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Fri 01-Oct-1999 0:00
More from this writer..
Kilkenny Footballer in Championship Shock...
An Fear Rua was delighted to note that the officials of Kilkenny County Board have taken his advice... (See An Fear Rua # 11)
They have managed at last to field a footballer in a Leinster Senior Championship! Unfortunately, it was in hurling rather than Gaelic football and the man in question was Paddy Mullally from the historic and tightly-knit South Kilkenny village of Glenmore. No disrespect to Paddy, a fine captain of the county football team, nor to the extremely closely-knit community in Glenmore. While his selection is welcome, it is not enough. On the other hand, perhaps the officials of Gaeldom in the Nore-side county intend Paddy as a kind of down payment, or first instalment, on fielding a full Gaelic football team in the Leinster Senior Championship. This would be a novel concept - a wing forward this year, maybe a goalie and centrefield next year and so on, until a full Kilkenny senior football team takes the field in a senior championship. Starting with Paddy this year, that means we might see a full Kilkenny senior football team taking part in the Leinster senior championship of say, 2010!
In ainm Dé, but isn't it an awful thing entirely to say that one of the leading GAA counties can field hurling teams - minor, under-21, senior, intermediate, junior and so on - to beat the band, but they cannot find twenty two players worthy of pulling on the famed black-and-amber in the Leinster Senior Football Championship? Look at their neighbours Carlow, who strive manfully each year to produce senior teams in both codes, with only a fraction of their resources or their Suirside neighbours, Waterford, who manage to do the same.
Anyway, with the way things are going, the GAA in Kilkenny have more interesting dilemmas on their hands. One of the county's leading camogie stars is a finalist in the Miss Ireland competition. As he sipped his whiskey and chaser last evening, An Fear Rua overheard some of the wide boys in Ma Molloy's Drinking Emporium speculating on where she might secrete the hurley in her swimsuit during the final judging. There hasn't been as much interest in a camogie player around these parts since Gertie McDonnelly, full forward on the senior Gowlnacalley-Johh Redmonds ladies team, came third in the heat for the title of Tipperary Queen of the Plough. And, An Fear Rua dimly recalls, in Gertie's case the word 'heat' was apt alright...
Still, Deirdre O'Sullivan is a gorgeous twenty-two years old blonde who plays at centre field for the renowned Graigue-Ballycallan club. If they overcome Lisdowney in the county semi-final, Deirdre will have to choose between stripping off in Nowlan Park for the county final or doing more or less the same thing in a glitzy Dublin venue, because the two events clash. She herself is clear that she will go for the Miss Ireland title, having already bagged a few senior county medals and narrowly missed an All Ireland medal against Linda Mellerick's great Cork team of a few years back, and she is back on this year's county panel.. But you get only one chance to become Miss Ireland.
If the lads and lassies organising that festival of female pulchritude have any sense they'll make Deirdre Miss Ireland by acclamation. That would give her the chance to hold her crown aloft and utter the immortal words: 'Is mór an onóir dom an choróin seo a ghlacadh thar cheann Contae Chill Chainnigh....'
An Fear Rua understands there is no truth in the rumour that Kilkenny County Board have been inundated with applications for the position of physio to the county camogie team. However, with Deirdre in the panel, attendances (among other things) are set to soar at Nowlan Park and even Paddy Mullally and the football lads will find it hard to match the attraction...
Now there's a thought. Kill two birds with the one stone... Revive the flagging fortunes of Kilkenny senior football and let Deirdre tog out with lads in next year's Leinster Senior Football Championship...
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Mass, the Mater, ‘The Dergvale’ and Mullingar…
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