We are Claregalway…….
Our club is so much more than a football club.
Sure, it’s great to wait in expectation of each new Championship season and to be swept away with the excitement of getting to or perhaps winning a final or moving up in the Gaelic divisions but for many being part of the club means being part of the social community that is Claregalway GAA.
Winning is important, belonging is more important.
The lure of the summer matches sustains us through the long winters when the GAA clubhouses become a hot house of planning , training , dance practice etc while the grounds provide sustenance to both people and pets through walking & talking. As the spring turns to summer like the sap in the newly planted Knockdoe trees the expectations starts to rise.
Nothing beats the home coming, winning without the sharing within the community would not be winning. What makes our community special is our people.
This new column serves a means to meet personalities within the club, some players , some mentors, some supporters, some social misfits but all enthusiasts’, the type of people that make our community .
To kick off the column, our first interview with ‘We Are Claregalway’ is with our Senior Goalkeeper, Brian O’ Donoghue.
Affectionately known as “Dundee” Brian has played with Claregalway since 2000 and has played intercounty football from 2002 to 2016 debuting against Leitrim.
His 6 foot 2 inch frame is put to great use at the goalmouth where he is still having phenomenal performances year on year. His voice can be heard the length of the pitch and is never found short with his encouragement and advise especially to the younger players.
Brian also played League of Ireland first division soccer for Mervue, one wonders if he has a collection of soccer balls to enhance his rumoured eclectic collection of O’Neill footballs!
He is married to Siobhan and has 3 girls, Ellie, Anna and Sophie.
Favourite Person: My Wife Siobhan
Favourite Sporting Ground: Athletic Grounds In Armagh
Favourite Gadget: My Spray Painter.
Favourite Food: Burritos
Favourite Song: Baby Shark
Favourite Virtue: Integrity
Favourite Vice: Not being on Time
Favourite Sporting Moment: Dara Whelan’s goal against Carlistrane a few weeks ago.
Favourite Mentor or Celebrity: John Bishop
Favourite Saying / piece of Advice: Enjoy Life
Thank you, Brian, great to get to know you!
Jarlath Keating, affectionately know as “Ja”!
A Tuam “sham” to the core and never forgetting his roots, The Stars red flows through Ja’s veins. From a wonderful family of 13, Ja always cherished the fact that his dad played for Laois as number 13 in an All Ireland Final V Mayo and yes Mayo won !
Ja won a Minor medal with Tuam in 1978 back in the day when you didn’t have to be a giant between the sticks!! But as many of you may not know, football is only one of his many talents.
Ja started a band with Davey Carton called “Blaze X” and they supported U2 along the way. They sang “I used to love her” and then Davey worked magic on it with The Sawdoctors”.
Meanwhile back on the pitch, he lost a Connaught Junior cup playing soccer with Dynamo Blues V Hibs in 1983 and came back the following year winning the Connaught senior league, Galway premier league and a host of other cups. Ja played for Galway Town and then Galway Utd and was lucky to be there in 1991 when we won the FAI cup.
Ja started with Baile Chlár in 2006 when his son Iarla and his 3 girls started playing and decided then to help out with the goalkeepers having great success with the girls All Ireland Feile teams ,and the boys Feile win in 2013 under the leadership of Jimmy Gavin (girls) and John Kilmartin (boys) respectively.
Ja continues to help successive teams and is currently helping out with the Junior and Senior teams and wishes he has more time to help the underage teams. Ja is Self employed with Feeney Keating Ltd for 26 years.
Family means everything to Ja, he is married to Maire, a wonderfully special person and blessed with 4 children, Iarla, Caoilfhionn, Fionnuala and Ana and on top of that he has 5 Godchildren and a host of nieces and nephews, so no dull moments for Ja.
Favourite person: Mo bhean chéile,Máire
Favourite sporting ground: St Jarlath’s Park,Tuam Stadium.
Favourite gadget:My strimmer!
Favourite food:Home made Lasagne
Favourite song:Rainy night in Soho,The pogues.
Favourite virtue: Honesty
Favourite vice: That’s for others to decide…there’s probably loads!!
Favourite sporting moment:
a.2017 County Minor win.
b.Crossing the bridge with the Feile boys in 2013 and seeing Sean Flanagan with the Tricolor draped over his shoulders and a smile as wide as the river Clare, now that’s what bringing it home is !
Favourite mentor or celebrity: Brendan Doherty, Tuam Stars Minor manager in 1978 and Mark King ,a ledge in the making.
Favourite saying/piece of advice: See things through to the end. Ja truly believes that dedication, sleeves up and hard work will always be rewarded.
Thank you Ja, great to get to know you!
Name: Maura Murphy Treasurer Ladies Club
Favourite person: Michael (My other half)
Favourite sporting ground: Croke Park there’s been great days and awful days
Favourite gadget: My phone
Favourite food: Mexican Prawns on a bed of salad and black beans in TGI Fridays
Favourite song: Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen
Favourite virtue: Patience!!!!!
Favourite vice: My phone
Favourite sporting moment: There are two, Claregalway Ladies winning the Intermediate All Ireland on 30th November 2013 & David Burke lifting Liam McCarthy in September 2017
Favourite mentor or celebrity: Shane Martin psychologist / ‘Moodwatchers’
Favourite saying/piece of advice: Don’t put off til tomorrow what can be done today
Thank you Maura.
Charlotte Cooney Player profile :
Charlotte Cooney sporting career is both ongoing and epic. She has played junior football with Claregalway since she was 12, wining all the way up to Senior ranks. Charlotte has one minor All Ireland medal with Galway and also an Intermediate Club All Ireland in 2013. She made her senior debut in 2012 for Galway and also has won two O’ Connor cups.
Charlottes educational career is equally as impressive as her sporting career. She studied law and accounting at the University of Limerick and also studied fashion design for one year.
Favourite person/persons: Parents
Favourite sporting ground: Dr Hyde park, Rocommon
Favourite gadget: Phone
Favourite food: Pizza
Favourite song: Old town road
Favourite virtue: Honesty
Favourite vice: Ignorance
Favourite sporting moment: winning the club intermediate All Ireland
Favourite mentor or celebrity: Serena Williams
Favourite saying/piece of advice: “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.
We couldn’t agree more, great to get to know you Charlotte.
Player profile : Peter Divilly Half back
On the business side of things, Peter Divilly has been involved in running the family business “Divillys Ltd” the past few years where he constanstly strives for continuous improvement while sticking never weavering from the core values of providing top Quality service and produce. The business is a huge part of Peters life and it is important to him that it creats jobs for the local community and also sponsors several local events including Claregalway GAA .
On the sporting side, Peter started playing football from a young age under Jimmy Gavin where he won his first u12 county medal in 2003 and continued to progress through the ranks from there , winning city league medals at different age groups. Peter made his senior debut in 2011 season and has been involved ever since. The Highlight of Peters sporting career to date is captaining Claregalway back to senior in 2017.
On the pitch Peter is seen as someone who gives 100% and always loves the physical side of the game including a few big hits , he plays hard but fair on players running through Claregalways defence
Favourite person/persons: Family
Favourite sporting ground: Tuam Stadium
Favourite gadget: iPhone
Favourite food: Spagetti Bolognese
What did you want to be when you were a child? Butcher
Favourite virtue: Integrity
Favourite vice: I am not sure, there are a few
Favourite sporting moment: Captaining Claregalway to intermediate championship in 2017
Favourite mentor or celebrity: Brian Cody(Gets the best out of every squad he takes charge of)
Favourite saying/piece of advice: “Live every day like its your last.”.
Many thanks Peter , great to get to know you.
If there is someone you would like to see included in the “We are Claregalway “ column please let us know.