Shane Dooley was born in Tullamore, County Offaly in 1986. He was born into a family that was steeped in hurling history. His great granduncle, Tom Dooley, as well as his great grandfather and another great granduncle had all played with Offaly in the junior All-Ireland finals in 1929 and 1923 respectively. Similarly, for two decades his father Joe and his uncles Billy and Johnny formed the backbone of the Offaly senior hurling team.
Dooley was educated at the local primary school and later attended Tullamore College. It was here that his hurling skills were first nurtured. In 2001 Dooley came on as a substitute as Tullamore College were crowned Leinster Vocational Schools Junior Hurling 'B' champions following a win over Borris Vocational School. He won an All-Ireland Vocational Schools' title in 2004 following a victory over Cork.
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