Thursday 22 February 2018

Where are they now? Declan Darcy (Former Dublin and Leitrimfootballer)

Declan Darcy was born and raised in Dublin but his parents were originally from Leitrim and in the late 1980s he switched his allegiance from Clanna Gael in the capital to Aughawillan in Leitrim.

Darcy's talent was noticed immediately and he was called up to the Leitrim minor team and from there he made the senior squad. At that time the efforts of the Leitrim footballers weren't amounting to much but then PJ Carroll took over and all that changed.

"PJ grabbed the county by the scruff of the neck and gave it a heartbeat," says Darcy. "We were a very good strong core young group, we got down to business and got some momentum going."

Their hard work paid off and in 1994, under the stewardship of John O'Mahony, Leitrim beat Roscommon, Galway and Mayo to win the Connacht title. Darcy was captain and he lifted the Nestor Cup along with Tom Gannon, who had captained them to their only previous Connacht title in 1927.

Two years later, after playing with Leitrim for almost nine years, Darcy decided to switch his allegiance back to Dublin.

"It was a hard decision to make but the team was in transition at the time. A lot of the players I played with were either finished or coming to the end so it made sense for me to leave."

When he moved back to Dublin, Darcy signed up with St Brigid's. They had a good senior team at the time and he played in four county finals, winning one in 2003. He retired from inter-county football in 2002. Today his former club take on St Oliver Plunkett/Eoghan Ruadh in the Dublin final and Darcy thinks this could be their year.

"I think both teams have very strong full-forward lines. How the defences cope will be key. It will be very close. I think Plunketts have better players in key positions but as last year showed there is very little between the two teams and I think Brigid's will do it."

Darcy is now involved with his first club Clanna Gael again and his kids play there. He trains the girls' under 8s and the minor boys. He's also been involved with the Dublin under 21 team for the last three years.

He has a building company in the capital that does renovations and one-off builds.

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