Cormac McAnallen

Cormac Mac An Ailín – Laochra Gael (1980 – 2005)

A tribute exhibition to Cormac, in St. Patrick’s College, Armagh.

A tribute exhibition to Cormac, in St. Patrick’s College, Armagh.

The sudden death of Cormac McAnallen in 2005, at the tender age of 24, sent shockwaves through the GAA community and beyond. A born leader, Cormac’s dedication and application to sport as well as to his other many talents, marked him as someone special – a shining example to others, the essence of a natural born  leader.

A native of the Brantry in Eglish, Co. Tyrone, Cormac was one of three sons of Brendan and Bridget McAnallen.  Excelling in wide ranging areas from academia and education, to the Irish language and culture, debating, and representing his native club in Scór, as well as on the pitch, Cormac was a true all rounder who applied himself with gusto to his every endeavour.

Having come up through the ranks of the Tyrone underage system, with All Ireland wins at Minor and U21 level, Cormac secured his place in Tyrone GAA history by delivering the Holy Grail of Gaelic Football, a first All Ireland Senior win for Tyrone, in 2003.

His natural ability to lead, and to exemplify the spirit and resolve required of a champion, led to Cormac’s selection as Captain of the Tyrone senior team the following year, at the age of 24 – an incredible achievement for a player so young.

Cormac’s tragic death stunned his family, friends, everyone in Tyrone and indeed the world of the GAA, with the cause of his death found to be a rare heart defect.

The McAnallen family have committed a great deal of work through The Cormac Trust, to researching this condition, as well as raising awareness and funds for the installation of defibrillators in GAA and other sports clubs.  Cormac’s twin passions – sport and the Irish Language – are also commemorated in a fitting way, at the annual Campa Chormaic summer camp.

Cormac McAnallen’s GAC Sydney is honoured to be associated with the legacy of a man who led such an example to a generation of Irish sportsmen and women, and it is our mission to represent Cormac’s name in a dignified and positive way, promoting the spirit and growth of Gaelic games overseas.


Rugadh Cormac Mac An Ailín ar 11ú lá Feabhra 1980 i nDún Geanainn. Togadh é sa Bhreantar, áit faoin tuath taobh amugh de Dhún Geanainn, lena thuismitheoirí Brendan agus Bridget, agus lena bheirt dheatháir Donal agus Fergus.

Bhain Cormac clú agus caill amach mar imreoir lena Chlub, An Eaglais Naomh Pádraig, Tír Eoghain agus Éire, ag baint na ngradam is airde amach ag léibhéal an Chondae agus idirnaisiúnta agus é fós óg. Tháinig clú agus caill air go spéisialta mar chaptaen ar chuid de na foirne rathúil seo.

Fuair Cormac bás ar 2 Márta 2004 le héileamh chroí. Go ndéanfaidh Dia trócaire ar a anam.

Read more about The Cormac Trust and Campa Chormaic, and the Founding Address from the McAnallen Family.

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