Submitted by Nial McDonnell

Pat Mc Donnell was born on 18th March 1950, the 3rd eldest of a family of 6 (3 boys and 3 girls) to Con and Margaret McDonnell. Having been born into a family with a proud sporting tradition it was inevitable that sport would become part of his life at some stage. He attended Tullig NS which was situated in the parish of Aghabullogue and played U14 hurling with Aghabullogue in 1962 and 1963 as was the rule at the time - Schools Shield Hurling.
At that time Charlie McCarthy, who was a regular visitor, almost nightly, to the McDonnell homestead and an avid supporter of Inniscarra GAA began to inveigle his way into the minds of the McDonnell’s to get Pat to transfer to the Inniscarra Club – ‘parish rule’ - as it was in his native parish. Nobody got away with saying “No” to Charlie and it was no surprise when Pat lined out with Inniscarra in the U14 championships in 1964. Football was also introduced to the Inniscarra club about that time.
Playing Career with the Inniscarra Club
Pat began his playing career with Inniscarra U-14 Football Team in 1964 and this team was narrowly beaten by Blarney in the Mid-Cork Final. He played Hurling and Football at U16/Juvenile Level winning both the Mid-Cork Hurling and Football Championships in 1965 and 1966, captaining the hurlers in 1965 and the footballers in 1966. Success, however, eluded this Inniscarra team at Minor level, beaten in both finals in 1968; Pat missed both finals due to a broken collar bone. They bounced back by winning the U-21 Hurling championship in 1966 and 1969. Inniscarra went on to win the Mid-Cork Junior Hurling championship in 1968 and 1975 when they won the Junior County Championship. Pat was also a member of the successful Junior B Football team that won the Mid-Cork championship in 1970. Pat continued to play both hurling and football for Inniscarra, winning numerous Tournaments with the hurlers, until “Monsoon Sunday” in 1983 finally brought the curtain down on his illustrious playing career. He served as a selector and coach/trainer on various Inniscarra teams at Minor, U-21 and Intermediate level over the next decade achieving tremendous success for the club especially at U-21 level.
Playing Career in the Cork Colours
Pat was first called up to Cork duty in 1968 and he continued to play at the highest level until 1977/78. When winning his first All-Ireland Senior Medal in 1970, the hurley he used was made specially for him by one of his Club mentors Mr Jerh Casey, Vicarstown. He claims it was the best hurley he ever used. Mr Casey always repaired his hurleys and this tradition was later carried on by his son JJ Casey. In 1972, while playing with the Inniscarra Footballers, Pat sustained a serious leg injury which threatened to end his playing career. It ruled him out for the entire 1973 and 1974 seasons.
However, he returned to the Cork Senior Hurling Team in 1975 and was awarded Cork’s Top Player, Club and County, for that year.

His success in the Cork colours is impressive.

Both Munster Minor Hurling and Football Championship Medals in 1968
All Ireland Minor Football Medal – 1968. He played full-back on both teams
Three U-21Munster Hurling Medals – 1969, 1970 and 1971(Captain)
Three U-21 All Ireland Hurling Medals – 1969, 1970 & 1971(Captain)
Munster Intermediate Hurling Medal – 1969
All Ireland Intermediate Hurling Runners-up Medal – 1969
Five Munster Senior Hurling Medals – 1970, 1972, 1975,1976 & 1977
Three All Ireland Senior Hurling Medals - 1970, 1976 & 1977
All Ireland Senior Hurling Runners-up Medal – 1972
National Hurling League Medals – 1970 and 1972
Wembly Hurling Tournament- 1970, 1972 and 1976
Oireachtas Hurling Medals – 1974 (played in’75) , 1975 and 1977
Railway Cup Medal with Munster – 1976
Texaco Sportstar Hurler of the Year – 1970, youngest player to get this award
Captain of the Cork Senior Hurling Team – 1971

Playing Career in the UCC Colours
County Senior Hurling League Medal – 1969.
County Senior Hurling Championship Runners-up Medal – 1969.
County Senior Hurling Championship Medal – 1970.
Two Fitzgibbon Cup Medals – 1971 (Captain) and 1972.
Captain of the Combined Universities Hurling Team in the Railway Cup in 1972.
Playing Career with Muskerry
Pat played senior hurling with Muskerry from 1975 to 1982 with little success. He also served as Muskerry Hurling Selector during the ’80’s and ’90’s.
Rugby Career
Having attended Presentation Brothers College it was inevitable that Pat would try his hand at Rugby sooner or later. This was at the time when Rule 27 was in force. Under that rule any GAA player who played or attended a rugby or soccer game was suspended from the GAA. This led to all sorts of camouflage, playing under false names etc. Players were invariably caught either on camera, newspaper reports or by opposing players who attended these games and spilled the beans. Naturally Pat fell into this trap and was suspended on a few occasions, often at the wrong time of the GAA calendar. He played for Pres at both Junior and Senior level with mixed success, winning 2 Junior Cup Medals in 1965 and 1966 but losing out on the Senior equivalent. In the 1966 final he scored three tries and kicked a penalty from near the half-way line. That day he played under the assumed name of Pat Murphy. He played at No 8 for the Munster Schoolboys Senior Team in the 1968 Interprovincial series.
While in UCC he won a Nunan Cup Medal in 1969/70. He played on a number of teams in UCC including the Junior and Senior Teams. In November 1971 he was selected to play for the UCC Senior Team against an Irish U-23 Selection. On the day prior to the game the UCC Hurling “Officers” insisted that he would travel to Maynooth with the hurlers to play a league game; this was very poor preparation for the following day. A few months later when selected to play in the Munster Senior Cup game it clashed with a Senior Hurling League game with Cork. At that stage he hung up his rugby boots as the demands of juggling GAA and Rugby proved too much, ---- it is difficult to serve two masters.
County Selector
Injury brought his illustrious inter county career to a premature end in 1978. His keen interest continued in the sport he loved and he then turned his attention to administration.

  • He served as a Selector of the 1990 Cork Minor Hurling Team.
  • He was a Selector of the 1996, ’97, ’98 and ‘99 U-21 Cork hurling teams, winning the All-Ireland Finals in 1997 &1998.
  • He also served as a Cork Senior Hurling Selector in 1986, ’87, ’88 and 2002, winning the All- Ireland title in 1986.
Academic and Professional Career
Having attended Tullig NS Pat went on to attend Presentation Brothers College where he completed his Leaving Cert in 1968. He then went on to UCC where he studied Science and graduated with a BSc Hons in 1972. He then took up teaching as a profession and was appointed to St Patricks Girls Secondary School in 1972 where he taught Science and Biology until 1975. He then transferred to Colaiste Iognaid Ris, Deerpark, (Sullivan’s Quay) where he taught until 1980. I n 1980, he transferred to Bishopstown Community School and was appointed Principal there in 1997. He retired as Principal in 2009 after over thirty –seven years in the teaching profession. In addition to his teaching duties, he also dedicated himself to the training and coaching of various school teams.