Naomh Pól History
Members of the St Pauls
branch of the CYMS founded St Pauls GAC on the Falls Road area of
Belfast in 1941. At the inaugural meeting held on the 31st August that
year records the first officers as;
Chairman Jim Mc Conville
Secretary Jim Gough
Treasurer Jim Hagan
Prominent in that first committee was Brian Moore (RIP) former club president and former Antrim County Chairman.
During the war years there was a shortage of material to make rigs,
however the club were able to purchase a set of red and white hopped
jerseys - the club colours to the present day. The club began life as a
football club, but within a few months hurling was introduced, and
indeed our first major success was the County Junior Hurling
championship of 1945 which was followed a year latter by (1946) by the
County Junior Football championship.
More success followed in the 1950s.
The 1960s would be regarded as a quite decade in the clubs history but the 1970s were anything but quite.
In the early 1970s the
decision was taken to leave our spiritual home of the Lower Falls and
move to pastures new in Andersonstown. This proved to be a farsighted
and wise decision. On The 15th July 1979 Paddy Mc Flynn, Uacharan Cumann
Lúthchleas Gael, opened the clubs new pitch and social center. The
seventies will also be remembered of the loss of two of the clubs
greatest stalwards, Jim Murray and Jack Mc Cartan.
The club settled into its new home and commenced what turned out to
be a hugely successful youth policy. Through out the 1980s the club won
underage titles in both football and hurling the highlight being the
winning of the 1987 Féile Na nGael title in county Clare.
1983 saw the commencement of the Jim Mc Conville Cup - a competition
for the respective club minor football winners from the Nine Ulster
In 1985 the clubs new handball courts were opened and we are now
renowned as a handball stronghold and in 1989 St Paul's clubman Jim
Nelson managed the Antrim senior hurling team that reached the All
Ireland Senior Hurling Final of that year.
The youth policy of the 1980s led to the club's most successful
decade to date the 1990s. We won our first county senior football title
in 1994 and followed up with two more senior football titles in 1996 and
Today the club plays in
the top divisions of the Antrim leagues in both football hurling and
Handball and provide top class players to Antrim county teams. We also
now have active Camogie and Ladies Football teams.
Cumann Naomh Pól Peil Gael na mBan was established in 2003.
Brian Coyle and Donna Coyle set out to give opportunities to girls
in West Belfast to participate in Irish sporting culture and become
members of one of Antrim's most successful and biggest Gaelic clubs, St.
St Paul's has now proven to be leading the way in the development of
ladies Gaelic football in Antrim. St Paul's quickly stamped their
authority in the county and province under the management of Brian Coyle
and Barry Mc Greevy, making their way through to the Ulster Junior Club
Final in only their second season to face formidable opponents in
Monaghan's Iniskeen, and narrowly lose by 3 points.
2005 was a significant year of achievement as titles were picked up
at all age groups from under 10 to ladies. That year St Paul's were
privileged with the attendance of an Uachtarán Geraldine Giles and
Eamonn Mc Cartan, Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland at the
annual presentation evening to celebrate this success.
St Paul's ladies has a concrete underage structure and school links
programme that has led to the thriving development of the club within
Their under 14 teams have dominated Antrim Féile and so for four
consecutive years headed to Féile Peil na nÓg where they gave a superb
account of themselves. St Paul's have also given a strong commitment to
the development of the county team providing no less than ten players at
any of the age groups.
In 2005 Ladies Football along with all Gaelic codes in St Paul's GAC
were awarded the Gold Club Mark Award by the Sports Council for
Northern Ireland. The first for any Gaelic Club to achieve. This was in
recognition of the standard of coaching, development programmes and
juvenile structures in situ.
St Paul's ladies have integrated well with the men's club and the
equality that is shown to ladies is manifested in the success that they
have achieved in this short period of time