'Devenish - A Century in the Making' - book by Sean Treacy launched

'Devenish - A Century in the Making' - book by Sean Treacy launched

Donegal, Leitrim and Fermanagh border club, Devenish have always punched magnificently above their own weight.

And the Manchester United of Fermanagh football have been superbly brought to book by one of their very own greatest servants.

Sean Treacy has spent over two years of his life compiling a compelling history of the Blues entitled "Devenish - A Century In The Making" that was launched in Garrison on Saturday night.

The Donegal border club were founded in 1917 and their victory in last year’s Fermanagh SFL final under Ballyshannon native Malachy Cullen (who is Sean’s brother-in-law) will probably go down as their greatest, given their small panel.

But this small club have always walked tall in the Erne County, winning an impressive 10 county championships and 14 SFL titles in a period from 1960 to 2017.

The won six League titles in-a-row from 1962-1967.

And they won a stunning 12 county titles between League and Championship in the period from 1960 to 1968, a record that will probably never be surpassed.

They also won five Fermanagh senior county championship titles and five Fermanagh senior league titles in another golden period from 1985 to 1987, a total of ten county titles in the space of 12 years, another astounding record.

Sean was goalkeeper on many of those teams and a safe pair of hands.

Their greatest ever player, the self-effacing PT Treacy played for Devenish from the early 1950s to the mid 1970s and was still playing football in the 1980s with a club in Belfast.

But they would have won even more titles in the 1980s and early to mid 90s but for the fact that many of their stars were forced to emigrate for work during the summer months.

In 1991, the book recounts how Devenish supplied the senior county full-back line and the senior county full-forward line when they beat Antrim in the Ulster senior championship.

They were Michael O’Brien, Bart O’Brien, Damian McGarrigle, Mark Gallagher, Brian Carty and Paul Coyle.

And the great Johnny Leonard came on and scored in the second half to leave an unparalleled seven Devenish players on the county team.

The book is packed full of match reports, evocative pictures, but most crucially, frank accounts of club meetings down through the years that give a unique snapshot into how this great club conducted its affairs.

The book was clearly a labour of love for Sean and his efficient assistant Sean O’Loughlin and is also peppered with apposite anecdotes, colourful stories and some brilliant picture of teams and all of the local legends that have mad this club unique.

But the author is a legend in himself, having virtually single-handedly availed of a number of necessary agents of funding which has resulted in some real state of the art facilities in a small rural club.

This 300 page plus book is a great read for any GAA follower but it is also a valuable social history of times gone past.

Sean and his book were paid heartfelt compliments by eloquent club chairman Peter Carty, Gerard O’Brien and the following from his old Erne Gaels amigo, Gerry McLaughlin.

“In his great book, Sean has shown your great unique heritage.

“There are local heroes here tonight who were and are part of the greatest Fermanagh GAA club of them all since 1960.

“And to the young people of Devenish I say to you, take your heads out of your 'phones and read this great book.

“Sean’s book is all about YOU, your club, your heritage; these are your people, your heroes of home, your family, your friends, the people you grow up with, play with, win championships with, lose with, argue with and these are the people who will carry you to your final match in Mary Queen of Peace.

“This book will teach you to never forget where you are from, to be proud of your club and by Christ you have plenty of good reason tonight and never let anyone put down Devenish (I don’t need to say that because it just would not happen).

“Before I read this book I knew that Devenish had something special and that you were born winners . . . NOW I know WHY

“To the young people I say again there will be even more trophies coming back to Lough Melvin’s Rocky Shore because of who you are.

“You are Devenish.

“Your day will come.

“Tiocfaidh Bhur Law!"