ST COLUM’S will have Féile fever this summer as the club has teams involved in hurling, camogie and football competitions in the coming months.
Next year the club will celebrate its 50th golden anniversary but this year will be significant too in the club’s development with three teams in Féile action.
Over the next few weeks expect Féile fever to spread, as the club begins its preparations as one of West Cork’s host clubs for the upcoming Féile na nGael hurling and camogie competitions, hosted by Cork this year. Then in June, Colum’s footballers travel to Mayo for Féile Peil na n-Óg.
In hurling St Colum’s are in a group with Clonakilty and both the Sligo and Down champions, with Bandon and Ibane Gaels on the opposite group with the Armagh and Roscommon champions. St Colum’s will host Naomh Eoin from Sligo city. Even though hosting, St Colum’s will feel they are participating on merit as they won the West Cork hurling Féile last year before losing narrowly to Fermoy in the county semi-final by two points. They will see this as a great opportunity to showcase their skills which have been nurtured since a young age. St Colum’s Camogie Club, established in 2008, has gone from strength to strength. Both hurling and camogie have become increasingly visible on week nights and the club feels that it is catering for all the children from all families and a rising tide definitely lifts all boats. This presents its own challenges for a small club but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Coaching education has been embraced and former director of hurling Paudie Butler has been a pivotal figure. Many coaches and parents would have had no real background in hurling and camogie as opposed to football and would formally been reluctant to get involved but this has now changed.
Evenings spent watching and listening to Paudie Butler teach the fundamentals of the game has seen parents and children enraptured and enthralled by the game.
For a camogie club so young, Colum’s has an All-Ireland medallist in Libby Coppinger and the club’s adult team won the 2018 junior C county title by defeating Grenagh in the final. The enthusiasm within the club is evident and their incremental rise is remarkable. The camogie club will be hosting the Muinebheag club from Bagnalstown in Carlow and will be in a group with Bandon and Brian Dillon’s of Cork, as well as the Roscommon and Wicklow champions.
St Colum’s Féile odyssey will continue in late June with the footballers travelling to host club Swinford in Mayo. Winning the A grade Cork Féile football title was another unprecedented success for the club this year, even though they did win the A championship title in West Cork last year.
Cork Féile is very competitive with Colum’s emerging from a group consisting of Castlehaven, Kinsale, Ibane Gaels and Clonakilty. The manner by which they won the final in Ballincollig in April was even more satisfactory. Both their semi-final win over Erins Own and final victory over Na Piarsaigh went to extra time, with the semi-final win even coming down to a nail-biting ‘golden score’. This resilience should stand to them and they can travel to Mayo confident that they can produce performances regardless of the opposition.
St Colum’s are in a group with two Mayo teams, Swinford and Crossmolina, and the Antrim champions. Listowel Emmets, Mayobridge from Down, Tuam Stars and Dunmore McHales of Galway are in the opposite group.
Colum’s are Corks second ranked team, out of four, at Féile and when one considers that Nemo Rangers are the first ranked team, it really puts their achievement into context.
This summer will be a memorable and deserved experience for the boys and girls of St Colum’s, as well as their families and the wider community of the Kealkill area.
This venture will obviously come at a financial cost and the club are thankful to all sponsors and individuals who give to the fundraising efforts and make the dreams of this generation of young people come true. St Colum’s is hungry for success so let the Féile games begin!