The main activity of Urris G.A.A. Club is the promotion of Gaelic games. This begins at National School level with teams operating in Tiernasligo, Clonmany, Cloontagh and Rashenny. All four schools have had their own share of success but pride of place must go to Tiernasligo for winning the County Championship twice in recent years. This marks a real break-through not only for the Urris Club, but for all of the clubs in Inis Eoghain. John Friel is the man responsible for the Tiernasligo success story. Neil McLaughlin looks after the Rashenny team while Brendan Donaghy has charge of Cloontagh, and Danny Kelly manages Clonmany.
After leaving National School, the boys progress through the Inis Eoghain Leagues and championships where the Club has had so many victories. Age groups include under 12, 13, 14, 16 and 18. The number of teams involved puts a great strain on club resources in terms of finance and manpower, but the effort is more than repaid by the commitment of the boys themselves.
Hurling has been promoted within the club for several years and four of our members - Feargal, Declan and Ronan Doherty from Rashenny and Kevin Walsh from Ballyliffin are proud possessors of All Ireland Medals won in the Special Under 16 Championship.
The girls have camogie which is played at Clonmany National School under the watchful eye of Miss Kemple.
Pride of place, however, goes, naturally to our adult football team who are campaigning at present in the Intermediate Championship and League. The manager of the adult team is John Friel whose boundless reserves of energy and enthusiasm leave the rest of us wondering what his secret is! The team and the club are more than fortunate to have such a dedicated member in charge of their affairs.
During the winter months, the club takes a great interest in the G.A.A. talent competition - Scor. We have a happy group of dancers who always do well whilst our own Danny McCarron from Clonmany has won the County Championship for singing and gone as far as the Ulster final. Our musicians including Lorna Coyle, Mary Doherty and Brendan Donaghey have emulated Danny's achievement. Colm Toland always has a new and exciting recitation on hand. Then there is the sketch where Bridget McLaughlin, Hilary Reid, Mattie Kemmy, John Friel and Joe McLaughlin usually provide the laughs. Scor is an important and very enjoyable part of the club's activities. With all the natural talent in our club, it's no wonder that over the years the concerts held in St. Mary's Hall, Clonmany have been so well attended. Long may this be so.
Then we have the trips each year to support Dun na nGall in their quest for that elusive All Ireland and League title. Suffice it is to say that the going is great and of course when Donegal do the business the coming back is even greater. The choir was in full and noisy voice this year on the way home from Clones after Dun na nGall had secured the Ulster Championship. Mat tie Kemmy and Willy Friel are our two cultural advisers on the trips under the stern supervision of Maureen Wright Friel and our old friend Danny Carr.
The same Maureen is a native Gaelgeoir from Glenswilly and has been good enough to provide evening classes in the winter in our first language.
Every week on Thursday night the club runs a bingo session in the Atlantic Ballroom in Ballyliffin. The proceeds from the bingo have been a major boost in the development of our new pitch. We are more than grateful to the faithful bingo players who turn up week after week in all kinds of weather. John Friel, Eddie McLaughlin, Charlie Farren, Mat tie Kemmy and Bridget McLaughlin are our regular bingo 'crew' with help from other members. We have great co-operation here too from our local bus operators who ferry the fans to and from the sessions.
Over the past few years the club has played host to football and hurling teams from Craobh Chiaran Club in Dublin and Shannonbridge Club in Offaly. We have had several trips to the Craobh Chiaran Club in return with underage teams. This aspect of the club's activities is ripe for expansion and it is expected that trips outside the county will soon become a regular feature on our calendar.
There is an activity for everyone who chooses within the Urris club. We hope that we can continue to provide pleasure and entertainment for young and old in the future. Naturally, the more that take part the merrier. Volunteers and members are always welcomed with open arms. There is plenty of work for all those prepared to put in the effort but the rewards are great.