ROBBIE Kiely’s role in Tipperary’s already-legendary Munster football final triumph sparked a debate on social media last Sunday evening.
Given that Tipp import Kiely lines out for Barryroe now, after transferring from Carbery Rangers earlier this year, the question was asked: is this the first Munster senior football medal for a Barryroe clubman?
The club’s official Twitter account responded: ‘First in a while!’, before explaining, ‘Barryroe men Mick Finn and Jack Cahalane would have a few Munster medals in their collection although all obtained whilst playing their football in the Clonakilty colours when Barryroe were in hiatus.’
So, while Tipperary’s 85-year wait for a Munster senior football title is over, so too is Barryroe’s wait to boast a Munster senior football winner in their ranks.
Kiely was immense in the Tipp half-back line and was one of their heroes against Cork, but that’s no surprise to anyone who has watched the 29-year-old strut his stuff in the Cork club scene in recent years. He transferred from his home club Arravale Rovers to Carbery Rangers in 2015 and went on to play a major role in Ross’s first-ever Cork SFC title success in 2016.
This year Kiely decided to throw his lot in with Barryroe, as his family has strong connections with the area. His mother, Carmel, is a native of Courtmacsherry, and her brother Dan O’Dwyer was a Cork minor hurler who won an All-Ireland medal when they beat Kilkenny in 1971. Also, the Kiely family own and run the popular Golden Pheasant café and craftshop in Courtmac. On the GAA front, two of Robbie’s brothers, Alan and David, line out with Barryroe.
‘Part of the decision to go there is because the family is there,’ Robbie explained on the Star Sport Podcast recently. ‘That initially should have been the first club I went to when I moved down to West Cork. I had a great few years with Ross, but to be back playing with the brothers and the local community in Barryroe is unreal as well.’
Lining out for both Barryroe’s football and hurling teams this year was a sweet moment for Kiely, but nothing will compare to being part of what unfolded at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last Sunday.
On Twitter this week, Kiely quipped, ‘Now that was a sweet one!!’ And all Tipp fans living in West Cork will echo that sentiment.