It was both a look back and a glance forward — an appreciation of a past great and the heralding of her successor. And through all of yesterday’s National Athletics Awards in Santry, there was an excited sense of expectancy with an Olympic year starting to loom on the horizon.
Fintan Burke looks set to follow his cousin David Burke into the Galway senior team and the strength and resilience he will bring has been illustrated by his remarkable recovery from a cruciate injury on St Patrick’s Day to help inspire St Thomas’ to their third county title in four years on Sunday.
By the time Brendan Maher left the Gaelic Grounds last Sunday, he had moved on. After that weighty loss to Limerick, Liam Sheedy gave him and the other Tipperary players a couple of evenings off to decompress before returning to training but he was already thinking of an All-Ireland quarter-final.
The planning started from his sick bed. It was August 2017, and Thomas Barr was lying in his hotel room in London, his World Championships brought to a grinding halt by gastroenteritis, which had reduced a world-class athlete to a sweating, vomiting wreck on the most important day of his year.
Today’s Sigerson Cup final should provide Damien Comer’s seventh start in 25 days but who’s counting? Three wins for NUI Galway in the competition and another three with the county in Allianz League Division 1 underlines what a fruitful start it’s been to 2018 for the Annaghdown forward.