University College Cork initiated its centenary celebrations of sporting heritage today with the launch of the book, “Where Finbarr Played – A Concise Illustrated History of Sport in University College Cork, 1911-2011”.
Commissioned by UCC to commemorate the purchase of the Mardyke Athletic Grounds in December 1911, the book was written by the University Historian, Emeritus Professor John A. Murphy.
“Sport has been the lifeblood of University College Cork since its foundation, and for the past 100 years, the Mardyke has been the home of sport in UCC. It is fitting that our centenary celebrations begin with the publication of this book by Emeritus Professor of Irish History and University Historian, John A. Murphy. This book provides a thoroughly engaging history of over 100 years of sport in UCC. We are looking forward to a year of sport-themed events and capital developments that will celebrate the Mardyke’s transformation to a truly world-class sports facility”, said Dr. Michael Murphy, President of UCC.
A series of world-class events and capital developments are planned for the year ahead to mark UCC Sport 1911-2011, including the official opening of the newly extended Mardyke Pavilion, an Exhibition of Sports Photographs & Artefacts, an international Olympic Conference, the announcement of elite Sports Scholarships as well as several national and international intervarsities and sporting fixtures.
Ronan O’Gara, who studied at UCC and who recently celebrated a personal milestone of 100 caps of European Cup Rugby, was delighted to participate at the 100 year celebrations of UCC Sport 1911-2011. Sports broadcaster, Bill O’Herlihy, was also in attendance at the event and commented, “The publication of the book is timely because it underlines UCC’s understanding of the role sport plays in the development of the individual and, more broadly, the university’s commitment to the community in providing excellent sports facilities which have been enjoyed by generations.” The author of the book “Where Finbarr Played – A Concise Illustrated History of Sport in University College Cork, 1911-2011”, Professor John A. Murphy said of his latest book, “I have tried to evoke the particular atmosphere of sport in UCC over the century; the ethos of the individual clubs; the colourful personalities involved; and UCC’s relationship in sport with the wider community.”
The UCC Sport 1911-2011 centenary celebrations acknowledge the legacy of sporting success at UCC, but also aim to honour and inspire the current and future generations of University athletes and sports people. The Mardyke complex represents truly world-class sporting facilities and continues to enhance the positioning and reputation of UCC as a leading university for sport both in Ireland and internationally.