Highlights of a historic Cork GAA County Convention

Winning captains and officers at a function 25 yeas ago celebrating our first East Cork junior hurling final victory and an array of trophies that year too. Picture shows left to right:- Jim Lomasney, Dick O’Brien, Trevor Hickey, Syl McAuliffe, Tom Jo Riordan RIP, John Barrett, Padraig O’Brien and Dave Hegarty.

Castlelyons GAA

The County Convention was held on Saturday evening, December 15 commencing with Mass at 6pm celebrated by Fr Bernie Cotter, a former Cork hurler, a Youghal man originally and a priest with over sixty years.

This followed some refreshments for a short period and the bell rang for the County Convention 2018 with well over 300 delegates present at 7.15pm.

There was an ambience about the place with the curtains and lights showing the rebel red of Cork and a Santy atmosphere. Even the great Marty Morrissey and his RTE colleagues who were present with cameras were so dazzled it would have slowed down his strictly dancing ability.

It was a long and slow moving but interesting evening of reports, tributes, motions and debates before ending at 12 midnight.

Marty Morrissey did get an interview from the county chairperson Ms Tracey Kennedy on some media revelations about the overrun on the cost of the Páirc. It was clear that our chairperson was holding firm on the County Board’s side of the story despite the Croke Park assertions on overrun.

It reminds me of a story about a teacher helping a student with maths and saying to him if you had six Euros and got six Euros from your Dad how much would you have. The student said six euros. The teacher said how is that and the student said you don’t know my Dad. There are a lot of stories about figures.

The discrepancy in current figures are serious and it is imperative that they are addressed and clarified but no doubt at the end of the day Croke Park will pick up any tab that may exist.

The Chairperson Ms Tracey Kennedy went through the various reports and all were adopted. She gave an outstanding and positive address herself on a wide range of matters which received warm applause.

The Runaí Frank Murphy gave his last report to Convention as he finally stepped down after holding the position for 46 years. In fact, he is only the sixth Cork GAA Secretary in 124 years so the rest of them were there for a while too.

He gave a lengthy address to Convention and spoke about his work with sixteen different chairpersons which included late, great men like Jack Barrett, Kinsale, Denis Conroy, Carrigtwohill, Mick Dolan, Fermoy and the first lady to hold the position, Tracey Kennedy. He gave a jovial insight into the work of a Runaí and his refereeing exploits as was a famous intercounty ref in his time.

There was one story when the Clare hurlers threatened Cork’s three in a row chance and looked for the game to be played in Limerick rather than Thurles as Cork always done well in Thurles. Well the Limerick pitch is on the Clare side of the River Shannon and Cork had a plant from another county to talk up. Clare moved the motion that the game be played in Limerick and sure enough up stands the plant. He shouts out sure that Limerick pitch is in Clare. This put an end to debate as Cork got their game in Thurles and the rest is history. Poor Clare!

Murphy’s administrative capabilities extended throughout the country in time as his often-forensic talents were constantly deployed in tidying up the Associations rules. His acquisition of Páirc Uí Rinn was a seriously smart piece of business.

He has overseen the building of the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh and while there are some matters concerning the overrun of expenditure here, he has an opportunity to fix this as he remains involved as secretary of the Steering Committee.

Many of the officers and delegates present spoke and thanked him for his work over the years. He received a standing ovation as he handed over the administrative baton to his successor Kevin O’Donovan of the Kilmeen Kilbree Club.

There is no doubt that while it may be testing a new dawn for Cork GAA and effectiveness must be learned, we have a new and interesting executive. Kevin O’Donovan of Kilmeen Kilbree takes up the role of Runaí. Mark Sheehan, Aghabullogue was elected to the position of vice chairman, and Joe Blake of Adrigole was elected PRO. Richard Murphy, Lyre was elected Oifigeach Gaeilge agus Cultúra while Ger Lane and Michael Byrne, Ballyhea were elected delegates to the Munster Council.

In fact, it can be said that the entire Executive comprises of a youthful and energetic group of officers with innate talent and under outstanding leadership in Chairperson Ms Tracey Kennedy, Killeagh.

We wish them the very best and while optimism is the faith that leads to achievement this writer feels Cork will come good again shortly and let’s hope that some of our own Castlelyons men feature on the teams.


The motions this year had an interesting urban strand. Glen Rovers proposal that the permission to allow divisional teams in the senior hurling and football championships be deleted failed. Outstanding orators Willie Ring, representing Uí Mac Coille, Ger Scully, Killeagh and Matt Ahearne, Passage gave this motion the red card fast to overwhelming agreement.

A motion affecting the Colleges again proposed by Glen Rovers and seconded by St Finbarrs came before the convention. One could say Colleges are now centres of excellence for Cork hurling and football. This one received a similar fate and the status quo remains.

There were several motions moved by the county board and some were passed. There was lively debate on the motion referring to transfers, that family residence be changed to permanent resident in line with official rule.

Now the definition of permanent residence is only one month, and one could ask how this got into official rule. In the walk of life there are many instances whereby a residence is sought out after several months only to find an empty flat with plenty of window envelopes. This motion was passed and could yet prove interesting.

However, a motion whereby a player who has not taken part in any official or trophy competition in the previous forty-eight weeks was seriously debated and some strong resistance from rural clubs. If this motion were to go through there could be a transfer window like another sport and surely to the detriment of the smaller clubs. The new Runaí Kevin O Donovan won some hearts and minds by speaking on the motion and it was well defeated.


Our weekly club lotto draw was held in the Clubhouse Bar on Monday, December 17 and the numbers drawn were 15, 19, 28 and 29. There was no winner. The lucky dip winners were as follows: Dave Hoare, Bride Milward, Mary Martin, Francis Cranitch, Tom McAuliffe, Ann Deasy, Sarah Jane Dorgan and Molly O’Sullivan.

The Christmas raffle prizes were Esther O’Sullivan, William Martin, Mary McNulty, Sean Cotter, Majella Cotter and Liam O’Brien. The promoters prizes were: – John Barry, Glanbia, Donal O’Leary, Michael Hegarty, Maurice Carroll and Ned Fitzgerald.

Next week’s draw will be held on St Stephen’s Day at 1pm after the Puc Fada in the Club Bar. The Jackpot is now €14,600. We would ask all patrons and especially those in the Adult, Juvenile and Camogie Clubs to support our club lotto. The results of the club lotto are published each week on both The Avondhu and social media. Refreshments were provided, and our Chairman Con Lawlor thanked the lotto committee and all those who have supported the lotto throughout 2018. He wished all a Happy Christmas and looked forward to 2019.


Juvenile GAA holding the Puc Fada on St Stephens DayThe Juvenile GAA Committee will hold the Puck Fada at 11am on St Stephens morning. Registration is at 10.30am and its €20 for a team of four. A team should consist of two juveniles (U16) and two adults otherwise they may be subject to handicap. It would be appreciated if some adults not taking part came along with a few high vis jackets and gave a helping hand. There will be refreshments available in the club bar from 12.30pm onwards. Prizes will be presented and the weekly lotto for a jackpot of €14,600 will be held with plenty of craic so come along and enjoy the festivities with a bit of exercise.


Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Uí Mac Coille are holding a fundraising draw and it provides an ideal way to support your own Club also. The prizes are (1st) Two Premium Tickets for all GAA matches played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 2019. Entry into a Premium Lottery for All Ireland tickets if Cork are involved. Free entry to all Cork County Championship matches anywhere in the County. (2nd) €200 and (3rd) €100. Tickets on sale and available now as draw will take place on Wednesday 30th January 2019. Tickets are €10 each (€6 to your Club and €4 to East Cork Board). Please support.


Castlelyons Strictly, announced for the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island on Friday, May 17 2019, is picking up serious interest. Twenty-six local volunteers will engage in a battle of sequins, suits and style while aiming to be crowned Strictly Castlelyons Champions. Everybody will bring something different to the floor – entertainment, musicality, body movements, lifts, this, that and the other!

This requires a serious element of fitness. There is talk about a dancer already gone into serious fitness training even though he was a man that could walk up poles and race with the dogs he is now on the mountain putting power in the legs.

I don’t know did that eminent playwright George Bernard Shaw ever dance but he did say dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. So, folks go easy on the romantical stuff but enjoy the craic. More anon.


We are delighted to have received permission from the Central Council of the GAA Croke Park to lease the Community Hall and area to the Community Centre Committee for a lengthy period.

Thanks to Gerry Healy of Healy Crowley Solicitors, Matt Hegarty and Michael Barrett who prepared documents. Special thanks to Frank Murphy who authorised same on behalf of Cork County Board, Kieran Leddy and John Brennan Munster Council who worked so hard in moving the papers on behalf of Munster Council and Kathy Slattery, Croke Park who facilitated the application at Committee level.

This initiative augurs well for the Community Centre Committee and especially Castlelyons community generally.


The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Tuesday, January 8 at 8 pm. It is hoped that managers for teams will be selected by then and your attendance would be appreciated.


East Cork Division will hold a victory social on Friday, January 18 at 8pm in the Garryvoe Hotel. Music will be by Art Supple and his band. Tickets are priced at €35. There will be a presentation of the county medals to Uí Mac Coille after capturing the second senior hurling title in a row and this should be a mighty night. Tickets are available from players Colm Barry, Colm Spillane, Niall O’Leary, Tom Carroll, Aidan O’Sullivan or Kieran McGann (Treasurer).


Guím Nollaig shíochánta agus Athbhliain shone daoibh go léir. Club Main Sponsor: ZEUS Packaging Group.