Main pic: The impressive Naomh Ultan pitch and facilities overlooking Donegal Bay.
The Naomh Ultan GAA club has begun preparations for next year’s celebration of the Golden Jubilee of its establishment.
The club had been operating intermittently as ‘Dunkineely’ since 1953.
However, On Friday, October 11, 1974, a meeting was held in St. Mary’s Hall with a view to reviving the Dunkineely GAA club, which had been defunct for well over a decade. At a general meeting on January 5th, 1975 in Dunkineely, Fr. P. Cunningham (RIP) proposed the club be named after Saint Ultan as there would probably be no other club in the county with the saint as its patron. From then on, the club became known as Naomh Ultan.
The club is synonymous with one name in particular and that is none other than Martin Shovlin. ‘Shov’ is a Donegal All-Ireland winner, being part of the famous 1992 team who won Donegal’s first Sam Maguire. His accolades as a player also include two Ulster Football Championship medals and in 1990 was awarded Ulster GAA Writers’ Player of the Year. Later on in his footballing career, he won two All-Ireland Masters (2002 & 2003) and has a Masters All-Star to his name from 2006. He was on the panel when Donegal won their first ever U21 All-Ireland title, they defeated Roscommon on October 17th, 1982. It is no coincidence that Martin’s triumphs at inter-county level materialized into Naomh Ultan’s successes over the years.
“In 2024, a remarkable year awaits our club as we commemorate the golden jubilee of CLG Naomh Ultan’s establishment,” a spokesperson for the club said this week.
Throughout this momentous year, the club will celebrate this historic milestone through a series of events.
“It will be a time to reflect upon our club’s accomplishments, both on and off the field, and an opportunity to honour the contributions of our past and present players, members, and the pivotal moments that have shaped us.”
They have begun the organisational process for upcoming celebrations and are actively reaching out to individuals who are interested in joining their committee for the 50th anniversary.
They would like to extend an invitation to those interested to save the dates of 2nd to 4th August 2024. These dates have been reserved for a weekend of festivities, culminating in a 50th Anniversary Dinner Dance where they will be commemorating this significant milestone.