Tuesday 22 May 2018

Deirdre hopeful Jackies can get over line

Dublin's Deirdre Murphy
Dublin's Deirdre Murphy

The evenings are closing in. There's a chill in the air. Deirdre Murphy makes her way to Donnycarney.

It's the All-Ireland final media night for the Dublin ladies footballers. She knows this part of the city well.

She went to university at DCU. A few hop, skips and jumps up Collins Avenue.

She studied Physiology. "I had a brilliant time at DCU. Four marvellous years. Unfortunately, we never won the O'Connor Cup," relates Deirdre.

"We reached a few finals. Colleges' football is tremendous. It's such a high standard. You are playing with people from all different counties."

She has just started work as an Assistant Psychologist at Headway Ireland, the organisation that provides brain injury services and support.

"It's going well. I really enjoy the work. It's challenging. I'm learning an awful lot. The staff there are great."

And so are the folks in Russell Park, as Deirdre relates. "I love St Brigid's. There's such a great community spirit there.

"The girls would be at all the Dublin games. And they are understanding when Dublin commitments keep us away from club training."

Her club and county colleagues include goalkeeper Ciara Trant and last year's Dublin skipper, the swashbuckling Noelle Healy.

Deirdre's Dad, Ken, has been very much involved in the Brigid's journey. His work brought so many players through. He played minor football for Dublin.

Brigid's reached the last two senior county championship finals. They gave Foxrock a real sprint for it last season.


Just like Dublin have done in all their TG4 All-Ireland finals against Cork.

Deirdre will always remember her minor days under Fintan O'Curry. They won the All-Ireland Minor title in 2012. Several of the current seniors were on that squad.

And she commends the work that Gregory McGonigle did.

Dublin's excellence under Greg saw them reach the last three All-Ireland finals. And three times pipped on the line.

Mick Bohan is now at the wheel. And the Jackies have been in impressive form on their way to HQ.

"We are happy with the way we have been progressing. We have been working on different things throughout the year.

"It's starting to come together now and, hopefully, we will be able to get it over the line."

Dublin collected their sixth successive Leinster title with wins against Laois and Westmeath. They then overcame Waterford in Nowlan Park.

The Dubs delivered their best offering of the year when they defeated Kerry in Semple Stadium. Dublin sprayed the blue polish all over the Tipperary floor.

The big canvas suited them - just like Croke Park will.

Deirdre knows the feel of the red carpet beneath her feet. She played full-back in last year's final.

It was 1-7 to 1-6 to Cork. As they used to write in the match reports long ago, 'Defences were on top.'

Sorcha Furlong and Colleen Barrett were others that have represented the Brigid's badge so well.

Niamh McEvoy of Parnell's was on Greg McGonigle's management ticket last term and she is also involved this year, as is another former Dub, Sorcha Farrelly.

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