Rivalry between Micheál Martin and Sean Canney moves pitchside for Croker clash

They usually do battle across the Dáil chamber but Micheál Martin and Sean Canney will soon become pitchside opponents.

The two politicians are set to head to Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day when Cork’s Nemo Rangers take on Galway’s Corofin in the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final in what will be a family affair.

The Fianna Fáil leader’s eldest son, Micheál Aodh Martin, plays in goal for Nemo Rangers.

Independent Alliance TD Mr Canney, minister of state for the OPW and flood relief, will not only be cheering on his club Corofin but also his grand-nephew, Dylan Canney, who is on the panel.

And his nephew, Joseph Canney, is a team selector.

Mr Canney said: “It will be a great day for the families involved and for both clubs.

“From Micheál Martin’s point of view, it’s a very special day for his family and his club, to have a member of your family play in a club final is a great event. It is a very special time for the parishes involved.” 

Corofin, five-in-a-row Galway champions, beat Kildare club Moorefield in the All-Ireland semi-final and Mr Canney hopes his team will be able to edge Nemo to lift the Andy Merrigan Cup.

“There is a huge excitement here at the moment and there is a huge amount of support that comes from other clubs in the county, everyone gets behind you when you reach the All- Ireland final,” he said.

While there were concerns after Mr Martin’s son had to be taken off seven minutes into the second period of extra-time during the win over Slaughtneil in the semi-final, he has since recovered and is expected to take to the pitch on March 17.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner this week, Nemo manager Larry Kavanagh said: “We should have taken Micheál off earlier [in the semi-final] but he didn’t want to come off. He was taking a kick-out, grimaced, and it went 10 yards shorter than it normally would. We on the line agreed at that point he was only doing damage to himself, so we brought in Ross [Donovan]. His groin was actually at him before the game but he kept that relatively quiet.”


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