Billy Morgan pays tribute to ‘brilliant’ Cork GAA servant John Corcoran

Former Cork football manager Billy Morgan has described the death of John Corcoran as “shattering”. St Mary’s clubman Corcoran, who died suddenly yesterday, was a county senior football team selector under Morgan and more recently was part of the UCC Sigerson Cup management team.

A GAA administrator at a variety of levels, he managed the Carbery divisional side to the 2004 county SFC, which brought him to wider attention with Cork. “It’s shattering news,” Morgan said. “John was a great guy, he was really brilliant. He came on the Cork scene as a selector in 2004 after Carbery won the county championship and stayed for the next two years and then he came on board when I took the UCC job too.

“I found him to be really knowledgeable about football, a highly intelligent man. He was always shrewd and able to give his opinion in a straightforward way without it ever being overbearing.

“His advice was always highly valued and there was never any bias, trying to get fellas on or off the team based on where they were from. He’ll be sorely missed, we loved having him around.”

Having played for St Mary’s and later become a referee, Corcoran became a member of the St Mary’s committee at a young age and was treasurer and secretary of the club in the early 1980s before becoming chairman in 1992.

This was also the role he held at the time of his death, having stepped down as Carbery chairman before Christmas, at the end of his three-year stint.

Prior to assuming the chair of the divisional committee, he had been PRO and vice-chair and also chaired the Munster third-level GAA body, sitting on the Munster Council as a result.

A long-time county board delegate, his oratory skills were of the highest quality and he could never be accused of sitting on the fence. With Morgan and Cork, Corcoran was part of the management team which won the 2006 Munster SFC and reached the following year’s All-Ireland final, losing to Kerry.

In his time as a UCC selector from 2010 onwards, the college won the Sigerson Cup twice and reached the final on three occasions. A Croke Park statement said last night: “John was devoted to the GAA and was a tireless worker both on and off the pitch... he will be very sadly missed.”

Kerry footballer and UCC man Paul Geaney paid his own tribute to Corcoran on Twitter. “Devastating news to hear of the passing of John Corcoran.A gentleman I’m blessed to have shared great times with. Rest in peace my friend.”


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