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Sport

Tipperary GAA Scene

by Joe Bracken

ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE

In what was always going to be a difficult campaign, the 2019 Allianz football league promised much for the Tipperary footballers, but unfortunately it failed to deliver, as an injury plagued side paid the ultimate sacrifice which signalled a return to division 3 for next season. In going down to Clare last Sunday in round 7, on a 3-15 to 1-19 score-line, the players could not be faulted as they gave of their all to stay up. They are division 2 material, of that there is no doubt, and the hope now, is with a fully fit squad at the managers disposal they can make a swift return next season.

Unfortunately, being participants in an excellent game of football and still coming out second best with one of the highest scores on the final day of league offers little comfort, but it does portray the level of effort committed by the players. Before an attendance of 1,431 Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen) had a starring role shooting 1-9 and lead by terrific example as Tipp took the game to Clare only for then to see it wrestled out of their grasp in the dying moments of this league journey.

Tipp will dust themselves down and with the prospect of colleagues coming back from injury; they will no doubt refocus the sights and take aim at a determined shot at the Munster championship where first up it will be a home quarter-final tie against Limerick on Saturday, May 11th at 7pm.

LADIES GAELIC FOOTBALL & CAMOGIE

Congratulations to the Tipperary Ladies Gaelic Football team who had a deserving 1-15 to 2-11 win over Monaghan in the Lidl NFL Division 1 clash also in Semple stadium on Sunday last. This win ensures Tipperary stay in the division for next season.

There was also a good win for the Tipperary camogie team as they defeated Carlow 1-20 to 1-4 in their division 2 tie in the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League.

MUNSTER MINOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

The 2019 Electric Ireland Munster GAA Football Minor Championship is next on the agenda for Tipperary followers when Matt O'Doherty's side get their phase 1 campaign under way on April 10th against Waterford at a Tipperary venue.

The following week, April 17th the side will play Clare in Cusack Park, Ennis and the third match in this group phase will take place again at a Tipperary venue on April 24th against Limerick.

REFEREE

Best wishes to Derek O'Mahoney (Ardfinnan) as he will take charge of the Allianz Football League Division 2 final between Donegal and Meath in Croke Park on Saturday next, March 30th at 5pm.

CLUB FIXTURES

This weekend sees the first of the action get under way in three of the divisional senior championships with a host of other games down for decision as well.

Tipperary CCC has also announced the times and venues for the first rounds of the Tipperary Water Senior, Seamus Ó Riain and Intermediate hurling championships which will take place on the weekend of April 6th and 7th.

The were some games played in the Tipperary Water County Hurling Leagues last weekend and for details of all results and fixtures please check https://tipperary.gaa.ie/fixtures-results/

POST PRIMARY

Congratulations to Borrisokane C.C. who are the Masita GAA Post Primary Schools Michael Cusack Cup (Senior C Hurling) winners following their 1-22 to 1-12 victory over Coláiste na Coiribe (Galway) in the final in Duggan Park, Ballinasloe last Saturday.

HANDBALL

The All-Ireland 40 x 20 juvenile and adult singles finals were hosted by Kingscourt at the weekend. Tipperary were through to one juvenile final and three adult finals. In the Girls U14 Doubles Hannah Grace and Leanne Gould (Lahorna) were in top form once again and had a convincing win over Leah Ní Mhainnin & Cliodhna Ní Chonghaile from Galway winning 15/3, 15/8. The winning Tipperary duo are pictured above.

In the adult grades John Kennedy (below) from the Silvermines was on top throughout in the SMBS and coasted to a 21/8, 21/8 victory. In the MBS Brian O'Brien got off to a poor start and was unfortunately defeated.

Congratulations to the Tipperary winners and well done to all involved and we now look forward to the All-Ireland adult doubles semi-finals on Sunday April 14th against Leinster opposition.

TIPPERARY ASSOCIATION DUBLIN AWARDS

Irish Paralympian, Peter Ryan of Upperchurch has been chosen as Tipperary Person of the Year for 2018 by the Tipperary Association Dublin.

Sister Eileen Fahey of Aiseiri, Cahir will be inducted in the Association's Hall of Fame for her lifelong service and devotion to people with alcohol addiction.

The awards will be presented at a function in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Dublin on Friday March 29.

Liam Myles, President of the Tipperary Association Dublin, stated that Peter Ryan is a truly inspirational person with, as his nomination states “a unique ability to turn disability into ability, potential into powerful achievements and a negative into a positive”. He has illustrated resilience and dogged determination to overcome the challenges that life put in his way with a mindset of “can do” that has propelled him to the highest level in Paralympian athleticism.

Growing up in Upperchurch, Peter seemed to be fulfilling his ambitions when he was selected for the Tipperary minor hurling team in 2008. Unfortunately, just before his 20th birthday he suffered a cruel blow when he was diagnosed with Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a rare genetic condition, which struck without warning.

His vision was reduced by 80 per cent - most of that peripheral. Until that point, he lived a normal perfect life with a balance of work, sport and social activities - like most 20 year olds. The loss of work and sport because of his condition left him over dependent on his social activities so much so that he hit a very low point in his life. He ended up in a “dark place” but he had the strength to recognise that he needed to change his ways before it was too late. With the help of family, friends and a stint in Aiseiri, Cahir in 2012 he mastered his demons and turned his life around for the better.

That year a chance visit to UCD for a Paralympian Open Day led to a new direction in his life when, after a test, he showed special aptitude for cycling. He went on to take up tandem cycling and became an almost instant success. He later teamed up as stoker on the tandem with Sean Hahessy of Carrick Wheelers as the pilot. His achievements include National titles and he was selected to represent Ireland at International level. He achieved 8th place in the World championships in 2015 in the 4 Kilometre pursuit and represented Ireland at the Paralympics in Rio in 2016. Peter is currently in training for the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.

2018 was a special year in the life of Peter Ryan. Firstly, he and Sean created the record of being the first ever tandem to complete the Race Around Ireland - a gruelling 2157 Km. cycle race the full circuit of the country. They completed the race in 122 hours and 33 minutes - well under the 132 hours allowed. Secondly, he was the first legally blind person to complete the race. Peter used his participation to raise funds for two deserving causes in local communities. Despite little publicity, he raised more than €90,000 - well above his target of €50,000 - for two children affected by serious illnesses.

Myles concluded by stating that “to date Peter Ryan has reached heights that most of can only dream of. His success has not changed him. He remains a likeable, affable, good individual as anyone who has met will attest to. He has ambitions to do more for those in need. For his achievements in 2018, his status as an elite athlete, the inspiration he is to us all, Peter Ryan is a worthy winner of the Tipperary Person of the Year for 2018.”

Hall of Fame 2018

Sister Eileen Fahey, a native of Bansha, was announced as the Hall of Fame winner in recognition of her lifetime contribution to addiction treatment. She gained national prominence many years ago when she founded Aiseiri in Cahir. In the early 1980s, through her work in addiction, she discovered that a serious vacuum existed in community addiction treatment services. Her response was to develop a residential treatment facility, which she called Aiseiri. Sister Eileen showed strong and dynamic leadership from the very beginning and in a very short time her Aiseiri project was recognised, not just in Ireland but internationally, as one of the most professional and effective addiction treatment models. She was Director for 30 years as new centres opened in Wexford, Waterford, and Kilkenny. Since 1983, more than 6,000 people and their families have availed of its services with over 60% managing to turn their lives around. Initiatives undertaken by Aiseiri include the setting up the first Therapeutic, Drug-free, Addiction Training in Ireland.

She had the energy and the tenacity to persuade people and institutions to support her cause. The Sisters of Mercy backed Sr. Eileen, public fundraising raised significant moneys and later the Health Board provided support. She follows in the great tradition of religious people and congregations who provided Education, Health Care and Social Services in Ireland and further afield.

Sister Eileen decided a few years ago to retire as Director of Aiseiri and she passed on the baton to a Chief Executive Officer. As the founder of Aiseiri this too took great vision, courage and no little wisdom. However, Sister Eileen continues to serve the community -for example, she is the local organiser and facilitator of the Cahir branch of Grow - a support group for people coping with mental health issues.

For her lifelong commitment and leadership role in the great, continuing work of Aiseiri Sister Eileen Fahey is a worthy winner of The Tipperary Association Dublin Hall of Fame Award.

Tickets (€45 each) for the awards function available from Pat Ryan, 11 Foxfield Grove, Raheny, Dublin 5. Or on mobile 087 6376663 and email: psoriain@eircom.net

SYMPATHY

We express the sympathy of Tipperary County Board and supporters to all bereaved recently, including the family of the late Tommy Mulcahy, president of Nenagh Eire Óg GAA Club and recipient of a Laochra Gael award in the Dome last November in recognition of his lifetime of service to the GAA.

Sympathy also to the wife and family of the late Pat Ryan (Ger) Littleton and a member of Moycarkey-Borris GAA Club. Pat was on the Tipperary minor teams of 1954 (sub) which lost to Dublin in the All-Ireland final, the 1955 side which beat Galway in the final and was captain in '56 when Tipp defeated Kilkenny. He was also on the Tipperary intermediate team which defeated Cork in the Munster Final but lost the All-Ireland final after a replay against Wexford.

At that time Pat was a member of the Tipperary senior hurling panel between 1958 and '64. Tipperary defeated Dublin 0-16 to 1-12 in the '61 final and Kilkenny 5-13 to 2-8 in the '64 final.

HEALTH & WELLBEING

As this month draws to a close, just a quick reminder that March is gambling awareness month. Problem gambling has become a major concern in modern society. Gambling can be difficult to give up but there are services and supports available no matter how hopeless the situation may feel. If you have a gambling problem or you are someone concerned about a family member or friend who you think might have one the following websites will be of help.

hse.ie gambling-yourmentalhealth

spunout.ie

gamblersanonymous.ie

Clubs are also requested to take note that the Healthy Club Officer training is on April 11th next. Please ensure your club has a Healthy Club Officer in place and if recently appointed please send name and contact details of your officer to chair.hwc.tipperary@gaa.ie