Laois footballers boosted by Brendan Quigley’s return

Brendan Murphy to rejoin Carlow football panel for 2015 season

Laois have been buoyed by the return of last year's New York senior football captain Brendan Quigley to their senior panel for the 2015 season.

The Timahoe club man left Ireland in August 2013 in search of work, criticising the hierarchy of the GAA for not doing more to help intercounty players find employment.

Talking about his departure the 2012 All Star nominee said that “there’s no point being on a county panel and drawing social welfare”.

Last autumn, though, he returned home, began building a house in his local Timahoe area and, according to club and county officials, stated no intent to return to America.


The 28-year-old was ineligible to represent his club during the remainder of last year’s championship having already played in the New York club football championship, instead he could only represent his club’s hurlers.

Fully committed

Despite injury ruling him out of Laois’ O’Byrne Cup opening defeat to Offaly at the weekend the county board have confirmed that he is currently training with the panel and fully committed for the year ahead.

Meanwhile, Carlow football has also been handed a major boost ahead of the 2015 season as talisman Brendan Murphy has returned to the county's senior panel.

The former Australian Rules footballer with the Sydney Swans club is a member of the defence forces and had opted out of the Carlow panel last year as he was on a waiting list for a tour of duty in Lebanon and if selected would probably have departed sometime in May.

Yet having not been called up to the tour Murphy decided against returning to the Carlow fold for the championship.

The team fell to heavy defeats against both Meath and Clare in a disappointing campaign which drew manager Anthony Rainbow’s tenure to a close.

County title

New manager Turlough O’Brien says that Murphy’s “appetite is back now”.

The twice selected Irish International Rules player did though return to his club Rathvilly and captained them to the county title from centre half back in October although he’s more likely to return to his usual midfield role this year.

“He’s probably not a centre back but it gave him the opportunity to develop his game more,” explained O’Brien who is being assisted as manager this year by former Galway and Mayo manager John O’Mahony, who is working with the county in an advisory role.

Having since left the army Murphy is also now studying in and playing with Carlow IT which means he will remain unavailable for the county team during the O’Byrne Cup campaign.

There's been no such return-to-the-fold for Seanie Johnston in Cavan though, as three years after his controversial transfer to Kildare it's been confirmed that manager Terry Hyland has again opted not to include him in the county's current pre-season panel.

After some good club performances in winning the county championship with Cavan Gaels the Cavan manager had left the door open to a return, although such has not materialised and it now seems unlikely any return of sorts is on the cards this year.

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue is a former Irish Times journalist