Clonakility Food’s new facility in West Cork was the venue for an announcement which signalled a leap forward for Women’s domestic football in Ireland as Cork City Women’s FC formally merged with Cork City FC.
Cork City Women’s FC, who operated as their own separate entity, affiliated themselves with FORAS before the 2014-2015 season and have now fully merged with the men’s side under the Cork City banner.
The Women’s side were founded in 2011 and took part in the inaugural Women’s National League season that same year, finishing 3rd behind Raheny United and eventual Double Winners Peamount.
Along with this announcement, Clonakility Food Co. revealed that they would continue their association with the club which will see them become the main sponsor of the women’s team as well as the men’s team.
“We are delighted to, once again, announce a renewed partnership with Clonakilty Food Co,” said Pat Lyons, Chairman of Cork City FC and FORAS.
“Colette and her team have been strong supporters of the club since we joined forces ahead of the 2012 season, and they have continued to be great partners to our club.
“We have been working more and more closely with Cork City Women’s FC since they affiliated to FORAS in 2014, and that process has now culminated in a full merger.
“The ethos of FORAS is to support and encourage football at all levels in Cork, and the merger of the Women’s team into the club is another positive step in that respect.”
The outgoing chairperson of Cork City Women’s FC, Chris O’Mahony, spoke about the journey the club have travelled from their first season in the Women’s National League in 2011 to winning the Continental Tyres Women’s Senior Cup final last November.
He said: “The club was first granted a licence to compete in the inaugural Women’s National League for the 2011-12 season.
“Since then, we have had our ups and downs but, over the last couple of years since the affiliation with FORAS, we have made a lot of progress, culminating in the club’s first ever FAI Cup triumph last year.
“We are delighted to have the support of FORAS and Cork City Football Club, and also to have Clonakilty Food Co. supporting us by becoming our main sponsor.”
Colette Twomey, Managing Director of Clonakilty Food Co revealed her joy at the continued co-operation between the company and the football club.
“We have had a great journey with Cork City over the last number of years,” she said.
“We were all delighted with the success enjoyed by both the men’s and women’s teams last year, and we are very pleased to be supporting both of them in 2018.
“Community is very important to us here at Clonakilty Food Co., and we share many of the same values as FORAS and Cork City FC.”
The merger wasn’t the only development in women’s domestic football this week as Limerick announced that they would be entering their own women’s team into the WNL for the 2018 season under the Limerick FC banner.
Both of City’s sides return to football in the near future with the men’s side begin the defence of their league title at Richmond Park against St Patrick’s Athletic on the 16th February.
The women’s team commence their season away to Galway on the 11th of March.