I notice all the talk about Ciaran Kilkenny’s return is about the impact he will have on Dublin football. First of all let me say it is wonderful to have him back.He was a star hurler before he made it in football. He was the main reason Castleknock won the All-Ireland Hurling Feile a few years ago. I have no doubt that he will want to play hurling for his club and his county. It is impossible to play both hurling and football at intercounty level these days. I have no doubt that that he could make all the difference between Dublin being All-Ireland Hurling Champions and just also rans. Conal Keaney was taken away from hurling in his prime and while it is great to have him back now, he will never be the hurler he could have been. I sincerely hope that Ciaran doesn’t end up the same way.
Dublin GAA comprises both hurling and football.The county Chairman needs to facilitate a situation where some compromise is made so that Ciaran can hurl as well. The only reasonable compromise I can imagine is if he is encouraged to give his full attention to football one year and to hurling the following year. He is such a talent that he would not fall behind in either sport. The same compromise could be used for very talented dual players like Cormac Costello.
Dublin have lost two All-Ireland u-21 hurling finals in the last 7 years. It is time now to win one. Hopefully both Ciaran and Cormac will be available to play under 21 hurling for the next two years. In the past talented dual players gave a lot of their time warming the benches at football games and were not allowed to play hurling even though they were not in the first twenty for football. Again I believe that good leadership from the top can make a big difference here to ensure that Dublin GAA prospers.
Tóg go bog é