Club History

Gaelic football has been played in the Parish since the 1800’s when there were five teams from: Dursey, Garnish, Allihies, Reentrisk and Cahermore, each of the primary school districts at time. Garnish GAA Club was officially founded in 1927 at which time depopulation reduced playing to just two teams in the parish, Garnish and Allihies. Allihies amalgamated with Garnish in the mid 40’s and went on to win the Béara championship in 1948 and three in a row 1951, 52’ and ’53. It took Garnish 25 years for their next title in 1978, again in 1979 narrowly losing out in 1980.

Garnish benefited from Béara Bórd na nÓg. In the 1980’s, the club began to be competitive at under-age. Cahermore School became a centre of excellence for Gaelic football and by 1990’s Garnish was one of the strongest clubs in Béara, winning a three-in-row Béara championship in 95, ’96, and ’97.

The Club had significant representation on the Béara team that won the county championship in 1997. Then captain and former Cork senior, Ollie O’Sullivan, still travels back regularly from Ballincollig to play for his club and has been instrumental in mobilizing the current crop of players.

Garnish players who have represented their county.

    • Denny JW O’Sullivan played with Cork Seniors in 1931.
    • Denny OShea, Jimmy Cummins, Pete Lowney , Cork in 1932
    • Batt Dennehy, Denny O’Shea, James Harrington, Cork 1934
    • Jimmy Cummins and Pete Lowney played with Cork in 1934
    • Jimmy Cummins , Cork seniors and George Lowney Cork minors, 1935
    • Batt Dennehy played with Cork seniors in 1938
    • Dan JW O’Sullivan captained Cork in 1941
    • Con B O’Sullivan played with Cork seniors in 1952
    • Bernie O’Sullivan and Pete Murphy played with Cork minors in 1951
    • Noel Kelly played Cork minors in 1952 and 1954
    • Pete Murphy – got to All-Ireland final with Cork seniors in 1955.
    • Bernie O’Sullivan – All-Irelands medals with Cork seniors in ’55 and 56′ 
    • Joe Lowney – an All-Ireland with Cork juniors in 1955,  Cork seniors 1956.
    • Jon L O’Sullivan Cork minors 1957, Cork Juniors 1960, Cork Seniors 1962.
    • Kevin Kelly played Cork minors in 1958.
    • Tadgh O’Sullivan played Cork minors in 1958.
    • Bernie O’Sullivan full-back for Cork in 1958 Munster Championship.
    • Dickie Kelly won an All-Ireland minor medal with Cork in 1964.
    • Ray Lowney was on the Cork U21 panel in 1966.
    • Cormac O’Sullivan played with Cork seniors in 1967 and 1968.
    • John Flor’ O’Sullivan played with Cork vocational schools 1982 – 1984.
    • Paul Murphy was on the Cork minor panel in 1990.
    • Paudie B. and Paudie O’Neill – All-Ireland Vocational school 1994.
    • Paudie B. O’Sullivan – captain of Cork U21s in 1997
    • Robert Walsh won an AlI-Ireland meal with Cork juniors in 1996.
    • Ollie Rue O’Sullivan captained the 1997 Béara team, played with Cork minors in 1989 and 1990, with Cork U21’s in 1992 and 1993 and with Cork seniors from 1996 – 2000. All-Ireland junior medals in 1993 and 1996.
    • David Rue Harrington played with Cork minors in 2004.
    • Maureen Sullivan (The Glen) captained Cork minors in 2008.
    • Sean Terry O’Sullivan – all-Ireland vocational schools, 2012.
    • Brian and Sean Terry both played with Cork minors and Cork juniors.
    • Rory O’Driscoll played with Cork Minors in 2016
    • Christine Rue O’Sullivan played with Cork Ladies minors 2019.
    • Áine Terry O’Sullivan is currently with the Cork Ladies senior team and won her first All-Star in 2020.

In 1997, Páirc Gairinis was officially opened in Cahermore under the stewardship of the late John L. O’Sullivan The club is indebted to him and the pitch is dedicated to the memory of all those who have given service to the Club.

Emigration and rural depopulation has always been an existential challenge for Garnish, the furthest club in Ireland from Croke Park but a strong club tradition and sense of meitheal has kept the green and gold flag of Garnish GAA flying. Áine Terry O’Sullivan, on the Cork Ladies, is the current stand-out player but her brothers, Brian and Sean, have also represented Cork. The club last won the Béara Championship with the three-in-a-row in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Garnish in the 2000s

Garnish in the 1980s and 1990s

Garnish in the 1960s and 1970s

Garnish pre 1960s