Tributes have been paid to a former All-Ireland winner who played a key part in one of the most bizarre hurling championships ever played.
Tom Larkin, who was laid to rest on Tuesday in Kilsheelan, was centre-forward on the Tipperary team which won the 1958 All-Ireland final.
They beat a Galway team in the final who were given a bye direct to the All-Ireland decider without having to play a single match.
In contrast, Tipperary had to defeat Limerick, Cork, and Waterford to win the Munster championship, and then see off Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Larkin was among the scorers that day as they saw off the Cats by 1-13 to 1-8 in front of a crowd of 53,357.
That was 6,000 more than turned up for the All-Ireland final when Tipperary scored a 4-9 to 2-5 win over Galway. The following year Galway entered the Munster championship where they played for a decade.
Tipperary’s win was their 17th All-Ireland title and former county board chairman and current Munster council delegate Sean Nugent, a Kilsheelan-Kilcash clubmate of Larkin’s, said the homecoming after that victory was special.
“It was one of the greatest events that I remember in the parish. Nearly someone from every household in the parish came out to welcome them home.
“He’s probably remembered a lot for that but he was a star club player as well. A dual player. He certainly gave a huge lot back in terms of training teams,” said Nugent.
Larkin almost won a national league medal in 1959 and after recovering from a broken leg in New York he helped Tipperary win their first intermediate All-Ireland title four years later.
Larkin, who was born in 1931, was also an accomplished footballer who won a Munster junior championship with Tipperary in 1952. He trained Kilsheelan to win county senior football titles in 1968 and ’72.
Larkin, who was predeceased by his wife Joan, is survived by his sons Eugene and Eric.
He was laid to rest in Kilsheelan after his funeral Mass at Gambonsfield Church.