|Irish: Fear Manach|
Nickname(s): The Ernesiders
Dominant sport: Gaelic football
County colours: Green, White
|Ground(s): Brewster Park, Enniskillen|
The Fermanagh County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, Coiste Chontae Fear Manach) or Fermanagh GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland. The county board is also responsible for the Fermanagh inter-county teams.
Fermanagh has the smallest number of clubs of any county in Ireland, and is the only county in Ulster to have never won the Ulster Senior Football Championship. Despite this there is a strong GAA tradition in the county, which went largely unrewarded until the remarkable achievement of the 2004 team in reaching the All Ireland semi-final and forcing the match to a replay.
Fragments of a poem from 1806 describe a football match between Louth and Fermanagh at Inniskeen, Co Monaghan.
Fermanagh beat Cavan in the 1914 Ulster semi-final and were nominated by the Ulster Council to play against Wexford in the All-Ireland semi-final. Because the train schedules did not allow them to get back for Sunday night, and the Great Northern Railway Company refused to run a special train because they were opposed to sport on Sunday, Fermanagh had to abdicate the responsibility to Monaghan, who later beat them in the Ulster final anyway.
One of Ulster's great footballers, Armagh-born Jim McCullough, played for Fermanagh in the mid-1930s and helped them reach the 1935 Ulster final and 1936 National League final.
Peter McGinnity was the outstanding player of the under-21 team which reached two All Ireland finals and defeated Derry and Tyrone to reach the 1982 Ulster final, Despite a Peter McGinnity goal that put them in the lead with 20 minutes remaining, they lost 0-10 to 1-4 to Armagh. Since 1982 Fermanagh have reached 5 semi-finals in the Ulster Championship; beating Derry in 2008 and joining Armagh in the final. That game was played on July 20, 2008, a closely fought game finishing in a draw after normal time. Armagh eventually ran out winners by 6 points in the replayed game on July 27. Fermanagh remain the only county in the province without an Anglo-Celt Cup win.
Under manager Pat King, they managed a hat-trick of success in 1997 in the B Championship, McKenna Cup and Division 4 of the National League.
Fermanagh are a beneficiary of the change to the GAA championship in the 2000s. In 2003, in Charlie Mulgrew's first season charge, they beat Donegal in the Ulster championship, then Meath and Mayo in the All Ireland qualifiers to reach the quarter-final. They went to a replayed semi-final in 2004, beating Meath, Cork and Donegal and most memorably of all Armagh, thanks to a late point by Tom Brewster, before losing to Mayo. In 2006 despite running All-Ireland favourites Armagh close twice in the Ulster Championship, Fermanagh yet again ended the season without a trophy after losing out to neighbours Donegal in the fourth round of the Qualifiers. The 2007 season saw Fermanagh lose their National League Division one status having failed to register a single point from the seven match campaign. They performed quite well in the championship however, only losing by an injury-time point to Tyrone in Ulster. They defeated Wexford (for the second consecutive season) in the first round of the all-Ireland qualifiers. However, they were unable to record a third win in four seasons over Meath in Navan in July, losing narrowly by two points despite dominating the latter stages. Charlie Mulgrew, manager for four seasons, stood down after this match. He was succeeded by Malachy O'Rourke.
O'Rourke's first season was very successful. Promotion from Division 3 was followed by a first appearance in an Ulster Final for 26 years, losing eventually in a replay against Armagh.
Irish News 125 Fermanagh Player List
Current football squad
Squad as per Fermanagh v Dublin, 2015 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter Final, 2 August 2015
Having been established in the 1920s, Camogie was revived in Fermanagh by Father Tom Maguire in 1939 around a base in Newtownbutler and they contested Ulster senior championship finals in the 1940s. Enniskillen contested the Féile na nGael camogie first division final in 1977 and Teemore won divisional honours in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
Under Camogie's National Development Plan 2010-2015, “Our Game, Our Passion,” three new camogie clubs are to be established in Fermanagh and a county board formed by 2015.