Hurling is our most distinctive National game and is second to none regarding skill and excitement. Killeavy take great pride in being one of only eight hurling clubs in Armagh fielding teams at under 6, under 8, under 10, under 12, under 14, under 16 and also at senior level.
Killeavy Hurling Club started out in 1976 and was developed from the great work being done for the youth of the parish through Killeavy Youth Club and in particular through the efforts of the late Paddy McDonnell. The club played in competitions in Armagh and South Down and found early success with their under 14’s in 1980. In 1982, our under 12’s won in South Down, which was a great achievement considering that there was not any local competition.
One of Paddy McDonnell’s major coups was to persuade Tony Carr, a Galway man who played with Newry Shamrocks to come up to Killeavy to help with the coaching of hurling. One of the many achievements that Tony’s coaching made possible was the reaching of the under 14 Ulster final in Falcarragh, Co Donegal in 1981. Unfortunately Killeavy were to miss out on their first Ulster hurling title by a single point.
Originally our hurlers were affiliated to Killeavy Youth Club with Killeavy Gaelic Football Club being a separate entity. That all changed in the 1990’s when the hurlers joined the footballers to form Killeavy Gaelic Athletic Club. To date, Killeavy GAC have won six intermediate championships and many of our club members have won medals at County level. Pride of place goes to Niall Trainor and Marty McEvoy who have won All-Ireland Junior Championship medals with Armagh. Niall has captained our county team many times and also won County player of the year in 1988. Another Killeavy hurler, Eddie Fearon also served club and county with distinction for many years.
We all know of the great success Steven McDonnell and Barry Duffy have brought to our club through their exploits on the football field. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that both Steven and Barry were very keen hurlers at under age level, and both have two hurling championships medals.
Killeavy GAC have played host to several National Hurling League fixtures and have also hosted County Championship and Feile finals. We currently have two players on the Armagh Senior squad and have made major progress in developing hurling within the club through summer schools and other initiatives. We have a small band of very committed hurlers within the club and we all hope that the legacy left to us by Paddy McDonnell and Tony Carr will bear more fruit in the year’s ahead.