St Patrick’s GAC, are a rural club in Co. Down. Although there is photographic evidence of football in the Saul area as far back as 1913, it was 1928 when the Club we know today was formed. Numerous Saul gaels have donned county colours, including Dickie Murphy who won an All-Ireland Senior medal in 1968. We currently have two young men on the county minor squad and three young girls on the county ladies team.
Saul won Down Junior titles in 1946 and 1964, and an Ulster minor title in 1984. Recently they have won East Down titles at U12, U14 and Minor level. The club have also won League titles with the Girls U16 and U14 teams. Juvenile teams have been competing at the highest level in the county for the last few years due to our underage coaching structures and commitment of our members.
All games are played at St Patrick’s Park which was developed in 1991, and is busy seven nights a week during the longer summer evenings and we also purchased the local community hall in 2007, providing us with indoor and outdoor facilities for our growing membership. The hall allows the club to train indoors during the winter and also provides a venue for bingo, fitness classes, presentations and community events, where everyone is welcome. This was refurbished in 2014 and is now known as the Saul Centre. In late 2014, the club also opened the Saul Health & Wellbeing Centre that boasts a state of the art fitness suite, changing rooms and a treatment room.
Today, the Senior Men’s team competes in Division 3 of the All County Football league and the Intermediate Championship, the club also competes at Reserve, under 21, Minor, U16, U14, U12,U10, U8, and U6. There are also teams for girls and ladies of all age groups, including successful U14, U17 and Senior Ladies teams in recent years.
On the cultural/social side, Saul are proud to have won a number of All-Ireland Scór titles in music, song and dance. The most recent title coming in 2011. Our reputation in Junior & Senior Scór is renowned all over Ireland and this current year sees the Scór team compete in the All Ireland finals having won the Ulster titles for Ballad group and Recitation . In 2003 we celebrated our 75th Anniversary, and since then our membership has continued to increase, making us one of the fastest growing sports club in the county.
In total the club caters for over a dozen teams and almost 500 members. The blue and gold jerseys can be seen all over the Saul, Raholp, Ballycruttle, Ballee area, as the younger generation wear them with pride. Our committee has young and old members with many different backgrounds and skill sets, and there are many others involved, who feel that the club is the driving force in the community for improving our locality.
The club motto is ‘Croi an Phobaill’ which means, ‘At the heart of the community,’ and we certainly aim to continue this trend with this project.