John Leahy – special guest at Robert Emmett’s GAA victory dance
Robert Emmetts (London) captured the 2006/2007 All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling Championship and recently held their victory dance. Among theDinner Dance will take place at Morans Tipperary people in attendance pictured with Robert Emmett’s fruits of the most successful season in the club’s history are from left: Johnny Barrett (Holycross), Ann Gleeson (Holycross), Eoin Kennedy (Ballina), Denis Costello (Littleton), Billy Hennebury (Aherlow), John Leahy, Donie O’Dwyer (Boherlahan), Eddie Carey (Mullinahone) and Alan Moloney (New Inn)
(Photo courtesy of Larry Cooney)
Best of luck lads
As another season starts, we would like to wish the following players good luck to the following players who are returning to the home clubs.
John Dillon, John Quinlan (aka Bravo), Eddie Carey, Killian O'Murchu (aka The Rock), Brian Foley, Tadhg O'Callaghan and Luke Mannix
Without any one of the above our All-Ireland Intermediate title would not have been achievable.
From all of those left at the club - yes there are a few ;) - Many thanks one and all
Croke Park, Dublin beckons for the first ever London-based hurling club to contest an All-Ireland club final on Sunday March 11th.
Two weeks after the England rugby team's historic clash with Ireland in the RBS Six Nations championship, the hurlers of the Robert Emmett's GAA Club will be attempting to create their own piece of history on the same hallowed turf by becoming the first London GAA club ever to win an All-Ireland title in 110 years.
Until Robert Emmett's notable achievement following their recent semi-final victory over Co Clare champions Clooney-Quin in Limerick on February 11th, the best any previous London clubs had achieved were just four quarter-final victories.
However, having had to travel to Ireland in order to account for both the Leinster and Munster champions, Robert Emmett's are now firmly focussed in their bid to win a coveted All-Ireland club intermediate hurling title.
As part of a 'double-header', which will be preceded by the All-Ireland club junior hurling final, the London champions will face Connacht champions Killimordaly in the main event.
The Galway champions, who accounted for Belfast club Gortnamona in their semi-final, therefore stand between the Robert Emmett's hurlers and sporting immortalisation in London GAA.
Members of the Robert Emmett's team are drawn from all the four provinces of Ireland: Captain Fergus McMahon from Killdalkey Co Meath and Dubliner Sean McLoughlin represent Leinster.
Galway's Brian Keane is the lone Connacht representative. Antrim men Sean Quinn, Kevin McMullen, Sean Kelly and Mark Traynor make up a strong Ulster representation on the team while three counties from Munster are represented by Cillian O'Murchu (Waterford), John Dillon and Eoin O'Connell (Limerick), Eddie Carey (Tipperary).
And finally, Cork, which has the greatest representation, in goalkeeper Colm Buckley, Luke Mannix, Brian Foley, Tadhg O'Callaghan, Jim Ryan, and John Quinlan.
Robert Emmett's are also managed by Cork man Mick O'Dea. A long-serving member of the Robert Emmett's club, the Liscarroll native will be leading out his second team at Croke Park in two years following London's Nicky Rackard Cup success in August 2005.
Robert Emmett's GAA Club have also recently clinched a lucrative sponsorship deal with a well-known Irish hotel chain - The Moran Group.
From Irish Examiner
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 :
Emerging Emmets‘would live and die together’
Emmets chairman Tom Redmond is a little bemused by the reaction to the result. “The only people who are surprised are the people over in Ireland,” he admitted yesterday. “Everyone else certainly seems surprised by this. But not us.”
Emmets are no strangers to the All-Ireland club championship. Two years ago they reached the semi-finals — the first London club to do so in 11 years — but were crushed 2-12 to 0-5 by Carrickshock of Kilkenny on a miserable day in Bennetsbridge.
Despite that hammering, they bounced back in their domestic competitions and set upon bettering their previous achievement. There is no shortage of talent in their ranks with many of the team representing London in the Nicky Rackard and Christy Ring competitions.
There is no shortage of experience either. Eddie Carey hurled at U21 with Tipperary while Johnny Quinlan aka ‘Johnny Bravo’, Tadhg Callaghan, Jim Ryan and Colum Buckley all wore the Cork jersey at one grade or another.
Continued Redmond: “I was talking to one guy at half-time and he couldn’t believe our team and our ability. He thought that this would be a walkover. He was very, very wrong.”
Redmond, a Wexford native who settled in the English capital almost half a century ago, complimented the losers on their response to such a surprise loss.
“The Clooney Quinn lads couldn’t have been nicer. The management came into the dressing room after the game to congratulate us and the players stood outside the dressing room waiting for us to come and offer us best wishes. That was nice.”
Such attitudes are in marked comparison to the receptions which greet Robert Emmets successes back in London “People in London don’t think they are a good team,” said Redmond. “I feel they don’t get the respect they deserve.
“Maybe there is a bit of jealousy in London with so few teams and such a desire to win. But I would like teams to win with a modicum of goodwill. In my opinion they are the best team that ever hurled in London.”
The club was originally formed in East London but with the sprawling transport system the pick extends across the city and beyond. Redmond notes that Colum Buckley lives in Reading and requires an hour and half to get to training and often returns home from sessions after midnight.
“We are a very small club. We have loads of registered players but for a day like Sunday we only had 25 guys available. But that small number builds great unity and spirit. They are all really nice guys. I believe that if you bring a nice guy into the club they in turn will bring nice people with them. And that is the secret. If a fella is taken off, he will be the first man to support the guy going on in his place. They would live and die together. We have never had a group like this.
“I have been chairman for a good few years. The teams of yesterday were made up mostly of labourers and carpenters. Nowadays most of the team are teachers, doctors and dentists. It is not before time that the Irish are in these positions in London.”
Redmond isn’t concerned that the upturn in social and financial fortunes in Ireland will have an adverse effect on the numbers coming to London and feeding the appetite for GAA across the Irish Sea.
“People will always come to London, if only for curiosity. I came to London for two years and am still here 50 years later. People come, make friends, get married and settle down. That is the way things go. But it is fantastic now to see guys turning up to training in suits and ties and not in boots and hardhats.”
BEST WISHES - SPEEDY RECOVERY
At a training session on Saturday 9th December Paul Gilligan suffered a very unlucky injury which saw him break a finger and tear ligaments badly as he caught a high ball. The football team wish Paul a speedy recovery from his injury.
PAT O'KEEFE - RIP
It’s with sincere sadness at the Emmett’s that they learned of the premature passing at the age of 30 of a great hurler and footballer for the Emmett’s in recent years, Pat O’Keeffe of Buttevant, Cork, who lost his life in a car accident in Kildare on Friday 25th August.
Pat came to London in the course of his career as a Veterinarian and during this time he donned the Blue and Gold as a dual-star from 2001 to 2005, the highlight being his star role in the Club’s first Senior Hurling County Final appearance in 2002. Whilst as good with the big ball as the small ball in the eyes of his team-mates on the football panel Pat’s first love was wielding the caman and it was as a Hurler that Pat came to the notice of the Cork public as a County Minor. He held the honour of playing right-corner back for Cork in the All-Ireland Minor final of 1994 and was already making a name for himself as a County Under-21 star when a serious knee injury curtailed his blossoming inter-county arrear with the Rebel County in the late ‘90s.
The seriousness of Pat’s knee injury meant that his playing days at any level should have been ended but Pat defied medical opinion to star in the Blue and Gold during his years in London, having been put in touch with the Club thanks to a long-standing friendship between Larry Dowling in Cork and Emmett’s Chairman and Club stalwart, Mick Sheahan. Indeed Pat’s commitment to the Club during his time with us also saw him pull in many of his former friends and Trinity College team-mates when they arrived in London. Donal Murphy, Brian O’Connor, Alan Wilson, Donal Lyons, Ultan McGuckan and Paul Cashman all began their connections with the Emmett’s thanks to their association with Pat and, as well as being team-mates, they were a great bunch off the field together. In addition to Pat’s fine displays on the field all those who shared the dressing room with him during his London years will always remember him for his sense of humour, his easiness to talk with and his love of life and the games of the Gael in general.
As a mark of the esteem in which Pat was held in his native Cork amongst the attendance at the removal of Pat’s remains were Jimmy Barry-Murphy, his manager for Cork in 1994, and many of his former team-mates on that side such as Sean Og O’hAilpin, as well as many of the current Cork Senior team who broke off their preparations for that weekend’s All-Ireland duel with Kilkenny to form a guard of honour at the removal. Many of Pat’s former Emmett’s team-mates and friends travelled from the four corners of the globe to Cork as a mark of respect and to support his family including Emmett’s Hurling Manager from 2002 to the present, Mick O’Dea. In recognition of Pat’s service to our Club the Blue and Gold jersey lay on Pat’s remains during his funeral where it sat alongside the Black and Amber of his native Buttevant and the Red jersey of Cork. He was laid to rest in Oldcourt cemetery immediately afterwards.
As a Club they are deeply shocked and saddened at Pat leaving them all far too early and our heart-felt condolences go out to his parents, Eddie and Mary, his immediate family and girlfriend Isabel at this sad time. To Pat himself they say thanks for the memories and for the service you gave to our Club. As it says in the closing words of the Hurlers prayer.. “ You hurled like a man, you played the game” . Ar dheis de go raibh a anam.