Weekly Notes 29.11.2021   29/11/2021

Reeling in the year – remembering Eamonn Ryan

The first installment of our Reeling In The Year feature covers January and February of 2021. There was not much action on the playing front due to COVID restrictions and GAA guidance that all facilities remain closed. Zoom training and skills challenges were the order of the day. Unfortunately, the beginning of 2021 was punctuated by the loss of our own Laochra Gael, Eamonn Ryan. 14th January 2020 is a date that will be etched in the Watergrasshill, UCC, and Cork GAA history books as the day we lost one of our true stalwarts.

Born in 1941, Eamonn played with Sarsfields and Glanmire at under-age when Watergrasshill had no juvenile teams. He also played Gaelic games with Cork colleges at North Mon and Coláiste Íosagain, Ballyvourney.

In 1961, hurling and football in our parish were restructured where Watergrasshill represented the parish in hurling and Glenville in football and Eamonn was highly regarded in both codes. In 1963 he played football for both Cork juniors and seniors and in 1966 at 25, he was a key player on the Cork senior football team that defeated Kerry for the first time since 1957. He played Railway Cup for Munster in 1966 and 1967 and won two Sigerson Cups with UCC in 1966 and 1967. He captained the College in the 1967 Cork senior football final and replay where Beara claimed the title.

Before Eamonn’s 16th birthday, he was junior hurling goalkeeper for Watergrasshill in the East Cork B final in 1961. In 1968, Watergrasshill won the title with Eamonn as captain and coach. In 1974, as a player and trainer, Eamonn Ryan played a key role when Watergrasshill won our first ever East Cork Junior A hurling championship and the Cork county junior hurling title. As a coach, he won divisional B junior hurling titles in 1997/99 and 2001. Eamonn also trained the team when Watergrasshill won our second East Cork junior A title in 2000 and he was also trainer of the Watergrasshill premier intermediate team who were beaten in the 2007 county final.

Following the amalgamation with Glenville in 1961, Eamonn Ryan was a key player in the Glenville team that won the East Cork Junior A Football Championship in 1961. As a player and trainer, he added four more East Cork football titles with Glenville in 1972/73/78 and ’79. He was also captain in 1978. Two divisional football league medals were also won in 1972 and ’73 and he played with the Imokilly senior football teams in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the mid 80’s Eamonn entered teams in the Sciath na Scol competitions and up to his retirement from teaching, he won many titles, the highlight when Watergrasshill National School claiming outright honours in Sciath na Scol in both hurling and football in both 1991 and 1992.

In camogie with Watergrasshill, he coached and claimed minor, junior and intermediate championships and senior club championship and league titles. At Na Piarsaigh, he won the county senior hurling title in 1990 as coach and again in 1995.When Ballingeary claimed a county intermediate football title in 2006, Eamonn was again making an impact on the side-line.

Eamonn claimed a Munster senior football title as Cork manager in 1983 and from 1990 to 1994 he was coach to Cork minor football teams who won 3 Munster titles and 2 All Irelands.

As Manager of the Cork Ladies Football team, he achieved incredible success and became a national name. From 2004 to 2015, he coached the Cork Ladies Football team to an incredible 10 All Ireland senior championship titles and 6 National League titles.

Watergrasshill Club Chairman, Kieran O’Keeffe, said Eamonn was a hero in the club and community. ”He achieved so much and was interested in the club and the state of hurling in Watergrasshill right to the end. He put the first hurley in so many children’s hands in school and fostered a love of the game. We are indebted to him for his time, interest, and skill that he shared so willingly with so many of us. Many of our club members were introduced to hurling through Eamonn. I was privileged to be taught by him as was my father. He had a unique way of engaging with young people and getting their attention. He is fondly remembered and will be sadly missed”

Juvenile Club Chairman, Barry Joyce said “before I came to Watergrasshill, I knew about Eamonn Ryan. Since I came to Watergrasshill, I got to know more about him, his success on the pitch, and as a mentor. Having met him many times, I was hugely impressed by his humility, his interest, and grá for our club. He was man who wore his achievements lightly, a true Gael and one of the finest men to come out of Watergrasshill – a gentleman in the true sense of the word”

Many beyond Watergrasshill knew him for his sporting achievements and the closer you get to home, you get to know the real person. The Eamonn we knew and loved was one of high principles, decency, generous, encouraging, caring, kind, a club man and above all, a family man. We were blessed to have him in our village, our school, our club and our lives. His shadow and influence will be long and warmly felt in our parish.

We continue to hold the family in our thoughts and prayers and remember one of the greatest teachers, players, and coaches that our parish has ever known.

In our national school (where his wife Pat also taught), he was the principal and known as The Master – a description fitting to the man, teacher, player, and coach in all parts of his life.


U-10 Team finish their year

Well another great year down for the Watergrasshill Hill Fé10 hurlers and Glenville Fé10 footballers as they finished the season with a fun training session followed by a November BBQ. Despite the many complications during the year, this group showed amazing commitment, numbers at trainings and games averaging 27 with a few outings where we had 30 players which is great to see. Such numbers not only a rarity in our small community but also an indicator of the growth of the parish in recent years. Another great year of hurling & football for this great bunch of kids  who are a credit to their parents, a pleasure to coach and to be involved with. So big thanks to the parents for the great support all the year and to the kids for giving great commitment and giving 100 per cent all the time.

The Fé10 coaching group of Willie O’Leary, John Fenton, Mark Lee, Luke Conway, Ray Goggin, Marie McDermott, Joe O’Callaghan, Pat O’Leary & Barry Downey would like to wish all  the parents & kids a Happy Christmas and safe and prosperous New Year.



There was no winner of the Lotto Jackpot this week. Numbers drawn were 5, 19, 21 & 30. Lucky dip winners are Eoin O’Reilly, Tricia Joyce, Brian Cronin & Ber O’Callaghan. Congrats to you all. Next week's jackpot is a fantastic €10,900 and draw will take place Monday 6th December. Tickets are on sale in some of the village businesses, like The Hut Bar, The Fir Tree, Centra & Johnny's Shop. Tickets can also be purchased on-line via our club website ( The Club would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members and supporters of the Watergrasshill GAA Club Lotto. The Club Lotto is a vital source of income for the running of all our teams within the Club and for future development of our facilities, so we ask you to please support it if you are in a position to do so. Remember, if you’re not in you can’t win.


Bumper Christmas Raffle

This year we are delighted to announce the return of our Watergrasshill GAA Christmas Raffle. Top prize this year is two tickets to a Premier league match including flights and accommodation. We have 15 other prizes on offer including €500 cash, €250 hotel voucher and many more fantastic prizes, with more being added every week. Tickets are just €10 and are available from any club member or just reach out through any of our social media platforms. These would make a great Christmas stocking filler and remember, if you’re not in, you can’t win. Sincere thanks to all of our supporters and local businesses who have sponsored prizes for the raffle - your support is greatly appreciated.


Club Shop

              Now is the time to ensure that you beat the Christmas rush by using our on-line shop. We have partnered with O’Neill’s sportwear to provide an on-line shop for all of our club merchandise and training apparel. Club crested clothing is available to buy, from shorts to jerseys to training tops and tracksuit bottoms, for adults and juveniles in various sizes. The on-line shop is available at or through the “SHOP NOW” button on our Facebook page.


Club Lotto