Sam Maguire Park

The Dohenys club has its home in the Sam Maguire Memorial Park, which covers 13 acres of ground just south of the town of Dunmanway.  It consists of two pitches, one full sized and enclosed, with the second being floodlit for training and having an all weather running track.  The main pitch has excellent viewing facilitates on both sides and an electronic scoreboard at the eastern end.  On the western side of the grounds are located four dressing rooms, storerooms, a referee’s room, a car park, a pavilion with a lounge bar, function hall and meeting room, a ball alley and public toilets.  The club is justifiable proud of these facilitates which have been developed over the past fifty years.

The present facilitates are a far cry from those used by the club during the first seventy-five years of its existence.  In its early years the club depended on the generosity of the local landowners.  Thus we find the club playing games in fields in Droumlena, the Clonakilty road, Kilbarry, Direens and Ballyhalwick. However, the wanderings of the club came to an end when it rented a field off the Mollough road from Eric Bernard of the Railway Hotel for the princely sum of £10 per year.  The field was eventually to become the Sam Maguire Park.  In 1938 the Sam Maguire Memorial Committee was with a view to establishing a Park in Dunmanway where gaelic games would be played and which would commemorate the memory of Sam Maguire. 

They decided to buy Bernard’s field, which Dohenys had been using.  Seven acres were purchased at a cost of £650.  In 1956 this committee decided to transfer ownership to the Dohenys club.  In 1957, led by chairman Richard O’Neill, secretary Finbarr Hennessy and treasurer Sean Shorten, the club undertook the development of the field.  Playing activities were transferred to Droumlena Lawn while the field was been levelled and enclosed, much of the work being down by voluntary labour. The grounds were reopened in 1960

Due to the financial constraints no further development took place until 1967 when an imposing semi-circular entrance was constructed.  This was followed by the building of two dressing rooms completed in 1971. Sunday, April 21st, 1974, was a memorable day for the club.  After years of dedicated and hard work by many, G.A.A. President, Dr. Donal Keenan, preformed the official opening of the Sam Maguire Park. 5000 people turned up for the ceremony and the subsequent senior football match between Cork and Kerry.

With a big increase in the number of teams being catered for the club embarked on further development in 1985 with the purchase of 6 acres of land, at a cost of £65000, just east of the existing pitch.  This provided a second pitch, which has been of immense value to the club.  In 1988 a pavilion was opened consisting of a lounge bar, function hall, kitchen and meeting room.  In the mid 1990’s the main pitch was lengthened and widened, the embankment was regarded, and two new dressing rooms, storeroom, and referee’s room were constructed.  Over the last few years a running track was provided in the second pitch and a covered ball alley and public toilets were built

The development that has taken place over the last 50 years is due in no small measure to the magnificent financial support the club has always enjoyed from the people of Dunmanway parish. It is also due of course to the foresight, courage, commitment and dedication of the many people involved in the running of the club’s affairs.  Thanks to them, generations of Dohenys have enjoyed and hopefully will continue to enjoy facilitates which are a fitting tribute to the man who is commemorated, Sam Maguire.