Freemount GAA

It is not certain what year the GAA was established in Freemount, but an athletics meeting took place here in 1887 under the GAA rules, the year the cork County Board was formed. We know that Mick McAuliffe (grandfather of Con) won hurling medals in the early tournament in Newtown in 1896 defeating Banteer in the semi- final and defeated by Effin in the final. Hurling tended to be centered around the County Cross with families such as the O’ Flynns, Lees and Donegans. Some football was played around O’ Shaughnessy’s Mill at Coolbane, perhaps through the influence of various workers who came to work at the mill. GAA records of the first years of the 20th century are scanty but we do know that a Freemount team played Liscarroll in 1902. Later during the war of independence, Freemount played Mallow in an intermediate hurling game in 1920. There was little GAA activity anywhere from 1920 to 1922 and the club in Freemount appears to have ceased around this time. The North Cork Board was formed in 1924 and the Freemount Club was revived in 1927 with Denis Foley as Chairman and Pake Donegan as secretary. A minute of the 1932 AGM shows that on Jan 10th the following officers were elected: Hon. President Rev Fr. Doherty C.C. President John D O Connor, Vice President John Broderick Secretary Francis J. Hayes Treasurer Richard Sheehan the committee was made up of Dan Donegan, John Egan, Simon Barry, Jer Kenny, Garret Healy, Ed Donegan, John Larkin and John Crowley. The club seems to have gone out of existence for a number of years and for much of the 1930’s the void was filled by a new team based in Capanagoul called Capp Rovers.
Freemount reformed in the late 1930’s and contested the Duhallow semi- final in 1943 against Newmarket. In 1944 Freemount joined the North Cork division where they competed without much success until 1949. There was no team from this till 1952 when Allow Rovers was formed with Tullylease. A field was rented in Lyre from Patsy Murphy(now owned by Paddy Fehin) the team won its first title that year defeating Doneraile in the Novice final. Freemount continued to play in the Avondhu division of North Cork, winning the North Cork Novice hurling championship in 1964. Various fields in the parish were used to play a field behind Tadhg Flynns, Bridie Murphy’s field, Johnny Morton’s in Knocknamuck and Kennelly’s gaoling Field now owned by Sean Fitzpatrick. A novice football team occasionally entered competition in the early 1970’s. In 1974 Freemount began to play in Duhallow competitions again and a permanent the present pitch in Knockenglass which was opened by president Childers that year. The team colours were changed to Maroon and white in 1974. In the 1980’s competitive success at divisional level began to come in significant amounts for the first time. In 1983 the hurlers won the Under 21 hurling championships which was Freemount first time ever, with Neil Ronan of Ballyhea as coach. In 1993 the first ever Duhallow Junior A Hurling League title was won and the first double in 1997 was achieved with victory in the League and the Junior A hurling championship.
Juvenile teams were also very successful. Initially amalgamating with tullylease in the 70’s they joined with Meelin in 89n to form St Mark’s Club. This ushered in an era of great success in Duhallow and also county level, with a county Minor B Championship in 1993 and a county Minor B League in 1996. St Mark’s won Duhallow titles at under 10, 12, 14, and 16 while Freemount Competing on its own has also had many underage success. There has also been great success at school levels. In 1998 two Junior B football teams represented the club with one going all the way to the county final only to be beaten by Charleville. Junior A hurlers went all the way to the County final in Pairc Ui Caoimh and were narrowly defeated by Bride Rovers. This was also the year that the Duhallow League and Championship double was achieved. The Junior Hurling league was won in 1999, in 2000 the club won the Junior A hurling championship and again in 2001. In 2004 they won the Junior Hurling League and in 2005 the junior hurling Championship.