PROUD MOMENT Colm Moran (left) is pictured in action for Parke during his Mayo Intermediate championship debut against Lahardane last Sunday week. Pic: Lahardane GAA
Colm Moran transferred to Parke to honour his late father’s memory
IF you tuned into this year’s All-Ireland Hurling Final coverage you may have heard Limerick captain Declan Hannon extend a special word of thanks to Parke defender Colm Moran during his speech from the Hogan Stand.
Hannon thanked Moran for the use of his state-of-the-art gym, Fit 100, in Limerick as the team’s training base throughout their historic campaign that finished with the Liam McCarthy Cup being won.
A proud Limerick man, who played senior championship with the county’s footballers in 2016, Moran watched on from the stands and was overcome with emotion when he heard his name ring around Croke Park.
According to Hannon, Moran and his colleague John Brudair, ‘didn’t ask for a cent’ for the use of their facility on the Ballysimon Road. Instead, they took immense pride in doing their bit for the Limerick cause.
If all of this comes as news to you, don’t be concerned. It will be news to a lot of Mayo people.
So too the fact that a Parke footballer is a proud Limerick man, who only transferred from his home club, Monaleen, to the West Mayo club at the start of this season.
So why is the 28 year-old now playing with Parke?
Well, it turns out that Colm Moran is the son of Parke GAA club legend, Cyril Moran, who also lined out with Mayo. Cyril died suddenly on November 4, 2016, but Colm vividly remembers his father’s grá and passion for his club.
After Cyril’s passing, his son wanted to honour his father’s memory by wearing the Parke colours.
“I won a county title with Monaleen two years ago,” he told The Mayo News. “My father was there to see that and it was a very proud day, but he passed away shortly afterwards with a sudden heart attack.
“He was an avid Mayo supporter, and a Parke one too. He’d always know the team off the top of his head and anywhere we would go with him, he would be stopped by someone who played with or against him.
“So instantly the following year, I wanted to go and play for Parke.”
The drive to try and win a Munster club championship medal with Monaleen delayed his move for another year, but Moran’s decision got the full backing from his native club when the time came.
“I really wanted to play for Parke, but I also didn’t want to let my club down,” he said.
“My manager at the time, Muiris Gavin, convinced me to stay for another year, and I have a lot of respect for him, so I did.
“When he stepped away I told him I wanted to go, but not without his blessing, and he just said, ‘Look, you have my blessing. Good luck with it and the club will always be behind you’.
“I’m very grateful it did happen and that it happened in a tasteful manner.”
DESPITE running a thriving business and rehabbing a back injury, Moran travels to Mayo from Limerick up to three times a week to train and play with Parke. Last Sunday week he made his championship debut in their victory over Lahardane.
He’s noticed many differences in the two club scenes.
“The intensity and the passion is a huge difference,” he said. “It’s great in Mayo because everything is so competitive, where as in Limerick they don’t have that, only for championship.
“There’s so much handbags in Mayo; fellas roaring on the sideline, women in the stand giving out stink to the referee. I’m there and I’m shocked, I’ve never seen anything like this!”
But it’s for those days and for those reasons that Colm Moran made the move.
“It’s nice to be there and involved with people who knew him [his father],” he said. “It’s nice to get to know his friends, shake hands with them and speak to them, just small talk about football and stuff.
“That means a lot to me and it’s a big part of the reason I wanted to play for Parke.”
Ending the famine
CYRIL Moran’s love for Mayo has been inherited by his son too, and he admits that he’s been bitten by the Mayo football bug.
Before he goes to bed every night, he Googles two things: Tesla owner and entrepreneur Elon Musk and Mayo GAA. He’s a big fan of John Gunnigan’s Mayo GAA Blog too.
Watching his native Limerick lift the Liam McCarthy Cup in Croke Park last month was a day he’ll never forget, and one he hopes he can enjoy supporting the Green and Red one day too.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” he smiled. “I sat there for an hour and a half after the game, soaking it all in and it was great to see the boys dancing around after; Seamus Hickey rolling around with his kids, it was brilliant.
“I’ve experienced the other side to that with Mayo when it doesn’t happen and that drive home after the game, you’re depressed for a couple of days after.
“I remember coming into work last year and the year before after Mayo losing the All-Ireland and I was down for the week. But this time it was such a buzz and great for the city too.”
Working and playing hard
MORAN, along with former Limerick football manager John Brudair, established Fit 100 – a data driven fitness centre focusing on strength and movement – three years ago.
It as now established itself as one of the best in the South West and Moran has built up a huge social media following under his online handle, ‘Coach Colm’.
A qualified physiotherapist by trade, Colm Moran and Fit 100 now work with the Limerick hurlers, footballers, Limerick FC and many more teams in the area.
It’s hard to figure out where he gets the time and motivation to travel to Mayo and play Intermediate club football. But, by his own admission, the bond he has made with his new team-mates in Parke make it much easier.
“The lads have been very welcoming and understanding about me making matches and training,” he said. “Plus I’m very passionate about football and I see it as an outlet to express myself.
“It was a great feeling to get that win in the championship because we had lost to Lahardane earlier in the year. That satisfaction is great and just to be in the huddle with the boys after, it means a lot.”
He doesn’t shy away from his intentions this year either!
“We want to win the Intermediate Championship,” he laughed, in his strong Limerick accent. “No doubt about that. That’s always the goal!”
His father, Cyril, would be proud to hear that too.