BY GER McCARTHY
AUTHOR and former Garnish GAA stalwart Declan O’Sullivan has written a new book entitled ‘When is the tide turning? Garnish GAA 1950 to 2015’.
Declan O’Sullivan’s decision to publish a book about his club’s history including a plethora of off-field stories arrives at a timely moment with Garnish having been recently crowned Beara JAFC champions.
The retired school teacher’s devotion to Garnish is immediately apparent as he recalls the times he and fellow team-mates would make the long journey down from Dublin to line out for their club. O’Sullivan played in a total six Beara football deciders (winning two) including two replays before returning back to the capital immediately afterwards.
‘I’ve always been deeply involved in Garnish football my entire life,’ O’Sullivan said.
‘Garnish is where I grew up and lived happily until moving to Dublin in 1976 where I worked full-time as a teacher until my retirement. My four brothers and I represented Garnish and I follow the club’s progress closely, even travelling down from the capital for their matches whenever I can.
‘It’s a tiny club and the furthest one away from Dublin on the island of Ireland. But like all love affairs, even though following them can be frustrating at times, I still think the world of Garnish and my club.’
A brother of Cormac O’Sullivan, who the main Beara GAA football trophy is named after, Declan was adamant the history of one of the rural region’s most important clubs would not be forgotten.
‘The main reason I wrote the book was that I felt some of the history of the club was in danger of being forgotten,’ he explained.
‘I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen so, being a history teacher, I enjoyed going into the National Library and reading old copies of The Southern Star and Beara notes during the course of putting the book together.
‘There were frustrating times too, not being able to locate old match reports or articles, and I felt like putting my shoe through the table in the (National) Library on a few occasions!
‘I was moved by the huge turnout at the book launch at the Community Centre and thankful to everyone who came along. People came down from Cork and Dublin as well many of my old team-mates. I’m delighted the book is now complete and hopefully it will be well received.’