Courtmac to host All-Ireland Rowing Championships
BY JOHN SEXTON
‘FACING the task of organising any All-Ireland event is a mamount task and you here in Courtmacsherry by your organisation and endeavours have set an example for others to follow’, stated Tim Lombard, Mayor of County Cork, when he gave the keynote address in launching the All-Ireland Rowing Championships at a function in the Pier-House Lounge on Friday night.
He went on to state how he admired the discipline and strong degree of community spirit which is so evident in Courtmacsherry: ‘Ireland needs home-grown activities and the amount of young people who have taken-up rowing over recent years is indicative of how they appreciate a sporting activity in the clear air and water of the countryside, and those of you at the organising end are worthy of the highest praise, and deserving of the full support of the community at large.’
In a wide ranging address, the chairman of the Courtmacsherry Rowing Club, Brian Whelton outlined the history of the club and how success has seen it mushrooming beyond all expectations during recent years. He was loud in his praise for the measure of support that they have always received from the general public throughout Barryroe, Courtmacsherry, Timoleague, and the wider hinterland.
Rowing clubs have become so numerous that there now two divisions in the county, East Cork and West Cork, with the Bandon River as the divide. He complimented the South Coast Rowing Association, and neighbouring clubs, for the support given them in their application to stage the All-Ireland Championships this year.
They now have three up-to-date boats in the club capable of competing in the various disciplines of competition, including one for sculling.
From their experience competing at various regattas, the large attendance of young people present indicates that these events symbolise that they provide a great Family day-out.
Declan O’Donovan, chairman SCRA, expressed his pleasure at the well co-ordinated effort being made by the members of the Courtmacsherry Rowing Club, which seems to have such a wealth of young rowers at their disposal. Bill Deasy, chairman, SCRA, said this competition will see 50 competitions, with 250 crews and 3,000 rowers, plus upwards of 5,000 supporters, descend on Courtmacsherry for the weekend.
They have had regular meetings with the officers of the Courtmacsherry club, and by the manner in which they handled the county final last year, he has every confidence in them for this occasion.
Other clubs present on the occasion were Galley, Ring, Passage, Blackrock, Rosscarbery, Kilmacabea and Myross. Amongst other prominent personalities present were John Loughman, Mayor of Clonakilty, Sean O’Donovan, Mayor of Bandon, Christopher O’Sullivan MCC; Declan Hurley MCC, John O’Sullivan MCC, Mike Feen, the Coopers , and Bernie O’Donovan, Galley.
Also present were Fiona Hurley and Olivia Brickley of the Courtmacsherry club, the club’s president, Paddy Barry, and many, many more to add to the social occasion, provided at the Pier House.
Before the function the dignateries were given a tour of the club’s craft on the pier by their chairman Brian Whelton, who explained the different structure of each boat. Also one of the club’s fundraising functions, a coffee morning and breakfast party, will be held in the Community Centre this Sunday June 3rd.