Killavullen GAA Juvenile Club History
Killavullen youngster's had played with a myriad of clubs in North Cork, and formed teams of their own at stages with some degree of success prior to the intervention of a group of local stalwarts, which included the legendary Johnny Beechinor Senior.Prior to then, Killavullen would sporadically enter juvenile competitions and tournaments, if they had a good cohort of players and had the numbers to fulfil the fixtures, such as the good under 14 team that they had in 1966 but the structures were not in place to follow up that success.
The new Juvenile Club was formally adapted in 1978 by the North Cork Board following exhaustive meetings attended by Tim Nagle & Michael Linehan (Ballygriffin). The first line out came in the year of 1979, a year coincidentally that the Pope came to Ireland, so perhaps two auspicious occasions came to fruition on the same year!The Juvenile Club, as formally founded, did not have to wait too long to make an intermediate impact as in 1980, the new formed club annexed the North Cork Under B Football championship, defeating Glanworth in Doneraile by nine points to eight. The team was guided by the previously mentioned Johnny Beechinor with assistance from, amongst others, Micheal Linehan, Tim Nagle, Eoin O'Neill and Norma Walsh.
The Club, benefited through the 1980's with a plethora of championship won in North Cork, as this team came of age, and were succeeded by others following suit. A particularity strong bunch of players came along in 1990 that succeeded in winning different age groups and grades as they got older, and this culminated in Brian O' Driscoll from the club, represented Cork in both Minor hurling and Football codes in 1994. Indeed Brian was unfortunate to play for Cork on a losing All Ireland Hurling Team that year. He did though win the Irish Independent award for the highest goals and points scorer in the country for 1994.Much of the credit for the skill set of the players must be credited to the teachers in Killavullen and Ballygown national schools, particularly Christy Clancy, from St. Catherines, who was domiciled in Killavullen at the time. This team was to graduate to bring the club, right up from the novice football ranks that the club was playing, to Premier Football Intermediate standard in 2007.
Right through the 1990's, the club has succeeded in winning North Cork Championships, and have got close on a number of occasions in the county competitions. Finally in 1994, the club achieved a notable success when it did succeed in winning the Cork County Minor B Grade Hurling Championship.Through the years the club has been very well served by a number of officers, right up to the club occupant of the Chairman's desk, Tom Barry. Rose Maria Taylor is the current secretary and she succeeds where her mother, Mary Dorgan served as juvenile secretary for a large numbers of successful years. Other notables in the history of the administration of the juvenile club includes amongst others: Eoin O Neill, George Lane, Sean Nagle, Mattie Dorgan, Billy Feore, Pat Egan, Pat O'Regan, Tim Nagle & Tim O' Callaghan who was teaching in Rahan National School.
In the early years of this century, due to declining numbers and a population shift, the club was forced to amalgamate with Ballyhooley, at Minor and Under 16 level, as Blackwater Rovers and this was a tremendous success with the players playing a high calibre of competitions, and winning occasionally, both at North Cork and county levels. Currently, the club is experiencing a sense of a revival of fortunes at under age level, boosted by the tremendous work being carried out by the present Committee, mentors, coaches & parents, and stand-alone again, at all age groups.
The underage structure of the club has been boosted recently by the large numbers of girls that partake in the games, which is allowed up to the age of 12, and these girls have proved more than equal to the boys at their respective age groups. Jenny Luddy, Catherine Coakley, Patrica Murphy and Ava Lankford amongst others, have gone out to represent Cork in the underage Ladies Football. These girls traditionally have migrated to play and have unparalleled levels of success with Clyda Rovers but have prompted Killavullen to the formation of a Ladies club in their own right, in Killavullen since 2014.
Numbers are strong in the juvenile club at present which is very welcome, it does put a strain on the current resources of the club, but with good will on all sides, and all obstacles will be overcome. Good player numbers leads to healthy competitions for places on the teams, pushing up the standards on each and every occasion, and those numbers have been the catalyst for recent county successes @ U13 level in B1 Grade in both 2017 & 2018, the latter played on the new 4G artificial pitch in the revamped Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Another notable recent county success was achieved in Pairc Ui Rinn in 2014 when our under 16 hurling team garnished the U16C grade (13 a side) championship.
The club is grateful to the principals, Damien Fallon and John Hannon in the two national schools in the parish, for promoting their games, and allowing outside trainers to come in and build up the skill set of the players.
The Mission of our Club is to promote the development and playing of Gaelic Games in our Community, to be a uniting force in the Parish, to encourage the participation of all sectors of our Community in our sporting, cultural and social activities, and to support the development of our members in an environment of sportsmanship, inclusiveness, mutual respect and social responsibility. Those core values are steeped in the DNA of the club and participation and enjoyment is as important as successes for a juvenile club.
To all those not mentioned here, who may have helped with pride to put the village of Killavullen on the GAA map over the years, we salute & thank you.
Long may our successes continue.