IN WHAT has been one of the most challenging years in the history of the GAA, both on and off the field, getting the annual Cork GAA Yearbook on to the shelves again has to be warmly applauded.
Unfortunately, a number of competitions for the season, including the Cork County SFC final have had to be delayed into next year and the game between Nemo Rangers and Castlehaven which promised so much does not feature as do not other eagerly awaited finals in the IHC, the LIHC and the junior A championship among others.
But those obstacles were overcome and once again in conjunction with the County PR Committee, Denis Hurley from this parish has put together a quite outstanding production.
His dedication and application to the task is to be seen throughout the yearbook and for Cork GAA followers the world over it’s a must and a very welcome Christmas present.
There are numerous articles throughout the publication that will make for a fine read when there’s little else to shorten the long, Winter nights.
Cork’s All-Ireland double of 30 years ago features very prominently with the path to both finals of the year 1990 covered extensively by the various writers of that time.
Michael Ellard and Jim O’Sullivan were masters of their trade back then and their match reports will recall many happy moments for Cork GAA fans.
The hurlers' unexpected but terrific victory over Tipperary in the Munster final is featured across two pages with an action shot of John Fitzgibbon and Mark Foley embellishing the match report.
There’s a smashing picture of the great Teddy McCarthy with the Liam McCarthy and Sam Maguire trophies held close to his chest plus a fine photograph taken in the old boardroom in Páirc Uí Chaoimh which features team captains Larry Tompkins and Tomas Mulcahy holding the cherished cups.
In the background is the late, great chairperson of the board, Denis Conroy, the late and very fine treasurer Dan Hoare and county secretary Frank Murphy plus Brendan Larkin PRO and Mick O’Loughlin, Gaelic Officer at that time.
What is it like to be a female administrator in the association?
Blackrock’s SHC victory is brought back into focus and how the famed Church Road club ended an 18-year wait for the old trophy.
There are some magnificent photographs attached to this article and photographer George Hatchell has a wonderful picture of joint captains Michael O’Halloran and Cathal Cormack holding the Sean Óg Murphy trophy aloft. In fact, Hatchell has some excellent photographs throughout the publication.
Charleville’s day in the sun in the Senior A championship is prominently displayed as well as is Blarney’s terrific journey to PIHC glory.
And features interviews with numerous personnel who are so willingly giving their time to their clubs.
Major developments at Inniscarra and Adrigole are also featured while the activities of Rebel Óg are dealt with by PRO Rory Noonan.
There is a very nice tribute to a great Shamrocks club man, Joe O’Driscoll who sadly passed away earlier in the year. As a player and subsequently as an administrator, he gave sterling service to that club.
That great Beara official, Riobaird O’Dwyer left us too and he is fondly remembered as well.
This is a publication that you could say has something for everybody in the audience and that excellent scribe Denis Hurley has done a fabulous job.
County Board PRO, Joe Blake told the Echo that it had been a challenging year for everyone but the GAA in Cork and elsewhere was not found wanting.
He said that clubs across the county had stood up to the challenges, working within the restrictions to keep the work going.
“There is something for everybody and I am sure the people of Cork everywhere will find this yearbook a great source of information.
“Denis Hurley has done a great job again as has everybody else who contributed. I thank them all,” he said.