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'Big population doesn’t entitle you to anything' - Darcy defends Dubs after recent dominance

Dublin are chasing a fifth All-Ireland senior title in seven years on 17 September.

Dublin are bidding for an All-Ireland senior three-in-a-row.
Dublin are bidding for an All-Ireland senior three-in-a-row.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

DUBLIN SELECTOR DECLAN Darcy has rejected suggestions that the county should be split in two due to their current level of Gaelic football dominance.

The issue cropped up again in the wake of Dublin’s impressive dismantling of Tyrone in last Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final.

They are now closing in on a third successive All-Ireland senior title and victory over Mayo on 17 September would be the fifth time in seven seasons that they have lifted Sam Maguire.

Speaking at Dublin’s All-Ireland final press event yesterday at Parnell Park, Darcy insists a ‘big population’ does not automatically lead to success and Dublin deserve credit for the coaching structures they have put in place.

“I have an U10′s team in Clann naGael and two U14 girls teams and competition for sport is huge in Dublin.

“Our kids are being challenged to play rugby and soccer, in particular, as well as other sports, which is fantastic.

“It is great for the kids to be able to play our sports. I would love for them to play our national games, for sure.

“We are in a golden period at the minute, which is fantastic, but the reason Ciaran Kilkenny and these people are playing is because what their coaches and school teachers did 10 years ago.

“They just didn’t turn good footballers in the last year or two. There is a lot of work gone into the players and it is reflected in our athletes.

“I don’t think Dublin should be punished for that, they should be congratulated for that.

“And it is maybe for other counties to look in and see how did they do that and then bring it into their own county. Bring that blueprint in.

“I played for Leitrim. It is the same for them, they have 30 arms and 30 legs, it is the same.

“Look at New Zealand, they have a small population and they are still the best rugby team in the world and they are able to England, with a population of 60 million. Big population doesn’t entitle you to anything.

“At the end of the day, people may need to tip their hat a little bit more to what has gone in Dublin, rather than talk about other things.”

Darcy featured for Dublin in his own playing career and lined out before that for Leitrim, who he captained to Connacht final glory in 1994.

Declan Darcy 1994 Declan Darcy captained Leitrim to the Connacht title in 1994. Source: Tom Honan/INPHO

He is adamant it is possible for smaller counties to enjoy success.

“If they put good people in all the right places, and do all the hard work that needs to be done, they can definitely achieve to be provincial winners.

“There is no doubting that. Tipperary got to an All-Ireland semi-final last year, would you be going to saying that is a population thing?

“No, it was hard work by those individual players and the people that had coached them, they were very effective at U21 and minor level.

“There was a lot of work put in and when there is the right amount of work put in at the right time and the right place, you will get good players. You will produce them.”


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