Foreword by Derry JF Doody, Editor/Promoter @ All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery:
Ballinure G.A.A. Club, Cork:
I invited a GAA club who occupy the territory in which my family have lived since 1987 to become involved in a special tribute and award to one of their former players. Davy Murphy was a very promising hurler and footballer until a major motor accident in 1989 ended his playing career. His club was Ballinure in the heartland of the famous Blackrock GAA Club. The club at once accepted my invitation and with my own admiration for Ballinure to keep the Green/White club flag flying since 1959, I then sought a synopsis on the clubs history since their 1959 foundation.
Long serving club officer, Derry Collins, pointed me in the direction of the current club chairmam, Timmy Murphy, who married into the Ballinure Ahern dynasty. I discovered that two generations down from the legendary Timmy Ahern, who was one of the pillars of the founding club, Timmy's grandaughter, Catherine Ahern ,mindful of the families occupation with Ballinure GAA club since foundation in 1959, decided to research and produce a magnificent and unique gift to present to her grandfather.
That unique gift was a comprehensive history book on Ballinure G.A.A. club incorporating a historic collection of nostalgic editorial and pictures of times past in the Ballinure club. The publication also incorporated a collection of contemporary pictures. The unique book was produced with a magnificent green colour hard front and back covers with gold leaf editorial and I wondered about the cost, the research and the willingness to produce such a historic work of art as a present for ones grandfather. It was a truly exceptional task and a novel gift to last a lifetime.
The author was CATHERINE AHERN. Her father is Anthony Ahern, part of the fabric of the local club all through his life.Catherine's intensive research was unknown to me but on discovery I pondered how could I take this masterpiece publication to a global audience and readership.I had that answer in my own armoury with www.scoreboardmemories.com established in 2005 as an Irish Heritage Website for Irish legends of SPORT; MUSIC and IRISH HISTORY and now reaching out to the four corners of Ireland; our Irish Exiles in foreign lands and also people of Irish ancestry around the globe.
And now upcoming is a general synopsis of Ballinure G.A.A. club by the author and publisher of PRIDE AND SPIRIT - A HISTORY OF BALLINURE HURLING & FOOTBALL CLUB by Catherine Ahern.
We invite you to take a browse wherever in the globe you may reside and I hope our readers and browsers will also marvel at the uniquness of such a wonderful gift. Mighty work Catherine and thank you for the loan of your publication to enable my own www.scoreboardmemories.com tribute to Ballinure G.A.A. club, Cork.
This unique club is now incorporated in our "Clubs Hall Of Fame" collection @ www.scoreboardmemories.com
Founded In 1959 In The Heartland Of The Famed Rockies (Cork) Hurling Club.
Establishing A New Hurling Club Was An Awesome Journey:
Often overlooked, as many small clubs are, Ballinure and its members fought a battle for survival
both on and off the pitch.
Playing for Ballinure isn’t something to take lightly.
Ballinure or the “town of the yew tree” had its GAA club established in 1959 in a small corner of the Mahon Peninsula. The club was
founded by men such as Andy Murphy, Paddy Ahern, Tommy Beale, Otto Cuffe, Tommy Furlong and Miah Hegarty.
Ballinure Hurling club played their very first match on the green in Ballyphehane in March 1960. A year later they added a football
team to the club and became Ballinure Hurling and Football Club, despite not yet having a clubhouse or a pitch to call their own.
Ballinure won their first hurling trophy, the McCurtain Cup, in 1962 by beating St. Finbarrs in the final. Ballinure also had the honour of playing the opening match in Ballinlough GAA pitch against Glenville. Ballinlough G.A.A. pitch is the homeland of Cork's City Division G.A.A. Board (Seandún) and remarkaby Seandún is probably the only regional division in any county to have its own grounds.
Editorial Tribute To City Division G.A.A. Boards:
(The Ballinlough grounds are the pride of the City Board and a special debt of gratitude is now accorded to the former board officers of the 1950's/60's eras who had the vision and guile to embark on such a major investment. In continuing the ownership and ongoing development of Ballinlough, all succeeding board officers, down all the decades, are worthy of immense recognition).
Ballinure Club Tribute Now Continued:
In 1969 the Ballinure club added its first under-age team and in 1974 the under 16 football team reached the county junior football final. They were, according to the late Finbarr O’Brien, “Robbed of Victory” that day, losing to Buttevant. In 1975 Ballinure won the All-Ireland under 14 Feile na nGael, defeating Longford in the final.
Ballinure as a club showed extreme resilience in the first decades of their existence. The problems of little money and trying to field a team with a very small population to draw from, (that was long before the extensive development of the new township of Mahon in the 1970's/80's) did not stop the club from flourishing.
The 1980’s were the golden era of Ballinure and in 1981 they defeated Redmonds at Ballinlough in the Cork City Junior Hurling “B” League Final. Also in 1981 Ballinure were the first team to win the treble of the Junior “B” Hurling League, the Hurling 'B' Championship (defeating Delaneys) and the Craobh Rua Cup (defeating Whites Cross).
This successful and talented team were coached by John O’Driscoll and in 1985 the club won seven out of eight competitions.
In hurling they won; the Craobh Rua Cup, Junior 'B' Hurling Championship and the County Qualifier.
In football Ballinure won; The Junior League, Junior Championship, Seandun Cup and the Junior Football County Qualifier.
In 1986 Ballinure won the Junior County Football 'B' final and the prestigious McSweeney Cup.
In the 1980’s Ballinure had over 200 members and despite this, they did not have a pitch or a clubhouse to call home. Ballinure was once described as a nomadic club, moving from pitch to pitch, often having to tog-off in their cars before matches. During this time Ballinure made frequent presentations to City Hall officials and Cork Corporation, requesting that they be provided with a permanent local pitch.
Ballinure even offered to buy land from the Corporation so they could build their own clubhouse. Land in Mahon at that time was at a premium and Cork Corporation did not wish to sell land to individual sporting clubs, instead preferring to sell the land for development.
Ballinure faced many obstacles and objections in their quest for a permanent home, but under the drive of men like Andy Murphy and Billy Kenny, Ballinure continued to push for the development of a clubhouse.
As a result of this tenacity, Ballinure approached St. Michaels Credit Union in Blackrock and became the first club to get a loan to facilitate building a sports complex. The Ballinure clubhouse was officially opened in August 1987.
1987 also saw the establishment of Ballinures first camogie team and four different underage teams, ensuring the future and longevity of the club. The 1990s brought many new players to the club including the local priest and a local Garda, as many people were drawn to play for Ballinure by the successes of the previous decade.
The 1990s were however, a lean decade for the club and Ballinure during this time, were unable to replicate their successes of the 1980s and often failing to make the finals of various competitions. While the 1990s was uneventful as regards trophies, it wasn’t without its ups and downs.
The very existence of the club was threatened in 1993 when Mahon and Ballinure were chosen as the site for the soon to be built Jack Lynch Tunnel and subsequent road developments. After much tense negotiation with Cork Corporation officials, a new proposal was agreed upon and Ballinure would not lose its home. It would however lose reclaimed land that was its camogie pitch.
The recent 21s century decade hasn’t been an easy one for Ballinure. The great victories achieved by the club in the 1980’s have not been repeated to the same scale. However Ballinure are not a team to be dismissed and in 2008 they won the Junior Hurling 'B' League.
In 2010 they beat Brian Dillons in the final of the 'B' Hurling League at Ballinlough. In 2011 the club also won the Junior ‘B’ Football Championship and the 'B' Junior Football League. At the end of the season of 2011, Ballinure added the Flor McCarthy Cup to its trophy cabinet.
The history of Ballinure Hurling and Football Club is not a long one. Neither is it a history of easy victories.
Instead the story of Ballinure is one that shows the determination, the tenacity, the passion and the rags to riches tale, of a small club on the boundaries of Cork city, that carved for itself, a corner of Cork G.A.A. history.
Often overlooked, as many small clubs are, Ballinure and its members, fought a battle for survival both on and off the pitch.
Playing for Ballinure isn’t something to take lightly. When one becomes a Ballinure member, you are a member for life.
Ballinure gets in the blood. The grassroots passion of the people involved is inspiring. They worked and still work tirelessly to promote their beloved Ballinure.
CLUB COLOURS: GREEN/WHITE
Historic editorial compiled by Catherin Ahern
author of Pride & Spirit
A History Of Ballinure Hurling & Football Club
Céad Míle Fáilte to Ballinure and your Induction @ ScoreBoardMemories.com Clubs Hall Of Fame Historic Gallery.
Derry JF Doody,
@ All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery