THE run of the parish’s hurlers has shortened the winter in Feakle and Oisín Donnellan has really enjoyed the atmosphere.
“In the last few weeks there has been an unbelievable buzz around the parish. Everyone is looking forward to it, just wishing you the best of luck and all that. It’s a real community thing,” he says.
A graduate of NUI Galway, further study may be on the horizon for Donnellan in the future. “I said I’d give myself a years break and see what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure whether I’d go back and do a Masters or not. I’ll start think about that after the hurling finishes.”
At the moment he is working in Clare Fruit and Veg in Ennis and at times there is a lot of hurling talk on the premises.
“I’m on the shelves and at the tills and all of that. It was good, we had a good bit of banter the time of the county final. Matt Waters, the owner, is from Tubber and he’s involved in Tubber hurling, so it was good craic, good to have the bragging rights!”
He is enjoying being at home in Feakle for the winter, and says the parish has really got behind the team.
“Below in Waterford was unbelievable, the amount of people that travelled down. Elderly people, anyone that could go was down there supporting us. We stopped in Clonmel on the way back for food and I’d say half the parish was inside there waiting for us.
“It’s a massive occasion to be in a Munster final, that’s what you play hurling all your life for, days like that, playing with your family and friends.”
His father Val is over the team, and Oisín insists that isn’t a problem for him.“It’s not too bad, he treats me the same as everyone else, there’s no special treatment or no unfair treatment. It’s grand, it’s good when you’re winning but when you’re losing its different around the house!” he laughs.
Feakle came close to knocking Clooney out of last year’s senior championship, but after that tie the two club’s stories diverged, Clooney going very close to winning the Canon Hamilton, while Feakle were relegated.
Already they have achieved the main priority for the year, with a county title won, but winning a Munster championship would be a massive bonus.
“We were very disappointed [last year], everyone in Feakle was. This year our main aim was to get back up and thank God we did that. We’re very happy to be in a Munster final, that’s what you play hurling for.”
Donnellan says they expect Charleville to play the style of hurling that is now synonymous with their county.
“I know they have a few county players like Darragh Fitzgibbon so you know you’re going to have to try to curtail him. We’ve heard they’re a hard working bunch, Ben O’Connor is over them so they play a real Cork style of hurling.’’
When people think of Munster finals they think of blazing summer days, not the type of conditions that will be seen this weekend.
“This time of the year hurling is a lot different to what you play in the summer. It’s all about winning your own ball and being physical. We saw it below, you can’t be shooting outside 50 or 60 yards, you have to work it in. I suppose we did that the last day with the five goals.”
One more win will create great memories for everyone involved in the club and it will be a great moment for the Donnellan clan if they can get over the line.