The depth of affection for the late Tony Keady far beyond Galway’s borders was underlined again on Saturday when a deputation from Cork visited Oranmore to make a presentation of Cork hurling memorabilia to the Keady family, writes Larry Ryan of the Irish Examiner.
Tony’s wife Margaret and their four children Anthony, Harry, Shannon and Jake were present at Oranmore GAA club to receive a Cork jersey signed by a host of current and former stars as well as a Blackrock jersey signed by several former Rockies greats such as Jim and Tom Cashman, Alan Browne, Wayne Sherlock and Fergal Ryan.
There was also a hurley signed by Cork stars such as Seamus Harnedy, Conor O’Sullivan and Daniel Kearney as well as Tomás Mulcahy and double All-Ireland winner Teddy McCarthy.
And Cork sports shops Cummins and McCarthy's of Glanmire contributed a selection of hurling merchandise.
Keady’s former Galway teammates Eanna Ryan, Pat Malone and Gerry McInerney were in attendance as well as Gerry’s son Gearoid and several of his All-Ireland winning teammates, including Joe Canning, Niall Burke and Conor Whelan, who brought along the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
The visit was the brainchild of Barry O’Brien and his son Luke from the Sarsfields club in Glanmire, Cork. Barry O’Brien formerly played for Blackrock as well as the Cork minor hurlers. St Ita’s club chairman Jim Griffin and daughter Nora were also part of the presentation party.
As well as winning All-Ireland medals in 1987 and 1988 with Galway, Keady played in the memorable 1990 All-Ireland final when Cork overcame Galway in a thrilling final to take the first leg of the famous double.
The 1988 Hurler of the Year died last month, aged just 53.
O'Brien explained how he wanted to organise something to represent the esteem Keady was held in throughout Cork hurling.
“My wife is from Oranmore so I became friendly with Tony and when we’d meet we’d have great chats about Galway hurling and Cork hurling and where both were going.
“He was a magnificent hurler and a gentleman and this was just a small gesture of friendship from the Cork GAA community.”
Keady’s former teammates, led by ex-Galway manager Conor Hayes, have organised a bereavement fund for the future education of the Keady children. Contributions can be made at:
Photos by Ray Ryan