1997 Contents
The following article on Ballingeary Football Club was first published in the "Southern Star" on the 5th December, 1959.

Ballingeary Football Club

Many Adverse Factors Overcome

In the summer of 1919 Pádraig Ó Caoimh, the present General Secretary of the G.A.A. was on holidays in Túirín Dubh, Ballingeary.  One Sunday evening he noticed the local lads kicking a ball in a nearby field.  He immediately advised them to register with the County Board.  They agreed enthusiastically and he made the necessary affiliation himself.

Under the guidance if Din Sullivan N.T. and Pádraig Sweeney N.T. training was begun in a serious manner.  The team was drawn against Ollamh Fodhla in the first round of the intermediate championship.  At that time Ollamh Fodhla had the pick of Newcestown, Bandon and parts of Kilmichael and presented formidable opposition.  Ballingeary would not hear of defeat and caused a major surprise by winning easily.  The team was -
Din Sullivan, Jamsey Cotter, Jim Leary, Connie Cronin, Dan Leary, Pádraig Sweeney, Dan Sullivan, Danny O'Leary, Seamus O'Leary, James Scriven, Jack D. Cronin, Jim Cronin, Denis Hurley, Bill Dillon, Din Leary, Jack Downey and Denis Cadogan.

Mid Cork Champions

They were drawn to meet Skibbereen in the second round but the game was not played owing to the Black and Tan War.

A few years elapsed before the men from Ballingeary were again heard of in the football field.
In 1926 they were victorious in the Mid Cork League and won the Championship the following year and were eventually defeated by Bandon in the County Championship.  The team doing duty in that period was
- Danny Shea, Jerh. Shea, Peter Leary, James Leary, Danny Leary, Dan Sullivan, Din Sullivan, Connie Cronin, Timmie Callaghan, Jamesie Cotter, Pádraig Sweeney, Danny Lucey, Jack D. Cronin, Dan T. S. Leary, Denny P. Lucey, Mick Vaughan.

Year after year Ballingeary fielded teams that were a credit to the Association but Lady Luck seemed to desert them when it came to winning championships.  This was especially true in 1939 when the Ballingeary team composed of such stalwarts as Den Cronin, Jim Corkery, Timmie Ronan, Paddy Ronan, Johnny Leary, Seamus Twomey, Liam Twomey, Sean Twomey, Jerry Lehane, Donal Sweeney, Fr. Michael Buckley, Willie Shorten, Mick Barry and Seamus Leary were reputed to be the best team in Mid Cork at that time.  Humphrey Leary was an outstanding member of the Cork senior team in that year and Donal Sweeney was honoured by the selectors of the Cork junior team.

Champions Again

It became increasingly difficult, owing to the scarcity of players, to field a team and in 1941 Ballingeary joined forces with Iveleary and won the Mid Cork Championship that year.  That year Ballingeary saw one of her most famous footballing sons - Paddy Cronin - in action.  Later Paddy was a member of the Fermoy team that won the Senior Championship in 1945 and won an All-Ireland medal playing at right half-back for Cork in the same year.


In 1956, Rev. Fr. Murphy, C.C. re-founded the Ballingeary Club and Willie Shorten who has the unique distinction of being the longest serving member of the club, was elected chairman.  With the emphasis on youth (the average age of the team was 20 years) Ballingeary met Canovee, who were Mid Cork Champions in the previous year, and were narrowly beaten.  They were later runners-up in the League of that year.

A New Pitch

Under the leadership of Fr. Murphy the club undertook the task of procuring and laying out a suitable pitch.  A large field was purchased in the village.  Much work had to be carried out before the pitch reached the high standard which was envisaged by the committee.  With the help of voluntary labour and a few bulldozers the pitch was soon transformed to resemble the proverbial  "billiard table".  The incline on the southern side provides a natural grandstand to a pitch that ranks with the best of its kind in the country.  A few games have already been played on the new pitch; it is expected to have the official opening in the New Year.

1957  League Winners

The great enthusiasm that surrounded the new Ballingeary side was rewarded by winning the League in 1957.  The line-out was Christy Walsh, Con Lehane, Ted Galvin, Johnny Thompson, Noel McCarthy, Eoin Moynihan, Eoin Lynch, Michael Healy, Connie Cronin, Jerry Galvin, Vincent Sullivan, John Galvin, John Healy, Seamus Scriven and Danny O'Leary.

Ted Galvin (who is also the Club Secretary), Eoin Moynihan and Michael Healy have been members of the Muskerry team for the past few years.  Newcomers to the side have shown exceptional form and with more experience should test the best in Mid Cork.  Among them are Sean Sweeney, Jerry Galvin,  Con Hyde, Todie Twomey, John Leary and Sean Hyde.

The present officers of the Club are: President, Rev. Fr. McCarthy C.C.;  Vice-President, John Ring;  Chairman, Willie Shorten;  Vice-Chairman, Seamus Scriven;  Hon. Secretary, Ted Galvin N.T.;  Hon. Treasurer, John Healy.

The Selection Committee is composed of Rev. Fr. McCarthy, C.C.;  Willie Shorten;  Dan Driscoll;  Con Lehane and Con Cronin.  The team is captained by Con Cronin with Con Lehane as vice-captain.  Willie Shorten and Ted Galvin represent the Club at the Mid Cork Board.

Colman Cusack