FIVE YEARS AGO the Burke family were at the heart of a historic All-Ireland breakthrough for Galway club St Thomas.
John Burke was on the sideline directing operations with five of his sons – Cathal, Darragh, Sean, Kenneth and David – all starting while the youngest Eanna came on as a second-half sub.
Last Sunday St Thomas picked up their third Galway county title in Pearse Stadium and propelled themselves towards the All-Ireland series.
The family were again at the heart of their success story with four Burke brothers starting – Cathal at full-back, David at midfield, Darragh at centre-forward and Eanna at corner-forward – while Kenneth came on as a second-half substitute.
Between them David, Darragh and Eanna chipped in with 1-11 out of the overall 2-13 tally that St Thomas registered in their success over reigning champions Liam Mellows.
The win sets St Thomas on course for a tilt at the All-Ireland senior title next spring, a championship they won outright against Offaly’s Kilcormac-Killoughey in 2013.
But the Burke family will not just have an interest in the destination of the senior crown with their father now involved in directing sideline operations for Oranmore-Maree, the newly-crowned Connacht club intermediate champions.
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Congrats to John Burke & everyone in Oranmore/Maree who won the intermediate county final yesterday🏆
— St. Thomas' GAA (@StThomassHC) November 4, 2018
Source: St. Thomas’ GAA/Twitter
On Saturday afternoon in Athleague the Galway club took down the reigning title holders in Mayo’s Tooreen with their 1-20 to 1-15 victory.
Galway senior duo Niall Burke and Gearoid McInerney are at the heart of their side with McInerney’s father Gerry, a legendary figure for the county team during their victories in the 80s, in charge of the team.
We are Connaught Intermediate Champions!!
Full time in Athleague
Oranmore Maree 1-20
— Oranmore-Maree GAA (@GAAMareeOran) November 24, 2018
Source: Oranmore-Maree GAA/Twitter
He is assisted by John Burke, who has All-Ireland club coaching experience from the St Thomas success in 2013 and his campaign in 2017 when they lost out to Clare’s Ballyea at the senior semi-final stage.
Both Galway clubs will now spend the winter preparing for All-Ireland semi-final clashes against Antrim opposition. St Thomas will face a senior showdown against Cushendall in February, while before that Oranmore-Maree have an intermediate tie against St Gall’s.
The hope of delivering two All-Ireland club titles to one family remains alive.
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