A SEASON of special celebrations to mark 100 years of one of Cork's greatest clubs, and certainly its most successful in football terms, have begun.
Seven All-Ireland club football titles, 17 Munster crowns and 22 senior seniors are just part of an impressive roll of honour, which includes victories on the hurling field, along with multiple underage titles.
It has provided a host of outstanding players, coaches and administrators to Cork teams including two All-Ireland winning senior football captains in Billy Morgan and Denis Allen. The current president of the Cork County Board is Nemo’s Brian Barrett and Taoiseach Micheál Martin hails from Nemo.
Picking an all-time best football 15 from the club would be no easy task, with the likes of Frank Cogan, Colin Corkery, Steven O'Brien, James Masters, Joe, Derek and Larry Kavanagh, Alan Cronin, senior and junior, Tony Nation, dual All-Star Brian Murphy, current Waterford manager Ephie Fitzgerald, Luke Connolly, Martin Cronin, Jimmy Barrett and more lighting up the club championships since Nemo's breakthrough senior victory in 1972.
Kildare's Shea Fahy switched to Trabeg and starred for Nemo and Cork, an integral part of capturing Sam Maguire in 1989 and '90, while Kerry talisman Tomás Ó Sé lined out in green and black from 2015 to '18 and Irish soccer international Chiedoze Ogbene and current Munster rising star Patrick Campbell were exceptional underage talents.
A piece in theof March 20, 1922 claimed: ‘Now that the Nemo and Rangers clubs have combined their respective forces they will take some reckoning with in the 1922 championship.’
Little was it realised that Nemo Rangers would continue to be ‘reckoned with’ and recognised as a leading GAA club for the next century.
Following Nemo’s Paddy O’Keeffe’s incarceration as a republican prisoner in Parkhurst Prison in 1921, he returned to Cork and became close friends with Denny Hegarty of Rangers GAA Club. O’Keeffe, also known as Pádraig Ó Caoimh, went on to be Director-General of the GAA and had Cork’s beautiful stadium Páirc Uí Chaoimh named in his memory.
O’Keeffe and Hegarty orchestrated the amalgamation of both clubs: Nemo and Rangers.
The club developed from humble beginnings in the South Parish/Turner's Cross areas to a state-of-the-art ultra-modern facility in Trabeg. It now fields teams in football, hurling, ladies football and camogie, with a large adult membership while catering for hundreds of children.
The club has so many reasons to celebrate and recognise a ‘’ and has put together a diary of centenary events’ to cover all of 2022.
January 1 saw the unveiling of the special Centenary Flag, the Ger Kiely Poc Fada and the opening of a special Centenary Wall Photographic Display.
Special underage and adult tournaments will continue throughout the year while awill culminate with a gala centenary dinner in March.
The latter end of the year will see the publication of a comprehensive 400-page centenary club history while other familiar events like a golf classic and street leagues will have a centenary theme.
A special competition will also celebrate the life of recently deceased Nemo icon, Jim Cremin, who gave so much to the club across the generations. A unique exterior centenary wall will allow people recognise the names of their loved ones’ personal contribution to the club throughout its celebrated history.
Chairman of the Nemo Centenary Committee, David O’Kelly said: “It will be a year to remember with a selection of special centenary merchandise including limited edition centenary pins, commemorative centenary jersey and associated leisure tops.
“This all adds up to a project that has involved input and organisation from many people over many months. We feel that we will mark this important milestone in a way that befits a club of Nemo Rangers' high standing. We look forward to celebrating with all the Nemo family and all friends of the club.”