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MICHAEL O'SHEA: Redmonds of Cork

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The O'Shea coal merchant family of Rutland Street, in the heart of Cork city, are well known in G.A.A. circles for the longevity of their sporting association with Cork's famous Redmonds G.A.A. club and one member of the O'Shea family began his own association with the club in 1958.

Michael O'Shea walked in to the Redmonds club in 1958 and now in the embers of 2018 he is the current club chairman and one of the clubs most loyal and committed members down through all the decades. This is a nostalgic year for the Redmonds legend as he comes to the end of his Diamond Jubilee association with Redmonds but of course Michael's Redmond's journey has many more years to run.

Life with Redmonds wearing the renowned green/white colours first blossomed in under age hurling and football in the Cork City Division of Bórd na Nóg and sources state, Michael was an accomplished dual player and made a huge impression on Cork's minor hurling selectors, but as often happens, an off the cuff comment by an unfriendly official did not rest too lightly on Michael's shoulders.

Undeterred he proceeded to give total commitment to Redmonds in both codes over many years and so devoted was Michael to his club, he established himself as one of the clubs greatest ever servants in its history. In sixty long years serving Redmonds, Michael's tenure came at a time when great residential change took place in the heart of Cork city and the population of the original districts, from whence Redmonds originated, endured a major population decline.

As an inner city senior hurling club from foundation in 1892 and through to the 1920's, the club annexed five Cork senior hurling championship titles and these glorious triumphs were the foundations that established Redmonds with a proud tradition to maintain.

Demotion to lower grades inevitably followed but the spirit of the G.A.A. was still alive and thriving in their native districts. When Michael O'Shea arrived into the club as a 10 year old garsúin in 1958, the premier grade was junior in both codes and well do I remember the great reputation of Redmonds in juvenile ranks in the late 1950's and early 1960's. All through the 1960's, Michael and many more legendary Redmonds names, kept the green/white colours of the club to the forefront in city competitions.

Titles were achieved, great players were honed and when Redmonds needed guidance and people to lead them in the 1970's and succeeding decades, Michael O'Shea was anchoring the club with fellow comrades who were always counted upon as the true rocks of the club.

The Redmonds journey was often a rocky road for survival and fielding teams from an area decimated by mass movement of young people to outlying suburban districts of Cork, posed major problems for Michael and his club.

When the great and famous Redmonds club faced real life extinction and an EGM was summoned by a concerned supporter, despite lame statements of support, even from Cork County GAA Board and several other parties, it was the incumbent loyal Redmonds club officers who salvaged the club and laid down a survival plan.

Michael O’Shea, the Diamond Jubilee Champion Volunteer, faced up to his own reality and along with a small group of Redmonds colleagues, with great longevity of loyal service, the renewed energy of the club officers overcame a fatal extinction of the century plus famous city club.

In 2021 the name Redmonds survives predominantly due to the respect of its long tradition and the vigorous application of Champion Volunteer, Michael O’Shea, along with Eddie O’Sullivan, a fanatical caretaker of the euros who manages the debt burden on a daily basis.

Recently deceased Pat Hegarty, a native of Castlehaven, attended the club EGM, became embroiled in rescuing Redmonds and became a wonderful inspiration in the struggle for survival. Despite battling his own health demons, Pat’s contribution to the survival of the great Redmonds club is worthy of recognition.

With a splendid club grounds beside Cork Airport owned by the club and a really spacious club headquarters and social centre off Barrack Street, Redmonds have a major asset but the health of the club depends on fielding their own team(s).

Without All Ireland Champion Volunteers such as Michael O'Shea and loyal colleagues at the helm, clubs such as Redmonds would simply evaporate. However the fires are still burning around Tower Street and leading the club once again is their Diamond Jubilee chairman and evergreen Green/White colleague and clubman, Michael O'Shea. 

The Golden Memories of Michael's outstanding longevity of service to his beloved Redmonds have been preserved Online at the All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery for current and future Redmonds generations.

In 2021 ScoreBoard Memories (Cork) revisited the Redmonds survival and pleased to observe and report, the name REDMONDS is not extinct in Cork GAA communities. Out of town personnel residing and working in Cork City and suburbs and persons interested in linking up with one of Cork’s longest established clubs, are welcome to come on board as players and club members.

Champion Volunteer - Michael O’Shea Family:

Parents: Hannah Hallahan (Ballincollig)& Patrick O'Shea (Kealkil)

Michael's wife is Assumpta and family consists of Michael; Paul; Aidan and Anne Marie.

Brothers & Sisters: Mary (R.I.P.); Danny; Paddy (R.I.P.);; Sheila; Jerry and Michael

 Family Business: Patrick O'Shea left his native west Cork home of Kealkil in the 1930's and headed out for the bright light lights of Cork city. Working as a farm labourer around Kealkil, he had entrepreneural visions of working for himself in Cork and set up a tarmacadam business initially and then progressed to set up O'Shea's Coal Merchants, one of Cork's most successful coal merchant companies at Rutland Street, just off the South Terrace.

In the 21st century the business is now run by a third generation of O'Sheas, following many decades under the guidance of the founders sons. The original property still stands as a landmark intersection on Rutland Street and is now a hive of activity with new services complimenting the coal supply business. 

Michael O'Shea, Redmonds Diamond Jubilee celebrant, is now officially retired from active day to day business, but as chairman of his beloved Redmonds, Michael's daily agenda is always a sporting day and long may he continue to serve one of Cork's most famous G.A.A. sons.  

Michael O'Shea's Image Gallery: A collection of memorabilia pictures of Michael and his family and also sporting pics of Redmonds teams, are included in our image gallery. Take a browse and watch this space for more pictures from the 2019 presentation event honouring Michael.

ScoreBoardMemories (Cork) is an Online Internet Tributes/Commemorations & Awards Gallery operated by retired and active people for several years. The subjects incorporate SportsLife; HeritageLife & MusicLife.    

Champion Volunteer Tribute by Derry JF Doody

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