THE STORY OF KILCULLY CAMPSITE
We record here for the first time how the story of Kilcully campsite evolved. It all began in August 1968 when Mr. Hubert O’Donovan (St. Patrick’s Committee) called on the then Diocesan Commissioner Walter McGrath to call a special meeting of the Diocesan Council to discuss the acquisition of a property 2 ½ miles from Cork as a permanent campsite. The auctioneers details were supplied giving particulars of the 12 acre farm including House which was on offer for £12, 000. To put the price in context, a 3 bed roomed house in Earlwood Estate, The Lough would have cost £2, 200 at the time.
Kilcully Shield 1969
Over the next three months three special meetings were held at Brown Street Scout Hall and 23 Washington Street. At the helm were J. N. Coakley Chairman, Rev. Donal O’Ceallacháin Diocean Chaplain and W. McGrath Diocesan Commissioner with the principal advocates of the scheme being Hubert O’Donovan and Councillor John McCarthy.
The first site visit by various representatives of City Parishes was on the 3rd November 1968. He group were received by Mr. Dick Murphy (owner) and were shown around the two fields and the interior of the house. This was followed by a meeting/luncheon at the Imperial Hotel on Thursday 5th December with Mr. Terry Stewart, Manager of Ivernia. Mr. Stewart was very enthusiastic about the project and promised every support in getting a Bord Fáile grant. The first recorded walk from the grotto in Blackpool was on St. Stephen’s day of that year. Mr. McGrath recorded that he was accompanied by Frank Looney, Liam Howe and Anthony Duffy and that the return journey took 90 minutes.
In early 1969 the following trustees were appointed. Hubert O’Donovan, Cllr. John McCarthy, John A. Twomey, S. P. Roche B.E., Jerh O’Mahoney and Walter McGrath. A Deposit of
£3, 000 was lodged with the solicitor for the vendor.
First Camp at Site
The Diocesan Shield weekend for 1969 had been fixed for Fota, but grave difficulties arose over the selected weekend. No trains would be running due to alterations at Tivoli bridge. Ger Horgan of the 37th Cork put forward the idea of holding the competition at Kilcully and with two weeks to go and the cooperation of the owner Dick Murphy, the venue was switched. Der Healy of the 34th Cork was the principal examiner for the competition. Twenty troops competed in the competition and the Shield was won by the 8th Cork (North Cathedral) with the 17th Cork (Blackrock) in second place.
Orienteering at Kilcully
Over the next few months arrangements were being made of the 2nd National Orienteering Competition to be held at the site. Preliminary discussions were also taking place to hold a Bazaar at the City Hall which was seen as a major fundraiser. The Bazaar was held from the 3rd to the 6th December and the accounts show a net profit of £5, 274 which was a colossal sum of money at that time.
KILCULLY DEEDS HANDED OVER - Farmer Dick Murphy (on left) handing over the deeds of Kilcully at a well attended ceremony in April 1970 to Camp Chief Donal Murphy (no relation). Seen in the photograph are Walter McGrath, Diocesan Commissioner, Hubert O'Donovan, founder of Kilcully Campsite and seated from left, Fr. Whyte, John A. Twomey, Director, Fr. Tom Clancy, Canon Denis Forde P.P. Glanmire, Paddy Duggan, Chairman and Fr. William Dinneen, Diocesan Chaplain.
Info Kindly Added by David P Barry