Bride Rovers GAA

01 June, 2020

Cork v Offaly 1985.

Our 'new' pitch was developed in the late 1970's and early 1980's having been purchased in 1977. The first game to be played on the new playing surface was on Saturday June the 4th 1983 when we played Aghada in the East Cork Junior Hurling League. Denis Mulcahy was the fist man 'to raise a flag' on the new surface when he struck a point in the sixth minute. It was close game but the visitors won by a single point, 2 12 to 2 11. Our lineout was as follows; P. Hoskins, M. O Flynn, T. O Flynn, L. Kearney, T. Mannix, L. Cahill, A.  Kearney, P.Collins, N. Murphy, T. Mulcahy, J.A. Murphy, J. Ahern, D. Mulcahy, D. Ahern, G. O Driscoll. That year we defeated Carrignavar by 3 12 to 1 7 in the first round of the JHC with Seanie Barry scoring the three goals. That game was in Castlelyons in early July. Just two weeks later we faced Cobh in Lisgoold. Behind by 4 9 to 1 7 early in the second half a heavy defeat seemed likely but we scored 2  4 without reply. Cobh added another point to win by 4 10 to 3 11.  By early 1984 -the GAA 's centenary Year we had paid off a debt of £35,000 which covered the purchase and development of the pitch.  In May of that year we signed a contract for £22,000 with Brideview Homes to build four dressingrooms.  Twenty Club members each went Guarantor for £1000 each to obtain a new Bank Loan. Work went ahead during the summer and on Tuesday August the 21st a Club meeting was held in the new building. Cork won the All Ireland Hurling title defeating Offaly in the Thurles Final. Shortly after the All Ireland Final we made an Official application to the County Board for the Cork Senior Hurling team to play a game in Rathcormac to mark the Pitch opening. We had been fairly hopeful of getting a suitable date in late October or early November. As it turned out this did not materialise and we were informed it would be the following year before we could get the Cork hurlers. The Club's founding Secretary and lifelong member, player and officer Tom Barry NT 'the Master' died on March 7th 1984. Shortly after this we got word that the Cork hurlers were available on  Sunday evening June the 2nd.  We contacted the Faithful County and they readily agreed to come. The first Sunday in June thirty five years ago was great day for the Club. W were busy for weeks before to make sure all was in order.  Everything went brilliantly. We had a juvenile team from St Mary's in Dublin playing our lads in the afternoon. Con Murphy did the honours on a memorable day for the Club. For the Cork and Offaly game a huge crowd was present, the game was refereed by Waterford man Jim Joe Landers. Cork won a great game by  4 16 to 1 15. The headline the next day was "Hartnett The Hero For Cork" -Pat Hartnett scored 1 5 that evening as the All Ireland champions were well over Offaly.  Hard to imagine that just twelve weeks later on Sunday September the 1st Offaly were crowned All Ireland champions! Cork won the Munster Championship for the fourth year in a row but sensationally lost the All Ireland Semi final to Galway by 4 12 to 5 5.

The Cork that played in Rathcormac on June 2nd 1985 was as follows;                  G. Cunningham, D. Mulcahy, J. Crowley, J. Blake, J. Buckley, P. Horgan, D. McCurtain, P. Hartnett, J. Fenton, D. Walsh (St. Finbarrs). T. Crowley, , J Hartnett, J. Barry Murphy, K Hennessy, T. Mulcahy, Subs P. Crowley, J. Hodgins, J. O Callaghan. Twelve of that side were on the team that lost to Galway with Tom Cashman, Tony O Sullivan and Kieran Kingston replacing  John Buckley, John Hartnett and Jimmy Barry Murphy.  Of the team that won the Liam McCarthy Cup in September for Offaly ten of them played in the Rathcormac game. Over the years I've met Pat Delaney, one of Offaly's all time greats, a few times and he always recalls the great sing-song his team had in Vera Barry's bar on that Sunday night thirty five years ago.



County Board Draws.

The monthly Cork GAA Members Draw has not taken place since February because of the Covid restrictions. It has now been decided to go ahead with three draws -For March, April and May on tonight Thursday May 27th at 7pm in Pairc Ui Rinn.


Jimmy O Donovan RIP.

Last weekend the parish bade farewell to one of it's oldest citizens and a great character when Jimmy O Donovan of Terramount passed away.  Born 93 years ago Jimmy was a great sportsman and followed all rural pastimes. He loved to be out in the open air with his dogs and his gun. He was mad for hunting and followed the hounds whenever he could. He was great Bride Rovers follower. He marvelled at the Golden Era in the 1960's and how he enjoyed the successes of the last twenty years. A great man to go to games Jimmy was never slow expressing his views about the rules, the opposition, the pitch and even the referee. In local hostelries he was great company, he loved fun and good stories- the taller the better! The Bride Rovers Club will mss Jimmy as one of it's most loyal and enduring supporters. We extend our deepest sympathy to Jimmy's wife and family and sister. Jimmy, you've ran the race, fought the good fight and now the final whistle has blown. Rest easy and may your soul and spirit ever inspire the younger generations now growing up.


The Bus.

In January 1977 an old bus was purchased in Cork for £80 with a view to turning it into a dressingroom for players in Getting's Field. John Meade arranged to get the vehicle from the city for £15 and so in April of that year work commenced on putting chipboard on the windows and roof. This bus served as our 'home' dressingroom until we moved to Pairc na Bride in 1983. It certainly wasn't anyway 'luxurious' but we won two East Cork Junior Hurling Leagues and a B Grade Football Championship while 'togging out' in the bus. By the time it's career was finished in 1983 the vehicle was no longer capable of being towed.  It went for scrap metal and I think it cost us in the region of £250 to get rid of it!


1927 Hurling Book.

I recently came across a little book belong to Ned Daly dated  October 22nd 1927. 'Hurling and How To Play It' is the title, written by ' An Ciotóg'. It is ' A Guide to those in charge of Teams, and to Players desirous of improving their knowledge and ability in Ireland's historic and unexcelled game'

  'The hand that flung the battle spear

       Was trained at the Caman'.

In it's 66 pages are outlined the selection of a hurley and a ball, the 'job spec' for each player from goalie to corner forward. Tactics, team selection, 'advice and counsel' are all dealt with in detail.

A list of twenty 'Don'ts For Hurlers' include;

Don't take your hand off your hurley.

Don't charge into your opponent's back, get him sideways or front.

Don't talk or shout -spare your wind.

Don't be too anxious to raise the ball

Don't forget a little powdered resin on wet weather

Don't mind the spectators - mind the ball and your opponent.



The early 1950's was an era of great success for the Cork Senior Hurling team. After a period of Tipperary dominance in the late 1`940's Cork emerged as a great hurling force. Winning three All Irelands in a  row 1952, 53 and 1954 and the National league in 1953 Cork were a brilliant team with Christy Ring at his very best. The team was invited to play in the Polo Grounds in New York in the autumn of 1952 where they beat a New York selection. On Sunday November the 7th 1954 the County Corkmen's Association organised a Banquet for the team in the Commodore Hotel. It was glitzy, gala occasion and an occasion of great enjoyment. On the Cork panel was Owenie McAuliffe from Glanworth who had played with Cork in the National League. A lovely souvenir Menu card was printed and here's where the mystery starts! The first item on the selection was 'Grapefruit Marachino'. After that then each subsequent course or item had a name of a Cork GAA Division or Club. The Cork players had;

Avondhu Potage Mongole

Imokilly Iced Hearts of Celery- Colossal Cream Olives

Duhallow Roast Stuffed Turkey

Muskerry Giblet Gravy

Inniscarra Cranberry Jelly

Shandon Sweet Potato Glace

Blarney Castle Ice cream

Crisp Hearth Roles- Demi Tasse Coffee and, oh yes, one other item was included - Bride Rovers String Beans! We have absolutely no idea where that name came from as there was no one from Bride Rovers on the Cork Panel. Perhaps someone from our parish was employed in the Commodore Hotel at thee time. Even sixty six years later maybe someone, somewhere could solve the 'String Beans' mystery.




These are tough times for all business firms, big and small, and in Bride Rovers we are especially grateful to Rathcormac Tyres and Fermoy Print and Design for their ongoing assistance. If you or family members or friends can support these two firms we would really appreciate it.


1951 Hurling Team.

When, after an absence of a year, GAA activities were re-organised in the parish in 1951 a Club was affiliated under the name 'Bartlemy GAA'. At the time Carnival and Tournament matches were extremely popular and drew huge crowds. There was intense rivalry with Watergrasshill, Castlelyons, Lisgoold and St Catherines. In late July of 151 the Club turned down one Tournament invitation 'because their referee had not given us fair play in the final of another Tournament'. The team that lined out in Watergrasshill on Wednesday July 11th 1951 was Jim Ryall, W. Cotter, D. Ryan, M.Egan,  Billy 'Bob' O Regan, M. O Riordan, D. Cotter, Dick Ryan, P. O Regan, P.Foley, L. Ryan, M O Regan B.Hoskins, P. O Flynn, M.Browne. The subs were E. Cotter, J. Browne, J. Woods, W. Cotter, T. Heskin, and Ned Hoskins. Of those 21 players just two are still with us , Jim Ryall living in East Cork and Billy 'Bob' O Regan who now lives in Kildare


Bride Rovers Club Gear.

While we might not be playing games at present  it's still important to wear the Green, White and Gold of the Club whenever possible. We have negotiated to have a full range of our Club Gear available to purchase from O Neills Sportswear. At present all sizes of jersies, t-shirts, shorts, jackets, polo shirts and tracksuits are in stock at reasonable prices.  Go to and then search in the list of club names for 'Bride Rovers' and you'll see the full range.


Parish Newsletter.

The Parish Newsletter can be emailed to anyone in the Parish who would like to get a copy. Each Saturday the latest edition will be sent out. If you wish to get a copy just forward your email address to  Until further notice Fr Joe O Keeffe will celebrate mass each Sunday at 10.30. The Mass will be live-streamed on the Parish Facebook page and U Tube channel. The two Churches in the Parish are now opened on alternate days from 12 noon until 3.



                                                                      Fermoy Print & Design


Was it Dean Martin sung the song 'Memories Are Made Of This'? Well this morning I had that tune in my head because of what I heard on the Radio. We were milking the cows when just after the eight o clock News on RTE1 the announcer was giving details of World Report, coming up next, to be followed by John Bowman. You know sometimes one thought leads to another and so on and whether 'twas a coincidence or not this morning several things all came together on the 'wireless' and sent me down 'Boreen na Smaointe' -don't worry the cows were still milked, calves, hens and dog fed! A programme to be broadcast on about the recently deceased singer John Prine was also mentioned. This programme will be presented by Dave Heffernan, a well known RTE  presenter- didn't Dave and his brothers Gerard and Tony attend Bartlemy National School for a time in the 1960's! At the time their father was a travelling actor on the 'fit up' circuit, he is listed in the Bartlemy Roll Book as 'aisteoir'. One of  the news pieces from around the world on World Report was from Marseilles in France. The reporter was a familiar voice, Mary Fitzgerald from Kildinan in our parish. Mary has travelled the world as a reporter often going 'behind the lines' in places of extreme conflict and danger. Now living in Marseilles Mary was telling us about the Covid situation in France's oldest city. She told of the 1720 Bubonic Plague which claimed up to 1000 victims a day at it's height. Events were planned to mark the Bicentenary of that awful event but all have been cancelled. In comparison to Paris Marseilles' Covid death toll of less than 200 has been very low. Mary went to Bartlemy National School too - the New School. She's from the townland of Glenagoul in Kildinan and the Fitzgerald farm has special significance in GAA history. On this farm in the autumn of 1741 a hurling game was played. The Famine and terrible cold weather of 1740 and early 1741 had come to an end leaving tens of thousands dead in Ireland. By late summer of 1741 the weather had improved and a harvest of sorts was saved. Perhaps the local landlords were relieved but one way or another the MacAdam Barry chief in Lisnagar organised a hurling team and they sent out a challenge to a game. A team  from Tipperary led by Denis McGrath answered the call. What is regarded as the first 'Cork v Tipperary' hurling game was played in Glenagoul -but who won? Well the Tipperary men claimed victory and 'commissioned' a poet to write an account of the match. 'Not so' said the Cork scribe Sean O Murchu 'Na Raitineach' from Carrignavar who wrote several verses stating in no uncertain manner that the Cork side won -and we wonder where did the Cork/Tipperary rivalry come from! Ah yes memories of hurling and next up was John Bowman with more. I hadn't known that on Wednesday June the 2nd 1920 Michael O Hehir was born in Glasnevin in Dublin. His father Jim had moved to Dublin, having trained his native Clare to beat Laois in the 1914 All Ireland Hurling Final. Another link in my mind - in 1915 Laois won the title -trained by Bartlemy native Pat Lee! Well John Bowman this morning began a series of programmes on 'the voice of the GAA'. Amazing isn’t it that Christy Ring and Micheál O Hehir were born within six months of each other. This pair popularised hurling and, in my opinion, made the GAA great. For twenty minutes this morning I was enthralled and taken back to days of yore when the wireless was supreme. True, Micheal became a superb television commentator later but he will be forever associated with Radio Éireann. His voice was superb. From 1938 until 1985 the voice of O Hehir was the voice of hurling, of Summer Sundays, of special September days and the very essence of what the GAA meant to Irish people. This morning I heard him repeat his 'secret', his theory behind broadcasting. He recalled a man called Patrick Garry from Ballycorick near Lissycasey in West Clare. Micheál said Patrick Garry had travelled the country to games but by the 1930's arthritis prevented him from going to matches. O Hehir imagined Garry sitting by his radio set in his kitchenand he set out to talk to him and describe what he saw on the pitch in front of him -in Thurles or Limerick or Tuam or Croke Park.  They say O Hehir made dull matches exciting -wasn't that a brilliant gift to have in an Ireland where times were tough? The wireless with the Wet and Dry Batteries seems a lifetime away now but it was part and parcel of life for our forebearers. Today Walsh Park would be thronged to the rafters if the Rebels were playing the boys in Blue and White. Way back in the glorious 40's Cork were similarly engaged against the Decies. A crowd had gathered round the radio set in Tobin's public-house in Ballyduff - where the Cork Waterford rivalry is keenest. Into the second half and Waterford ahead by two points, next thing didn't the battery fail in the wireless -no sound, nothing. Crowd ran across to another pub, by the time they got in the door hadn't Cork scored a goal.   'F*** it' says one Waterford supporter 'that f*****g battery to fail, that's how Cork got the f*****g goal, you sir' I don't know what the final score was!. Ah yes great games, great days and one voice that made them even better. Micheal got a stroke a few weeks before the 1985 All Ireland Hurling Final between Galway and Offaly -it would have been his 100th All Ireland to broadscast. I remember at the 1987 Football Final he was introduced to crowd and got a standing ovation as his son Peter pushed his wheelchair onto his beloved Croke Park. This morning one of those who paid tribute to O Hehir, in an old recording, was long time GAA Secretary Sean O Siocháin- Sean was a fine singer and 'The Boys of Barr na Sraide' was one of his favourites on Radio Eireann's 'The Balladmakers Saturday Night' long ago. Well after the nine o clock news this morning a Sunday Miscellany recalling fifty years of Listowel Writers Week was broadcast and lo and behold that song came wafting across the airwaves….

Ah yes, memories are made of these.. when

We sang for joy beneath the sky, life held no print or plan,