A NEW Diarmuid Ó Mathúna jersey marking the 100th anniversary of the death of a local patriot is proving a big hit with the Carbery club’s supporters at home and abroad.
Mathúnas are delighted with the response to their replica jersey endeavour at a time they, along with every other GAA club, is struggling to raise desperately-needed funds.
Not even a recent Croke Park rule change has prevented Diarmuid Ó Mathúna jersey sales from surging.
‘The rules around commemorative jerseys changed at Christmas time,’ Diarmuid Ó Mathúna’s PRO Pat Murphy told The Southern Star.
‘Our original idea was to produce this new Mathúna’s jersey complete with the image of Jeremiah O’Mahony’s face for our players to wear in all football and hurling championship matches.
‘Since Christmas, the rules changed about what can be displayed on GAA jerseys. So the manufacturer, Masita, and ourselves came up with a solution whereby we would offer two options. One jersey has Jeremiah O’Mahony’s image, the year he was born plus the year he passed away printed on it and available for any of our supporters to purchase. The second has none of those additions but is also available to buy.’
The new Masita jersey design is a credit to the West Cork club as is their new website from where the two different replicas can be bought.
Jeremiah O’Mahony was killed on March 5th 1921. The Diarmuid Ó Mathúna GAA club is named after the local volunteer who was also involved in the Kilmichael Ambush. A revamp of the West Cork club’s website – launched on March 5th – has allowed Mathúna’s to sell the replica jerseys, both locally and internationally, during the current lockdown.
‘John and Eoin O’Callaghan came up with the original idea and went about organising the whole thing,’ Pat Murphy said.
‘The jersey appeals to not alone our club supporters or GAA supporters in general but also to anyone with an interest in Irish history. Lots of people with an interest in the War of Independence have also expressed interest in the Jeremiah O’Mahony replica jersey.
‘We, as a club, are trying to be as proactive as we can while there is no training or matches going on. We are similar to a lot of other GAA clubs in that our finances could be a lot better than what they currently are. The club has recently put a huge amount of effort into selling the Cork Rebels’ Bounty tickets and the response was absolutely fantastic.’
On the pitch, Diarmuid Ó Mathúna’s are awaiting the 2021 campaign, whenever it finally comes about. Mathúna’s junior A hurling and football status could be in jeopardy unless results improve this season.
‘Our underage club remains in amalgamation with St Mary’s under the Ahán Gaels name while our adult Diarmuid Ó Mathúna’s team needs positive results to maintain our junior A status this coming year,’ Murphy admitted.
‘We field as Ahán Gaels from U12 onwards and it is working out well. Ourselves and St Mary’s are giving our young players an opportunity to pay at a higher standard. A lot of what we are trying to put in place right now is part of a long-term plan to possibly develop better training facilities for future generations. Money doesn’t grow on trees but we are doing the best we can.
‘From the adult point of view, it is a big year for us. We need championship victories in both football and hurling or we might lose our junior A status. Aodh Quinlivan will train the footballers and Barry Horgan will look after our hurlers.’