A History of Killeagh Camogie Club as submitted to the book
“Killeagh Parish Through The Ages”
In the summer of 1973 a group of girls approached Tony O’Neill to set up a Camogie Club in the parish as Tony and Jim Byrne were regularly in Kennedy’s Field with the girls practicing. A meeting was called and the following officers were elected: Chairperson: Sheila Spillane, Hon. Treasurer: Carmel Barry, Hon. Secretary and Trainer: Tony O’Neill. We reached the Junior A County Final in 1974, we won it in 1975. The winning panel were as follows: Patricia Fitzgibbon, Mary Foley, Breda Murphy, Betty Joyce, Breda Landers, Cathy Landers, Pat Moloney, Sally O’Connor, Catherine Griffin, Marion Sweeney, Mary Joyce and Mary Walsh. Camogie was then a 12 a side game. In 1976 we drew in the Intermediate County Final with Eire Og and after some controversy the replay was awarded to them without being played. As we were promoted to the senior ranks in 1977 the club has never won an intermediate title. Tony O’Neill did excellent work with the girls of Killeagh and his efforts came to fruition in 1977 when we won the National Feile Title beating the Derry champions in Waterford along with winning silver at the Community Games in Mosney. We represented Cork again in 1988 and 1990 and won the National Title again in 2005.
In 1980 was the Club’s big break through beating Glen Rovers and becoming Senior County Champions for the first time. We then went onto play teams from Clare, Galway, Waterford and even travelled to Co. Down for the semi-final. Buffers Alley of Wexford were our opponents which we conquered to become All Ireland Club Champions and the first Cork Club to do so. The team were: Patricia Fitzgibbon, Marie O’Donovan, Mary Spillane, Betty Joyce, Breda Landers (c), Barbara Kirby, Ann Marie Landers, Patsy Keniry, Pat Moloney, Marion Sweeney, Fidelma O’Connor and Anne Leahy. We continued to win the Cork Senior Championship in 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1988. Such was the level of interest and talent in the area that in 1986 while fielding a Senior Team we also won the Junior A County Final beating Cloughduv. 1981 saw Killeagh win the Kilmacud Sevens and with the dept of talent in Killeagh rarely did a Cork Team line out without a Killeagh girl in the 80’s and 90’s. Many girls captained Cork, Marie Costine, Pat Moloney, Cathy Landers, Ann Marie Landers, Betty Joyce, Vera Motherway, Kathleen Costine and Patsy Keniry.
Thanks to the generosity of the Spillane Family a full sized pitch complete with dressing rooms was laid out at Burgess. The public liability insurance of £400 was a substantial burden on the club, but it was great to have our own facility, club, and inter county fixtures were often played here, even an All Ireland Semi-Final. After the opening of Pairc Ui Chinneide in 1996 we returned to Killeagh again.
Pat Moloney, Sheila Spillane and Breda Landers held officierships at County Board for a number of years. The 90’s were lean years for the club and it saw us gone from the Senior Ranks. The Millennium saw the club honoured by having Pat Moloney- Lenihan and Marie Costine - O’Donovan named on the team of the Century as Camogie Celebrated 100 years. This was a huge honour for the girls and the club.
2002 saw us back on the podium again after winning the Junior B County Championship and League. County U18 and U16 titles followed in 2004. All of these helped us build a panel for the Junior A Championship of 2007 which we won by beating Ballincollig. 2009 saw our U12’s crowned County Champions. After a lapse of 22 years Claire Keohane lifted the trophy to make us 2010 County Senior B League and Championship winners.
For the first time since 1970 the Cork Senior team will be without a Killeagh girl. 2011 sees the retirement of Mary O’Connor after giving two decades of service to Cork and winning seven All Ireland medals, to equal the record already held by another Killeagh girl Pat Moloney – amazing feat. The wheel has turned full circle and we are now back at the Senior A level again.
In all our years we have seen many members and players come and go but Sheila Spillane has stayed with us through all of those years. Many of those past members joined with the present ones in 2009 to celebrate Sheila’s 80th Birthday a great night of reminiscing was had.
2011 sees us taking part in all underage competitions and we wish them every success.