Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence key to fu­ture of foot­ball

Irish Examiner - County - - News - CLLR DE­CLAN HURLEY

From Cork City FC to cav­ing to the Ceno­taph Well, talk about a var­ied week.

Firstly, I must con­grat­u­late Cork City Foot­ball Club.

What a phe­nom­e­nal achieve­ment. City com­pleted the first dou­ble in their his­tory, and the county of Cork’s first since 1951, as they cap­tured the FAI Cup, edg­ing ri­vals Dun­dalk on penal­ties.

Cork City Ladies en­sured it be­came a dou­ble­dou­ble of sorts by com­plet­ing their own per­sonal tre­ble, see­ing off UCD Waves be­fore both Cups landed in Cork.

This is a story of never giv­ing up. Less than a decade ago, the club were in ex­am­in­er­ship. Now, they are the most suc­cess­ful club in the coun­try.

Cork City FC is a com­mu­nity club, ev­i­dent in John Caulfield’s cel­e­bra­tion upon their win. He ran, or should I say, raced to­wards the fans to cel­e­brate with them. John could be con­sid­ered the club’s great­est son, mak­ing 455 ap­pear­ances as a player and man­ager since 2013. The man lives and breathes Cork City FC.

Cork County Coun­cil, to­gether with FORAS, the trust that op­er­ates Cork City FC, and the FAI, are cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a Mun­ster Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence in Glan­mire, Cork.

The site will pro­vide train­ing fa­cil­i­ties for Cork City FC as well as train­ing, par­tic­i­pa­tion and play­ing fa­cil­i­ties for play­ers of all ages, coaches, ref­er­ees and ad­min­is­tra­tors.

This is a cen­tre that will ben­e­fit the wider com­mu­nity as well as grass­roots of Ir­ish foot­ball.

Suc­cess doesn’t just hap­pen. It is plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion that en­ables suc­cess and I am con­fi­dent that with fa­cil­i­ties such as this Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence, Cork will sus­tain such high lev­els of achieve­ment.

Think­ing about the fu­ture brings me to the present. I run a win­ter milking sys­tem which means that I have au­tumn calv­ing. In other words, I have 20 of my 60 herd due to calve be­tween now and Christ­mas. As most peo­ple know this doesn’t hap­pen at a des­ig­nated time, so I am on duty day and night.

In fair­ness, the cows man­age per­fectly fine them­selves most of the time.

But it’s the in­stance where they may be in dif­fi­culty that I have to be aware of, either to as­sist my­self or call a vet.

Time is crit­i­cal which is why it’s all hands on deck at the mo­ment. If I’m not at a may­oral event I can as­sure you I’m watch­ing my cows. But it is won­der­ful to see new life on the farm and thank­fully all is go­ing well.

New life is the fu­ture. But it is also im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the past. We are where we came from.

This is why it was so im­por­tant for me to at­tend Re­mem­brance events. I was hon­oured to join the Western Front Re­mem­brance and the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion at the Great War Memo­rial in the South Mall.

Re­mem­brance Day takes place on Novem­ber 11 ev­ery year. It marks the an­niver­sary of the day World War One ended on the 11th of Novem­ber in 1918.

About 210,000 Ir­ish men and women served in the Bri­tish forces dur­ing World War One.

World War I took the lives of 50,000 Ir­ish men, of which 4,000 were from Cork. From Bantry to Mac­room, Clon­akilty to Mill street. Men with strong con­nec­tions to the city and county of Cork. Pos­si­bly ev­ery parish in the county. Con­nec­tions that still ex­ist through the fa­mil­ial ties which re­main here to­day.

Many will be fa­mil­iar with the Poppy pins worn at this time of year. Pop­pies are worn to com­mem­o­rate the dead of the war as they are the flow­ers that grew on the Western Front bat­tle fields of France and Bel­gium in the wake of the fight­ing.

Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar was seen wear­ing a Sham­rock Poppy. In terms of sym­bol­ism, the oc­ca­sion is some­times a com­pli­cated one for mem­bers of Ir­ish po­lit­i­cal par­ties which have their roots in the time of the 1916 Ris­ing and the War of In­de­pen­dence.

But what is im­por­tant is the real mean­ing of this day and how, by re­mem­ber­ing such past events to­gether, we can cre­ate a peace­ful and united fu­ture.

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