Ladies football talent is thriving by the seaside in Kinsale

Ladies football talent is thriving by the seaside in Kinsale
Kinsale Community School captain Lorraine Collins accepting the Lidl Munster PPS LGFA C Cup from Munster PPS's Dan O'Mahony.

A RECENT Kinsale GAA Instagram post containing three Cork LGFA senior players was a reminder of the conveyor belt of footballing talent emerging from the progressive club.

A group of young female Kinsale GAA club members stand smiling for the camera in the foreground of the Instagram post.

Some have their faces painted red and white and the group look delighted to be in Croke Park for the Dublin and Cork LGFA Division 1 clash.

In the background, proudly wearing their Cork kits, stand Caoimhe O’Callaghan, Sadhbh O’Leary and Orla Finn.

Kinsale and Cork star Orla Finn. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Kinsale and Cork star Orla Finn. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

All three are graduates of the Kinsale GAA club’s underage structure and who have gone on to become Cork senior footballers, proudly representing their county at the highest level.

As effective Instagram posts go, the Kinsale trio’s presence is a wonderful reminder to younger supporters and players that anything is possible if you are willing to put in the hard work.

O’Callaghan, O’Leary and Finn’s presence on the hallowed Croke Park turf is certain to have inspired many of the young Cork supporters and next generation of players at GAA HQ that evening.

Add in Kinsale Community School’s recent Lidl LGFA Munster PPS C final success and the Cork town shows little sign of slowing down their production line of quality footballers.

Mairead Dullea and Sinead O’Brien oversaw Kinsale CS’s memorable path to this year’s Munster PPS decider at the end of January.

A last-minute goal helped see off Mercy Mounthawk Tralee at the conclusion of a thrilling final held in Cill na Martra.

Dullea is probably better known for her refereeing exploits around the county as well as representing her hometown club Bantry Blues.

Along with Sinead O’Brien, guiding Kinsale CS to the Munster PPS championship is something the Kinsale CS Science and Maths teacher is delighted to have been a part of.

“The school would have won county titles at different grades (including senior) in the past but this is Kinsale CS’ first ever Munster success,” Mairead Dullea commented to the Echo.

“The Munster championship kicked off back in September, but the girls did brilliantly to get out of their group and go all the way to the final.

“Mercy Mounthawk were a very strong team and it looked like we had lost it until we got a late, late winning goal.

“Fiona Keating and Faye Ahern were on the team and have already represented Munster in this year’s Inter-provincials.

“They are two of the eight Leaving Cert students on the panel.”

Winning a Munster title, any Munster title, is an achievement and a huge boost to the Kinsale Community School. Yet, individual player’s time on the school’s football panel is relatively short as they must knuckle down and concentrate on their Leaving Cert studies.

“This is the last year for our Leaving Cert students on the team but that will give others a chance to show what they can do,” Dullea said.

“Obviously, we would have a lot of Kinsale and Courcey Rovers players on the team but there are others from the Valley Rovers, Ballygarvan and Clonakilty clubs involved as well.

“Just like the inter-provincials, girls get a chance to play alongside other girls from different schools when lining out for the Kinsale team.

“The girls in sixth year have represented Kinsale Community School over the past number of years since they entered first year.

“It is great for them that they have gone all the way to a Munster final and won the trophy.”

Not content with annexing a provincial title, Kinsale CS must now turn their attention towards an upcoming All-Ireland LGFA PPS semi-final appearance.

“Winning Munster means we are in an All-Ireland semi-final now and that game has to be played by March 15,” Dullea stated.

“That means we will have another day out, but we don’t know who our opponents are just yet. We do know it will the Connacht champions.

“No matter who we end up facing it will be another level and another step up in terms of quality for the girls.

“Once the pre-examinations are out of the way, we will get together and prepare for what will be a big test.”

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