ESTABLISHED Cork defender Meabh Cahalane is a chartered accountant with KMPG where she has, “hopefully” as she says, just finished her final exams.
Originally based in Dublin, her career forced her to take a step back from inter-county camogie for 18 months. Covid-19 brought Meabh back to Cork and that is where she is now based full time with the prominent professional audit, tax, and advisory company. She is back in the Cork set-up since the championship of 2020 and her impact is telling.
“It was great to be back home, schedule my work and make training. KPMG love you to be involved in sport and they promote it but at the end of the day their primary focus is getting the job done for their clients, which is fair enough.”
Cork’s defence as a unit had a storming game in their All-Ireland semi-final win over Kilkenny. Maebh’s flexibility and reliability in Cork’s defence, settled for the moment at left corner-back, often goes overlooked when the plaudits are circulating.
But she has consistently performed since her return. Aged just 25, the future is bright for the second-born child of seven in the sporting family that is the Cahalanes. All seven as we know are massively involved with their clubs with the three boys as well as Meabh and Orlaith representing Cork at both hurling and football.
Kate, at 14, is the youngest, following in her siblings’ footsteps. With all currently living at home, it’s a mad household, and one can only imagine sorting out all the gear. It’s wonderful if difficult for Maebh’s parents Niall and Ailish to choose between the huge number of games to attend.
They’re incredible supporters and were always hugely encouraging. They spread themselves as much as they can, so they get to as many of our games between them during the year.”
Cork have matured as a group in the past 12 months.
“As a unit every day we try to learn something new and that’s showing now, I think. Definitely, we’ve come on a lot in the last few months. We’re such a young team but the younger players are bringing confidence too. I mean Saoirse McCarthy and Laura Hayes; you forget that they’re so young.
“The way we came back after Kilkenny went two up was very satisfying. Linda (Collins) coming off the bench was huge. If you’re a defender and you’re used to marking someone for 50 minutes then someone who has a different style of play comes on you, it can be very difficult."
As for Sunday’s All-Ireland against Galway.
“For Cork camogie, three years is too long without being in a final but we’re going to treat it like any other game and stick to our game plan.”