Cork golf group tee off again after raising €43,000 for Cope Alliance last year

Now in its 46th year, players are drawn from the Cork, Douglas, Monkstown and Muskerry Golf Clubs
Cork golf group tee off again after raising €43,000 for Cope Alliance last year

Elaine Murphy from the Cope Foundation, receiving a cheque for 43,500 for the year 2022, at a ceremony held at Douglas GC. In the photo is Robert Andrews, Brendan Howley, Treasurer, Elaine Murphy, John McGrath, Trustee, Ada O'Sullivan, Trustee, James Doolan, Captain 2023, Kay Barry, Captain 2022, Jim Harvey, President 2022 and Maryll McCarthy, Hon Sec.

ONE of Cork’s most impressive golfing groups have finalised plans for their 2023 season.

The Cope Golf Alliance is now in its 46th year and the group plan to have another busy year where as well as plenty of golf, they’ll also continue to raise funds for Cope Foundation.

Since the late 1970s, the alliance has raised over €1.7m and this year they expect to add over €40,000 to that total.

Men’s captain James Doolan is looking forward to the season, his 20th year as a member.

“Everyone involved with the Cope Golf Alliance is looking forward to the 2023 season, which kicks off for the Ladies on April 3 at Cork GC and on April 24 for the Men, at Monkstown.

“The Alliance members are drawn from Cork, Douglas, Monkstown and Muskerry Golf Clubs. Because the four clubs give their courses free of charge for Alliance competitions, the entire amount collected from members (€75 each), goes to the COPE Foundation. We also have generous, long-standing sponsors who take care of the prizes for each outing, and at our recent AGM, we presented a cheque for €43,500 to the Cope Foundation.

“There is great camaraderie between the members of the Alliance, as historically, there has been strong bond between the four 'old Cork clubs. Apart from the Alliance’s fund-raising aspect, our golf outings generate a lot of friendly rivalry too, and the Golfer of the Year titles are keenly contested affairs.

There is also a social aspect to it, with many members enjoying the clubs’ restaurant and bar facilities, and a friendly chat after their round of golf." 

The point James makes about membership is a key one. Although there are close to 500 members, it is limited to 60 men and 60 ladies from each of the four Cork clubs, a rule which dates back to the founding of the alliance in 1977.

Mary Kilcoyne from Muskerry was the 2022 Golfer of the Year. Mary is pictured with Jim Harvey, President 2022 and Kay Barry, Captain 2022.
Mary Kilcoyne from Muskerry was the 2022 Golfer of the Year. Mary is pictured with Jim Harvey, President 2022 and Kay Barry, Captain 2022.

While the members benefit from the use of the four host clubs, there are also a number of sponsors who support the alliance by providing prizes for each of the 11 annual events. In 2023 the list of sponsors will include Hitchmough Kinnear & Co, Sean Keane Fencing Ltd, AOS & Sons Co Ltd, Allied Irish Bank, Keanes Jewellers, Phelans Pharmacy, Dr. Ted Murphy & the late Tessa Murphy, Ecco Shoes, Hanley’s Home & Garden Centre, Liam Ryan SuperValu and ESB Networks.

In addition to four singles competitions in each of the clubs, the alliance also holds a gents team event, a ladies team event and a mixed event at the end of the season.


The officers of the Alliance rotate annually with one member from each club holding an office, and the captain is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces on the fairways over the coming season.

“It is a great honour for me to represent Douglas as Men’s Alliance Captain for 2023, succeeding my friend, John Phillips, who was Captain of Cork GC in 2007, when I was Captain of Douglas.

“Another friend of mine, Leo McCarthy from Muskerry, is President for 2023. Leo and myself have been members of the Cork Teachers’ Society for years. Maeve Russell from Cork is Lady President, and Lillian Nagle Walsh from Monkstown is Lady Captain.

Like many Cork people, James has a close association with Cope Foundation and he was delighted to be invited to join the Alliance in 2004.

“I was first invited to join the alliance back around 2004, and was delighted to do so as my sister, Caroline, had availed of Cope’s services in the 60s and 70s.

“Many Alliance members have a similar connection to the foundation, and I know that some of them contribute a little extra every year, because of this.

46 years on from its establishment, the founding members would be very proud to see what a success story the Cope Golf Alliance is today.”

For any golfer not joined, there are still a number of ways to Cope Foundation on the course. The annual Cope Foundation Golf Classic has been on the fundraising calendar for over two decades. Originally it was held over two days in Rathasllagh but since 2014 it has been held in Cork.

Last year Lee Valley hosted two busy days for the charity and details of the 2023 classic will be held in Monkstown and will be launched in the near future.

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