Wednesday Society and remains a staunch supporter of the Club.
Carndonagh born, Barry, has built up a very successful road construction business. He has been a hard working member of Ballyliffin Golf Club for many years, having served on Council and on the Development Committee which handled the making of the Glashedy Course. A talented musician, he was also part of the resident band. He has remained a committed member and supporter of our Club to the present day.
Surprisingly only the third Clonmany born Captain of the Club following James McEleney in '56 and Barney Harkin in '66. A successful local businessman, Edmund has been a committed member for many years and has represented the club on innumerable occasions, especially in the Donegal League, where he formed a much feared paitnership with John McGeoghegan. He had the honour of presiding over the opening of the present clubhouse.
Came to Carndonagh as Bank Manager to the Bank of Ireland to replace Seamus Dunne. Both he and his wife Mary were committed golf club members right up to his departure on retirement to his native Claremorris. Noel was the driving force behind the Members Draw which helped to finance the existing Clubhouse. He returns regularly to visit the club, . a sure sign of his abiding interest.
1989 -'90 - Packie Farren One of our most dedicated and hard working members, our present Treasurer has been associated with the Club for many years. As a member of the Development Committee which oversaw the building of the Glashedy Course, Packie worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the project. His enthusiasm for the well being of the Club continues in his role as Treasurer.
1990- '91- P. J. McDaid Having come home from Scotland and established a successful local business. P. J. turned to golf relatively late in life and very soon showed his aptitude for the game. and his value as a club member. He has served on Council and continues to do so, having also served on the Development Committee for a number of years. He is presently covenor of the House Committee.
1991 -'92- Cormack McDonough Cormac came to Carndonagh as Assistant Manager in the Bank of Ireland. A keen golfer, he soon followed his Manager Noel into the Captain's chair. He has served the Club well both as Treasurer of the Club itself. and later as a dedicated Secretary to the Development Committee.
Carndonagh born Patsy, like so many others, made the progression from football to golf in the 1980's. As he did in Carn Football Club he soon became involved in the administration side of the Golf Club. Following his captaincy he was charged with convening the Development Committee, a task which he carried out with great determination and boundless energy. He remains heavily involved in the Club as Council member and Greens Covenor.
A successful local hotelier, Brian as he had done in business, followed his father into the Captaincy of the Golf Club, the first father and son to do so, This was indeed appropriate given the connection between the Harkin family and the Golf Club. Having completed his captaincy he became involved in the Development Committee of the Glashedy Course where he worked hard with the other members to ensure its completion.
Born in Carndonagh, John has lived in Clonmany for many years and took up golf in the early to mid 70's. A formidable match player and indeed stroke player he has represented the Club on numerous Donegal League Campaigns. A dedicated worker he has served on Development on the Competition Committee for a number of years. and is the present Handicap Convenor.
Kilkenny born, Jimmy came to the Carndonagh as a young teacher in the 1960's. He took to the golf relatively late in life but was soon smitten. A jovial, bubbly character, Jimmy was fortunate enough to be honoured with the Captaincy in one of its most historic years, namely the Opening of the New Course, a task which he performed with great aplomb.
Yet another footballer turned golfer, Colm. as he had done with Carn Football Club soon became a committed Club man of Ballyliffin Golf Club. Having served on Council for a number of years he was honoured with the Captaincy, a job to which he gave total dedication and commitment. A tenacious match player, he has represented the Club many times.
Hugo, a local businessman and entrepreneur was delighted to be honoured with the Captaincy in the Golden Jubilee year of the Club. He has shown the same commitment to the Club as he has done and continues to do, to the Clonmany Festival of which he was a founder member and behind which he has been the constant driving force since its inception. We wish him well for the remainder ot this Jubilee Year.