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Camogie: Golden memories of days in Marino


The Dublin team who won the 1957 All-Ireland Camogie championsship. The late Kay Lyons is sixth from left in the back row

The Dublin team who won the 1957 All-Ireland Camogie championsship. The late Kay Lyons is sixth from left in the back row

The Dublin team who won the 1957 All-Ireland Camogie championsship. The late Kay Lyons is sixth from left in the back row

The most graceful of players. With a bagful of medals. A member of the most successful Dublin team of all.

But in Marino these past few days, that is not what they remembered most about Kay Lyons.

It was more what herself and her sisters did for the young people of the community.

Girls who grew up to always have a special place in their heart for Kay.

She was a founding member of the Marino club. The St Vincent’s of today. She delighted in the club’s progress.

All the success they have had. Their fine home at Páirc Naomh Uinsionn. And how so many of their number have decorated the Dublin jersey.

Dublin players, many who were moulded in the art and craft of the game by Kay’s genial coaching. She’d happily chat away about the old days. And she was soon back to where it all started. On the streets of Marino.

“We played camogie on the street. Games among ourselves. Sometimes, the fellas would join in. We had great fun. Lovely times.”

She told how Kevin Heffernan and Jimmy Lavin were neighbours. And how she admired players like the Foley brothers, Lar and Des, and Norman Allen.

She recalled the early days of the Marino club. “We’d hold raffles to buy the hurleys.” And how the young players learned life-long habits. “All the gear had to be clean and tidy.”

Then there were the arrangements for getting to the Phoenix Park, then the mecca of Dublin camogie.

Jumping on the bus in Fairview. For the journey to paradise. Its pitches would be thronged. The venue as busy as Piccadilly Circus. Matches going on till the light began to fade.

Hundreds of people. Laughing and smiling. Grateful to be away from the routine of work and the classroom. Making life-long friends. With Marino in the middle of it all.

Kay and her colleagues giving their time. Giving girls so many joyous days. Compiling an album full of pictures that will never fade.

She was a superstar. But you wouldn’t know it. She was content, out in the wind and the rain, helping the kids to flourish.

“They were very happy years. I have such fond memories of those times,” she reflected.

Kay was at the heart of Dublin's famous team

Kay Lyons was one of the most decorated players of all. She played for Dublin in their golden era, when the O’Duffy Cup spent every winter under Clery’s clock.

Dublin were the masters of their craft. Kay was an accomplished defender. She played on that brilliant Dublin team of the 50s and 60s. She played with legendary figures, including Eileen Duffy, Kay Mills, Sophie Brack, Judy Doyle and Una O’Connor.

The Dublin camogie team played the game with such simplicity. Pace, movement and clinical finishing.

“Back then, it was mostly ground play. We trained under Nell McCarthy. Lifting and striking the ball came a bit later,” explained Kay.

“Big crowds followed the team. I loved every minute of it. It all goes by so quickly.”

One of her finest games for the Dubs came in the 1966 All-Ireland final, when Dublin completed the ten-in-a-row.

Antrim put the Dublin defence under severe pressure, but Dublin prevailed to win by two points .

Kay played with top Dublin clubs Eoghan Ruadh and Celtic . More medals fell from the sky. Including the All-Ireland Club Championship title with Eoghan Ruadh in 1967.

The final against Galway’s Oranmore in Parnell Park ended in a draw. Extra-time was to be played. Oranmore weren’t having it. They left for home.

Five months later, after much Boardroom debate, the replay took place. In Ballinasloe. Eoghan Ruadh, and Kay, were at their majestic best.

Dublin boss completes backroom team

Dublin's first fifteen. County senior boss Adrian O’Sullivan has been busy. Finalising his management and backroom team.

The Dublin set-up will see 15 people involved as Dublin get ready to roll again in Division 1 of the League and in the All-Ireland Senior Championship.

No doubt, Adrian and his crew will have been heartened by the quality on display in this year’s Dublin Senior Championship. And the Intermediate one too.

The St Jude’s versus St Vincent’s senior final earned very favourable reviews.

As St Jude’s manager, and Dublin coach Donie Fox remarked: “The high tempo of the county final augurs well for Dublin. Playing the game at a high tempo is vital in the inter-county arena.

“The likes of Galway, Cork and Kilkenny have set the tone and that is what we in Dublin have to try and emulate.”

Dublin Senior Camogie Management 2022: Manager: Adrian O’Sullivan. Coach/Selector: James Murphy. Coach/Selector: Colm Codd. Head S&C: Conor Clifford. Head of Analysis: Ray Boyne.

Physiotherapist: Fiona Armstrong. Technical Coach: Donie Fox. Goalkeeping Coach: Jimmy Greville. Sports Psychologist: Paul Aherne. Nutritionist: Laura Kealy. Match-day Analysts: Darragh Boyne & Siofra Boyne. Performance Interns: Ope Bolarin & Frances McCann. Caterer: Fergus McNally.

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