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Tuesday 18 September 2018

Isle's celebrate the spirit of '93

THEY remembered 1993 in Farnham Drive last Saturday. Erin's Isle won their first Dublin Senior Football Championship that year.

Paddy Canning was the manager. The selectors were Mick Downes, Martin McCarthy and Christy Cox, who was also a player.

Mick Deegan was the captain. Isle's had a cluster of other Dubs like Keith and Johnny Barr, Charlie Redmond, Robbie Boyle and Ciarán O'Hare.

They beat Kilmacud Crokes in the final. The two clubs got to know each other well during that era, as Ciarán O'Hare recalls.

"We played Crokes four years in succession. They were marvellous matches. The '93 final went to a replay. The replay was tight. We won it by five points, having hit three late points. The year earlier they knocked us out in the quarter-final.

"In 1994, Crokes beat us in the final after a replay and extra-time. We beat them in the 1995 semi-final. The football was very competitive.

"There were huge crowds at those games. The knock-out element brought a real edge to it."

HEARTACHE

Isle's knew their share of final heartache. "We lost three senior championship finals on the trot," remembers Ciarán. "In '94, Crokes defeated us by a point, we lost to Ballyboden by a point in '95 and then to Sylvester's by two points in '96.

"We then beat Syls in the 1997 final by two points. It would have been nice to have won more than the two championships, but that's the way it goes. But we all have lovely memories of those times."

All the squad came from the parish ... except one. Eoin Sheehan played for Limerick for many years. He joined Isle's towards the end of his career. Sadly, he died some years ago. His family represented him on Saturday night.

The '93 team also honoured the Isle's side that lifted the Dublin Junior Football Championship crown in 1954. There are only two surviving members, Willie Mooney and Dessie Butler.

Isle's are now focusing hard on producing the next generation of Dubs.

"We have a juvenile development plan in place," relates Ciarán. "There's a big push on in the juvenile department. There's good optimism. And one of our aims is to also raise the profile of the club in the neighbourhood."

Back in '93, Isle's were the talk of town.

"We had wonderful celebrations that night," explains Ciarán. "And that is when Johnny Barr came up with his famous quip that 'there wouldn't be a cow milked in Finglas for a week'. That certainly made the headlines."

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