Wednesday 16 January 2019

Dublin's Hall of Fame welcomes Cooper class

CARMEL COOPER is getting used to the furniture in Dublin's Carnegie Hall.

If anybody deserved their seat in the choir, it's Carmel. Her contribution to camogie has spanned the generations.

She was a fine player herself, winning All-Ireland titles with Dublin in the golden era of Kay Mills and co.

She steered Woodville to much success, as well as St John of Gods, Artane, who were the first Dublin school to win the All-Ireland Senior A Colleges title.

She made major contributions to Celtic, UCD and Dublin teams. Her daughter, Ann, was a top-class performer.

One of Carmel's roles was that of the Dublin PRO. And you could put the mortgage on it that the phone-call would come on a Monday morning with all the news from the capital.


And the phone would never go down without a few words on her beloved St Patrick's Athletic.

Where would sport be without generous souls like Carmel Cooper. Today, women's sport is enjoying a higher profile. It was the likes of Carmel who kept the candles lit for so long.

When she was with the Dubs, they beat Tipperary in the 1958 All-Ireland final. As Mary Moran related in her wonderful history of the sport, it was getting harder to secure Croke Park for the All-Ireland final.

That game was played in Croke Park with an August evening throw-in. The Tipperary players had to make their own way to Dublin. They had no money to stay in a hotel, so they had to overnight with relatives.

It was heroic figures like Carmel Cooper who helped to change the landscape. Long may the new red hall carpet soften the soles of her feet.

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