Patsy Brady, during his research for the Margaret Skinnider story, came across an
account in the Northern Standard of July 7 1933, which he thought we might be interested
in and we were delighted to get a copy of the article. So thanks to Patsy this very
interesting story comes to you from the pages of the Northern Standard.
It was headed – ‘Great Crowd Witnesses Fine Evening’s Sport – Brilliant and Colourful
‘To hold a crowd of some thousands of people on a sports field for over six hours
and keep such a large assembly going with amusements and thrills all the time takes
some doing. The promoters of the athletic sports meeting at Emyvale last Sunday succeeded
in doing that and doing it well. They are the parish sports and annually they provide
a great treat for the people of Donagh and the neighbouring parishes of Truagh, Tydavnet
and Tyholland. Sunday was an ideal day for the meeting. A glorious sun shone from
a cloudless sky on a colourful and animated scene in the splendidly appointed grounds
adjacent to the village of Emyvale. The heat was very oppressive. It was just grand
to be out. The fair ladies had donned their fine summer frocks. The cares of the
farm and the times were all forgotten and there were smiles everywhere during the
six hours of the splendid sports programme. Those responsible for the organisation
of this great event deserve to be warmly congratulated and praise is due in particular
to Father Victor Marron, whose equal in promoting both religious and social events
in the life of the people would be difficult to find. He was assisted by a capable
committee and officials including Dr. T J Leonard; Messrs Charles McCluskey MCC;
Patrick McEntee NT; Peter Loughran MCC; P Woods NT; P J O’Hanlon NT; Edward Hughes
MRCVS; O. Connolly; J McAvinchey; J Flynn; J P McKenna; S McPhjillips NT; J McCormick;
P Kelly NT; P. Lavery etc. The entire programme was carried through with perfect
order and without any delay between events. Rev. J J Ward, PP Donagh, was present
throughout the evening and at the conclusion presented the prizes to the winners
of the various events. The splendid Donagh Temperance Band, under the conductorship
of Mr J T Barbour, enlivened the proceedings at intervals with selections of Irish
Ladies in Action Ladies are coming more to the fore on the field of sport. Within
a comparatively short period of time numerous Camogie teams have been started. There
were no less than four teams seen in action at the sports and great interest was
taken in the games. The girls are speedily acquiring a knowledge of how the camán
should be used. The first game was a good closely fought one between Emyvale and Moy
Bridge. Both sides put all their energy into it. The decision went in favour of Emyvale
who defeated the border team by two goals to one. Later in the evening a great game
was provided in the meeting of Monaghan Town team and that from Goland. They were
marched onto the playing pitch and around the side lines headed by the band and cheered
as they went along. Both these teams have been seen in action before and they certainly
have made good progress since their first meeting. Each side put up a strenuous fight.
The second half was particularly good. Miss Hyland with a major sent Monaghan ahead
early on and Goland, though it made a great effort to do so, could not equalise.
Monaghan got the victory.
Football The seven-a-side football matches also provided great interest. Tyholland
had an easy victory over Emyvale in the first match. It was a closer thin between
Truagh and Tydavnet but Tydavnet gained the victory by a small margin. The final
between Tyholland and Tydavnet was a hard fought game throughout. Tydavnet put up
a great fight against their sturdy opponents and won the set of medals. The members
of the Tydavnet team were: T. Treanor; F McCarron; Pat Sherlock; E. Treanor; J. Clerkin;
P McKenna and Jim McKenna. A Great Pull Usually in Tug ‘O War contests the crowd rushes
the enclosure but everything was carried out with the greatest decorum at this meeting.
No one intruded and the whole crowd witnessed two great pulls between Truagh and
Donagh teams. The former got the first pull without much difficulty but the second
was as exciting and could be witnessed. From the strain went on there was a dead
even pull. Alternatively each side gained and lost a few inches and the crowd cheered.
In the end Truagh put a mighty effort into it and won amid much cheering.
Thrilling Race. There was one pony race at the conclusion of the programme. Now the
spectators thronged the enclosure while the ponies ran outside. In all six competed
and after a thrilling race a nice grey pony, the property of Mr. Edward Hughes, came
home first , followed by that of Mr, J McQuaid, with an animal ridden by Mr S. Chapman
Other Events Schools 100yds Boys U12 – 1. Andrew McKenna, Killyrane NS; 2 John Treanor,
Edenmore. 100 yds Boys U15 – 1. Brian Mulligan; 2. John Curley. 100yds Girls U 14
– 1. Kathleen Kelly, Corracrin NS; 2. Eileen Callaghan, Corracrin; 3. Maureen
McKenna. Egg and Spoon – Girls – 1. Mary Kelly, Killyrane; 2. Rose McDermott, Edenmore;
3. Cassie Hughes. Three-legged – John Todd and H. McAvin. High Jump – U15 – W. Kelly,
Killyrane; P. Treanor, Edenmore. Sack Race – P. Treanor, Edenmore; D. Connolly, Corracrin. Wheelbarrow
– McKiernan and Woods, Killyrane. In the Pillow Fight, which provided great amusement,
the decision went to Barney Treanor, Edenmore, with Owen McKenna, Knockconan in second.
Adults 100yds (Confined) – M.Lavery, Emyvale; Jack McKenna, Emyvale. 100yds (Open)
– Joe Hill, Portadown; Jack Taylor, Aughnacloy. 220yds (Open) – B. Conlon, Ballybay;
J. Taylor, Aughnacloy. 880yds (Open) – John McKenna, Emyvale; P McEntyre, Monaghan.
High Jump – P McEntyre, Monaghan, 5ft 3ins; J.H McElwaine, 5ft 2ins. 1Mile Cycle Race
– Peter McMahon, Emyvale; P. Cassidy, Emyvale. 2 Mile Cycle Race – E. Brankin, Portadown;
Peter McMahon, Emyvale.
We have been requested to state that the Sports Committee wish to thank all those
who helped to make the sports such a great success. The Stewards and all who contributed
to the programme as well as the Davagh Band and the Donagh band for attending and
giving selections at intervals.’
The Peter McMahon, winner in the Cycle Race above, is my late father and he is pictured
here with some of the Trophies he won as Ulster Champion in cycling. He and PJ Logan
from Dungannon, and late father of TV personality Adrian Logan, were enemies in competition
but buddies when off the bikes. They often shared the spoils at Cycle Races throughout
Ulster. They also competed against each other in the Pole Vault. Today Emyvale Cycling
Club presents the Peter McMahon Shield annually to the most improved juvenile in