To mark the 50th anniversary of the only ‘Cork’ team ever to win the All-Ireland President’s trophy, Mallow’s triumphant Water Safety Team will be commemorated at Cork County Hall.
Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, along with Cllr. Gearóid Murphy, chair of Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District, will host a civic reception today to honour the Mallow Team and their remarkable achievement in winning the 1968/69 trophy.
The team members representing all of ‘Cork City & County’ in that year’s competition held at St. Vincent’s CBS Pool in Glasnevin, were Jimmy Gyves (Capt.), Manus O’Callaghan, Rory Barrett and Grahame Morphy.
Manus O’Callaghan also endured a tremendous battle to win ‘Best Individual Performance’ on the day by just one third of a point over Dubliner Ray Wickham.
Those magnificent feats were all the more remarkable as they pre-dated the splendid Mallow Swimming Pool complex and it was a time when swimming skills in Mallow were practiced on dry land as well as at the Bulwarks, a well-known local spot on the River Blackwater.
Mallow swimming club had obtained a lease of the Bulwarks area from the Railway Company as far back as 1947, so Mallow has a long tradition of river swimming and water safety dating right back to that time.
It is hoped with Cork County Council’s ongoing and upcoming plans for the development and integration of Mallow Castle with Mallow Town Park that the great amenity of the River Blackwater, which flows through the heart of Mallow, will once again become a lively feature point and return to a hive of activity for locals and visitors alike.
The President’s Trophy win was achieved at a time when water safety was generally very low profile and there was no fanfare upon return, so it is long overdue and more than apt in current times that these extraordinary men finally be celebrated.