Some GAA families are never lucky enough to experience the thrill of a county final. Some get to savour it only all too rarely.
For the Bermingham family from Kilcavan, however, they must be worn out getting ready for these big days.
Between them, Michael Bermingham and his younger sister Rosemarie will play in five county finals this year – across hurling, football, camogie and ladies football. And, amazingly, they’ll be with five different clubs – Kilcavan, Mountmellick, Ballyfin Gaels, Sarsfields and O’Moore’s.
Already Michael has won a Junior ‘B’ hurling title with Mountmellick and he followed that up by winning a Senior ‘A’ with Ballyfin Gaels, one of three Mountmellick players to start on the combined team. This Saturday he will be centre-back on the back on the Kilcavan team that play St Joseph’s in the Laois Junior ‘A’ football decider.
We visited Clonaghadoo NS during the week, the local school to Kilcavan GAA club, and where Michael has recently taken up a role as the 4th class teacher having previously worked in Clonaslee.
Michael told the students of Kilcavan’s incredible run to the final but modestly declined to tell of his injury-time goal that forced their replayed semi-final against O’Dempsey’s into extra time.
Rosemarie, who was the Laois camogie captain this year, has been just as busy. Last year she returned from her travels to help O’Moore’s win their first ever camogie title and while they were beaten in this year’s final by Camross last Saturday. This week she turns her attention to football and is likely to be involved in attack for the Sarsfields team who are going for a fifth title in a row.
It all makes for a busy time for their parents Joe and Mary, who are regular supporters on the sideline. Older sister Caroline has been on her honeymoon in recent times, but has been keeping a close eye on her siblings’ busy schedule on social media.
Michael has already two county medals to his name this year and will be hoping to add a third on Saturday evening. Rosemarie did help Laois to a Leinster camogie win earlier in the summer but she’s hoping to add to her collection on Sunday when Sarsfields play Portlaoise in the senior ladies football final in Annanough.
After that the matches might quieten down a bit for this busy family but they’ll be hoping that a run in Leinster could be on the cards. Kilcavan are already assured of it as St Joseph’s can’t go forward as they are a second team.
Either way, it’s unlikely any family will have such a season again.