This coming Sunday Kiltane are due to play the most important match in their club’s history. Local boy Roger Milla returns to the guest spot to set the scene on this huge day for the Erris club.
Photo: Roger Milla
On Sunday Kiltane, a small Parish in Erris in County Mayo, take on Truagh Gaels of Monaghan in the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Final in Croke Park.
Kiltane are no different to every other parish in the country in that there are familial ties running through the club. But to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Kiltane are like any other parish, only more so.
There are seven sets of brothers on the Kiltane panel, most of whom will expect to feature on the day. The Sweeney brothers from Briska will start, likewise the Corrigans from Shragraddy and the Gaughans from Cloontakilla.
Darragh Carey will start and his twin brother Cathal can expect to play a part before the day is out. The Deane brothers and David Conroy could possibly expect to feature and James Conroy along with the Carey brothers from Geesala will be the future standard bearers.
The Corrigans, Gaughans and Sweeneys are also cousins. David Conroy is the first cousin of Tommy “goals” Conroy. Shane Lindsay and Jason Healy are cousins and Martin Gallagher is the cousin of former Mayo and Armagh player Billy Joe Padden.
Amongst the proud fathers watching on from the Cusack stand will be Paddy Corrigan, former Mayo and Kiltane player and underage trainer and Seamus Barrett, former underage trainer and father of Edmond ( you can check out Edmond’s art work here). Paddy Joe Carey, who played all levels for Kiltane, will be watching his twin sons and Big John Reilly will be cheered by Gerry and Paddy, his father and uncle respectively, both of whom played for Kiltane. Oliver Munnelly Jnr. will have his father and his uncle John in the dugout beside him and he will be ready to go on when he gets the call.
Kiltane, needless to say, have never reached a national final before. The senior county final in 1989 was the furthest the club ever progressed. Relegation from the senior ranks last year was a catalyst for the club and judging by the 50-man panel in the county final there are plenty of young hungry players looking to stake a claim. Regardless of Sunday’s result in Croke Park don’t be surprised if Kiltane break even more new ground over the next few years.