FORMER Cork ladies football star Juliet Murphy will line out for CIT tomorrow in the Giles Cup semi-final 18 years after she made her debut for the institute.
“She’s a past pupil of CIT, and we roped her in to play again when she returned to college this year,” said present-day captain of CIT Jessica O’Shea, whose side take on St Pat’s of Dromcondra in John Mitchell’s GAA Club, Tralee, tomorrow morning at 11.30am.
Former Cork captain Juliet Murphy fifth from left in back row in action for CIT in 1998 in a home derby against UCC at the Mardyke, Cork City. Credit: CIT Sports Office
Murphy – who has eight senior All-Ireland medals to her name, having captained Cork to their first three titles under Eamonn Ryan – took some time out of her teaching career to return to her former Alma Mater to complete a Masters.
Under the guidance of Kildare football manager Cian O’Neill, who is the Recreation and Leisure head of department at the Bishopstown campus, Murphy is undertaking a Masters in conjunction with the Spraoi project, which works with school children to improve their health and fitness.
Juliet Murphy, far right, opening the CIT astro turf pitches in 1999 with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Credit: CIT Sports Office
Murphy last played football with CIT in 2002 when she obtained her Degree in Business Studies, and trained under former Cork senior camogie star Fiona O’Driscoll. During her time there, the Donoughmore star received a number of CIT Sports Busaries for her performances with her club Donoughmore at the time, who had featured in a number of senior club All-Ireland finals, and also for her basketball talents having also represented Ireland at international level.
This weekend however, Murphy will join her captain Jessica O’Shea and her CIT teammates in Tralee to try and win the Giles Cup, which Murphy won with Mary I during her time training as a teacher at the Limerick-based college.
“I text Juliet at the start of the year when I heard she was back and I said ‘come here, training starts next week!” smiled CIT captain O’Shea.
“It’s great for CIT because she’s such an influential player. She just calms everything and everyone on the pitch, and her knowledge of the game is crazy. Even though she’s played for so long and has been retired from intercounty for two years, she still has what I call the ‘Juliet Murphy Factor’!
CIT captain Jessica O’Shea, centre.
“She’s enjoying it and that’s the main thing, and we’re all getting on. When I told the freshers in the side that we had a new player coming in, and when she walked in, they all got such a shock. I just had to tell them to play it cool, that she’s a normal person, but that just goes to show how much of a legend in the game she is,” O’Shea added.
CIT will face St Pat’s of Dromcondra in the semi-final of the Giles Cup on Friday, a side which is captained by Dublin senior full-back, Muireann Ni Scannail.
“Juliet is a phenomenal asset to any team but we’ll try and counteract that because no one player can win a team for anyone,” Scannail said at the colleges competition launch in Croke Park last week.
In Friday’s second semi-final IT Carlow take on Mary I at 2.30pm at John Mitchell’s GAA Club in Tralee.