Dohenys GAA club was founded in 1886. The first chairman of the club was a local national school teacher, John Mc Carthy, while the first secretary was Richard Hayes. The club attended the first meeting of the Cork County Board and became the first affiliated club in West Cork. The official name adopted by the club was the Michael Doheny Football Club after the Tipperary Young Irelander, Michael Doheny, who spent a short time in Dunmanway when on 'the run' in 1847. In 1897 the club established a very solid foundation when it won the Cork Senior Football Championship by defeating Wolf Tones of Kanturk in the final. This team, captained by Danny Rick O' Donovan of the Shamrock Bar, won its way through Munster Senior Football Championship but was defeated by Kickhams of Dublin in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final at Jones’ Road, a game played in February 1899. Although defeated this team established a tradition, which has stood well to the club over the years and guaranteed its survival during difficult times in the years following. In its 127 year history the club has played a significant role in the affairs of the G.A.A. both in West Cork and the County. Although no further senior title has been won the club has won Cork Intermediate Football Championship titles in 1972 and 1995, and Cork Junior Football Championship titles in 1935, 1966 and 1993. Its under-age teams have won county titles in U16 football in 1999, Under 18 hurling in 2003, and U14 hurling in 2001. Many West Cork titles at all levels, in both football and hurling, have also been won.
With Maria Immaculata Community College based in the town of Dunmanway, there have been a numerous amount of young hurlers representing Cork in the All-Ireland VEC Championship. The Hurlers in recent years included Patrick McCarthy, Tadgh O'Leary, Jerry McCarthy, Joe O'Sullivan, Liam Murphy, Brian McCarthy, Alan Sheehan (all of whom, won Munster and All-Ireland Medals with Cork VEC) and other players from outside the Doheny area. For the Cork footballers, it has been Sean Lordan, Patrick McCarthy, Jerry McCarthy, Brian McCarthy, Michael Milner, Alan Sheehan, Tom Collins, David Collins and Ger Lynch to recent years.