John and Aidan will mark Miltown win in Castleisland

Clare minor footballer and St. Joseph’s Miltown Malbay senior team panelist, Cormac Murray helped his parish team to capture the Clare Senior Football Championship title for the first time in a quarter of a century when they defeated Cooraclare 0-13 to 0-9 at Cusack Park in Ennis last Sunday.

Only 17 years of age and a county senior football championship medal in his pocket, Cormac grew through his pre-teen years idolising Colm Cooper and the Kerry senior teams of those years.

Stylish and deadly to finish, his years of studying the Cooper way of doing things on the field appear to be paying off for the student.

As a seven-year-old he accompanied his dad Michael and myself to Killarney’s Fitzgerald Stadium just ten-years-ago last month for the family / press open day given by the Kerry team of 2005 in the run up to the final of that year.

While he had a small list of players he wished to get autographs from, Colm Cooper was out on his own and on top of that list.

I’m tipping off festival goers here in Castleisland now that Cormac’s grand-dad, John O’Looney and uncle Aidan – the team physio – will be in Castleisland over the weekend – as they have been since the festival started in 1993.

I know that we’ve gone off talking about football here in these parts since a certain, wet September Sunday. Even so we can rejoice with John and Aidan in St. Joseph’s Miltown Malbay bridging a 25 year gap by winning the title – and Cormac’s contribution to it.

Cormac’s afore mentioned dad, Michael was on the last team to win the title in 1990; his grand-dad Murray also played for the parish as did his great-grand-dad.

Having established his undoubted Miltown Malbay credentials, lineage and football breeding, I needn’t feel guilty in telling you that he is also related to the great JJ Hanrahan through his late nan, Joan O’Looney – nee Murphy from Knocknagoshel.

There was a Castleisland flavour to Miltown’s victory as Desmonds’ 1985 All-Ireland Club Championship Final hero, Donie Buckley did a few sessions with the team in the run up to the final.

In fact Donie Buckley trained the the last team to win the championship in 1990. Cormac Murray is carrying on a fine family tradition that goes all the way back to his great-grandfather, David Murray who won county championship medals with Miltown in 1916, ’23 and ’25. His grandfather, Martin Murray and grand-uncle, Fr. Pat Murray won medals together with the team in 1949 and Fr. Pat went on to another in 1953. Cormac’s dad, Michael and uncle Pat were on the winning team in 1985 and were there again for that last victory in 1990.

Sincere thanks to my colleagues: John Kelly, The Clare Champion  and John Meyler, The Clare Herald for giving their permission for the use of their photographs.

You can see more of the work of the two Clare based photographers through their links here.