"All of a sudden he had me midfield with Niall Scully. We played Na Fianna and I was chasing after Eoin Murchan." 1 year ago

"All of a sudden he had me midfield with Niall Scully. We played Na Fianna and I was chasing after Eoin Murchan."

The Coronas front-man Danny O'Reilly played for the Dublin minors, and he was good enough for the Dublin juniors but nothing could prepare him, after all those years away, for the challenge of marking Jack McCaffrey and Eoin Murchan in club games.

O'Reilly still plays for the Templeogue Synge Street junior team and you can tell by just listening to him that it's something he loves to do. The singer was a guest on this week's Electric Ireland minor moments podcast with Fergal O'Keeffe and, having been introduced to Gaelic football at a young age by his father Joe, it's clear that Danny's grá for the game hasn't waned a bit.


Joe coached his son all the way up through the under-age grades and was still involved when Danny made his comeback for the club a few years ago. The plan back then, was to play a few games, casually enough, with the club's junior team but the seniors were down a few men and, we've all been there, it wasn't long before he was thrown into the deep-end.

"I was playing intermediate for the club back then, and the seniors were down a few and the manager was like 'aw will you come in and play?' All of a sudden he had me midfield with Niall Scully. We played Na Fianna and I was chasing around after Eoin Murchan."

"Another day, they were stuck and I was chasing around after Jack McCaffrey, playing senior in Dublin, and I was just going 'this is bizarre, what am I doing here?'"


But he was hardly a fish out of water. Danny was a member of Dublin's Leinster championship winning minor team in 2003 and played for the Dublin juniors in 2006. He left it all behind him soon after, as he embarked on a hugely successful career in music, but whenever he came back, it never took him too long to settle in.

In 2014, he scored 1-2 from wing-forward as North London Shamrocks claimed their first ever London GAA intermediate title and even nowadays, you could catch him in a junior club game around Dublin.

It's that grounding nature that Danny loves about the game.


"Music took off and I had to step away from playing senior ball in Dublin. We moved to London and I stopped playing for a couple of years when we moved there initially. But I missed it so much when we went to London and I googled the closest GAA team to where we were living in North London.

"I rocked up to North London Shamrocks and the manager picked me up from the tube station. He was there going 'so what do you do yourself?' I was there, 'I'm a musician like.' He was there, 'it must be fierce tough for you. I know a few lads who own little pubs around north London. I'll see if we can get you a few gigs or a wedding.

"I was like 'thanks but like, we actually played in the 3Arena in Dublin last week...But that's one of the things that I love about it so much, it doesn't matter what you do. You're one of the lads."


He returned home soon after and from 2016 up to recently, had been living with Kevin Mcmanamon in Dublin.

"In 2015, after winning the All-Ireland, I was out with the team in Cassidy's when they were celebrating. I was just after getting the house in Dublin and Kev Mc goes 'I just got kicked out of my house,' and I was like 'do you want to move in?' and he says yeah grand and that was it. So he lived here for the last five years."

And sometime in between, he sang for the Dublin team during a training weekend at Carton House. That was when he met Jim Gavin at his calculated best.

"Jim asked me down to Carton house one year to sing a few songs for the team. Jim met me at the reception, and I really like Jim, but even then I said 'how's it going, are ye moving well?' I thought he'd be like 'yeah we're flying,' or whatever, but it was the stock media answer. 'Ah well you know, Meath will put it up to us now next weekend.' We're going okay. I was like, even me!"

You can listen to the full podcast here.