‘Divo’-tion to the Game

divoCiaran Divney from Sandymount is one of the most promising local all-round sportsmen. On the Gaelic football pitch he is one of Clanna Gael Fontenoy’s most consistent performers in their quest for senior status, but not by his own admission.

He’s also a wicket keeper batsman with Railway Union and last season got to the Leinster Schools Senior Cup Final with CUS, playing full back.
His current goal is to make the Dublin under-21 Gaelic Football team. ‘Divo’ is by no means claiming that he’s achieved anything yet. “I have priorities, Gaelic comes first but I try and find a balance between all sports. I would be prepared to drop everything else for Gaelic but I hope it doesn’t come to that,” he says.

“It’s a team sport. Without the other 14 lads on the field I wouldn’t be able to operate. I think that’s an unfair comment,” he says, referring to his ‘starring role’ with Clanna Gael Fontenoy.

The Schools Rugby Senior Cup jaunt was the result of what he describes as a good draw and an elite year of players who were prepared to work for each other. With seeming insider knowledge, he tells me that Terenure are this year’s favourites because they have “kept most of last year’s team together.”

His advice to others, particularly youngsters in the area: “Don’t give up, keep trying, keep training and try to optimise the experience by working hard and understanding it’s a team sport.”

His foremost influence is his father, who played Gaelic Football in Mayo for Breaffy. ‘Divo’ started playing for Clanna Gael at the age of four. His cricket mentors are two familiar local achievers, development officer Brian O’Rourke, who brought Kwik Cricket to Star of the Sea Primary and Cricket Ireland’s Niall O’Brien.

It would be fair to say that pursuing one sport to any kind of level is hard enough, never mind three. Pressed on the subject and responding to a well-worn line of questioning he says, “I would prefer to be an amateur Dublin Gaelic player than a professional rugby player or cricketer, but I think those guys (Gaelic footballers) deserve to be paid.”

A few quickfire questions got the following response:
Q. Favourite rugby player?
A. Rob Kearney because I play the same position. He played Gaelic and uses those skills on a rugby field.
Q. Favourite Dublin player of all time?
A. Ciaran Whelan, the best player never to win an All Ireland Medal.
Q. Is community Important?
A. This community nurtures the talent within, it’s very supportive.

We wish him well.

Photo by Barry Cregg courtesy of Sportsfile.com

By Rupert Heather