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Dublin: 20 °C Saturday 26 July, 2014

The 42 year-old at the heart of Limerick club Na Piarsaigh’s march to an All-Ireland semi-final

1994 Allstar Damien Quigley is getting set for next Saturday’s clash with Portumna.

Damien Quigley with his children Emma and Colm, and teammates Shane Dowling and Kevin Downes after the 2011 Limerick county final.
Damien Quigley with his children Emma and Colm, and teammates Shane Dowling and Kevin Downes after the 2011 Limerick county final.
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

HE’S THE ONLY player from Na Piarsaigh to have won an Allstar and that was achieved back in 1994 for his exploits with the Limerick hurlers.

Yet two decades on, Damien Quigley’s playing career has yet to grind to a halt and this week he’s getting set for an All-Ireland semi-final.

Na Piarsaigh’s senior hurlers take on Portumna in Thurles next Saturday in pursuit of a place in Croke Park on St Patrick’s day. They possess a team packed with brilliant youngsters – five members of their side won medals with Limerick in the epic Munster U21 final in 2011 – yet there is still room for a veteran like Quigley.

Kevin Downes made way for Quigley towards the end of Na Piarsaigh’s comfortable Munster final win over Sixmilebridge last November. The current Limerick senior regards the long-serving player as an inspiration.

“He’s a massive character around the place. Obviously he’s Na Piarsaigh’s only All Star and he’s 42 years of age now. You’d always pick things up off him, even watching him. He’s so smart on the ball, all those tricks he’s developed.

“His skill is unbelievable. Even in training matches he’s still lighting it up. He’s an inspiration to everyone. It’s incredible really the way he’s going and what shape he’s in for the age he is. He’s a massive influence in the club.”

Downes was only a toddler when Quigley was lining out in Croke Park in the 90′s with the Limerick senior hurlers and marvels at his ability to still feature at the top level.

“I don’t know how he stays going to be honest. He’s always there stretching, he obviously always really minds himself. He’s just a thoroughbred athlete. You see him doing runs at training and he’s up the top. Not a bother to him.”

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