SAOIRSE McCarthy is putting her artistic talents to good use whilst staying in her Ballinspittle home.
Currently living with her mother Cella and father Leonard in Ballinspittle village, the Cork senior camogie star is doing her best to beat the boredom that comes with helping flatten the Covid-19 curve.
Yet, the Courcey Rovers forward is doing so in an unusually artistic manner.
The McCarthy homestead’s garden wall has undergone something of a unique makeover during the past number of weeks. Each day, McCarthy has painted a section of the wall in a different style and posted updates on her Instagram account.
What was once a standard, grey concrete wall has now been transformed into a striking collection of unusual shapes and colours. At a time everyone in the country is searching for ways to deal with Covid-19’s ramifications, McCarthy has turned something ordinary into something beautiful.
‘I don’t know are my parents going crazier than I am having to deal with me being around all the time!’ McCarthy told The Southern Star.
‘I have an older brother (Cian) and sister (Aoife) and we are in constant contact with them online. Aoife’s three children are keeping us all going. As for painting the wall, I honestly don’t believe that I have an artistic side. My mother is the creative one in our family. She was building furniture from a few wooden pallets out in the garden one day, so I decided to start painting.
‘My martial arts instructor had done something similar on their home wall using chalks so that probably inspired me. I just said I’ll give something like that a go using paints and it has turned into quite the project!’
The former Cork minor and intermediate All-Ireland minor winner, who also picked up a senior medal in a prolific 2018 season, had started the 2020 league campaign well for Paudie Murray’s Rebels – but everything is on hold now with Covid-19 pandemic.
‘I was in the middle of training three of four days a week and coming off two league wins, so things were going really well,’ McCarthy said.
‘Then it was bang, everything was over. I started both league games against Kilkenny and Waterford in the full-forward position. I usually play further out the field for Courceys but I don’t care where I play for Cork. I’m just glad to be playing to be honest!
‘It was an enjoyable experience (playing at full-forward) and I managed to score a goal against Waterford. Those games boosted my confidence after not playing that much the year before.
‘I was absolutely loving this year with Cork until Covid-19 happened. Being that bit more experienced and having been around the squad for two and half years, I just felt I gelled better with the team. A few younger girls joined the senior panel like Newcestown’s Ciara O’Sullivan, and I was able to advise them on what to expect having gone through the process myself.’
None of the GAA’s sporting bodies are in a position to commit to a return to action at the present time. Staying positive, McCarthy is hopeful that she and her fellow club and inter-county camogie player will see some action before the end of the year.
‘Everyone needs something to look forward to so we are hoping that some sort of championship goes ahead,’ McCarthy said.
‘I’d stay in bed all day if I didn’t have something to aim for or a personal goal to achieve. We need to stay motivated and keep fit because we don’t know when we will be back. I’ve had a few Zoom (online) sessions with the Courcey and Cork girls. That was fun and important to keep in touch with everyone.
‘College and Cork training sessions meant I wasn’t involved with Courcey Rovers at all since the New Year. Things have been going very well for us (Courceys) though as we have new trainers on board this year including Shirley Moloney. The girls were really fit and looking forward to the league until everything had to stop which is a pity. Hopefully, some form of a championship will go ahead later in the year.
‘As for Cork, it is a case of keeping the head down, training away and reporting back to the trainers (online) for the next while. The most important thing is to keep the communication going and keep pushing ourselves.’
As the McCarthy household garden wall project is nearing completion, McCarthy will be hoping to create even more magic in the Cork senior camogie colours as soon as inter-county action resumes.