BALLYHALE SHAMROCKS have been devastated by the death of two of their rising stars. Sean Malone and Martin Duggan had both been captains of the Shamrocks minor hurling teams.
Sean Malone had captained this year’s minor Ballyhale Shamrock’s team while Martin Duggan had been the captain of the 2010 minor team.
Sean Malone, who was a cousin of former All-Ireland winning captain James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick, had already made the step-up to the senior panel this year while the new management in Ballyhale were planning on bringing Martin Duggan into the senior ranks to compete in next years championship.
The chairman of Ballyhale Shamrocks Sean Reid said he had been involved in coaching both of the promising young hurlers since U-14 level. “They had been involved in the sport since they went to school. They hurled through all the age groups up to the Senior level,” said Mr Reid.
Mr Reid said that the two players were hard workers and the life and soul of training. He said that they always paired off together when it came to doing training drills and that they were very witty in their banter with their coaches. “They were the making of all the teams that they played on,” he said.
Mr Reid said that the tragedy was a huge blow for the parish of Ballyhale. “Christmas around Ballyhale was a very sad occasion. They were lovely people and they came from the nicest of families,” he said.
Sean Malone, at just eighteen years of age, was on this year’s senior hurling panel which lost the county final after a replay to James Stephens.
Both Sean and Martin would have won honours at under age level with their club in both hurling and football. They would have also featured on Scoil Aireagail Ballyhale hurling and other sports teams.
Mr Reid added that the tragedy will hit the club at all age levels and that it will be a long time before they can move on. “No one ever thought that a tragedy like this could happen in this parish. When it happens on your doorstep it really hits home,” he said.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks formed a guard of honour from the camogie and hurling teams at both funerals.