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OVER THE BAR GAA golden couple Dean Rock and Niamh McEvoy thrilled with success of new coffee shop

Dublin legends Rock and McEvoy kick off their booming new business during Covid lockdown to give locals their caffeine fix

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Niamh McEvoy and Dean Rock run Fancy That.

Niamh McEvoy and Dean Rock run Fancy That.

Niamh McEvoy and Dean Rock run Fancy That.

GAA golden couple Dean Rock and Niamh McEvoy may be licking their wounds after both missing out on All-Ireland glory but they're waking up and smelling the coffee with their new business.

Their new coffee shop is so busy that Niamh has left her job as a teacher to concentrate full-time on the venture.

Dean is also not work-shy when it comes to helping with the Fancy That business in Garristown, north Co Dublin, and he undertook a course to become a barista.

Together the couple share an astonishing 11 All-Ireland winners' medals - Dean has seven and Niamh an impressive four.

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Niamh and Dean have a huge haul of All-Ireland
medals between them.

Niamh and Dean have a huge haul of All-Ireland medals between them.

Niamh and Dean have a huge haul of All-Ireland medals between them.

 

Dean (31), son of legendary 1983 All-Ireland winner Barney Rock, has been the victim of widescale rumours in recent days about his health.

"The rumours have been gaining ground, from being in a car crash to losing my hand," he said when asked about them.

"I was actually involved in a gardening accident. It happened about two weeks ago, and I broke a finger on my left hand, which is strapped up. Luckily I'm right-handed so it hasn't affected me too badly."

Dean says the idea for the coffee shop grew when he moved back in with his parents in Garristown in January during the height of lockdown, when Niamh went to Australia to play Aussie Rules.

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Fancy That in Garristown, Dublin

Fancy That in Garristown, Dublin

Fancy That in Garristown, Dublin

 

"When I was back living at home there was nowhere open and the nearest place you could get a coffee was in Ashbourne. I thought that Garristown would be a good location to open a place like that up, and it was near the local school," he recalls.

"So it was kind of one of those things where we didn't really know how it was going to go, but thankfully it has been doing great so far and people are enjoying it."

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Niamh (30) was based in Melbourne, where coffee shops are flourishing.

"Niamh would be more intrigued with coffee, having been in Melbourne where it's very popular, and she saw how it worked there," he says.

"She did a course in it and gained a lot of experience in it. Coffee became a big hit, especially during Covid.

"I do help out a bit, particularly in the first few weeks. I'm a part time qualified barista, and I did a week long course."

Niamh manages Fancy That and is helped there by her mum and a local girl, with members of the local GAA team also giving a hand from time to time.

"We are open about 10 or 11 weeks and it has been great so far," beams Dean. "The people of Garristown and the surrounding areas have been very supportive; it's been brilliant."

The couple shared an apartment until earlier this year and have now moved into a new pad in Malahide.

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The Fancy That team.

The Fancy That team.

The Fancy That team.

 

When jokingly asked if he'd consider playing for the seaside town's St Sylvester's club, Dean laughed: "I don't think Ballymun Kickhams would be too happy!"

The couple first met while coaching kids at a summer camp in 2014.

When once asked was it love at first sight, Dean replied "No, I wouldn't say that," before adding: "Obviously it took Niamh a while longer to be drawn to me but for me, first time, it was [love], yeah."

He revealed that he watched half a dozen reruns of Niamh's 2017 final win but only one of Dublin's win over Mayo, despite kicking a memorable winner that day himself.

Dean has a full-time job as a financial adviser with Limerick-based Metis Ireland.

"Paddy Andrews is working alongside me there and it's very enjoyable," he admits.

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Star player Niamh.

Star player Niamh.

Star player Niamh.

 

Left corner forward Dean is Dublin's main free taker and is his county's highest scorer of all time.

He is naturally disappointed the Dubs were knocked out of the All Ireland by Mayo in the semi-final.

"Unfortunately, on the day we weren't good enough and we have to pick ourselves up and move on and focus on next season," he reflects. "It's been a great few years and I'm very thankful for it."

It's traditional for the All-Ireland winners go on a foreign holiday at the expense of the county board and in recent years Dublin have visited America and South Africa.

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Dean Rock starring for Dublin.

Dean Rock starring for Dublin.

Dean Rock starring for Dublin.

 

"We missed out on the holiday last year due to Covid," he says. "I don't think that will now go ahead. It's just one of those unfortunate things and unfortunately we didn't get to the final this year, so the only reward we will be getting is going back training!"

Niamh's Dublin ladies' team were going for five All-Irelands in a row this year but last Sunday were beaten in the final by Meath.

"The girls were disappointed, but again they were beaten like ourselves by the better team on the day and can have no complaints - full credit to Meath as they played very well," he says.

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