Five Minutes With

Five minutes with – Down’s Karen Tinnelly

Name: Karen Tinnelly Down v Meath - All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship Final
Age: 27
Occupation: Marketing and Engagement Manager


Teams played for:

Ballyholland Harps, Down, Michael Cusacks Sydney and most recently Australasia for the upcoming GAA World Games in August

If you were throwing a party and you could invite anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you ask around?

First invite would be my bestie Cathy Mulholland/Shields (she would fall out with me if I didn’t include her) Jon Snow from GOT for the eye candy, Conor McGregor for the entertainment and most likely the Harps and Cusacks camogs for the absolute craic these two teams mixed together would be chaos!

Where do you like to go out to celebrate after a big victory?

Have you ever been to Ballyholland GAC? An iPod, microphone and a bar is all we need to have a good night of celebrations or commiserations. Most recently as I am living in Sydney it would start with Ingleburn for a post-match Magners followed by the AYH (Aussie Youth Hotel) or The Bull with the Cusacks crew!

If you weren’t playing GAA what would you be at?

Probably eating a lot more chocolate and Chinese, attending weight watchers and submitting daily applications to the Biggest Loser.

What’s your preferred brand of gear?

Freebies for sure… but when I’m buying Adidas boots and Torpey hurls would be my top two.

Who’s the biggest joker in the teams you play for?

For Ballyholland, Cliona Murtagh would give you a laugh. For Down the Gribben sisters Paula and Karen have you ever heard their rendition of Clean Bandit, Rather Be (with a few tweaks) it’s a classic! For the Cusacks Rachel Hogan (Kilkenny) and Michelle Brosnahan (Limerick) are always up to mischief, although Denise Mooney (Galway) takes the lead even when she is counting 1-10 I can’t take her seriously!

Which team mate has the best looking other half?

Can’t remember her name but her other half is called Gareth Maginn from Drumgath Co Down. I would say him!

Who is the worst trainer?

Probably myself, I undertook the role of joint manager with Cathy Mulholland/Shields in managing Ballyholland senior camogs while both of us were also playing on the team!

Who spends most time in front of the mirror in the dressing room?

For the Ballyholland Camogs, would be the Devine sisters Laura and Jenny (They will kill me for saying this). For Down Paula Gribben takes this one and she would probably be taking selfies in the process! For Cusacks and also from Down Sarah Murphy spends a lot of time in front of the mirror checking her teeth.

Who’s the best/worst person to share a room with on away trips?

Best with the county Maria McNally and worst would be Sara-Louise Carr and Paula Gribben. We had a triple room one trip to Clare and Paula was injured! It made an interesting overnight for sure!
Worst with the Cusacks is pretty much everyone, after a recent weekend in Surfers Paradise – no one is safe!

Who’s the best/worst person to sit beside on the team bus?

Best would be my county buddy Maria McNally and worst would be my two cousins Nicola O’Gorman and Cliona Murtagh from Down & Ballyholland Camogs if you were looking a peaceful journey you wouldn’t be getting one with these two!

Who has the best and who has the worst diet on the team, and what does it include?

One of the best from the County squad and who has also joined me in Sydney with the Cusacks Karen McMullan she has numerous food containers although they mightn’t always contain the healthiest of foods! Colleen Murtagh from Ballyholland probably has the worst, she often forgets to eat and faints or has one of the most dramatic cramps I have ever seen.

Toughest opponent you have faced?

Probably Rachel Hogan from Kilkenny, at weekly training with the Cusacks she likes to keep me on my toes along with a bruise or two! We probably go harder on each other than we do against opposition teams!

Best or worst quote you’ve heard, either from a manager, player, opponent?

Not one for quotes but a simple one ‘never give up’ is true as a match can change so quickly especially here in Sydney or one that sticks with me from County minor days is ‘a bruise will go away a goal doesn’t’.  With Ballyholland Camogs, off the pitch when you hear them quoting/chanting in our own special tune ‘it’s ladies’ night oh what a night’ you know it’s going to be a good one!

Best manager you’ve ever played under?

Can I say my mum? She was involved with the county minor team the year we won the All-Ireland in 2006 which was a nice moment to share! She has been involved with numerous teams that I have played on through the years which is nice.

Best ever performance?

All Ireland Final 2014 – we eventually won it and the team all round had a massive performance.

One to forget?

Actually two, getting beat in Croker in two consecutives All-Ireland Finals was a tricky one!

When you were playing in the back garden, who did you pretend to be?

My cousins and I used to play in my nanny’s garden when we were very young and we would pretend to be Henry Shefflin or David Beckham. Sometimes even the Spice Girls where on our team!

If there was a transfer market who’d be in and who’d be out of the team?

Michaela Convery from Antrim would be in, she is a Ballyholland wannabe anyway!

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