Skibbereen teenager plays her part in Cork's triumph
LAURA O'Mahony's place in local GAA history is now secure.
The Skibbereen teenager (16) is walking on air this week after winning her first All-Ireland football title on bank holiday Monday.
By helping Cork to minor football glory with an emphatic dismantling of Galway in the final in Tullamore, Laura has become the first player from O'Donovan Rossa Ladies GAA Club to win an All-Ireland medal.
âThis is the best feeling ever,' she beamed.
âThis is all I have wanted since I was a young child. I've been watching the Cork seniors winning All-Irelands and that's what I wanted too, so to have won one now is brilliant.
âSkibb brought up a bus (to Tullamore on Monday) and we were the only club to bring up a bus â and it was full â so it was so good that all my friends and everyone I knew was there watching the game and got to enjoy the celebrations afterwards.
âIt's the first All-Ireland title for Skibb ladies club, too, which is great.'
This is Laura's first season with the Cork minors and it couldn't have gone any better, as she has Munster and All-Ireland medals to show for her efforts, with Monday's 5-11 to 1-4 destruction of Galway the standout moment.
âIt was unbelievable,' she said.
âI was taken off with five minutes to go because I had run myself into the ground.
âIt was so good when the buzzer went off at the end because we knew we had won it then.
âIt was so close in the semi-final against Tyrone that we were a bit nervous going into the game.Â
âIn the semi-final we didn't play as well as we know we can, like in the Munster final against Kerry when we all played unreal, but John (Cleary, manager) and all our coaches really brought us together in the last few weeks, got a great buzz going around training so it was great to put in a performance like that.'
It was a day when everything clicked for Laura and her teammates with Kinsale's Sadhbh O'Leary and Nemo's Saoirse Noonan tormenting Galway as they combined for 5-6 of Cork's total.
âSadhbh got two goals and Saoirse got three. Saoirse is always on fire, she got 4-4 against Kerry in the Munster final and she got 3-4 on Monday,' said Laura, a student at Skibbereen Community School.
Youngest daughter of James and Deirdre, and sister to Grace, Laura is going to enjoy every moment of the celebrations this week, and so she should, after landing her first ever All-Ireland football title and bringing some important silverware to Skibbereen.