Club Founders

Harry McEvoy

To many people, Harry McEvoy is simply Mister Carryduff. A founder member, he holds the remarkable record of having been on the Committee every since the Club’s inception in 1972. He was the very first Chairperson of Carryduff GAC and has held that office on a number of occasions since, also as Vice-Chairman and Secretary. The founding of Carryduff GAC was not a first for Harry – 1955 he helped found his native Drumaness GAC when the nearby Ballynahinch club folded.

Harry had played Minor and Senior football for that club and indeed had a spell in the Chair as well! In 1958, he was elected Secretary of Drumaness and held that post until he moved to Carryduff in 1964. For almost four decades, Harry has loyally served the Gaelic Athletic Association in County Down in the promotion and administration of its games and culture. One of the most respected men in GAA circles, he has held the top office in the county, having been elected County Chairman in 1977 and was Chairman of the East Down Board for twenty-five years from 1981-1996. He has also chaired the County Activities Committee, he was the first Chairman of the Down FAS Committee and has been heavily involved in Ciste Gael and Scor.

Retired principal of Drumaness P.S. Harry is married to Greta. They have five children, Joe, Marie, Sean, Briege and David, all of whom have made contributions to this club particularly in Scor Na Nog, with outstanding success. The unselfish and often unsung contribution of Harry McEvoy to the GAA has benefited not only his club, of which he is an Honorary Life Member, but also his County through the many years of his involvement. The existence of Carryduff today owes much to his expertise, drive and dedication.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Orignally from Newtownbutler in County Fermanagh, Matt is a well known journalist whose weekly column on GAA has been a feature of the Down Recorder for many years. His contribution began as Snippets in 1975 and became the much read Matt’s Chat in 1991. Matt’s desire to pursue a career in journalism was sparked by a request he received from the late Senator Paddy O’Hare(RIP), the then editor of the Fermanagh Herald, way back on Easter Sunday 1947.

Newtownbutler played Lisnaskea in a Minor match and at the tender age of fifteen, Matt produced his first report on a match in which he had played! After this rather inauspicious start, he put his talents in the journalistic field on hold to pursue a career in the civil service. It was upon his retirement that he found the time to pursue his first love and is now a regular match reporter for the Irish News. Matt played his first football with Newtownbutler GFC with whom he won a host of medals including a senior championship. He was also a regular on the great Fermanagh Junior team of the late ’50’s When he moved to Belfast, he played with Queen’s, Mitchels and Eire Og and added to his collection an Antrim S.F.L runner-up medal Coming from a family with a strong GAA tradition- his father was a Member of the Fermanagh County Board- it is hardly surprising to learn of Matt’s own involvement in adminstration at both club and county levels.

He has been associated with Carryduff from its earliest days and was one of those responsible for organising Under-Age teams back in 1971-1972. Matt has been a member of the County Board since 1966 and was County Registrar in 1974, 1977-1979. He has been East Down Secretary on three different occasions and has been the Divisional Board Treasurer since 1979. He served as Secretary of Ballyhackamore GAC and when this club became defunct in 1971 he helped found Carryduff GAC a year later and brought with him, from Ballyhackamore, two of our leading players from those early days, Gerry Cullen and Mickey Leonard.

Colum Glavin (RIP)

An Honorary Life Member, Colum was heavily involved in Carryduff GAC since day one and served on the initial Committee. He was also the club’s very first team manager, a position he held from 1973-1975 inclusive and again in 1978. During that time Carryduff won the East Down Junior League and the East Down League Shield and were twice runners-up in the Down Junior Championship. Colum was Chairman of the Club in 1976 and was Vice-President in 1982.

Colum played his early club football with Ballykinlar, Annesborough and Dundrum and was also a committee member with Dundrum. He won County Junior Championship medals with Annesborough and Dundrum and represented Down at Junior and Senior level between 1943 and 1949. His father was a former East Down Chairman and club Chairman of Dundrum until his death in 1960. With such a strong GAA tradition in his family, it was envitable that Colum became involved in activities not only at county level, serving as a committee member on the East Down Board for a spell.

An architect, Colum was married to Julie-Ann and lived at Beechill. Sons Liam and Damien both played for Carryduff teams at all levels. Colum was always an advocate of a parish-only team even if it should mean a relegation to the lower divisions. A steadying influence in the Club for many seasons, Colum took great delight in seeing the indigenous youth of the parish coming through in numbers to take their places on our first team. One of natures true gentlemen and a lifelong member of the GAA whose wise council will be sadly missed. Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam.

Michael Murray

Michael, more commonly known as Mickey, is a native of Ballynahinch and played his early football for Drumaness before transferring to Carryduff in 1973, albeit he had become one of our first members in 1972. In fact, Mickey holds the distinction of being a Carryduff Member whilst at the same time assisting his former club to an All-County Division ‘B’ title. Apart from that honour, Mickey has won an East Down Junior League medal, two East Down League Shield medals (one as captain) and one All-County Division 111 medal with Carryduff.

He has also represented his school, St McNissi’s College at Rannafast and McCrory Cup levels and played on the Freshers Team at Queen’s University. As a player, Mickey adopted a no nonsense approach to his role of a defender and was affectionately(?) known as ” Thunderthighs ” . Many illustrious opponents had good reason to enquire, at the end of a game, as to the identity of the tigerish defender whose speciality was ” close encounters ” ! Mickey has been a member of the Carryduff Committee on a number of occasions and is presently a very important Member of the Pitch Sub-Committee.

He is married to Sheelagh McGrenaghan, a leading Member of the Club in its early years. A lecturer in Town Planning at the University of Ulster, Mickey now resides in Saintfield but nonetheless he still takes an active part in club affairs and is currently lending us expertise in the planning of our new ground.

Joe Swail

Joe was born in Banbridge but the family have lived in the Carryduff area for many years and indeed have all made outstanding contributions to the club over that period. As a player, Joe possessed that little bit of extra flair and in his career won many honours. Like his father Jimmy, he wore the red and black of Down with distinction, at many levels including senior and won an Ulster Junior Football Championship along the way.

Before coming to Carryduff, Joe played with Kilclief with whom he won two Down ” A ” league medals and also played for St John’s (Belfast) picking up Antrim Minor League and Championship medals. Whilst with St. John’s, he was selected to represent the Antrim Minor team and won an Ulster League medal with them. Joe’s roll of honour didn’t suffer from his joining Carryduff and he went on to pick up five further medals. Indeed his years with Carryduff saw Joe regarded as one of the most prominent Gaelic sportsmen in the county and he was suitably rewarded with the accolade of East Down Player of the Year in 1976, a considerable honour as election was by the rest of the players in the division.

Apart from his activities on the playing field, Joe was the Club’s first Secretary in 1973. He was also the club’s first Senior Captain and another was to come his way the following year- Player of the Year. Over the years, he has served the club in many roles – Secretary, Registrar, P.R.O. and as Mentor for Juvenile teams and as Senior team trainer. Joe holds a special place of affection in the hearts of Carryduff Members. He is a civil servant and lives in Carryduff with his wife Geraldine, son Paul and two daughters Catherine and Louise.

Paddy Shevlin

Paddy is a native of Carryduff and has been with the club since it was established. Along with his brothers Peter and Kevin, he wore the purple and gold jersey with pride and much enthusiasm for more years than he would care to admit. Paddy has won East Down Junior League, East Down Intermediate League, two League Shield and All-County Division 111 League medals.

He also holds three Junior Championship runner-up medals. Apart from his playing activities, Paddy served on the club committee from 1972-1977 and managed our second team for a number of years along with Paul Maginn and Gerry Cullen. In addition to his prowess on the football field, Paddy was also an accomplished cricketer and was fondly known to his team mates as ” The Nawab of Pataudi ” ! Paddy, a school’s inspector, is married to Geraldine and the couple live in Carryduff along with their four children.

Paddy McEvoy

Although Paddy was never really a member of the Carryduff Senior Club, he was a driving force behind the youth team, organised in 1971, and which was a forerunner to the formation of a gaelic club in the village. He played a major part in that early youth team when he decided ” to try to stimulate the formation of a club in Carryduff, because I felt that the local youth should have the opportunity to play the games ” .

Paddy considered it important to have a Gaelic club in Carryduff because of ” the manner in which the meeting and relating on equal terms regardless of station in life ” and also ” the ability of the GAA to create and sustain a kind of counter-culture that is with the traditional values and customs ” . Whether he was a member or not is irrelevant. Paddy will always be held in high regard by the Gaels of Carryduff for the major part he played in the formation of our Club.

Paddy has made sizeable contribution to not only Carryduff GAC, but also to the East Down and County Boards over the years and is an active member of the Downpatrick Club. He retired from his position as Chief Nursing Education Officer a couple of years ago and resides with his wife Rose outside Downpatrick. Paddy is the GAA correspondent with the Mourne Observer. He always considered ” the GAA to be his full time hobby ” and we take this opportunity to wish him many years to enjoy it.

Bernard (Barney) Clarke

Bernard, like Paddy Shevlin, is also a native of Carryduff and as such was anxious to establish a Gaelic club in his own area seeing it as a natural progression to provide senior football for the locals who were, at that time, playing for nearby clubs. Bernard was a prominent player on the teams of St McNissi’s College, whence our Club colours derive, and also Queen’s University, being on the Queen’s Sigerson panel in 1974 and 1975.

Over the years, Bernard has played in many positions for Carryduff and has been a spectacular and reliable goalkeeper, captaining our first team in 1974. It has always been an ambition of Bernard’s to play on the same Carryduff team as his son. This he achieved in 1996 when he and Rory both lined out for our third team, thereby emulating what had been achieved previously by Dan McCartan (with his son Mark), P.T. Treacy (with Brendan, RIP) and Gerry Cullen (with Aidan).

Bernard has been a tireless worker on the club’s behalf helping out at under age level and serving several spells on the Committee. He was Chairman for three years from 1992 at a time when the Club successfully embarked on its first major fund-raising venture