Danske Bank Senior Draws 2023-24

September 24, 2023

Danske Bank MacRory Cup 2023-24

THE Ulster schools’ GAA Council and their sponsors Danske Bank brought the launch of the centenary MacRory Cup back to its roots yesterday, to St Patrick’s Armagh.

That was the venue in the autumn of 1923 when Fr P McGouran (St Malachy’s Beflast), Fr H Finnegan (St Macartan’s Monaghan) and Fr Tom Rafferty (St Patrick’s Armagh) came together to set out rules and fixtures for the first MacRory Cup season.

The last 100 years has seen the number of units involved in schools’ GAA increase significantly and now a total of 125 schools are under the umbrella of Ulster Schools’ GAA Council who organise 62 competitions through the school year.

The draws took place yesterday for the three most senior competitions, the Danske Bank MacRory and MacLarnon Cups in football and the Mageean Cup in hurling.

MacRory Cup champions Omagh CBS won their fifth title last February and went on to collect their second Hogan Cup title. They have six of the team that started the Hogan final available for this season and begin their campaign just after Halloween when they meet St Paul’s Bessbrook.

Also in the Group D are St Ronan’s Lurgan and Patrician High Carrickmacross who lost narrowly to them in last year’s MacRory semi-final.

Group A contains the two founding fathers of the competition, St Patrick’s Armagh and St Macartan’s Monaghan, who will meet in Armagh on November 21st, the exact date the first game between the school took place in 1923.

Abbey CBS and St Patrick’s Maghera are the other two teams that make up Group A.

Group B looks pretty strong with record winners St Colman’s Newry playing St Michael’s Enniskillen in their opening game while St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon find themselves in the same group for the third season running as 2021 champions St Mary’s Magherafelt.

Last season’s Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup champions St Joseph’s Donaghmore have a derby fixture to start their first ever MacRory Cup campaign. They will be playing Holy Trinity Cookstown who have been runners-up for the past two seasons.

Donaghmore’s addition to the top level in football brings to four the number of Tyrone schools involved, a record participation from one county in a single school year.

There will be three schools each from counties Armagh and Monaghan, the two Newry seats of learning, two from south Derry and one each from Cavan and Enniskillen.


Of the 12 schools that went into the draw for the group games in the Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup, there are three from County Donegal, three from the greater Belfast area as well as St Louis Ballymena, and one each from Donegal, south Derry and Down. Bringing up the numbers are debutants Southern Regional College Newry and 2023 Markey Cup holders Dean Mag Uirc College in Carrickmore.

The three Donegal schools (St Eunan’s, Abbey Vocational and Loreto Milford) came out in the same group as Dean Mag Uirc College.

Meanwhile SRC Newry will share Group A with three of the Belfast teams, OL&SP Knock, Aquinas Grammar and St Mary’s CBGS while Group B features St Pius X Magherafelt, St Louis Ballymena, St Patrick’s Downpatrick and last season’s beaten finalists Rathmore Grammar.

The group games in both the MacRory and MacLarnon Cups take place during November with the knock-out stages filtering the contenders down to two each for the MacLarnon final on Friday 9th February and the 100th MacRory final on February 11th.


This year’s Danske Bank Mageean Cup has been trimmed back to just six teams with 2021 champions the Red High opting to drop down to play in the Casement Cup.

The six teams were drawn in two groups of three with last year’s champions St Louis Ballymena up against Cross & Passion Ballycastle who won the pre-season blitz last week in UUJ. Knock make up the third team in the group.

St MacNissi’s Garron Tower were the first winners of the Mageean Cup 60 years ago. Their successors on the Tower site, St Killian’s, lost last season’s final but are considered one of the competition favourites this year. They have a tough group up against 13 times champions St Patrick’s Maghera and 29 times winners, St Mary’s CBGS Belfast.

The group stages run through October with the top team in each group going straight into the semi-finals. The other four teams go into the quarter-finals in early November with the final scheduled for Friday 8th November in the Dub.

Oonagh Murtagh, Head of South Business Centre with Danske Bank helped schools’ chairman Jimmy Smyth make the draws for the big competitions.

“At Danske Bank, we are passionate about helping our society thrive, and one way we do this is through our sponsorship of sports across the country. Supporting the Ulster Schools’ GAA competition is a central part of that support for local communities, alongside our other strong youth partnerships with Schools’ Cup Rugby and the Northern Ireland Schools Football Association and our sponsorship of the NI Football Men’s and Women’s Leagues.

“Over the many years of our sponsorship, we’ve seen the competition in schools across the country grow from strength to strength. We’ve seen new schools entering and opening up the opportunity to play for their pupils, we’ve seen developing skills on and off the pitch and most importantly, the camaraderie between teams in the heat of the contest. It’s also fantastic to see more and more players excel in their schools and clubs, and then move on to represent their counties.

“We’re looking forward to the year ahead – with some highlights being revealing of the 2023-24 Hurling and Football All Stars, as well as the big finals for the MacLarnon, MacRory and Mageean Cups throughout the season. From everyone at Danske Bank, we wish all players the best of luck and hope that they enjoy this year’s tournament as much as we do.”


Danske Bank MacRory Cup groups

Group A
Abbey CBS Newry
St Patrick’s Armagh
St Macartan’s Monaghan
St Patrick’s Maghera

Group B
St Colman’s Newry
St Michael’s Enniskillen
St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon
St Mary’s Magherafelt

Group C
St Joseph’s Donaghmore
HTC Cookstown
Our Lady’s Castleblayney
St Patrick’s Cavan

Group D
St Ronan’s Lurgan
Patrician Carrickmacross
St Paul’s Bessbrook
Omagh CBS


Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup

Group A
Our Lady & St Patrick’s Knock
SRC Newry
Aquinas Belfast
St Mary’s CBS Belfast

Group B
St Pius X Magherafelt
St Louis Ballymena
Rathmore Grammar
St Patrick’s Downpatrick

Group C
St Eunan’s Letterkenny
Dean Mag Uirc Carrickmore
Abbey VS Donegal
Loreto CS Milford


Danske Bank Mageean Cup

Group A
St Killian’s Garron Tower
St Mary’s CBS Belfast
St Patrick’s Maghera

Group B
St Louis’ Ballymena
Cross & Passion Ballycastle
Our Lady & St Patrick’s Knock