The Merrion Gates lead to gold path
Champs Scoil San Treasa top their Croke Park class
BRIAN CADIGAN knows his hurling. He's from Kilkenny.
He grew up admiring DJ Carey, John Power and Eamon Morrissey.
He's on the senior squad at St Martin's. They lost last season's county championship semi-final to Ballyhale Shamrocks, the eventual All-Ireland champs.
Brian is also captain of the Martin's junior hurlers. He teaches at Scoil San Treasa in Mount Merrion.
The prestigious Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Division 1 Herald Cup is glistening on the Merrion mantel-piece.
They beat St Mary's BNS, Lucan in the final. The Mary's manager, Fintan Clandillon, and Brian were in the same class at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra.
The schools have produced some thrillers in the last couple of years. But the Herald Cup final in Croke Park was an absolute classic.
The tempo was set by Michael Donnelly's opening goal.
Looking at the game, the future of Dublin hurling is assured. Especially with mentors of the calibre of Fintan and Brian guiding the way.
"While it's fantastic to win titles, the real goal is getting the children playing and increasing the numbers," notes Brian.
"The younger pupils in the school look up to the lads on the senior squad. They are the role-models."
Scoil San Treasa have enjoyed a remarkable rise. Eight years ago, they were in Division 5.
"The vast majority of the pupils are with Kilmacud Crokes. They are a huge support to us."
The school wear the Crokes colours on their shorts and socks. FBD sponsored the jerseys.
"In 2011 we built a hurling wall. It has made a massive difference to the skill levels of the children. And it's lovely to see the local community using the facility after hours."
Football is also prospering in the school. Tony Walsh from Offaly is showing the wisdom of Eugene McGee. Camogie and Ladies Football are also thriving.
Dublin's Cian O'Sullivan, is a past pupil. He was a winning hurling captain.
Other past pupils include the Dublin U21 hurler, Robert Murphy, and the Dublin minor hurler, Alex Considine, both on the successful Corn Uí Mhaoilain side in 2007.
In the years to come, when Dublin lift the MacCarthy Cup, thoughts will turn to the thousands of hours that people like Brian Cadigan have invested in the craft.