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Star Sheila in hallowed Hall

SHEILA WALLACE used to sell programmes outside Croke Park. Her father and grandfather were on the stiles there.

She would later captain Dublin at HQ. They say she was one of the best defenders of her era.

The records agree. Not many have kept Angela Downey scoreless.

The story goes that one day Sheila was sticking to Angela like a green-shield stamp. The top Cat wasn't tasting any cream, or indeed even a saucer of milk.

Yet when Sheila was taken off her, Dublin's hall-door began to open wide. That's how good a woman-marker she was.

She has lived all her life in Dalkey. She loves the place. Often on a Sunday morning, her parents would take the number 8 from the village into town and board the train to whatever county Sheila and Dublin were playing in.

She became involved in administration. She was once the secretary of the Dublin Junior Camogie Board.

On her way to meetings, Sheila would write the minutes of the previous week's meeting in a café off O'Connell Street. There must have been something special in those cup-cakes and tea!

Sheila would go on to the highest office in the sport, becoming director-general in the big house. She remained in the post for almost a quarter-of-a-century. She brought camogie into the modern era. She was in office for the camogie centenary. The sport owes her a hundred-thousand thanks.

She has one of the sharpest brains in the game. When Dublin last won the All-Ireland Senior Championship title in 1984, Sheila was on the management crew.

She carries lightly her days in the Dublin and Leinster jerseys. She carries her beloved Cuala in her heart, and she'll tip-toe gently along the corridors of Dublin's Hall of Fame.


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