The GAA community in Castlehaven and Cork has been left shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Michael Burns, a member of the 1989 All-Ireland SFC-winning panel.
An eircom employee, Burns was centre-back when Castlehaven won their first county title in 1989 and was still an important part of the panel when they regained it in 1994, appearing as a sub in the drawn final against neighbours O’Donovan Rossa. His son David was on the Castlehaven side which won the SFC in 2012.
“He was a great character,” said former team-mate and current Haven manager Jim Nolan.
“They said that about him when he was in the Cork panel, he was great for team spirit.
“He was usually centre-back or midfield and he always brought a great presence to the team, he was big and strong.”
Having been a sub on the successful 1980 All-Ireland U21-winning side, Burns was at centre-back as the title was retained the following year. He scored two points from midfield in his senior debut, the drawn Munster final against Kerry in 1982, and also lined out at centre-forward for the county.
While he was absent from the panel for much of the mid-1980s, he was recalled by Billy Morgan in 1988. His final championship appearance was as a sub against Tipperary in the Munster campaign in ’89.
His death means that three of the ’89 panel have now passed on. Michael McCarthy of O’Donovan Rossa was killed in a car accident in 1998 while goalkeeper John Kerins succumbed to cancer in 2001.
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