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Club Information

A short history of the Burt GAA club

Gaelic games were played in Burt long before Michael Cusack, Maurice Davin and other pioneers met in Thurles to form the Gaelic Athletic Association.

The club affiliated with the new Association in 1887, making it the oldest club in Donegal and one of the oldest clubs in continuous existence in the country.

How hurling came to be played in Burt has been lost to the mists of time, but oral accounts speak of hurling, or caman as it was called locally, being played in the area in the middle of the 19th century. Played predominantly in the winter months with a thin, curved stick and a wooden ball, caman was more akin to the Scottish game of shinty than modern hurling with its flat stick and summer season.

The game was played from ‘deek to deek’ (ditch-to-ditch) and the Burt men were sufficiently proficient to win the Ulster senior hurling championship in 1906, with the famous Hibernians team beating a County Antrim select team by 5-21 to 0-1 at a pitch in Mulleny, Burt, known as the Blue Clay Deek.

It’s the only Ulster senior championship final ever to have been played on Donegal soil.

The administration of Gaelic games in Donegal was weak in the early years of the 20* century, and Burt played under the Derry county board in the 1920s and 1930s, winning back-to-back senior hurling championships in 1930 and 1931, and making the latter a double by also winning the Derry senior football championship in ’31.

The practice of playing across county boundaries was outlawed by Croke Park by the mid-1930s. Burt being Burt, some men defied the diktat and continued to play in Derry under the name ‘Sons of Erin’, but the practice died out before the decade was done.

By the mid-1930s, Burt was fully immersed in Gaelic games in Donegal, but the 1940s were tough with emigration taking a toll and wartime rationing making travel within the county difficult.

The club survived some lean years and by the 1950s were finding their feet again, winning the Donegal SHC in 1952 and winning three-in-a-row from 1955-57.

The 1960s saw even greater success for Burt within Donegal, and in 1963, three of our best ever hurlers, James McLaughlin, Danny Gallagher and the late Pearse Callaghan, were selected for the Ulster Railway Cup team that played Munster in Croke Park. James McLaughlin represented Ulster in the Railway Cup for seven years running in the 1960s, a singular achievement for any Donegal hurler.

Juvenile teams had arisen sporadically over the years, but from the mid-1970s under-age teams were put on a solid footing with cousins James McLaughlin and Danny Dowds establishing hurling and football teams respectively and the club hasn’t looked back since.

The 1980s saw us win two senior hurling titles and the adult football team enter the all-county leagues for the first time.

In 1991, Burt beat parish rivals Naomh Mura in the county final and embarked on a remarkable run of 16 consecutive Donegal senior hurling championship wins, and 23 titles in all down to 2018. They claimed provincial honours too, namely the Ulster Shield (for the senior county champions from counties outside Antrim, Down and Derry) in 2001 and the Ulster Junior club hurling championship in 2011.

In 2011, Burt club won its first ever Donegal football title when they defeated Lifford in the Junior A final and five years later won its first Intermediate football championship, defeating Mifford after a replay.

In recent years, we have entered teams in camogie and ladies Gaelic football and that continues to expand.

Today, 137 years after joining the GAA, the club has around 500 adult and youth members drawn from the parish of Burt, Inch and Fahan,

We field teams at all grades from U8 to senior in football, hurling, camogie and ladies football

Committee Information

Role Name Phone Email
Cathaoirleach Liam Gallagher 00447711800632 EMAIL
Rúnaí Catriona Sweeney 00447736126855 EMAIL
Cisteoir Brian Kelly 00447812142027 EMAIL
Oifigeach Caidreamh Poiblí Damian Dowds 0877811072 EMAIL
Oifigeach Oiliúna Benny Harrigan 0862724533 EMAIL
Oifigeach Coimirce Leanaí Feilim Henry 00447776238697 EMAIL
Oifigeach club sláinte Catriona Sweeney 00447736126855 EMAIL
Oifigeach Cultúr Manus O’Donnell 0861084267 EMAIL
Ball an Bhord Contae: 1 Sean McHugh 0862600253 EMAIL
Ball an Bhord Contae: 2 Donal Walker 0866686550 EMAIL

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