Art McRory RIP

August 09, 2023

Ulster Schools GAA expresses its condolences to the family of Art McRory, Dungannon Thomas Clarke GFC and Tyrone GAA, following his sad passing.

Art McRory has given a lifetime of distinguished service to Cumann Lúthchleas Gael at Schools, Club, County, and Provincial levels. His great love of Gaelic Football began at an early age and during the 1950s, when as a teenager he watched the heroics of the Tyrone senior team who were the first from Tyrone to win an Ulster title. Decades later, Art’s dedication to Tyrone football is unquestionable.

Art spent his teaching career in St. Patrick’s College, Dungannon where he taught PE and was an avid and highly effective promoter of Gaelic Games; he was also instrumental in establishing the Ulster Vocational Schools’ Committee and a range of competitions in the mid 1960’s which catered for the many secondary schools which were built in every county at that time.

He remained a leading and influential administrator in the ‘Vocational’ sector for the next 50 years, and then brought his vast experience and influence to bear in a new role as President of our Ulster Schools’ GAA Committee which was formed in 2016.

Dungannon Thomas Clarkes
Art gave over 60 years service to his club Dungannon Thomas Clarke’s as a Player, Administrator, Team Manager, and Club Development Officer. He played for his club from 1958 to 1977.

Big Art as he was affectionately known, made his Ulster senior championship debut in 1962 at left corner back, and went on to win an All Ireland Junior medal in 1968 as a player-coach, a competition in which he started off in goals but then graduated to centre halfback as the campaign unfolded.

He was appointed Tyrone Senior Manager in 1980 and remained at the helm until 1987, during which time Tyrone won 2 Ulster Senior titles and reached the All Ireland Final in 1986 where they lost to Kerry in an epic encounter.

Arthur returned to manage the Senior team in 1993 and, over the next decade, led Tyrone to three more Ulster Senior titles, an All-Ireland Final appearance in 1995 in which they lost somewhat controversially to Dublin, and a first ever National League title in 2002.

In total, he was Tyrone Senior manager for 18 years, and taking into account his previous stints as Tyrone Minor and Vocational teams manager, his service as a manager of Tyrone county teams extends to well over 25 years. To this we should also add his work with Ulster Railway Cup teams over many years.

Over the past 60+ years, Art McRory has made a hugely significant contribution to the promotion of Gaelic Games at Schools, Club, County, and Provincial levels; and during that time, he was supported in huge measure by his wife Helen (RIP) who truly understood the spell which Cumann Lúthchleas Gael exercises over so many of our native sons, and this one in particular.

Art McRory has been described as the “undisputed godfather of Tyrone county football”. He was a giant in the Red Hand county. There are many people who owe a debt of gratitude to him for their sporting success, academic journey and direction in life.

To Art’s children and grandchildren, wider family circle and his many friends, heartfelt sympathies are extended on behalf of Ulster Schools GAA.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.