Our Club came into existence in 1887, just four years after the founding of the Gaelic Athletic Association.
In an article featured in the Cork Examiner of the meeting which of established the G.A.A. in Mitchelstown, it reads: “ A public meeting was held a few evenings ago at Mitchelstown to organise a branch of the Gaelic Athletic Association in the district. There was a considerable attendance and the neighbouring districts were represented. Mr. Cullinane P.L.G. Bansha, presided. About sixty members were enrolled and the election of official appointments in the club took place. Mr. John Mandeville was unanimously chosen as President; Messrs. P. O’Callaghan and M. Powell were elected as Vice-President and Treasurer respectively. Mr. W.J. O’Mahony appointed as Hon. Secretary and Messrs. J. O’Mahony and P. Condon as Assistant Secretaries.
The meeting took place on 2nd February 1887. It was John Mandeville , also, who presided at the first public meeting which was held at the National League Hall, Mitchelstown on Sunday 3rd July 1887 to demand a better deal from Countess Kingston. This would seem to suggest that the G.A.A. club was closely associated with this struggle. Some of those present at the public meeting are worth noting: Daniel Crilly M.P., Thomas Condon M.P., Ambrose Mandeville, John Sarsfield Casey, Thomas Mannix, Thomas Roche, Thomas Dunne, James Mannix, John Roche P.L.G., J. Quinlan P.L.G.
As the struggle continued with tenants being evicted and their property confiscated and sold, tensions rose and resistance stiffened. A monster meeting was held in the Square at Mitchelstown on Friday, 9th September 1887 to which people came in their thousands from miles around. Blackthorn sticks were much in evidence although no violence was planned. Events, however got out of hand and resulted in what is since known as “ The Mitchelstown Massacre” when three men lost their lives, gunned down by the police.
So, in those circumstances, it is not surprising that when a G.A.A.Club was formed it would be called the “Mitchelstown Blackthorns”. Later the Blackthorns was dropped and it became just Mitchelstown but, of course our minor teams still play under the name “Blackthorns”.
It took until 1895 for Mitchelstown Blackthorns to appear in the championships run by the Cork County Board. Our first opponents were neighbours Kildorrery with Mitchelstown winning that day on a scoreline of 2-02 to 1-01. Mitchelstown suffered defeat in the next round to Fermoy who went on to become County Champions that year.
Mitchelstown drifted in and out of championship campaigns over the next few years but managed to win the first of our Intermediate titles in 1911 over William O’Briens. It was quite over the next decade or so but Town once again captured the County Intermediate title in 1925 beating Kilmurry in the final at Riverstown and in 1929 over south east side Owenabue at U.C.C.’s sportsground.
Mitchelstown won the first of it’s 27 North Cork Junior Football titles in 1928 and have been to the forefront when coming to Championship titles in the Avondhu division.
The mid 1950s to mid 1960s were a special time for Mitchelstown as along with the Minor County title of 1960, County Junior title of 1961 and 1965 County Intermediate title came many successes at divisional level with North Cork Junior titles in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960 & 1961. The Club also won five North Cork Minor titles in this period as well as our first U 21 title in 1966.
Mitchelstown had ten players on the starting Avondhu Senior County Championship winning team of 1961. This is a remarkable achievement from a Club who themselves went on to spend much of the 1960’s at Senior level.
The seventies saw a new brand of youth arrive and the Club competed in numerous County finals at both Minor and U16 level with the u16’s being successful in 1976. The Club opted to enter the Intermediate ranks in 1976 but returned to Junior level in 1987. Since then the Club have won six North Cork Junior titles 1995, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2011 & most recently in 2013 , a year that also saw the Club win their second County Junior title .
While the glory days of the past are often spoken about with great pride , the good work of those involved in the Club today continues with the current decade being exceptionally positive , an era that has seen our first team appear in three County Finals in the past seven years losing out to Kanturk in the Junior final of 2011 before capturing the Cork JFC in 2013 & the Donal O'Sullivan Cup when beating St.Colms .
Having been plying our trade at Intermediate since then we made it all the way through to Cork IFC Final in 2017 where we once again lost out to Kanturk on 29th of October on a scoreline of 0-14 to 0-13.
The Club continues to work on producing quality footballing sides & hopefully further success will not be very far away.
County Minor Success of 1960
Though Mitchelstown were successful at Premier two minor in 2016 our one and only Minor A success came in 1960. Mitchelstown or The Blackthorns as they were then known opened their North Cork campaign by defeating near neighbours St Dominic’s (Glanworth) 2-09 to 1-01. Mitchelstown without four o the starting fifteen who defeated St Dominic’s came up against a tough Thomas Davis (Mallow) team in the final. A goal, in the closing minutes, from team captain Mick O’Brien ensured victory. The team that won the North Cork Final was Seamus White; John McGrath, Paddy Carey, John Cotter; Pat Moynihan, Mick O Brien, Paddy Clifford; Ned Coughlan, Kevin O’Connor; Tim Mulcahy, Jimmy Clancy, Johnny Cavanagh; Michael Noonan, John Joe Harrington, Colman O Brien, Subs: Liam Hickey, Mick Reidy, Walter Bermingham, Michael Condon.
Glanmire were easily disposed of in the county quarter final on a score of 3-07 to 1-00. Clara of Millstreet provided the opposition in the semi-final and four goals from the team captain Mick O Brien helped in no small way to a three-point victory 4-03 to 2-06. The county final played in Fermoy was against the famed St Finbarr’s. In what was described as a real thriller with scores at a premium had the Blackthorn’s leading at half time 2-02 to 0-03. A determined second half performance by St Finbarr’s saw the lead reduced to one point. Blackthorn’s steadied the ship and claimed the one and only minor a county championship on a score of 2-03 to 1-04. The team that won the county was, Seamus White; Paddy Carey, John McGrath, John Cotter; Paddy Clifford, Ned Monagahan , John Joe Harrington; Ned Coughlan, Jimmy Clancy; Tim Mulcahy Mick O Brien Kevin O Connor; Colman O Brien, Johnny Sweeney, Tom Monaghan. Michael Noonan was introduced as a sub during the game. The game was refereed by Fermoy man Derry Gowen. Mitchelstown’s novice team also created their own bit of history with the assistance of six of the successful minor team won the club its first North Cork Novice championship when they defeated Kilshannig 2-07 to 3-01 in the final
Team Seamus White; Michael Hanley, Jimmy Skinner, John Cotter; Pat Conway, Ned Monaghan, Michael Reidy; Jimmy Clancy, G Caplice; Colman Curley, Do Smith, Tim Mulcahy; Paddy Clifford, Denis Finn, Lala Piggott, Subs Pat Tobin, Ned Barry, J Sheehan, Michael Keane, Michael Dunne, Pat Dunne, Tommy White, Paddy Carey. The Blackthorn’s met St Finbarr’s in three consecutive county finals 1959, 60 and 61.
1960 Minor County Football Champions
Back Row: Pat Moynihan, Maurice Fahy, Paddy Carey, Paddy Clifford, John McGrath, Ned Coughlan, Ned Monaghan, Tim Mulcahy, Mickey Condon, Tom O’Dea, Ger Cotter, Jimmy Skinner, Jackie Barrett.
Front Row: Seamie White, Johnny Sweeney, John Joe Harrington, Tom Monaghan, Mick O’Brien (Capt.), John Cotter, Jimmy Clancy, Kevin O’Connor, Johnny Kavanagh
Sitting: Hillary Noonan and Colman “Colie” O’Brien.
Children: Dave & Billy Barrett with Liam Lyons kneeling