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Fergal Healy in action for Craughwell in 2013
|Irish name||Feargall Ó hÉilí|
Craughwell, County Galway
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
Fergal Healy (born 1977 in Craughwell, County Galway) is an Irish sportsperson. He plays hurling with his local club Craughwell and has been a member of the Galway senior inter-county team from 1997-2009.
Healy plays his club hurling with his local club in Craughwell and has enjoyed much success. He started to hurl with the club when he was only seven years-old and went on to play in county under-14 and under-16 finals before inspiring the rural Galway side to an historic under-21 county championship breakthrough in the mid-1990s. Healy, however, has never won a senior county title with his club.
Healy came to prominence on the inter-county scene with Galway at an early age. As a member of the county's under-14 team he captured a Tony Forrestal Cup winners' medal in the early 1990s. Healy was later chosen on the Galway under-16 team, with whom he collected a Nenagh Co-Op title.
Healy subsequently became a member of the Galway minor team, where he was successful once again. In 1993 Galway qualified for the All-Ireland final, however, Healy was not a member of the starting fifteen. He did enter the field of play as a substitute, however, Galway were defeated by Kilkenny on that occasion. In 1994 Galway were back in the All-Ireland minor final once again, with Healy lining out on the half-forward line. Cork provided the opposition on this occasion, however, Galway emerged victorious by 2-10 to 1-11. It was Healy's first All-Ireland medal. Healy played with the Galway minor again in 1995, however, the team's championship involvement ended at the semi-final stage.
In 1996 Healy was eligible to play with the Galway under-21 hurling team. It was a successful year as the county reached the All-Ireland final in that grade. Wexford were the opponents in that game, however, Galway had a comfortable 1-14 to 0-7 victory. It was Healy's first All-Ireland medal in the under-21 grade. In 1997 Galway qualified for the All-Ireland final once again. This time Cork provided the opposition and it was Cork who claimed the victory at the full-time whistle. 1998 saw Healy line out in a third consecutive All-Ireland under-21 final. Cork were the opponents once again. After an entertaining hour of hurling it was 'the Rebels' who emerged victorious by 2-15 to 2-10.
1996 also saw Healy taste success with the Galway junior hurling team. That year Healy's county reached the All-Ireland final in that competition. Kilkenny provided the opposition on that occasion, however, it was Galway who took a 1-14 2-9. This gave Healy a coveted All-Ireland title at junior level.
Healy made his competitive debut with the Galway senior hurling team in 1997. It took him a few years, however, before he established himself on the championship team.
In 1999 Galway qualified for the final of the National Hurling League competition. Tipperary provided the opposition on that occasion, however, after an entertaining seventy minutes it was Tipp who emerged victorious by 1-14 to 1-10. 1999 also saw Healy taste success with the Galway intermediate hurling team. That year Healy's county reached the All-Ireland final in that competition. Kilkenny provided the opposition on that occasion, however, it was Galway who took a 3-13 to 2-10. This gave Healy a coveted All-Ireland title at intermediate level.
2000 saw Galway reach the National League final for a second year in-a-row. Tipperary were the opponents once again, however, on this occasion Galway had the upper-hand. A 2-18 to 2-13 victory gave Healy his first major title at senior level. Later that same year Healy made his senior championship debut in an All-Ireland quarter-final against Tipperary. Galway recorded a victory on that occasion, however, Healy had a less than auspiscious debut. Galwya were defeated by Kilkenny in the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final.
In 2001 Galway ended a barren spell in the championship by reaching the All-Ireland final. Recent rivals Tipperary were the opponents in what turned out to be an entertaining contest. Healy had a good game in the forward line. He scored a goal for Galway and hit the post twice, however, Mark O'Leary's two goals gave Tipp the threshold to withstand a Galway fight-back. At the full-time whistle Tipp were the victors by 2-18 to 2-15.
Galwya went through a barren spell following this appearance in the championship decider. In 2005 Galway shocked Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final in one of the games of the decade to book a spot in the All-Ireland final with Cork. A Ben O'Connor goal in the sixteenth minute paved the way for a cork victory, in spite of a Damien Hayes goal reducing the deficit to one point. Galway failed to score in the last ten minutes as Cork recorded a 1-21 to 1-16 victory.
The following few seasons saw Galway fail to build on this. In 2006 and 2007 Kilkenny restored the status quo by defeating Galway in the All-Ireland quarter-finals. In 2008 Healy's side failed to beat fourteen-man Cork, thus not even reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final in spite of great expectations.