Cork GAA Jersey Wars: Douglas v Kiskeam

From now until August 28, your votes will narrow down 32 contenders to crown a winner
Cork GAA Jersey Wars: Douglas v Kiskeam

Jersey Wars: Kiskeam versus Douglas.

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 13 versus 20, which is Douglas-Kiskeam, 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:

DOUGLAS

ANYBODY looking to find the rationale for Douglas’s choice of colours – or at least two-thirds of them – need only look at the club name in Irish on the sleeves of the jerseys.

‘Dubhglas’ is proclaimed, literally translating as ‘black-green’, and they are the parish colours.

While a Douglas club took part in the senior hurling championship in 1888, it faded from existence around the 1910s, with a club called Castletreasure operating from 1918-26.

Then, in 1931, St Columba’s was formed and they wore a black jersey with a green hoop, the same style as that which Nemo Rangers use.

At the 1938 AGM, the Douglas name was adopted again and, at some point, the kit style was changed to green and black vertical hoops.

Then, in the 1950s, another change occurred. Brendan Larkin’s 1987 publication, ‘Douglas – 100 Years of GAA’ recounts how the club had just one set of jerseys between four teams, which presented problems.

Club member Joe O’Reilly worked in the Sunbeam factory and he brought it to the attention of the Douglas committee that a set of jerseys – green, black and white hoops – had been returned by Dublin rugby side Bective Rangers and this represented a good opportunity for Douglas to acquire a second set.

While Joe’s boss wanted £20 for the jerseys, Joe bargained him down to £12.

While the ratio of the different colours has changed at times over the year, this look has essentially remained until the present day.

While the club were junior football champions in 1962, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that Douglas really began to make their mark. The intermediate football title was won in 1997 with the equivalent hurling title claimed in 2000 and, while they were relegated at the end of 2007, there was a return to the SHC in 2009 and they have remained there since.

 Seán Wilson of Douglas (left) in action against Nemo Rangers in 2020. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Seán Wilson of Douglas (left) in action against Nemo Rangers in 2020. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Apart from St Finbarr’s, Douglas are currently the only club operating at premier senior level in both codes in Cork.

In 2016, the club were county U21 hurling champions for the first time and that was followed in 2017 by the U21 football title.

In 2008, Douglas reached the county senior football final for the first time, taking on neighbours Nemo and, as the game was being televised, both teams were requested to change kit.

With Nemo in grey and black, Douglas wore green jerseys and white shorts as they lost out.

However, in more recent times a new change kit of white jerseys with black sleeves has been favoured when colour-clashes occur.

Ryan’s SuperValu of Grange have been long-time shirt sponsors of the club.

KISKEAM

IT'S perhaps unsurprising that the New Zealand rugby team should provide the inspiration for Kiskeam’s colours, though for the first 20 years of the club’s existence, they lined out in a blue jersey with yellow sash.

Founded in the mid-1940s, Kiskeam did win the Duhallow novice title in 1947 but otherwise success was hard to come by for the club situated close to the Cork/Kerry border.

Having reached the 1960 Duhallow junior final, Kiskeam enjoyed an eight-point lead over Castlemagner at one stage but lost out and then, following a heavy defeat to the same opposition in 1963, one Kiskeam player walking off the field suggested that the blue and yellow jerseys should be burned.

Whether or not the garments met such a fiery fate is unknown, but what is certain is they were not seen again as the colours were replaced. Prior to the start of the 1964 season, a change was afoot, as then-club treasurer and current president John P Murphy told The Echo’s John Tarrant in 2020.

“It came up at a club meeting,” he said.

We needed to turn matters around, somebody spoke of the All Black rugby success in their familiar colours. Though there wasn’t too much money in the kitty, it was proposed and accepted to opt for a black jersey.”

The transformation in fortunes was immediate as the club won the Duhallow title for the first time in 1964 and went all the way to county glory. A period competing at intermediate level followed and, while they did drop back to junior, the 1990s saw them regularly challenging for divisional honours.

In 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000, they won the Duhallow junior football title, reaching the county final in 1994, 1997 and 2000, while there were divisional final losses in 1991 and 1995. Eventually, they went all the way in the county in 2002 – reaching the Munster club final – and when the intermediate grade was split in two for 2006, Kiskeam were placed in the new premier intermediate championship.

Kiskeam's Michael Casey under pressure from Mallow's Pa Herlihy. Picture: Gavin Browne
Kiskeam's Michael Casey under pressure from Mallow's Pa Herlihy. Picture: Gavin Browne

Ten years later was to prove to be a memorable one, as the club achieved a place in the senior championship with victory in the PIFC. After a first-round defeat to Na Piarsaigh, Kiskeam regrouped with wins over Castletownbere and Mallow before turning the tables on Piarsaigh at the quarter-final stage.

Another win, against Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh, set up a final clash with Fermoy, who also wear an all-black kit, trimmed in amber. The North Cork side wore red and white for the final while Kiskeam donned a reversal of their usual jerseys, white with black accents, but it didn’t affect them unduly as they triumphed by 2-12 to 0-14 in Páirc Uí Rinn.

Wins over Aghada and Carbery were highlights of the first year up while there was a memorable victory over Mallow in 2019, but the end of that year saw a restructuring with Kiskeam placed in the new Senior A grade, from where they will look to progress in 2021. Public house The Harp & Shamrock provide shirt sponsorship.

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