Raonaithe Crois Mhic Lionnáin
The Crossmaglen GAA club was founded on 1st October 1887 and won their first County title in 1906. The name Rangers and the black and amber colours were adopted at a football meeting held in Owen Traynor’s pub in Crossmaglen in 1909. The Rangers soon made their presence felt and won the championship and McKillop Cup competition in 1911, 1912, 1913 and 1916. In fact they played over forty matches in succession without suffering one defeat in those years. The 1920’s saw the Rangers winning 5 championships in a row from 1923 to 1927. Championship titles were won in the 1930’s and 1940’s but the 1950’s was to prove to be the only decade in which the Rangers failed to win a title since they were formed. The team that emerged in the latter half of the 1960s became legendary winning 3 in a row from 1965 – 1967 as well as in 1970.
The well documented occupation of the club grounds during the troubles did not lessen the resolve of the club and success at championship level was achieved in 1975, 1977, 1983 and 1986. A very barren spell of 10 years passed until Joe Kernan’s young team took the country by storm and recaptured the Armagh County Title in 1996.
Thus began a remarkable period of success, which landed 17 of the last 18 county championship titles including an unprecedented 13 in a row from 1996 to 2008. Having lost the title in 2009 the club regained the senior championship in 2010 and have retained it ever since winning the last 4 in a row. Since 1996 the club has also captured 10 Ulster Club titles and 6 All Ireland titles.
From humble beginnings when, in the early years, the Rangers played their games in a field where Rathview Park is now built, in 1949 the committee managed to secure their current premises on the Dundalk Road. St Oliver Plunkett Park is now an established designated County Ground and was used as the main County Ground for almost 10 years when the Athletic Grounds was closed for redevelopment. In 1951 the original Rangers Hall was built and it continues to serve the needs of the local community having undergone a major refurbishment in 1995.
The club has also made significant progress in developing its facilities including the building of a 1200 seater spectator grandstand and terracing in 2002 and the redevelopment of the main pitch in 2008. More recently the training pitch first opened in 1995 has been redeveloped and the club has also acquired the adjacent council playing fields at Lismore.
Today, the club fields a total of 20 teams at every age group from U-8 to U-21, as well as Senior, Junior, B, Ladies Football and Camogie. In addition to a record number of Co Armagh Senior Championship successes, the Rangers have enjoyed numerous underage successes including All-Ireland Feile titles in 1988 and 2002.