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O'Keeffe Clan

Gathering and Rally

9, 10 and 11 Sept 2016

guided tours, lectures

historical and genealogical exhibitions

cultural and musical events,

buffet banquet Saturday evening
Padraig O Caoimh 1897-1964

Padraig O Caoimh son of Michael and Mary O Keeffe, born in Co. Roscommon on 9th Dec. 1897, but he was raised in Cork city and educated in CBS, Sullivan’s Quay and the Presentation College Cork. He went to London to train as a teacher in 1916 to 1918, he came back to teach at the Presentation College, Cork. From a young age he played Gaelic football, he was one of the founding members of Nemo Club which is Nemo Rangers today. He left his teaching career to become an officer of the 2nd Battalion, Cork and he also worked with the Government bureau, Cork. He was sympathetic to the anti- Treaty side of the Civil War. He was sentenced to prison for Fifteen years in Parkhurst London, Ó Caoimh was released the year after the 1921 Anglo Irish Treaty.   

He was very involved in the GAA in Cork and became the secretary of the county board in 1920, he was a renowned referee. He is considered to be the creator of the GAA organisation as we know it today, he was responsible for organising finances, construction of pitches in every parish, and expansion of clubs right across the country. O’ Caoimh knew the only way the GAA’s future could prosper was to keep the young people interested. He introduced the Railway cups and the National leagues and minor championships, he successfully organised the 1947 all Ireland senior football final in New York. He encouraged Irish in the organisation and underlined the importance of the GAA to the Irish Diaspora. His yearly reports as secretary showed his firm patriotic views.

He served on many boards and committees, such as the National Industrial and Agricultural Association, the Gaelic League, Board Failte and in 1958-59, he sat on a commission to examine establishing state controlled television broadcasting that keep the Irish traditional Cultural alive, and he was also a member of the National Film Institute.

He married Peg O’ Keeffe Of Tallow, Co. Waterford with whom he had six children, they lived in Dublin. The GAA commissioned a portrait of O’ Caoimh by Sean O’ Sullivan in 1955 on his silver jubilee as general secretary.

The main GAA playing ground in Cork City is called Pairc Ui Chaoimh in honour of Padraig O’ Caoimh,

He was in bad health for a period of time and subsequently passed away in Dublin on 15-05-1964 and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.


Patricia O’ Keeffe, Newmarket.