Aghaderg G.F.C./Ballyvarley Hurling
Club. The G.A.A has had a long association with Aghaderg
Parish, which is situated on the borders of West Down.
This association goes back to 1903, when a hurling
team called Clann na Banna, and consisting mainly
of Banbridge Gaels, introduced hurling to Ballyvarley.
In 1908 Clann na Banna disbanded and Ballyvarley Shamrocks
emerged as the first Gaelic Club in the parish. They
soon became established as one of the major clubs
in Down; they were runners-up in the Senior Football
Finals of 1909 and 1910 and won the Senior Hurling
Championship in 1910.
Except for a period of revival under
the guidance of County Hurler and Footballer, Fr.
Mick McCartan, in 1923-1929, the club experienced
fluctuating fortunes in the Twenties and Thirties
and dropped out of competition in those decades.
It was at a meeting in the old Ballyvarley
Primary School in 1943 that Aghaderg Club was re-established
and has remained in continuous existence since. The
1943 Committee had Fr. J. J. Pettit, Bertie Leckey
and Fr. Pat Gavan as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer
and Members Harry McCann, Dan Lennon, John MeShane,
Gerard Lennon, Tommy MeParland and Sean MeGrath.
There were successes in tournaments
and the South Down and Mourne League in the 1950's
and Ballyvarley won the South Down Hurling League
in 1963 and 1974 and the Junior Championship in 1975.
The Sixties will, of course, be best
remembered in the parish for the contribution of Joe
Lennon to Down's All-Ireland successes in 1960/'61/'68.
In the 1970's Aghaderg embarked on
a youth policy which brought League and Championship
success in both football and hurling.
In 1983 the Aghaderg/Ballyvarley
Club won the South Down Club of the Year Award and
in 1984 the Club History was produced.