GAA

McGrath Advice Stirs The Prodigal Daughters Of Gailltír Ahead Of Final

McGrath Advice Stirs The Prodigal Daughters Of Gailltír Ahead Of Final

Gailltír's Claire Dunne believes that the recipe for success that the Waterford club has enjoyed over the past few years is a simple one.

Having regained the Munster Intermediate Camogie Club title with a win over Cork side Eire Óg back in November, the Déise girls found themselves in the familiar surroundings of another AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Camogie semi-final. Two years on from a heartbreaking defeat to Eglish of Tyrone, which denied them a final appearance in 2017, they overcame Offaly outfit St Rynagh's last month to set up a Croke Park showdown with another Northern troop, in the shape of Down Champions Clonduff.

Corner-back Dunne explained that Gailltír rise to prominence came off the back of some tough times for the club. Tough time's that plenty in the GAA can sympathise with.

"Like any club, there were years of struggle", explained the teacher. "Whatever cohort of people you have coming through, life just gets in the way."

Three years ago we definitely had a shift. We got some fantastic players up from U16 and minor, and that was the peak three years ago when there was a new group together, a new senior team and we’ve been going with that since.

Gailltír

But, despite the emergence of the youngsters, more intrusions lay ahead. This time, getting the girls in the same country never mind the same county proved a barrier.

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There was definitely that slug period where people were away in Australia for a few years, Jenny O’Grady was a way, Sally O’Grady, Aileen Cummins, they’re a huge part of the club but they went travel and came back, Aine Lyng was away, Patricia Jackman was away, Aine is now back and Trish is tipping away with as much as she can but she’s lecturing in England so it’s hard but she’s a huge part of the club as well.

Ahead of this weekend's encounter Dunne explained that she solicited the help of a pretty prominent work colleague to help prepare for the girls for performing on the big occasion at HQ.

The Geography and history tutor, invited fellow De La Salle educator, former Waterford hurling manager and Sunday Game orator Derek McGrath to training after their semi-final victory. His words certainly seemed to have hit the spot.

"He took a training session there, helped us out and had a talk with us after," said Dunne. "He’s been here, he’s done it, he’s had the ups and the downs so it’s nice to hear another voice."

(He's a) lovely fella, so down to earth and what he does, I don’t think he realises himself when he starts talking about hurling and camogie, the impact he makes on people. It’s great.

Dunne and co are in no doubt of the task that faces them Sunday. Clonduff pipped Galway and Connacht champions Craughwell in a nail-biting affair in Kinnegad four weeks ago, and the nature of that comeback success has not passed the Waterford women by.

"They didn't get there by (playing) easy matches...they're definitely a strong side".

"It'll be a great game and we're looking forward to it. But we know it's not going to be easy. It'll be a tough 60 minutes".

Ciara Dunne of Gailltír was speaking ahead of the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Camogie Final between Gailltír (Waterford) and Clonduff (Down). The two sides will meet each other this Sunday, March 3rd at Croke Park with a 1.30 p.m. throw in.

SEE ALSO: Kellie Harrington: From 'Bold Child' To Inspirational World Champion

Aaron Strain

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