Cork GAA

Cork GAA

:"For more details of Cork GAA see Cork Senior Football Championship or Cork Senior Hurling Championship."infobox GAA county
county gaa = Cork GAA
crest =
irish = Corcaigh
province = Munster
nickname = The Rebels
The People's Republic
The Leesiders
The Rebel Army
county colours = Red and White
grounds = Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork
Páirc Uí Rinn, Cork
dominant sport = |nfl div = Division 1
nhl div = Division 1
football champ = Sam Maguire Cup
hurling champ = Liam McCarthy Cup
ladies football = Brendan Martin Cup
camogie = O'Duffy Cup
pattern_la= |pattern_b= |pattern_ra=
leftarm=FF0000 |body=FF0000 |rightarm=FF0000 |shorts=FFFFFF |socks=FF0000
The Cork County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (Cork GAA) (Irish: "Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Coiste Contae Chorcaí") is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland and is responsible for Gaelic Games in County Cork. The county board has its head office and main grounds at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and is also responsible for Cork inter-county teams in all codes at all levels. The Cork branch of the Gaelic Athletic Association was founded on 19 December, 1886, making it the second oldest branch of the organisation.

In hurling, the dominant sport in the county, Cork compete annually in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, which they have won thirty times, the Munster Senior Hurling Championship, which they have won fifty times, and the National Hurling League, which they have won fourteen times. Cork, along with Kilkenny and Tipperary, are regarded as 'the Big Three' in the world of hurling. Gerald McCarthy has been manager of the Cork senior hurling team since 2006. The current senior hurling captain is John Gardiner.

In Gaelic football Cork compete annually in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, which they have won six times, the Munster Senior Football Championship, which they have won thirty-two times, and the National Football League, which they have won five times. Conor Counihan has been manager of the Cork senior football team since 2008. The current senior football captain is Graham Canty.

County board officers

* Chairman: Mick Dolan
* Vice-Chairman: Jerry O'Sullivan
* Secretary: Frank Murphy
* Treasurer: Pearse Murphy
* Public Relations Officer: Bob Ryan
* Youth Officer: Diarmuid McGowan
* Development Officer: Jim Murphy
* Irish Officer: James O'Neill
* Training Officer: Des Cullinane

Colours and crest

Football kit box
align = left
pattern_la =
pattern_b =
pattern_ra =
leftarm = 0000ff
body = 0000ff
rightarm = 0000ff
shorts = FFFFFF
socks = 0000ff
title = Cork's original colours (1888-1919)
Cork's traditional colours are red and white, however, it was not always this way. In the early days the county wore a blue-coloured jersey with a saffron-coloured 'C' emblazoned on the chest. All this changed in 1919 when Cork were preparing to play Dublin in the All-Ireland Hurling Final. In the week leading up to the game, British forces broke into the county board offices on Maylor Street in the city centre and seized all of Cork's jerseys. Because of this the county board borrowed jerseys from the now-defunct Father O'Leary Temperance Association team. Cork went on to win the game, ending a sixteen-year barren spell. Because of this win Cork decided to wear the 'lucky' red jerseys in all future games.

The red and white colour scheme that has been worn since has carried a psychological impact for opposing teams. This has led to the Cork strip being nicknamed the blood and bandage. A colour clash with Louth in the 1957 All-Ireland Football Final saw Cork wear the blue jerseys once again, however, on this occasion it was the blue jersey of the province of Munster. In 1976 Cork's footballers became involved in an incident known as 'the three stripes affair.' Before the Munster football final Cork were offered a set of Adidas jerseys. The use of these jerseys caused controversy as it seemed to undermine the promotion of Irish manufacturers.

Cork's alternative colours are traditionally white jerseys and white shorts. These were most famously worn in the 1973 All-Ireland Football Final when Cork defeated Galway to take their fourth title. They were worn again during the 1990s when Cork faced Down in the All-Ireland series. Since then, Cork have generally worn their traditional red jerseys on all occasions.

The current Cork GAA badge is based around the traditional coat of arms of Cork city. It features the King's old castle and the Queen's old castle with the Shandon Steeple in between. The badge also features a hurley and a football.



Cork is the second most successful county in the game of hurling, after Kilkenny. The team has won the All-Ireland Championship thirty times as of 2005 and has won the provincial Munster Championship on fifty occasions as of 2007. Their last provincial final was in 2006 as they were narrowly defeated by Waterford in the quarter-final in 2007. Cork either leads or shares the lead in the roll of honour for all grades of hurling championships.

Early years

In the early days Cork had been one of the few teams that was interested in fielding a hurling team in the very first All-Ireland championship in 1887, however, a dispute over which team should represent the county led to Cork not taking part at all. The county entered a team in 1888 and went on to win their first All-Ireland title in 1890 when Aughabullogue beat Castlebridge of Wexford.

In the early years of the competition the various county champions represented their county in the All-Ireland series, however, all this changed in 1892 when Cork contested, and won, their second All-Ireland final with a team consisting of the best players from the various clubs all over the county. Further All-Ireland titles in 1893 and 1894 meant Cork became the first team to win the coveted three-in-row. This record would stand until it was later equalled by Kilkenny and Tipperary. Between 1901 and 1905 Cork appeared in five successive All-Ireland finals, however, victory only came in the form of a two-in-a-row in 1902 and 1903. Following this Cork's hurlers faced a barren spell of sixteen years until their next All-Ireland win in 1919. A further five All-Ireland finals were contested by Cork between 1926 and 1931 with victory coming on four occasions.

The Greatest Team?

By one important measure the Cork team of the 1940s is regarded as the greatest of all-time. They remain the only team ever to win four All-Ireland hurling titles in-a-row. Many of the team's detractors, however, have questioned the worth of these championship victories as having come at the expense of a Dublin team that was not as great as it had once been, and an Antrim team who only got into the final by fluke. In spite of this, Cork's achievement in winning the four-in-a-row is one that proved beyond the other great teams of Kilkenny and Tipperary. The story of this Cork team's success is bookended by defeats in two classic All-Ireland finals, those of 1939 and 1947. The former has come to be known as the "thunder and lightning final." On the day before World War II broke out, Cork faced a Kilkenny side who were playing in their fourth final in five years. The game was played at a frantic pace with both sides remaining level for much of the game. Just as the game reached its climax a crack of thunder interrupted the play and the rain bucketed down. After a tense battle Kilkenny emerged victorious by a solitary point.

In 1941 an optimistic Cork were buoyed up for an All-Ireland victory that had eluded them since 1931. A bizarre turn of events, however, would eventually allow Cork to be declared champions but would also cast doubt over the value of their victory. An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the midlands forced Tipperary and Kilkenny to withdraw from the competition. As a result Cork faced Limerick in the Munster final, and defeated them, before hammering Dublin in the All-Ireland decider for one of the handiest championships ever won. Following the All-Ireland final Cork played Tipperary in the delayed Munster final and lost, thus becoming the very first All-Ireland champions but provincial runners-up. For these reasons Cork's first win of four in-a-row is often dismissed by their opponents.

In 1942 Cork set out to prove that their victory had not been a fluke caused by outside events. They defeated Tipperary in the Munster final and silenced their critics, before going on to claim their second consecutive All-Ireland title by defeating Dublin once again. In 1943 Cork were once again Munster champions and qualified for the All-Ireland final where their opponents were expected to be Kilkenny. The "cats", however, were surprisingly defeated by Antrim, a junior team, in the All-Ireland semi-final. Cork went on to record a comprehensive victory over the Ulstermen in the final and claim a third consecutive All-Ireland victory. In 1944 Cork were once again Munster champions, defeating Mick Mackey's Limerick side in the decider. They just about prevented an upset in the All-Ireland semi-final, squeezing past Galway before walloping their old enemy Dublin in the final. Cork were on their best form in that final, and set a record of four All-Ireland titles in-a-row that has never been equalled.

Five All-Ireland titles in-a-row was beyond this Cork team as they were defeated in the 1945 Munster final. They returned in 1946, however, winning back their Munster crown and defeating Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final. It was one of the great one-man shows by Christy Ring who, at the age of 25, collected his fifth All-Ireland winners medal. In 1947 Cork were playing in their sixth All-Ireland final of the decade. In what has been described as the greatest All-Ireland Hurling Final of all-time the Leesiders were defeated by a single point. This defeat brought an end to the unprecedented run of success of the Cork team of the 1940s.

The 1950s

Between 1949 and 1951 Cork had met Tipperary every year in the Munster final. Each year Tipp had won and went on to claim the All-Ireland title. By 1952 Cork had an extra motivating factor because they realised that if Tipperary beat them again, they would almost certainly win a fourth consecutive All-Ireland title and equal the record set by Cork in the 1940s. At the start of the 1952 championship Tipp were hot favourites to retain their All-Ireland crown. It looked like the same old story in the Munster final as Cork conceded a goal after just three minutes of play. A goal for Cork from Mossie O'Riordan was the turning point of the match, however, and Cork ended Tipp's hopes of four in-a-row with a scoreline of 1-11 to 2-7. Christy Ring, who had once again proved instrumental in the victory, was shouldered off the field with blood streaming down his face and a bandage around his head. Cork went on to narrowly defeat Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final before hammering Dublin in the final.

In 1953 Cork set out to defend their title. They defeated their old rivals Tipperary in the Munster final and set up a meeting with Galway in the All-Ireland decider. The game would go down in history as the dirtiest All-Ireland final ever played. Galway believed that the physical route was the best way to upset Cork and it did. In a low scoring game Cork won by a single point, however, the battle didn't stop at Croke Park. Later that night some of the Galway players arrived at the Gresham Hotel where Cork were staying. A fight broke, with Christy Ring getting a punch in the face and falling down some steps. The melee ended just as quick as it had begun. In 1954 Cork were the favourites to complete another three in-a-row. They defeated Tipp once again in the Munster final, before storming past Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final. The Corkmen then advanced to play Wexford in one of the most eagerly anticipated All-Ireland finals ever. Wexford were hotly tipped to spoil Cork's quest for another treble, however, on the day Cork's defence were on top form. They won on a scoreline of 1-9 to 1-6, with Christy Ring becoming the first player to win eight All-Ireland medals.

In 1955 Cork were beaten by Clare in the opening round of the Munster championship, however, they returned for one final swansong in 1956. They regained their Munster crown, courtesy of a hat-trick by Christy Ring, and set up another All-Ireland final showdown with Wexford. It was another classic encounter but sides at their peak. The turing point of the game came when Wexford were two points up. Their goalkeeper, Art Foley, saved a great shot by Christy Ring and cleared the ball. Within seconds Nicky Rackard scored a goal to win the game for Wexford. The final score was 2-14 to 2-8. Ring had been denied his ninth All-Ireland medal. In a show of solidarity Bobby Rackard and Nick O'Donnell of Wexford shouldered Ring off the field. It would be Cork's last All-Ireland final appearance for ten years.

Another three-in-a-row

In 1966 Cork came from nowhere to win their first Munster title in a decade and advanced to an All-Ireland final decider against Kilkenny. None of the Cork team had ever played in Croke Park before, however, for Kilkenny it was like their home stadium. There was even speculation that Christy Ring, the age of 45, was about to come out of retirement to play for Cork, however, this didn't happen. While Kilkenny were the favourites Gerald McCarthy captained one of the youngest Cork teams ever to victory. Kilkenny had their revenge over Cork in 1969, however, in 1970 Cork captured the Liam MacCarthy Cup with a massive win over Wexford.

The 1970s was to be a glorious decade for Cork's hurlers. In 1975 Cork won their first Munster title since 1972. It was to be the first of five Munster Championship victories in-a-row. An All-Ireland semi-final loss to Galway raised certain doubts over Cork's ability. They silenced their critics in 1976 when Cork faced Wexford in the All-Ireland final. After 8 minutes Cork were in severe trouble, having conceded two goals and two points. It looked as if the game was going to be a repeat of the 1956 final, however, Cork fought back to win what has been referred to as Pat Moylan's All-Ireland final.

In 1977 Cork were back in the All-Ireland final taking on Wexford for the second consecutive year. The game didn't start as quickly as the previous year, however, it was no less as exciting. Cork's captain, Martin O'Doherty, and the team's goalkeeper, Martin Coleman, were the heroes of the day, as Cork won on a scoreline of 1-17 to 3-8. The three-in-a-row was the major talking-point yet again and Cork didn't disappoint, making it to the All-Ireland final once again. This time their opponents were Kilkenny. They gave Cork a fright when they scored an early goal, however, an opportunistic goal by Cork's Jimmy Barry-Murphy sealed victory for the Leesiders. Sporting history was made. The possibility of completing a famous four-in-a-row looked extremely likely in 1979 when Cork captured their fifth Munster title. A defeat at the All-Ireland semi-final stage by Galway ended Cork's run of success, and brought an end to the careers of many of their most famous players.

1980s and 1990s

After little success in the early 1980s Cork reclaimed their Munster Championship crown in 1982. It was the first of five Munster titles in-a-row. They reached the All-Ireland final that year only to be defeated by Kilkenny. In 1983 Cork were defeated by "the cats" for the second consecutive year. 1984 was a special year for Gaelic games as it was the centenary year of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Having lost the previous two All-Ireland finals Cork were even hungrier for success in 1984. The plan nearly came unstuck in the Munster final when Tipperary were up by four points with four minutes to go. Two goals from Seánie O'Leary and Tony O'Sullivan sealed victory for "the Rebels" and they advanced to an easy win over Offaly in the All-Ireland final at Semple Stadium.

In 1986 Cork were back in the All-Ireland final, this time facing the hot favourites Galway. Cork scored four goals on that day and, in spite of a late goal by Galway's P.J. Molloy, Cork won the day on a scoreline of 4-13 to 2-15. Four years later in 1990 Cork were Munster champions once again before taking part in another final against Galway. Once again Cork were the underdogs coming into the final. In one of the most high-sopring finals in years Cork emerged victorious once again with a scoreline of 5-15 to 2-21. The 1990s which started so well were to prove difficult for the Cork hurlers. After losing to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final in 1992 it would take until 1999 for Cork to re-emerge as Munster and All-Ireland champions. Jimmy Barry-Murphy, who had given so much service as a player, masterminded the youngest Cork team ever to another All-Ireland victory.


While it was expected that the team would build on the success of 1999 the exact opposite happened. After a defeat to Offaly in the All-Ireland semi-final in 2000 the team went into terminal decline. In 2002 the entire senior hurling panel took the unprecedented move of going on strike. The players, who had been seeking better conditions, refused to play or train with the county again until the dispute with the county board was resolved. The players demands included having their own doctor at all Championship, League, resolving disputes over travel arrangements and providing players with free gymnasium access. The strike was eventually resolved and all the demands were met, but not before the Cork footballers also went on strike in sympathy.

Following the strike the Cork hurlers came back stronger than ever, winning three out of the next four Munster championships. Cork became the best team in the country reaching four consecutive All-Ireland finals with victories coming in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 Cork attempted to capture an elusive three-in-a-row, however, they were defeated by Kilkenny.

The Cork senior footballers and hurlers withdrew their services for almost 100 days from November 2007 until February 2008. For more on this see 2007-2008 Cork players strike.


Cork fans have a strong rivalry with various other teams. Tipperary are generally regarded as Cork's biggest rivals in the Munster Championship. Munster finals between these two sides, particularly when played in Semple Stadium in Thurles, are often regarded as 'the traditional final,' and often provide the best game of the championship. In recent years Waterford have been added to the list of rivals. The Munster final of 2004 between Cork and Waterford has been described as one of the greatest Munster finals of all-time.

In the All-Ireland series of games Kilkenny are widely regarded as Cork's biggest rivals. All-Ireland finals between these two sides have been noted for the skill and the intensity of play. It has often been said that Kilkenny win all the classic games while Cork win all the battles. The rivalry has intensified in recent years, particularly in 2003 when Kilkenny beat Cork in the final to claim their twenty-eighth All-Ireland title, thus drawing level with the number of titles that Cork had at the time. The 2004 All-Ireland final added another chapter to the rivalry as Kilkenny were attempting to win a third All-Ireland title in-a-row and go one up in the roll of honour. However, on that occasion Cork emerged victorious denying Kilkenny the rewards that they coveted. The rivalry continued in 2006 when the roles were reversed. Cork were attempting to win a third All-Ireland title in-a-row, however, they were defeated by Kilkenny. 'The Cats' victory over Limerick in the 2007 All-Ireland final saw them draw level with Cork at the top of the roll of honour once again. Kilkenny's "three-in-a-row" win over Waterford in 2008 has placed them above Cork as being the county with most All-Ireland Championship victories.

Cork Hurling Squad


"For more details on this topic, see here

Former Hurlers

"For more details on this topic see: List of Cork hurlers"

Player records

Texaco Hurler of the Year winners

*"'Christy Ring - 1959
*"'Justin McCarthy - 1966
*"'Pat McDonnell - 1970
*"'Denis Coughlan - 1977
*"'John Horgan - 1978
*"'John Fenton - 1984
*"'Ger Cunningham - 1986
*"'Tony O'Sullivan - 1990
*"'Brian Corcoran - 1992, 1999
*"'Seán Óg Ó hAilpín - 2004
*"'Jerry O'Connor - 2005

Managerial History

This is a list of people who have coached/managed the Cork senior hurling team in recent years.

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-!style="background:#DD0000;"|Tnavbar-header|Cork GAA|Cork GAA|bgcolor=#DD0000|fontcolor=#FFFFFF
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Cork Gaelic Athletic Association
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|Hurling captains | Football captains
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| List of hurlers | List of footballers
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| Páirc Uí Chaoimh | Páirc Uí Rinn

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