TWO Cork people were honoured by Cork Boston GAA at their annual banquet held in Boston recently.
Fr Dan Finn a native of Kanturk and Pat Sheehy from the Ilen Rovers GAA Club were honoured for their dedication to Cork Boston GAA over many years.
David Joyce chairman of Cork Boston GAA said the annual banquet was a great success.
“It was a great night out. After the pandemic, it was very important to show that our community away from home is still standing strong.
"A nice crowd attended the banquet which comprised a mixture of players and members from the past. New players that have just joined the club in recent months were also there so it was a good mix of past and present,” he said.
Ilen Rovers club man Pat Sheehy who enjoyed a distinguished career as a coach in both Cork and in Boston was a deserved recipient for his immense coaching contribution to Cork Boston GAA said the club chairman.
“Pat Sheehy joined the Cork Boston club in 1986 and alongside Richie Fleming and the late Terry O’Neill from the Bantry Blues formed a management team that achieved great success. This included winning the Boston championship in 1988 before they reached the championship final again the following year.
“Pat returned to Ireland in 1992 and he was a driving force behind llen Rovers winning their first Cork Junior A championship title in ’96. He has also guided the Carbery senior football team to reach a Cork county championship senior final. Pat travels over to Boston every couple of years. He is always a visitor to training and attends our games,” he added.
The club chairman said Fr Dan is a ‘pillar’ of the Irish community in Boston. He was honoured for the role he has played in the Irish community.
“Fr Dan who still lives in Boston emigrated from Kanturk in 1965 at the behest of Ciaran Sheehan of Cape Clear who was running the Cork club at the time. Fr Dan played for Young Irelands hurling club and the Cork football club on his arrival to Boston.
"He continued to give great commitment and dedication to the cause until he retired in 1987. Fr Dan is a pillar of the Irish community in Boston having first served as parish priest of the St Mark’s parish in Dorchester. He has also served as chaplain and coordinator of the Irish Pastoral Centre.”
Cork Boston GAA who recently launched two new commemorative jerseys for this season which feature General Michael Collins will have one adult team competing in the Junior A championship grade this year. The club chairman said they are focusing on building up a locally based team going forward.
“We are very much looking forward to the season ahead. We will have one team this year competing in the Junior A grade. Our focus this year is on building up our locally based team which is why we are competing at junior as we must have 10 home-based players on the field, compared to the higher grades which require less.
“We have had good numbers at training, averaging around 15, which is a good turnout considering we will be bolstered by summer players from June onwards. We played our first game of the season on Sunday, June 12. We will play six games in a round-robin before hopefully progressing onto a semi-final and a final,” he added.
Cork Boston can still call upon a very strong Cork presence within the club, both from an administrator and a playing perspective said Joyce.
“We have players and members from all over Ireland, from Cork and Kerry all the way up to Antrim but we have a strong Cork backbone to the club. Mike Cadogan from Baltimore is a trustee of the club, having been chairman from 2015 to 2019. He is also a member of our management team for this season. Our vice-chairman Dan O’Regan is from Drinagh.
"Our treasurer Sean Kelly is from Skibbereen, Cian Clifford our assistant treasurer is from Rathpeacon, our club delegate Joe Regan is from Ballydehob and Kieran McEnery our player-coach is from the St Nicholas club. We also have some American-born players whose parents are from Cork including Jack Lynch, John O'Riordan and Aidan Cadogan.”
The club chairman said they are always looking to hear from Cork GAA players who are moving to Boston for the summer months and looking to play GAA.
“Any Cork players coming over can contact any member of our club. They can send an email to email@example.com or message us on social media and we will always reply.
"The balance of teams here has shifted very much to be more focused on our locally-based and American-born players but there will still be slots available for summer players that are playing to a high standard at home.”
There are many benefits to playing club football over the summer months said the club official.
“The games are 13-a-side which ensures games are more open. Teams play nearly every weekend so there are no long gaps between games. We also play in good warm weather which takes a bit of adapting but is much preferable to wind and rain. On the social side, players will get to meet new people from all over Ireland and forge friendships for life. It’s a great experience.”