A night at the dogs intended as a fundraiser went ahead last night as a celebration of the life of c after the Tipperary player died on Thursday night.
The 29-year-old inter-county hurler and footballer won an array of honours on the field and battled brain cancer for two years.
Mr Connolly fell ill after playing a Tipperary county hurling semi-final in 2013 with Loughmore-Castleiney, the club with which he won county senior hurling and football titles and a Munster senior hurling trophy.
A year on from his diagnosis and at the same stage of the county championship, he was well enough to return to Semple Stadium and come on as an injury-time substitute in a victory against Mullinahone.
Prior to his illness, Mr Connolly had spent two years on both the Tipperary senior football and hurling panels and in 2012 he captained Tipperary to the Munster and All-Ireland Intermediate hurling titles.
Loughmore-Castleiney paid tribute to him as “one of the greatest people our club has had the privilege of knowing”, adding: “Eddie battled his illness with huge determination, positivity and bravery.”
The ‘Score 4 Eddie’ challenge had gained a large number of participants and donations in the previous week, with proceeds split between the Eddie Connolly Trust Fund and St Luke’s Hospital.
Tipperary County Board chairman Michael Bourke said: “Eddie took to this his greatest test with the same determination and belief that he carried to the fields of play with Loughmore-Castleiney and Tipperary, a true warrior in every sense of the word.”
Many of the versatile defender’s playing colleagues also extended their sympathies after Mr Connolly’s death
Tipperary hurling captain Brendan Maher said on Twitter: “A tough time for all of his family and everyone in Loughmore GAA but Eddie’s legacy will last forever. Gone but never forgotten.”
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