The Cork star won her 17th All-Ireland on Sunday
Briege Corkery is one of the most successful GAA stars ever produced.
Along with team mate Rena Buckley, Corkery won her 17th All-Ireland title across football and camogie. A fortnight ago, the duo were part of a Cork camogie team that lost to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final, and Corkery was not in the mood for that to happen again.
Journalist Mary White has had unprecedented access to the team in recent years and has written the excellent book Relentless on the team. Writing in Monday's Irish Examiner, White spoke about Corkery's half-time speech, which will go down in Cork folklore.
"In her hands she had two photographs. The first she placed on the cold concrete floor at her feet. The second she placed on the wall left of the dressing room door.
“We can either be that person, or we can be that person,” she said, pointing at both, looking around the room. All eyes on her. Not a flicker of an eyelid.
The first snapshot she places on the floor is that of a crumpled Juliet Murphy lying on the turf in Banagher in 2010. The former Cork captain’s chin is tucked into her chest. Torn. Distraught. It’s the 2010 All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Tyrone; the only defeat Cork have suffered in the All-Ireland series since 2005. Corkery doesn’t want to go back there, and she’s not going to allow her teammates go there either.
The second snapshot Corkery face-plants onto the wall seconds later is from Cork’s 2014 comeback against Dublin two years earlier. Ten points down with 16 minutes to go, Eamonn Ryan’s troops came from hell and back to win by a point. This time the snapshot is of goalkeeper Martina O’Brien jumping in the air at the final whistle. The time is now, the feeling is now, and Corkery reminds those bunkered down in dressing room 2 what it’s like to feel elation again. She’s just shown them.
She felt the heartache of defeat two weeks ago with the Cork senior camogie team, and she’s not in the mood to feel it again."
Cork went in at the break a point down to Dublin and turned it around to win by a point, albeit in controversial circumstances. The win was the team's eleventh All-Ireland in the past 12 years.
The 29-year-old has 17 All-Ireland titles to her name already. That list should only grow. With half-time speeches like that, it's easy to see why.