Since 1922, 100 years since they were founded, Danesfort, like many GAA clubs across the country, has been at the heart of a community.
To get that heart pumping, as we all know, you need proud club-people banding together. One of those Danesfort folk is none other than Derek Dooley. People naturally gravitate to the All-Stars like Richie Hogan and Paul Murphy on any team, however even before the final, I was enamored by the work Derek was putting in before the crucial day.
See also: Paul Murphy on Danesfort’s intermediate championship victory
You see I am friends with Derek on social media, and in fact, he may not remember this, but we happened to share the stage together in the Watergate a few moons ago. To see his passion for his club and community in the lead-up to the final was truly endearing. From going out painting the curbs in the parish the club colors, putting up messages of support, and even sorting out the dressing room beforehand.
He embodies what the GAA is all about, just one of the no doubt infinite stories similar all throughout the county and beyond. So I was delighted when Adrian Ronan caught up with him after the game. It was clear from listening to him how invested he is in the community and the game from being a club devotee, a former player, and an official ;
“It just could not have been scripted. However, I had a niggling feeling that at the start of the year in January, we unveiled a sign with our seven founders on it, and I think since that day they have been with us all year.”
“It is just an amazing day, in the year it is, and what better way to honour your founders than to win a county final.”
“I am 100% certain they have been looking down on us”
See also: Danesfort claim the Kilkenny intermediate crown after extra time against a valiant Thomastown
No doubt Derek was there to celebrate all the good times, but also commiserate the bad times also, such as getting knocked out of the first round in Leinster in 2011. So while he no doubts enjoyed the celebrations, he himself has one eye on provincials, and who knows, maybe All Ireland success.
“There is unfinished business when we won the intermediate final, then when we had our first Leinster match against Mount Leinster Rangers. So we focus now on Leinster.”
If they get to Croker no doubt they will need to get Derek on the phone to convince Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner to make the trip, although he does seem to be a fan all ready;
You can listen back to the full interview with Derek as well as a hape of post-match from the game below on Scoreline Extra: