A YEAR ON from his recall to the Cork squad, Rebel legend Sean Óg Ó hAilpín has retired from inter-county hurling and declared “this time it’s for good.”
Ó hAilpín, 35, announced his decision on Friday afternoon, bringing an end to a senior career which spanned 16 years in total including a brief period in exile under former manager Denis Walsh.
The Fijian-born star was deemed surplus to requirements by Walsh and spent 2011 out in the cold, but Ó hAilpín insisted that he was still available for selection and returned to the squad under Jimmy Barry-Murphy last October.
“I wish to announce my retirement from inter-county hurling,” the Na Piarsaigh clubman said in a statement issued through the Gaelic Players’ Association. “This time it’s for good.
“I always felt it was premature to end my career in 2010. It was great to get the opportunity this year to re-establish myself in the team and contribute in a meaningful way to Cork.
“As I close this chapter of my life, I look forward with enthusiasm to the new challenges and opportunities I may encounter.
I would like to thank all the players I played with over my sixteen year career. I have always taken immense pride in wearing the Cork jersey and representing the county I love. I wish the Cork team the best of luck and success in their future endeavours.
Winner of three All-Ireland hurling titles, including one as captain in 2005, Ó hAilpín also won three All-Star awards and was named Hurler of the Year in 2004.
“I’d like to extend a big thank you to my coaches, managers, medical and backroom teams and all the friends I’ve made throughout my hurling career on and off the field,” he continued.
“I would like to thank all of the Cork and GAA supporters around the country for their phenomenal support over the years.
“Particular thank you to all my family and special thanks to Siobhán.”
“I do not wish to make any further comment on this matter.
“Corcaigh abú. Rebels abú!”