McCarthy welcomes latest Waterford success

September 02, 2010
Waterford must wait another 12 months in their quest to land the Liam McCarthy Cup following their All-Ireland semi-final loss to Tipperary. But their year will still be remembered as a successful one with lifelong Affane-Cappoquin GAA clubman and Deputy County Manager Denis McCarthy welcoming their ninth Munster SHC success. 

Without an All-Ireland senior title since 1959, winning the Liam McCarthy Cup has become an obsession for Waterford.

Deputy County Manager and Director of Services, Community and Enterprise with Waterford County Council Denis McCarthy can vividly remember the last time the Deise reigned supreme in hurling and the huge thrill it gave supporters.

"I was only nine at the time, but I can remember the replay against Kilkenny and the great excitement afterwards. If we could relive that next year, I would be very happy," the Cappoquin man says.

"I missed the drawn game because my grandfather died, but I was at the replay and Waterford played great stuff to run out comfortable winners. It's hard to believe we haven't won the All-Ireland since, but we live in hope. The celebrations would last for weeks."

Waterford were bitterly disappointed to lose the recent All-Ireland semi-final to Tipperary, but Denis points out that it was still a successful year with the Munster title coming to the banks of the Suir for only the ninth time.

"Winning Munster is still a big deal to Waterford people, but the All-Ireland is the ultimate. After all the near misses they've had since 2002, this group of players won't be happy until they win it. Hopefully they'll achieve that goal in 2011."

As a West Waterford man, Denis is delighted to see that part of the county well represented on the county panel.

"There are 12 clubs represented on the squad, including West Waterford clubs such as Ballyduff, Tallow, Lismore, Ardmore and Fourmilewater. That is great to see because Waterford city is the traditional home of hurling in the county. It's disappointing to note, however, that neither Dungarvan nor Tramore are represented on the squad. That has to be a worry because they are two of the biggest centres of population outside of the city," he says.

Denis is a first cousin of Fr Brendan Crowley, who is parish priest in Clonmel and is one of Waterford's biggest supporters. He usually accompanies his good friend and Waterford's 1959 All-Ireland winning captain Frank Walsh to games involving the Deise.

Denis has been a lifelong member of his local Affane-Cappoquin club. Along with his brothers Tony and Pat, he wore the club's colours for many years, winning a county senior football championship medal in 1974 and an intermediate championship medal in '76. Previous to this, he had played both minor hurling and football for Waterford in 1968.

After his playing career had ended, he trained various teams in the club for a decade with the highlight coming in 1987 when he managed the Affane-Cappoquin minors to a hurling and football championship double. He also held various positions on the executive, including chairman, secretary and treasurer and is currently a trustee of the club.

Married to Anne, Denis' two sons Brian and Damien have followed in his footsteps by lining out for the club, while his daughter Ciara is a keen supporter.

Affane-Cappoquin currently compete at intermediate level in hurling and junior level in football. Before the two joined forces, Affane was a football club and Cappoquin was hurling.

Denis explains: "Due to falling numbers, the two clubs were forced to combine a few years ago. The other two clubs in the parish, Tourin and Mount Mellery, were also forced to amalgamate last year and they actually won the junior hurling championship at the first time of asking.

"Like ourselves, they're competing in the intermediate championship this year. We've been operating at that level for a few years now and we're striving to go up senior again. The former Waterford goalkeeper Brendan Landers is training us this year and hopefully he'll be able to give us the extra push that's needed to get across the line."

After studying civil engineering in UCC and working with HMC Construction (a sister company of PJ Hegarty & Sons) on the redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh in 1976, Denis joined Waterford County Council in 1978. He is now second in command to County Manager and Cork native Ray O'Dwyer.

"Ray has been with Waterford County Council for over 15 years and has done Trojan work in promoting and marketing the county in that time. Ray interacts with his Waterford City Council counterpart Michael Walsh on a wide range of issues. Michael is from Ballyduff and played hurling for Waterford," Denis continues.

Waterford County Council employs over 500 staff, covering managerial, administrative, professional and technical grades.

Ray O'Dwyer has overall responsibility for all staff in the county, including Dungarvan, Lismore and Tramore Town Councils. Reporting to the County Development Board, Denis McCarthy's remit is to develop Community and Enterprise in Co. Waterford through the Community Forum. Waterford County Council's Civic Offices are located in Dungarvan.

Denis stresses that Waterford has much to offer in terms of business, tourism and quality of life.

"Waterford has an awful lot going for it from its fabulous coastline to the Comeragh Mountains in the north of the county. It is an ideal place for companies to set up business in and for people to live in.

"Waterford is also home, of course, to the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre and plays host to the Sean Kelly Cycle Tour, the John Treacy 10 Mile Road Race in Villierstown and the Festival of Food in Dungarvan each year. Waterford has everything a tourist could ask for," he concludes.

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