Our Young Hurlers Make the Papers!

Thanks to the echo.ie for the write-up covering the first Hurling match on the 8 Acres for over 35 years!

More than three decades after hurling ceased in Robert Emmets GAA Club, the small ball game returned to Greentrees Park as their Under 9’s hosted Ballyboden Wanderers on Saturday.

When the Dublin minor hurlers ploughed through the Leinster Championship and all the way to the All-Ireland decider in 1983, there was a Robert Emmets player in the squad.

That player was Niall Quinn, whow was only 16at the time, and within a few months, he had signed a professional contract with Arsenal football club.

One would wonder how a club that produced one of the most exciting young hurlers in the capital of 1980s saw the sport fall by the wayside.

“The area got older, and football just took precedence in the club as other players moved away or started heading down the road to other clubs,” Robert Emmets chairperson Stephen Gannon tells The Echo.

“This was the idea of the last five years or so, to get GAA really going for young people in the area instead of them going down the road to play.

“We watnted kids to be able to go and play hurling in the field outside their house.

“So, it’s been the agenda of the last few committees and in fairness to the GAA, they have been really proactive in helping us get it going again, providing equipment and things like that.”

Four coaches have been at the forefront of developing hurling for the club, which servers Perrystown, Greenhills and Walkinstown, in recent years.

Frank Dollard, Sinead Kenny, James Kealy and Des Sharkey shepherded a panel of Under 9s out for their first ever game of hurling, and a first for the club in around 35 years, last weekend.

Greentrees Park, or the eight-acres as its known locally, was buzzing with excitement as the first Emmets hurling team in generatinos pulled on their helmets and donned their hurls.

Played to a high standard, Wanderers and Emmets crossed hurls for the special occassion.

As it was played under the GAA Go Games mode, which is for all players up to 11-years of age, no result was taken and all children participated.

Robert Emmets has around 400 members and is has cultivated a tight-knit family environment for all to enjoy gaelic games in its surrounding communitites.

“It was great to see the two small clubs playing hurling,” Gannon says.

“There were some excellent players, some players only starting off, boys and girls all playing and displaying a great range of skills.

“Hurling is back.”

Robert Emmets is open to new players and encourages anyone interested in giving hurling, camogie or gaelic football a try to visit their website www.robertemmetsclg.com

By Gareth O'Connor Thu 9th Mar