Mid Cork Club Steeped In G.A.A. Football Heritage
In close proximity to Macroom town, situated just a short distance off the main Macroom/Millstreet road lies a Co. Cork country village who can trace the foundation of the local G.A.A. club back to 1888, just a mere four years after the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association by Michael Cusack and colleagues.
Neighbours Macroom, a large town steeped in gaelic football folklore, had to wait until 1909 before they were crowned Cork senior football champions for the first time ever, whilst the small village of Clondrohid lay claim to back to back Cork senior football titles in 1891 and 1892. Previous winners were Lees and Midleton, who also claimed back to back titles in the maiden year
In 2017 the current generation of Clondrohid gaels have a wonderful tradition to preserve and promote for upcoming generations and despite the passing of a mighty 126 years since Clondrohid won their first Cork senior football title, the club is firmly berthed for evermore in the Cork Register Of Senior Football Champions.
Cork, as the county with the most G.A.A. clubs in the association, has a mighty eight divisions and Clondrohid are based in the Muskerry division, also known as the Mid Cork Division. In the Clondrohid district, gaelic football is the prime sports code and when the club was founded, their home base was ‘The Inch', Bridgemount, Clondrohid. The current base is situated in the heart of the village known as The Community Field.
The colours adopted by the club were blue and white. Prior to the official registration in 1888, local historians of times past, stated football in Clondrohid parish was part and parcel of daily life. The team wore an invincible tag in the era 1877 to 1888 and several famous victories were achieved against neighbouring opponents with greater resources and claiming to be a step above the Clondrohid lads.
These men put down a marker and proved how great they really were by winning back to back Cork senior football titles in 1891 and 1892, just a brief few years into organised county football championships.
A local song "The Valiant Young Blades" rang out loud and clear to celebrate just how famous the Clondrohid boys had become and the pages of the clubs history state in 1891 Clondrohid , captained by Con O'Leary, were crowned Cork County Senior Football Champions.
The route to that historic achievement in 1891 was recorded after defeating Kilmurry, then Dunmanway in the semi final and then "Nils" of Cork city by 3-6 to 0-2 in Cloghroe. In the Munster semi final in Killarney, the Kerry Champions, Ballymacelligott, with a great tradition, were defeated by 2-5 to 0-2. The Munster Final was won on 1st November 1891 when Dungarvan were defeated 3-2 to 1-1 in Youghal. Note the amazing long distances journied by teams and supporters who travelled by sidecars.
Clondrohid had now qualified for the All Ireland Senior Football Final against Young Irelands of Dublin and that was played on 28th February 1892 in Clonturk Park, in Dublin. Clondrohid won the game 2-9 to 2-1, but in a cruel twist of misfortune and unbelievably several hours after the game had finished, the referee disallowed the first Clondrohid goal. These sequences were not uncommon in the early days of the G.A.A. and often resulted in major brawls.
In that long gone era, a goal outweighed any number of points and Young Irelands, despite losing by eight points, were ironically deemed victorious. Clondrohid subsequently appealed the decision and a replay was granted but never took place.
With clubs representing the county in those far off days, Clondrohid and Cork were omitted from the register of All Ireland Senor Football Champions for 1891 and that space in the annals of G.A.A. was credited to Dublin.
It was onwards to the 1892 Cork senior football championship and Clondrohid had their Cork county title to defend. In March 1892 a second team from the parish began the defence of the county title and did so successfully, beating Castlemartyr in Cork Park, then Kilmurry’s 2nd team by 2-11 to 0-2 in Macroom. Dromtarriffe were defeated in the County semi final in Millstreet and Kilmurry were defeated in the county final played in Cork Park, on Cork’s famed Marina, by 1-4 to 0-2.
The Munster championship again loomed large and before an estimated crowd of 10,000 in Killarney, on 30th October 1892, Clondrohid came up against the mighty Laune Rangers of Killorglin and the scoreline read at the final whistle, 3-6 to 0-5 in favour of Laune Rangers.
Following the halcyon and glorious days of 1891 and ’92 a football mist descended around Clondrohid and tragically the famous club disbanded. That was a common factor also in the early days with clubs all over Ireland, but the spirit was vibrant and the club reformed in 1925.
Back in the blue and white jerseys Clondrohid unsuccessfully contested the Mid Cork junior football finals of 1928, 1931 and 1937 with defeats by Ballyvourney, Kilmurry and Ballincollig respectively.
The Duhallow G.A.A. boundary lines were in close proximity and Clondrohid set up camp within their neighbouring division and again success followed. In 1938 after the transfer from Mid Cork, the club won the Duhallow junior football finals of 1940 and 1942, defeating Knocknagree and Newmarket respectively.
The club returned to the Muskerry Division in 1945 and was disbanded again in 1949.The demise lasted until 1963, a substantial period of exile for all the local footballers. On reforming Clondrohid won the Mid Cork junior B football championship and league double in 1978 and this team, together with the winning Mid Cork under 21 championship in the same year, provided the spine of the team that lost the Mid Cork junior football final of 1984 to Kilmurry after a replay by a point.
However underage success, particularly the winning of the Mid Cork U-16 B championships of 1983 and 1989, provided a group of new players, and combined with the survivors of the 1984 team, finally won the clubs first and to date, only Mid Cork junior football title.
Neighbours and old rivals Aghinagh, were defeated in the 1995 final in the Castle Grounds, Macroom. The 1998 final was lost to Donoughmore and the wait for title number two continues.
In summary, Clondrohid, a small and vibrant Muskerry G.A.A. unit in the Mid Cork region of Muskerry, keep battling on looking for silverware in the 21st century. They possess a unique record in junior ranks as dual champions of two divisions in junior football, Muskerry and Duhallow.
This record is fairly safe in contemporary history. Only two clubs in the barony of Muskerry can lay claim to annexing senior county football titles, Muskerry and Macroom.
Clondrohid G.A.A. Roll Of Honour:
- Munster Senior Football Champions: 1891
- Cork County Senior Football Champions: 1891, 1892
- Duhallow Junior A Football Champions: 1940, 1942
- Muskerry Junior A Football Champions: 1995
- Muskerry Junior B Football Champions: 1978
- Muskerry Junior C Football Champions: 1999, 2008, 2010
- Muskerry/Carrigdhoun Junior A Football League : 1989
- Muskerry/Duhallow Junior Football League: 1992, 1993
- Muskerry Junior B Football League: 1978
- Muskerry Junior C Football League: 1999, 2010
- Muskerry Cup Winners: 1983, 1989
Clondrohid Players Who Represented Cork:
- Danny Murphy (Junior 1940)
- Denis Kelleher (Minor)
- Billy Wiseman (Senior 1940)
- Mick Corcoran (Senior 1941 - 1945, Junior 1940)
- Jack O'Driscoll (Senior 1911 - winner of All Ireland Senior Football Championship Medal)
- Dan O'Driscoll (Senior 1949, Junior 1950), Denis Manning (Senior 1949, Junior 1950)
- Johnny Creedon (Junior 1953- Holder of 1 All Ireland Junior Football Medal & national Football League Medal, Senior 1956 - )
- Gus O'Shea (Senior 1959)
- Kieran Creed (Junior 1985-1996 - Holder of 4 All Ireland Junior Football Medals)
- Martin Corkery (Junior 1996- Holder of 1 All Ireland Junior Football Medal)
www.ScoreBoardMemories.com has now recorded the proud history of a famous Cork G.A.A. club and we await the next chapter and verse of Clondrohid’s history.