The following history of Iveleary G.A.A. Club first appeared around 1960 in the "Southern Star". We reproduce it here in full as it appeared then. Thanks to Donal Kelleher, Derrevane for lending us the original.
Iveleary Football Club has a Long and Credible Hstory
As well as having the distinction of being one of the oldest clubs in the country Iveleary can claim the proud record of having affiliated a team annually since the foundation of the G.A.A. seventy five years ago. In fact the game was played in the parish for many years prior to the foundation of any organised competitions.
As a result the first Iveleary team captained by the great Jack O'Sullivan, Inchigeela was one of the foremost teams competing in the early competitions. At that time all teams were of the one grade and composed of 21 players on each team. Many a hectic game was contested against such legendary teams as Dohenys, Clondrohid, Kilmurry, Barryroe, Kilmacabea and Macroom.
In 1891 Iveleary were ousted from the County Championship by the famous Clondrohid team that later went on to contest the All-Ireland final. In this thrilling encounter Clondrohid were only one point ahead in the dying moments of the game when Iveleary were awarded a close-in free. In the tremendous excitement that ensued Jack O'Sullivan made a do-or-die attempt to give a clear-cut victory to Iveleary but his shot was blocked down by the stonewall Clondrohid defence and thus Iveleary's high hopes for county and All-Ireland victories were dashed.
Prominent members of that great team were Jack O'Sullivan Capt. (father of Dr. T. J. O'Sullivan, Macroom), his brother Tim O'Sullivan, Inchigeela, Daniel D. O'Sullivan, Teernaspideoga, Dan Creed, Augharas, Dan McCarthy, Graigue, Dan Dennehy, Direen, Peter and James Cronin, Inchidroile, William Cotter, William T. Cotter and James P. Cotter, Gortnahochtee, Thady McCarthy and Jerh. Cronin, Coolmountain, Ned Hallissey, Munivadre, John McSweeney, Clounshere, John Horgan, Millen, James Cronin, Inchineave, Tim O'Riordan, Rossmore, Shaun O'Leary, Kilbarry, Tim O'Sullivan, The Glebe, Dan O'Leary, Cooleen, (father of Mick O'Leary, V.C.), Michael M. Murphy, Inchigrada, Gilpin Galvin, Curra, William Scannell, Scrahane, William Cotter and Denis Murphy, Gortnalour. All of that team have since died.
Iveleary learned many tricks of the game from the renowned Dick Fitzgerald, the Kerry star, who often holidayed in Inchigeela with his brother who was parish priest of Iveleary at the time.
Turn of Century
The young men in the parish came together at the turn of the century and elected Cornelius Kelleher, Carrigleigh, captain of a team composed of such notable players as P.J. O'Sullivan and R. Dromey, Inchigeela, Con and Jim Farrell, Pat Kelly and Dan Noonan, Coolmountain,
Paddy and Mick Ring, Coornahilly, John Coakley and Jerh Leary, Derryleigh; Dan Riordan,Gortnalour; Billy and J. Cotter, Droumnagopple; William Tanner and Tim McCarthy, Coorolough; Michael Connell, Carrignacurra; Denis Dennehy, Dirreen; Dan Lehane, Coolgrehane; Mike Cronin, Derrivane; Frank Field, Cooleen, Dan Creedon, Rossmore; Tim Buckley, Kilbarry; Jack Thompson, Carrignamuck; the brothers Cornelius, Jerh. And Pat O'Sullivan, Teernaspideoga; John Twomey, Curraghy; James Galvin, Gurtaveer (father of Jim Galvin who was a member of the Cork team that won the National League in 1952).
Exciting games in a very friendly manner were played against Ballyvourney, Kilmichael, Killnamartyra and Ballingeary. The ever increasing popularity of the game was manifested in the large crowds that cheered each team in every match that was played. The only surviving members of that noteworthy team are: James Galvin, Dan Dennehy, Cors. Kelleher, Frank Field, Tim Buckley, John Twomey, Pat Kelly, Billy Cotter, Paddy Ring, and John Coakley.
At a special meeting convened in 1928, Cors. Kelleher proposed that Ballingeary (who were having difficulty in fielding a team) be invited to join forces with Iveleary thus having one team to represent the parish of Iveleary. Danny O'Leary vouched the co-operation of the Ballingeary club. A preliminary meeting at which Jimmy O'Leary and Cors. McCarthy represented Iveleary took place in Iveleary and great enthusiasm heralded the eventual formation of a combined parish club. Cors Kelleher, Inchigeela was elected chairman, D. J. O'Sullivan, secretary and Dannie O'Leary, captain. Meetings were held alternately in Inchigeela and Ballingeary.Mid Cork Champions
The Following year 1929 Iveleary defeated Ballincollig in the Mid Cork Championship and proceeded to contest the County Final against Bandon at Dunmanway but were narrowly beaten.
This team was: Eugene Corcoran, Inchigeela; Bill and Jack Cotter, Coolagrenane; James O'Leary, Gort-na-knockane; Syl. B. Cotter Gortnalour; Cornelius McCarthy, Graigue; Tim O'Callaghan, Macroom; Roger Cooney, Knocksaharuig; Danny, Paddy and Seamus O'Leary, Bawnaneel; Jack D. Cronin, Danny Shea, Connie Cronin, Ballingeary; Denis Kelleher, Clondrohid; Denis P. Lucey, Gurteenraven and Donal Scannall, Ballingeary.
The next championship victory came in 1932 when they defeated Ballinora in the Mid Cork Final but Iveleary were in turn eliminated by St. Annes in the County Championship. The team was D. Lucey, Seamus O'Leary, Pat O'Leary, Syl. Cotter, D. Riordan, Sean Corkery, J. O'Riordan, D. O'Leary, Finbarr O'Leary, Jerry Moynihan, D. O'Leary, Jack Cotter, W. Cotter, J. Buttimer and Jack Cronin.1941 Effort
Three years later Iveleary were again to the fore with a victory over Ballincollig in the Mid Cork Final but were beaten by Brian Dillons in the County Champioship. Doing duty that year were Anto Callaghan, Den Cronin, Frank O'Leary, Den Lucey, Dan P. O'Leary, John O'Leary, Jerome Galvin, John Lyons, Bill Cotter, Syl. Cotter, Paddy Sullivan, Connie O'Leary, Christy Vaughan, John Creedon, Paddy O'Leary, Jackie Riordan, Sonny Riordan, Connie P. Creedon, Denny Lordan and Denis Kelleher
The following years saw a decline in the amalgamation of the Ballingeary and Inchigeela forces. In 1941 an effort initiated by Rev. T. A. Coffey, C.C. Inchigeela and Rev. Fr. Murphy, C.C. Ballingeary, was successful and the following parish committee was elected. Chairman, Rev. T. A. Coffey, C.C.; Vice-Chairman, Rev Fr. Murphy C.C.; Hon. Sec. Donncha Ó Laoghaire, Inchigeela (now secretary of Comhdhail Náisiúnta na hÉireann); Hon Treas. Willie Shorten, Ballingeary; Committee, Timmy Ronan, Johnny O'Leary, Ballingeary, D. J. O'Sullivan, Inchigeela, Michael O'Sullivan, The Glebe; and Eugie O'Riordan, Gortnalour.1951 Victory
Players in both villages trained diligently each evening and their enthusiastic efforts were rewarded by victory over Inniscarra in the Mid Cork final at Coachford. They later went under to Millstreet at Macroom by one point. The 1941 champion team lined out as follows: Frank O'Leary, Inchigeela; Den Cronin, Ballingeary, now resident in Dunmanway; Den Lucey, now resident in Cork; Sean Lucey, Ballingeary; Dan O'Leary, Inchigeela, now in Skibbereen; Timmy Ronan, Capt. Ballingeary; Sean Creedon, Ballingeary, now Sec. Coláiste na Mumhan; Paddy Ronan, Ballingeary; Eugie Riordan, Gortnalour; Johnny O'Leary, Ballingeary; Sean Corkery, Inchigeela; Paddy D. Cronin, Keimaneigh, member of Cork 1945 All-Ireland team; Denis O'Riordan, Gortnalour, now in the U.S.; Conny Lyons, Tooreenalour, now in Cork; Sean D. Cronin, Keimaneigh.
The Iveleary supporters looked forward with great expectations to 1942 feeling certain that this great team would bring county honours to Iveleary in that year. But alas, many of the best Ballingeary players transferred to Macroom, though men (with inter-county experience) such as Frank O'Leary (goalkeeper) and Den Lucey (fullback) gave their loyalty to the parish. In 1944, Ballingeary and Iveleary again parted company. In that year Rev. M. O'Driscoll, C. C. was elected chairman of Iveleary (Inchigeela), Eugie O'Riordan secretary, and Charlie Kelleher, treasurer.
A league was formed in which teams from Coolmountain, Johnstown, Toames, Kilbarry, Ballingeary and Inchigeela competed. The league proved a great success and resulted in a play off between Ballingeary and Johnstown. The latter emerged victorious by a two point margin but a series of objections and counter objections resulted in Johnstown withdrawing and amalgamating with Toames to revive the Kilmichael Club, the first meeting of which took place in Cooldorrihy on 2nd. February 1945.
The Mid Cork Championship was again won in 1951 but an investigation followed and the medals were not awarded. The County Championship was not contested by the division that year. The team was Sean Corkery, John O'Sullivan, Paddy Galvin, Jack Lynch, Nick Murphy, Michael Murphy, Conny Cronin, Sean McSweeney, Michael McSweeney, Conny Lehane, Seamus Sullivan, Jimmy Oldham, Conny Corkery, Colman Concannon, and Jack Healy.Sixth Title
In 1958 the Mid Cork title came to Iveleary for the sixth time. Ballingeary also fielded a team that year. Kilnamartyra was defeated in the Mid Cork final that year. Selection Committee was John O'Sullivan, Michael Murphy, James Oldham, Anto Callaghan, Sean Lucey. Paddy Galvin was trainer.
The club has always shown a tendency to cater for the youth, and their minor and juvenile teams are among the best in the division. In the minor grade the following have worn the Cork jersey with distinction: John Ronan, Donal McSweeney, Pato Galvin, Jack Higgins (3 years), Donal Cotter and Jim Galvin who captained the 1947 Cork Team. The Cork Junior team had the services of Paddy O'Leary, Frank O'Leary, Denis Lucey, Sean Corkery and Jim Galvin.
In senior inter-county football Paddy Cronin played right-half back on the Cork 1945 All-Ireland team and captained Munster the following year. Jim Galvin won Munster Championship and National League with Cork in 1952, played in the St. Brendan Cup competition in New York, for the Combined Universities and Munster V the rest of Ireland and also won a Sigerson Cup medal.
The following were prominent members of the 1959 Muskerry team: Pato Galvin, Donal Cotter (capt.), Liam Connors and Hugh Creedon.
The present officers of the club are: President, Rev. Fr. Bernard, P.P.; Vice-Presidents, Dr. Collins and Sylvester Cotter; Chairman, Rev. J. Kehilly, C.C.; Vice-Chairman, Paddy Galvin; Hon. Secretary, James Oldham; Hon. Treasurer, M. Murphy; Committee, Charles Kelleher, Donal Kelleher, Michael O'Sullivan, John O'Sullivan, Flor McCarthy, Sean Lucey, Anto Callaghan, Donal Cotter, Paddy Oldham, Michael Cronin, Pato Galvin and Mick Vaughan. Colman Cusack.
To Cornelius Kelleher, Carrigleigh, Eugie Riordan, Gortnalour and Paddy Galvin, Gurtaveer, I am indebted for giving me full data for the above, especially for the "raidhse" of those captivating place names without which any article on Iveleary would be incomplete.