Beera 1997 football heroes back together for golf classic

BEARA GAA and the Beara senior football county championship-winning team of 1997 held a hugely successful golf classic recently in Berehaven Golf Club.

The golf classic, sponsored by Beara Oil, was a fundraiser to support the future educational needs of James (8) and Molly (4), children of the team’s goalkeeper Padraig Crowley and his wife Gemma.

‘In 2020 Padraig got a tumor, his diagnosis was okay originally, he had the operation and everything seemed to be going well for him, but unfortunately, after a period of time, it reappeared,’ explained Donal O’Sullivan, manager of the 1997 Beera football side.

Teams from all over Cork and beyond traveled to play in the recent golf classic and support this fundraising event. A huge number of teams and sponsors made this event an amazing success. The Castletownbere trio of Paul Harrington, Colin O’Shea and former Castletownbere goalkeeper James Power emerged as the winning team, where close to 100 teams teed it up over three days.

After the presentation of the golf prizes, a presentation was made to all the players and management of the legendary Beara 1997 team that won the Cork SFC 25 years ago. One by one the players, led by their captain Ollie Rue O’Sullivan from Garnish, received a presentation from Beara GAA Chairman Michael Murphy and Beara GAA Treasurer Michael Joe O’Sullivan.

Pictured after the recent golf classic organized by Beara GAA and the division’s 1997 Cork SFC winning team were, back from left, Martin O’Sullivan, Noel Harrington, Barry Murphy, Tim O’Shea, Donagh Wiseman, Rory O’Dwyer, Paul Hanley , Cormac O’Neill and Paul Murphy. Second row, from left, Donal O’Sullivan, Michael Harrington, DJ Con O’Sullivan, Ciaran O’Sullivan, Sean Walsh, Seamus Harrington, Alan O’Regan, Neil Murphy, Sean B O’Sullivan, Seamus Spenser, Paudie B O’Sullivan, Marie O’Sullivan and Johnny Houlihan. Front row, from left, Jimmy Murphy, Con Paddy O’Sullivan, Gemma Crowley, Molly Crowley, Ollie Rue O’Sullivan, Padraig Crowley, James Crowley, Paudie O’Neill, Daniel Healy, Mary and O’Sullivan.
(Photos: Anne Marie Cronin)

A standing ovation was reserved for Beara 1997 goalkeeper Padraig Crowley as he made his way up to collect his presentation, watched on by his wife Gemma and children James and Molly.

The last player to be honored on the night was the late John Lock O’Sullivan (RIP). John was part of the Beara senior panel in 1997, and played a vital role in the county U21 final win over Bishopstown in 1997, just seven days after the county senior final, to record back-to-back county U21 titles for Beara, after their first-ever U21 success in 1996. Sadly, John passed away suddenly aged 26 in November 2002. John’s mother Mary accepted the presentation on his behalf. Mary was joined on the night by her daughter Marie and other members of the family.

To mark the occasion of their memorable win after a replay over Castlehaven 25 years ago, the team will be honored at the county premier senior football final on October 30th in Páirc Uí Chaoimh as the silver jubilee winning team.

A raffle will be held on the weekend of November 5th, with a wide variety of prizes available. Tickets cost €10 and are available online at bearagaa.ie and also currently on sale from members of the Beara 1997 team and management.