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Conall Shaw enjoying life as a Louth inter-county hurler having qualified on parentage grounds


Conall Shaw in action for his club, Fingallians. He is now lining out in the red of Louth.

Conall Shaw in action for his club, Fingallians. He is now lining out in the red of Louth.

Conall Shaw in action for his club, Fingallians. He is now lining out in the red of Louth.

Plenty of Louth managers have ventured down Dundalk’s Point Road over the years in search of players and hurling boss Paul McCormack is the latest to have invested in a Quaysider – well, sort of.

Conall Shaw may be a Dubliner but his roots are up the M1 with his father hailing from Sean O’Mahony’s territory and his grandparents remaining resident in the area. 

A Fingallians clubman, McCormack tried to entice the 21-year-old into the Wee set-up last season and while his attempts proved unsuccessful first time around, persistence paid off when the DCU student agreed to join the panel ahead of the new year, making his first appearance in the red jersey during January’s Conor McGurk Cup defeat by Queen’s in Belfast. 

Despite the team’s loss to Armagh last Saturday, Shaw, who hit three points, continues to enjoy the experience of inter-county hurling having watched last May’s Lory Meagher Cup final win over Longford from the lower tier of Croke Park’s Hogan Stand. 

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“It’s tougher than the standard I’m used to at home – a lot quicker and more physical, but it’s a good standard,” he says.

“It was obviously an aspiration (to play inter-county) and I played on good schools’ teams but I knew that it (playing for Dublin) was beyond me at this stage, so when I got the call from Louth, I thought that it was a way to bring my hurling up another level. 

“Playing club hurling, at intermediate in Dublin, it’s a good level but we just haven’t pushed on, I wanted to challenge myself and improve myself as a hurler, which was the main thing. 

“I’d be happy enough with how I played but I probably need to work a bit more on the defensive side… The first half, in the last 15 minutes, was where the game was lost. It’s all about learning, for me as well.

“My ma and da were down watching. My da would come to most of my games – he’d be a big supporter, even though he didn’t hurl, and he loves the game now.”

Ruairí Convery, a trainer/selector under McCormack, has a link with Shaw’s Swords-based club and so the former Derry star played a role in getting the half-back, who stands at in excess of six-foot tall, to switch over his allegiances. 

It has all led to a changed schedule for the youngster, who is having to balance treks down the road for training in “micro-climate” Darver several times per week with finishing his final year of social sciences at college, all the while being somewhat detached from Fingallians and their bid to deliver intermediate glory in the capital.

“I’m here since just before the new year and it’s been plain sailing since,” Shaw added.

“I’m enjoying it and that’s the main thing. I wouldn’t be doing it if I wasn’t enjoying it. I’m looking forward to the season ahead and that (Armagh) was my first competitive game really.

“I’d obviously have a good connection up here so I wasn’t coming in blind as to what it was like here.

“I’m missing the league at the start of the year with the club but there are sacrifices that you have to make if you want to do this.

“With the split season, I’ve a full championship and the end of the league to play at least and I’m keeping up ties with them as well – it’s not like I’m cut off. It’s good,” he said.