One, however, has proven especially elusive: an All-Ireland club medal. On Sunday, Carey will be hoping to reach the Leinster club final for the first time when his Young Irelands meet Wexford champions Rathnure.
Reigning Leinster and All-Ireland champions Birr should have little difficulty against St. Mullins of Carlow in the other semifinal.
There are also hurling semifinals in Munster on Sunday, when Sixmilebridge of Clare play Cork champions Blackrock and Waterford champions Mount Sion play either Thurles Sarsfields or Mullinahone of Tipperary. And there are football quarterfinals and semifinal games in all four provinces on Sunday.
Dickie Murphy, one of the top hurling referees in Ireland, has a new job. Murphy and former Wexford star Martin Quigley will work as selectors with new Wexford senior hurling manger John Conran. The trio previously had a successful spell together in charge of the Wexford Under-21 team. But Murphy, who took charge of four All-Ireland Finals in the 1990s, says he has no intention of giving up refereeing.
“My first obligation will naturally be to the Wexford senior hurling team, but I don’t intent giving up refereeing,” said Murphy, a postman in Enniscorthy. “Under the system introduced two years ago, referees for provincial intercounty championship games come from outside the province. In regards to National League games, the policy now being adopted by the GAA is to use those games to blood new referees. Last year, I refereed only two League games over the entire campaign, so there shouldn’t be any difficulty next year in being an intercounty referee and a Wexford selector.”
Meanwhile, Michael Doyle, son of the legendary John of Holycross fame, is the new Tipperary hurling manager. Doyle takes over from the departing Nicky English and will work with just two selectors, Liam Sheedy and Kevin Fox.
In Offaly Padjoe Whelahan, who has had great success at club level with Birr, Nenagh Eire Og and Toomevara, acknowledged that he has been interviewed for the county job. But the five-man committee has also interviewed other candidates and it may be a few more weeks before we know who will take over at the helm in the Faithful County from Fr. Tom Fogarty.
And two more names have entered the race for the Tyrone senior football job. Former Derry star Peter Doherty and Tyrone minor manager Liam Donnelly have joined to race to take over from Eugene McKenna and Art McRory. McKenna is also a runner on his own this time, as are Tryone U-21 manager Mickey Harte and Brian McIver, who has had success with club side Ballinderry.
Graham Geraghty, who quit playing Gaelic football with Meath to concentrate on rugby, is impressing his new coach. Geraghty, who returned to play for Ireland against Australia in the International Rules last month, has been lining out for Buccaneers this season. Geraghty has yet to start a League game for the club, but he has done well in other games.
“Graham is a very good athlete,” Buccaneers coach John McKee said recently. “He’s very quick, competitive, athletic, has excellent hands and has scored some good tries. We have done a lot of work with him, particularly on tackling and in contact situations and I have been pleased by his progress.”
It has been an amazing year for young Limerick hurler Andrew O’Shaughnessy. The 17-year-old was in the news last week when he became the youngest-ever player to take part in the Railway Cup competition when he came on as sub for Munster in the final against Leinster at Nowlan Park.
Last summer, O’Shaughnessy became the youngest player to line out in the Munster hurling championship when he came on as sub for Limerick in the semifinal against Tipperary. Also this year, he won his second All-Ireland U-21 medal with Limerick and he also won a Limerick minor championship medal with his club, Kilmallock, and an All-Ireland colleges medal with St. Colman’s of Fermoy. In the county minor final, he scored 4-9 of Kilmallock’s total of 4-11. And in a recent Dr. Harty Cup game for St. Colman’s, he scored 5 goals and 3 points.
CLARE’S LYNCH PROMOTED
Clare midfielder Colin Lynch has been appointed as the county’s Games Promotion officer. Lynch has replaced the outgoing GAA coach in Clare, David Hoey, who is starting his own business. Lynch will now devote much of his time to both the promotion and coaching of hurling to children in primary schools in the Banner county. He will also involved with Cumann na mBunscoil and will spearhead an extensive program to encourage youngsters to play hurling.
BEGLEY BACK WITH
New Limerick hurling manager Dave Keane doesn’t appear to have any problem with dual players and Brian Begley, one of the counties’ best-known dual players, has now rejoined the football squad. Former Limerick hurling manager Eamonn Cregan forced Begley to opt for hurling or football and the Mungret clubman decided to concentrate on hurling. But now Begley is included on the Limerick football squad, which has already commenced training for next year’s National Football League campaign.
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LONGFORD WIN APPEAL
Longford Town have got back the nine points deducted by the Eircom League when it was discovered they hadn’t got international clearance for their Trinidad international, Avery John. Longford made a successful appeal to the FAI and have now climbed back up the table to fourth place. But it always seemed a bit harsh on Longford as John had earlier played for Shelbourne and Bohemians in the Eircom League.
The women’s Gaelic football has secured vital sponsorship for the National League campaign, which has just begun. Suzuki will sponsor the League and the final next April will be shown live on TG4 for the first time.
GAA HONORS FOR
Armagh captain Kieran McGeeney and Kilkenny’s Henry Shefflin walked away with the biggest-ever prizes awarded to a GAA player at a dinner in Dublin last Friday. Both players got new Seat Leon cars after being voted the Gaelic Players Association’s Player of the Year in football and hurling. On Nov. 29 we will have the Vodafone All-Star awards and both players will probably be honored again. The 2002 All-Star winners will get a short break in San Diego.
Meanwhile, GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell says that progress has been made in recent negotiations with the GAA.
“We are not looking for pay for play, but we are looking for a better deal for players,” he said. “We believe it can be achieved and we will work hard on it over the coming months and years.”
Mick McCarthy did appear on RTE’s “Late Late Show” last Friday, 24 hours after long lines of people waited patiently outside Eason’s in Cork to get Roy Keane’s autograph. McCarthy said that the decision to send home Keane home from the World Cup had changed his life irreversibly, but seemed taken aback when host Pat Kenny asked him if he felt sorry for Keane.
“Feel sorry, yeah, he is breaking my heart,” McCarthy said, joking. “The door to the World Cup was left open at all times and it was slammed shut by Roy, not by me. Maybe we should have hit each other. It would have sorted everything out once and for all, people would have probably have paid money to see that.”
Meanwhile, the speculation from England at the weekend was that Keane would not play for Ireland again, but the player’s mother told the Irish edition of the Daily Mirror last week that her son definitely wants to wear the green again. Some cynics are even suggesting that the FAI should ask Roy Keane who he wants as Irish manager.
Also, former Manchester United star Bryan Robson was last week installed as favorite to take over from McCarthy as Irish manager. Robson, who had an unsuccessful spell in charge of Middlesbrough, has made it known that he is interested in the job and is reported to be going on the line that he can handle Keane better than anybody else.
Former Irish international Joe Kinnear, now managing Luton Town, is probably the real favorite, but there is growing support for current Republic Youth team manager Brian Kerr. Kerr had a spell in charge of St. Patrick’s Athletic in the League of Ireland, but the fact that he has not managed a bigger, professional club could diminish his chances.
With Don Givens taking over as caretaker manager for the friendly against Greece on Nov. 20, the FAI have set Jan. 1 as the deadline to appoint a new boss.
BOOK BEARS CARR
Every day on radio phone-in shows in Ireland we hear sad stories from adults who were adopted and who were often unable or obstructed when trying to trace their birth mother. There seems to be very few people trying to trace their father. Last weekend, former Irish amateur golf champion Joe Carr revealed that he was adopted 80 years ago. Carr’s real name was Joe Waters and he was born in Inchicore in South Dublin, not Portmarnock in North Dublin, as we were led to believe. A week after Carr was born, his mother, Margaret Mary, gave up her fifth child to her sister Katherine, who had suffered a miscarriage. Carr’s adoptive parents were stewards at the Portmarnock Golf Club and hence the great interest in golf for their adopted son. The details, which were never made public up to now, are revealed in a new book on Carr’s life.