Wednesday 13 December 2017

Family split down county lines for final

Grace Kearney with her mum Kathleen. Photo: Provision
Grace Kearney with her mum Kathleen. Photo: Provision
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

One sports-mad family is split in their loyalties over a Cork football star's bid to help the Rebel County lift their 10th All-Ireland ladies football title in 11 years.

Grace Kearney (25) is set to star for Cork tomorrow as the Rebelettes hope to gain revenge on Dublin who stopped them clinching a sixth title in a row in 2010.

While Grace is from Rathcormac, Co Cork, and plays for Bride Rovers, she boasts numerous cousins in Clonsilla who will be cheering on the Dubs in the TG4 All-Ireland final.

The Allens in Clonsilla originally hail from Limerick and north Cork but moved to Dublin more than 40 years ago. All Grace's cousins were born in Clonsilla and are unashamedly 'blue' in their GAA loyalties.

"They're all very proud of Grace and her achievements over the years but on Sunday they will be true blue Dublin fans," explained Grace's mother Kathleen, who said the whole family would travel to Dublin for the match.

"It is shaping up to be a great final because I don't think there is very much between two great sides. We are just hoping that Cork's experience will see them through."

Grace joined the senior Cork ladies football panel in 2010 having progressed up the ranks from Cork U-14s.

Despite being just 25, she already boasts, at senior level, four All-Ireland medals, five National League medals and four Munster titles. She said tomorrow's match would be a close run battle between two strong sides.

"I don't think there will be a lot in it, a couple of points at most. A lot could depend on the weather on the day," she said.

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