|Irish name||Mícheál Ó Doirbheáin|
|Born||Tynagh, County Galway|
Mick Dervan (born 1889 in Tynagh, County Galway) was an Irish sportsperson. He played hurling with his local club Tynagh and with the Galway senior inter-county team in the 1920s. Dervan is regarded as one of Galway’s greatest-ever players.
Dervan played his club hurling with his local club in Tynagh and enjoyed much success. He won his first senior county title in 1920. Dervan added further county medals to his collection in 1922, 1923, 1925 and 1928.
Dervan first came to prominence on the inter-county scene with Galway in the early 1920s. At the time Galway were unopposed in the Connacht Championship and had an easy passage to the All-Ireland semi-final every year. Dervan‘s side lost to Dublin and Limerick respectively in the All-Ireland semi-finals of 1920 and 1921.
In 1922 the Connacht championship was revived for the first time since 1917. That year Dervan collected a Connacht title as Galway defeated Roscommon in the provincial final. The men from the West were later defeated by Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final.
In 1923 Galway were unopposed n Connacht once again and went straight into the All-Ireland semi-final. Kilkenny, the All-Ireland champions of 1922, provided the opposition in that game, however, Galway emerged victorious by 5-4 to 2-0. For the first time since the inaugural championship in 1887 Galway had reached the All-Ireland final. Limerick, winners of the All-Ireland semi-final over Donegal, were the opponents, however, the team refused to play until all Civil War prisoners were released. Limerick were initially disqualified and the title awarded to Galway, however, the game eventually took place. Mick Gill’s tactic of dropping the sliothar into the square paid dividends as Galway won the game by 7-3 to 4-5. Not only was it Derivan’s first All-Ireland title but it was also the first time that the county had won the championship.
In 1924 Galway defeated Tipp by a single point to set up an All-Ireland final meeting with Dublin. Mick Gill, who had played with the Galway team for the previous championship, was now a key member of the Dublin team. Galway took an early lead but ‘the Dubs’ got back on level terms when Garrett Howard drove the ball and the Galway goalkeeper, Junior Mahony, into the net. Dublin also copied Galway’s tactic of dropping the sliothar into the goalmouth, thus securing a 5-3 to 2-6 victory.
In 1925 Galway trounced Kilkenny by 9-4 to 6-0 in the All-Ireland semi-final to set up a championship decider with Tipperary. It was Galway’s third All-Ireland final in-a-row, however, Tipp got off to a great start with two quick goals. Derivan’s side never recovered and lost the game by 5-6 to 1-5.
The next two seasons saw Galway face defeat in the All-Ireland semi-final, however, the team received special treatment in 1928. That year Galway got a bye into the All-Ireland final without even picking up a hurley. Cork were the opponents on that occasion and trounced Galway by 6-12 to 1-0. This defeat brought Derivan’s inter-county hurling career to an end.
- Corry, Eoghan, The GAA Book of Lists (Hodder Headline Ireland, 2005).