Cork Dual GAA Star Eoin Cadogan paid an impromptu visit last week to Armagh City’s only Irish language social enterprise, CAIRDE Teo. Irish language activists Gearóid Ó Machail and Máire Ní Phronntaigh were pleasantly surprised when the county football and hurling legend popped into the Irish Gift shop, Siopa Cultúr, while visiting Armagh. He plays Gaelic football and hurling with his local club Douglas and has been a member of the Cork senior inter-county football team since 2007 and the Cork senior hurling team since 2008.
Cadogan has been spending quite some time in Armagh in the past couple of years due to his role as strength and conditioning coach with the Orchard county’s senior hurling squad. The Armagh management have helped accommodate Cadogan as he continues to pursue a playing career. Cadogan may operate with one of the elite GAA counties but he has a strong admiration for an Armagh hurling side who are catching the attention of many on the inter-county hurling scene.
“In fairness since I’ve got involved with Armagh, they’ve put in a good shift,” revealed Cadogan. “Those guys come in and they do their gym sessions twice a week, train on the field and they put themselves through the mill continuously without ever probably getting recognition for it. I’m just delighted for the hard work they’ve put in. We’re trying to put good structures in place for them, trying to get the best out of them. Last year we were beaten in the Nicky Rackard final, it’s just a credit to the lads and the management. You can see the work that they’re putting in is gaining a benefit and getting them up to Division 2A. It’s massive for them.”
Cadogan plays hurling and football with his local club in Douglas and has enjoyed plenty of success. In 2008 Douglas made history by reaching the final of the senior county football championship for the first time in their history. Nemo Rangers, the kingpins of Cork football, were the opponents. By 2007 Cadogan was also a member of the Cork senior football team and he secured a McGrath Cup winners medal at the start of the year.
By 2007 Cadogan was also a member of the Cork senior hurling squad. 2008 saw Cadogan leave the Cork senior football panel as he decided to concentrate on his hurling career but in July 2009 he rejoined the footballers after the elimination of Cork from the hurling championship. He returned to action when he came on as a late substitute in Cork’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over reigning champions Tyrone. In 2009, Cadogan was handed his chance to break onto the Cork Senior Hurling starting fifteen following the retirement of regular full-back Diarmuid O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan gave Cadogan his blessing as his successor, and he was handed the number three jersey for the Munster quarter-final clash with Tipperary. Cadogan gave an admirable display in his full first game and, in spite of losing by 1–19 to 0–19, he was named man of the match.
Siopa Cultúr manager, Máire Ní Phronntaigh, was full of praise for the legendary Cork man:
“Eoin is a huge inspiration to GAA followers and players of every age group throughout the country. He is also a great, genuine fellow and it is wonderful that he is now involved with the Armagh hurling squad who are currently riding the crest of a wave in terms of team development and on-field success.
“It was lovely to meet him in person and we were delighted that he took some time out to visit the shop”.