herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Lucan's lads and lassies show way

The presence of Johnny McCaffrey is serious asset

IT all starts on the ground floor. Dublin's Primary Parade has long been top of the towns.

This season, record numbers have entered for the Dublin Cumann na mBunscol Hurling and Camogie Leagues.

Dublin are lucky that they have such a famous figure working at the coalface.

Coaching Gaelic games is Johnny McCaffrey's job.

When he runs out at Croke Park, or up at the 12th Lock, the kids have stars in their eyes.

FIRST TOUCH

The fella who always has time for them. The voice that underlines the value of the first touch.

One of his ports of call is Lucan BNS. They had a year to remember - Herald Cup champions for the first-time.

Fintan Clandillon is their mentor. The playing field on the school grounds is a hurling paradise.

"The children are out there any chance they get - big break, little break.

£They just love it," explains Fintan.

It's a genuine oasis in the heart of the community. A natural hollow where the sliotar and the ash can have a picnic.

Many of the kids will play senior for Lucan Sarsfields. And maybe even Dublin too.

Fintan is giving them every chance.

Last summer, they had a special appointment - a meeting with a certain Mr Cody.

"We played St Patrick's, De La Salle down in Kilkenny. Brian Cody is the principal there.

"They couldn't have been nicer to us. They put on a big spread for us.

"Brian complimented them on the style of hurling that they played. It was nice of him to take the time to do that. He gave the lads a memory that they will hold onto for a very long time."

Their Herald Cup triumph in Croke Park will also stay in the memory. A

nd the school's neighbours, Scoil Mhuire GNS, were also celebrating Croke Park camogie success.

"The two schools are very closely linked," adds Fintan.

"Families have sons and daughters in the respective schools."

"It's a fabulous achievement for the two schools to come back from Croke Park with the trophies," remarks Fintan.

With such diligence where it matters most, it's little wonder that the Lucan club continues to flourish year on year. And inspire dreams.

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