by Neil Crean
Ballyphehane R.P.C. 2014 Presentation
Ballyphehane RPC members
The Cork area saw the first of its prize giving nights with the Ballyphehene club first off the mark. Ballyphenane is one of two clubs situated on the south side of cork city and consists of 17 members. Their club is based in the Ballyphehane GAA club and a strong relationship has formed between the two clubs over the years.
The club committee are to be commended for their continuous work to help the club function on a day-to-day basis and this committee consists of Michael Long (Chairman), Ritchie Mullane (Secretary) and Ritchie Harris who is of course the minister for finance. Pat Chandley and Noel Barry always assist the committee and help out in any way they can to promote the club.
The presentation night was and has always been a simple affair with all trophies given out at the clubroom and a few friendly drinks afterwards at the local bar. The club members insist this format is in place so as to encourage members to attend the presentation without being pressured into the pub atmosphere and I must say it works just fine.
A big thank you is in order to Ritchie Mullane and his lovely family for a new cup they presented to the club to honour the memory of his late father Tommy who raced for many years. This cup was much appreciated by the members and is a new milestone for all to have their name engraved on it.
On to the presentation itself and it was great to see the guest of honour being none other than Billy Mc Carthy the INFC young bird national winner here to distribute the silverware.
First off the block was the old bird races with Alan O Connell up to the table to collect trophies for 1st Monaghan 1st Coleraine, 1st Penzance and 1st St Malo, this bird also topping the Cork Federation and being the only bird timed in the club.
Michael Long was next up to collect his Sennen Cove prize and take away the M O Sullivan cup.
Billy Downey was next to the prize table to mark the end of the 2014 season and collect his trophies for 1st Malin Head and 1st Coalisland.
John Twomey winner of both Portlaw and Arklow was unfortunately unable to attend but Ritchie Mullane accepted the silverware on his behalf.
The young bird trophies were next to be given out and first up was our own Finbar Burke known locally as Finners. This award for 1st Monaghan was a pleasure for Billy Mc Carthy to give out as Finbar now suffers from respiratory problems having been a painter all his life and the pigeons were to be given the back seat but like us all it’s not easy to do and his persistence paid off as he also topped the Cork Federation.
The next award winners are a well known pigeon racing family and consist of a father, son and grandson they are the O Neill family. Father Gerry a former officer at both club and federation level is now in his 80s and unfortunately has health problems and was unable to attend the function but it was not because of his own health issues but that of his son and partner Morgan who has been unwell in hospital for a number of weeks now. We hope he makes a speedy recovery. Grandson Robert, a keen fancier in his own right, accepted the awards for 1st Rosslare and 1st Newross on behalf of the family.
One of the highlights of the season for the club was the performance of John Oldham of Carrigaline who timed his blue hen from the Penzance young bird national to finish 15th open in the national result. John, who is a local Taxi driver, dedicates a lot of time to his pigeons and loves the national events. His other club wins consists of Portlaw, Malin Head and Cookstown.
It was an overall great season for the club who featured at both Federation and National level.
Alan O Connell, St Malo winner
Ritchie Mullane on behalf of John Twomey
Robert O Neill