End of Year Awards Night
Our end of year Awards Night took place in the Terenure Inn on Thursday 10th December. Thanks to everyone who turned out and everyone who supported the club by buying a raffle ticket.
The winners on the night were;
A Team Player of the Year: Frank Farrell
B Team Player of the Year: Jointly awarded to Eoin Fingleton and Declan Ryan
C Team Player of the Year: Gavin O'Connell
Most Improved Player: Cillian Thornton
Clubman of the Year: David Roche
No Fault Award: Brian Finn, the tussles in Brussels
Lads, lads, lads etc
Realt Dearg Abú
Railway Cup 2015
Munster 3-11 v 2-13 Leinster (a.e.t.)
Drimnagh Castle, 21st November 2015
The annals of history are littered with these kinds of stories. A burgeoning nascent state, its independence finally recognised, self-detemination hard fought for, respect hard won. And then...descent in acerbic in-fighting and score-settling. Chaos....anarchy....Civil War. From Spartacus' attempt for basic human liberties to Bashar al-Assad's attempts to suppress them, these are always the bloodiest of battles. Former comrades, colleagues, friends who once stood shoulder to shoulder in challenge to a common adversary, now staring at each other with bayonets drawn. No quarter given or asked. Brothers in arms no more.
As the opposing forces from Munster and Leinster took to the Drimnagh battle ground on a cold November morning, it was clear there was more at stake than a hurling match. One thousand years after similar forces faced each other on the shores of Clontarf, scores still needed to be settled. This was no mere game. Opposing generals bringing to mind legendary American commanders-in-chief of yesteryear. Dave Sheehan, like Franklin Roosevelt, crippled in his prime, but tactically astute and battle hardened nonetheless. Colm Gahan, inspiring by force of action rather than philosophical rhetoric, leading the cavalry charge from the front line. Unadulterated war - tremenjus fun for all the family.
This was hurling at its most primal. Frantic, frenetic, fierce, ferocious....so many f words can be used to describe this match, and a lot of them were used in Drimnagh. The opening exchanges were a frenzy of energy-letting and scorched earth tactics unseen on these shores since Cromwell's razing of Drogheda. The current version of Leinster men were not as easily cowed though. Gahan himself, calling to mind his forebears, the precocious Wexford boys of '98 struck an early hammer blow. His battlefeld commander Shane Murphy following swiftly with another incendiary fired into the Munster rear-guard. Shell-shocked, overrun and retreating, Munster needed respite. The noose tightening, battle-lines had to be redrawn to break the encirclement.
Guerilla tactics were required. Having served so well against marauders in many unyielding hinterlands, they needed to be adapted to deal with this new, familiar enemy on home soil. Cian Liddy led the flying column deep into enemy territory striking an immediate counter attack. Podge Buckley, who would later declare his phenomenal emotional, but not financial, attachment to this club, became his aide-de-camp. Together they led multiple sorties which took their toll on the Leinster cover. Two more majors were claimed - emphatic blows but not yet decisive. With Munster leading three artillery strikes to two, defensive warfare was required. The big guns would sound no more.
Time to revert to street fighting and sniping to win the day. Conor Maharaj and Kevin Ryan, the Connacht mercenary, for Leinster and Martin Murphy and the enigmatic Conor O'Halloran, who was unknown in military circles until that day, for Munster, will enter forklore for their respective provinces. Their long range exploits were vital propaganda victories for their respective camps on that fateful day. Minstrels may well sing many songs of their achievements. While the heat and bluster of battle raged like a torment around them, they led the charts on confirmed targets hit with exceptional accuracy.
With bodies spent and littering the battlefield, stalemate ensued. But this was civil war...there had to be a victor. Once more into no-mans land. Unchartered territory. Light fading, temperatures dropping, night closing in. Brian Boru's millennium-old score still unsettled. Spirits on either side never fading, energy never flagging in a desperate attempt to wrench the prize of victory from their unyielding foe. Cian Liddy nearly suffering a similar fate to Robespierre, being guillotined by his former comrades during the French Revolution. Old veterans Harry Stone and Ciaran Butler entering the fray to inspire and cajole war-weary troops. Unadulterated war we said - every man was required.
In one way, in the end, hurling was the winner. Over 45 brave soldiers taking to the battlefield at Drimnagh Castle to give their all to represent their province with honour. However, in another more important way Munster were the winners. This battle is over but the war rumbles on. No doubt, there will be another chapter to this story.
Munster: Cathal Mulkere, Mike Richardson, Derek McKenna, David O'Connell, Eoin O'Dwyer, Niall Mullane, Ronan Moloney, James Kenny (capt), Brian Gavin, Kieran Kelly, John Tarpey, Conor O'Halloran, Padraig Buckley, Martin Murphy, Cian Liddy
Stephen Barry, Stephen Casey, Gavin O'Connell, Kevin Cormican, Gavin Deacon, Kevin McEvoy, Jack McNamara, Eoin O'Sullivan, Brad Harte, Ciaran Butler
Leinster: Marc MacLiam, Kevin Deady, Eoin Fitzpatrick, Ultan Dillon, Barry Ruth, Cathal Hester, Tom Kehoe, Conor Maharaj, Kevin Ryan, Jamie O'Hara, Denis O'Sullivan, Eoin Ryan, Shane Murphy (capt), Colm Gahan, Martin Murphy
Caomhin Concannon, Ger Kennedy, Cillian Thornton, Leon Flanagan, Kieran Parrock, Harry Stone
AHL6 Promotion Semi final
Réalt Dearg 1-8 v 2-12 St. Sylvesters
Drimnagh Castle, 8 November 2015
Relentless, intense, fierce....all words that have been used to describe hurling matches throughout the ages. Unfortunately, these words are being used at the start of this piece to describe the weather conditions that presented themselves in Drimnagh at mid-day on Sunday. Hurling in November.... perhaps what those with sights on Croke Park for St. Patricks Day aspire to, but the cold reality of a shot at promotion to AHL5 was a sufficient enough carrot for the hardly souls from Réalt Dearg and Syls to face conditions Captain Ahab would have struggling to overcome in his pursuit of the Great White Whale. Ducks took shelter under the stones of Drimnagh Castle unwilling to take solace in the comfort of the carefully constructed protective moat. The euphemistic cats and dogs were being thrown biblically from the heavens...Twas fair feckin wet is essentially what I'm tryin to get across here.
But there was hurling to be played. So with a sense of enthusiasm which belied the conditions, that could only come from not having taken to the field in the almost 8 weeks since the disappointment in O'Toole Park, the Stars men set immediately to the task at hand and notched the first score of the day with an excellent effort from new boy Jamie O'Hara making his debut for the A team. In fact, O'Hara notched the first three scores of the day is what hopefully is a portent for better days in the black and red jersey.
Unfortunately, like the Great White Whale taking a chunk off Captain Ahab's leg, the Stars were dealt a significant blow early in the engagement when talismanic midfielder Paul Warren had to exit proceedings having suffered a nasty quad injury. Small in stature but a colossus in presence, we wish Paul well in his recovery. A re-organisation of the troops was required with Stephen Barry entering the fray but the battle, and the rain, continued unabated. More blows, two Syls goal, a scatter of points from a precocious corner-forward to put them well ahead on the scoreboard. Serious introspection required, the tempest raging on and off the field, pinned down in the trenches. Roy Batty's Tears in Rain speech from Blade Runner comes to mind... Time to Die??...Not a chance.
The day may have brought the deluge but the men in black brought the thunder. Ferocious intensity in defence from the Stars, led by Colonel Gahan and his Lieutenant Maharaj caused the first seeds of doubt to enter Syls minds. Kev Ryan and O'Hara sniping in attack. John Tarpey, panzer-like, marshalling the Blitzkrieg. Chubba's speculative grenade made incendiary by Niall Mullane's goal-den touch. The tide turning, Syls needed respite. Their 8-point lead cut to 3. The shrill whistle halted the onslaught within sight of the target.
Conditions becoming treacherous underfoot, the second barrage begun. Once more into the breach good fellows. On this Remembrance Sunday, remembering Passchendaele all those years ago, where the second battle was the more tactical, tiring effort but ultimately decisive, the Deluge of Drimnagh proved to be a similar affair. Facing into the gale, the Réalt Dearg men died with their boots on. No surrender, no backwards step taken. Scores were more difficult to come by as the weather worsened. Ultan Dillon completely negating their most destructive weapon - Medal of Honor territory. Wounded in battle - pick up the Purple Heart later...there's a job to be done. Cian Liddy continually raiding into No-Man's land bringing his embattled comrades with him to strike at the heart of the enemy. Mike Butler, the beleaguered old warrior entering the fray..generals on the front line. These are the men to have by your side when the enemy is at the gates.
The result did not go our way but we can be proud of these young men. There will be other days, better days. We have come a long way. Dust ourselves down, re-group, re-assess. We will attack again in the new year...
Réalt Dearg: Gary Thompson, Mike Richardson, Cathal Hester, Derek McKenna, Conor Maharaj, Colm Gahan, Brian Gavin, Eoin O'Dwyer, Paul Warren, Jamie O'Hara, Niall Mullane, Kevin Ryan, Cian Liddy, John Tarpey, Stephen Casey.
Stephen Barry, Ultan Dillon, Conor O'Droma, David O'Connell, Mike Butler, Kevin Deady, Marc McLiam
Theres one potential League fixture left for the C team and the details for the AHL6 playoff semi final have been announced, details of both below;
Sunday 8 November2015: Drimnagh Castle at 12pm
AHL6 semi final playoff: Réalt Dearg 'A' v St Sylvesters
Sunday 8 November2015: Fairview at 14.30pm
AHL9 : St Josephs OCB v Réalt Dearg 'C'
All support welcome
Railway Cup / AGM Saturday 21 November 2015
End of year awards night Thursday 10 December 2015
Times, venues and dress code to be confirmed later
Realt dearg gig guide
Keith Lawlor of this parish is undertaking a tour with his band Giveamanakick at the end of this month and early October. Keith assures me its a fun, wholesome show with plenty of toe tapping going on. He also confided that they don't make a party out of loving, he much prefers holdin' hands and pitchin' wood, he don't let his hair grow long and shaggy, like the hippies out in San Francisco do. Maith thú Keith. A fine young Gael and very proud are we of him.
Junior D CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
Sunday 13 September, O'Toole Park, 1pm
Skerries Harps 0-26 Realt Dearg 3-11 AET
Realt Dearg fell to an agonising defeat in our first county final after a very intense game against Skerries. Realt Dearg hit the ground running with 3 goals in the opening 15 minutes thanks to some lovely play and finishing from Frank Farrell and Gary Hurney. Skerries kept in touch through out the first half and the two sides headed in at half time with Realt Dearg leading 3-04 to Skerries 11 points.
The second half continued in the tit for tat fashion with very little separating the sides with Frank Farrell, Eoin Ryan and Cian Liddy all contributing on the scoreboard. John Tarpey was very unlucky to get sent off with a second yellow. Skerries scored a last minute free to level the match and leave the scoreline Realt Dearg 3-09 to Skerries 18 points.
Extra time opened well for Realt Dearg scoring the opening point but Skerries refused to go away and got a run of a few points to go ahead into the second half of extra time. Realt Dearg were playing catch up at this stage and a few missed goal opportunities and a possible penalty decision that wasn't given were punished by Skerries going the length of the field to score points which put a gloss on the final scoreline.
It was a huge effort for the club to reach this stage and we would like to thank everyone involved both home and abroad. Thanks to everyone who was on the final panel and everyone who played a part all season, the competition this year was vital to us reaching this level and it is very much appreciated.
Thanks to our manager Harry Stone and trainer Stephen Casey, all the selectors and Mike the physio.
Big mention too to the support on the day, it was huge and made it feel like a home game for the stars. Thanks too for the support from abroad and the lads who put the video together, the B and C teams who keep the club thriving and everyone who contributed or supported the club at any stage this year.
Realt Dearg Abú.
Realt Dearg: 1.Gary Thompson, 2. Michael Richardson, 3.Trevor Jackman (Cpt), 4. Ultan Dillon, 5.Conor Maharaj, 6.Cathal Hester, 7.Kevin Cormican, 8.Paul Warren, 9.Eoin O Dwyer, 10. Martin Murphy (CL), 11. Colm Gahan, 12. Kevin Ryan, 13. Cian Liddy, 14. Frank Farrell, 15. Gary Hurney
Subsitutes: 16. Mac McLiam, 17. Brian Gavin, 18. Niall Mullane, 19. Matt Lynch, 20.John Tarpey, 21. Derek McKenna, 22. Martin Murphy (KK), 23. Padraig Buckley, 24. Kieran Kelly,
Manager: Harry Stone
Selectors: Mike Butler (L), David Roche, Joe O' Callaghan, Caoimhin Concannon
Trainer: Stephen Casey
Physio: Mike Weaving
COunty Final Time!!
In November 2009, two young men met in Russells in Ranelagh, nervous, excited...thoughts swirling through the maelstrom of their minds...what would come of this meeting, would there be another one, would they bond, would they be taken seriously...so many questions... so many possibilities. Two young men from vastly different backgrounds, the young doctoral student from the hurling heartland of Dicksboro, Kilkenny, the other from the hurling wasteland of Belturbet, Cavan...but they found that they both shared a passion. A passion for the game of hurling. That shared passion ensured that the union proved to be a fruitful one. Réalt Dearg Hurling Club was born...innocent, tender, needing to be cared for and nurtured to develop and thrive.
But develop and thrive it did. A precocious infant, it took its first steps six month into its life in Rathcoole on a crisp spring morning. Initially wearing hand-me-downs from its older neighbours and its big sister, it developed a penchant for black and red colours that remains to this day. But the club still needed to be protected and cared for.. to be seen as an equal of older, more street-wise clubs. The young doctor losings his composure seeing his naive progency being bullied out in Portmarnock. But this youth was not for being ignored. Later that summer its first words, a mere footnote on the annals of Dublin GAA, but under the floodlights of Lawless Park, Swords, Fingallians heard the first shout of defiance from the burgeoning youth. Childlike enthusiam and excitement - a first championship victory in a year of firsts. Survived through the first year...growing up but needing to carve out its own place in the world.
It takes a community to raise a child, but this youth developed its own community. A community of young men from all corners of Ireland, seeking a sporting and social outlet in the big city. The development of its personality in this vein, a refuge of sorts for those young men. The formative years have many stories, memories ingrained into the minds of all those involved in the raising of that fledgling youth. Like the story of Leon Flanagan, voted most improved player in the club in his fifties, like Jeff Matthews, who was looking for a social outlet in a new country and found much, much more, or Cian O'Brien, a Tipperary man who grew up in a family of Cork people and payed half a match with a broken leg. So many broken bodies - what of Ronan Moloney and John Tarpey working so hard through the pain and heartbreak of torn cruciates to get themselves back to full fitness and back out on the playing field. Or Cathal Mulkere and Stephen Casey who dealt with very serious illness...and also recovered to take their place on the field. The happy times, Richie Ryan's fifteen minutes of internet fame , Mick Conlan's questionable seating arrangements in Terenure Cross Roads, Kevin Deady taking to the national airwaves to find the lost trophy. Poorly executed handshakes, yeast infections, burger bans, dog-kicking postmen, this youth has fit an awful lot into its short life to date.
Cared for, nurtured and protected by all those people mentioned above, and helped out by many more, now the club is preparing to take its first step into the big, bad world. County Championship final time. An entry into the record books. Many years from now a young boy looking though the records of Dublin Junior Hurling Championship finals may well ask their father "Who are Réalt Dearg?". Well Réalt Dearg are much, much more than just the 24 privileged people who will get to wear those black and red jersies on 13 September. It is a collection of stories and memories of all the people who played such a major part in getting the club to where it is today like those that have been mentioned, among hundreds that haven't. Treasured memories.
Those two young men who met in Russells just over 5 years ago will watch on proudly as the club they set in motion on that fately November evening fends for itself among the big boys. Like the first day of school, there will excitement, laughs and maybe tears but Réalt Dearg are ready. More than ready. This is where we belong.
Réalt Dearg abú!
Réalt Dearg take on Skerries Harps in the Dublin Junior D final in Lorcan O'Toole Park, Kimmage at 1 pm on Sunday, 13 September 2015 #bethere
This Sunday 13 September 2015 sees Realt Dearg play the biggest game in our short history, our first county final - Junior D Championship County Final to be precise.
It will take place in O'Toole Park in Kimmage at 1pm and all support is welcome. Strong rumours abound that Cathal Mulkere will be providing Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh style commentary throughout.
Half time entertainment will be Leon Flanagan doing a David Bowie medley of Space Oddity, Starman and The Stars(Are Out tonight). There will also be an inaugural Realt Dearg Roller baby contest starring potentially Realt Deargs next generation of future players. Thank you Harry, Gary, Caoimhin and Paul for providing the babys and prams.
There will also be a contest for the best support banner on the day. Rhyming, colour schemes and humour will all be determining factors. All support welcome on the day. Refreshments and post match analysis will take place in Rody Bolands Bar in Rathmines later that evening.
Realt Dearg Abú
Junior D Championship Semi Final
Sunday 30th August 2015, Drimnagh Castle
Réalt Dearg 'A' 2-18 v 2-13 St. Jude's
We're talking about a county final!!
History was made on Sunday when Réalt Dearg deservedly qualified for their first county final. All roads led to Drimnagh Castle on a morning when the Irish summer finally decided to show itself on its last weekend. The excitement of the big occasion caused all sorts of entertainment - even supporters lost the run of themselves - Leon's encounter with a tree in the car-park in his haste to get into the ground was a foretaste of the incredible physical intensity that was to come out on the field. Leon's hapless window may have lost its structural integrity but it was the only thing RD-related to do so as the men in black and red refused to buckle or fold throughout an encounter which was a perfect advertisement for all that's great about our most ancient of games.
In sweltering conditions, the game started at a ferocious pace that continued unabated for the 70 plus minutes of action. The opening exchanges were full of fire and brimstone with space around the middle third at a premium. While the Stars were beginning to get on top, they were rocked by an early goal from the Judes men that was somewhat against the run of play to that point. But the RD men are made of stern stuff. Frank Farrell steadied the ship with some good frees before Gary Hurney's selfless running and layoff opened up the Judes defense. Farrell made no mistake in rattling the net and the RD machine was starting to motor. Excellent, intelligent link-play and teamwork led to further scores from Farrell and Kevin Ryan but the Judes men were matching the challenge . After a breathless opening period, the minimum separated the teams at the interval - RD led 1-7 to 1-6. The first half was marked by phenomenal workrate from the home side with the Réalt Dearg men constantly flummoxing their opponents with hooks, blocks and big tackles when required. This was epitomised on many occasions by Colm Gahan literally throwing himself into challenge after challenge to thwart their usually influential centre-back.
On the changeover, it was the Stars turn to get the early goal with Kev Ryan succeeding in finding the net from fully thirty yards with a low shot that took advantage of local knowledge of the bobbly surface...! Réalt Dearg were beginning to get on top and Farrell extended the lead from frees won as a result of sheer hard work and effort, particularly from the midfield pairing of Paul Warren and Eoin O'Dwyer. Indeed, Warren got on the scoresheet himself when intelligently set up by Farrell having took up an excellent position on the 40'. RD's greater hunger was shown when Martin Murphy (the Clare version) split the posts despite having two Judes men on his back.Whatever about his goal which opened the second half scoring, Kev Ryan's over the shoulder point from far out on the sideline was a phenomenal effort and was good enough to grace Thurles or Croke Park, showcasing the talent that was on show in Drimnagh Castle in this semi final.
But Judes' are among the aristocrats of Dublin GAA, a reputation hard-won in many battles over the years and were not going to lie down and die. They thundered back into the game with some good scores but in hindsight may regret opting to take a point from a penalty while going well. Despite Jude's good spell, the Stars continued to defend manfully with the half-back line of Maheraj, Hester and Cormican emerging with possession from the ground battles on numerous occasions. RD also kept the scorekeeper busy with Gary Hurney being rewarded for his industry and Kev Ryan profiting from good play from Farrell. Judes still weren't finished and got through for a well taken goal to make for a nervous final few minutes. However, the story of Réalt Dearg's 5-year journey was told with the final score of the day when John Tarpey combined with Eoin O'Dwyer for the Ginja Ninja to ensure RD's place in the final - a score forged on the fields of Monaleen but finished on the green sward of Drimnagh Castle.
This game was won though the hard-work and determination shown throughout the game by a hungry and phenomenally fit Réalt Dearg team. Going shoulder to shoulder with one of the heavyweight clubs of the Dublin GAA family did not faze what is one of its youngest members. A different challenge awaits the Stars in two weeks when Skerries Harps will be the opposition...but what a challenge it will be. Preparing for a big final in September...oh what a great time this is!
As astra per aspera...let's reach for the Stars!
Réalt Dearg: Gary Thompson, Ultan Dillon, Trevor Jackman, Mike Richarsdon, Conor Maheraj, Cathal Hester, Kevin Cormican, Paul Warren, Eoin O'Dwyer, Martin Murphy (Clare), Colm Gahan, Kevin Ryan, Cian Liddy, Frank Farrell, Gary Hurney.
Subs: John Tarpey, Martin Murphy (Kilkenny), Brian Gavin, Niall Mullane
Derek McKenna, Kieran Kelly, Stephen Casey, Conor O'Droma, Ronan Moloney, Kevin Deady, Eoin Fingleton, Matt Lynch, James Kenny, Marc MacLiam