Jimmy Brohan - The Prince of Corner Backs
Munster S.H. championship semi-final, Cork v Waterford, at Thurles, June 7, 2015
Jimmy Brohan was unfortunate to have been a great hurler at a time when Cork were least successful. A regular on the Cork senior hurling team between 1954-1964, his rewards were meagre for a player of his ability.
Born in Ballintemple in 1935 he made his debut in the 1953 National Hurling League and impressed sufficiently to be drafted into the championship panel in 1954. He replaced the injured Tony O'Shaughnessy in the All-Ireland semi-final against Galway but O'Shaughnessy was recalled for the final against Wexford.
A Munster and All-Ireland medal may have been a good start to an inter-county career but during the remaining ten years of his senior period he enjoyed only one other championship success, when he won a Munster medal in 1956, before going down to Wexford in the All-Ireland. He was also on the losing side in four other Munster finals.
Jimmy was regarded as an outstanding corner-back. Christy Ring included him in his greatest ever team. Regarded as a tidy and economical player, his great ability was being able to bat the ball a great distance out of danger to the great frustration of the opposing forwards. He was also very good at catching the ball in the air
Jimmy's impressive talent was first recognised as a student at O'Sullivan's Quay CBS, where he played Harty Cup for three years, 1949-1953, unfortunately without any success. However, he had some consolation when he was picked on the Munster team which won the All-Ireland Colleges in 1952 and 1953. He was a member of unsuccessful Cork minor teams in 1952 and 1953.
Jimmy played his club hurling with Blackrock and made a major contribution to their county success in 1956, when they won the title after a gap of 25 years. In the same year he won a county junior football title with Blackrock's sister club, St. Michael's. He also won a Munster junior football medal in 1957, before losing to a Mayo team, that included Mick Loftus, in the All-Ireland. He won a second Cork senior hurling title in 1961 and also lost two finals..
Probably the greatest tribute to his greatness as a hurler was his Railway Cup record. At a time when selection was extremely competitive, Jimmy was a regular on the Munster team, making the first of seven successive appearances in1957 and winning six medals, missing out in 1962 only when Leinster were victorious.
Jimmy was later a selector on the Cork senior teams that won All-Irelands in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1986, when he had the satisfaction of seeing his nephew, Tom Cashman, captain Cork to victory.
Jimmy's father hailed from Fethard, Co. Tipperary, before going to Cork to work in the Metropole Hotel, where he met his mother, Mary Murphy from Ballintemple. The couple had seven children of whom Jimmy was the middle one. Two of his brothers enjoyed sporting success playing soccer in the League of Ireland.
Jimmy retains a connection with Tipperary through his work as a gatechecker for Munster Council at Semple Stadium.