Red Hugh’s History.

A Killygordon resident who was 16 years old at the time, remembers the first form of gaelic football played in Killygordon in 1905-06 in a field owned by the Dennison family. In those two years Killygordon were runners-up in the county final to “Lamh Dearg”, Letterkenny and “Bal Dearg”, Donegal Town and played in a home and away league against two Strabane sides “Lamh Dearg” and “Fag-a-Bealach.
He remembers vividly how different everything was eighty years ago when the ball was like a big drum, the full of your arms and very heavy so that you could only kick about ten yards. Each team consisted of 17 players and the points posts were much wider than the goalposts which resulted in twenty of thirty points being scored in many games. The shorts that the players wore were made by their mothers from flour bags at a cost of about three pennies a pair.
He said well known family names of Brysons, Kellys, Marley, Sweeney, Harolds, McConnell, McNulty, Doherty, Johnstons and Loughrey formed the backbone of the Killygordon team. In the year up to 1917 soccer was the main sport in the Finn Valley area. This was until the establishment of GAA clubs that included Killygordon, Castlefin, and Tyrone club Clady followd by Eire Ógs (Ballybofey) and Stranorlar Sarsfields.

One of the co-founders of the “Red Hughs”, Paddy Hannigan from Killygordon had just returned home with several other players from playing soccer with Doneyloop side “Drumbane Rovers”, when forming a GAA club first came into his mind. With the help of others including Bernard Devine, Willie McGowan, Paddy McNulty, Joseph & Tommy Maxwell, Joseph Cunningham, and Charles Doherty it heralded the beginning of the famous Red Hughs, Killygordon and from first registering with the Donegal County Board in 1919 became one of the most famous clubs in Donegal GAA history.
From 1919 -1934 the side were successful in having contested three senior Donegal County Finals and were winners of the Democrat Cup and League Championship in 1927-28 and again were winners for the third time in 1934. The winning of the Democrat Cup in 1934 against Bundoran by 2-4 to 1-1 gave the side a much sought after revenge on the seasiders who defeated them in the 1920 Donegal senior championship final which was the first ever to be played outside the county.
The story of this long drawn out saga which involved three games to decide a winner has been told in the Killygordon area to past and present generations. The first drama unfurled at the then famous Stranorlar Showgrounds where Killygordon defeated Bundoran by 1-7 to 0-5 in a game in which a priest figured in the side’s success. Bundoran protested and won their objection on the basis that a player (the priest) was not registered with Killygordon.

A replay was ordered to take place in Ballyshannon on March 17th 1920 where the game ended level with the score Killygordon 1-6 Bundoran 2-3. The third game to determine the winner of this history making final, that took place at the Brandywell in Derry, now the home of Derry City FC, resulted in victory for the seasiders by 2-4 to 1-2.
Killygordon players from 1917 -1940 included Bernard Devine; John Davis James Paul McNulty; Jim, Joe and Tommy Maxwell; Frank & Charles Kelly, Alex, John, Robert and Eddie Brady; Michael & Andy McNulty; Paddy and Willie Bonner; Henry and Jimmy McGowan; Manus (A) and Manus (B) O’Flaherty; Paddy Murray; John Sweeney; Danny Woods; Willie & Charles Doherty; Paddy Hannigan; Willie Hannigan; John Gordon; Larry Perkins; Frank McAteer; Michael McGinty; Michael McGroarty; Jim McGroarty; Barney Coyle; Joe Bradley; Patrick Gallen; Sean Flanagan; Jimmy Kerrigan; John Roche; Willie McCallion.
The ‘St. Patricks’ Killygordon side of the 1940’s won the Junior Championship against Corlea in 1946 and were several times winners of the Dr. McGinley & Fr. Bradley competitions. Players of the time included Liam McNulty; Seamus & Gerald McGranaghan; Michael, Desmond, Kevin, & Louis Gallen; Willie, Pierce & Gusty Bonner; Peter McGowan; Seamus Corr; John Gallen; Frankie Murray; Liam & Seamus Doherty; Harry Friel; Collins Lafferty; Jackie Noonan; Paddy Bonnar; Alo Bonnar; Brian Devine; Leo Maxwell; Jim Maxwell (Jnr); John Joe Casey; Jim Wilson; Willie O’Loughlin; Sarsfield McLoughlin; John Hannigan; Alex, Paul & Tommy McNulty.

There was little GAA activity during the early 1950’s until a Crossroads side came on the scene and had their success by reaching the Donegal Junior Final in 1959 but were defeated by Cloughaneely. Joint managers of the team were Andy Doherty and Paddy Bradley (former postmaster at the Cross PO). The side that included Castlefin players Michael, Pat and Ian Farren; Michael & Patsy McMenamin; Hugh and Paddy Harron and Cecil Nixon and Pat J. Hughes were trained by another Castlefin man Aussie Bryson. Players from the Crossroads and Killygordon area included Henry and Patsy Bradley; Benny & Kevin Browne; Sheanie Doherty; Charles Gallen; Patsy McConnell; Andy McNulty; Frank Kelly; Seamus McKelvey; Josie Sweeney Roy Payton; Des Cannon; John Alexander; Pat Lafferty; Dermot Hannigan; Sean McGuire; Jim Wilson and Terence Gallen.
The dead ashes of the GAA in Killygordon were brought back to life in 1980 with the formation of the present Red Hughs who went on to win the Junior Championship and Division 3 in 1981. From this time forward the Red Hughs club as we know it today has been in existence. In 1982 we came second in Division 2 and lost the Intermediate Championship final. In 1983 the club played in Division 1 of the league. It was in these years that Red Hughs were established as one of the strongest club sides in Donegal and reached the Senior County Final in 1986 losing to Aodh Rua, Ballyshannon.
In 1991 we again contested the County Final losing to Killybegs, who were our great rivals in that period. We again reached the County Semi Finals in 1992 when we lost to the same opposition and we won the Division 2 league title in this year gaining promotion back to Division 1. Our greatest silverware and honour at this time was being crowned Division 1 league champions (Democrat Cup winners) in 1994. This was a wonderful achievement for such a small club in the modern era. For the next few years up until 2000 the club played and competed well in the top two divisions in the county and sustained a high level of performance over a long period of time. This was an impressive level of consistency for such a small club.

Since the beginning of the 21st century the club has competed mostly in Division 3 & 4 of the league and won the Division 4 championship in 2003 and reached the Junior Championship Final in the same year. We have come agonisingly close to promotion to the higher divisions on several occasions and despite what might seem like a relative lack of success on the playing fields in recent years the club has produced some excellent individual players during this time.

Some interesting facts about Red Hughs:

The ‘St Patrick’s’ Killygordon side of 1948 registered the highest score ever in gaelic football with a score of 14-44 to 0-2 against their neighbours Castlefin. The wizard of the side Jackie Noonan contributed a total of 7-14 to the score with Kevin Gallen, Peter McGowan, and Collins Lafferty having their share of the scoring. The game involved was in the Dr McGinley Cup competition played in Killygordon.
In the late 1920’s Red Hughs (Killygordon) engaged and defeated in a challenge game the Donegal county team which contained a number of Kerry players who were members of the Gardaí stationed at the time in Donegal. For the honour of the county the score of the game is still a secret! Paddy Hannigan playing for Donegal against his teammates had a smile on his face when he greeted the McNultys, Bradys, Maxwells, McGowans, O’Flahertys and others of his home team.
Red Hughs players of the past who played senior football for Donegal include: Alex, Eddie and John Brady; Jimmy and Henry McGowan; Manus O’Flaherty (A); Manus O’Flaherty (B); Paddy Hannigan; Jim and Tommy Maxwell; Gerry Patton; Michael McGroarty; Jim McGroary; Jimmy Kerrigan; Willie Doherty; Willie McCallion; Joseph Bradley; Micheal, Kevin, Desmond and Louis Gallen; Liam Doherty; Barney Coyle; Joe Cunningham; John Sweeney; Jackie Noonan and in more recent times Donal Reid; Marty Carlin; Gerard Kelly and Ollie Reid all served the county team with distinction.

1919 Team
1924 Team
Gallery
Gallery

Chairmans Address

Denis McGill

Denis McGill


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris. Ut convallis, lacus nec ornare volutpat, velit turpis scelerisque purus, quis mollis velit purus ac massa. Fusce quis urna metus. Donec et lacus et sem lacinia cursus.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris. Ut convallis, lacus nec ornare volutpat, velit turpis scelerisque purus, quis mollis velit purus ac massa. Fusce quis urna metus. Donec et lacus et sem lacinia cursus.

Culture & Identity

Red Hugh O’Donnell

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.


History

1919

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.


History

1980

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.


History

Mission and Values.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris. Ut convallis, lacus nec ornare volutpat, velit turpis scelerisque purus, quis mollis velit purus ac massa.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.