Cork Basketball: Eight local legends inducted into the Hall of Fame

Recipients will be honoured at the Billy Kelly Tournament next month
Cork Basketball: Eight local legends inducted into the Hall of Fame

Jim O'Donoghue with his book 'Gods by the Lee: My Basketball Memories' at Neptune Stadium. Picture: Howard Crowdy

THE Cork County Board will induct eight recipients into their Hall of Fame at the Billy Kelly Tournament on Easter Saturday.

Board secretary Willie McCarthy praised the incredible work of all who have given years of voluntary service to grow and nurture the sport they love.

“I think when people in Cork look at all our recipients they will respect the work given over many decades and may I congratulate each and every one of them for their dedication to our sport.” 

Donal O’Donoghue

After the foundation of Neptune through a branch of the defence forces Donal (RIP) came to the fore as one of the first civilians to help progress the game of basketball in Cork's northside.

He held many positions within the Neptune club and the Cork Country Board and was chairman of the Munster Council on a number of occasions.

Jim O’Donoghue

Another member of the O’Donoghue family from Barry’s Place, Cathedral Road where the heartbeat of the Neptune club was kept alive right through from 1947 until they built the Neptune Stadium in 1985 a project that Jim was an integral part of.

Jim played successfully with his beloved club in fact winning his first Cork County Minor Championship in 1953 alongside another great stalwart of Cork basketball and Lota Tournament organiser John Costello.

Noel Allen 

A basketball man to the core and a Neptune stalwart for over 50 years.

His forte was coaching but he also was an accomplished referee and remembered as part of a great duo with Liam O’Connell a fellow clubman who officiated at many Championships and International Tournaments during the 1970s.

John Houlihan 

John has given untold service to the game of basketball as an administrator, teacher and officiator of the game of basketball. He has refereed at the top level of National League basketball but he has come to the fore in helping develop young officials over the past 20 years.

Referees John Houlihan and Denis O'Gorman. Picture: Kieran Boyde 
Referees John Houlihan and Denis O'Gorman. Picture: Kieran Boyde 

He has driven the Cork County Basketball Officials Association and has always been fair in his judgement whether blowing the whistle during a game or giving a ruling at post-game conferences.

Noel Ryan 

A man of many attributes Noel commenced his basketball journey with St John Bosco club in Midleton and after relocating to Carrigtwohill with his teaching profession he was instrumental in the formation of the East Cork Glenmary Basketball Club.

During his playing days, he was to become a very accomplished referee on the national stage and was at the forefront of the development of excellent officials during the heady days of basketball in the '80s.

Michael O’Sullivan

A man who caught the basketball bug in the '80s and nurtured it by developing a strong presence for the game of basketball in the north Cork town of Mallow.

Michael has coached his club at all grades and has seen the fruits of his work with the Mallow club growing in stature both on the female side as well as the male.

Sean Murphy 

Sean played underage with Iona and in 1968 joined Blue Demons where he won National Leagues and Championships, the 1983 Federation Cup, and was capped with Ireland. He later coached at international level.

No.4 Sean Murphy, No.6 Aidan Horgan, No.14 Dominic Dalton, No. 5 John Cooney, No.10 Andrew Houlihan training for Blue Demons' 1974 league win.
No.4 Sean Murphy, No.6 Aidan Horgan, No.14 Dominic Dalton, No. 5 John Cooney, No.10 Andrew Houlihan training for Blue Demons' 1974 league win.

Murphy retired from playing in 1983 and went straight into coaching and teaching the game to underage players after coaching Blue Demons (Team Britvic) to a Super League title in 1984.

He was involved with Blue Demons Academy every Sunday morning for over 20 years and is still being called on to fill in where the need is most at underage.

Jim Dineen

It was in 1956 that Jim first hopped a ball in Blarney Street CBS but it was with DePaul Boys Club in St Vincent’s Church, Sunday's Well that he really embraced the game. Winning championships at underage level, he went on to be one of the founder members of Blue Demons in 1966.

He coached Demons for a number of years but it was as an administrator that proved to be his forte. Dineen served his time as secretary to the Cork County Basketball Board for a time and has been synonymous with the Men’s Super League Clubs Committee for almost 20 years.

It is as an administrator with Blue Demons that he made his most telling contributions and remains very much involved in various aspects of the club, especially fundraising for the juveniles.

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