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Gaels banish title drought

ALMOST half a century. A long time waiting for a bus. But after 48 years Liffey Gaels brought home a Dublin juvenile championship title.

Happy scenes in Parnell Park following their U15 hurling D championship victory over Scoil Uí Chonaill.

An emotional welcome back on the Sarsfield Road, the club's home since 1988.

Plenty of refreshments, reflections and thoughts of the future. The fab 15s will be heroes for much more than a day.

"They are a fantastic group," confirms the Gaels PRO, Frances Brogan. "They have been together for many years now.

"They have worked so hard. Last year they almost won the Féile. But they took the league title.

"They re-grouped for the U15 level and we all have great faith in them. We feel there's a good future there.

"And backed by the U14s, this group of players can do very well going into minor and adult ranks. We'll do everything to help them attain the highest level possible," adds Frances.

The management put in the hours -- Brian Foy, Declan Gregg, Brian Gregg, Wayne Cleary and Niall Swayne.

"Winning a county final is a big, big thing to us," stresses Frances. "It was a lovely day for the club. So many came out to support them."

Sharing in the joy of the achievement was Liffey and Parnell Park icon Rita O'Connor. Rita was so proud the victory came in the ground she loves so much.

And there will be more golden days to savour. That's if chairman Wayne Cleary has anything to do with it. His bright, energetic leadership is getting the job done.

"He's done so much work in terms of club development and going forward," notes Frances. "And he has a brilliant team with him."

Things are on the up at the Gaels. More and more players are coming to play on all the club teams -- hurling, football, camogie and ladies football.

The juvenile department is flourishing. Club GPO Dave Farrelly is a busy man.

The club's website keeps pace with it all. It has more stories than Fox News. A tribute to the dedication of Maeve Foley and Frances Brogan.

"We are no strangers to championship success. Six junior championships have been won in the past eight years," reports Frances.

"The juvenile triumph is a huge boost to everybody. It will give the fellas themselves confidence and it will act as an encouragement to all the other teams that are coming through."

In the final, Brian Gregg Jr got man of the match. His grandfather, Brian Sr, was chuffed. He knows all about the sweat at the coalface.

And that's the kind of industry that's making everything come together in Wayne's world.