It was in 1971 that a group of parents, concerned at the lack of playing facilities in the fast growing southern suburb of Belfast, came together to form a schoolboys Gaelic Football team.
In the autumn of 1972, Barney Clarke, Joe and Tony Swail, formed the first senior team in the club and asked Chairman Harry McEvoy to enter the team in the East Down Junior Football League. Managed by Colm Glavin, the team won all their 24 league games and so secured the club’s first major trophy. They also reached the final of the Down Junior Championship, where they lost to Newry Shamrocks ll.
Progress was spectacular in this decade, as we rose to become one of the strongest Junior teams in the County. The 1978 season saw 15-year old Greg Blaney, one of the top Gaelic Footballers of the Eighties and Nineties, make his Club Senior debut alongside Dan McCartan and P T Treacy – two of the ‘Greats’ of the Sixties. Though the club did reach Division II in 1981, it was not until the mid-Eighties that the fruits of a painstaking juvenile coaching policy began to be seen and by the end of the decade new “home grown” stars like John Kelly and Mark McCartan had brought the club to the First Division. From the early days, the club has been characterized by a thriving social dimension.
There has been heavy involvement in Scór, with pride of place going to the Carryduff Ballad Group which won the All-Ireland title in 1983. Handball was added to the club’s activities in 1985, and the club won the Down Leagues.
Four of our players, Greg Blaney, Neil Collins, Mark McCartan and John Kelly featured prominently in Down’s All-Ireland accomplishments in the Nineties.
2001 saw the realisation of our dream of a pitch of our own. No longer ‘the nomads’ of Gaelic sport, the Club now has a playing arena the envy of many, incorporating the biggest pitch in Ireland and a training/ juvenile pitch.
2002 saw another big milestone for the Club with the introduction of Ladies football with 2003 seeing the introduction of hurling. The growth of Ladies football has been nothing short of phenomenal with the u12, u14 and Senior Ladies all getting their hands on Trophies. The Senior Ladies have a Junior League and Championship double from 2006, the u14 Ladies an East Down League win from 2005 and a League and Championship double from 2007 with the u12 Ladies having been the only winners of the All County u12 League since its inception in 2005!
The hurlers are also flourishing beginning in early 2003 with indoor hurling in St Joseph’s Parish Centre our first game was played against Darragh Cross in May. From those initial beginnings, hurling has gone from strength to strength. Carryduff teams now field at all underage levels. The first title came in 2006 as the u16 squad were crowned ‘B’ League winners. With a number of our players having already worn the red and black of Down the future looks bright.
The Club completed the third stage of our pitch development plan, the building of a Clubhouse in December 2004 with the fourth stage, the development of a second full size pitch, taking shape as we write.