Cork Harlequins was founded in 1925, by a group of women employed by Dowdall and O’Mahony, a dairy shop on St Patrick’s Street in Cork, solely as a hockey club. The women had entered a tournament at Church Road in Blackrock and when they took to the pitch, the Captain was asked by the organiser what name should be put on the fixture list. Legend has it, she picked up the ball at her feet, saw it was made by Harlequins of London and the rest they say is history !
With ups and downs over the earlier decades of the club, land was purchased at Farmers Cross in the early 1960s from Dick Young for £900. This was the catalyst for a new dawn for the club.
The club added a cricket section in 1967 and in September 1970 the Lord Mayor of Cork opened the new club pavilion which today houses the club bar.
In the 1970s a new playing pitch was developed, which became the first “grit” playing surface in the Republic of Ireland. More land was purchased from club funds and car parking and the pavilion were extended to include two new dressing rooms, a function hall and a kitchen.
The grit pitch was converted into a sand based astroturf surface in 1987, the second of its kind in the Republic.
The table tennis section was founded in 1972. Harlequins also fielded, at various times, soccer, rugby union and lawn tennis teams during this decade.
In the 1980s and 1990s more land was purchased from Murphys Caravan Park and from the Rolf family to increase the size of the facility. A second astroturf pitch was constructed in 1998, the financial burden of the construction was considerable (approx 750,000).
The first astroturf pitch fell into disrepair and was used as a car park for a period of time. Great efforts were made however by the club to bring this pitch back to its fully glory. With a grant of 135,000 and the help of fantastic fundraising by the club and its members, the club now boasts a resurfaced pitch which was finished in Summer 2016. With two functioning hockey pitches, one of the best cricket facilities in Munster, Cork Harlequins is entering a growth cycle with thriving youth sections particularly in the hockey.
Cork Harlequins Club plays a major role in many people’s lives. It is the hope of all that our great club continues for generations to come so that many more can enjoy the camaraderie and friendships built up in Cork Harlequins.
See our past Presidents and Chairman board here
Honorary Life Members
See our Honorary Life Members board here
See our international honours board here
See our club honours board here