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Cronin: No one was talking about East Kerry when we were down in the dumps

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Adam Moynihan speaks to sharpshooting Gaelic footballer Evan Cronin about staying fit, Spa’s senior aspirations, and the critics who are trying to split East Kerry

 

 

Hi Evan. How have you been coping with the latest lockdown? Are you staying fit?

Ah yeah, I’m tipping away at home. I have a home gym so I do a good bit there, and I’m doing my 5Ks.

 

How are the 5Ks going?

Not too bad. Niall Mahony is the man for the 5Ks. He’s the one we’re trying to keep up with. He might be old but he’s still showing us up!

 

Is it hard to keep the motivation levels high when things are so uncertain?

Yeah, it was grand last year because we were able to do a bit with East Kerry and with Spa, but this lockdown seems that bit harder. The weather is a lot worse, the evenings are a lot shorter, and there’s no real plan for us in place yet. But we just have to keep at it and hopefully we’ll have something to look forward to in the near future.

 

Spa still have the 2020 intermediate semi-final on the horizon. Are you optimistic that you can win that competition and make the step up to senior?

That’s one thing that makes it easier for us to stay motivated. The intermediate has to be played and we have to be fit for it. Look, we’ve been knocking around the intermediate now for a good few years without really making a good impression on it. We’ll take it one game at a time. We’ve got Castleisland in the semi-final so hopefully we can get over them. Fingers crossed.

 

If Spa were to get promoted, would it be hard to say goodbye to the East Kerry team?

It actually would be hard. I’ve been with East Kerry since I was 17 years old and I’ve played with all those players for so many years with the Sem and with East Kerry. We have a club atmosphere – everyone’s very close. So it will be hard to say goodbye. But at the end of the day, the greatest honour you can have is to play senior County Championship with your club and that is 100% something that everyone in Spa wants to do. That’s the main thing for us.

 

What do you make of people who say East Kerry are too strong and the district should be split up?

Yerrah, look, all I’ll say is that East Kerry didn’t win anything for 20 years. No one was talking about East Kerry when we were down in the dumps, losing to Laune Rangers in the first round of the County Championship. We had just as many clubs back then. When you’re on top, there are always people trying to take you down. I wouldn’t take much notice of it.

 

Where do the 2019 and 2020 County Championship wins rank in your personal list of achievements?

I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved with a couple of great teams. Fierce lucky. The wins with East Kerry, especially 2019, are right up there with the Hogan Cup win with the Sem. They were just two special days. Obviously 2020 was great as well but, because of COVID, there were no fans, so it was weird. We couldn’t have a proper celebration or anything. 2019 was one of the better days of my career, and the better days of my life. Just being with everyone on the pitch after… To break that 20-year duck was something special and I don’t think anything could come near it, unless we do something with Spa. That’s the only thing that could top it.

 

Okay, change of pace. Here’s your chance to do some slating. Which of your teammates (Spa or East Kerry) never stops complaining?

That’s an easy one anyway. Dara Moynihan. 100%. For Spa and East Kerry. I love him to bits but he’d get on you nerves at times! He’s obviously a great player though and it probably makes him what he is.

 

Who is the teacher’s pet?

Another easy one. Dan O’Donoghue. All you have to do is ask him why he’s captain for East Kerry. It’s a good story but I’ll leave that for another day.

 

This is the second or third time I’ve been told to investigate this Dan O’Donoghue captaincy story. I’ll have to get it from the horse’s mouth.

Yeah, it’s an interesting one. That’s a story to go after.

 

Best at Tinder?

Mike Foley. He claims that he has completed Tinder and he’s after moving on to Hinge.

 

Who spends the most time in the gym?

James Devane. He’s there two or three times a day. He doesn’t do anything else. If he could marry the gym, he’d be married with a couple of years.

 

Who would be first on the microphone at karaoke?

It’s a toss-up between Paudie Clifford and Brian O’Donoghue (Stocky). I’ll give it to Stocky because he gives a great rendition of ‘Love, Me’ by Collin Raye.

 

Are you much of a singer yourself? Which song would you choose if you had to?

I wouldn’t say I’m much of a singer but I’d go with ‘Beeswing’.

 

Which teammate is most likely to become a club officer?

Shane Cronin. If there’s anything going on in Spa, or anything to be organised, he’s the man behind it. He has a knack for it.

 

If you could bring back one Spa or East Kerry legend to play alongside, who would it be?

East Kerry is an easy one: Séamus Moynihan. Definitely. He’s an absolute hero and I would’ve loved to have played with him. Spa is more tricky. There are a lot of fellas I could mention. I’m going to go with Pat Cronin Sr. He’s a gentleman off the pitch and I’ve only heard good things about him in terms of football.

 

And final question: what’s the first thing you’re going to do when the pandemic is over?

Hopefully we’ll get that semi-final played with Spa and we’ll be targeting a final. And one thing I’m mad to do is go out to Darby’s (Torc Hotel) for a pint and a game of pool with the Spa lads.

 

It will be badly needed. Thanks Evan. All the best.

Not a bother Adam. Thanks very much.

 

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Nagle announces retirement from World Rally Championship

Sean Moriarty Killarney World Rally Championship co-driver Paul Nagle will retire from the sport later this month. The Spanish round of the World Championship in Salou later this month will […]

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Sean Moriarty

Killarney World Rally Championship co-driver Paul Nagle will retire from the sport later this month.

The Spanish round of the World Championship in Salou later this month will be his last event as a professional co-driver.

The 44-year-old has called time after 18 years in the sport’s top flight.

He has chosen the Rally de Catalunya to bow out as it is a rally he holds very close to his heart.

The Aghadoe man made is WRC debut there in 2004 alongside his friend and neighbour Donie O’Sullivan in a Ford Focus WRC and this set the seed for a career in the sport.

Last weekend’s Rally New Zealand was his 101st event start in the WRC and since his debut 18 years ago he has won five rounds of the series as co-driver to Tyrone’s Kris Meeke.

Their last win together was in Spain in 2017 – another reason Nagle has chosen the October 13 to 16 rally as his last.

Another special Rally RACC Catalunya memory came in 2011 when he and Meeke won their first WRC stage together after topping the time sheets on the event’s PowerStage in front of a live television audience.

More recently Nagle has been co-driver to Waterford’s Craig Breen and the Waterford/Kerry pairing – Ireland’s only full-time crew in the WRC – have finished on the podium no less than six times – the most recent on Rallye Sardinia in June.

Ahead of last weekend’s Rally New Zealand he confided in those closest to him that he would confirm his future plans once he returned to Ireland.

“The time is right,” he said. “I have thought about it long and hard, I just know it’s time to go. It has been a huge privilege, the highs outweigh the lows and I have been very lucky to get where I am. I have to give a special mention to Kris Meeke and Craig Breen who shared that journey with me.”

Nagle praised a loyal bunch of family, friends and supporters who have been with him through thick and thin.

His parents Angela and his late father Maurice instilled in him a passion for motorsport.

His wife Cathy is his biggest supporter, and she will take their two sons, Fitz and Leon, to Rally RACC Catalunya next week so they can see Paul in action at a World Championship event for the last time.

He thanked the loyal Kerry followers who have hoisted the tricolour over his rally car many times over the years.

He also thanked his personal sponsor Stephen Ferriter from Mallow Road Motors in Cork who has been by his side for a large portion of his career too.

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Donaghy’s move to Roscommon “absolute rubbish”

By Sean Moriarty Kieran Donaghy has labelled news reports that he is to become the manager of the Roscommon football team as “absolute rubbish”. Several news outlets, including locally based […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kieran Donaghy has labelled news reports that he is to become the manager of the Roscommon football team as “absolute rubbish”.

Several news outlets, including locally based media, ran stories on Monday night saying the four-time All-Ireland was set to take over as the Roscommon boss.

Almost as quick as the news reports were published Donaghy took to Twitter to correct them.

“Absolute rubbish,” he tweeted.

“I did not speak to one single person associated with Roscommon GAA. What has happened to fact checking a story these days.”

Donaghy has been part of the Armagh county set-up for the last two seasons. He is also preparing for another season in the Irish Basketball Superleague with Tralee Warriors at the age of 39.

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