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‘I certainly didn’t expect that,’ admits Gretta Cormican after 2022 West Cork Sports Star Hall of Fame award 

March 22nd, 2023 4:11 PM

By Ger McCarthy

‘I certainly didn’t expect that,’ admits Gretta Cormican after 2022 West Cork Sports Star Hall of Fame award  Image
2022 Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star Hall of Fame Award winner Gretta Cormican with family and friends at the awards. (Photo: George Maguire)

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THERE was a perfect 25-year symmetry to Gretta Cormican’s West Cork Sports Star Hall of Fame Award at the Celtic Ross Hotel.

The former world road bowling champion from Lyre added a Hall of Fame accolade to her long list of achievements 25 years after being crowned the first ever Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star of the Year winner in 1998.

Cormican was visibly taken aback at the announcement made by Southern Star sports editor Kieran McCarthy but honoured to once again be recognised for her achievements both on and off the bowling roads of West Cork.

‘I was absolutely blown away and certainly didn’t expect it,’ Cormican told The Southern Star.

‘As Kieran went on, mentioning four brothers and the only girl in the family, my legs turned to jelly! I am just so delighted to get it (Hall of Fame). When you are coming to the end of your career and you get awards like this, it just means so much.’


The late Paudie Palmer was a big fan of Gretta Cormican’s successes, something the former world champion and seven-time All-Ireland winning bowler always appreciated.

Receiving her Hall of Fame award from special guest Brian Cody and in the same room as the likes of Irish international runner Darragh McElhinney and World and Olympic champions Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy made the moment even more special for a delighted Cormican.

‘It was lovely to get a standing ovation, especially after the one the late Paudie (Palmer) got just before me,’ Cormican commented.

‘Paudie was a huge part of these awards. I would have loved for him to be here tonight. I really would. He is no longer with us and my sympathies to his family.

‘As for the Hall of Fame award, well, I won’t sleep tonight! It would have been nice to get some sort of warning! Look, I said what I said (on stage) and I meant what I said.’

Gretta Cormican pictured on the road in Cork back in 1992.


An individual of Cormican’s stature receiving a Hall of Fame award reflects a lifetime’s commitment to her chosen sport. It is also a reminder that road bowling has never been more popular in West Cork, especially with young girls. Make no mistake about it, road bowling is on the rise for aspiring newcomers of all ages, irrespective of their lack of experience.

‘Bowling is after coming on since Covid happened because women in sport have brought it along,’ the Hall of Fame recipient said.

‘We have our own (bowling) days for all the women in the county and are introducing new girls all the time. Older women are taking up the sport, many of whom have come to the end of their careers in another sport.

‘It is fantastic to see and hopefully we can build on it over the next three to five years.’

Over the past 25 years, there is little doubt that road bowling’s popularity and weekly newspaper presence in West Cork is helped by those who have a passion for the sport. As a competitor, administrator and advocate, Cormican along with dedicated committee members continue to push road bowling.

‘I wouldn’t say that it is all down to me, in fairness,’ Cormican stated.

‘We have a good organisation, good people, chairpersons, secretaries, treasurers and all others down along the line.

‘As you know, our sport is a voluntary sport. It is not easy, Sunday after Sunday, to be going out there marking scores, refereeing scores, when it is raining down on you and the wind is blowing. It is not all down to me. I am only one person, one cog in the wheel.’

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