Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# Dublin SFC
Capital gains - The Dublin football imports who enjoyed success
Galway star Shane Walsh is in line to make his Kilmacud Crokes debut this weekend.

JUST OVER A month after he gave a sensational showing in the All-Ireland final, Shane Walsh could line out once again in the capital.

Walsh’s transfer to Kilmacud Crokes has been cleared allowing him to play in the Dublin championship. They take on Templeogue Synge Street in Parnell Park on Sunday. 

The Galway star has outlined his reasons on several occasions for making the move. The 29-year-old is living and working in Dublin. Travelling west has taken its toll on his body and he hopes to prolong his playing career. 

This is far from a new phenomenon. For decades, players have transferred clubs for a variety of reasons. Often it comes down to the work-life balance. After transfers abroad, Dublin is the most common destination for players. In Gaelic football, it has proven to be a successful path for many. 

St Vincent’s 

In 2008, St. Vincent’s won the All-Ireland club championship with a 1-11 to 0-13 win against Nemo Rangers. That team included Mayo duo Pat Kelly and Brian Maloney, along with a midfield pairing of Tipperary’s Hugh Coghlan and Kerry’s Micheál Ó Sé.

Sligo player, Brendan Egan won five senior championship medals with Tourlestrane in his county before transferring to St. Vincent’s and enjoying more success there. He started at corner-back during their 2013 one-point victory over Ballymun Kickhams in the county final replay.

enda-varley Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Enda Varley started at corner-forward for Mayo in the 2012 All-Ireland final and later transferred from Garrymore to St. Vincent’s, where he won Dublin and Leinster titles in 2016. In 2021, he transferred back to his home club. 

Kilmacud Crokes

Longford’s Brian Kavanagh, Fermanagh’s Liam McBarron and Wexford’s Adrian Morrissey were all part of the 2009 All-Ireland triumph. Kavanagh kicked two points in their final victory over favourites Crossmaglen Rangers. 

In the 2018 county final win over St Judes, Armagh’s Kevin Dyas came on in the second half for Shane Horan. The former AFL player went to university in UCD and worked in Dublin for several years before transferring. 

Na Fianna

Na Fianna contested the 2000 All-Ireland club final with Armagh duo Kieran McGeeney and Des Mackin playing. 

“I would still say, to this day, that without him we wouldn’t have won the Championship,” then manager Paul Caffrey told the Irish Mirror last year when speaking about McGeeney.

“It wasn’t the case that we were coming. He brought it to a different level in terms of the intensity, his ability.”

St Brigid’s 

Rory and Raymond Gallagher from Fermanagh lined out on the St Brigid’s team that contested the 2004 All-Ireland club semi-final against An Ghaeltacht.

Laois midfielder John O’Loughlin transferred to the capital in 2011 and won a Dublin senior football title with St Brigid’s in his first season with the club. In 2020, he transferred back to Rosenallis, where he started out as a juvenile.

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“It was a big decision at the time. A lot of my best friends were and still are the Mount Mellick boys, but I was coming out of college and didn’t know what I wanted to do,” O’Loughlin told the Leinster Express podcast. 

“I got an offer to work with St Brigids as a club coach. That was the big difference with Dublin GAA clubs, they all had one, if not two, game promotion officers or club coaches.”

St Oliver Plunkett’s

St Oliver Plunkett’s contested the 2008, 2011 and 2014 Dublin county finals and over that period several inter-county stars played in at least one final including Cavan’s Michael Brides and Alan O’Mara, Offaly’s Conor Evans, Meath’s Anthony Moyles and Fermanagh defender Shane Lyons. 

Fermanagh forward Tomas Corrigan moved to the club in 2015 due to work commitments, a decision he described as “the hardest thing I ever had to do.” 

The others 

Famously, Parnells saw a huge influx of players at the start of the decade. Darren Rooney, MJ Tierney, Colm Begley, Andy Mallon, Conor Mortimer, Aindreas Doyle, Ciaran McKeever, Rory Quinlivan and Johnny Murtagh all transferred. However, it did not lead to success. The club last won a county title in 1988 and last contested one in 1991. 

2021 finalists St Judes called upon Kerry transfer Pat Spillane Jnr. The Kerry native went on to play for his mother’s home county Sligo in 2022. Mayo All-Star Chris Barrett joined Clontarf in 2020 from Belmullet. 

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