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As the Dublin senior footballers continue their preparations for the All-Ireland senior football final against Kerry and the drive for five, they headed to West Clare to undergo a weekend training camp.

On Saturday, the Dubs trained in Cooraclare as the countdown to their September 1st clash with Kerry in Croke Park continues. Jim Gavin’s side have tended to come to West Clare in the lead up to big games to escape the capital.

Later that evening, members of the management team including Gavin, Jason Sherlock and Declan D’Arcy headed to Walsh’s Pub in Cree where football was part of the conversation with locals.

(L-R); Jack Horgan, Jim Gavin, Jason Sherlock, Nelius Morrissey & Declan D’Arcy. Photograph: Finbar Keating

Co Clare is not just chosen as the location for such getaways because of it’s beauty and heritage but also due to Jim’s strong family connections to the county. His father Jimmy hails from Cree, his mother Ann (neé Vaughan) was born in Moy. They moved to the capital not long after getting married when Ann was offered a teaching post there.

In his youth, Gavin who is regarded as one of the greatest gaelic football managers of all time regularly visited Clare with his parents.

Following last year’s All-Ireland triumph over Tyrone, Gavin revealed that some inspiration for their success stemmed from their trip to Clare which included a stay at Trump Doonbeg and training on the grounds of Kilmihil GAA. “They sent us a lovely mass card and sent us best wishes for the final and it meant a lot to us. We don’t put many posters up in the dressing room, but that was certainly one of them”.

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