Luckily the bad weather ensured it was a relatively quiet time for White’s Cross on the competitive playing front because it was a very busy month on the social calendar for their Club members! Fresh from a weekend break in London, members recently marked the Club’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary with a dinner-dance at the Vienna Woods Hotel, Glanmire. Attended by 280 people, including the founding secretary Declan Burke, the night proved a most enjoyable one for all who attended, with much formality and activity packed in around the eating and dancing at either end of the evening!
Much of the focal point on first entry into the dining hall was the fine display of photos which archived much of the Club’s proud history, and these commenced many a long debate as to who so-and-so was in that photo, and where such-and-such a person ended up…!
Club chairperson, Pat Reid, kicked off the formal proceedings by welcoming all to the night and thanked them for turning up in such huge numbers to the Club’s celebration. His speech was followed by a presentation of a new specially commissioned Cup, put forward by the Club, and presented by members of the O’ Callaghan family to the City Board Secretary, Donal O’ Connor. The Cup named Buan Chorn Seosamh Uí Cheallacháin will be the cup presented to the winners of the Divison’s premier football competition, the Junior A Championship.
The cup has been put forward by White’s Cross GAA to commemorate the contribution of former Club president and stalwart, Joe O’ Callaghan (R.I.P.). Since Joe’s death in the latter part of 2002, the Club had been looking for an appropriate means of marking his invaluable contribution to White’s Cross. When they won the Junior A grade divisional championship title for the first time last August, they finally saw an opportune time to honour Joe, as the Cup presented for this competition had aged considerably. Approaches were made to the Divisional Officers and it was agreed to commission this new silver-ware. Joe’s children Pat, Jimmy and Margaret handed over the cup to the divisional secretary.
Guest speaker on the night was hurling star Sean Óg Ó h-Alpín who spoke of the importance of the Club unit in the overall fabric of the GAA, as well as to him personally. He informed those present that all his closest friendships had developed from his involvement in his local club. He pleaded with the parents present to encourage their children to play with the local GAA Club and promised their children would be very grateful for this. He told the packed attendance of his ritual from a very young age of preparing for GAA games at the weekend, and how it made for a very short week for him, as he prepared for the next match!
A belated birthday gift of a framed and signed Cork jersey was presented to avid Club supporter, Mary Barry. Mary, who has not missed a Cork senior hurling championship game, since she attended her first some sixty years previous, is always on the sideline to support the Club’s junior teams.
Packed into the night also of course was the medal presentation to the victorious Junior teams. Here Club President Dermot Whooley presented each of the players with their just rewards – with certain panel members picking up as many as five medals on the night. These included the Junior A Championship, A League, McSwiney Cup and Craobh Rua Cup medals for 2006, and also the 2005 McSwiney Cup medals.
Finally the bumper crowd got the opportunity to get onto the dance-floor, as the excellent master-of-ceremonies for the night Damien O’ Mahony illustrated his multi-tasking skills by joining in with his band to entertain the revellers. During a well-earned break in the dancing, football captain Murt Kelleher made presentations on behalf of the victorious Junior A panel to trainer Finbarr Kiely and selectors TC Buckley and Richard Kelleher. He noted that the only previous occasion in the Club’s history where there had been a similar bounty of silver-ware in the Club had been in the early 1990’s, when the same trainer Finbarr had been in charge of the adult teams.