Armagh GAA are extremely proud to have yet another President’s Award winner in our county! The Mallon Family, St. Paul’s Lurgan have won The Dermot Early Family Award.
The Mallon’s are originally from Omagh before they arrived in Lurgan and lived in Taghnevan estate. Philip (snr) was one of the founding members of St Paul’s GAA Club in Teghnevan and its first treasurer from 1971-1982.
They started out with underage teams and Philip’s wife Pat was a coach at under 10 and 12 in the early 1980s when there were very few if any Lady coaches. Philip would have been part of the Tenants association when Taghnevan was first built, Pat went on to be a local SDLP councillor for a long number of years looking out for the good of the local people. They continued to serve on the Committee and coach teams while bringing up their own Family who all have represented the St Paul’s Club in various guises.
They can still be actively seen around the club, which have some of the best facilities in the county and the St Paul’s Club and Teghnevan area has certainly benefited from the efforts of the Mallon Family. Since 1971, St Paul’s has grown to be one of the biggest clubs in Armagh and in Lurgan where they have no shortage of neighbouring GAA Clubs.
Aside from his work on the executive Philip also trained the new group of players which included future Armagh County players: Jim McCorry, Shane McConville, Kieran McNally, Denis Seeley and the recently deceased Micky McDonald (RIP) to name but a few. The new club rewarded his and club members efforts by winning the Armagh Juvenile Championship in 1975. The following year, again under Philip’s stewardship St Paul’s won the Armagh Minor Championship. Philip served as Chairman from 1983 to 1987 before taking up the role of Secretary from 1993 to 2003, having served on the club committee in the interim period he again became Chairman from 2015 to 2017. His present role is as a trustee of the club.
While Philip was spending his energies on behalf of the club his wife Pat was also heavily involved, not only was she helping out in various roles including washing and maintaining the club jersies she was the first Manager of the clubs under 10 team which won the league in 1980. She became a member of the local Council during this time and was instrumental in helping the club obtain its own football pitches in 2003. Certainly a very busy household!
This example of Volunteerism has also passed on to their children who apart from playing for their club have also served on various Committees over the years. Christine and the late Helena sold tickets in the early days to raise funds for a growing club as well as helping the Girls teams, while Paula, involved with Ladies football in the club since it’s inception now looks after the 5 to 10 year old girls teams. Philip (Jr), Barry and Peter look after the underage boys teams U5 to U10 while moving to the next generation, Grandson Dara O’Dufaigh, Club Secretary for the past 3 years has been succeeded in his previous role as club Irish Officer by his father Jude. Stephen, former senior player, who sadly passed away is commemorated by an Under 10 tournament played in his memory.
St Paul’s are currently embarking on a new exciting development in the club, all of this drive and energy over the last 50 years plus has helped build a formidable community facility with Gaelic Games activity at the heart of it. Thanks to people like the Mallon family who have been central to it all.