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Finuge proudly behind Eamonn Og

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Finuge officers Anne Marie O'Sullivan and Bridget Liston, secretary, at their club grounds in North Kerry on Wednesday. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Finuge officers Anne Marie O'Sullivan and Bridget Liston, secretary, at their club grounds in North Kerry on Wednesday. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Eamonn Fitzmaurice

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Finuge officers Anne Marie O'Sullivan and Bridget Liston, secretary, at their club grounds in North Kerry on Wednesday. Photo: Don MacMonagle

IT IS usually an unenviable task for club officers, dividing out the All-Ireland tickets and who is getting them.

But with an allocation of 130, Finuge GAA Club is happy and club chairwoman Ann Marie O'Sullivan and secretary Bridget Liston were about to deliver the good news to all paid-up members of the club that they were sorted for Sunday and had a ticket.

The north Kerry village has no school or church, and only has a population of only around 220, but has produced some of the finest footballers to ever wear the green-and-gold jersey.

Since 1973, a Finuge man has lined out as part of the Kerry team in 11 out of the 14 All-Ireland finals the county has participated in.

The wall of fame outside the club grounds includes the names Paul Galvin, Jimmy Deenihan, Eamonn Breen, Enda Galvin and Maurice and Pat Corridan.

And while they don't have a player on the senior panel this year, it is also the home club of Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice.

"We did not expect that Kerry was going to be in an All-Ireland final in our first year in office and we'd be in this position giving out tickets, but it's lovely to see Eamonn get this far," Ms O'Sullivan said.

"Everyone in the club is so proud of Eamonn Og. He's a very unassuming person and we all look up to him and he's the one you could always turn to for advice on anything to do with the club."

Ms Liston says the excitement around the village in palpable and they're also shouting for Darragh Shanahan from the next parish, Lixnaw, who plays football with Finuge, and is on the Kerry minor panel. The two clubs from adjoining parishes amalgamate, and Finuge players play hurling with Lixnaw.

"We don't have a church or a school in Finuge so the sports field really is our community hub and where people meet. Everything happens here," Ms Liston said. "As soon as children are old enough they're picking up a ball and heading to the field."

Irish Independent