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The ultimate objective is to increase the camogie playing population in West Cork, says Teddy O'Regan

April 8th, 2024 2:30 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

The ultimate objective is to increase the camogie playing population in West Cork, says Teddy O'Regan Image
Officers of the Carbery Camogie Board, from left, Danny Buckley, development officer; Mary Harrington, secretary; Eimear White, workshop coach, and Teddy O'Regan, chairman. (Photos: Paddy Feen)

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NEW Carbery Camogie Chairperson Teddy O’Regan is a man who enjoys a challenge so he has set himself one: to increase the camogie playing population in West Cork.

That’s an overarching goal in one sense, and the Gaggin native knows it’s all about small steps that will lead to Carbery camogie taking a big stride forward, and O’Regan has identified playing camogie in schools as an important piece of the puzzle.

‘Participation and engagement, not alone at club level but also with Carbery teams and Cork teams is essential to the development of camogie in Carbery,’ O’Regan explains.

‘Traditionally, Carbery is a football division, apart from some clubs in the east of Carbery, but as historically demonstrated by my alma mater, St Finbarr’s Farranferris, lads who never caught a hurley at home became exceptional Harty Cup hurlers almost overnight with careful and patient guidance and coaching. 

‘There is huge untapped potential and a pool of talent to be harnessed in West Cork and we hope to advance this process. The schools are the foundry for developing character and the future youth of our country in both a sporting and professional sense. The schools are the key.’

Enniskeane Camogie Club members attending the workshop were Aoibheann O'Driscoll and Edel Cronin.


With this in mind, O’Regan and the Carbery Camogie Board will host a First Year Blitz in Clonakilty GAA Club on Friday, April 19th. The emphasis will be on fun and enjoyment, and showcasing camogie.

‘We have invited all 11 girls’ secondary schools in West Cork to attend and can’t wait for it to start,’ O’Regan says. ‘Girls from different schools will be mixed together to form blitz teams in a non-competitive environment. 

‘We are acutely aware of the drop-off in girls participating in sport in their teenage years and we will strive to address this.

‘We need the schools to engage in training, preparation and participation in competitions in a serious manner. 

‘We are doing our girls a huge disservice by not doing so. This will ultimately benefit the school, the clubs, and the entire community. We will collaborate with the schools as best we can. We are at a disadvantage as there is no dedicated coaching officer for camogie in Carbery.’

O’Regan succeeds Tony Coppinger as Carbery Camogie Chairperson, having served for three years as Development Officer of the Carbery Camogie Board (2021 to ’23). 

The former Bandon player has also served as coach, PRO and committee member with Bandon Camogie Club, and is their current vice-chairperson, so he has his finger on the pulse of the local camogie scene.

‘The ultimate objective is to increase the playing population of camógs in West Cork,’ O’Regan states.

‘We presently have ten camogie clubs in Carbery – Ballinascarthy, Bandon, Barryroe, Clonakilty, Enniskeane, Kilbrittain-Timoleague, Kilbree, Newcestown, St Colum’s and St Patricks. 

‘There are no camogie clubs in Beara presently and no camogie clubs in some of our biggest rural towns in West Cork. We will do everything possible to support the establishment of camogie clubs in these areas.’

Clonakilty camogie players taking part in the Carbery Goalkeeping Workshop in Barryroe last weekend were Isla Carroll, Aisling Crowley and Arianna McCarthy.


At senior level, Carbery has its own divisional team and also Newcestown, while Enniskeane will compete at premier intermediate level this season, alongside Clonakilty. Kilbrittain-Timoleague are the only Carbery club at intermediate level, while Ballinascarthy (premier junior), Barryroe (junior A), Kilbree (junior B), Bandon and St Colum’s (both junior C) will also have championship aspirations. 

St Patrick’s is an underage club, and O’Regan adds: ‘St Patrick's is our newest club, serving the Caheragh/Skibbereen catchment areas, and deserves special mention for developing camogie in a very strong football region of Carbery.’ 

The role of the Carbery senior divisional team is important, O’Regan highlights, as it provides an opportunity for all players in the division to play in the senior camogie championship. 

‘It is a huge honour to wear the Carbery jersey, whether it is hurling, football or camogie and don’t be in any doubt we will be emphasising this point to the camógs this year,’ O’Regan says.

‘Our intention is to consider every eligible player for the Carbery senior team. It also provides an opportunity for fringe players to make the final step onto the Cork teams by playing competently at the top level in Cork camogie.’

The Carbery Goalkeeper Workshop coach Eimear White (left), is pictured with Aoibhe McCarthy, Kilmeen/Kilbree; Emily Walsh and Kevin Walsh, Ballinascarthy.


O’Regan believes Carbery camogie – the home division to All-Ireland winner and All-Star Libby Coppinger (St Colum’s), as well as Cork seniors like Millie Condon (Bal) and Ciara O’Sullivan (Newcestown) – has the potential to become a greater force, but that will take a lot of hard work. The good news is that O’Regan and the Carbery Camogie Board are prepared to roll their sleeves up.

‘I have exceptional people working with me on the Carbery Executive, as well as the club delegates and my fellow coaches at Carbery U14, Carbery U15 and Carbery senior. Our ambition collectively is to further develop camogie within Carbery, and indeed Beara too,’ O’Regan says.

‘I took the role with the ambition of giving every girl the chance to play our wonderful game. I want to expand the footprint of camogie into the most remote, scenic, and picturesque parts of West Cork, as well as our untouched urban areas, and listen for the sound of people playing and enjoying camogie.’

He adds: ‘The standard of camogie in Carbery continues to improve and if we can get our secondary schools to further promote camogie I have no doubt that Carbery schools can become a powerhouse for camogie and the local clubs will ultimately benefit.’

The 2024 Carbery Camogie Board includes: chairman, Teddy O’Regan (Bandon); secretary, Mary Harrington (Barryroe); treasurer, Mary Burrows (Newcestown); development officer, Danny Buckley (Barryroe); PRO, Caroline McSweeney (Bandon); Children's Officer/Irish and Culture Officer, Íde Ní Mhuirí (Clonakilty).

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