Tadhg MacCarthaigh Caheragh GAA
The Tadgh MacCarthaigh GAA Club was founded in 1954. The founder members were: Sonny O’Driscoll, Corliss, Tadgh and Tim Daly, Corliss and Paddy and Sean Keohane, Clouncuggar. The first playing fields were in Sonny O’Driscoll’s and Dick Kingston’s of Corliss. The Club won its first ever West Cork Junior 2 Championship in 1958. Since then, their successes included Junior 2 titles in 1968 and 1975 beating Ardfield on both occasions and in 1991 when they beat Kilbrittan. The Club has had successes twice in the Under 21 B Championship, beating Timoleague in 1982 and St. Colums in 1990.
The foundation of the current junior team comes from the success of the under-age club which started in 1984 with the first Under 12 league victory. Victories which followed included the Under 14 championship in 1986 and Under 16 in 1988. In 1991 the minors took the county title beating Cork city club St Vincents in the final. In 1993, the Under 14 team made history, being the first rural team to win the West Cork A Championship and went on to retain the title in the following year.
In 1997 the Club minors won the West Cork A Championship beating O’Donovan Rossas, adding this to the League title won earlier. The minor team went on to win the County A Championship, defeating Carrigtwohill.
Several Caheragh players have won Munster and All-Ireland football medals at under age levels: Donal Keohane (All-Ireland Minor – 1972), Pat Hegarty (All-Ireland Minor – 1991 and All-Ireland Under 21 – 1994), Michael Kingston (Munster – 1992), Michael McCarthy (Munster – 1992), James Kingston (All-Ireland 1993), Tadhg Deasy also played with the Cork Minors in 1996 & 1997, Sean O’Sullivan in 1997 & 1998 and David O’Brien in 1998. Pat Hegarty has played on the Cork County Senior team. Gene O’Driscoll of Corliss has also been selected on the Cork County Senior team.
Four Caheragh players were on the St Fachtna’s (Skibbereen) team that won the All-Ireland Colleges A Final in 1991 – Pat Hegarty, James Kingston, Michael Kingston and Michael McCarthy.
In 1977 the Juniors were beaten in their first Junior 1 Championship by Clonakilty. They reached the semi-final in 1994 and went on to win the West Cork Final in 1995 for the first time – beating Carbery Rangers in a great game. They reached the County Final but were beaten with a depleted team by Glenville. Caheragh made an early exit from the Championship in 1996 but again won the West Cork Championship and “The Little Norah” cup when they beat Ilen Rovers in 1997. They were beaten by Kiskeam by one point in the county semi-final of that year.
The Minor team won the West Cork B Championship in 2001 and were unlucky to lose the County Final to Killeagh / St Itas. In 2002 they again reached the West Cork final but were defeated by Gabriel Rangers.
In 2002 the Junior team again reached the West Cork Junior A final against Diarmuid O’Mathunas on October 13th and the Caheragh team won by two points.
Blessed Thaddeus MacCarthy
Thaddeus was born in 1455 in Caheragh near the old Caheragh Monastery or Bishopland area, his father’s identity is unknown, however, he is claimed as one of the McCarthy Reagh Family. He studied abroad and in Rome in 1482, aged only 26, Pope Sixtus IV, appointed him Bishop of Ross.
Thaddeus came home to Ireland to find that Hugh O'Driscoll had been appointed Bishop of Ross. Hugh O’Driscoll travelled to Rome to denounce the new Bishop and succeeded in having him removed as Bishop of Ross. Thaddeus continued to uphold his claim and after an independent inquiry Pope Innocent VIII declared Hugh O’Driscoll to be the legitimate Bishop of Ross by prior appointment. Two years later, in 1490, Thaddeus was appointed by Pope Innocent VIII as Bishop of Cork & Cloyne on the resignation of William Roche. Unfortunately, political forces opposed his appointment and Thaddeus was forced to return to Rome to sort out the difficulties. The Pope clearly established Thaddeus as the Bishop of Ross.
On his return journey home, Thaddeus travelled as an ordinary pilgrim. One night he sheltered in a pilgrim’s hospice and in the morning a bright light was seen to shine from his room. It was found that Thaddeus had died during the night and the light was light flickering flames coming from his body and the bed he was lying on. On examining his belongings they realised that he was a Bishop and crowds started to gather. It is said that several people were miraculously cured. His body was taken away and brought to the Cathedral to lie in state. He was buried under the altar of St. Eusebius in Ivrea Cathedral.
Many people claim to have been cured by Thaddeus and when his tomb was opened in 1742, 300 years after his death, his body was found to be completely preserved. Pope Leo XIII declared him Blessed on 14th. September 1896. Relics were brought back by the Bishops and are kept in the Cathedrals in Cork and Cloyne.
A special chapel is dedicated to Blessed Thaddeus in Cobh Cathedral along with highlights of his life. A statue of Thaddeus stands at the centre of the altar. A casket underneath contains his relics. On the floor is the coat of arms of Bishop John McCarthy with the Latin inscription: "Blessed Thaddeus, Bishop of Cloyne 1490-92."
(Taken from The History of Caheragh Parish, with kind permission of Donal J. O'Sullivan)