The depth of the hurling tradition
in the Ards can be guaged from the fact that the game
was first played on the Peninsula as early as1900
by Portaferry Carraig Uladh.
But it was Ned Purcell, an agricultural
inspector from Tipperary, who laid the real foundations
between 1912 and 1917. His influence not only left
Portaferry with the Tipp colours, but also Tipperary
skills and love of the game.
Locals such as John Emerson, John
McCullough, John and Eddie Dumigan and Fr Toal carried
on where Ned left off and such was the interest that
4 teams from Portaferry competed in the Ards Gaelic
Association during the early Twenties. Thiswas rewarded
with Carraig Uladh's first S.H.C. title in 1926 and
their winning of the Antrim League title in 1929.
The tradition was sustained, in both
Antrim and Down leagues in theThirties, but the war
years, with travel curtailed, saw the Ards thrown
once more back on its own resources, and the formation
of clubs in Ballycran and Ballygalget with wholehearted
assistance from Portaferry.
The club's modern period date from
1948 when it was reformed as St. Patrick's under the
guidance of the Very Rev. George Watson and by 1950
had moved into its new pitch at St. Patrick's Park.
Progress was slow but steady through
the Fifties. In 1960 Portaferry gained entry into
the Antrim League Division II, won promotion and won
its first Down S.H.C. title as St. Patrick's. Many
more County titles have been added since and the club
have produced many players of inter-county and inter-provincial
In 2002 Portaferry won their third
Down County Hurling Senior Championship in a row as
well as lifting the Antrim Division one league title.