Cork GAA Jersey Wars: Bandon versus Youghal

Your votes will decide which club geansaí goes into the next round
Cork GAA Jersey Wars: Bandon versus Youghal

The clash of the ash when Youghal's Ciaran O'Mahony was tackled by Bandon's James O'Donovan in 2013. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

WE want to know what your favourite GAA geansaí is.

From here until the end of August, your votes will decide the best design in our Cork GAA Jersey Wars competition.

Our resident jersey expert Denis Hurley compiled a list of 32 clubs, based on those involved in the senior tiers and a selection of wild cards. We put them in alphabetical order and paired them up, number one versus 32, which is Bandon-Youghal, and mapped out the path to the final. 

Full details of the competition are here.

Voting will run from 8am each day for 24 hours on the link below:


The Youghal colours are unique, and for good reason.

The orangey-gold elements – usually, but not always, a hoop – separate them from the plain maroon of the likes of Bishopstown, Argideen Rangers and Rockchapel and, while there might be similarities to the red and yellow combinations of Mallow and Éire Óg, the East Cork side’s outfit has a darker hue.

The original club jerseys were a knitted maroon jumper with a yellow stripe and these were mostly manufactured by players’ mothers, wives or girlfriends. When the time came to purchase a proper set of tops, the club’s money was short and so a fundraising terrier-coursing event was held in Copperalley in 1924. The money raised enabled the club to buy a full set but the colours chosen were green and gold.

However, that patriotic colour-combination is a popular one across the county and country while the Imokilly division also has the likes of Aghada, Killeagh (plain green) and Fr O’Neills (green and red). So it was that a decision was taken in the 1960s to revert to the maroon and gold to avoid clashing with other local clubs. It is believed that the inspiration for the ‘new old’ colours were those of Youghal CBS, though the decision was not a unanimous one at the time.

However, the switch has stood the test of time and Youghal won county intermediate hurling titles in 1969, 1988 and 1993 and the premier intermediate in 2013 while wearing maroon and gold as well as the intermediate football title in 2000.

Youghal’s Barry Ring on the ball against Castlelyons during the 2019 Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship. Picture: John Hennessy
Youghal’s Barry Ring on the ball against Castlelyons during the 2019 Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship. Picture: John Hennessy

The club have played at a number of venues in the parish. The then Blackwater Rangers played their first competitive Gaelic football

match against Waterford outfit Clashmore/Piltown/Kinsalebeg at Bill Farrell’s Field at Frogmore.

In 1894, the club then transferred to Jimmy Lynch’s, around the time it was decided to become affiliated with the GAA, adopting the name Youghal Gaelic Athletic Cycling Association.

In 1899, when the once-famous Youghal Cricket Club became defunct, GAA club officials saw the potential of the grounds at Copperally. After renting there for many years, negotiations began for its purchase in 1966 and, after much work, the grounds were opened by the then-president of Ireland, Erskine Childers, in 1974. Then, in 1985, the club bought its current headquarters at Magniers Hill, adjacent to St Raphael’s Hospital, from the Southern Health Board. This land was bought for IR£75,000, a sum collected inside three years, and the premises has been developed further over the years, giving the club a fine home to call its own.

The current jersey design is a durable one, first produced by manufacturers O’Neills in the mid-2000s, albeit in a much baggier fit.

The name of Brookes SuperValu adorns the front while there are fine gold pinstripes in addition to the hoop around the midriff.


“UP the Lilies, up the Lilies, up the Lilies every time!” is a chant often heard accompanying Bandon’s successes, referencing the club’s nickname of the Lilywhites.

However, while Kildare — who also use the nickname — have a plain white kit with few accompanying flourishes apart from the necessary logos and numbers, it’s arguably a more accurate moniker for the West Cork club, who have yellow as a secondary colour.

It’s unclear exactly where the colour combination — unique in Cork GAA, though used in reverse by Hamilton High School, one of the second-level institutions in the town — came from, though there is a religious-based
theory. Bandon RFC was affiliated with the IRFU in 1882 (though the club had been playing games for a decade or so before that) and opted for blue and white, possibly based upon the strong Protestant population in the town and the unionist leanings at the time. In contrast, the GAA club’s colours were then related to the Catholic Church and the Eucharistic Procession.

Whatever the truth behind it all, both clubs have retained their colours to the present day. At underage level, Bandon have sometimes had white jerseys with a yellow hoop, while at times there has been navy trim joining the white and yellow. In times past, when teams wouldn’t have a dedicated change set of jerseys, Bandon donned the purple and gold of divisional side Carbery, or the yellow and black of St Brogan’s College when a colour clash arose with the likes of Ilen Rovers or Cill na Martra.

Twice in the successful IFC campaign of 2016 they played the Muskerry side in purple and gold, losing in the first round but then coming through the back door and winning the semi-final. That was a memorable year for the club as the Premier IHC was also won, sending them back to senior hurling for the first time since 1980. As luck would have it, they were drawn against Muskerry — who wear white and green — in the first round of the championship, but by this stage a special navy alternative jersey had been ordered and that set had a winning start as Darren Crowley’s late goal gave Bandon victory and they went on to reach the quarter-finals.

While the jerseys worn for the county JAFC win in 2015 had large swathes of yellow on the sides, the new set for the following year had a simpler style with three navy stripes on yellow panels down the arms. The current offering is more scaled back still, with the navy absent and yellow limited to just the neck cuffs and shoulder stripes. The crest is a modified version of the town’s coat of arms, featuring the famous seven-arch bridge.

Meat-processing plant ABP — still known by some in the town as Master Meats, despite not officially going by that name for three decades — is the club’s main sponsor, while Caulfield’s SuperValu is a major supporter of the underage section.

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