“A major problem we face in the county is the lack of green space for pitches” – Dublin Chairman Seavers

Friday morning. The Boardroom in Parnell Park. Mick Seavers is sitting at the big table. The packed trophy cabinet behind him. Celebrated Dublin teams line the walls.

It’s a long, long way from Clare to here. Mick’s grandfather, Harry Culhane, was Clare’s representative on Munster Council.

He was a good friend of Seán Ó Síocháin. “And he was part of the team that negotiated with John Kerry O’Donnell to play in the 1947 All-Ireland Football Final in New York.”

Mick’s mother was very interested in the games. When I was growing up, everyone was talking about Christy Ring. Mick’s father was from Cork.

Mick joined the Glasnevin Gaels as a child. “Paddy Finucane used to deliver eggs. He would take all the boxes out of the van and put us in the back to take us to Croke Park. That’s where my love for the GAA began,” Mick recalls.

“Brother Andrew of Beneavin College introduced me to Erin’s Isle. I first played for the U15s. The club has become an integral part of my life.

“I quickly realized that there was more to it than just the games. It was about community. We had great mentors who looked after us. Families who gave so much.

“Pat Reaney had a big Chevelet. We would all stand in the background and go to the games. 12 and 13 of us crammed together. Such wonderful memories.”

Mick remembers Tom Twomey, the father of John, one of the best slingers ever. “They lived on Ballygall Road, a busy street. Next to the bus stop was a small paved area with a green strip.

“You would go to the local store and there would be John with four or five Sliotars chipping the ball back to his father in the front yard a hundred feet away.”

Mick played minor and U-21 hurling for Dublin. In the company of guys like Andy Cunningham, the Cartons and the Holdens. “It’s the friendships that last.”

He experienced the best days on Isles. “Winning the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship in 1983 was a big breakthrough. And then we had the great run with the footballers.

“This era was a big boom for the place. We also won the Senior Camogie Championship. Finglas is a great place to live. People are so down to earth. There are some wonderful organizations in the area doing fantastic work.”

Islands are included. “There’s a new all-weather pitch on the way. There is a full size gym and the clubhouse has been renovated through volunteer efforts.”

He thinks of Mick Keegan, the club’s president, who recently passed away. “Such a lovely, fine gentleman. He never gave his name, but if the position was not filled, he took it. That’s the kind of guy Mick was. We are very sad. We will miss him.”

Mick Keegan would have been delighted to see Conor Donohoe’s progress with the Dublin Senior Hurlers and with the other Isles representatives at the various county sides.

“It’s about the small wins. I think in general we have to distinguish between winning and success. You can win but not succeed. I understand that players and mentors want success, but real victory is when someone goes out there and gives it their all.

“We shouldn’t be talking about winning trophies up to U15. Sometimes you see a team maybe going into a Division 3 league if they are able to play in Division 2 or 1. The mentor wants to win, but that’s fool’s gold.

“I remember a Christmas party we threw in the Isles for the U9s. 26 players were in the squad. They were all called up to receive the Player of the Year award. And when they came back to the table, they said, ‘I have player of the year.’ And someone else would say, ‘Me too.’ It’s all about this.

“We shouldn’t differentiate between players. Because the best player in the team is not necessarily the one who will carry the club for twenty years.

“Success for any club is the fact that they carry on and prove to be a central point. Giving people a chance to improve themselves. to make friends. That is the lifeblood of every club.”

Mick’s leadership journey began when he was captain of the Isles U-21. He was invited to the committee. “I’ve always been interested in how organizations work.”

He went on to cast the top roles. And was asked to represent the club on the county board. Then one day the phone rang. “John Costello here.” And since then Mick has been walking through the gates of Parnell Park.

He never thought for a second that he would become Chairman of the Dublin County Board. “We are blessed with the quality of our senior executives across the various boards. It’s all about the big picture. How can we improve things.

“A major issue we face in the county is the lack of green space for parking. We will have three hubs. In Rathcoole, Spawell and Hollystown. They will be for everyone. Another priority was the restructuring of the Dublin Championships. Make the games more competitive. And pleasant.”

Mick goes out into the corridor. Large pictures adorn the walls. He points to Jonny Cooper behind the Hill 16 gate. “He was a ball boy that day. Look what he has achieved.”

There’s a picture of Kevin Heffernan in the dressing room. And a sign that reads: “Inspiring the Generations”.

The fountain is humming outside. And like Mick says, that’s what it’s all about. Keep the river flowing.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/dublin-gaa/one-big-issue-we-face-in-the-county-is-the-lack-of-green-space-for-pitches-dublin-chairman-seavers-41607375.html “A major problem we face in the county is the lack of green space for pitches” – Dublin Chairman Seavers

Fry Electronics Team

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