‘When I land in Cork Airport, I'm still two hours from home'

September 4th, 2018 5:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

The Garnish team that defeated Urhan in the recent Beara JAFC final at Adrigole.

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Harrington makes trip from London to Garnish for matches

Harrington makes trip from London to Garnish for matches


DAVID Harrington uses planes, trains, automobiles and whatever other transport necessary to make the regular trek from life in London to football in Garnish.

When he moved to the English capital eight years ago he made the promises to himself to still line out with his club, despite the 1,000-mile round trip and the Irish Sea separating the two.

‘Playing with Garnish keeps me in touch with home,’ he says. 

‘When you’re living and working in the hustle and bustle of London, you are out of the loop.

‘The club is like a family too, you get to meet with your friends and your family. When the summer comes you look forward to the trips home, to meet everyone and to play some football too. I wouldn’t see them otherwise.

‘Football does give me that link to home and keeps me in touch with friends and family, which Garnish is.

‘Last year when I could, I came back home for a few challenge matches but it’s mainly been for championship games.’

David’s most recent trip home was another memorable one as Garnish secured the Beara junior A football title with a 0-11 to 0-7 win over Urhan in the divisional final. That completed the three-in-a-row and took Harrington’s medal haul in this championship to six – he has been involved in the five recent successes since 2013 and he was also involved in the 2003 title win as a 17-year-old.

Flying back out to London the Sunday evening after the final on the night before with another medal in his back pocket made it a worthwhile trip home, but it’s more than just about winning.

‘You do feel that responsibility to give back to the club,’ David says.

‘Where we are situated, numbers are tight so everyone pulls together for the club.

‘I’m not the only one who travels back to play, you have lads living and working in Waterford, Cork city and so on and they all make the effort too, to keep the club going.’

David’s route home is a familiar one at this stage. He lives in Ealing in West London, and he gets the tube after work (senior quantity surveyor with John Sisk), the train to Heathrow and a flight into Cork Airport. By this stage, he’s still only halfway home.

‘When you land in Cork, you are still two hours from home,’ he points out.

‘Usually there is someone from the club around who will give me a lift down, and a lift back to the airport on Sunday evenings. It works.’

The 32-year-old was around home in Garnish the week before the recent final against Urhan and that gave him the chance to stretch his legs. He hadn’t played since he broke his leg against Whites Cross, coming off second best in a 50-50 challenge in the first round of the county JAFC last September, but made his comeback as a half-time sub against Urhan.

‘That was my first game back,’ he says.

One word to describe how he felt afterwards: sore.

‘I’m not 21 anymore! But it’s good to be out there.’

‘I only started back training in the last few weeks. I was busy during the week at work and didn’t have time so it was only in the last few weeks that I returned jogging. When I was home before the final I was training with the lads and that helped loosen it out too.’

David – whose brother Joe is also on the team – is already looking forward to coming back home for the first round of the county junior football series and is determined that Garnish will make an impact.

‘I was impressed by our second-half performance against Urhan, our possession, our tackling, it was one of our better performance, so hopefully we can take it from there and improve. 

‘It would be nice to get a result in the county,’ he adds.

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