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Crossmaglen Rangers Club Notes 18/05/20



This weeks ‘Reminiscing About A Ranger’, we pay tribute and honour Owenie Harvesy, Great Grandfather of our current sponsor, Eugene Hanratty, Hanratty Oils.
In the early 1900s, Owenie excelled on the football field representing local clubs which would eventually imalgmate to Crossmaglen Rangers. Owenie also lined out for Armagh and Ulster and is remembered as one of the greats of his generation. Owenie captained Crossmaglen Rangers to Armagh Senior championship victory in 1912, ironically his Great Grandson, Johnny Hanratty replicated this, one hundred and two years later when he lifted the Gerry Fagan Cup.
Pictured Below; Captain Johnny Hanratty 
I spoke to Owenie’s Grandson, Sean Harvey to find out who Owenie Harvesey was.

RM; Sean, when and where was Owenie Harvesy born?
SH; My Grandfather Owenie Harvesy and his twin sister Mary were born in 1886 to Patrick and Susan Harvesy (Nee Coleman) in Drummuckawall. He was a farmer and he lived in Drummuckawall all his life. Later in life he married Sarah McArdle from Courtbane and they had four boys and three girls. Up until recently the name Harvesy instead of Harvey was used extensively in the area, as it comes from the Irish name, O’hAirmheasaigh.
Pictured Below; Owenie and Sarah on their wedding day.
Pictured Below; Trashing in Francie McArdle’s, Courtbane. Owenie, centre of the photo with his arms folded. Thanks for sharing this photo Sean, my Grandmother, Ellen Agnew from Courtbane is third in from the left. 
RM; Can you tell me about Owenie’s early years playing football?
SH; He grew up there and played football with a number of local teams, including a team which appeared in 1904 called the Drummuckawall Rovers before the second Crossmaglen Red Hands were founded. There was another team in Cross at the time called Crossmaglen Harps and in 1904 the two teams amalgamated to become Crossmaglen Rovers. Crossmaglen Rovers took part in a tournament in Culloville in June 1904, where they were beaten by Longfield Volunteers from Monaghan and best for Crossmaglen Rovers on that day was among others mentioned was Owenie Harvesy. The second Crossmaglen Red Hands were formed on or about February 1905 and they took part in the Armagh championship of that year but were defeated by Armagh Harps in McConville’s meadow on the Culloville road. In the same year they took part in tournaments in Rassan, Crossmaglen, Castleblayney and Donaghmoyne. These tournaments were very popular in the area at the time and would have drawn huge crowds to the games.
The year 1906 was an epic year for the Red Hands, as the first ever Armagh County League and Championship double was achieved. The Red Hands played Camlough on the 11th November in Whitecross in a replay and defeated Camlough by 1-7 to 0-4. Best for the Red Hands among others mentioned was Owenie Harvesy. On the 17th March 1907 the Red Hands defeated Whitecross in the McKillop Cup final to claim their first double. The McKillop Cup was presented for the county league in those years, not the championship.
One particular notable honour was accorded to the Red Hands in 1907 when one of their stars, Owenie Harvesy, was selected on the Ulster team which played Leinster in the semi- final of the Railway Shield in Dundalk on the 25th July 1907. The first Armagh man to do so. He was one of the stars on that day and scored a long-distance point during the game, however they were beaten 2-4 to 1-3. In 1908 there was an amalgamation of all the teams in the area, including the Red Hands, Mobane Emmets, Cross Rovers etc. under the Name of Creggan Rovers. They took part in the Armagh championship and in the final against Armagh Harps they defeated the Harps by 1-4 to 1-3 for a memorable victory.
Owenie Harvesy played at half back on the team and had a starring role in the victory. In the same year they again defeated Armagh Harps in the final of the McKillop Cup, which was played in the Grey Island, which I believe is now Rathview Park. The score on the day was 3-5 to 0- 3 and another double for most of the players.
RM; Sean, I believe because of the current political climate, other teams folded and Cross Rangers was launched?
SH; Yes due to uncertain times in 1909, the Creggan Rovers team collapsed and in the Autumn of the same year, mainly Crossmaglen Rangers football team was launched, with their well-known black and amber jerseys. The only county game recorded in 1909 was a game against Monaghan where Owenie Harvesy and a number of other Cross players took part. Again in 1910,  Armagh played Monaghan in the Ulster championship and were beaten in a replay 1-6 to 0-2. The Ranger’s players on the team were Owenis Harvesy and Reb Maguire. Rangers won the county championship in 1911 and achieved the double in the same year by winning the McKillop cup by beating Culloville in the final. He also played with the county team in that year in the Ulster championship and in the first round they defeated Monaghan by 1-3 to 0-0.
In 1912, was a huge year for Owenie, Cross Rangers with Owenie Harvesy as captain defeated Armagh Harps in the Armagh championship final. They also won their third McKillop cup in a row by defeating Keady Dwyers, and it must be remembered that the McKillop cup was seen as a more important competition than the championship at that time. In 1912 Owenie Harvesy captained the Armagh team in the Ulster championship and in the second round they played Cavan which ended in a draw and following the replay they were beaten 1-2 to 1-1. However, they were awarded the match by the Ulster Council because of Cavan playing an illegal player from Fermanagh. They then played Antrim in November of that year and were defeated by a good Antrim team which had played a number of weeks earlier in the All Ireland final.
Captain Owenie Harvesy & team 
RM; Did Owenie play in any memorable games?
SH; During a game against Castleblayney in 1912, there were a number of memorable incidents and one in particular happened to Owenie Harvesy, where he “pulled” on a rolling ball on his own twenty one yard line and drove it over the Castleblayney bar at the opposite end of the field.
RM; Owenie achieved so much so much in 1912 but I believe the following year, fate stepped in and he suffered a huge loss?
SH; Yes, the  Rangers continued their winning ways in 1913 and on defeating several teams in the Armagh championship, they ended up in the final against neighbours Culloville which was to be played in Camlough on the 14th September.
Unfortunately, Mary his twin sister died a few days before the game and he could not play. Rangers sought a postponement of the game but to no avail and the game went ahead. Despite not having a key payer, the Rangers defeated Culloville by 2-2 to 0-1.
RM; Owenie’s career continued for a few years after that, did any other members of his family follow in his footsteps?
SH; He played on for a number of years after that with both Cross and the county as did some of his sons, including his son Frank who played for Cross and the county and would have been a star footballer if he did not have to leave to go to England to work. One of his other sons John broke his leg so badly, the doctors threatened to take it off but, in the end, it ruined his football career. My own father Packie played football as well both with Cross and with a local team called Mobane Emmetts. However, like a considerable number of young men in the area, he left home to work in England.
In later years Owenie’s grandson Séamus Harvey, also from Drummuckawall played with Cross Rangers and won an Armagh senior championship medal at the age of eighteen in 1975. In that year the Rangers played in the Senior County final against Armagh Harps in Carrickcruppen where they won on a score of 0-9 to 0-4 following a replay. Just two years later the Harvey family suffered a major loss when Séamus died on the 16th January 1977 aged just twenty years old.

Pictured below; Séamus (Back row, 2nd from R) and his teammates, 1975 Armagh Senior football champions.
Pictured Below; Séamus Harvey RIP 

RM; Of all Owenie’s family, his Great Grandson, Johnny Hanratty has enjoyed the most success. Johnny’s footballing career began when he was eight years old and continues to this present day. As we celebrated our first All Ireland success in 1997, Johnny, aged ten and his teammates celebrated winning the McGreevy Cup. Many of these young players would feature strongly ten years later when we again lifted the Andy Merrigan Cup. Johnny has won medals at every grade from underage level right up to Senior and has been a formidable presence and a thorn in many an oppositions side for many years.
Pictured Below; A young Johnny Hanratty 
Pictured Below; Johnny on the field and celebrating success. 




RM; When did your Grandfather die?

SH; Owenie  suffered complications  from diabetes and died on the 30th December 1938 in Daisy Hill hospital, Newry aged just fifty-two. His Wife, my Grandmother Sarah lived with us in Drummuckawall until in 1972 she also passed away at the age of 85.
May the Lord have mercy on their souls.
Many thanks to Sean for reminiscing about his Grandfather.
The entire Crossmaglen Rangers club thank our main sponsor, Gene Hanratty and the Hanratty family for their generous sponsorship and support which their Great Grandfather, Owenie Harvesy would be so proud of. 
Pictured Below; Eugene Jnr, Johnny and Eugene Snr 


Rambling Rangers; Where are they now?

Starting this week, I will have a short piece on Rangers who are no longer living at home but no matter where they are around the world, they are all the same, Cross Rangers is never far from their heart.
Kevin Shields
Parents Names?
Patsy & Josie Shields
Where Did You Grow Up?
Rathview Park, then moved to the Newry Rd. (Dr Allen’s House)
School; Cregganduff Primary School, St Pat’sArmagh, then Abbey CBS, Newry & Queens University, Belfast.
When did you start playing with Cross Rangers?
U14; Either 1971 or 72, we beat Ballymacnab in the Championship final  and I am proud to say I scored 4-3, probably  my best individual performance – it was all downhill after that!
I progressed to a good Cross U16 & then to U18/Minor teams where we represented Cross well in the leagues and championships. Strangely, don’t remember losing too many games. Went on to win the U21 Championship with Donal McKenna as captain and my older brother Aidan in a talented team. Won two Armagh Senior Championship medals in 1975 and 1977. I think Tim Gregory led us in ’75 and the famous Joe Kernan in 1977. That was a memorable year as Cross had a clean sweep of Minor, U21 and Senior championships with some lads featuring in all three squads. During these years, I represented St Pat’s Armagh at Cor Na nOg and the Abbey in Rannafast and MacRory cups before playing for Queens.
Where do you live now?
I live in the West Midlands. I’m retired from teaching and married with two sons who take an interest in Gaelic sports.
What does Cross Rangers mean to you?
I remember my playing days very fondly and team mates like Thomas & Benny Cassidy, Joe Clarke, The Kernan’s, Shorts, Duffy’s, McConvilles, McEntees and legends like Larry Kearns  and many other fine players too numerous to mention.Things were tough during the troubles with army harassment and the helicopters during games etc but we prevailed in the end.
I still keep a keen eye on the Rangers exploits in recent years and love to see them on top where we belong. I’ve always been proud to have played a small part in their wonderful history and send my regards to any at the club who remember me.

Who or what are you missing?
Since lockdown, we are all missing things in our lives. It may be someone special like a Granny, Granda, a school friend, a special occasion or maybe it’s your favourite past time. We would like our young people to draw us a picture or write a few lines about what you are missing most. Mary and Susan, Valu land will pick out the best five entries and they will each receive a voucher for Valu Land. Thanks to Mary for her support and sponsorship.
So get creative boys and girls! We will announce the winners next Sunday, 24th May.

Walk A Million Step Challenge’

We are delighted to have formed  a partnership with ALPs and Talk To Tom and be involved with ‘Walk a Million Step Challenge’. Rhus week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and how fitting it is that the challenge begins on May 24th 2020, and will finish on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th 2020. This is a great initiative across the country to help change lives and promote Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention.

You can either walk, run, jog or dance over the 109 days to achieve the million steps. The challenge can be done on your own, in a family or a team setting, it is entirely up to you. There is a large community and team behind this challenge, all of whom will assist you to achieve your goals and get you to your million, striding with confidence to the end. Registration is £12 and can only be done online by clicking on the link below; Once registered, you will be sent a welcome pack with all details needed to complete this challenge. We ask you please encourage everyone you know to get involved and lets all step out together for the summer promoting positive Mental Health.




Mr Leo Kirk, Culloville Rd
Crossmaglen Rangers GFC send our deepest condolences to Leo’s Wife, Eileen, Children, Leoina, Joseph, Emily Jayne, Leo & Patrick, Sister Philomena and the extended Kirk family following the recent sad passing of Leo.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.



Social Media

Please check out our social medical sites for updates, information, puzzles, quizzes, trips down memory lane, recipes and much more. As I said before, social media is the most important tool we have at the minute, it’s both connecting and engaging people in our community and beyond. We continue to deliver groceries from Centra daily and any club member or member of our community who need any assistance at these difficult times, please get in touch. #inthistogether