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Islandbridge is a haven in the city

Civil Service have proud history and a vibrant present on Liffeyside 

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Dan Griffin of Civil Service (left) in action against Clontarf’s Ciaran Mullen during the AHL Division 6 match in Islandbridge. Picture: Arthur Carron

Dan Griffin of Civil Service (left) in action against Clontarf’s Ciaran Mullen during the AHL Division 6 match in Islandbridge. Picture: Arthur Carron

Dan Griffin of Civil Service (left) in action against Clontarf’s Ciaran Mullen during the AHL Division 6 match in Islandbridge. Picture: Arthur Carron

CONOR Bracken takes a second. To breathe in the scenery. The sound of the Liffey gently meandering on its way. Welcoming the rowers. The walkers. The trees painting a picture. In the Sunday morning sunshine.

There’s nothing better than finishing up work of an evening and coming down to Islandbridge,” states Conor. “It’s in the city, but it’s out of the city. There’s always a lovely atmosphere down here.”

History lies deep in the turf of this iconic old venue. Conor tells a story about one of the most famous Civil Service players of all, Jack Lynch. “When he played three matches in the one day.” 

Jack played in two Railway Cup semi-finals in the afternoon. But before that, in the morning, he lined out for Civil Service in a Dublin Senior Hurling League game against Eoghan Ruadh at Islandbridge. He started in goal to conserve his energy, but he played out field for the second half, before dashing off for his double shift on the Jones’s Road!

So many notable people were with Civil Service over the years, including one of the GAA’s most influential figures, Tom Woulfe.

These days, Civil Service have three teams, two hurling (AHL 6 and AHL 9) and one football (AFL 6). “Things are going well. We have good numbers at training.”

Conor manages the Division 6 hurlers with Conor McCarthy. They top the League. “We are pleased with the campaign, but we know we have always things to work on.”

Kevins strike historic home run

THIS month, 120 years ago, Kevins were founded. Their first AGM took place in Harry Boland’s mother’s Shop on Wexford Street.

Today, Michelle Madden is also a Wexford Street shopkeeper. And she has played her own role in a significant chapter of club history.

She led the Kevins club to the John West All-Ireland Féile Under-13 Girls’ Rounders Plate title. Along with fellow mentors, Fergal Kelly, Michael Doorley, Marcus O’Doherty and Graham Quinn.

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The club also had a boys’ team competing in the event which was staged at Clonguish in Longford. “Both teams did very well,” reports Dáithi Ó hAoláin.

“It’s the club’s first-ever All-Ireland title. Massive thanks to all the parents who travelled, and to our club legend, Patsy Kearns, who did so much work behind the scenes.”

Dáithi adds that new players are always welcome at the club. Rounders is a sport for all ages. www.kevins.ie

Dubs are ready for Poc Fada

IT’S become a highlight of the year. And it cheered all to see the return of the sliotar, skipping over the heather on the Hill of Howth.

The Dublin Poc Fada hurling and camogie finals. Now Mount Leinster awaits. This Saturday. (11.0): U16 Hurling and Camogie. (2.0): Senior Hurling and Camogie.

Climbing the mountain. With timber and leather. Competing with the gorse and the unpredictable terrain. Beann Éadair’s hosting of the Dublin finals captured the essence of the historic event.

Even the way it started was special. Captain Christopher Gaisford St Lawrence, standing on the steps of his home, Howth Castle, struck the first ball. Cillian Bradley took some wonderful pictures.

17 clubs took part. Tom Ryan and his crew counted every shot which saw the crowning of the champions: Hurling - Jonathan Treacy (Na Fianna). U16: Seán Ó Neill (Lucan Sarsfields). Camogie - Hazel Austin (St Maur’s). U16: Aine Brady (Whitehall Colmcille).

They’ll be now hoping to find Leinster gold this Saturday in Carlow.

Maughan a champion of the faith

THE best thing about the Tailteann Cup this year – John Maughan. If the GAA chiefs had decided to appoint a marketing guru on big dollars to promote it, they couldn’t have done any better.

He fully supports the initiative. And any time he was interviewed, he firmly and eloquently expressed his view that here was a tournament to be valued.

The closing credit on the Sunday Game was of a smiling John Maughan. Offaly had just lost the Tailteann Cup semi-final to Westmeath. Over 16,000 showed up. And he can see a brighter picture in the land of the turf, graced by Bryan, McTague, Darby, Connor and McNamee.


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