Welcome to Glenville GAA / History
While it is likely that Gaelic games were organised in some fashion in the area prior to 1888, the first recorded press reference to Glenville GAA club appears in the Cork Examiner on July 13th, of that year. Therefore just a few years after the founding of the GAA in Thurles (1884) a club was beginning to find its feet in the parish.
The game reported (played in O Sullivan’s field in the townland of Graigue, a few miles from the village itself. This was a hurling game and the opponents were St Mary’s club (from Cork city) and a Mr J. Sheehan acted as referee, discharging his duties ‘ in an impartial manner’. The local team ended up on the wrong side of a 1 goal to 2 points score line. There appears to have been a shortage of equipment…specifically hurleys and significant improvisation saw the use of sticks with peculiar shapes.
In common with many clubs, hurling and football were catered for by the same club in those early years and locally organised tournaments were central to the GAA activity in the absence of centrally organised competitions. However, in the early decades of the 20th century the county board began to influence the organisation of games and competitions. Glenville continued to participate in both codes. Thirty years after those early games, the Glenville Hurling and Football club was effectively formed in 1928. The records of the performance of Glenville teams in the 1930’s are scarce but in 1948 the club won its first East Cork Junior A football title in 1948. On the way to the final the team overcame neighbours Watergrasshill in the first round. In that final, Youghal were well beaten and the rivalry with that club endured for many years thereafter.
Union of parish clubs
Arguably, the most significant development in the history of the club occurred in 1961 when the Glenville and Watergrasshill came together to form a parish team structure, with Glenville catering form football and Watergrasshill looking after the hurling activities. This union was marked almost immediately by the club’s second Junior A title in 1961.
The following decades had periods of success as well as times when silverware eluded the club. The 1970’s saw the hurling club win a County Junior title in 1974 while the footballers contested seven East Cork finals winning four (1972, 1973, 1978, 1979). The 80’s saw five more finals unfortunately without success.
Success at county level
The most notable success for the club came in 1995 with victory in the County Junior football final in October of that year. The defeat of Tadhg MacCarthaighs in the final was the culmination of a long campaign in that year and vindication of a strong emphasis on the development of juvenile playing activity in the preceding decades. This success led to promotion to the intermediate grade and the club has competed at that level since then achieving 2 league titles and a victory in the Tom Creedon Cup.
From the earliest days of the club underage players have been very active in East Cork and county competitions. Coached and manages by enthusiastic club members, these young players have represented the club with distinction and continue to do so. A significant contribution to this success has been the continuing support of the local primary schools and their success in Sciath ns Scoil competitions is a constant source of pride to all GAA folk in the parish.
Future playing potential
Glenville is a club with a bright future in playing terms. The last two decades the parish has seen a significant increase in population. Participation (playing, coaching, and administration) in the club is now based on the efforts of people whose families have had a long association with the club as well as people who have welcomed into the club as recent arrivals to the area.
There have been many fields used for playing activities in the Glenville area in the past 110 years. Most of these fields were generously provided by local landowners as a support for the promotion of the games.
In the 1950’s the club settled into the location where it remains to this day. For 30 years the club played in the pitch at the top of the village…a pitch which was widely-recognised as being on the small side and didn’t have any changing facilities. In the 80’s additional land was purchased, the playing surface extended and improved, and finally in 1992, changing facilities built. A gym was added in 2015 and additional club rooms two years later.
Of great importance over the past 10 years has been the rental of a playing surface and the installation of high-quality floodlights. Availability of Fouhy Park has allowed playing activities and training to take place at almost any time of the year.
Some significant playing achievements
- Cork Junior Football Championship Winners (1) 1995
- Cork Minor A Football Championship Runners-Up 1993
- Cork Minor Championship (country section) Winners (1) 1994
- East Cork Junior A Football Championship
- Winners (7) 1948, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1995
- Runners-Up 1945, 1965, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1994
- East Cork Junior B Football Championship Winners (1) 1997
- East Cork Junior C Football Championship Winners (2) 2013, 2017
- Intermediate Football League Winners (2) 2005, 2007
- Tom Creedon Cup Winners 2007
- East Cork Under-21 A Football Championship Winners (2) 1998, 2006
- East Cork Under-21 B Football Championship Winners (4) 1982, 1989, 2014, 2017
- East Cork Minor A Championship Winners (2) 1993, 2003 Runners-up 2011
- East Cork Minor B Championship Winners (3) 1986, 1988, 1990 Runners-up 2012