BY KIERAN McCARTHY
THE Tommy Markham Cup was taken on a tour of Beara last week and even made its way out to Bere Island on the ferry.
Given how Beara GAA played such an important role in bringing the All-Ireland minor football cup back to Cork after a 19-year absence, it was fitting that it spent a couple of days visiting the local GAA clubs and schools of Beara and breathing in the fresh West Cork air.
Leading the delegation was Cork minor manager Bobbie O’Dwyer from Urhan, who masterminded the county’s All-Ireland winning campaign that culminated in the stunning success against Galway in the final. O’Dwyer spearheaded a strong Beara touring party that also included All-Ireland winning minor footballers, Joe O’Shea from Urhan and Denis Collins from Glengarriff, while Garnish man Ollie Rue O’Sullivan (selector) and Urhan’s Brian McCarthy (operations and statistics manager) were also involved.
All-Ireland and Munster winning minor ladies’ football star Christine O’Sullivan from Garnish was also lauded throughout the region and she brought both cups that the Cork minor ladies won this season. The Munster U20 football cup won by Cork swelled the ranks even further.
‘This was a great celebration of Beara GAA and highlighted the important roles that Beara played in Cork’s minor successes this season,’ explained Cork PRO Joseph Blake, an Adrigole native who was involved in this tour of Beara.
‘It was great to bring these cups to young fans and old, to visit all the schools, and for the people of Beara to celebrate our region’s role in such a memorable year for Cork football.’
It all started on Tuesday when Cork minor footballer Denis Collins from Glengariff led the celebrations in his home village with the cups brought to the local national schools and then to the hall that night. On Thursday, the travelling party stopped off at Urhan NS, Eyeries NS, Cahermore NS, Beara Community School in Castletownbere where Joe O’Shea and Christine O’Sullivan are Leaving Cert students, and also called into Castletownbere Community Hospital. At Eyeries Hall on Thursday night, Urhan GAA organised a get-together and a number of presentations were made, including Beara GAA President Roibeard O’Dwyer making a presentation to his son, Cork minor boss Bobbie.
Up bright and early on Friday morning, it was on to Bere Island and a stop-off at the local national school before returning to the mainland and a visit to CoAction Castletownbere, and then two national schools in Adrigole.
This was a fitting tribute to Beara’s major role in Cork’s minor All-Ireland triumphs in men’s and women’s GAA.