The Cork hurlers will swap their traditional red jerseys for this year’s Allianz Hurling League clash against Kilkenny for the colour scheme they wore 100 ago.
As part of the Cork County Board commemorations of the Easter Rising in 1916, the county hurlers will wear the colours Cork sported in the early part of the century, a blue jersey with a large yellow C on the front for the game on March 12th in Pairc Ui Rinn.
If it weren’t for the intervention of the Crown forces, Cork might still be in blue and yellow, but shortly before the Leesiders took on Tipperary in the Munster championship of 1919 the old county board offices in Cook Street in Cork were raided by those occupying elements and the jerseys were stolen.
At this time St Finbarr’s had been considerably strengthened by amalgamating with the Fr O’Leary Total Abstinence Hall team, and as a consequence the Fr O’Leary jerseys weren’t needed. Those were the famous red and white colours — though with a TA, or total abstinence, logo — and were pressed into service by the county team. Supposedly there were only 15 jerseys, which meant the Cork subs against Tipperary made do with white jumpers.
For a while in 1920 those old Fr O’Leary Hall jerseys gave way to a different colour scheme, which may have been saffron and red, but Cork were back in red and white when they won that year’s All-Ireland title (though the final itself wasn’t played until 1922) and, having secured Central Council permission to stay in red and white, have worn those colours since.
It’s not expected jersey manufacturers O’Neill’s will put the one-off jersey on general sale.
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