“A club like Ballincollig GAA Club is obviously going to have success over the years however the area’s teams have been able to punch well above their weight with many titles brought back to our base.
“Two decades later the club reached the pinnacle of Cork football when they won the Senior Football Championship in 2014 - the most glorious day in the club’s history.
“Ladies in Ballincollig got involved with camogie in the 1970s. It took a little longer for football to grab the attention however in 2001 the locality set up what is now an active and vibrant club,” adds Hannigan.
“The club is now firmly established putting in a huge effort put into development from the juvenile section upwards to ensure the future success of all teams in the club.
1,050 Members with 795 playing members
Number of teams: 22 U5 to U21 dual teams; Senior, Junior, Junior B, Junior C football; Intermediate, Junior and Junior B Hurling.
Bride Valley Senior Hurling tournament 1895; Mid Cork Senior Hurling Championship 1909; Senior Hurling runners-ups, 1941, '42, '43; Junior Hurling County winners (2) 1927, '63; Junior Football County winners (3) 1933, '40, '81; Intermediate Football County 1994; Senior Football County 2014; Intermediate Hurling champions (8) 1912, '29, '34, '35, '39, '67, 1999, 2018.
Famous players: Paddy 'Hitler' Healy, Willie 'Long Puck' Murphy, Podsie O’Mahony, Noel Galvin, John Miskella, Dan Murphy, Pa Kelly, Cian Kiely, and Luke Fahy.
5 pitches; 3 full-size pitches (1 floodlit with second to be floodlit this winter), 1 training pitch and 1 all-weather pitch, a club pavilion, bar, function hall, meeting rooms, and dressing rooms with a floodlit hurling ball alley and onsite pitch and putt course.
BALLINCOLLIG GAA club has changed drastically in the last 40 or so years and Brian Costello was there to see it firsthand.
“I joined the club in the early 1980s as an eight or nine-year-old playing for East Gate in the Parish Leagues,” he begins.
“I attended Scoil Eoin National School in the village and most of the boys at school played in the Parish Leagues for their estate or area.
“My father was involved with the club and my mother’s family were all involved at some level in the club.
“There have been many highlights throughout the years including the recent 2014 Senior Football County win, the 2018 Intermediate Hurling County win, the 2018 U21 P2 Hurling County win and many exceptional juvenile team performances.
“The club had only one pitch in 1980 and over the following couple of years acquired the land for the clubhouse, pitch 1 and the dressing rooms to progressing to the incredible facilities we have now.”
But while a lot of great work has been done in the recent past, Costello also knows that the club, which means so much to him, must continue to work in order to keep progressing.
“The club means a great deal to me and my family,” he admits. “It is a remarkable organisation. A wise friend keeps telling me that the club will be around a lot longer than any of us, we are just passing through it.
“It is, therefore, my belief that those of us involved in the club now must do our utmost to progress and develop it, both on the field and off it, as best we can while in the position to do so.”
AS soon as Oliver Ryan made the move to Cork, he knew one of the first things he needed to do was join a local GAA club.
“I joined Ballincollig GAA in 2016 after moving to Cork from Dublin,” he says. “Coming from Tipperary originally, hurling and football is all I played from an early age, and have played with a number of clubs.
“Being new to an area, I always found joining a local GAA club to be a great way to meet new people who share similar interests.
“Joining the club has given me the opportunity to become part of Ballincollig. Meeting new people has been fantastic. You feel you belong somewhere when you walk through the village and people recognise you by name,” he admits.
Ryan still contributes to the club on the pitch (when called upon) but he has also given back plenty of time in his role as manager of their U6 hurling and football sides.
“As I joined the club in the twilight of my playing days, any day I get a game is a highlight,” he jokes.
“We had some good days out in junior football, winning a C championship and the Lena Down tournament a couple of times.
“There’s a great sense of achievement in creating an environment which allows the boys to make new friends while learning the skills of the game.
“I’ve no doubt some of the players will achieve great things on the playing fields but what’s just as important are the other life skills the players pick up along the way, the friends they make, dealing with winning and losing, being part of a team.
“The club creates an opportunity to be a positive influence on its youngest members and it’s great to be a part of this.”