Clann na nGael GAA (Cork)
|Club colours:||Green, White and Black|
Clann na nGael GAA club is a Gaelic football club located in the parish of Drimoleague & Drinagh in County Cork. It draws its players from the villages of Drimoleague & Drinagh, and the surrounding areas. The club participates in the West Cork (Carbery) division of Cork and operates at Junior A, B and C level in football. It is a vibrant club catering for boys and girls from Under 8 up to Adult level.
Clann na nGael Club was founded in 1888. The Drimoleague & Drinagh club is known throughout West Cork as 'The Scorchers'.
Its one of the oldest clubs in the Carbery Division. Since the origin of the club, Football has always played an important role in every household in the parish. In the early days, the players used to play in 'Walties Field'. Today, Pairc Tagh na Samhna is the home ground of the club. The club has been known in the past, by a few other titles: The O'Connells, Rock Rovers, Sean Hurleys and St. Finbarrs(Hurling)
The club first came to prominence in the 1940s, when the Scorchers won three West Cork titles in a row - 1941, 1942 and 1943. They were regarded by many as being one of the finest footballing sides in the division throughout the 1940s. In 1942 they reached the county final, but lost to a very strong combined services team. Drinagh had their own team at the time as well. Its interesting to note the numbers and the quality of the players in the parish at the time, where they could field two very competitive teams around the same time. Drinagh won the West Cork junior B title in 1950.
The 1950s and 1960s were lean years for the club, except for 1958 when they reached the west cork final again. Unfortunately, they came up against an exceptionally strong Doheny's side at the time. A major effort was made to revive the fortunes of the club in the 1970s. Most of the emphasis was placed on under age teams. This resulted in the club winning numerous under age titles, and a West Cork Junior B title in 1977.
Following that success, the club again regained its Junior A status. The club proved to be one of the strongest teams in west cork throughout the 1980s. They won the 'Little Norah' in 1981 and reached the finals in 1984 and 1988. A first county title was brought to the club by the U16 team in 1985. Since then, two more county titles have come to the club since then. The next was in 2005, when the U14's won the County title. The Juniors managed to bring a 1st adult county & munster title to the club the year after, in 2006, defeating Churchtown & Knockaderry respectively.
The Club achieved a rare feat when it qualified for both the Junior A & B West Cork championship finals in 2010. The Junior A's also competed in the Seandun league(as well as the Carbery league) during the year. In 2011 the Junior A's are competing in the Carrigdhoun league as well as the Carbery League.
In 2011 it was decied to field a 3rd Junior team. Clann na nGael are the only Junior club to have three Adult teams participating in the respective Carbery Leagues & Championship. This is a first for the club and a big step forward in its development. In 2012 the Junior A's reached the semi-finals of the league while the Junior B & D's competed in their respective league finals.
1888 First Match
Considering that now, Clann na nGael is a Drimoleague–Drinagh team that plays together for the honour of the entire parish it is fitting that the first match played was also a Drimoleague-Drinagh combination. The first match played by a team representing the entire parish took place in Drinagh between Drimoleague-Drinagh (O’Connells) and Leap (Geraldines) in Drinagh. The ball was thrown in at 3 o’ clock after O’Connells won the toss. It is a credit to the men who organised the game that they overcome the difficulties of limited and time consuming transport facilities to select a team from such a large area. The name ‘O’ Connells’ was used in connection with the team representing the parish. In the early years of the GAA most clubs adopted patriotic names to show their nationalistic beliefs and the title was in honour of Daniel O’Connell.
Origins of the Club
The first sign that a committee was in operation comes in February 1888. A letter appeared in the “Skibbereen Eagle” protesting to the said Paper’s report of a match between the O’Connell’s club (a Drimoleague-Drinagh combination) and the Geraldine Club (Leap). The letter was signed John J. McCarthy, Hon. Secretary with John Beamish stepping into the vacant position.
There is no other mention of the committee’s members until November 3, 1888 when the full list of officials and committee members is stated in ‘The Eagle’. They were:
Treasurer - Dr.Eugene Crowley
Secretary - John Beamish
Committee: Messrs John Maloney, John McCarthy, Denis O’Donoghue, Michael McCarthy, John McCarthy, Jeremiah O’Driscoll, Patrick McSweeney, Timothy Dempsey, Jerome Beechinor P.L.G., Wm. Collins P.L.G., and Jeremiah Driscoll.
Although James Fitzgerald is not listed in the above committee, he is credited with introducing organised sports to Drimoleague. He was originally from Bandon but moved to the parish to live with his son in law, Dr. Crowley, in late ’87. Unfortunately not much is known about James Fitzgerald or his son in law, but we can be very thankful that he decided to move to the parish and help set the foundations for the Clann na nGael Club.
John Beamish: He was a great worker for the GAA and was involved in every major and minor sporting event in the parish. He was a publican and also an agent for the quarries.
Dr. Eugene Crowley: Unfortunately there is not much info available on Dr. Crowley. He practised medicine in Drimoleague but lived in Drinagh town.
Jeremiah O’Driscoll: No info found.
Jerome Beechinor P.L.G.: He was considered one of the gentry in 1888 but was very popular with the locals. He was also involved in Athletics and often offered his fields as a venue for a football match.
Timothy Dempsey:Owned a pub at the corner of Chapel St. where Crowley’s pharmacy now stands.
So what and who is the Scorcher - In 1902 the team was captained by Jack O' Mahony. He was locally known as 'the Scorcher'. He was so called because of his hard, low, rasping shot. 'The Scorcher' was a member of a very well known and respected family that lived in Main Street West at the start of the 20th century. He served in the first World War, being seriously injured in Flanders.
The following players from the parish, have all represented Cork at different levels (U18 - Adult).
- Brendan O'Connor - Cork Minor
- Fr. Kevin O'Donovan - Cork Minor: 1964, 1965 Munster Finalist
- James Daly - Cork Minor: 1976 All-Ireland Finalist
- Martin Connolly - Cork U21: 1981 All-Ireland Champion, 1982 Munster Champion
- Andrew McCarthy - Cork U21: 1986 All-Ireland Champion
- Paul O'Rourke - Cork Minor: 1991 All-Ireland Champion; Cork U21: 1994 All-Ireland Champion
- Donnacha O'Brien - Cork Vocational: 1996
- Michael O'Driscoll - Cork Vocational: 2001 Munster Champion; Cork Junior: 2007 All-Ireland Champion, 2008 Munster Finalist
- William O'Mahony - Cork Vocational: 2009 Munster Champion; Cork Minor: 2009
- Derek Crowley - Cork Vocational: 2010 All-Ireland Champion; Cork Minor: 2010 Munster Champion
- Don O'Driscoll - Cork Minor: 2012 & 2013
- Grainne McCarthy - Cork Minor: 2011 All-Ireland Champion
- Alice O'Driscoll - Cork Minor: 2011 All-Ireland Champion; Cork U21
Numerous players have in the past, or are presently on, Cork U14, U15, U16 and U17 development squads.
- Munster Junior Club Football Championship: Winners (1) 2006
- Cork Junior Football Championship: Runners-up (1) 1942
- Cork Junior B Football Championship: Winners (1) 2006
- Cork Minor B Football Championship: Runners-up (1) 2008
- Cork County Minor B Football League: Runners-up (1) 2011
- Cork County Under-16 Premier Football Championship: Runners-up (1) 2007
- Cork County Under-16 A Football League: Runners-up (1) 2011
- Cork County Under-16 B Football Championship: Winners (1) 1985; Runners-up (1) 1983
- Cork County Under-14 B Football Championship: Winners (1) 2005
- Cork County Under-14 C Football Championship: Runners-up (1) 2007
- Cork County Under-12 C Football Championship: Runners-up (1) 2001
- Glenville U21 Invitational Cup: Winners (2) 2012, 2013
West Cork Championship
- West Cork Junior A Football Championship: Winners (4) 1941, 1942, 1943, 1981; Runners-Up: (5) 1958, 1984, 1988, 2010, 2011
- West Cork Junior B Football Championship: Winners (3) 1950, 1977, 2006; Runners-Up: (5) 1948, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2010
- West Cork Junior B Hurling Championship: Runners-Up: (2) 1943, 1945
- West Cork Under-21 A Football Championship: Runners-up (2) 1978, 1989
- West Cork Under-21 B Football Championship: Winners (2) 1977, 1980; Runners-up (3) 1991, 2004, 2013
- West Cork Minor A Football Championship: Runners-up (1) 1940
- West Cork Minor B Football Championship: Winners (6) 1963, 1974, 1976, 1985, 2008, 2011; Runners-up: (2) 1964, 1984
- West Cork Minor C Football Championship: Winners (1) 2001
- West Cork Minor B Hurling Championship: Runners-up (1) 1977
- West Cork Under-16 A Championship: Winners (1) 2007
- West Cork Under-16 B Championship: Winners (4) 1965, 1983, 1985, 2012; Runners-up (2) 1973, 1974
- West Cork Under-16 C Championship: Winners (1) 1994
- West Cork Under-14 B Championship: Winners (7) 1959, 1961, 1970, 1971, 1984, 2005, 2009; Runners-up (4) 1972, 1975, 1981, 2006
- West Cork Under-14 C Championship: Winners (2) 1990, 2007; Runners-up 2012
- West Cork Under-12 B Championship: Winners (1) 1962; Runners-up (2) 1961, 1963
- West Cork Under-12 C Championship: Winners (4) 1992, 1995, 2001, 2004
West Cork League
- Junior A League: Runners-up (2) 1936, 1955
- Junior B League: Winners (3) 1976, 1999, 2006; Runners-up (3) 2003, 2011, 2012
- Junior C League: Runners-up (1) 2009
- Junior D League: Winners (1) 1988; Runners-up (1) 2012
- Minor B League: Runners-up (4) 1998, 1999, 2008, 2011
- Minor C League: Winners (1) 2001
- West Cork Under-16 A League: Runners-up (1) 2011
- West Cork Under-16 B League: Winners (4) 1983, 1985, 1986, 1997; runners up 2012
- West Cork Under-16 C League: Winners (2) 1994, 1995
- West Cork Under-14 B League: Runners-up (3) 1981, 1994, 2008
- West Cork Under-12 B League: Winners (1) 2006
- West Cork Under-12 C League: Winners (1) 2008
- Cork County Minor C: Runners-up (1) 2009
- West Cork Minor C: Winners (1) 2009; Runners-up (1) 2010
- Cork County U-16 C: Runners-up (1) 2008
- West Cork U-14 C: Runners-up (1) 2006
- West Cork U-12 C: Winners (1) 2010