Galway football ace Shane Walsh is seeking a transfer to Dublin club champions Kilmacud Crokes.
The 29-year-old, who hit nine points for Galway in their All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry last Sunday has told his home club Kilkerrin/Clonberne that he wants to leave and join the Dublin giants.
Based in the Stillorgan area of south Dublin, Crokes are one of the leading dual clubs in the country. Their football side were beaten by Kilcoo after extra time in a dramatic All-Ireland club final earlier this year.
Kilkerrin/Clonberne chairman Ian Hynes confirmed that Walsh had sought a transfer. “We are absolutely devastated. We have tried to persuade him to stay and nothing has been formally signed yet," he said.
“We are going to fight this all the way. We recognise that Shane has given the club loyal service, but he is such an inspirational figure for all the young players coming through. Everybody here is in shock, particularly the juvenile players because he was such to hero to them.
“We believe it is wrong that a huge club like Kilmacud Crokes are allowed to do this. We are trying to keep the GAA alive in rural Ireland. We have 70 adult members and there are 600 houses in the parish.”
The club compete in the Galway Intermediate club championship and have contested finals in recent seasons.
“The big carrot for the younger players was the prospect of playing alongside Shane in the adult team.
“From a club perspective it is shocking, but there are wider implications for the GAA as well. The Dublin club scene is a different world to what’s happening in rural Ireland.
“They are drawing players from densely populated areas whereas as I said earlier there are just 600 houses in our parish,” added Hynes.
In the event of the transfer going through, Walsh would be eligible to play in this year’s Dublin club championship which is due to start shortly.
He is studying to become a physical education teacher and is attending Hibernia Colleges in Dublin.
Kilmacud Crokes won their first Dublin title in 1992 but have been champions on eight other occasions since.
They won Leinster titles in 1994, 2005, 2008, 2018 and 2021 and claimed the All-Ireland title titles in 1995 and 2009.
While technically a move to Kilmacud would make Walsh eligible to be picked for Dublin, this is not something that has been contemplated.