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Brian Dillon

Born in 1830, lived through the Famine years and became an ardent nationalist. He was appointed a Fenian leader in Cork by James Stephens, the head of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

Under Dillon's supervision the Fenian recruits drilled on the Fair Field and at Rathpeacon and were hoping for a rebellion in 1865 when the Fenians were at their strongest.

In September that year a surprise police swoop saw Fenian leaders arrested, among them James Stephens and O'Donovan Rossa in Dublin and Brian Dillon in Cork.

Brian Dillon was sentenced to ten years penal servitude in England but ill-health led to his release after five years. He received a massive home-coming but he died a year later. He was 42.

Today his name is inscribed in the National Monument on the Grand Parade and in street names like Brian Dillon Park and Brian Dillon Crescent and we are very proud to honour his memory in our century-old club.

The Beginning

After the imposing tablet was placed on Brian Dillon's home in 1909 a group of nationalists met in Miss O'Sullivan's public house - were Paddy Power's book-keeping shop stands today - and decided to form a hurling club honouring Brian Dillon.

The club was affiliated in 1910 and reached their first city final the same year. They met Sunday's Well who had the famous Sean Og Murphy with them before he joined the 'Rockies and led Cork to All-Ireland glory. Among the Brian Dillon players was Fan Barry who later won an All-Ireland senior medal in 1919 the first year Cork wore the red and white colours. Another notable hurler was David Goodchild.

Dillon's lost the 1910 final but five years later they won both the city and county championship. Regrettably, there was a delay in distributing the county medals and five Blackpool men who played for Dillon's in the 1915 Final became impatient and decided to start their own club at the other side of the Glen. They called the new club Glen Rovers.The medals were eventually given to the Blackpool men and, many years later, one of the players Robbie Barry requested that the 1915 medal be returned to Brian Dillon's after his death.

Dillon's continued to be successful in the early years but when Sars went out of existence in 1918 Fr Tim O'Connor of St Joesph's persuaded Dillon's to amalgamate with Riverstown and St Joesph's, a team based around Rice's Lane. They became the new Sars but the amalgamation only lasted about ten years and Dillon's reformed in 1931.

One of the men who helped the club to be re-affiliated was the famous

         The Brian Dillons Hurling, Football and Camogie club is named after the great Irish patriot, Brian Dillon. Born in 1830,Brian Dillon lived through the Famine years and became an ardent nationalist. He was appointed a Fenian leader in Cork by James Stephens, the head of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Under Brian Dillons supervision, the Fenian recruits drilled on the Fair Field and at Rathpeacon and were hoping for a rebellion in 1865 when the Fenians were at their strongest.    In September of that year,a surprise Police swoop saw Fenian leaders arrested,among them, James Stephens and O"Donovan Rossa in Dublin and Brian Dillon in Cork.          Brian Dillon was sentenced to ten years penal servitude in England but, ill-health led to his release after five years. He received a massive home -coming but, due to his worsening ill-health,he died a year later. He was 42.          Today his name is inscribed with all the other great Irish Nationalists, in the National Monument on the Grand Parade,in Cork and also in street names like Brian Dillon Park , Brian Dillon Crescent and,of course, Dillons Cross where his family home was located.           Some years after his death, a splendid Celtic Cross was erected over his grave at Rathcooney and for many years annual pilgrimages were made to the cemetery.  During the Manchester Martyrs commemorations every November, Dillons tomb,in common with the graves of other leading Fenians,was frequently decorated with floral tributes.          In 1909 ,a plaque ,to commemorate Brian Dillon was unveiled on the house where he lived at the cross roads between Ballyhooley Road and Old Youghal Road with thousands assembled to witness the unveiling. The cross roads was known as Barrack"s Cross but, by popular demand was changed to Dillons Cross shortly after the unveiling of the plaque on Brian Dillons house.         Ten years after the plaque had been unveiled Dillon"s Cross became a focal point of the Black and Tan war. An ambush,in Dillons Cross, of Auxiliary British soldiers, on their way to to the Barracks, now known as Collins Barracks, ied to one of the most outrageous of all Black and Tan reprisals- the burning of Cork city.         The first building to be set alight ,by the Tans was Brian Dillons home, in Dillons Cross, which was later brought to the ground by a tank-like vehicle, and several other houses at the Cross were set on fire before the Tanks moved into town to set aflame the City Hall,the Carnegie Library and many other buildings in Patrick Street.         Those incidents of December 11th,1920, along with other historic events,the same year,were instrumental in helping to establish a Truce, a Treaty and the removal of  British Forces from the 26 counties.  Compensation for the damage done by the Tans was later provided by the British government and fine new buildings replaced those destroyed. An imposing new building on the site of Brian Dillon"s home replaced what had been destroyed in 1920. A plaque  to replace the original,which had come crashing to the ground on that unforgettable night in 1920,was also erected on the new building.             Birth Of Brian Dillons Hurling Club.


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