Sunday 18 November 2018

Castletownroche social honours the stars of '60's

THERE was a very fine turnout at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Friday night last where Castletownroche G.A.A. Club held their annual social with the Co. Winning Junior Hurling side of 1960 and the Intermediate Co. winning side of 1964 as special guests.

THERE was a very fine turnout at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Friday night last where Castletownroche G.A.A. Club held their annual social with the Co. Winning Junior Hurling side of 1960 and the Intermediate Co. winning side of 1964 as special guests. Other guests included Michael Lyons, retired Chairman North Cork Board and Michael Beecher, Board Secretary, Fr J O'Connor and Fr Dan McCarthy.

Tom Barrett, Chairman, presided. In his opening address, he welcomed the guests and then John McHugh called on the players and the mentors of these great teams to collect their presentation. The first presentation was the Hall of Fame Award which was won this year by Joe O'Donoghue. John McHugh, in his citatation of Joe, went back over a long and distinguished period.

Joe played with St Colman's Fermoy in Harty Cup teams in the early 50s. In 1950 he played in the North Cork JAHC final which Castletown lost against Ballyhea at just 16 years of age. The following year, Joe won Munster and All-Ireland medals with the Cork Minor hurlers.

In 1952, Cork were defeated in the Munster final. Joe's direct opponent that day was Tony Wall who was to make a major impact with Tipperary Seniors in the following years. Joe was also on the Avondhu Senior Hurling panel that won their first Co. SHC title in 1952. Also in 1952, he was on the Castletownroche Junior hurling side that lost to Newtownshandrum in the final. They also reached the final the following year against Ballyhea.

In 1954, Castletownroche were victorious and in the Co. championship quarter-final, they beat Castlemartyr. In the Co. semi-final, Castletown lost out to Ballinhassig after a replay. Joe was not available for the Co. semi-final in 1954 but was back within the club in 1958 where he won a Novice Football championship title with Abbey Rovers.

In 1959, Joe was a member of both the Hurling and Football club sides that reached the North Cork Junior (A) finals. They lost both, to Kilshannig in football and to Ballyhea in hurling. In 1960, Castletown won the North Cork title and in the Co. championship they had wins over Nemo Rangers and Bandon before beating Cloyne by a point in the final.

In 1961, Castletown were in Intermediate grade and they lost out in the Co. final to a star-studded Glen Rovers side. They won the Co. IHL beating Bandon. In 1962, Joe had left for Dublin and had retired.

In all these years, Joe never forgot his roots to renew old acquaintances, he was a brilliant hurler, football, handballer and squash player. Joe got a rousing applause when he collected his Hall of Fame Award.

John McHugh went on to talk about the achievements of the 1960 and 1964 teams in winning Co. Junior and Intermediate Hurling titles. Both Co. winning sides were captained by the Browne brothers, Richie in 1960 (Junior) and Johnny, 1964 in Intermediate grade. John McHugh, who had a very nice citation about all the players, called them in three groups ‹ the 1960 side, the 1964 side and those involved in Œ60 and Œ64.

The 1960 side included Stephen and Sonny Mannix, Willie Barry R.I.P. represented by Margaret Barry, Denis Mellerick, John O'Keeffe, Henry Hazelwood, Jimmy Magnier, Joe O'Donoghue, Cal O'Keeffe, the late Pat O'Leary R.I.P., by his wife Julie May, Dan Barrett R.I.P. by his brother Joe Barrett, Michael Noonan, John O'Sullivan and Pat O'Sullivan.

The 1964 side was John O'Riordan, Kevin O'Farrell, Sean Murphy, Hilary Noonan, Gerry Galvin, John McCarthy, Sean Treacey, Willie Walsh, and the late Fanahan McSweeney represented by his wife Jean.

The 1960 and 64 teams by the Browne brothers, who were captains Richie and Johnny, Bob Galvin, Bobby O'Sullivan, Ned Galvin R.I.P. by his wife Pauline, Paddy Noonan, Jimmy Hogan, Christy O'Flynn, John Browne, Billy Browne, Dave Murphy.

In 1965, Dave Murphy captained the Cork Intermediate Hurlers to All-Ireland success.

Presentations were also made to the selectors and the committee at the time. James O'Callaghan represented his late father Dave O'Callaghan who was the trainer. Denis O'Neill represented his father, the late Sonny O'Neill, Peter O'Callaghan, Tom Clancy, David J O'Gorman, the late Jerry O'Brien and John McHugh.

Michael Lyons, who had earlier in the week retired as Chairman of the North Cork Board, made the presentations. He congratulated the club on organising the function and spoke of the great contribution made to the G.A.A. by players from Castletownroche club down through the years. Most of the players were not alone household names but were known all over Avondhu and throughout the county.

He spoke of the vast knowledge of John McHugh who had all the citations ready to hand without referrring to notes. Mr Lyons spoke of the great contribution made by John McHugh to the history of the Board which is currently being prepared. His late father was a founder member of the Avondhu Board back in 1926.

Mr Lyons thanked the club Officers for the invitation and thanked Tom Ryan who represents the club on the Board's G.P.C. He also thanked the club for the use of their playing field right through year after year. He spoke of the great commitment made by players from Castletown club on the Avondhu Senior hurling panels down the years.

He also spoke of the great contribution made by Pat O'Sullivan who was a life long referee up to his recent retirement. He thanked Willie Magnier, who is the current club referee.

Proceedings completed with John McCarthy making a presentation to John McHugh on behalf of the playing members of that era. Sincere thanks was expressed to Dairygold who kindly sponsored the trophies.