TOGHER club Pearse Celtic continue their hard work both on and off the pitch, as they show their community spirit once again in these difficult times.
Established back in 1992, the club was founded by 'Mr Pearse Celtic' Danny Carroll, Kieran Morey, Damien Walsh, Tony Sullivan, Johnny Reid, and Andrew and Emmett Geary.
Pearse began with one junior team competing in the Cork AUL. Although for many years there was only one team at the club, it was always evident how close-knit they were and this is more evident now more so than ever.
Over the years there were many great players play for the club such as Brian McSweeney, Anthony Morley, Johnathon Spillane, Richie O’Shea, Gavin Pender, Wayne Cotter, Dean Kelly, Keith McCarthy and Terry O’Connor to name a few and also some great coaches such as Danny Carroll, Kieran Morey, Terry Barrett, RIP, Aidan Herlihy, Eric Pender, Pat Buckley and Eric Goulding, and current managers Darren Roche and Eoin Harrington.
Many of the above-mentioned lads are still very much involved and that is a great testament to their love for the club. Many now have children of their own or even grandchildren who now play at the club which is fantastic to see.
Members feel that apart from football, they stand out from other clubs when it comes to their dedication and hard-working volunteers who have the kids and the club’s best interest at heart.
For club PRO and U9 Manager Sean O’Connor, he believes there is huge credit for all the volunteers involved who give their time so willingly.
“It’s a fantastic club to be part of as it is really community-based and we have seen that a lot over the past few months during these difficult times," said O’Connor.
“Obviously we were all gutted for the disruptions to football this season however we tried to keep things going as much as possible. It was great for the kids to be able to continue to train and along with that, we were able to undertake a lot of different projects which we normally may not have time to do.
“We felt it was a perfect time to give back to the community and therefore volunteers from the club took on a cleaning project which involved the restoration of the grotto in Deanrock estate.
“We’re a small club but we’re keen to give back to the community whenever we can.
“Our underage football pitch is across the road from the grotto and we would have regularly seen elderly people from the community heading out to pray there. A lot of our kids would have been walking past it a lot and would have seen them praying there as well.
“When this whole pandemic thing happened, we knew there were a lot of elderly people cocooning and we wanted to see what we could give back to them. Club members cleaned and painted all the brickwork along with a power wash.
“The local community were very grateful for all the help to restore the grotto especially when churches had been closed.
“Covid had been difficult to take. Football, not only for the players but for the coaches and parents, was a way for people to meet up with friends. And so, it was difficult when it came to a halt.
"Another good deed the club did was fundraise for Penny Dinners. This proved to be hugely beneficial for the charity as the club had a huge response of donations during two training sessions.
“What Penny Dinners do for Cork is huge and as a club we are always open to try and help the community in any way and so when the committee decided to collect this year for the charity, we were overwhelmed by the people’s generosity."
To have this great membership, you need to have great facilities and the club are thankful to have top-class facilities right on their doorstep.
“Obviously with our ever-growing membership, and with no training facilities of our own, we have to train in various places in the area. We use a few different facilities, and each of them are excellent. I think the clubs in Togher, Ballyphehane and Greenmount area are privileged to have some top class training areas on our doorstep.
"We use pitches at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, St Finbarr's GAA, Musgrave Park and Nemo Rangers. The facilities are top class and it is important as a club that we can provide these to our players. Facilities are a major attraction to players nowadays. Also, top-class facilities give parents the opportunity to sit and watch training while also interacting with other parents in all weathers and have some social aspect also.
“Musgrave Park have been excellent towards us and we appreciate the top-class facility and I would like to think we have built up a great relationship with them.
“We are always looking for new members both boys and girls. We have invested with our coaches making sure they have all the adequate equipment available and courses completed because this we know is what will benefit the players hugely in the future.
“We are all looking forward to a small break over Christmas but then our focus will turn to being hopeful that we get the green light from the government to continue and complete our seasons without any further disruptions.”