The club was founded in 1930. It was popularly believed that the Club acquired its name from the neighbouring townland of Ballyrussell but deeper research suggests that the Club was probably named after a Fr. John Russell who was Parish Priest of Cloyne in the 1840s. Fr. Russell was a prominent and sometimes controversial figure, a staunch defender and protector of the Catholic faith and its followers. He was a prolific and colourful letter-writer as can be seen from correspondence with the Cork Examiner and Cork Constitution newspapers in October 1848 when he took issue with the local Protestant curate of Ballycotton, the Rev. George Hingston whom he accused of proselytism; i.e., of bribing hungry children with food to attend Protestant schools, etc. Fr. Russell is also credited with being instrumental in setting up National Schools in the area during his tenure as P.P.