Club History

The name Derrygonnelly, when translated, means ‘The Oak Wood of O’Connolly’

The Harps’ playing complex is about half a mile outside the village. Canon Maguire Park comprises of the main playing field (a Prunty pitch, reconstructed in 2010), a full size training pitch with floodlights, a spacious two storey changing room complex with a multi purpose area and kitchen facilities upstairs, and a covered stand,(Fermanagh’s first, opened in 1999).

The club draws its players from the parish of Botha, taking in the areas of Boho, Monea and Derrygonnelly itself.

The club was founded in 1924, with a Sligo man called John O’Grady RIP one of the key movers in getting the club started. The club fielded its first Minor team in 1937, led by one of its most respected members, Eamon Maguire, who was to be one of the pillars of the club for the next seven decades. There followed a lapse and the club was to reform once again in 1948 under the influence of Michael Farrell, Eugene Cassidy and Tom Fee RIP. The Harps went senior in 1953 and were to experience glory at this level in 1959 when they became league champions by defeating Aghadrumsee on a scoreline of 2-5 to 1-4. Key figures on this team included Louis Mc Gullion, Frank Gaffney, Joe Smyth, Raymond Dundas and Eamon Flanagan.

The club’s health since those days has always been good, safeguarded by a very positive grounds development programme (see later). Successes included Intermediate Championships in 1963 and 1970, a junior league in 1976 (the Seniors lost the league final the same year.). By this stage, Boho St Fabers GFC, Junior Championship winners themselves in 1965, had amalgamated with the Harps. Senior and Junior titles were won in Division 2 in 1992, followed by what was undoubtedly the finest day in the history of the Harps, the Senior Championship win of 1995. The side that day was captained by Sean Flanagan and managed by Hugh Kelly and Donal Fee. The Harps lost league Division One Finals in 1995 and 1997 before claiming the title once more as 2002 league champions captained by Kevin Cassidy. 2003 saw the club claim a junior league and championship double.

The club claimed its second senior championship in 2004, the team having been infused with young players who had won a lot of titles in the late nineties and early 2000s. This was the centenary year of football for Fermanagh, and the team claimed an unforgettable title, beating Enniskillen Gaels 1-9 to 0-11. This team was captained by Kevin Mc Grath, and managed by Brendan Rasdale and Michael Glynn.

There followed a junior championship in 2005, a senior league final appearance in 2006, a junior league win in 2008, a senior championship final in 2008, before the club took the Fermanagh Senior title for a third time in 2009, beating Roslea under floodlights at Brewster Park.. This team was managed by Sean Flanagan and John McGovern and captained by Aidan Gallagher. This final was preceded by a victory for the club’s Under 16s in the juvenile championship against the same opponents. The next adult title to come into the club was another Junior (Reserve) championship in 2012. 

2015 was the senior team's most successful ever year as we won the SFC versus Roslea and the SFL1 final against Ederney. The team captain was Ryan Jones, and the management was Martin Greene and Michael Glynn, assisted by Niall Smyth and Kevin Cassidy.

 The Harps also field an adult ladies team, and girls’ teams at Under 14 and Under 16 level.

The club purchased Sandhill Fields, later named as Canon Maguire Park, in 1958. The new pitch was officially opened on May 13th 1962.

The pitch was redeveloped as a Prunty Pitch in 1985. The present dressing room complex was opened in 1987. Intervening years saw the addition of ball stops, a scoreboard, the spectator stand and most recently in 2002, the new training field with floodlights. The main playing pitch was reconstructed and both pitches had top quality spectator fencing and a concrete pathway put in place around them. The most recent infrastructure development has seen the club add two changing rooms, and an upstairs multipurpose area with full facilities. This project has caught the imagination of the whole area and beyond as it was completed by the volunteer members and supporters of the club, a remarkable achievement and a top class facility. It was opened officially in October 2012.

Underage coaching has been an area where the harps have worked particularly hard since the mid nineties in particular and they have been rewarded with numerous Under 12 titles, three Under 14 titles, an Under 16 double (2001) and a first Minor Championship in 2002, followed by a minor double in 2003. The club’s Minors and Under 16s won their league sections in 2012, the Under 14s claimed another championship and the Under 10s won the major Go Games tournament in the county. Our Minors had an unforgettable championship victory in 2013 under the management of Damian McGovern and Hugh Kelly. The Under 12 team made their final in subsequent years 2013 -15, and indeed the team managed to reach a final at every underage level in 2015, albeit without taking a trophy! Our last major victory at underage level was our success in taking the Under 16 championship in 2014. These achievements indicate that the talent available and coaching in the youth section of the club is a very positive part of the club’s future.

Father Figures

Eamon Maguire RIP and Michael Farrell are two clubmen who played huge roles in virtually all major developments in the history of our club.

Recent chairmen who have overseen senior successes, pitch and youth development include Sean Smyth, Francis Rasdale, Donal Fee, Adrian McGovern and Hugh Kelly. Grounds and Development has been the area of Donal Corrigan in particular in recent years, and also Eamon Greene.

Charlie Farmer RIP. was club treasurer until his death in 2001 and managed this aspect of club affairs through a lot of huge investment initiatives, his role was taken on by Kieran Daly, who has since overseen very significant capital spending. Our last three secretaries have been Catherine Higgins, Anita Rasdale, and currently Nicola Cassidy.

Fermanagh’s 1959 All Ireland Junior team included Harps man Hugh Flanagan, later representatives on various county teams included,amongst others, Eamon Flanagan, Ray Dundas, Hugh Kelly, Frank Cassidy, Tony Gallagher, Aidan Jones, Donal Fee, Paul Greene, Martin Greene, Dermot Feely, and Paul Ward and more recently Michael Jones, Eamonn Mchugh, Tiarnan Daly, Ryan Jones, and Conall Jones formed part of Fermanagh Championship panels. The club has supplied a lot of players on successful St. Joseph’s and St. Michael’s College squads, and the underage success being enjoyed by the club is in no small measure a result of work put in at youth level by its very dedicated volunteer coaches.

Club Colours: Purple and Yellow