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Dregish GAA Club to fold after 50 years

IT appears that Dregish GAA Club has played its last game as talks continue over a proposed amalgamation with Newtownstewart.

Playing numbers at the club have been falling over the last number of years due to a declining population in the area.

The local Envagh Primary School has closed down and there has been no development of housing or employment in the area in recent years.

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The UH has learnt that Dregish Pearse Óg club and Newtownstewart St Eugenes held separate meetings last Friday night when both camps gave the go-ahead to the amalgamation.

It is a sad decline for the Dregish club who forged a rich history since it was founded in 1968. Last year over 300 patrons attended a 50th anniversary dinner in the Silverbrch Hotel in Omagh.

However, on Sunday they played what will most likely be their last game losing heavily away to Drumragh.

The Pearse Ógs finished joint bottom of the Junior Division 3 league with three points. They have not fielded underage teams in recent years with the young players playing for a number of surrounding clubs.

Over the last five decades Dregish won Junior championships in 1970, 1976, 1983 and 2001. During the heady days of the 1980s they played in the senior league.

Camogie existed for a brief time at the club in the 1970s.

Dregish also participated in the GFC Handball League in the early 1980s and was well established in Scór competitions.

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They have had their own grounds since the mid 1980s and it is unclear what will happen to the home ground.

It has also emerged that the Newtownstewart club is willing to change its name to Naomh Eoghan, the Irish for their current name St Eugenes.

They will continue to play out of their home ground. It is expected officers from the clubs will meet soon to plan the way ahead.

No-one from either club was available for comment.

However a source close to one of the clubs said discussions are at a “very early stage and it is too early to comment”.

He also said an amalgamation has been agreed “in principle” but has not reached a “formal stage” and it would have to be agreed by the Tyrone County Board and Ulster council.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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