Magilligan: a place of beauty with a passion for football

St. Aidan’s GAA club situated in one of the most beautiful and historic areas in the country

Magilligan: a place of beauty with a passion for football

A Magilligan team pic, taken some time in the eighties, most likely at a Neil Carlin Cup final. How many can you name?

By Damian Mullan

Reporter:

By Damian Mullan

Email:

sport@thechronicle.uk.com

ST Aidan's GAA club in Magilligan is situated in one of the most beautiful and historic areas of the country, and has a decent history itself.

Taking its name from the McGilligan's, a branch of the McQuillan clan which once ruled the north coast region, the club properly got up and running in 1938 after a number of previous attempts had failed.

Under the chairmanship of one of the club's founder members, Barney O'Kane, a number of players from neighbouring areas lined out with the club.

Indeed, one of those to play for St. Aidan's was Kevin Doherty, a brother of the legendary NI footballer and manager, Peter Doherty.

Another was Sean Lundy, also from Coleraine, and a member of the famous fruit and vegetable family.

The club enjoyed great success in 1944, winning both the Neal Carlin Cup and the North Derry League, and were a formidable force at local carnivals in the sixties and seventies.

They have produced some great players down the years, none moreso than arguably the most famous of them all - George McGee.

Magilligan claimed a first county title in 1988 when they defeated Ballinascreen to lift the Junior Championship but had to wait another 28 years to claim a second when they defeated Drum in the 2016 final.

Among their ranks that day were two members of Coleraine FC's very successful squad - goalkeeper Michael Doherty and defender Aaron Canning.

If the late Eddie Butcher was still about, then no doubt a song would have been written in their honour.

The Butcher family has a long association with the club and the area hosts an annual Eddie Butcher Singing Festival.

For now, though, pick up a copy of this week's Chronicle for a full page feature looking at the history and people who make up St. Aidan's GAC Magilligan.

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