Displaying items by tag: x

Unseen Talent Silences All Doubters And Can Be A Joy To Behold

Cork Hurlers Dazzle As They Uphold Tradition


Cork senior hurlers on Sunday 21st May 2017 at Semple Stadium, Thurles, rammed 2 goals and 27 points down the spines of their fiercest critics on expert panels and also amongst their own rebel army fans.

If the Cork management team knew their boys were capable of such a star studded powerhouse performance, then what went on behind closed doors, since Limerick outgunned them in the last league game of 2017 at Pairc Ui Rinn, must surely rank as the greatest ever transformation of any Cork senior hurling team since 1966.


During the 76 frantic minutes of speedy Gonzales point for point exhibition, any Cork fan saying they knew this display was in them, would be lying through their teeth. Not even Tipperary, who repeatedly stated, they would respect and fear Cork, saw this performance coming down the track.


All around the park, Cork players and subs stood up as never before seen in a Cork jersey. Exquisite skills were demonstrated and previously unseen amongst this group of players, and frankly, they set the hurling world alight.


The greatest single item revealed, is that Cork fans now finally know, there is huge talent in the squad, despite the numerous assertions by all writers, that Cork without underage success for so many years, simply didn’t have the players capable of sitting at the top table.


With Waterford now waiting in the shadows, the June Thurles showdown has taken on a whole new meaning. Would Cork survive with a 75% level of their Tipp performance and reel in The Decies. The bar has now gone up several notches in confidence and opponents will now need to hatch a rapid response technique to silence this Cork squad.


With a glitzy new stadium about to open in June 2017 the mindset was, that Cork would have a dazzling brand new stadium, but no hurling team to challenge for Munster and All Ireland honours. And that was based on evidence and not on fictional notion.


Cork have shown a brand new hand and whatever else transpires in 2017, rebel fans now have confirmation, that the upcoming summer of hurling witnessed the recreation of a mighty Cork senior hurling team. 


Derry JF Doody

Published in Match Reviews/Previews
Monday, 22 May 2017 05:48

The Barren Years A Major Cork Concern

Hurling Fans Are Sick And Tired Of Current Provincial Championship Format And Cork And Tipp, Unlike Previous Eras, Will Not Draw A Full House To Thurles


What's Another Year? It's Tipperary (at home again - Thurles) and Cork senior hurlers and for Cork fans it has the potential to be a repeat whitewash of 2016 when a clear threee goals was the dividing line in Tipps favour. A reduction in margin would be a bonus for Cork in 2017.


Surely the administrators do not need binoculars to understand the depression present in provincial hurling since the back doors were introduced. And it's getting worse every year. True Galway are now capable of finally challenging Kilkenny in Leinster but that is not what hurling fans really want.


In Munster, with five primarily hurling counties in the pot, repeating Cork and Tipperary all over once again, is an unfair balance and it's only the players can organise a serious challenge to abandon the provincial hurling championships in their current format. Tradition is outweighing reality in its meaning.


Cork or Tipp will be required to play three matches in Munster in 2017, excluding any draws, and with serious opponents Waterford, Limerick and Clare in the other corners, winning Munster is a tough ask of Cork and Tipp.

Spectators intending to travel to Thurles need not worry about ticket supply. Those days are long gone. A more pragmatic hurling tournament is long overdue for the fans who pay the piper.

Rugby and soccer are immensely popular sports codes and the financial rewards for star players have reached vast sums during a players career. A few years ago Cork lost a young player with vast potential when he chose rugby over hurling.


Of major consideration also is the fact too many counties are way outside the bounds of seriously challenging for All Ireland honours in hurling and football and the back door has widened the gaps by several miles. Croke Park says giving the counties more games is the answer, but the club only players meantime slog it out in the Autumn and Winter mud and rain.


Various sub committees have been set up to examine a new format and again a simple survey with the audiences who now no longer support preliminary inter county games, will reveal that back doors have been tried and tested for many years and are meaningless affairs in promoting hurling in the weaker counties. A first round victory by a minnow over a giant county in either code is exactly that. Progression is the name of the game.

Strong counties, if they are beaten in first round matches, are far from out of the equation. A Laois or a Westmeath first round victory over a Kilkenny or Dublin would go down as a major shock but both powerhouses would bounce back in the back doors. The financial clout of Dublin takes them out of reach of all other counties when sponsorship beckons and just like Chelsea, Man City and Manu, financial muscle drifts only to the clubs who can provide value for money for all sponsors.


And now to the playing field.

Nobody knows what to expect from Cork hurling and football teams and whilst football was always a difficult Cork subject, hurling is now in the same bracket. It's almost similar to the county footballers - it depends entirely on which Cork team turns up, but man for man, Cork have too many weak hurling spots - spots that have not been successfully plugged for several years.


Curran, Corcoran, O'Connor, Deano, Dónal Óg, The Rock and several more Cork inter county hurlers, left many glorious golden memories and nobody has stepped up to the plate in the intervening years. Cork's dismal under age performances are a huge topic in the rebel county and around the country, but alas there is no golden torch shining out that new horizons are waiting to explode. 


No.3 and No.6 are the obvious major red alert positions, whilst numbers eight and nine are very unsettled black spots also. Cork fans will travel to Thurles in much smaller numbers than in previous campaigns simply because it would be almost impossible to see a Cork fan put a tenner on the rebels.


In bygone times it was accepted that Cork hurlers were like mushrooms - they sprung up overnight. Prime examples were 1966 and 1986 - two All Ireland finals in which all the expert hurlers on the ditch forecast, that Cork would turn up as bridesmaids and of course not only did they turn up, they blew Kilkenny and Galway hurlers clean out of Croke Park.


2OO5 is all of twelve years since Cork came home with the Liam McCarthy Cup and simply put, that is more than a famine for Cork fans. In recent years the decline in the three top grades of Cork club hurling, senior; premier intermediate and intermediate championship hurling, has to be seen to be believed. There is scant little difference in stanards between those three grades and attendances have plummeted, even for county finals.


There is no magic wand around Cork and surprise, surprise, even the die hard Cork fans will settle for a gutsy Cork performance against Tipp on Sunday 21st May 2017 at Thurles. And even a Cork victory will not re-establish confidence, so low is the fans belief in the current squad, but that is not entirely down to the players representing Cork.

A beaten Tipp team will regroup for the qualifiers and so will the other top tier counties. And for good measure, Cork would then have a mighty job to achieve, to even win the Munster championship. Again simply put, Cork have not got enough steel, skills and all round balance, to mount a serious challenge compared to Galway, Tipperary and Kilkenny in the current hurling climate. 

And if they succeed in downing Tipp, it will be pointless unless they follow on with a glorious run and finally get beaten only by a better team on the day.


This summary of Cork and Tipp is all about Cork so far. Cork are so far down the pecking order as likely 2017 All Ireland champions, Tipperary will present an enormous hurdle and foremost in the minds of Cork fans will be, the 2016 embarrasing thrashing at the hands of Tipp.

And worse still the fact, that the Cork team could have headed back for the Jack Lynch tunnel at half time. 


Tipp have major firepower on paper and on the field. Searching for omens of equal comparison between both sides is not realistic.

Beginning with the two full back lines, Cork have been brittle for a few years in this pivotal area,whilst Tipp have been impressive.

Across the Cork half backs, this can only be described as another shaky and almost permanently leaking situation. Tipp have real ammunition here, none moreso than the giant, Padraic Maher. Two critical areas pointing to Tipp.



Unsettled for Cork for several years and even Daniel Kearney has been called ashore too many times and Daniel is touted as the midfield go to man. Hard to find a suitable partner for Daniel at midfield and it's a case of wait and see how it goes.


Upfront Cork have potential but they do need a dry day and firm sod. Last year the game was played in winter conditions totally unsuitable to a fragile Cork team. 10, 11 and 12 on both sides is the most equal department but going inside, especially for Cork, Pat Horgan (if he gets a starting jersey) and Alan Cadogan, need to fire on all ultra high cylinders.

Horgan relies on his freetaking to keep him onside with selectors as the reason to be selected but an awful lot more is an essential tool for an inside forward. Horgan has only displayed such talent in Cork club hurling. Unfortunately for Horgan, this is a major problem for Cork fans when it comes to grabbing scores from open play and the confidence factor with Cork fans is long gone. Many Cork fans have been asking too frequently - Is Pat Horgan a luxury Cork can ill afford? 

He has sat on the benches in the latter games of the league and only against Tipp at Pairc Ui Rinn did he really show up and with an able freetaker in Conor Lehane as ample cover, Cork selectors need to resolve this factor.


Alan Cadogan has lightning speed when he gets away on his mazy diagonal runs but too often his man-marker has stunted his ability to achieve clean possession and he has been withdrawn by the selectors.


Across the full forward line Tipp have proven hurlers at 13, 14 and 15 and unlike Cork's trio they have serious reputations to uphold.

The goalies are equal but the Corkman needs to go permanently long with his puck outs, especially in the opening exchanges. Nash has coughed up some very serious mistakes close to his own goal area over the last two years and he needs to eradicate these unnecessary gift tokens to his opponents.



As a Cork supporter of 60 years still standing in the red corner, my head says Cork are out of their depth once again, but my heart goes back to the days of overnight mushrooms. That is wishful thinking and that's all Cork fans can do at Thurles, but we'll be there for the storyline once again.

My forecast is Tipperary blew into a Galway hurricane in the recent League final and defeat to Cork would undo all the Blue/Gold confidence reaped in 2016.

Many experts say Cork are in transition but I happen to believe, senior inter county teams are only in transition when they are reaping the rewards of their successful All Ireland minor and under 21 teams and Cork have been firmly locked out of champioship glory at under age in both codes. Whilst Tipperary will thread carefully, they will not spare Cork blushes on the scoreboard. Tipperary by at least 5/6 points is my forecast and I gladly desire that the Cork lads will have us homeward bound proudly waving the rebel flag.


Finally these back and side doors have trampled hurling more than football into sawdust. It's unrealistic to expect the top teams to spill twice in the one year.


Championship should be Championship. Knock out should be Knock out. 



As long as Croke Park deem revenue as the ONLY tool of the trade, hurling in its current championship format will only appeal to spectators, when it gets to the knock out stages.


Derry JF Doody


Published in Match Reviews/Previews

John Fitzgerald Of Cork's Ringmahon Rangers. A Giant Ambasssador For Cork Cork Soccer

A sixty one years journey is a mammoth test of endurance and in 2014 a famed Blackrock sports legend walked away into the sunlight of a new life outside of his beloved Ringmahon Rangers Football Club who in 2016 celebrated 65 years as a soccer club.


From the birth of Ringmahon Rangers at Dunlocha Cottages, Blackrock, in 1951, John ‘Langton’ Fitzgerald joined up as a 12 years old and played on the clubs first ever team in 1951 on Castle Road, near Blackrock Castle, Cork.


The historic pioneering match was played in a field owned by renowned Irish amateur golfer, Jimmy Bruen, who employed the late John Hayes, one of the pioneering founders of the club and a club officer who served as chairman for a mighty 54 years.


Schooling for John began at Blackrock primary and extended across the River Lee to a famed sports nursery and educational centre on Cork’s northside. At North Monastery it was all gaelic games and basketball was also prominent in the concrete school yard. Soccer was John’s sports destiny and he was rewarded in spades with medals and trophies won under the Red/Black Ringmahon banner.


In 1955, at just sixteen and barely out of school uniform, John walked himself into the clubs secretarial officership and began an association that only ceased as a renowned club officer after an amazing Sixty One consecutive years writing up the minutes, the trials and tribulations of Ringmahon Rangers F.C. Cork.


In the decades in-between 1955 and 2014, John carved his own reputation as probably the clubs greatest ever player and again longevity was a huge part of his game. It was only when he reached the summit of his 40th year that the notion of hanging up his Ringmahon boots crawled up his back. However instead of taking a well earned break from the game he loved, John just carried on with his secretarial duties at Ringmahon Rangers FC for a further 35 years.


The friendships forged through his Ringmahon association and with all the clubs and opponents he encountered over six decades, have stood the test of time, and amongst Cork’s soccer community in all four corners, John ‘Langton ‘ Fitzgerald is a name held in high esteem.


Surprisingly, when John wrote his final secretarial notes in 2014, for the first time in 63 years and at a mere 75 years young, John ’Langton’ Fitzgerald was a free soldier outside of football duties. The years of community volunteering in sport gave hundreds of shoolboys and youths in the Blackrock peninsula a much better quality of life under his stewardship. No better deed can a man export than inspire and convince young people, that sport is all about a much better way of life.


John from boyhood and youth was an imposing figure around Blackrock village, Cork, and when his school pals said he was lanky they could hardly have envisaged that the name ‘Langton’ would become a popular identity all through John’s life. Many soccer fans believed Langton was John’s surname but it never bothered the man himself.


Growing up in Blackrock village in the 1940’s it was only a few stone throws from the open countryside and many of the menfolk became fishermen to earn a living. Working out of the local pier became a way of life and John took his first working steps alongside other crewmen in the early 1950’s.


In 1957 international rubber manufacturers, Dunlops, put John on their payroll and when the famous company upped ship and departed Cork in 1983, it brought a 28 years working relationship to an untimely end for John and hundreds of loyal Cork industrial workers.


Sport is a wonderful friend when people have nothing to do and all day to do it, but in 1983 and the years that followed Dunlops Cork exit, John was bridging his mid 40’s and Ringmahon Rangers were making great progress with mentors such as John steering the club.


John’s younger siblings, Pat and Frank, also played with Ringmahon and amongst the numerous gallery of really special players who came through the clubs schoolboys academy of the 1950’s/60’s, John the tough and elegant centre half, had as colleagues Bobby and John Brohan and Frank Connolly, also of Cork Hibernians fame.


In the FAI Cup Ringmahon and John challenged League Of Ireland clubs, such as Shamrock Rovers, Drumcondra and the great Waterford teams of the 1960’s. In the higher echelons of Irish football, few stars wearing the No.9 shirt would outpace or outshine John Fitzgerald. His talent to rival all the great strikers was a well known factor in domestic soccer.


In Cork John was a ‘Gentle Giant’ on and off the field throughout his playing career and the respect he was afforded by his peers is renowned and rewarded right across all spheres of football.

Noted Cork football historian, Plunket Carter, an inspiration and nominator behind John’s Hall Of Fame Induction, regards John ‘Langton’ Fitzgerald, as one of Cork’s greatest ever football ambassadors.


Ringmahon Rangers grew from an acorn in 1951 to become one of Ireland’s most respected clubs and in the 21st century, the clubs splendid headquarters, looking out on the Blackrock peninsula would

do justice to most Irish professional soccer clubs. The genial former club secretary played an inspiring role in the clubs many developments over six decades.


John Fitzgerald had the natural ability to play League Of Ireland football over many years but his loyalty to his native club from 1951 to 2014 made him a rare breed of soccerman and a ONE CLUB ONLY LEGEND.

Friendships brewed through his club, both on and off the field, are legacies that John has treasured for many decades.


In football retirement John ‘Langton’ Fitzgerald is now taking a hugely deserved and overdue rest and finally for John he can sit awhile alongside his wife, Angela of a mere fifty one years, without a mention of going to the club he loves so well.


Selecting John for our All Ireland Hall Of Fame Induction as a Champion Community Sports Volunteer Of Ireland was a delightful and simple obligation.


Our Irish Heritage Website @ www.scoreboardmemories.com now incorporates an extensive sports profile of John’s historic career with Ringmahon Rangers on the worldwide internet at  All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery.


As a player John won all the major domestic honours in Cork and Munster soccer and far and wide scribes of the written word have oft times stated that, John as a centre half was“SIMPLY THE BEST”.


On the 11th November 2016 at the well known Red Cove Inn, Mahon, Cork, an All Ireland Hall Of Fame Induction show was held to celebrate the incorporation of John ‘Langton’ Fitzgerald as a Champion Community Sports Volunteer.


A bigScreen presentation featured nostalgic Golden Memories of days goneby in John’s illustrious sports career as an exceptional soccer centre half and also as club secretary for 61 consecutive years.

The sports and music show was researched by a team of volunteers and hosted and presented by Derry JF Doody, editor/promoter at the All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery.



John ‘Langton’ Fitzgerald:     Honours Achieved:

2 AOH Cup Winners medals 1960 & ‘61

Premier Division Titles: 1959-’61. Munster Junior Cup 1961.

7 MSL Premier League Titles in 8 years span-1962 -’70.

Other titles won include Pop Kelleher Cup; Berkeley Cup and Shield medals.

Recognitions/Appreciations for services to soccer:

Cork Schoolboys League: Cork AUL; MSL & FAIAwards.

11th November 2016: Incorporation in the national and International Irish Heriatge Website @

All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Galleryas a Champion Community Sports Volunteer Of Ireland.


Derry JF Doody  


John Ford, Anglo Irish Film Director, Did More For Irish Tourism Than All Irish Governments Since The Foundation Of the State


Many of the greatest and everlasting world famous songs are identified with the singer and the composer is most times secondary. In film folklore it is similar and “The Quiet Man” filmed near Cong, Co. Mayo, in 1952, is greatly remembered for the two famous actors in the film, Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne.


“The Quiet Man” was a major box office hit with cinema goers of the 1950’s around the globe and this spectacular film can be attributed to a love affair with Ireland by a Famous Ancestral Son Of Ireland.


John Ford was second generation Irish with foundation stones firmly rooted in Co. Galway. His parents surname was Feeney, his father John Augustine, a native of Spiddal and his mother, Barbara Curran, an Aran Islander. The parents came to America in May and June 1872 with Augustine first to arrive at Boston and followed by Barbara who arrived in Portland.


Just a mere three years after their emigration, the Galway couple married in 1875 and then decided to take out Amercian citizenship in 1880. Like many Irish families of the 19th century, they raised a squad of eleven children including John.

The father figure worked at farming, fishing, Gas Board employee, publican and he went into politics also, becoming an Alderman for Portland, Maine.


As a High School student, he was hugely successful at American Football and his tackles were so feared, he was known as “Bull Feeney”. In appreciation of his sporting greatness, a Portland pub named their hostelry “Bull Feeneys”.


John Ford, born on St. Brigid’s Day, 1st February 1894, at Cape Elizabeth, Maine, U.S.A. died at Palm Desert, California, on 31st August 1973 at age seventy six. Stated cause of death was Cancer of the stomach.


In incorporating John Ford into our Irish Heritage Website, we do so as a Famous Ancestral Son Of Ireland, an entrepreneur born in America of Irish parents and a man who became, in his own lifetime, one of the world’s most revered Film Directors.


Irish people associate “The Quiet Man” as a legacy to Ireland but that was only one of over 140 films directed by John and he was filming before sound and technicolour emerged. He made many silent films in his introductory years in the film trade and it’s possible it was his elder brother Francis, already in the film business, who can take the real credits for John Fords influence on the film world.


Francis Ford was an established Hollywood name and twelve years older than John. When Francis invited his brother John to Hollywood in July 1914, his sibling took the train out of Maine and set out to link up with his brother in the film industry. After a robust number of years under the influence of Francis, John learned the ropes rapidly and set his ambitions on becoming a Film Director.


For Irish people who relish in claiming famous and successful international people across many divides, John Ford sat neatly into the Anglo Irish category. Our F.A.I. soccer governing body endlessly and unashamedly, kept digging through the centuries to find players with a vein of Irish blood and Film Director John Ford had no doubts about his own parental ancestry.


In 1952 his decision to finally begin shooting The Quiet Man around Cong, Co. Mayo, had the Irish government on cloud nine. His new Irish film would escalate the profile of Ireland’s tourist potential in America to unprecedented heights.


John Ford did more for Irish tourism in a few months than could possibly be achieved by any Irish Tourist Board or government minister since the foundation of the Irish Free State.


People around the globe who had never before heard about The Isle Of Innisfree or Co. Mayo, Ireland, became fascinated with the notion of experiencing for themselves the countryside where John Ford chose as the setting for his new film.


In simple terms, John Ford should have been awarded ‘The Freedom Of Ireland’ such was the positive influence created for tourism and the legacy is still thriving in 21st century Ireland.


'The Quiet Man' was a 1952 Technicolour romantic thriller and starred Maureen O’Hara, John Wayne, Barry Fitzgerald (read Barry’s profile in our Actors/Actresses category) and of course that grumpy old character, Victor McLaglen (Maureen’s brother in the film), and many more professionals who made this historic film.


The idea for ‘The Quiet Man’ film came from a 1933 Saturday Evening Post editorial written by a Maurice Walsh and read by an acquaintance of John Ford who brought the article to Ford’s attention.

Smitten by the storyline, the Anglo Irishman put The Evening Post article into his ‘To Do Files’ and it stayed there for many years.


Prior to the making of ‘The Quiet Man’ Ford was renowned for films that included Stagecoach in 1939 and The Grapes Of Wrath in 1940. He had already won four Academy Awards in 1935/’40/’41 and ’52 and that established an unprecedented achievement.

“How Green Was My Valley” was a film that also won John Ford the accolade of Best Picture along with his Academy award for the film.


‘The Quiet Man’ maintained his prowess for claiming awards and he won the Academy Award for Best Director and also Best Cinematography. A further legendary appreciation of the ‘The Quiet Man’ came in 2013, when the United States National Film Registry at the Library Of Congress declared the ‘The Quiet Man’ as a film of cultural and historical importance.


Off the screen John Ford married Mary McBride Smith on 3rd July 1920 and they had two children. Ford’s daughter Barbara was married to singer and actor Ken Curtis from 1952 to 1964. The marriage between John Ford and Mary Smith lasted a lifetime despite various issues, including Mary was a divorcee and non catholic, whilst John was catholic.


In the Amercan emergency World War 2 years, John Ford served in the United States Navy as a Commander and was also in France when Adolf Hitler made his unsuccessful bid to rule France. Ford crossed the English channel and landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day and his main role was creating photographic archives of the battles raging all around him.


Coming from an Irish parented family of Galway origin, who brooded eleven off spring, the decision to claim John Ford’s Irish ancestry as a Famous Ancestral Son Of Ireland, was a simple and easy exercise.


John’s lifespan began on 1st February 1894 until 31st August 1973 and few, if any, Anglo Irish personality had such an illustrious career as the famous man steeped in Irish Heritage with his Tribesman veins rich with Irish blood.


Derry JF Doody


Wednesday, 03 May 2017 22:13

Famous Dublin Building

It Took 10 Years To Build Dublin's Custom House At A Cost of £200,000 And in 1921 The I.R.A. Burned the Imposing Building


How did the ancient craftsmen of Ireland build such magnificent buildings such as cathedrals, government buildings and monuments dotted all over Ireland. The construction is only part of any major building project and before any shovels or trowels are seen, the architects as designers and the sculptors as craftsmen, put in a huge amount of hours into pre-planning.


We are referring to TIMES PAST for our Irish Heritage Website and we are also talking about many historic buildings/venues built in 18th century Ireland. It was an era long before Henry Ford invented his Model T Motor car and transport was by horse and cart and long before modern day style scaffolding made reaching great heights an everyday routine.


Historic Irish Venues is a new category in our refurbished website and our first entry is The Custom House, Custom House Quay, Dublin.


It is an 18th century neoclassical prominent building which now provides offices for the Department Of Housing, Planning and Local Government. Its location is in the north bank of the famous river Liffey and adjacent to the Talbot Memorial Bridge and Butt Bridge.


In 1707, engineer Thomas Burgh built the original Custom House, but this building had outlived its purpose and was condemned in the late 18th century as unsafe for use.

The cost of a new Custom House did not seem to bother John Beresford who was the instigator behind the project. At that time, Ireland under British rule, had John Beresford as head of finance for Ireland.


Beresford did not get off to the start he envisaged when the original architect he appointed, Thomas Cooley, died unexpectedly. Into the breach Beresford brought James Gandon, a relatively new architect, now tasked with a huge design project and little experience of major projects.


The area selected as the site was marshland and the acquisition of the land proved extremely expensive. Protests at the development were mounted but Beresford took on all comers who were negative towards his grandiose plan and he ploughed on regardless.


1781 marks the commencement of the building work and James Gandon chose some of the very best artists and stone cutters in the land. Any Dublin mason who wanted work need look no further than Beresford and Gandon.


After a mighty ten years of intensive toiling, the new Custom House welcomed its first workers through the doors on 7th November 1791.


Over £200,000 was spent on the structure, a mighty sum in that far off era of Times Past. The completed project rose the profile of James Gandon as an architect to new horizons and he never again had to wait for new commissions.


The Custom House intended use was the collection of custom duties but as the Port Of Dublin rapidly expanded and moved downriver, use of the large building was greatly diminished.


The Local Government Board For Ireland would later take up tenancy but when the Irish War Of Independence erupted in 1921, the Irish Republican Army decided to burn down the place to displace British Rule in Ireland.


Many facets of the imposing building were gutted but the I.R.A. destruction also had a negative effect as historic records were lost and several volunteers were captured as they retreated.


Following the Irish Treaty of 1921, the property was now under the ownership of the new Irish government who set about rebuilding the property.


The Custom House is a huge building to maintain and considerable sums have been spent over many years preserving this monumental Dublin building.







Published in Historic Irish Venues
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 20:59

Why Not?

No Solution For Gaelic Games Congestion Of Fixtures For Club & County Players

The calamity and congestion of fixtures in club hurling and football will never be resolved in the next 100 years despite the establishment of the club players association.


Simply put. Soccer is Soccer. Rugby is Rugby; Athletics is Athletics. Boxing is Boxing. Camogie is Camogie. Ladies Football is Ladies Football and it goes on and on in most sports codes. Each sports code has its own governing bodies.


Gaelic Games embraces and incorporates two sports codes, hurling and football.

We have the high profile players playing on county teams and meantime the club players are sidelined at the expense of the county players in both hurling and football in all grades during the glorious summer months.


Croke Park have demanded more and more inter county games and the damage inflicted on county and club players reached epic proportions several years ago. It is difficult to envisage a new dawn to solve the impasse.

Playing county finals on rain sodden pitches in October and November is a cardinal sin simply because it is impossible to perform at optimum levels in such conditions.


The popularity of gaelic games at the top level is immense and whilst All Ireland club competitions at junior, intermediate and senior, are a source of great pride when a town/village team makes it to Croke Park, again these games are mostly played in the depths of the winter months.


The muddle is easy to identify. And that is without any considerations for the many dual players in all grades of gaelic games, let alone the hefty college fixtures, also mostly played in undesirable weather conditions.


After a lifetime following gaelic games, I have no remedy for the fixture congestions.

I believe the next 100 years will be a repeat of the last century. One strategy for consideration could be the setting up of two associations, just like camogie and ladies football.


Hurling and football are more than capable of surviving and prospering in their own individual categories just like handball, camogie, ladies football and all the other codes stated in my opening paragraphs. And why not?



Published in News & Views
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 19:01

The Orchard County Of Armagh

Nestled In A Cluster Of Northern Ireland Counties, Armagh Is The Seat Of The Catholic Church In Ireland


Armagh, the Orchard county of All Ireland, was already one of Ireland’s best known counties and when the late Donegal singer, Bridie Gallagher, recorded “The Boys Of The County Armagh” with her amazing balladeer voice, she took us all on a stroll around the county.


‘Around by the Gap of Mount Norris and home by Blackwater again’ were words in the song that captivated the musical ear of Irish people all around the globe. It’s a lively ballad about one fair county, a county also made famous by St. Patrick who founded a college there that became world famous.


Old authors such as Beade and St. Fiech referred to Armagh as the capital of All Ireland in the early centuries whilst  ancient Armagh was the territory of the Ulaid (also known as Voluntii, Ultonians, Ulidians, Ulstermen) before the fourth century AD.

Armagh was ruled by the Red Branch, whose capital was Emain Macha (or Navan Fort) near the city of Armagh. The site and subsequently the city, were named after the goddess Macha.


When the Treaty Of Ireland was signed by Michael Collins and colleagues in 1921, Armagh, despite its close proximity to county Louth, was deemed to be a part of the new six counties of Ulster.


The county has a strong gaelic tradition and in 21st century Ireland, Armagh is a relatively small county whose borders straddle Tyrone, Down, Louth, Monaghan and Antrim. It is sandwiched in-between its bordering counties in the North East of Ireland.


Our history books state Queen Macha of the Spears or otherwise known as Macha of the Golden Hair, built Armagh. She also built a huge palace at Navan Fort near the city and the ruins are still visible.

Macha is also credited with establishing The Red Branch Knights Of Ulster and they occupied homes next to the palace as living quarters. In close proximity was ‘The House Of The Sorrowful Soldier’ which was a hospital to cater for the medical needs of inhabitants.


Further history reading states that St. Patrick was responsible for obliterating all the Armagh rats and the cathedral city is known to be the enemy of rats. Old tales abound that any rats that invade Armagh meet their sudden death and that is attributed to the power of St. Patrick’s prayers.

Other chapters of Irish history state that the Irish warrior, Brian Boru, had a special place in his heart for Armagh and despite capturing Armagh in a battle royal, in his will he made it known, he wanted to be buried in Armagh and his wish was granted.

Brian Boru lost his life in the Battle Of Clontarf, Dublin, on 23rd April 1014 and his funeral procession over roadways from Clontarf to Armagh City, was one of the largest funerals ever held in Ireland.


The county population takes in approximately 170,000 citizens with the City Of Armagh the capital town, whilst Portadown and Lurgan are also large county towns.

St. Patrick made Armagh his clerical seat and this inheritance is held in high values by the Irish Catholic Church who continue to base their Irish Cardinal in Armagh. It is also a majority Catholic stronghold amongst its population taken from a recent census.


As a county stretching across the border lines of the Republic Of Ireland, during the Northern Ireland troubles South Armagh became known in the media as ‘Bandit Country’.  Southern regions of the county are majority catholic and its citizens are mainly opposed to British Rule.

Gaelic football is the dominant sport in south Armagh and in some pockets of the south, hurling is taken very seriously. Soccer is very prominent around the county and particularly in the Portadown region.

Another Irish sport with origins in county Cork is Roadbowling and this unique sport is a very important social fabric in south Armagh in many towns and villages. A number of Armagh bowlers have claimed the All Ireland Roadbowling championship and support for the sport is very evident when one crosses over the border and into the town of Keady.

In gaelic football Armagh hold one All Ireland senior football title won in 2002 when they defeated the all conquering Kerry by one point in a thrilling final at Croke Park. However the fortunes of Armagh’s footballers has dimmed in recent years but in a highly competitive arena, the fortunes of many more former All Ireland champions has also dimmed.


Armagh is famous for the amount of orchards in the county and driving through the countryside the orchards represent stunning views for visitors. This is the reason that Armagh is regarded as ‘The Orchard County Of Ireland’.


By Derry JF Doody


Wednesday, 03 May 2017 01:09

The Liberties Of Dublin

The Historic Liberties Of Dublin Renowned in Song And Verse And A Place With An Immense History


Songs and stories of renown abound about Dublin’s famous Liberties and traditionally this well known city district was anything for many decades but a desirable place of residence for families to live.

In 21st century Dublin the wheel of fortune has circled right back to the days when the Liberties housed Vikings who occupied the area. The origin of the name Liberties can be traced right back prior to the Irish Reformation of the 16th century when the lands adjoining the local monasteries were exempted from civil law.


The church had ecclesiastical governance in the vicinity, unlike most of Dublin and that is the root beginning of how the name “The Liberties” was formulated.


The locality had four monasteries and each monastery had its own Liberty as follows:

A/ St. Patrick’s Liberty at St. Patrick’s Cathedral B/ Christchurch Cathedral C/ St. Thomas sited at St. Catherine’s Church and D/ The Liberty of St. Sepulchre at the current site of Kevin Street Garda Station.


Thomas Street is the site where The Bould Robert Emmet was taken for execution. Thomas Street also has many more historic attributes and a deed recorded in history is credited to King Henry 11.

His thousands of loyal supporters mistakenly believed, that by slaughtering the Archbishop Of Canterbury, Thomas A. Beckett in 1170, the King would thank them.

However King George11 felt deep repulsion at their cruel action and wondered how he could commemorate Thomas A. Beckett. He decided to erect a monastery on the site of St. Catherine’s church, Thomas Street, and donate a great amount of land nearby also.


Monasteries had locations in medieval times sited near rivers and monks were very industrial minded and set up numerous commercial and industrial businesses. The Monastery at Thomas Street depended on the river Poddle but this supply was inadequate for their visions of trade at the location.


It was then decided that a new source of natural water was urgently required and the monks now began to construct a two mile stretch of a narrow canal from Kimmage to their own Thomas Street location.

On completion of the new water supply, mills, saw mills and breweries were established and this activity heightened associated businesses that mushroomed throughout The Liberties.


The prosperity of The Liberties was soon a major talking point in Dublin circles and the arrival of the French Huguenots after the Reformation gave rise to much of the lands transferring to them.

This occupation by the Huguenots strengthened commercial and industrial activities in The Liberties and the French occupiers built grandiose French style houses in the area also.


The Huguenots looked after the local people and weaving became almost a household industry as many families acquired a loom to primarily manufacture silk garments. As the raw material for silk almost dried up and became overly expensive, the silk was now interwoven with wool and this produced garments that were in great demand.


Interestingly along the banks of the new Kimmage canal, new industries sprung up such as cloth mills, distilleries, flour mills, chemical plants, breweries and bacon cure houses. The majority of workers enjoyed very good salaries and lived fluently.


As steam was invented as a new means of energy, this had a severe impact on the majority of the businesses and the Arthur Guinness plant was a rare exception to the decline in trade in The Liberties districts. Founded in 1759, the Irish brewery progressed to become the world’s largest brewery in the 1930’s era.


The Guinness empire acquired over sixty acres in The Liberties district and the company had its own ships, The Lady Miranda and The Lady Patricia, traveling the Irish sea exporting to Britain and other shores.

A well known factor of employment at Guinness for residents of The Liberties working at the brewery, was the pay and conditions. The company took care of its employees by building homes for its workers and also building a swimming pool for relaxation and leisure.


Arthur Guinness, the founder, poised a lot of questions for Republican Fenians who were not pleased that the famous Irish entrepreneur was not always on their political side. Arthur in his prime was a powerful figurehead on Dublin’s Council, he was tops of the table with financial power and few, if any council colleagues, could match his status.


In The Liberties of the 18th century, Arthur Guinness was the saviour of the majority of local families who thrived in the workplace, due to the success of their local brewery. In 21st century Dublin, Guinness are still the dominant force in the commercial life of the Liberties of Dublin City.


A trade of renown in The Liberties was a Cooper. These were the master craftsmen who daily crafted the timber Guinness barrels to store porter for public houses to serve to customers. The splendidly constructed barrels were airtight and made from the sheer accuracy of the Coopers eye and their speed of manufacture was astonishing.


In the modern day Liberties, market stalls are a great attraction with indoor and outdoor traders in abundance. New houses and images in The Liberties have developed over the decades but the famous Liberties Of Dublin is a place of renown with an immense history and if you haven’t been there, maybe it’s time to plan that extra special outing.


Irish comedian and singer, Brendan Grace, is a native of the Liberties and in his gigs all around the globe, Brendan tells his audiences many humorous stories of his childhood growing up in The Liberties Of Dublin.


By Derry JF Doody

Captain Roberts And The Sirius Historic Links To Passage West, Co. Cork

Passage West, Co. Cork, Ireland, is an old Irish town with a great maritime heritage amongst its forebears and the majority of the riverside lower lands run alongside the River Lee stretching from Rochestown to downstream Monkstown.

The former 19th century Passage West to Cork railway line took its passengers on daily trips that presented wonderful scenic views of Cork harbour throughtout the entire journey.

Alongside the railway line as it approached the town of Passage was the farmland owned by Captain Roberts (of Sirius fame) father. As a seafaring town many of the locals earned their living from the sea as fishermen, whilst the town at one time hosted three boat building yards. The locality also reared many young boys who took up their working lives with the British Merchant Navy and sailed around the globe.


One Passage West seafaring man with an anglo Irish ancestry was Richard Roberts, a farmer's son born at Ardmore in 1803. From his family home he could look out on the river every day and when he graduated to his teenage years he joined the British Royal Navy.


This was the beginning of a career at sea, a career that would claim his young life at just thirty seven years old. However before his fatal sea disaster, Richard Roberts had written himself into seafaring history as the very first captain of a steamer to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

That famous ship was the SS Sirius. That was also the ship that enabled Captain Richard Roberts to be inducted into the All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery in 2017.


The story of Captain Roberts and The Sirius are interwoven in history. Both made international seafaring history.

Roberts entered the British Royal Navy in his youth and served there until he gained the rank of Lieutenant and was then given command of the SS Sirius. As captain of the Sirius, Roberts guided the first steamship to travel across the Atlantic to America, in April 1838.


After the successful and historic voyage he was transferred to the SS President which was lost at sea in March 1841. Roberts is presumed to have gone down with the ship.

The SS Sirius, constructed at Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland, first came to Cork in 1837 when she was purchased by the St. George Steam Packet Company for the then princely sum of £27,000. 

Considered a big and powerful ship by the standards of the day, the two cylinder engines had been built on the Clyde by J. Wingate & Co. of Glasgow. Their piston stroke of 6 feet (nearly 2 metres) delivered steam pressure of 5lbs per sq. inch (34.5 kn per square metre). The engine room itself was 57 feet in length.


The gross tonnage of 703 made the Sirius a sturdy little ship. Built of timber with carvel construction, she had one deck and two masts. Her length from the inner part of the main stern to the fore part of the stern post aloft, was certified as being 178 feet 4/10ths. Her breadth midships was similarly certified as 25 ft 8/10ths and her depth mid-ships as 18ft 3/10ths.


The Sirius was a schooner-rigged with a standing bowsprit and carried square sails on the mast forward of her tall narrow funnel. Her stern was square, while a dog image decorated her bow. This dog image was noted as a fine work of art.


The Sirius normally undertook the run from Cork to London but early in 1838, she was chartered by the British and American Steam Navigation Company to voyage to New York. Both the Sirius and her much larger rival, the Great Western, were scheduled to leave from London.


The Sirius was to leave on 28th March, 1838, calling to Cork enroute on 2nd April and to sail from there to America. The Great Western was to leave London on 7th April but to sail directly to New York.

In preparation for the trip The Sirius was given some modifications for the voyage with increased bunkerage for coal and the paddle boxes were changed, from square to round in outline.


The historic sea journey of the Sirius started from Passage West, (formerly the official port of Cork in the 19th century) on 4th April at 10.30 a.m. in company with the SS Ocean, another splendid steamer of the St. George Steam Packet Company.


The Sirius was quite crowded for the trip. Some came aboard in London, others in Cork. She had a total of 40 passengers comprising 5 ladies and 6 men in the first cabin, 5 ladies and 3 men in the second and 1 lady and 20 men in steerage. First class, the first cabin, cost 35 guineas including provisions and wine. Second class fare was twenty guineas and a berth in steerage for the commoners cost eight guineas.


The Sirius was loaded with stout from the Beamish & Crawford brewery in Cork City, as well as other food delicacies. She was also loaded with as much extra coal as she could mount.

As the epic voyage started out, the stormy weather was not in their favour and several of the onboard passengers and crew wanted to turn back during the journey fearing inevitable loss of life. However under the command of Captain Roberts, he decided this was not going to happen.


On leaving Passage West, six miles downriver from Cork City, the crew and ship were loudly cheered by the locals as she made her way past the nearby parishes of Glenbrook and Monkstown. The ship then sailed over to Queenstown (now Cobh) to drop off the Cork VIP's and then sail out to the Irish sea via Roche’s Point Lighthouse, and again stopping off at London before proceeding to the Atlantic Ocean on its vast historic journey to New York.


Just a mere eighteen days after leaving Passage West, the Sirius arrived in New York on 22nd April 1838. She had steamed 2,897 nautical miles at an average of 161 nautical miles per day. By now the Sirius had used up all her coal stock and the engine revolutions had run at 15 per minute all through the voyage.  


Running eighteen hours behind The Sirius on the afternoon of 23rd April, the 1,340 ton Great Western steamed into New York. However the little SS Sirius had outshone The Great Western to the New York finishing post and Passage West born, Captain Roberts, had masterminded his own slice of Irish history.


In recognition of the Captain Roberts achievement, he was subsequently presented with the Freedom of Cork and also London and later the people of Passage West presented him with a silver salver.


The Sirius made a second trip to New York under Captain Stephen S. Moyle. Tragically she was lost at Ware Cove, near Ballycotton, Co. Cork, on 16th January 1847.


Captain Richard Roberts and all his crew were also lost when the steamer, SS President, went down while on a return voyage from New York in March 1841. In 1844 a cenotaph was erected to the memory of Captain Roberts in the grounds of the Marmullane Church Of Ireland cemetery, Passage West, Co. Cork.


The 150th anniversary of the sailing of the Sirius was commemorated in 1988 and a re-enactment of the historic departure on the morning of 4th April 1838 was the high point of celebrations organised in Passage West. The US Ambassador and the then Minister for the Marine were among the dignitaries to attend.


And so it is that a Famous Son of Passage West and Cork is now incorporated in The All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery following in the footsteps of another famous son of Passage West, Eddie O'Brien, a Cork hurler of 1970's vintage.

Eddie's profile can be browsed under our Sports Legends category.



Derry JF Doody


Saturday, 22 April 2017 10:33

Indian Boxer Fighting For Ireland

Willie 'Boy' Murphy, Born In India, Acclaimed International Olympian Boxer For Ireland With Parental Cork Connections


With a name such as “Willie ‘Boy’ Murphy” you would be tempted to align that person to the county of Cork as the persons birthplace. You would not be wholly incorrect as Willie Boy had a rich vein of Cork blood in his heritage. He was born in India to a couple from Rathcooney (just outside the boundary lines of city and county on Cork’s north east territory) and Cork people will claim Willie as one of their very own.


Willie Boy had an extraordinary life, a life that the sport of boxing enriched, but only because the Indian native was a really exceptional talent. His Cork parents came home to their native shore from India and settled in a council estate at Kerryhall Road, Fairhill, Cork, on Cork’s northside district.


A man of many travels during his boxing career, Willie did ring battles in many countries including Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Italy, France, England, Wales and Scotland.


As an accomplished boxer he managed to become Egypt’s Middleweight Champion at the age of seventeen, a remarkable achievement.


Representing Ireland at the 1924 Paris Olympics, he fought Poland’s Jerzy Nowak in the opening bout and beat him to qualify for the next round, which he lost to Canadian, Leslie Black.

This was Ireland’s inaugural introduction to the Olympic Games following the Treaty of 1922. Willie Boy was serving at that time in the Irish Army and in that role he was a renowned boxing coach.


He also qualified for the Amsterdam 1928 Olympics but success eluded him after much controversy in the manner of his elimination. He beat the reigning Spanish Light Heavyweight champion in the opening bout, but once again Olympic judges came in for great criticism.


In the follow up bout he was paired with the German champion. Willie landed his opponent on the canvas twice, with counts of eight and then seven necessary in the third round.

Whilst it is was claimed the German fought back gallantly, Willie Boy was touted by all at ringside as the clear victor. However the judges begged to differ and in a hugely controversial decision, they voted against him.


In 1932 the Dublin Tailteann Games, (rivaling the Olympic games) was a huge sporting event and this was a major success story for Willie Boy. He became a champion middleweight at the games when he flattened the New Zealand champion in the final.


From 1924 to 1932 the famed boxer claimed most titles available to him in Ireland and a stand out title, was his winning of the Senior Middleweight Irish Championship in 1924. He subsequently moved up to Light Heavyweight and won further national honours in 1925; 1926; 1931 and 1932.

In a star spangled career Willie Boy Murphy was never knocked out or even received a black eye, a remarkable record.


Outside of boxing he entered the ranks of An Garda Síochána and finished his career in Waterford city where he died on Sunday 25th November 1979. His removal to Waterford’s Church Of The Holy Family spelt out just how popular the Waterford based garda had become in the local community. As the cortege whined its way to the church, Willie Boy’s send off was one of the largest ever seen in Waterford.


On the following day the morners trekked to Cork’s Rathcooney Cemetry to bury an Indian/Corkman who is incorporated as a Famous Ancestral Sporting Son Of Ireland in our Irish Heritage Website at All Ireland Hall Of Fame.


Derry JF Doody


@ www.scoreboardmemories.com




Page 1 of 17