As HE announced his retirement from the inter-county scene last week, Sean Óg Ó hAilpín has indicated that this time there will be no return.
It did appear that Ó hAilpín’s inter-county career had ended in 2010 when then Cork team manager, Denis Walsh, left the Na Piarsaigh club man out of his squad. But the former Cork captain indicated that he still hoped to play again for the Rebels.
Jimmy Barry Murphy’s appointment as team manager saw Ó hAilpín back in the fold for 2012, and while it was to be his final championship season, he could be well pleased with his performances throughout the summer.
Ó hAilpín was a charismatic and outstanding hurler and much have been made of his journey from Fiji to Cork. Without any doubt it has been an incredible voyage.
During his career he won three All-Ireland medals and six Munster championships (one for football), two National Leagues (hurling and football) and three hurling All-Stars. Unquestionably an impressive haul!
Ó hAilpín’s leadership qualities plus his dedication and commitment were obvious both playing and captaining the Rebels and as one of the main spokesmen during the turbulent disputes with the County Board.
I am sure we will see Ó hAilpín back on the sideline in some capacity or other with Cork in the not too distant future.