Thursday, 15 September 2022 20:25


Written by


Ray Lucey Preliminary


Meet Cork's First Ever Club & County Supporter

Passage & Cork GAA Fan of 56 Years To Be Honoured As Champion Club & County Supporter (Cork)

  • New Recognition & Appreciation Award
  • All Ireland Internet Hall Of Fame under the banner Cork Internet Hall Of Fame @ has launched a new Recognition & Appreciation Cork SportsLife Award to honour Cork sports fans of great longevity, fans who have been ever present supporting their Club & County.
  • The new award is entitled Champion Club & County Supporters (Cork) and although Gaelic Games feature prominently, it is an Open Door Award for all sports codes. Nominations are invited to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • The inaugural award will take place on Friday 16th September ‘22 @ 9pm at Passage West GAA ClubHouse.
  • The recipient is a former resident of Mount St. Joseph Orphanage, Passage West, governed by the Mercy Order of nuns in the 1950/60s era. Our pioneering recipient rejoices in the excellent standards of care he experienced all through his Passage childhood.
  • The inaugural recipient is one of Cork’s greatest fans, RAY LUCEY, who exiled to Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo, to set up a new married life over 40 years ago. Despite his West of Ireland home base, RAY travels thousands of miles annually in support of Cork teams, all grades from under- age to senior, across all codes including, Camogie and Ladies Football.

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Ray’s outward and warm personality is recognised right across Ireland and recently when Cork travelled to play Antrim in Belfast, he made a mountain of new GAA friends. Hospitality and friendships are key to Rays GAA life and he is never shy to proclaim his abundance of loyalty to his native Club & County.

Whilst Cork is his county, his loyalty to the Passage West club from far off Ballyhaunis, is well known and respected by Passage people. At Ballinlough or any other venue where Passage line-out, Ray will be foremost through the turnstiles and proudly wearing his beloved Passage jersey. There is no limits to his Club & County allegiance over the 52 weeks of any year and when questioned on his financial outlay, he simply walks away.

"I do it Derry because when I was in the orphanage, so many people of Passage West imbued in me respect and love for gaelic games, a passion that burns inside me till the day I die.Passage West was my home all through my orphanage childhood and the lifetime friends I made are very dear and close and the GAA club was my second home. When I come to Passage or go to Passage matches, I’m coming home every time. With Cork, I live, sleep and eat the Rebels day and night. I’m so proud to be a Rebel, I even penned myself as ‘Cork’s Rebel In The West".


Thousands of miles have been clocked up to such an extent that Ray went Electric with his vehicle to further enhance his Leeside visits. The passion for gaelic games is not confined to Cork’s Rebel county and when he set up home in Ballyhaunis over forty years ago, he also transferred a vast amount of allegiance to the local GAA club. As an adopted Corkman in the West, he has immersed himself into coaching hurling and speaks proudly of many triumphs with under-age teams.

Many of Cork’s great players of the current and times past eras, are very familiar with Rays presence at championship and league games. He is also very capable of reading the rights and wrongs of victories and defeats and when Cork come up short in major encounters, the long road home to Ballyhaunis provides ample time for analysis and reflections.

Cork’s GAA Rebel Band, the Rebels who have promoted Cork in their iconic Cork gear all over Ireland, are the heartbeat for passionate Cork supporters. It’s not about Corkiness; It’s all about ShowCasing the heritage of Cork’s genuine supporters who have adorned the trenches in the unreserved GAA terraces.

Ray Lucey is always in the thick of the action when the Rebel Band of Tom Roche (The Bomber) Pa the Piper,(wishing a speedy recovery to the famed Piper), Cyril the Bird, Eddie the Eagle and especially the late Jonty (now succeeded by his son, Patrick) and also the late Tony. The Rebel Band comprised so many more all action Cork supporters who march in tandem on match days signifying their own brand of Cork GAA loyalty.

Ray Lucey is proud to be the first ever Champion Club & County Supporter (Cork) inducted to the All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery as one of Cork’s greatest ever supporters of longevity.

For Corkonians domiciled around the Internet Universe, the lifetime storyline of a famous Cork GAA Supporter is a revelation to behold. He cites 1956 and 1966 as landmark years in his GAA life and the latter year is of significant Golden Memories interest to be preserved.

1966 was the year Cork ended a severe drought in claiming the Liam McCarthy Cup with local 21 years old Passage and Cork midfielder, JUSTIN McCarthy, announcing his arrival as a hurler of great potential and also claiming The Caltex Hurler Of The Year award. As a young enthusiastic GAA upcoming player, Ray got to know and meet Justin many times. In the follow on years after 1966, the local club was at its zenith in Cork senior hurling and players such as Eddie O’Brien (honoured by All Ireland Hall Of Fame in 2010); Bernie Meade; the late Joe Murphy and John Horgan, all made their mark at inter county level. Several other Passage players wore the Cork jersey at various under age levels.

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The inspiration derived by Ray from personally knowing all these remarkable former players embellished a sense of great pride during his youthful years but the Ballyhaunis based Passage man in his adult life in the West of Ireland was also ever willing to assist with the Passag club lotto and other functions. During the Covid Lockdown in Mayo when spectators were locked out during a hurling county final match, a famous picture emerged of a Corkman ‘Similar to the Men Behind the Wire’ down on all fours crawling through grass fields until he reached a sideline pitch post, where he was able to observe the flow of the Mayo hurling match.

Ray Lucey’s life in Ballyhaunis embraces his wife, Martha, Sons Alan and Kieran and the love of his life, granddaughter Megan.

Composed by Derry JF Doody @ All Ireland Hall Of Fame Onine Gallery



Last modified on Friday, 16 September 2022 15:06