AUL: Richmond's Gussie O'Shea has popular Cork club on the right road

Richmond chairman is still committed to the cause, 41 years on from helping establish Richmond FC
AUL: Richmond's Gussie O'Shea has popular Cork club on the right road

 Richmond's Shane O'Sullivan clears as Parkview's Scott O'Callaghan closes in. Picture: Barry Peelo.

WE all know that football is full of people who consistently give selflessly of their time and energy over the years to the sport they love but, in some cases, they never get the proper recognition.

Current chairman of Richmond FC Gerard ‘Gussie’ O’Shea would certainly come under this category.

“It all started 40 years ago when Paul O’Sullivan, Denis Dineen, Liam Deniffe and myself got together before Derry Murphy and myself attended a West Cork soccer meeting to enter the first Richmond team for the 1980-81 season.

“We were slotted into the second division and after having a terrific season, we ran out as league champions to win our first title. We then went on to win the treble which consisted of the League 1 title, Beamish Cup and League Cup in season 1983-84.

“At that time, we registered our players from the Waterfall area on the outskirts of Cork City and we played in the Ballymaw area of that region on a pitch that was kindly given to us by the late land-owner, Jim Horgan.

“After a few seasons there, we settled down in another location nearby which was given to us by land-owner Denis O’Riordan where we remained for many seasons.


“We decided to join the Cork AUL in season 1995-96. We were slotted into League 2 and in our opening game, Paul O’Neill scored the first goal for us in AUL football when we played Bandon away from home.

“In 1996-1997, I helped with the introduction of our first schoolboy’s team into the Schoolboys league and spent some time here developing this level.

“A few seasons later, we reached our first cup final in the Cork AUL, the County Cup where we lost to Kinsale. In that same period, our junior team achieved promotion to League 1.

“I was instrumental in setting up and establishing a girl’s U12 side and managed them all the way up to under 16. After that period, I decided to head back to help out with the junior team and I have been there ever since as well as being chairman of the club.

“Another huge milestone for me was when we held our 21st anniversary at the Rochestown Park Hotel where 250 guests — including invitees from the various governing bodies in football —attended on that memorable night back in 2000-2001.

Richmond's chairman and founder member Gerard O'Shea. Picture: Barry Peelo.
Richmond's chairman and founder member Gerard O'Shea. Picture: Barry Peelo.

“Other memorable moments for me were winning the County Cup in 2013 and the St Michael’s Cup in 2014.

“We also got out of Cork in the FAI Junior Cup and went on to beat Keadue Rovers from Donegal - only to be knocked out by an excellent Ballymun side in the next round.

Rolling on to the current period — I still get great enjoyment going to matches and currently, we have a very good side that we believe is good enough to get promoted to League 1.

“Along the way, I have met some great friends who have helped to keep the club afloat. And as the club grew, we were lucky to have some great people helping out with the likes of Tim Connolly who was a great help to me in these early days, Jim Bob Horgan and Gerry Butler who took over later and I’m delighted to be able to say that we have a very strong committee in place now to run the club,” said Gerard.

The administrators of the club are Nick Smith (secretary), Ryan O’Halloran (treasurer), James Cremin (liaison officer and underage coordinator), Stephen O’Keeffe (club coach), Andrew Horgan (PRO) and committee members Tony O’Donovan, Noel Kavanagh as well as groundsman Derek O’Flynn who are all very important cogs in the administrative wheel.

And of course, a huge thanks to our sponsors — Glasheen carpets and wood flooring, Cremin Cleaners, O’Keeffe Handmade Bread, Tackle Shop, McCarthy’s Meat Market, Nyhan’s Motors and Bishopstown Credit Union.

With Gerard at the helm, assisted by his very efficient group of administrators, there is no doubt that the future augers well for a vibrant Richmond FC that seems to be growing from strength to strength.

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