Bobbie O’Dwyer has been appointed as the manager of the Cork U20 football team on a two-year term.
Tuesday night’s Cork County Board meeting – the first held in person at Páirc Uí Chaoimh since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – ratified a number of managerial appointments which had been flagged in advance.
Keith Ricken (St Vincent’s) was confirmed as senior football manager, with John Cleary (Castlehaven), Micheál Ó Cróinín (Naomh Abán), Ray Keane (St Finbarr’s/MTU Cork), Des Cullinane (St Nicholas), James Loughrey (Mallow) and Barry Corkery (Éire Óg) as selectors. With that move having created a vacancy at U20 level, O’Dwyer will fill it.
The Urhan native, who has managed O’Donovan Rossa and Macroom in the recent past as well as involvement with Kerry’s Legion, led Cork to the 2019 All-Ireland minor title and was a senior selector under Ronan McCarthy in 2021.
Joining O’Dwyer as a selector will be Billy Morgan, who managed Cork to win the 1989 and 1990 All-Ireland senior football titles, and his Nemo Rangers clubmate James Masters as well as Ollie O’Sullivan (Garnish) and Kieran Cronin (Legion, Kerry).
As reported by the Echo last month, Donal O’Mahony is to step up to the U20 hurling management role, replacing Pat Ryan, who stepped down after the 2020 and 2021 All-Ireland wins. Selectors Fergal Condon (Aghada) and Brendan Coleman (Youghal) remain while Wayne Sherlock has departed, with Traolach Martin (Ballygarvan) and Tom Kenny (Grenagh) now part of the set-up.
Four-time All-Ireland camogie-winning manager Paudie Murray (St Finbarr’s) will be in charge of the minor hurling side. His brother Kevin will act as coach while Declan Fitzgerald (Buttevant), Fergal McCormack (Mallow) and one other will be selectors. Kieran Murphy (Sarsfields) will be the U16 manager for 2022, selectors to be confirmed, and he will move to the minor job for 2023. Pat Mulcahy (Newtownshandrum) and Noel Furlong (Carrigtwohill) were confirmed as new senior hurling selectors.
County secretary Kevin O’Donovan congratulated those who had been appointed.
“There are some incredible people moving on to new pastures,” he said, “some incredible people coming in and incredible people staying on.
“We know we’re only taking a loan of them form their clubs, they will return to their clubs and continue their great work.”
Earlier, O’Donovan had read a letter from Inniscarra, regarding the purchase of club grounds by neighbouring Dripsey, formed in 2005.
The communication said that Inniscarra were “surprised and disappointed not to be consulted or informed” that the county board had sanctioned such a purchase. While the information was included in the progress report at the August board meeting, Inniscarra found “this notification vague in the extreme as the location was never outlined.
“It’s inconceivable that a club was given sanction in the catchment area of another club,” the letter continued. “We would ask that this is revisited as a matter of urgency.”
John Feeney of Dripsey said that the ground the club proposing is the pitch that the club has played in since its foundation. “I’ve been coming into the board for 12 years,” he said, “and I’ve never heard a club query another club’s right to purchase property.”
Peter Hogan (Carrigtwohill) raised the issue of the lifting of a 48-week suspension issued to a UCC player in the wake of an incident with Niall Barrett – the county referees’ administrator – who was umpiring for the College’s Premier SFC game against Duhallow.
He felt that the functionality of the hearings committee would have to be questioned. “If we see more of this, people will drift from our games,” he said.
“Who would put themselves in this position if that was going to happen at the end of a match? People in our club have watched the video numerous times and it was a shocking decision that the suspension was lifted.”
In response, Brian O'Loughlin, the chairperson of the hearings committee, made the point that it “takes evidence from both sides at a hearing.”
Due to what O’Donovan termed “commercial realities”, the county board is now producing match programmes for games at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Páirc Uí Rinn in-house. O’Donovan complimented county PRO Joseph Blake’s role in this and thanked Crosshaven GAA Club, which had been producing them for the past 44 years.