O’Connor to collect a masters to go with her All Star in camogie
The whole of St Vincents turns out for the player from Knocknaheeney
Cork’s Amy O’Connor: “I was the first All Star from the club, male or female, and they had a homecoming for me”
A first camogie All Star for both herself and her club already in the bag, Amy O’Connor will next week add another first to her name when she becomes the first family member to complete university education, graduating from the Royal College of Surgeons with a masters in pharmacy.
Although Cork fell to Galway in their All-Ireland semi-final – the first time since O’Connor joined the senior panel six years ago that she wasn’t involved on All-Ireland final day – it’s still been a memorable year, that All Star a first from any code for her club St Vincents (Cork).
“Yeah, a great night. Had a table with the family, then the next night at the club was very special. I was the first All Star from the club, male or female, and they had a homecoming for me. The whole club turned out.
“Obviously when you start off playing, you hear about the All Stars, and it’s something you want to win. I don’t think at the start of any year you set out to win one – you set out the win the All-Ireland..... but it was nice to get an All Star, to be recognised like that.”
It brought further attention to her success out of the area Knocknaheeney, a part of north Cork city where sport and education doesn’t always flourish: O’Connor also played international soccer at underage level for Ireland, not that she ever felt the desire to leave the county or the area.
“Yeah, it is a big deal, and I am not going to say I am the first in the area to go to college. But it’s not really the thing to do in my area, unfortunately. I literally only got my results last Thursday.
“I do know an awful lot of people that have gone down the wrong road. It’s very easy to go down the wrong road, unfortunately. But I don’t want to put the area down either, because there is huge work being done in the area to try to get people on the straight and narrow, to try get people to go on and do other things.
“And I’m not saying that everyone has to go to college, because college is not the be all and end all either. It’s not for everyone. There are very successful people who have never gone to college, but it’s just about kind of of breaking cycles that have gone before people, and that is very difficult to do.
“I was just lucky with the Mam and Dad that I have, that like there is never any pressure put on me to do well because it’s not expected in our area anyway. But my Mam and Dad were always brilliant no matter where I wanted to go, study, sport, anything, they’d always accommodate me.”