Clonard Swimming and Waterpolo Club celebrated 100 years since its foundation in 1921.
The celebrations were put on hold because of the COVID pandemic but now with swimming and waterpolo back in full swing the events planned to mark the occasion are to take place now 12 months later than planned.
The culmination of the events is a gala dinner in Belfast City Hall on Saturday 22nd October 2022.
The club was formed ostensibly to teach its members how to swim but quickly grew into a sporting institution in Belfast. Formed in West Belfast in the Clonard area it grew to draw members from far and wide throughout the city and beyond.
Clonard’s life began at a time not too dissimilar from today. The Irish War of Independence was still raging and there was a certain amount of political upheaval. The world had just emerged from the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic.
The young club flourished under the guidance of its founders that included men such as Charlie Lavery, Patsy McCorry, Joe Goss, ‘Bo’ McAleavy, Pat Convery and others.
In 1924 the club won its first of 28 Irish Senior Cup titles and Paddy McClure became its first Irish Swimming Champion. Paddy went on to win 13 Irish Swimming Titles, 7 of them the 100 metres freestyle, and to represent Ireland at the 1928 Olympics at waterpolo and swimming. Clonard swimmers over the years collected 49 Irish Swimming titles. Pat Convery played in goal for the Irish Olympic Waterpolo team in Paris 1924. William Broderick joined Paddy McClure on the swimming team for the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
From 1960 until 1973 Clonard won the Irish Senior Cup an unprecedented 14 years in a row. An achievement that will be hard to surpass.
Today Clonard still competes at all grades of waterpolo, from beginners to masters, boys and girls.
Clonard’s girls teams won bronze in the Under 17 Championships and silver at Under 15.
In 2021 Clonard became all Ireland Under 15 Champions and in 2022 the went on to become Under 17 Champions and win the Irish Under 12 Cup for mixed teams.
Clonard is justly proud to have brought swimming and waterpolo to thousands of young people in Belfast over the years. Clonard has always striven for excellence but primarily the aim of its array of volunteers has been to provide a welcoming and safe environment for young people to learn and enjoy the benefits of a magnificent sport.
Some history through the years…
The First Senior Cup Winning Team 1924
- KEENAN, J. GOSS
- DOYLE, B. SKEFFINGTON, T. McCORMICK, SKIM McMANUS, P. CONVERY, BO McALEAVEY, R. FERGUSON
- PARKS, A. BREEN, J. KENNEDY, J. DOWLING, P. McCLURE, P. McCORRY
CUP WINNERS 1950-53
B.McCREA, G. MURRAY, P. McPARLAND, J. MURREY, B. TRAINOR
——–, P. FARRELLY, JOHN 0’HARE, J McDONNELL
1968 CUP WINNERS
- McGROGAN, D. NEARY, N. MAGEE, R. BURNS, R. MORRISON, J. HURSON, K. ARMSTRONG
- McGLUE, C. HURSON, J. MURRAY, R. JONES, G. MURRAY
1973 CUP WINNERS
- HURSON, N. MAGEE, C. HURSON, M. COLLINS
- ARMSTRONG, R. JONES, J. MURRAY, D. McGLUE
(MISSING – G. McCANN, R. BURNS)
The current Irish Under 12 Mixed Cup
Goran Sablic (Ireland Coach) presents Niall McSherry with MVP award
at 2022 Under 17 Cup
2021 UNDER 15 CHAMPIONS.
2022 Under 17 Champions
Back- Gareth Bowden, Niall Johnston, Isaac McElherron, Cormac Burke, Augustas Bajoritas, Niall McSherry, Alex Johnston, Donncha McGurk, Paul Murnaghan. Front -Jake Bowden, Fabio Moscato, Mel Murnaghan, Luke Cusick, Chris Cusick, Diarmuid Hanna