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Midleton Hurling and Football, Ladies Football and Camogie Club News

17 January, 2021

The key messages for this week:

  • New GAA COVID Guidelines
  • Lotto Jackpot reaches €19,600
  • Cork County Board Draw….Rebels’ Bounty tickets on sale
  • Clonmult Ambush Centenary Commemoration…Portrait of Patriots Series

Midleton GAA…at the ‘Heart of the Community’. Ní neart go cur le chéile. There is no strength without unity.

COVID Update

 

The GAA has issued advice to clubs and counties for activities that are permissible and not permissible in 2021 until further notice.

  • Under Level 5 of the plan for living with Covid-19 and the current restrictions in the North, individual training only is permitted for GAA clubs.
  • Neither adult or underage teams may train collectively, club games are not permitted, and GAA club grounds must remain closed.
  • At inter-county level, it remains the case that collective training for senior inter-county panels may only recommence from January 15th. However, given the current growth rates in virus transmission, this date is under review.
  • For the moment senior inter-county players may train on an individual basis only in club or county owned gyms and no training is currently permitted for any other panels such as U-20 or Minor.

For more detailed guidelines please click here.

Mega Lotto Results

 

 

  • 4 Lucky Dip Prize Winners this week
  • The re-launched Lotto is a critical component of our fundraising for Park South. The support to date has been good, especially with the number of annual subscriptions that have been submitted.
  • In total Midleton GAA will give out local business vouchers to the value of €3,800 every year as part of our “Shop Local, Buy Local” campaign.
  • How to play: Go to http://www.midletongaa.com click on Play Now in Mega Lotto section. You can buy an annual ticket by selecting “50” from the “Number of Draws” to Play dropdown.

Rebels’ Bounty Draw

 

The Cork County Board Draw has been re-name Rebels’ Bounty  2021. This is a fund-raiser not just for the Cork County Board but also for GAA clubs within the county. Midleton GAA are promoting Rebels’ Bounty Draw as a vehicle to raise funds for our new facilities at Park South.

All monies collected, YES, that's 100% of it goes directly to the Midleton GAA club without any admin costs, any risks or any prize costs. Many long term members are renewing now and many new members joining due to the new attractive prizes.

As you can see from the below image, there is now a total prize fund of €500k with a Whopping €100k for December 21 Draw. There are 360 cash prizes in total per year.

Purchase a ticket to support the GAA and especially Midleton GAA – Magpies Abú

To sign up for the draw simply click on the joining link: https://rebelsbounty.ergogroup.ie/prod/rebelsbounty/join-draw

If you have any queries/questions or need help purchasing a ticket, you can contact the following people who will be delighted to assist you. Many thanks for all your support over the years which has enabled Midleton GAA to thrive and remain a forward-thinking and proactive club and strive to always be better for all our members and our community.

Pat O Brien - Coordinator Club Draw Coordinator 086 8118815

Liam Ryan, Steve Sheehan, Pearse Mc Carthy, John Fenton, Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh

Go raibh maith agaibh. Thank you.

Healthy Club Project

 

Croke Park Healthy Club is delighted to invite you to register for our upcoming National Healthy Club Conference. Unfortunately we cannot hold our 2021 conference in person however, we promise to deliver a high class virtual experience with a mix of wonderful guest speakers and a selection of area specific workshops. This is a FREE online event that all clubs are invited to attend. There is no limit on the number of attendees that can join per club, but pre-registration in advance is required through the link provided. Please find initial conference information below and note that further details will be circulated closer to the time;

Date: January 23rd 2021

Time: 10am - 1pm

Registration Link: HEALTHY CLUB CONFERENCE REGISTRATION*
 

Clonmult Ambush Centenary Commemoration

Ag druidim le comóradh chéad bliain Luíochán Clonmult an 20 Feabhra déanfaimid sraith ‘Portraits of Clonmult Patriots’ a athphostáil.

In the run up to the centenary of the Clonmult Ambush on 20 February we will re-post a ‘Portraits of Clonmult Patriots’ series.

This will include a picture and biography of the 15 column members who died during the the War of Independence (12 who died at Clonmult, 2 that were executed at Victoria Barracks and the Column Leader who died at Gurtacrue, Midleton) and those who survived Clonmult on that fateful day.

Many thanks to the Clonmult Centenary Commemoration Committee and their contributors for this fantastic content.

For those not familiar with the Clonmult Ambush and its local and national significance, then visit the Clonmult Ambush Site Facebook Page. There you will see some suggested reading such as the book written by Tom O’Neill titled ‘The IRA’s Worst Defeat’ and the readable and informative Commemorative Journal/Calendar published  to mark the centenary of the ambush.

Subject to COVID restrictions other commemoration events will be organised by Midleton GAA.

“Portraits of Clonmult Patriots Series”

 

Comdt. Diarmuid O’Hurley, Bandon

 

Diarmuid was one of nine children born to Charles and Ellen Hurley Baurleigh, Bandon. He arrived to Midleton in September 1918 from Belfast and he worked as a foreman in T.S.R. Coppinger grain merchants on the Main Street. It was here that he received the nickname ‘The Gaffer’.

Comdt. Diarmuid O’Hurley was appointed the first commander of the 4th Battalion flying column when it was formed in late 1920 and was the column commander at the time of the battle at Clonmult. On the morning of the battle he left Clonmult to carry out a reconnaissance of Cobh Junction railway station. The column had been detailed to attack a train carrying military supplies there on the 22nd of February. On that evening the 20th February he received the tragic details of the column’s fate at Clonmult from Capt. Jack O’Connell, the only volunteer to escape at Clonmult.

On the morning of the 28th May 1921, Comdt. O’Hurley set off alone from Jack Ring’s house at Ballyriorta, Midleton going to meet Carrigtwohill IRA officers. He was crossing the road beside the old graveyard at Gurtacrue, when he was surprised by a joint RIC/British Army bicycle patrol. Comdt. O’Hurley attempted to run from the scene but he was shot down, the twenty-nine year old column commander was mortally wounded. Local man Patrick Keeffe witnessed the shooting while he was working in a nearby field. After the Crown Forces had departed he found O’Hurley drawing his last breath. His body was taken to Kelly’s house in Carrigogna where Fr Flannery C.C. Midleton administered the last rights.

The British did not learn until the following day who they had killed. By then Comdt. O’Hurley’s body had been removed to Paddy Daly’s house at Gurteen, just across the fields from the site of the battle of Clonmult. From Gurteen, his body was taken to Ballintotis Church, and on the following day he was buried temporarily in a lead lined coffin in Churchtown North cemetery. On the 14th of September 1921 during the Truce, Diarmuid O’Hurley was re-interred in a grave adjacent to the Republican Plot in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Midleton, beside some of his comrades who died at Clonmult.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

 

Vice Comdt. Joseph Ahern, Midleton

 

Joseph Ahern from Midleton was active in the Irish Volunteers as early as 1918. His first major engagement against Crown Forces was on the night of 3rd January 1920 when a combined force of Midleton and Cobh Companies on the IRA, under the command of Comdt. Mick Leahy, attacked, captured and destroyed Carrigtwohill RIC Barracks. Joseph and Comdt. Diarmuid O’Hurley were the first to gain entry into the RIC Barracks after the wall was breached. After firing some rounds through the ceiling the two officers had the honour of accepting the surrender of the RIC garrison. Carrigtwohill was the first RIC Barracks to be captured during the War of Independence.

His next action was as a member of the group of volunteers that captured Castlemartyr RIC Barracks on the 9th February, 1920. Shortly after the capture of Castlemartyr Barracks, he decided it was time to go on the run. This was due to the frequent RIC raids on his home. His next action was on the 8th May with his active involvement in the capture of Cloyne RIC Barracks. That attack was carried out by a combined force of Midleton IRA under Comdt. O’Hurley and Cobh IRA under Comdt. Mick Leahy.

On Saturday, 5th June, 1920, Joseph Ahern was involved in the most successful ambush on Crown Forces by the Midleton Company during the War of Independence, at Mile Bush just west of Midleton. A bicycle patrol consisting of twelve soldiers from Second Battalion, The Cameron Highlanders, was proceeding from Carrigtwohill to Midleton, guided by an RIC constable. Members of the Midleton Company were using a game of bowls to disguise their real intention of ambushing the patrol. Just as the patrol was passing through the bowlers, two revolver shots rang out. That was the signal for the men and they immediately sprang into action. They ran forward and pushed the soldiers off their bicycles. While the soldiers were on the ground, the IRA men took their rifles, ammunition, equipment and bicycles. This was considered one of the most successful ambushes of the War of Independence. The IRA fired just two rounds and captured twelve rifles, 1,200 rounds of .303” ammunition and equipment.

He initiated the next engagement that he was involved in, the ambush of a military convoy at Whiterock, east of Midleton, on 26th August 1920. His plan was that a tree would be felled in front of the lorry, forcing it to stop. The tree was felled a second too late, it hit the rear of the truck. One of the ambushers fired at and killed the driver, however the officer regained control of the truck, replaced the dead driver and the truck sped off.

Shortly afterward, Joseph received a message from Diarmuid O’Hurley that it had been decided to form a flying column from within the ranks of the 4th Battalion and in particular those that were on the run. The 4th Battalion, First Cork Brigade, covered all ofeast Cork from Dunkettle, to Youghal Bridge and the northern boundary was from Inch, Killeagh, to Knockraha. There was no shortage of volunteers to join the column which was formed in Knockraha at the end of September, 1920.

On the 27th November 1920, Joseph Ahern was sitting in the back seat of a parked car in Castlemartyr, with Volunteer William Heffernan in the driver’s seat, when Heffernan was shot dead by an RIC sergeant. In the return fire, Joseph Ahern mortally wounded RIC constable Timothy Quinn.

Joseph was involved with the flying column on the 29th December 1920, when they ambushed a joint RIC, Black and Tan foot patrol on Main Street, Midleton. An RIC constable and two Black and Tans were killed in that ambush. The next major development that he was involved in was the relocation of the flying column to a disused farmhouse at Garrylaurence, Clonmult - the site of the battle of Clonmult. At that stage he held the rank of Vice Commandant and he was firmly established as the second-in-command of the column under Comdt. Diarmuid O’Hurley. The column had been tasked to attack a train carrying explosives and soldiers from the Cameron Highlanders at Cobh Junction on the 22nd February. On the morning of Sunday, 20th February, the day of the battle of Clonmult, Joseph left Clonmult with Capt. Paddy Whelan by Comdt. O’Hurley, to carry out a reconnaissance of Cobh railway junction.

The three officers only learned of the battle when they met Capt. Mick Burke from Cobh. They drove to Knockraha where they met Capt. Jack O’Connell, the only man to escape from Clonmult. The four officers, Jack O’Connell included, returned to the scene of the battle very late that night to see for themselves the death and destruction. The bodies of their twelve comrades which included Joe’s brother Liam and their first cousin Jerry had been laid out there. The four officers went to the funerals of their former comrades in Midleton and fired a volley of shots over the graves.

Vice Comdt. Ahern’s final engagement against British soldiers prior to the Truce was in an ambush at Ballyedikin, east of Midleton, on 10th April 1921. Other senior volunteers including Diarmuid O’Hurley, Mick Murnane and Paddy Whelan were with him. They planted a roadside bomb, to be detonated by Joseph when the lorry was passing. He detonated the bomb on target with O’Hurley beside him. All four made a hasty retreat under fire.

On the 28th May, Diarmuid Hurley was killed just north of Midleton. Joseph Ahern was promoted Comdt. and became the column commander. His colleague Paddy Whelan was promoted to Vice Comdt. and became his second in command. There were just six weeks left before the Truce was declared on the 11th July 1921.

Comdt. Joseph Ahern survived the War of Independence after seeing plenty of action as an officer of the 4th Battalion First Cork Brigade and of the flying column. He died in 1951. He is buried quite close to the Republican Plot in Midleton where his former colleagues killed at Clonmult were buried.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

For an extensive account of Vice Comdt. Joseph Ahern’s activities during the War of Independence, see his Witness Statement, number 1367, in the Irish Military Archives website.

 

Capt. James Ahern, Orelia Terrace, Cobh

James was one of seven children born to Thomas and Margaret Ahern. He had three sisters and three brothers, Margery, Bill, Richard, Eileen, Ben and Angela. His father was a Naval Signalman at the Admiralty Signal Station. Ahern Place in Cobh which was named in his honour following his death in Clonmult is just around the corner from where he grew up.

He was involved in the Irish Volunteers in the town since before 1916. He became an officer in ‘A’ (Cobh) Company, Fourth Battalion Irish Volunteers, later renamed the IRA. According to Cork man Seamus Fitzgerald, a TD in the first Dáil, James Ahern was at one time, officer commanding ‘A’ Company. One of the senior officers of the Cobh Company during the War of Independence was Capt. Michael Burke. Michael Burke’s wife was James Ahern’s sister. James Ahern was elected to the Cobh town council in 1920 for Sinn Féin.

Two weeks before the battle of Clonmult, James Ahern expressed a wish to join the Fourth Battalion flying column. At that time the column was based in the disused farmhouse at Clonmult. There were just three officer appointments in the flying columns. When an officer from one of the Companies joined the Battalion flying column, he retained his rank. However, if there was no vacancy for an officer in the column, that officer operated as a volunteer. This was the case with Capt. James Ahern, he was operating in the Fourth Battalion flying column at Clonmult as an ordinary volunteer.

A few hours before the battle of Clonmult on Sunday, 20th February 1921, the column commander Comdt Diarmuid O’Hurley departed Clonmult with two senior officers, Vice-Comdt Joe Ahern and Capt. Paddy Whelan. The next senior officer was Capt. Paddy Higgins. He was bypassed for temporary command in favour of Capt. Jack O’Connell. There was no mention of Capt. James Ahern, this was an indication that he was a junior officer in the column.

In the opening phase of the battle of Clonmult, when the British soldiers in Lieut Koe’s patrol surrounded the farmhouse, those inside the house were trapped, including James Ahern. The acting column commander, Capt. Jack O’Connell concluded correctly that their only option was an aggressive breakout. Only four of the trapped men agreed to break out with him. Jack O’Connell led the breakout and escaped, he was followed by Michael Hallahan who was killed beside the door. James Ahern was the third man out and ran in a south westerly direction. Unfortunately for him he was running in the direction of Rathorgan Crossroads, where the British Army had set up their patrol harbour. He covered approximately 300 metres before he was shot and mortally wounded by one of the Army sentries near the crossroads. He died where he fell. James Ahern was the first of two Cobh men killed during the battle. The other was Volunteer James Glavin, who was killed later after surrendering.

When the battle was over, James Ahern’s body was brought from the field where he died, to the farmyard and placed beside his eleven dead comrades. The twelve bodies were left at the battle site on the Sunday night. The British soldiers returned to Clonmult on Monday morning to collect the bodies and to conduct a more thorough search of the battle site. Later that day the twelve bodies were transported by the British Army, to the mortuary in Victoria Barracks, Cork.

When the bodies were brought into the mortuary, they were received and labelled for identification by the military doctor on duty, Capt. J B Morrison, Royal Army Medical Corps, (RAMC). Capt Morrison carried out an examination on all of the bodies that day. The twelve unidentified bodies were labelled one to twelve. The evidence and identification of the bodies was carried out in that sequence. The fifth body to be identified that day was James Ahern. He was identified by his sister, Miss Marjorie Ahern of Midleton. She stated that he was her brother, that he resided in Midleton, was unmarried, age twenty-four and was an engine fitter.

On Wednesday, 23rd of February, the twelve bodies were released to their families and were removed from Victoria Barracks late that evening. The cortege carrying the twelve coffins travelled together as far as Cobh Cross and from there the coffins of James Ahern and James Glavin were taken to St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh.

At 3.00 pm on Thursday, 24th February, the funerals of the two Cobh men were held in Cobh Cathedral and afterwards they were buried in the Republican Plot of what is now the old graveyard at Ticknock, on the northern side of the town.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Camogie

Congratulations to Jerry Wallace on being appointed Cork Minor Camogie Manager. Congratulation also to Michael Walsh and Mark O’Sullivan who have been appointed to the Cork Minor Camogie coaching team.

Condolences

Cumann Luthchleas Gael Mainistir na Corann would like to offer our sincere condolences to our former President Fr. Ned Goold on the recent passing of his sister Mary.

We would also like to offer sympathies to the Ryan family, Watergrasshill, on the passing of Cork GAA great Eamonn Ryan. He was corner forward on the Cork team that lost the All Ireland football final in 1967 but it was as a coach, mentor and manager of club and county teams that his personality had such a tremendous effect on all players that he came into contact with. One of the legends of Cork GAA, may he rest in peace.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha

 

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