O'Connor and O'Sullivan putting Knocknaheeny on the map for all the right reasons 1 month ago

O'Connor and O'Sullivan putting Knocknaheeny on the map for all the right reasons

This girl loves the bones of her club.

And you won't take that away from her.


The players, the administrators, the care-taker and the grounds-man. The juveniles. The men's team. The ticket sellers and the promoters. The lotto co-ordinators and the trustees.

Over the course of a short chat with the PwC player of the camogie finals, almost every last one of them get a mention at one stage or another.

The care-taker Vincent Stokes gets a speical one.

Amy thinks about the days when, twice or three times, she'd ask him to open the gates of St Vincent's pitch for her. No bother at all Amy. Is there anything else I can do for you? Do you want me to open the ball-alley? Do you need a few more sliotars?


St Vincent's is a junior club that plays out of the Knocknaheeny suburb in north Cork. The club only has small numbers and, outside of it, Amy admits that the area 'doesn't have the best reputation in the world.'

6 August 2022; Amy O'Connor of Cork celebrates after scoring her side's fourth goal, and her hat-trick, during the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Camogie Championship Premier Senior Final match between Waterford and Cork at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

But in the last two months it had Amy O'Connor and it also had Denise O'Sullivan, the midfielder on the Irish women's soccer team.


It could claim the two of them, it could talk about the two of them and it could look up to the two of them.

It celebrated the two of them in some style.

Amy captained Cork to the All-Ireland camogie title and when she stood on the steps, delivering her Hogan Stand speech, the one thing you couldn't but notice was the appreciation this girl has for her club. Her small little club.

"I was looking down into the crowd that day," Amy tells us, "young girls only nine or ten. It was great to have them realise that you can do things like this even though you're from right now a junior club."


"Some years we don't have certain teams at certain age groups which is a huge shame.

"It can be hard at times.

"We had championship the other night and while some teams might have a panel of 30, we're definitely not one of those teams.

"But I think of all of those people who put in so much time and effort. My club is very important to me."

Almost as important as she is to her club.


"In our area, we've had a great few weeks," Amy tells us.

"We had Denise O'Sullivan at the World Cup, you know, she only lives a couple of minutes from me. So it's great for young people to see what's possible when you put your mind to it."

"My man works in the Supervalu that Denise's mam shops in so they'd see each other regularly and they'd always be chatting about how Denise is getting on, how I'm getting on..."

Denise O'Sullivan

Amy could well have been in Australia with her, having played underage soccer for Ireland with the likes of Megan Connolly and Katie McCabe.

But this is a girl who has no regrets.

"No, it was nice to watch. It was brilliant that everywhere you looked you saw female soccer players.

"But I was focusing solely on camogie, I had no thoughts on that (what might have been.)

"I made that decision to choose camogie a long time ago and it's a decision I'm very happy with.

"There were times when I sat down and watched the games, and I'd be chatting to my mam and dad the odd time saying what if? But no, very happy with my decision.

And as always, it all comes back  to Knocknaheeny.

"It's brilliant to see Denise on the world stage, showing the talent that she is. It was brilliant for the area, especially because our area doesn't always have the best reputation.

"And I have noticed it (things picking up.)

"I saw my neighbours with a hurley in their hands the day I brought the cup back, and I'd never seen that before.

"You're seeing more kids with soccer balls too since the world cup! Obviously I want them to be playing hurling but that they're playing at all is a great thing.

"Even the buzz around my club at underage and even at senior men's level, it's been remarked that they got a great buzz out it too which is huge.

"There were signs of Denise and me, and it's so good for our area, yes it doesn't have the best reputation in the world, but good things do come from here."

Isn't that the main thing.

23 August 2023; Cork camogie player Amy O'Connor with her Player of the Month Finals award at the PwC offices in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile