Cork legend Christy Ring was born in October 1920, and OurGame marks the centenary with a special show featuring Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Tomás Mulcahy and Michael Foley.
This week marks a century since the birth of Cork’s finest ever hurler, Christy Ring.
The Cloyne native and Glen Rovers hurler had a star-studded career at both club and county level, and his name will forever stand among the greats of the game.
During 2020, we spoke with broadcasting legend Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Cork’s All-Ireland winning captain Tomás Mulcahy, and journalist Michael Foley about the man they still call ‘Ringy’.
From his days as a young player showing dash and daring for the minors, to becoming a force of nature with the seniors, and a man who necklaced together so much silverware.
As Jimmy Smyth, former Clare hurler, marvelled: “The minute he hit the pitch, the daisies got a sudden death… he was perfection itself.”
Ring’s job by day was to drive an oil truck, and Foley tells a tale of visiting a garage, and a unique story he was told.
Mulcahy recalls his presence around Glen Rovers, how the man carried himself, and hearing the news of the legend’s passing.
As the Cork GAA website explains:
As Ring was walking past the Cork College of Commerce on Morrisson’s Island on 2 March 1979 he suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed.
He was taken by ambulance to the South Infirmary Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. He was 58 years old.
The news of his death came as a great shock to the people of Ireland, and particularly to the people of Cork.
His funeral was one of the biggest ever seen in Cork with up to 60,000 people lining the streets.
It was also a remarkable hurling occasion with many of Ring’s former Munster and All-Ireland foes in attendance.
Farranferris pupils formed a guard of honour, draped in the famous black, green and gold Glen Rovers colours.
The funeral Mass was presided over by Bishop Cornelius Lucey while the chief celebrant was Fr Charlie Lynch, brother of former Cork team-mate and Taoiseach Jack Lynch.
Other former Cork team-mates involved included Fr Con Cottrell, Fr Bernie Cotter and Fr JJ O’Brien.
Ring’s coffin was shouldered into St Colman’s churchyard by renowned sporting celebrities from Cork and other counties.
“We carried him at last”, was former team-mate Paddy Barry’s remark, in reference to Ring often saving the Cork hurlers from almost certain defeat.
Ring’s graveside oration in Cloyne was delivered by a former team-mate and the then Taoiseach, Jack Lynch. Lynch finished by claiming that:
“As long as young men will match their hurling skills against each other on Ireland’s green fields, as long as young boys swing their camans for the sheer thrill of the feel and the tingle in their fingers of the impact of ash on leather, as long as hurling is played the story of Christy Ring will be told. And that will be forever.”
Click play on the video at the top of the page to see the Christy Ring Special.
Listen to Michael Foley narrate the brilliant podcast ‘The Bloodied Field’ here: https://twitter.com/bloodiedfieldp1
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