Michael Davitt GAC club was officially established in 1912. The headquarters of the Michael Davitt GAC, soon after their inception, were situated in 2a Dunville Street and these premises in the interim became more widely known as the ‘Shack.’ The Shack was the meeting place for matches and despite measuring only 44 ft by 11 ft, it was big enough to be used in promotion of fundraising functions and dances.
These premises provided many happy times for the members. Indeed were the meeting point of many honoured Davitt teams through the decades and up until the Seventies. The premises continued to be the focal point of the club right up until relocation in 1975. It was at this time that it was reported to the committee that Joe Farry, owner of the Clock Bar, situated at the corner of Lower Clonard Street and the Falls Road, was relinquishing his lease.
The Davitt’s Committee took this opportunity to expand its’ premises and indeed negotiated a new lease. This was to mark the beginning of a new era for an ever growing club. Indeed, most notably, the Davitt’s Minor Football Team went on to take the highly sought after Championship in 1987 for the first time in the Club’s history.
However with an ambitious core in the Davitt’s Committee, it was not long before the Club were again eager to improve the facilities for its’ Members. Hence in 1984, the Committee bought over McGuinness’s Bar at the bottom of Clonard Street, facing the old and smaller premises. This has remained the club premises until today and indeed a lot of work and money has gone in to making the Clubrooms the coveted place it is today.
Again it has been the determination and shrewd thinking of the Committee that has enabled the club to grow with successive investments of 100,000 and 150,000 Pounds. At the same time the club has paid all outstanding debt, thus cutting all financial ties with the Breweries and enabling the bar to become what is known as a ‘Free House.’
The committee has vowed not to stop here. Indeed, work is intended to begin in the near future at the back of the premises where an extension is being built to the current Gym. This new Gym is intended to be fitted with the latest training equipment.
Considering the new crop of Davitt Players making their way through the Youth ranks, and the continued determination of the current Senior squads to make their presence felt in the Antrim Leagues, there is no doubt that the Davitt’s Belfast are one of the most well established and forward looking clubs in the County.