Cork County Board teams up with players for golf fundraiser

IT’S official. Cork’s senior hurling and football teams are working in harmony with the county board after their much-publicised feud before Christmas on the issue of player welfare.

As part of the board's commitment to what they describe as "covering unusual expenditure and enhancing the teams' image", they have organised two golf classics for next month which they hope will raise up to €60,000.

Announcing details of the events, to be held in Powerscourt Golf Club in Co Wicklow on May 26 and Muskerry Golf Club in Cork the following day, Cork chairman Jim Forbes expressed his delight at the response from both sets of players, as well as the management, to date. Speaking at a reception in the offices of the Irish Examiner, media sponsors of the Cork classic which is sponsored by O2, Mr Forbes said he hoped the business community would respond in the manner which had been indicated to them during the time the controversy flared.

"Certain people told a hundred people would subscribe €1,000 (towards a players' fund). Now, they have the opportunity to subscribe a thousand euro. And, if the other hundred people subscribe, we might need to have three or four classics,'' he said.

The establishment of a Cork GAA Players Fund was promised in response to a request from the senior panels, Mr Forbes said. And they had done so rather than setting up a Supporters Club, as was the case in a number of counties. The funds raised will be for the benefit of other Cork teams, as well as the two senior sides.

Business people and supporters in Cork are being asked to support the classic in Muskerry Golf Club on Tuesday May 27 by entering teams of four at a cost of €1,000 per team, or by sponsoring a tee or hole. Details of the other classic will be announced at a press briefing in Dublin this evening.

Irish Examiner Sports Editor Tony Leen said the newspaper was delighted to be involved. He said he believed the GAA "was all about players" and anything that improved their welfare deserved to be supported.

Last night's briefing was attended by both team managers, Donal O'Grady and Larry Tompkins, respective captains Alan Browne and Colin Corkery, John Gardiner, U21 hurling selector Ger Cunningham and other officers of the board. Also present were Jim O'Donovan, President of Muskerry Golf Club and Oliver Coughlan, technical director of O2.

Mr Forbes said the two senior panels would be kitted out in blazers and pants for their opening championship games. The footballers will be first into action, against Limerick on May 11.

Praising the players and managements for making "extraordinary efforts", Mr Forbes said: "We were very pleased with performances in the League. The footballers lost out on a semi-final place by a mere four points in scoring difference and the hurlers are still there even though they are depending on a miracle in either Nowlan Park or Ennis on Sunday.''

Alan Browne re-affirmed that everything was being done to their satisfaction in terms of the provision of improved meals and gear. It meant the teams were able to concentrate on playing, he said.

Further details and application forms for the event can be obtained from Bob Ryan, development officer, Cork County Board, at 086-3861109, (bobryangaa@eircom.net), or Jim Forbes, 086/2664413 (jimforbes@indigo.ie).

*The Powerscourt Golf Club event is being organised by the Dublin-based Cork GAA reception committee.

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