Cork GAA secretary Kevin O’Donovan has said the Cork football training session on Youghal beach last January, at a time when collective inter-county gatherings were banned, “should not have happened”.
Then Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy received a 12-week suspension for the much-criticised gathering, which occurred during a month of record daily Covid case numbers.
“One issue which caused heated discussion nationally was the events at Redbarn on Youghal beach in January. While intentions may have been good and rules may have been misunderstood by the organisers, the gathering simply should not have happened,” O’Donovan wrote in his annual report ahead of Saturday’s Cork GAA convention.
Cork County Board recorded a surplus €299,811 for 2021, a significant improvement on last year’s €132k deficit. Total income for the year reached €2.15m, an increase of over half a million euro on the board’s 2020 intake. Expenditure was also up, but the board’s €2m spend was only a slight increase on last year’s €1.8m.
With regard to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the stadium recorded losses in 2021 totalling €1,908,356.
O’Donovan said the circumstances surrounding the discovery earlier this year of historical bank accounts within Cork GAA, containing €176,000, was a source of “embarrassment” for the board.
Reflecting on Cork’s run to the All-Ireland SHC final, O’Donovan said “the revival of the Cork senior hurlers in 2021 showed a marked improvement on recent seasons and this success was further embellished by the all-conquering hurlers at Minor and U20 level. While a disappointing All-Ireland final defeat to a dominant Limerick side meant some further soul-searching, it is clear that Cork hurling is on the right path at present.”
He added that the senior team’s League performances showed a “greater focus” on the competition than in previous years.
On the triple success of the county’s minor and U20 teams (2020 and 2021), O’Donovan said “it was heartening to see a focus on a raw desire to win primary possession, something which has been lacking at times over recent years”.
Addressing the “clear crisis” that is the sho