Pride within the county was at a high with Down’s first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship win in 1960 and Loughinisland were represented with James Sexton Fitzpatrick on the squad. On the home front, the fortunes of the club were in a bleak state and indeed there was a real danger of collapse but for the input of Dinney Rooney who almost singlehandedly kept the club afloat.
Whilst the club were back in divisional football competing in the East Down Intermediate League, elsewhere Gerry MacNamara’s regular coaching and training sessions with the schoolboys’ team were starting to produce dividends. Gerry’s expertise and guidance allied with the boys’ enthusiasm and school led them to East Down League and Championship in 1961 and another League title in 1962. Many of these players including Tommy McLeigh, Vincent McGlew, the Gordons, Shields, Pat Haughian, Terry Rooney and Tommy Kelly would go on to represent Loughinisland over the next decade or so.
In 1964 an amalgamated minor team with Leitrim won the East Down Championship but lost out to a stronger Newry team in the county final. A young Colm McAlarney fielded in that game. Loughinisland performed well in the East Down league and 1966 saw the senior team make the county Junior final (via the committee rooms) following an abandoned semi-final with Annaclone — which wasn’t due to the weather. However, with McAlarney on his own team, Leitrim proved far too strong for Loughinisland. Off the field things were going well with 1967 seeing the first club dinner dance in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle. The committee was strong with the likes of George Gordon, Vincent McGlew, Pat Murdock, Mick McCashin, Paddy Murray, Eamon O’Toole, Eddie Nixon, Pat Toman and Tom Rogan doing sterling work.
By 1969 Loughinisland had won promotion to All-County C Senior League by beating Ballygalget in the 1968 East Down Intermediate League decider. In the same season a few eyes were raised when the club reached the quarter-finals of the senior championship. Donal Davey, Fergus Gordon and Donal Gordon were playing regularly for Down juniors and Buddy Brennan, Pat Haughian and Vincent McGlew had won Ulster Minor Football Championship medals with Down during the decade. Interestingly the club paid £4–15 shillings and sixpence for an O’Neill’s All-Ireland football in 1969. Matches were now played at the Bog in Annacloy.
On the county scene during the 60s Ulster Minor Football Championship medals were won by Pat Haughian (1962), Vincent McGlew (1963) and Sean Brennan (1966). Meanwhile, Ulster Junior Football Championship medals were won by Noel McCarthy (1946), Dan Laverty (1947), Gerry MacNamara and Martin Walsh (1949) and Donal Gordon (1966).