HISTORY OF DRUMHOWAN GFC
Drumhowan Geraldines was affiliated with the Monaghan County Board in 1953. The new club was founded by a number of individuals with Mickey Mc Keown, whom the club grounds are named after, to the fore. The others included Packie & Jim Ward, Eamonn Ward, Patsy & Gene Duffy, Gene Mc Manus, Michael Duffy, Eddy Mc Donnell, Ned Kerr, Mickey Goodman, Peter Clery with Joe Hughes and John Brennan from Tullycorbet establishing the connection with that area of the parish that continues to the present.
The link with Tullycorbet was particularly important to Drumhowan with the Forde’s, Mick, John & Packie making an important contribution over a number of decades. The club also benefited from the demise of the Doohamlet club in the mid 1950’s which resulted in Frank Connolly, Gerry & Eamon Quinn and Jemmy & Dan Markey transferring their allegiances to Drumhowan.
Within three years of affiliation a young Drumhowan minor, Tommy Mc Ardle, had brought glory to the club when Monaghan secured the All Ireland Junior title in 1956 with Tommy as goalkeeper.
Tommy and his twin brother John went on to represent Monaghan with distinction at senior level for the rest of the decade and up to 1965.
The 1960’s started with Drumhowan’s most successful year to date when they secured the Junior double, a feat not repeated until 2006. This resulted in promotion to senior level for 1961, the year in which Tommy Mc Ardle became the first Drumhowan player to represent Ulster at Railway Cup level, a feat he repeated in 1962 with Dermott McDermott the only subsequent player to do so, in 2001.
Throughout the 1960’s the club supplied no less than nine players to the county senior team with a further four players representing the county at minor level, feats that have not since been repeated.
The club continued to prosper throughout the 1960’s competing well in the senior championship losing at the semi-final stages to Scotstown and Clontibret in 1964 & 1965 respectively, however, the club was relegated from senior in 1966 although they won the Hackett Cup in 1969 resulting in their promotion to senior ranks once again and capping off a very successful decade.
1970 started with Drumhowan at senior level and with Brendan Connolly & Packie Forde selected as players for the Monaghan senior team’s trip to the USA with John Mc Ardle travelling as team trainer. In 1971 Gerry Finnegan became the first club member to captain the Monaghan minor team, a feat repeated by Garrett Mc Elearney in 1996.
Although Drumhowan continued to supply players to the various Monaghan county teams throughout the 1970’s, with Brendan Connolly continuing to represent the senior team up to 1975, this decade was one which ultimately seen the team’s fortunes decline with relegation to the intermediate grade in 1972 followed by relegation to Junior in 1973, a league that the club would remain in until 1991.
The 1980’s was a decade that seen the purchase of the clubs grounds completed in 1982 followed swiftly by the development of the community centre and culminating in the official opening of Park Mhic Eoin on 4 August 1985 with Monaghan defeating Armagh 2-10 v 1-8, a match which was held one week before Monaghan’s All-Ireland senior football clash with Kerry at Croke Park, which famously ended in a draw.
Park Mhic Eoin was named after Mickey McKeown, a founder member of the club and treasurer for 20 years. According to John Mc Ardle, in his article in Seamus Mc Cluskey’s ‘The Monaghan Gael 1887-1967’, Mickey was a substitute throughout the 1960 double winning campaign and is therefore surely the oldest ever medal winner being aged 51 at the time.
The successful development and opening of the club grounds led to Gerry Duffy being awarded Best Monaghan Club Official of the Year in 1985 together with the production of the Cumann Peile Druim Shamhain Commemorative Book including a detailed club history written by Gerry.
The club was also awarded Best Club Grounds for 1985, 1986 and 1987.
The late 1980’s also saw a rejuvenation of the club’s fortunes on the pitch with wins in the Reserve Football League Division 3 (Kieran Cup) in 1986 and 1989 with Stephen McGinnity & Gerry Woods winning league medals with Monaghan Minors in 1989 with Gerry also awarded Monaghan Minor Player of the Year for 1988.
The club therefore entered the 1990’s in a very positive position and this decade proved to be the most successful since the 1960’s with the club winning the Junior Championship in 1991 followed by the Intermediate Championship in 1993 to secure promotion to senior ranks for the first time since 1972. Although the team performed well in 1994 reaching the league semi finals where they lost out to Latton, however, they were relegated back to intermediate level at the end of the 1995 season. In 1997 they regained promotion to senior ranks by again winning the Intermediate Championship with victory over local rivals Aughnamullen, however, although the team once again performed well during the first year at Senior level they were relegated to Intermediate ranks in 1999 after losing out in a relegation play-off with Latton.
In 1991 Stephen McGinnity was awarded Monaghan Junior Player of the Year while in 1993 Stephen Brennan was awarded Monaghan Intermediate Player of the Year followed by Hugh Markey in 1997.
At county senior level Stephen McGinnity represented the club with distinction from 1990 through to 1999 and was joined on the panel by Anthony Brennan, Gerry Woods, Dermott McDermott, Mark Daly and Garrett McElearney, the latter also captaining the minor side in 1996. Stephen, Dermott, Mark & Garrett were all part of the Monaghan senior squad that won the All Ireland B completion in 1998. Drumhowan also had a number of representatives on the Monaghan U21 and minor teams throughout this decade with James McElroy winning an U21 Ulster Championship medal in 1999.
In 1998 Gerry Duffy was elected Vice Chairman of Monaghan Co. Board and retained the position until 2000.
The year 2000 brought a number of underage successes and this was followed by Dermot McDermott becoming the first club player to captain the Monaghan senior team, a position he held in 2001 & 2002. In 2001 Dermot also represented Ulster at Railway Cup level and was selected for the inaugural Ulster All Star team. James McElroy and Mark Daly also represented Monaghan seniors during this decade with James winning a Division 2 National League medal and becoming a central figure on the county team from 2000 through to 2006. Drumhowan also supplied the county with a number of U21s and minors throughout this decade.
On the club front Drumhowan continued to be very successful at underage level although the senior ream were relegated to junior level in 2004, however, a junior double success was to be achieved for only the second time in the club’s history in 2006 with James Mc Elroy also being named as Monaghan Junior Player of the Year.
2007 saw the U21’s win the division 3 title for the second year in a row, however, the senior team were once again relegated to junior level.
2008 turned out to be a very successful year for Drumhowan with the club once again winning the Monaghan Junior Football Championship and subsequently winning the Ulster Junior Football Championship by beating Lissan of Derry 5-10 v 0-5, before losing out to Skellig Rangers of Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final which took place in January 2009 ( 0-8 v 0-12). James Mc Elroy was one again named as Monaghan Junior Player of the Year.
The decade concluded on a high with Drumhowan winning the Intermediate Football League Final (Hackett Cup) in 2009 by defeating Monaghan Harps on a score line of 1-11 v 1-4, however, the double eluded the team as they lost the Intermediate Football Championship Final to the same opposition on a score line of 0-10 v 1-10.
Drumhowan started the year 2010 at senior level with David Millar being the sole senior county representative from the club, however, the year ended with relegation to Intermediate level following which Stephen McGinnity retired just a couple of months short of his 40th birthday, having won his first senior medal for Drumhowan 24 years earlier in 1986.
Relegation to junior level followed in 2012, however, the years 2012 & 2013 proved to be particularly successful at under age level. In 2014 the club once again won the Junior Football Championship (McCaldin Shield) by defeating Blackhill with David Millar being named Monaghan Junior Player of the Year.
2014 also proved to be a very successful year for the club off the field with Padraig Sherry being elected Monaghan County Board Chairman, a position he retained until 2016, with Noel Duffy also elected Monaghan County Board PRO, a position that he retains for the year 2018. John Mc Ardle also retains his position as County Board Children’s Officer in 2019, a position he was first elected to in 2013.
2015 proved to be another frustrating year for the senior team with relegation to junior ranks and this is where the team remained for 2016 and from where it will commence the 2019 season.
On a very positive note Enda Duffy was part of the Monaghan squad who won the Ulster Senior Final versus Donegal in 2015 and became the first Drumhowan man to win an Ulster Senior medal.
In addition the years 2011 to 2015 have proved to be very successful years for the various Scor teams that have represented the club, particularly the Musical group who have now won the Ulster Title for four years in a row.
This page will be further developed and will have additional information such as match reports, photographs, etc added.
The history is collated into the following sections;