Dublin hurler David O’Callaghan has proposed the establishment of a combined Tallaght hurling team after he was compelled to switch clubs due to the fall of the game in St Mark’s.

The former dual player recently transferred to nearby Ballyboden St Enda’s having seen an era of hurling in Springfield “literally vanish”.

He claims Tallaght has been unaffected by the success of the Dublin senior side in recent years.

“I’d be calling for a combined Tallaght hurling team at this stage. Maybe that’s something that could be looked at, even for underage as well. If you could have something along them lines you could try and raise the standards and maybe you could have a Tallaght team competing in the senior championship at some stage.”

O’Callaghan won intermediate and senior “B” championships with St Mark’s but the team has since fallen by the wayside.

“When I was growing up, we’d very strong teams which obviously went on to adult level as well. I suppose for the last number of years, the area has changed slightly as well.

“In my area you wouldn’t really particularly know your neighbours as much as you would have. There wouldn’t be that kind of community there that was there in the past.”

The rise of Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght has also impacted on Gaelic games in the area.

“Soccer is kind of probably number one in Tallaght from what I would see anyway.

“Shamrock Rovers has created a bit of a buzz there as well. They’d be doing a bit of work around the area as well, kids are going to be attracted to that as well. That’s what you’re up against.”

O’Callaghan said there wasn’t a bad word in St Mark’s about his decision to leave.

“Look, it was a very tough thing for me to do. I’ve been at Marks all my life and I have had great times and memories there.

“It’s just unfortunate the hurling has slipped back a lot over the last couple of years and a gap has developed at underage teams where we don’t actually have a team.

“Marks have lost a lot of lads to other clubs and they’re unlikely to return.”

O’Callaghan admitted part of his thinking in moving to Ballyboden was playing at a higher standard whereby he could extend his Dublin career for another couple of years.

“Ultimately, I wanted to ensure that I do have a high level of hurling for the next couple of years. To have the opportunity to play in the Dublin club championship is great.

“It’s improving every year, there are more and more teams coming and there are great managers involved so it’s something to have outside Dublin but obviously I’d be hoping it would help me in the Dublin situation too.”

O’Callaghan was training with the other half of the Dublin provisional panel in DCU on Tuesday evening as Ger Cunningham’s side easily disposed of DIT in their Walsh Cupopener.

He should be in line to face Antrim in Parnell Park on Sunday but the Cork native is keeping his cards close to his chest. “He has us all guessing now.”

O’Callaghan was speaking at AIG’s GAA season celebration launch where they announced customers can avail of 12 months home insurance for the price of 10 for Dublin supporters (www.aig.ie/dubs).
(Irish Examiner)
Image Credit: Sportsfile


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