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Grace O'Sullivan, principal North Mon CBS and Donal Ó Búachalla, principal Gaelcoláiste Mhuire AG, pictured with Lee Quilligan, Kevin Moynihan, Daire Connery, Evan Murphy, Danny Murphy and Luke Horgan. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Grace O'Sullivan, principal North Mon CBS and Donal Ó Búachalla, principal Gaelcoláiste Mhuire AG, pictured with Lee Quilligan, Kevin Moynihan, Daire Connery, Evan Murphy, Danny Murphy and Luke Horgan. Picture: Howard Crowdy
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Mon united... new hurling initiative is a huge boost for the Harty Cup

CORK hurling institution the North Mon will compete in the Harty Cup next season as one team.

In recent years the Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG arm of the school entered the storied Munster second level competition on its own, with the North Monastery involved in the lower tier, but now they’ll join forces again.

The North Mon is second on the Harty Cup roll of honour with 19 titles, the last of which was secured in 1994 when Seán Óg Ó hAilpín was the lynchpin of the school side. A number of the Mon’s most famous former players, including Rebel legends Tomás Mulcahy and Teddy McCarthy yesterday attended the announcement of the return of one Mon team.

Brian Hurley, Teddy McCarthy, Dean Brosnan, Tomas Mulcahy, Christy Connery and Padraig Kelleher. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Brian Hurley, Teddy McCarthy, Dean Brosnan, Tomas Mulcahy, Christy Connery and Padraig Kelleher. Picture: Howard Crowdy

The development was driven by the recently appointed North Monastery principal Grace O’Sullivan and her AG counterpart Donal Ó Búachalla, who is a passionate hurling man as you’ll meet on Leeside.

O’Sullivan is a former Na Piarsaigh camogie player herself, but better known for her grá for basketball and she will be on the sidelines with the Irish women’s team in the FIBA international tournament at the Mardyke next week.

Also on hand was Cork and hurler Dean Brosnan, a past pupil who is now a teacher, and former Cork senior and Sars forward Tadhg Óg Murphy, who works in the AG. The seeds were sown for this hurling initiative this year when two Mon students, Darragh Kenny and Lee Mulroy, lined out for the AG in the Lord Mayor’s Cup final.

Now they’ll be eligible to hurl in the Harty Cup, along with Daire Connery, the AG’s marquee man. Going into Leaving Cert in September, Connery turns 18 shortly but came on for the Cork U21s on Wednesday night in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Keeping up the form he showed for the Cork minors and U17s in 2017, the Na Piarsaigh club man slipped over two points for the Rebels in defeating Waterford.

Donal Ó Búachalla is confident the development will be a boost going into next year’s Harty Cup.

“We have been very competitive in recent years, winning trophies from U14 to U16 and reaching Dr O’Callaghan Cup finals and the knockout stages of the Harty Cup. We’re all aware of the tradition in the Mon and it’s fantastic to offer all players the chance to now play in the Harty.

“We’re very fortunate to get incredible backing from the clubs in the area and our past pupils.

“GDA Seán Crowley deserves a special mention too, because of what he puts into hurling in the AG, for all players, of all abilities, and all for the betterment of the game and the enjoyment of the pupils.”

Grace O’Sullivan believes the move will be beneficial to pupils in both schools and to the sport in general.

“I’m delighted to be involved in something that will be welcomed by all the hurlers, supporters and club members in the area. It’s great to see a tradition being restored. Mon abú.”

 Diarmuid O'Donovan, Cork County GAA Board; Barry Hill, President of the North Mon PPU Grace O'Sullivan and Donal Ó Búachalla. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Diarmuid O'Donovan, Cork County GAA Board; Barry Hill, President of the North Mon PPU Grace O'Sullivan and Donal Ó Búachalla. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Diarmuid O’Donovan represented the Cork County Board and hailed the efforts going in at second level.

“We all know that for Cork teams to do well, second-level hurling needs to be strong. Perhaps more importantly, schools hurling is a chance for players from different clubs, from the Glen and Na Piarsaigh and more in the case of the North Mon, to come together for the one cause.”

The likes of Craig Hanifin and Evan Sheehan excelled for the Cork minors in recent years as well as pulling on the AG geansaí. The framework is now in place for even more pupils to fulfil their potential for their clubs and Cork.