ANOTHER day in the sun for Dublin hurling next Sunday. Another brick in the blue wall.
Shay Boland and his Magical Metros will carry the wishes of the county as they tackle Tipp once again. Such exposure to the big-time can only be good for the ancient craft. The more times that Dublin hurling can feature on the silver screen the better.
Declan Feeney is at the coal-face of the game. He knows every round-about on the Dublin GAA circuit. He’s managing the Na Fianna U15 hurlers.
Having a Dublin team in Croke Park on All-Ireland day enhances the imagination and dreams of all the young Dudes.
It helps to put stars in their Blues eyes, planting a seed that might inspire the next generation to follow in the All-Star footsteps of the Famous Five — Bermingham, McMahon, McCrabbe, Maguire and Rushe.
“Dublin hurling has been on the up for the last few years, but it’s not only the senior side that have been having an impact on the county.
“It’s the minors as well, and being part of All-Ireland day is a huge boost for the sport. Everybody was disappointed with the seniors this year, especially after the heroics of last season, but the run of the minors has cheered everybody up,” reflects Declan.
And he predicts that Dublin hurling will get to walk a lot more on the red carpet. “All the work with the Development squads, etc has come to fruition. It augurs well.
“For young players, it’s all about playing hurling. Getting in as many matches as they can. And once a player has the basic tools, they will keep on getting better with game-time. It’s around U15 level that you begin to find out about players.”
Loyal servant Sean sad loss
A MINUTE’S silence for Sean O’Mahony in Croke Park and in Parnell Park, the place he loved so well.
Dublin GAA lost a dear friend with his passing last week. The Donnycarney theatre was his second home. He was part of the fixture and fittings. Sean was from Cork, but he followed the Dubs. And Garda and St Patrick’s of Palmerstown too.
He minded the shillings for the Dublin County Board. Nobody did it better. He also manned the ticket office.
Many Dublin fans over the years would have encountered Sean at the little Parnell Park window before a big match in Croke Park.
He was a brilliant administrator. He brought honesty and integrity to the job. And humour too.
He enjoyed the chat and the banter in the corridors of Parnell Park. And he delighted in the annual mass that remembered those that served. Sean was a first-class Garda. He had a forensic knowledge of the GAA rule book.
In recent times, health wasn’t too kind, but he’d still be making the trip to the Dublin HQ. He’d often stand just outside the pavilion, greeting all-comers, sharing stories and a smile. The old place will miss him.
Twomey on school blitz duty
JOHN TWOMEY was one of the finest hurlers of his era. He played for Dublin under Lar Foley. Today, John is the assistant Garda Commissioner, but he still makes time for the game.
Next Friday he’ll be back in Erin’s Isle presenting the medals at a School Blitz. Eleven primary schools are taking part in the football event which begins at 10am and runs till 1pm.
There will be 17 teams. There will be several pitches in use at Farnham Drive. There will be treats for the kids. Tesco have been kind. So have the local Drugs Task Force.
Hats off to the Gardai for this initiative, and credit Isles too for opening their doors. Maybe in time, some of the children present will, like John Twomey, go on and captain Dublin.
Dessie’s Diamonds have, at last, bridged the gap. Paul played at midfield with the great Jim Stynes. The two used to have mighty jousts at juvenile level when Whitehall met Boden. They played together on the Dublin U14 team. Recently, Jim’s family brought his ashes home from Australia. And he was in many people’s thoughts last Sunday. Not least in the prayers of his good friend, Clarkey.
IF they had a competition for Umpire of the Year, Dublin’s Willie Fallon would top the poll.
The Mearnóg maestro was in action at Parnell Park last Saturday. He turns the role into an art.
His positioning is top-class, and his clear, precise signals would be at home on the tarmac of Dublin Airport.
– Niall Scully