BY DENIS HURLEY
LIBBY Coppinger’s mother Maureen wasted no time on Sunday evening.
At the Cork senior camogie team’s post-match banquet in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the mother of West Cork’s newest All-Ireland medallist made a bee-line for manager Paudie Murray, eager to arrange a date for the O’Duffy Cup to visit Kealkil.
‘We’d be fairly hopeful of it coming down soon alright, Mam was straight on to Paudie to try to sort out a date!’ Libby laughed as the team returned on Monday evening, just after a quick stop in Mallow to change trains before the team arrived into Kent Station for their homecoming.
While the St Colum’s star was reluctantly placed at the centre of a fixtures-clash in August and then featured as the Cork ladies’ football team lost their crown to Mayo, Sunday was a dream end to her inter-county year.
‘With the way we started, I felt that we weren’t going to lose,’ she said.
‘We were just really primed and we put ourselves in a great position. Kilkenny came back at us and they were probably always going to do it because they’re such a great team.
‘It was great for Gemma [O’Connor] to get the equaliser and then Julia [White] to get the winner after last year, when Gemma was sent off and Julia was out injured.
‘I can’t even really describe what it was like afterwards, I was ‘bate’ out after the effort of playing the game but it’s such a great feeling, you get more energy when you win.
‘The celebrations then on Sunday night were brilliant, it’s just been an excellent couple of days.’
Libby, a public health student in UCC, was due back in college on Monday but played truant as the team returned home, having made the traditional All-Ireland winners’ visit to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, and she did acknowledge that Tuesday was in doubt, too.
High achievers don’t tend to take too many shortcuts though and you can bet that if she did miss Tuesday then she put in the extra hours on Wednesday. Such levels of dedication are what have won her senior All-Irelands in both codes now, and the ever-present humility is demonstrated by how she views the achievement in terms of her club.
This year, Colum’s amalgamated in camogie and ladies’ football and Libby is grateful for the support received.
‘The club sent up a bus to Dublin, which was brilliant,’ she said, ‘and I met other people who had made the trip as well, I’m delighted and really honoured that they all made the effort.
‘There is such great work going on behind the scenes that I’m glad that everyone was able to share in it and I just want to thank them all for the effort in helping me get to where I am.
‘It’s great that younger girls joining can see that they can make it on to the Cork panel because of the structures the club have in place now.’