Ballymoney Museum was buzzing with anticipation for the opening of an exciting new exhibition “GAA in Ballymoney” which charts history of the Gaelic Athletic Association in the district.
Players and committee members from the Borough’s four clubs - Dunloy Cuchullains, Loughgiel Shamrocks, St Brigid’s Cloughmills and St Mary’s Rasharkin - were joined by officials from Antrim and Ulster GAA and fans of Gaelic sports at the Town Hall to enjoy an interesting evening of talks, nostalgia and memorabilia hosted by BBC Northern Ireland’s Mark Sidebottom.
The night began with Deputy Mayor, Ian Stevenson welcoming guests to the Museum and officially opening the exhibition. Presenter and commentator for BBC NI and former Glenariffe club man, Mark Sidebottom, took over hosting duties and regaled the crowd with stories of his times covering hurling in North Antrim and recalling the first time he met our very own Joey Dunlop and the North West 200.
The audience was then treated to a history of the earliest days of Gaelic sport in the region from Ulster Cultural Education and Outreach Officer and leading sports historian, Dónal McAnallen.
The speeches concluded with a few words from Jim Murray, Chairman of Antrim GAA and Martin McAviney, Ulster Council President, who praised museum staff for their hard work on the exhibition and expressed a hope that similar projects could be organised across the province.
Guests were then treated to a first look at the exhibition and were also delighted to have an opportunity to see the Ulster and Antrim Senior Football and Hurling trophies up close for the evening. The Liam Harvey Cup, presented to the winners of the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship, a competition Antrim have won 53 times, is currently on display at Ballymoney Museum alongside memorabilia including hurling sticks from the 1940s onwards, All Ireland medals, jerseys from the local clubs, programmes and an official playing guide from 1907.
“G.A.A. in Ballymoney” is a unique exhibition which gives visitors a fascinating introduction to the Gaelic Athletic Association clubs in the Borough of Ballymoney. The colourful display charts the history of each club and reveals how they have excelled at the games of hurling, football and camogie in the 130 years since the Association was formed and is a must for fans of Gaelic games. For those who know nothing about G.A.A., it’s the perfect opportunity to discover more about these hugely popular sports.
The exhibition “G.A.A. in Ballymoney” is now open. Closes on 26th July. Admission is free. Opening hours are Monday – Thursday & Saturday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am – 4.30pm. For further information please contact Ballymoney Museum, Ballymoney Town Hall, Townhead Street, Ballymoney, BT53 6BE, Tel: 028 2766 0278 or 028 2766 0230 and Email: email@example.com .