The Association was formerly inaugurated at a meeting in St. Mary's Hall on the Feast of Saint Malachy, 3rd November 1926. The first President was T.S. McAllister, M.P., a prominent member of the early Stormont Parliament, the Secretary was James McLynn and the Treasurer was G.J. McGouran. Early meetings which consisted of study circles, lectures, days of recollection and retreats were held in the College, with the cooperation of Fr. McCaughan, then President of the College. The first annual dance was held in the Carlton Restaurant, Donegall Place on 20th April 1927, and the proceeds from this and subsequent dances went towards the establishment of a Centennial Burse. In 1928 the first annual golf tournament was held at Knock and the first Annual Dinner took place at the Albert Hotel in High Street on 24th October. A Drama Section was formed, the first production being “The Upper Room” by Mgr. R.H. Benson given in Lent that year.
During the next few years the Association began to flourish as a result of the foundation of new sections to provide a wide range of activities. A Rugby club was formed during the season 1931-1932 and proved to be a most successful venture; a pitch was obtained first at Glengormley and later at Nazareth Lodge, the team won the Minor League in 1934 and a second team was formed in 1936. Social occasions took the form of “smokers” which were held in City Hotels and were the most popular form of social life among the general membership. The annual dance became an important event in the social life of the city, so much so that at the 1929 dance, a second hall had to be opened and an extra orchestra had to be engaged, because of the large crowd that came to the Carlton Hotel.