Paudie Palmer: Schools hurling is a vital link to the top level

Rochestown College won a trophy in memory of the late, great Tom Collum in the Munster B final
Paudie Palmer: Schools hurling is a vital link to the top level

Rochestown College captain Willian Buckley with the Corn Thomáis Mhic Choilm at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: George Hatchell

OF course, you are aware that education is a lifelong journey.

After events last weekend, I can attest to that.

One of the many fixtures that required some alterations due to the adverse weather on Saturday was the Munster Post Primary School’s Senior B hurling final between Charleville CBS and Rochestown College. 

I will come clean and admit, despite having an interest in schools GAA, I had never heard of the term or by extension a competition known as the Harty B.

One prominent Southside club took to social media on Saturday to wish their personal involved all the best in “today’s Harty B final.”

Can you imagine the sense of ignominy at having to admit that your GAA educational journey had been so deficient?

It gets better, others referred to it as the Barty Cup!

The volcano of newfound knowledge was in full flow, the C final was titled the Carty Cup by a few others. I had enough. One wonders if there was an F competition, what would it end being known up be known as!

So, let’s us go back a while, and some of you will be aware that there were two separate competitions in the second levels schools arena: Colleges and Vocationals.

A decision was arrived at, where, there was to a merger with all schools competitions to be known as 'Post Primary'.

In Munster as you can imagine there were cups for the different competitions in both the colleges and vocational sector. After some further discussions, a decision was reached, where the only two trophies, that would be retained would be the Harty Cup and Corn Uí Mhuirí.

All other trophies were, for all intents and purposes decommissioned. This gave rise to a need for new trophies for the newly merged competitions.

This brings us to last Saturday’s final and the trophy that was presented to the captain of the winning Rochestown side, William Buckley from St Finbarr’s, was the Corn Thomáis Mhic Choilm.

Rochestown College celebrate victory. Picture: George Hatchell
Rochestown College celebrate victory. Picture: George Hatchell

A little about Tomás Mac Choilm, for a start. I doubt if many would know him by that name.

He was Tom Collum, a native of West Limerick who joined the Garda Siochana in 1964 and spent the majority of his life in Templemore in North Tipperary.

On retiring from the force in 1997, he took on the role of school’s servicing officer in Tipperary and did likewise for Munster Colleges up to shortly before his passing in 2013.

His work in this role was legendary, as it involved developing mutually respectful relationships with teachers, and club personnel right throughout the province, as well as forging working relationships with several Munster Council officers.

He was a founder member of JK Brackens in Templemore and devoted a huge part of his life serving in various officer positions in the club. In short, Tom was one of a kind, so a competition in his memory should be known as that and nothing else.

Therefore, Harty B, Barty and indeed Carty should never see the light of day again.

By way, the last remaining 2022 Munster Post Primary School’s senior hurling final will take place on Wednesday, next March 2, between Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Blarney and Salesian College, Pallaskenry.

The two will meet be in the D decider, with the winning captain being presented with the Corn Sheain Uí hAnragain.

This trophy is in memory of a referee Shane Hourigan who died in a car accident aged 44 in 2014. The Limerick official had refereed many second-level school games during his career.


I know, I have mentioned it previously, but those who are not happy with the current split season haven’t gone away.

My old neighbour, Pat Spillane arrived on to the League Sunday programme and mentioned that the GAA were shooting themselves by not having inter-county action for six months of the year.

For a start, it is five months.

He is not alone in this charade, a few weeks ago Andy McEntee was up to the same lark, although, he may have more pressing issues to bother him at the moment.

I don’t care, what their arguments are, at the moment, club championships will begin the last week of July or the first week in August and that is the way it should remain.

However, this attempt at reversal by 'concerned' media folk is not going to cease any time soon so it’s important that the suits don’t fall for it.

If they do, clubs should take to the streets. For far too long, club players about 98% of the total have been treated abysmally.

Moving on, you cannot but feel sympathy for Keith Ricken in his role as manager of the Cork football team.

Cork manager Keith Ricken. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Cork manager Keith Ricken. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Because of his holistic approach to management, he is viewed as a breath of fresh air by many media folk during his press conferences.

I just wonder, how long more, can he arrive on with the positive spin?

Of course, that may not bother him in the slightest as he firmly believes, that this is a long term project and facing microphones and jotters is just one small part of the job.

As regards the spectre of relegation, it now appears that we are taking two from a quartet of Cork, Down, Meath and Offaly.

Not wishing to be negative, but Cork must travel to both Leinster counties and Down when they come to Cork will have the Kilcoo boys back on board.

God, a win against Galway next Saturday night would be so so welcome!

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