17 Aug 2022

Former Kilkenny hurler Shem Downey dies

Shem Downey pictured here in 2003 with his daughters Angela (right) and Ann at his home in Kilkenny.Picture Dylan Vaughan
Former Kilkenny and Tullaroan hurler Shem Downey has died aged 91.

Former Kilkenny and Tullaroan hurler Shem Downey has died aged 91.

He was a member of the senior inter-county team between 1946 and 1954. He was part of the Kilkenny side that won the memorable 1947 All-Ireland final against Cork, by 0-14 to 2-7.

Shem also won three Leinster titles with the Cats, and played in the All-Ireland minor hurling final in 1939. He played alongside fellow greats Pat ‘Diamond’ Hayden, Peter Prendergast, Terry Leahy, Jim Langton, and Paddy Buggy, the former GAA president who died earlier this year.

Playing in the midfield and half forward line for his club Tullaroan, he played in five county finals, winning one in 1948. He remained committed and interested in the game long after his playing days had ended.

He was also passionate about camogie. His daughters, Angela and Ann, enjoyed enormous success in the sport, winning 12 All-Ireland camogie medals each and 13 club titles between them.

Shem Downey was born in Conahy on January 5, 1922. He lived in Ballyragget for many years, where he plied his trade as a butcher, on the square. It was in Ballyragget where he reared his family.

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