Erin’s Own/ Carrigtwohill trip to Ventry.
Sponsored by Days Euro Spar.
Last November Paudi O Shea contacted us about his festival of football tournament in Ventry which was in its twenty fourth year. Over the next few weeks we had several conversations about him coming up to Cork to explain all the details of the weekend to us. Unfortunately we never got to meet him as sadly he passed away on December 15th at the age of fifty seven. A few days after the funeral we were contacted by Paudi, s friend John Sullivan who along with Paudi, s son Páraig og wanted to come and talk to us. We met them both in Cork the week before Christmas and we were officially invited to participate in the festival of football over the weekend 23rd and 24th of February 2013. At junior level in Ladies Football Erin’s Own and Carrigtwohill play as a merged team. The reason for this is that over the previous few years due to economic reasons, emigration and girls working all over the country neither club were in a position to field a full junior team. Both clubs came together at the beginning of 2012 and agreed to play together as one team at junior level only. This merger turned out to be a fantastic success as both sets of players knew each other anyway and training together this bond got even stronger. After Christmas when everyone became aware of our plans to go to Ventry in mid-February, it created a tremendous buzz in both clubs. Training started earlier than usual on the astro turf in Carrigtwohill and numbers attending also increased. We trained twice a week during January and early February. The week before we left for Kerry we were contacted by Kevin Day of Days Euro Spar in Whitegate who agreed to give us some sponsorship in return for his logo going on our wet tops.
We also decided that at some stage over the weekend we would present the O Shea family with some symbol of our area which they could keep as a token of our appreciation for their hospitality.
A lot of debate went into deciding what to give and finally we decided on a framed picture of Barry’s court castle as both our parishes are in the Barony of the castle. Kevin Day was kind enough to also sponsor this for us.
On Friday the 21st of February we set of for Kerry arriving in Ventry around six thirty. We met the organisers in Paudi,s pub and were sent from there to our houses in Dingle. By nine o clock all our players had arrived and we all returned by hired bus to Paudis pub again for a barbecue and a fantastic nights entertainment with Cork band Bog the Donkey supplying the music. A huge marque was attached to the side of the pub to cater for the large crowd. There were clubs there from all corners of the country and also from London, Watford, Belgium, Edinburgh, Reading UK, Spain, Germany ,Cardiff, Madrid and Brussels There were forty eight teams participating over the weekend twenty four ladies and the same in men’s. The competition was divided into senior, intermediate and Junior and every available pitch in west Kerry was being utilised for the weekend. Luckily the weather had dried out considerably the previous week and all pitches were in perfect order.
The following day we had to be in Abbeydorney for twelve o clock for our first match against the home side. Even though the day was dry temperatures never rose more than three degrees all day with a bitterly cold east wind. Abbydorney turned out to be a good tough team probably slightly older than our girls but a very experienced team nonetheless having won a junior all Ireland in 05.
Ciara Desmond our full forward opened the scoring after ten minutes with a well taken goal and this was followed by Edel Cronin with a point. Abbeydorney put huge pressure on our defence but Níamh ní Caoimh Michelle Scanlon and Emma Coughlan and Edel o Carroll were outstanding and it was twenty minutes before they scored their first and only point of the half. Edel Cronin finished the half with another well taken goal and then followed this with a point. In the second half Abbeydorney started the stronger and had a point on the board after two minutes. Ciara Desmond followed this with a point while our midfielders of Eva Horgan and Caoimhe O Callaghan kept the pressure on their defence. They secured another point after twenty minutes and Ciara followed up with another one of her own just before the match was over. The final score was Erin’s Own/Carrigtwohill three three, Abbeydorney three points. The Abbeydorney club treated us to refreshments after the match.
Our second match was against St Josephs, Carrigallen from Leitrim and this was played in the Institute of technology in Tralee at three thirty. Josephs opened the scoring with a point before Michelle O Sullivan scored for us from a free. Josephs again followed up with another point and it was obvious at this stage that we were dealing with an excellent team who were capable of slicing through any defence with speed, accuracy and pin point foot passing. Edel Cronin hit the net for us half way through the first half and this was followed up with a fine point from Ciara Desmond. The first half ended with a brilliant save from Sarah Healy who denied Josephs of a certain goal and leaving the score at half time one two to us and two points to Josephs. In the second half Josephs opened the scoring with a goal levelling the match. Ann Marie O Callaghan, Marissa O Callaghan, Emear O Mahony and Rachel Daly really drove our team on and a fine interception by Clodagh Lane followed by a brilliant hand pass to Ciara Desmond led to our second goal of the match. Ciara followed this with two more well taken points before Josephs responded with two points of their own. The game was in its final thirty seconds with our team up by three points when a high ball into our defence was scrambled away straight to their corner forward who buried it into the back of the net to earn a draw for them. This was devastating for us as we had really soaked up all they could throw at us during the match and had been very disciplined in defence and right throughout the pitch our girls had practically ran themselves into the ground. Extra time of five minutes per half was now going to be played. Michelle O Sullivan could play no more with her leg in serious trouble and Caoimhe O Callaghan was just about able to start with injuries to her legs. Disaster struck when they opened with a quick goal in extra time and they now had momentum on their side which led them to grow in confidence. They followed up with another point and even though our girls gave as much as they could we had come up against a better team who grew stronger as the second period of extra time was played out. The final score was three five for St Josephs and two four for us. Our hopes of making the Final in Dingle on Sunday were gone.
Tired cold and hungry but happy that we had been beaten by a better team on the day we returned to the Schellig hotel in Dingle to a hot fire and plenty of food. After this it was back to our houses to get dressed up for the Banquet that night in the marquee at Paudi,s Pub. Woodbine a Limerick band provided the music for the night and even though we had been disappointed with our last match result, it wasn’t long before everyone was on the floor dancing until the early hours of the morning.
The following morning mass was celebrated in Ventry Church which a few of us made. Music for the mass was provided by Peadar O Riada and choir and the mass was dedicated to the memory of Paudi O Shea. Also remembered at the mass was Lt-General Dermot Early who was a good friend of Paudi,s and at the senior men’s final later on in the day a cup in his name was going to be presented to the winners. The priest also told us that Dermot Early had a few interesting mottos in life which he usually gave to men serving in the army and also to teams that he coached. They were as follows
Your attitude is more important than your ability.
Your motives are more important than your methods.
Your courage is more important than your cleverness.
Always keep your heart in the right place.
After mass we visited the cemetery where Paudi is laid to rest to pay our respects. This cemetery is located in a beautiful spot overlooking the sea just beyond Ventry village. We were in the company of Larry O Leary from Fr.Murphy’s Ladies Gaelic football & Camogie club in London. Originally from Clonakilty Larry has been living and working in London with many years and he had brought the Fr. Murphy’s ladies football team to the tournament for the weekend.
Our next stop was to the GAA grounds in Dingle where we watched St Josephs and Scartaglen play in the final of the ladies intermediate cup. This was a close match with Scartaglen finally winning by one point. Our final event of the weekend was to present the O Shea family with the picture of Barryscourt castle. This took place in Paudi,s Pub in Ventry later on in the afternoon where Tony Smiddy and Mairtin O Callaghan presented Paudi,s wife Máire and brother Thomás with the framed picture.
The following inscription is what was on the photo presented to explain its meaning.
Bronnadh ar chlann Uí Shé ar son foireann peile Rogha Éireann-Carrigtuathail, a ghlac páirt I gComórtas Páidí Uí Shé 2013
Barryscourt Castle (Caisleán chúirt an Bharraigh) located in Eastern County Cork, close to the village of Carrigtwohill. Barryscourt fell into the hands of the Anglo Norman De Barry family in the 12th century and remained in the families most powerfull branch , The Barrymores (Barra Mór or Great Barry) until 1556 when the family line became extinct. It was passed on to a distant cousin, James FitzRicdard of the Barrymores (Barra Rua or Red Barry).
Erins own (Rogha Éireann) Gaa Club and Carrigtwohill (Carrigtuathail) Gaa Club , A Joint Ladies Gaelic Football Team (Foireann Peil Gael na mBan) are both located in the same Barony as Barryscourt Castle , The Barony of Barrymore (Barraigh Mhóra). Baronies are sub divisions of counties created after the invasion of The Normans in 1169
The Clan Chieftains of Ulster, Hugh O Neill and Red Hugh O Donnell when marching en route to Kinsale, where King Philip 111 of Spain had sent an Armada (The Spanish Armada) to support the Irish in the fight against the English (The Battle of Kinsale 1601) camped in areas of Woodstock in Carrigtwohill and Knockraha in Glounthaune, (area where Both Clubs are from), The Ulster Chieftains went to Barryscourt Castle seeking support, After defeat in Kinsale , some of the Irish Chieftains fled to spain, known as (The Flight of The Earls).The Rest is History, Maybe some of their Descendants are here with us today, The Year of The Gathering 2013, The year another Chieftain left us , An Ard Ri , (High King) Chorca Dhuibhne, Páidí O’ Sé. Ar dheis Dé go raibh anam.
Finally it was time to head back to Cork after an amazing weekend of football, music and dance. We would all like to thank the O Shea Family and John Sullivan in particular for the hospitality we were shown and hopefully sometime in the future we may be invited back again. So if you are ever in the Ventry area and you pass by Paudi’s Pub be sure to call in and if you see a picture of Barryscourt castle hanging amongst the thousands of other pictures all over the pub ,then you will know now how it came to be there. This article is written to the memory of Paudi O Shea