Category Archives: Lifestyle

Costa Rica, Dinosaurs and Magpies; Meet Mick O’Grady

We caught up with Kildare and Celbridge defender Mick O’Grady recently to try and get to know him a bit better.

On the pitch he is one of the tightest markers in the country but off it find out why magpies, dinosaurs and Costa Rica are of interest to him!

Name: Mick O’Grady

Club/county: Celbridge and Kildare

Current position: Full Back

Any superstitions before a game? I have to salute a magpie if I see one on its own.

If there was a Gaa transfer market, what 2 players(male/female) would you want your team to sign? Michael Murphy and Sean O’Shea

What is your greatest achievement? Playing with Kildare/Making it through college alive.

Favourite Position(on the pitch)? Full Forward – I’m wasted in the full back line.

Played my first game: An under 10 competition with Celbridge and against AIT in the O’Byrne cup in 2014 for Kildare.

Favourite players growing up: Darragh Ó Sé and Dermot Earley

What or who made you want to play football: My Dad is a Kerry man so I grew up watching them win All Ireland’s in the 2000’s and I think that was a major factor in why I wanted to play football

Best piece of advice for up coming player: Don’t let any setbacks define you. There’s always another path if you work hard enough.

Other sports you play or would like to play: I used to play hurling and soccer. I’d love to play a competitive American Football match.

What was the best sporting event you ever witnessed? Liverpool’s comeback in the Champions League final 2005.

If you could go back in time to witness an event, what would it be? Building of the Pyramids or Prehistoric times to see dinosaurs roaming.

Where would you love to go on holiday? Macchu Picchu or Costa Rica

Favourite TV show? Father Ted

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done? Grabbed hold of Mark Donnellan’s beard

Favourite month of the year and why? December – Christmas and silly season

Cats or Dogs? Dogs

Skinny or chunky chips? Chunky

Tayto or King? King

Fanta Orange or Club Orange? Club Orange all day

Tea or Coffee? Coffee

Quickest teammate: Daniel Flynn

Funniest teammates: Keith Cribbin/Mark Donnellan

Most skillful teammate: Niall Kelly

Fittest teammate: Paul Cribbin

Player who spends most time in front of mirror: Kevin O’Callaghan

Most Committed: Eoin Doyle

Best Dresser: David Slattery

Worst Dresser: David Hyland without a shadow of a doubt

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Downey protests his innocence following French suspension

Kildare jockey Robbie Downey is actively protesting his innocence saying he will definitely be appealing and doing everything he can to clear his name after receiving a 6-month suspension from racing authorities in France after allegedly testing positive for taking cocaine.

The 24 year old, who is based in Britain, has had two independent hair tests carried out, which returned negative results for the drug, however the authorities in France have refused to take them into consideration.

Understandably Downey is upset by this and has made public the results of his tests, saying he is “bitterly disappointed to have been found in breach” and that authorities have ignored the medical evidence he presented which shows he has not taken the drug.

An official report posted by France Galop reveals that Downey, who has been used mainly this season by trainers David O’Meara and David Barron and who has ridden nine UK winners, tested positive for metabolics of cocaine while in action at Lion d’Angers on June 19th of this year.

At a France Galop hearing on October 3rd, the Kilcock native was found guilty. The verdict has stunned Downey and indeed the Professional Jockey’s Association, who will ask, if necessary, that the BHA reciporate the punishment which is due to come into effect from October 24th to April 23rd 2020.

The PJA have claimed a complete miscarriage of justice after the France Galop imposed a six month suspension for allegedly riding under the influence of cocaine, despite Downey providing two hair tests that returned negative for the drug.

The PJA’s plan to appeal this comes in light of the BHA announcing last month that it may introduce hair testing, give that drug use can be detected in hair three months after consumption.

The PJA are extremely concerned that there could be a serious risk of a miscarriage of justice and chief executive Paul Struthers, who is firmly behind Downey, stated; “It must be extremely upsetting to be facing a six month suspension when you have never taken cocaine and I am very concerned that there is a risk of a miscarriage of justice.

“As soon as Robbie found out that his ‘A’ sample had returned a positive result he immediately paid for a hair sample at an accredited British laboratory in order to prove his innocence. He also paid for a second hair sample at an accredited French laboratory and both of these tests returned negative. These results clearly demonstrate that he hasn’t taken cocaine. We are greatly concerned that these two seperate and independent results have been ignored by France Galop.

“It is unclear why France Galop is refusing to apply the same testing thresholds that operate in other testing regimes and why they refuse to disclose the levels in Robbie’s urine, this despite the fact Robbie asked them to do so when reporting the analysis of his ‘B’ sample.

“We are therefore taking the unprecedented step of making those hair samples public to demonstrate that Robbie is telling the truth.

“The BHA recently announced that they would be bringing in hair sampling as an additional testing matrix and Robbie has two such samples that prove his innocence.

“In those circumstances it would be a grave injustice were he to be banned for six months for something he clearly hasn’t done.

In the publicised summary of the hearing the France Galop noted that, while the hair samples showed that Downey was not a habitual user of cocaine, they did not prove conclusively that he had not consumed the drug.

Downey said; “I am 100% innocent and have never taken the drug. I have two negative hair samples to back this up and I will be definitely appealing and doing everything I can to clear my name”

Maynooth Student begins journey that could lead to Paris Olympics 2024

Maynooth Post Primary/CC student Aoife Doran has been specially selected to take part in a regional development squad for the Irish Swim Team. Effectively, this will give Aoife the very best shot at being picked to represent Ireland in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

The ambitious programme aims to enter 4 young Irish females as a relay team to the 2024 Olympics.

Interestingly, this will be the first Irish entry since the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

There are only 3 hubs of 12 swimmers based around Ireland and athletes will have to maintain high standards to stay in the squad. As well as being in the Leinster Regional development squad, Aoife trains hard 7 times a week. She could also be called up to the Swim Ireland International team shortly.

This Sunday, Aoife will compete in the Senior Schools gala for Maynooth Post Primary.

Leixlip United Senior Awards Night

Leixlip United held their annual end of season ‘Senior Awards Night’ last night, Saturday June 29th, with Paul Concannon taking home the top award of Senior 1 Sunday Player of the Year.

Paul Concannon Senior 1 Sunday POTY

Senior Awards Night

Paul Concannon Player of the Year (Senior 1 Sunday)

Karl Ebbs Player of the Year (Saturday 1C)

Sean Traynor (Sunday 1 Young Player of the Year)

Graham Kiersey (Saturday Players Player)

Mark Scanlon (Top Goalscorer Sunday 1)

Cian McDonnell (Saturday 1C Young Player do the Year)‬

‪Martin Scanlon (Clubman of the Year)‬

‪With the new season starting soon, Leixlip United resume on Monday the 8th of July at 7.30pm and welcome new additions to their sides.

Robbie Downey: From Kilcock to Kolkata

It’s January 22nd 2019 and County Kildare man Robbie Downey is sitting alongside fellow Jockey and friend Leigh Roche in the departure lounge of Mumbai Airport. The pair are waiting to board a flight to Kolkata and as they do so Robbie thankfully takes the time out to return a WhatsApp call I made earlier in the day.

Downey arrived in India two months previously in November for their winter season, not knowing what to expect and leaving the safety net of his family and friends many thousands of miles behind him. And though there was always going to be a certain amount of fear and trepidation, he took the jump, feeling he had nothing to lose; “Ahh yeah to be honest I felt the timing was right. Things had gone a bit stale at home and I had moved to England for a short period but this was something that I always felt I wanted to do so when the opportunity arose I grabbed it with both hands. I am grateful Leigh is over here as well as it could be a lonely place without a familiar face. ”

Arrival

“I came here in November for their Winter Season. Coming over was a bit of a shock, one of my first thoughts were oh no what am I letting myself in for, this reaction hit as the plane began to descend into Mumbai. I could start to smell the river as it flows out to sea and the unbearable stench of the sewage coming from it. When we hit the city of Mumbai itself for the first time the first things I noticed were the people everywhere, the constant noise and the heat that just hit us when we got out of our taxi. Walking through the city I found there is so much pollution, mainly from the fumes of the exhausts and to be honest I found it hard to breathe at times. In fairness though we found out pretty quickly that the lifestyle is okay for jockeys over here. I found that the natives around Mumbai are either really rich or really really poor. It was a wake up call to see people starving to death on the side of the road. It woke me up and made me realise how lucky I actually am.

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Leinster Stars open new pitch at Clongowes College

Current Leinster and Ireland stars Dave and Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden and former player Gordon Dacy were all at Clongowes College in County Kildare yesterday, Saturday January 13th to cut the ribbon on the school’s new PST Sport state of the art 3G pitch. 

Remarkable road to recovery earns O’Keeffe top award

Barry O’Keeffe – Extra Time Sport Sports Person of the year 2017. 

Former Kilcock GAA Club and Moynalvey GFC player/manager Barry O’Keeffe was not part of any local club nor was he competing in an individual competition throughout 2017, however Barry’s challenge was far greater than that……

On December 10th, Barry completed the Zurich Marathon in Malaga less than a year after been involved in a serious car accident that almost left him paralyzed. 
Barry first entered the doors of CostaSpine at the beginning of June for treatmemt on the neck injury he sustained from the traumatic car accident. In the accident he sustained a cervical fracture of C6/C7.
After an intensive surgery, Barry was lucky to not be paralysed and had extensive pins and screws inplaced to ensure his neck would heal correctly. He presented to CostaSpine 3 months post-op with almost zero range of motion and slight cervical radiculopathy down his left arm. They started treating him for this of course and after a month and were shocked with what Barry requested ‘Do you think I can do the Malaga Marathon on the 10th of December ?’

CostaSpine continued to treat him and his healing was phenomenal, he was incredibly diligent with everything their resident Chiropractor gave him to do. Before they knew it, he was on the rehabilitative side of his treatment plan and his results were remarkable.
Barry then felt comfortable enough to start running and he has been so committed ever since, resulting in today’s fantastic achievement. 
CostaSpine were behind him 100% and before his run a spokesperson said; “Barry we commend you for your effort, dedication and perseverance of knowing anything is attainable with the right mind-set. Barry ran the race for a school close to his ❤, Saplings Mullingar. 

On the pitch Barry was always 100% committed for both Kilcock GAA and Moynalvey and it seems that determination has only been enhanced since his accident at the start of the year. 

From Robert here at Extra Time Sport, fair play to you Barry, your years in the Royal County have served you well. 🤣🤣🤣