Irish Examiner 11. 08. 1936.
Famous Cork Hurler.
The Late Mr. James Ronayne, Dungourney.
The death of Mr. James Ronayne, Donickmore, Dungourney, has caused widespread and genuine regret throughout East Cork, where he was known not only as the vice-captain of the famous Dungourney hurling team, but also as a very extensive farmer, coming from a family closely associated with Irish history, for more than a thousand years. A glance at an Irish map, prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion, will show that Chief O’Ronayne held sway over a wide extent of South-East Cork, and it is remarkable to note during the centuries of turmoil in Irish history a descendant of the great O’Ronaynes could be fearless, by tenacity, by unshakable fidelity to faith and fatherland triumph over all opposition.
Nowhere were the qualities of the O’Ronaynes better displayed than by James Ronayne on the hurling field. Fearless, tactful, indomitable, tireless in attack, master in defence, practical in outlook, an all-round sportsman in the best sense of the word, he is regarded as one of the greatest hurlers Ireland has produced. All this is summed up in five words uttered by his captain on Saturday, at the graveside:-“He was a wonderful man”. The funeral was of impressive dimensions.
James Ronayne played with the Dungourney team in its many victories and few defeats. He played when the team won the All-Ireland Final in of 1902, beating the London-Irish, an immense throng gathered in Cork City to witness the final. He played in the final of 1907, when Kilkenny won by one point. He was one of those to demonstrate at Fontenoy what skill Irishmen could show in the National game. The Dungourney men worked six days, amused themselves on one. They often walked long distances to the railway station on the morning of an important match, and paid their own expenses. Sixteen of the famous team turned up at Dungourney Church to shoulder their vice-captain to the grave. Sincere sympathy is extended to Mrs. Ronayne, to Sister Patrick, daughter, Ursuline Convent, Waterford, and to the other members of the family of the deceased.
Rev. Father Mortell, Dungourney, officiated at the grave side. The chief mourners were: Mrs Ronayne, (widow); Miss P. Ronayne, (daughter); John and James Ronayne, (sons); Mrs. Byrne, (sister); Roy and Frank Byrne, (nephews); Gorge and Edward Buckley, (brothers in-law); Ml. and William Fitzgerald, (first cousins); Miss Nora Terry, Edmond Terry, Declan Fitzgerald, Edmond Byrne, Mrs. G. Buckley, Mrs. W. Fitzgerald (relatives).
The members of the old Dungourney team present at the graveside were; Jas. Kelleher, Capt.; will Hennessy, Patrick Leahy, Thomas Garde, Jerry Desmond, Ml. Collins, Jack Kelleher, Tom Mahony, John Daly, Wil Daly, Will Aherne, George Buckley, Ned Buckley, Jack Dooly, Patk. Fleming, Tom Fleming, Richard Daly M.C.C. and Eamonn Ahern, M.C.C.