Possibly the club in Down with the
biggest catchment area as they span right across the
eastern end of Belfast. Bredagh have in recent years
focussed their attention on the local schools population
and have since been rewarded with titles at underage
Over the years the Bredagh club developed
playing facilities on the Ravenhill Road envesting
heavily in new changing facilities. But On December
7th 1998, the club played their last game on the pitch
- the land was owned by the Church (Nuns) and they
had decided to build a new nursing home on the site.
Homeless - no pitch and changing
facilities the future looked bleak to make matters
worse the Camogie team folded and the men's senior
team was relegated to division 4. The following season
the club did not field at Under-16 and Minor" level.
With land so expensive in Belfast
the Club is unable to buy new land for a replacement
pitch (unless they win the Lottery). With the Senior
team in division Four of the All County Leagues -
a lowly position for a club that had played in Division
One and reached two Down SFC semi-finals in the late
seventies the outlook looked very bleak for Bredagh.
One of the reasons for the decline
on the field was the fact that Gaelic games all-but
disappeared from local schools in the eighties. Bredagh's
problems were many and varied, but the committee decided
that it's target in the first year after losing the
pitch was to survive on the pitch. That is, to fulfill
our fixtures. Other clubs kindly re-arranged games
and/or let them play home matches at their pitch.
Bredagh eventually settled into playing
home games in Council-owned Playing Fields called
Cherryvale, not far from the original pitch.
Bredagh then took a step forward
by launching an ambitious Youth Development Programme.
Building up a liaison with the local schools. Already
this programme seems to have started to bring the
club some success with several Bredagh players having
gained County recognition in the past few years.
Having weathered all the difficulties
of the past 20/30 years of their existence in such
troubled surroundings Bredagh will be hoping that
the second century of the G.A.A. in Down will be fruitful
to them as they try to sow seed in what has as yet
been barren territory.
The late 90's also saw the development
of ladies Gaelic at the club. !999 saw no fewer than
six players on the Down team that won the All Ireland
Junior title in Croke Park defeating Galway.
The future for Bredagh can only but