Macroom footballer Paul O'Farrell drives St Kieran's to London title

Victory over Fulham Irish was the second senior championship for St Kieran's, with Drinagh's Geoff Kingston also involved
Macroom footballer Paul O'Farrell drives St Kieran's to London title

Paul O’Farrell, wearing number three, after St Kiernan's captured the London Senior Football Championship title.

MACROOM'S Paul O’Farrell starred recently for the St Kiernan's side that captured the London Senior Football Championship at McGovern Park in Ruislip.

It was the second occasion that St Kiernan’s secured the title, thanks to a 1-13 to 0-12 win over defending champions Fulham Irish.

O’Farrell chipped in with a point for the victors. He wasn't the only Corkman involved in the St Kiernan’s set-up, with Drinagh's Geoff Kingston also featuring for the newly crowned champions of London.

O’Farrell reflected on securing a London SFC winners medal and the significance of this success for the club.

“It was absolutely massive. The club was set up in the 1980s and they had only won one senior county title before last Sunday.

“So to win a second one against Fulham Irish who would be one of the best teams in London, it was just unbelievable.

“To get to the senior final over here and to win a senior county medal means a huge amount.

“My mother and father flew over on the Sunday morning for the match. I had my girlfriend Miriam, who is from Donoughmore, at the match too.

“So to have them at the match when the final whistle went and everything was just unbelievable.

“St Kiernan’s are a great club. Their junior team is London-born fellas that make up the whole team and they got to the county final this year. Our reserves team got to the county final that was played before us.

“It was like the icing on the cake then for our senior team to win. It meant a serious amount to the Kiernan’s lads.

“Starting off this year there were nine teams in the Senior Championship, all at a decent level. So to come out on top then was just brilliant.” 

The St Kiernan's players, including Paul O'Farrell, celebrate with the cup after the London SFC final.
The St Kiernan's players, including Paul O'Farrell, celebrate with the cup after the London SFC final.

 A brief flashpoint that led to red cards for both sides at half time wasn’t going to deny St Kiernan’s, who secured their first London SFC title since 2016.

For O’Farrell living and working in a city as big and as busy as London, being able to train and play GAA is a big weekly highlight.

Describing what being involved in the London GAA community with a club such as St Kiernan’s is like, O’Farrell detailed the commitment.

“We’d train twice a week and if we don’t have a match at the weekend, we would be training again.

“It is not as if we are going around for a kickaround once a week, it is a fairly good standard.

There is massive work going on with St Kiernan’s club. It is a serious setup. There are U6 lads and girls all of the way up to U18/minor.

“With the size of London, if you don’t have your bunch or who you are training with, you could get lost fairly easily.

“A lot of us aren’t driving over here, so you have to get tubes and buses.

“A lot more of the logistics side of things is more difficult over here because it is not like driving down to the local pitch back at home."

The football journey for 2021 is not finished yet however for St Kiernan’s and O’Farrell.

As champions, they will now represent London in the Connacht Senior Football Championship.

St Kiernan’s are now set to face the winners of the Sligo championship in mid-November.

“There is great excitement." 

Last year with Covid restrictions, the London champions couldn’t travel.

“It just sounds great to be able to look forward to a Connacht Senior championship match against the Sligo champions next month.    

“All going well and hopefully with travel and everything we will be able to do it.

“We are going back training Tuesday night and crack on again. I don’t think any London team has ever won that first match in Connacht. So straight away there is a bit of a buzz to say it would be great if we could get a result.

“To be still training into November, with the craic and the lads from different counties. To think we will hopefully be heading on a plane over to Sligo for a weekend. Touch wood it all goes to plan.”

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