DUBLIN DUAL STAR Shane Ryan has retired from inter-county action at the age of 33 due to a persistent back injury.
The Naomh Mearnog clubman collected six Leinster medals with Dublin footballers and was the county’s sole All Star in 2009.
When he still lost his place in Pat Gilroy’s starting XV for the following season, the lure of returning to the hurling squad ahead of the 2010 season became an attractive one.
Ryan looked to be growing back into the role of a top hurler – as he had been in his formative years with Dublin – when he scored a beautiful goal and set up another against an admittedly weakened Limerick side in the 2010 National Hurling League but he struggled to nail down a starting spot for the championship.
When Dublin won a sensational National Hurling League title in 2011, Ryan was a late replacement for David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan in a 0-22 to 1-07 win over Kilkenny.
He did make something of a mark in 2011 championship, however, coming on a scoring a point each against Limerick in the All-Ireland quarter-final and then champions Tipperary in the semi-final.
It was a familiar story for Ryan who played in many heartbreakers for the boys in blue – all the more frustrating as when he was asked back in June 1999 how he would like to be remembered, his answer was: “Definitely for having won something with Dublin.”
The former All Star, who had also previously lost Under-21 finals with Dublin in both codes in 1998, along with a Leinster minor minor with the hurlers as far back as ’96, did not come up short in that respect.
Six Leinster titles to augment that league win with the hurlers are representative of an excellent career for the capital county, not to mention for his country in the International Rules series against Australia (including the bruising affair in 2006), although the glory of an All-Ireland win would elude him.
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