The 1888 County Convention was held at the Mechanics Hall on October 10th. The following were elected:
President – Alderman Eugene Crean
Secretary – David Walsh
Treasurer – J Russell
County Board Members – M Deering, Fr. F O’Connor (St. Finbarr’s), MV O’Crowley (Nils), C Buckley (Blarney), T Twohig, J O’Connor, J Murphy, W Walsh.
The Convention was attended by representatives of 74 clubs and turned out to be a very stormy affair. The delegates split into two factions when the elections were held; the new president was not present when he was elected and it became obvious that the whole thing was organised in advance.
The result was a split in the Association in Cork. Shortly afterwards, St. Finbarr’s, Blackrock, Little Island, Ballyhooly, Emmetts, Ballygarvan and St. Peter & Paul’s were suspended.
An informal meeting of representatives of the suspended clubs and others sympathetic to them led to the formation of a rival city-based board called the Cork Board. Along with the other clubs were Tower Street, Mayfield, Passage, Carrigtwohill, Cove, Davitts, Carrigaline, Shanbally, Tracton and Wm O’Brien’s.
Cork Board Officers:
President – Fr. F O’Connor (St. Finbarr’s)
Secretary – E Hickey
Treasurer – E Fitzgerald (Blackrock)
Committee: T Stanton (Ballygarvan), J de Lacy (Little Island), C Leonard (Tower St.), J O’Riordan (Blackrock), D Drummy (Emmetts), S O’Mahony (Wm O’Brien’s), J Hannigan (St. Peter & Paul’s)
A third board was formed in Mallow catering for most of the clubs in the northern part of the county. This board was mainly formed to cut down on travelling, a serious issue in those days, and was called the O’Brien Board after the well-known parliamentarian who was in Tullamore jail at the time.
O’Brien Board Officers:
President – Fr. J Carver (Castletownroche)
Secretary – J Barret (Mallow)
Treasurer – Fr. C Buckley (Buttevant)
Committee – D Power (Ballywalter), Rev. D O’Connell (Kildorrery), J Maye (Corrin), P Grant (Fermoy), J Nash (Kilbrin), MJ Murphy (Dromtarriffe), P O’Brien (Ballyhea), Rev. P Corbett (Kilworth).
Among the clubs affiliated to the O’Brien Board were Ballyhooley, Bartlemy, Dromtarriffe, Glanworth, Glenville, Castletownroche, Kildorrery, Kilavullen, Mallow, Shanballymore, Fermoy, Rathcormac, Kilworth, Quarterstown, Mourneabbey, Kilphelan, Ballyhea, Buttevant Brigadiers, Banteer, Kilbrin and Castlelyons.
Among the clubs in the northern part of the county who were affiliated to the County Board were Millstreet, Castlemagner, Liscarroll, Ballyclough, Buttevant Nationals, Newtownshandrum and Charleville. At one stage or another, Buttevant, Cove, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Carrigtwohill and possibly others had teams affiliated to more than one Board.
The O’Brien Board was in sympathy with the County Board and it was arranged that the winners of their respective championships would meet in an overall final. Meanwhile, the Cork Board went ahead and organised its own championships in hurling and football.
This situation continued until early 1891, by which time a steady stream of Cork Board clubs had rejoined the County Board. The end effectively came on February 12th when St. Finbarr’s and Blackrock rejoined the County Board, and the O’Brien Board also became defunct a short time later.