Celtic Football Club will this coming Saturday remember one of its founding board members with a ceremony in Frosses.
When the famous club was formed in Glasgow’s East End in 1888, one of its founding fathers had strong Donegal connections and now lies at rest in Frosses.
Joseph McGroary was a member of the first ever committee of the newly-formed Celtic Football Club.
Born in Glasgow in 1865, his father Bernard was from Inver.
McGroary maintained connections with Donegal throughout his life, spending his last days in Mountcharles.
After meetings were held to establish a new Irish Catholic football club in Glasgow in late 1887, McGroary was one of the club members elected to be part of, in the words of the club’s first manager Willie Maley, “the committee formed to carry through the great work.”
That first committee organised a playing park for the new club, raised funds and secured the signatures of some of the best players in the country at that time which all contributed to the club’s successful introduction to world football in its debut season.
McGroary was a Celtic committee member at various times throughout the club’s tumultuous first decade. A colourful character, he left Glasgow for Brooklyn, New York, in 1898 before returning to Mountcharles some four decades later, where he passed away in 1937.
A ceremony will take place to mark McGroary’s resting place at Cranny cemetery in Frosses this Saturday, September 7, at 4pm.
Representatives from Celtic FC, members of the McGroary family, Donegal manager and Celtic FC’s performance consultant Jim McGuinness, members of the Celtic graves committee and the Donegal Association of Celtic supporters clubs will be present.
All are welcome to attend a gathering in the Frosses Community Hall celebrating Donegal’s Celtic connection and an evening of music at the Village Tavern, Mountcharles .
A special mass to celebrate the McGroary family will precede the ceremony at 3pm in St Mary’s Church, Frosses.
A blessing will be given by Fr Michael Sweeney of St Mary’s, Frosses, and Fr Eamon Kelly of St Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny. A tribute of Donegal turf will be laid by Rosses Celtic Supporters Club.
All Celtic supporters are welcome to attend the event and flowers and tributes can be laid at the graveside.