Thursday 22 August 2019

Healy: Sitting in the airport all weekend is worth it when you're winning

Cahir Healy
Cahir Healy
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Cahir Healy has spent more time in the air than most have had hot dinners, but you won't hear him complaining.

Being based in London for four out of the last five years would spell the end of most GAA careers but Healy refused to compromise.

This weekend will be the Laois star's 40th visit home as his club Portlaoise set their sights on an eighth Leinster crown, with a quarter-final against Sarsfields.

His girlfriend is Italian so teaching year twos in England's capital is the perfect middle ground and Healy has no problem if the journeys continue.

"The trade-off of sitting in airports all weekend to play in Leinster clubs and with your county is fair enough as far as I'm concerned," the 28-year-old said.

Having devoted himself to Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett's Laois hurlers all season, attention quickly turned to a football nine-in-a-row assault with the club in the winter.

A replayed county final win over Emo meant celebrations were restricted to the swimming pool as Palatine lay in wait 20 hours later.

With that obstacle overcome, attention quickly turned to the newly-crowned Kildare champions. Healy knows the Portlaoise juggernaut could shudder to a halt any time.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.


"There's quite an awareness that this could stop at any time so we need to make hay while we can," Healy said.

"There's still six or seven of the 2005 All-Ireland club final team there and while we wouldn't be outwardly cocky, maybe the cockiness gets in on you.

"We lost the county final in 2005 and didn't get out of the group in 2006 so we want to seize the chance we have this year."

Looking back on the All-Ireland final defeat to Ballina Stephenites when a raw 18-year-old, Healy yearns for another day in the Croke Park sun.

"It seems a lifetime ago, I can't help but say, 'God is it that long?' We're waiting to get back there, trying to get back there and we can't get back there," he said.

"I understood the magnitude of it at the time but you probably don't appreciate the amount of work that it took to get there.

"It's a huge goal to get back winning Leinster and back into another All-Ireland final. When you don't win it for a couple of years it focuses the mind more."

Having claimed a senior county double, the hurlers won the Laois senior 'B' crown and are playing Meath's Kiltale next weekend, Healy plans to be in the air for at least another few weekends as they bid for the double double.

No fence too high, no journey too long for Cahir Healy.

Indo Sport

The Throw-In: Tipp throw off the shackles while Kilkenny’s soul-searching begins

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport