Cahir Healy must be the busiest GAA player in the land right now 11 months ago

Cahir Healy must be the busiest GAA player in the land right now

Cahir Healy is one of the busiest men in the country at this time of the year.

Playing both hurling and football for the club is difficult enough for local lads, never mind the players based outside the country.

The Portlaoise stalwart Healy kept up the both of them this year while living over in London.

His commitment to his club saw him fly over to Ireland from London of a Friday and then back across the pond late of a Sunday night for eight weekends on the bounce during Portlaoise's run to the senior football and intermediate hurling crowns in the midlands county this year.

He'll be busting out of school in London again this Friday, before dashing home with Newbridge the destination. That's where the Laois kingpins take on reigning Leinster champions Moorefield in the provincial quarter final this Sunday.

"I'll land in Dublin Friday night at maybe 9 or 10.00.  Then I'll fly back out of Dublin Sunday night at around 9.00 again to be back in work on the Monday morning," he said on Thursday's GAA Hour Show.

Time is money for the teacher, who unlike Irish based múinteoirs, has no leeway with days off due to the fact that he has no course days to take during the year.

That's because the option to take part in teaching courses during the summer to allow for course days off during the school year - an option regularly capitalised on by GAA players at home - doesn't exist in London and so Healy's task is made a little bit more tasking.

"We don't have any course days. It's a little bit different here. In Ireland, you can do the courses during the summer to get a few course days during the year. Here, there's nothing. If you want a day off for an exceptional circumstance well then you have to ask for it. It wouldn't really count over here, if I said the celebrating was the exceptional circumstance," says the man who plays centre back for the Portlaoise footballers.

The most frustrating bit about it all was missing out on the county final celebrations. The one hour flight back to London never felt as long that Sunday night.

"It was killer stuff. I was nearly getting into a bad mood boarding the plane. Winning the county final, the buzz of it had nearly worn off by missing out on the celebrations...

"Over here, you can't really say it to an employer though, they wouldn't understand if you said 'I'd a football or a hurling match there yesterday, can I have the next day off?'"

It's a strenuous ask to make it home, but the committed Healy never once let Portlaoise down this year.

"I'm holding up grand. I had a weekend off from it after the football final but I'm back to the grind now again...It's all go," he said.

And now he's rearing for the Moorefield challenge, the teams having clashed three times in the last few years.

"We were delighted to come out with the win the first two times we played them. It was sickening to lose last year, but we have another chance this Sunday to put those demons right."

He wasn't playing that day last year, with a cruciate injury keeping him out. Healy's back this time around and Portlaoise will benefit from that.

"We're buzzing and rearing to go for this week anyway."

As for his county commitments, he's unsure whether he'll throw in his lot with the hurlers for a fifth year in succession next year, or if he'll return to the footballers after that five year absence, but by the sounds of things, he'll be wearing a Laois jersey anyway.

Some man for one man.

You can listen to the Healy interview and much more from Thursday's GAA Hour Show here.