Was Mountcharles man Joseph F McGroary the forgotten member of the founding fathers of Glasgow Celtic?
That is the question posed by a relative, Paul McGuire, in a letter to the Donegal Democrat this week.
Paul’s letter (which is carried in our letters section on page 20). He has carried out extensive research on his great grandfather’s cousin, Joseph F McGroary.
McGroary, who is buried in Frosses cemetery, is listed on the first committee of Glasgow Celtic, founded in 1887, and, according to Paul, was heavily involved in the Glasgow club around those years. However, Paul says he seems to have been overlooked by historians, who were unable to locate information about him. This, it is felt, was due to the fact that his name was misspelt as McGrory. This is very plausible as it is believed he has relatives in Mountcharles and Letterkenny areas with the name spelt McGrory and McRory.
It is learned that Joseph F McGroary qualified as a lawyer in 1887. One of the Donegal relatives, Peadar MacRory, Letterkenny, confirmed to the Donegal Democrat yesterday that he was aware of Paul McGuire’s research.
Peadar said that while Joseph’s family returned to live in Mountcharles, his father and Joseph had remained in Glasgow, although he was a frequent visitor to Mountcharles from the age of 12 and met and married Catherine Cannon, of Mountcharles, in 1888. They were married in Frosses on 12th August that year.
It is known that Joseph, born on 25th February, 1865, was educated at St. Aloysius College and it may be this connection that led him to being part of the founding of Glasgow Celtic.
It is amazing that this Donegal connection with one of the world’s most renowned soccer clubs has been kept in the dark until now.
Hopefully, there are people out there who will shed further light on the Mountcharles-Celtic connection.