BY MARTIN WALSH
DOCUMENTING the history of GAA clubs is a valuable treasure within the organisation and even more so within a community.
In what is the second charting of the history of the Kilmeen-Kilbree GAA Club, the latest version, penned by Marie Dorgan, covers the history from 1989 to 2020. Previously, Michael O’Mahony’s compilation brought the history as far as 1988.
In her own words, Marie says, ‘The club now has its history fully complete and up to date, and that’s a proud achievement.’
Indeed, the latest 170-page publication complete with a vast array of photographic images, predominantly in colour, will be launched at the club’s facility in Rossmore this Friday night at 8.30pm.
Originally from Ballyvolane in the northside of Cork City, Marie Dorgan has immersed herself in West Cork life since she moved to Rossmore some 20 years ago. There is no better way to become part of the parish GAA and camogie family, but in a community that is famed nationally for its prowess in drama, the standards are high. The club has developed its facilities significantly over the past number of years and work is ongoing including the provision of a walkway around the pitches.
‘Being involved in the GAA and camogie clubs has been a wonderful way to get to know people of all ages in the parish and beyond,’ she explained.
‘I have made many great friends and I’ve had many fun and enjoyable days out over the past number of years.’
No doubt about it, Marie is very much one of their own in this idyllic rural setting. She was also best placed to write the latest edition of the history of the club. Over the past ten years she has been PRO for underage, adult and camogie clubs. She’s also been pivotal to the development of a new website (www.kilmeenkilbree.com) that has increased the club's presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). In 2014 she was awarded the Cork GAA Communications Award for her work in the compilation of weekly club notes for the press and communicating with club members via text.
Her versatility is illustrated by the combination of her GAA work with her employment at the Munster Technological University and family life, all in seamless fashion.
The book highlights success on the playing fields at underage and adult level. It also records the disappointments along the journey of the past 31 years.
‘I’m very grateful to the mentors of every team that facilitate my work, photos, team sheets and appreciate the mentors and parents that take team photographs at matches that I cannot make,’ she said.
The book was a ‘Covid project’ as Marie explains, ‘I began looking for old AGM reports and older photos during the first lockdown. Last summer I started trawling through the newspaper archives, particularly the Southern Star to flesh out the finer detail for each year. It’s been an intensive process but it is now very satisfying to see it all coming together.’
Marie paid tribute to the many club members that assisted her in compiling the book.
‘This (book) recognises the many dedicated people that have been involved in the club over the years including many notable achievements and should be of interest to those at home and abroad.’