Andrew Drumm, the beating heart of Brunell basketball club

Northsiders have thrived in recent years since forming in 1984
Andrew Drumm, the beating heart of Brunell basketball club

One of the early Brunell basketball teams. Back: Andrew Drumm, Angelene Myers, Gillian Rea, Theresa O’Neill (RIP), Jackie Kinsella, Myriam Stewart, Coach Grace O’Sullivan. Front: Gwen Hannigan, Tracy Field, Fiona O’Sullivan, Sharon O’Neill, Caroline Duggan, and Catherine Wallace.

SINCE the formation of Brunell Basketball Club in 1984 there has been some great servants to the club, none more so than founding member Andrew Drumm.

To this day, he has given his time and expertise to the club he loves with such a passion that everything good about the club on and off the court is a reflection of his personality, drive, and ambition.

He is a reluctant hero; always going about his business with fairness and compassion and his desire to do the right thing for the club and the players has shone through over the years.

He never missed a game. Arriving by bike, pants tucked in with clips to keep them from getting caught in the chain, he then took his seat far away from the action on the court so he could oversee all around him.

Right now Andrew, who has been there through good and bad times with the club, is ill and recovering in St Finbarr’s Hospital and his friends in Brunell, and indeed the wider basketball community, all send him their best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Andrew Drumm with former Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald, his brother Gary, and former Lady Mayoress Georgina Fitzgerald at the City Hall in 2017.
Andrew Drumm with former Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald, his brother Gary, and former Lady Mayoress Georgina Fitzgerald at the City Hall in 2017.

Kieran O’Leary, who has coached with Brunell for over 20 years, speaks of his admiration for Andrew.

“My first memory of Andrew is when I took my daughter Danielle to play basketball in the Parochial Hall.

“At the time, sisters Lynn and Leona Griffin were coaching and Andrew asked me if I would give an hour of my time to help out, and here I still am 23 years later.

“You just wouldn’t want to say no to Andrew,being the gentleman that he is. He has always been all about the kids and the love of the game, and the club. He is a true legend of Cork Basketball,” O’Leary said.

Ann O’Halloran, current chairperson of Brunell, also spoke fondly of Andrew.

“Looking back, I’m amazed by the positive impact that one person has had on so many lives,” Ann said.

“It’s because of Andrew we have a club with over 100 playing members and coaches who have given years of service. Working alongside Andrew has been an honour, and even to this day I would ask his advice.

“Andrew had a dry wit and doesn’t realise that he was being quite funny at times. He loves nothing better than talking about the crack we had over the years and yes, there were quite a few good days and fun times.

“It is only fitting that Andrew is the current president of Brunell and I look forward to the day that we see him back in Parochial Hall.”

Fellow committee member Janette Carmony also sings Andrew’s praises.

“Andrew gave all his free time to the sport we all love, and his passion remains the same to this day. He has always been kind and respectful to every person he has met, in the basketball community and beyond.

“He epitomises the sporting spirit of the club, and we at Brunell follow in his footsteps, as we have learned from the best.”

COMMITMENT

Andrew’s partner in crime is club bus driver Tony Bennett, who travelled the country with Brunell teams over the years recalls some great days with his great friend.

“Andrew Drumm a saint and a gentleman. I know him for over 30 years, however, Andrew and myself never played basketball, but we were in most basketball halls all over the country.

“He is very well known and liked by everyone in the basketball community,” Tony said.

One of Brunell’s former players who played with the club from day one is Angelene Myers, and they became very close friends.

“The first time I met Andrew was when I joined Falcons BC. It was 1983 on the outdoor courts in North Presentation school. In cycled Andrew and he welcomed me to the club. I liked him instantly.

“The following year Falcons changed its name to Brunell. My fondest memories are from St Stephen’s Day. On that day, for decades, Andrew would call to my house and chat with my late mother and I for hours.

“He would laugh that infectious laugh of his, get on his bicycle and cycle up to his brother Gary.

Andrew is an absolute gentleman and I can safely say there is not a member of Brunell past or present who does not love and respect him.”

Jason Thornton, current treasurer of the Cork Ladies Basketball Board (of which Andrew is president) paid this tribute.

“I noticed, like a lot of people, that Andrew was a very quiet man, and it would take a while before he would talk openly with you. However, when he was comfortable around friends he was liable to say anything.

“Andrew is a huge character and a true gent, and we will look forward to seeing him in the Parochial Hall when we get back playing,” Jason said.

The first person who stood shoulder to shoulder with Andrew was Grace O’Sullivan.

Grace coached a group of young girls all the way from underage in the Cork Leagues to playing on the big stage at National League level.

Andrew Drumm on the far right, with former Brunell player Julie Garvin receiving the Evening Echo Sports award from her coach Grace O’Sullivan in 1989, also in the photo is Mr Denis Daly on the left.
Andrew Drumm on the far right, with former Brunell player Julie Garvin receiving the Evening Echo Sports award from her coach Grace O’Sullivan in 1989, also in the photo is Mr Denis Daly on the left.

“Andrew always had a vision for Brunell to play at the highest level in the Ladies Super League.

“He was always conscious within that vision that the young players and teams were provided with an equal opportunity to improve and enjoy the experience of playing basketball.

Mr Andrew Drumm with fellow Brunell members, Janette Carmony, Michelle Tobin, and Chairperson Ann O’Halloran when he received the Basketball Ireland Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
Mr Andrew Drumm with fellow Brunell members, Janette Carmony, Michelle Tobin, and Chairperson Ann O’Halloran when he received the Basketball Ireland Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

“Andrew continues to have huge pride in the Brunell. He has been a vital cog in the wheel of opportunity for so many young players in the northside of Cork.”

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