It’s been a short-lived retirement from inter-county hurling for Limerick’s Niall Moran, officially now back on the extended panel for the Munster final against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday week.
“Niall has been training with us since before the Tipperary game,” manager TJ Ryan said yesterday.
“We brought him in for some 15 v 15s and Mike Fitzgerald from Doon as well, but Mike got a hamstring injury in a club game so he’s been unfortunate. But yeah, he’s [Niall] back alright.”
And part of the panel proper, as opposed to the training panel? “Yeah, I would think so.”
Having helped Limerick to Munster honours last year, making an impact in all three championship games off the bench, though still only 30 and in superb shape, Niall took everyone by surprise by announcing his retirement from the inter-county scene in December.
“Look at the number of lads from the All-Ireland champions this year, Clare and Dublin, who have gone back into full-time education,” he said at the time. “It’s become far too demanding. Everything has to revolve around it. You’re looking at full-time training.”
TJ Ryan, however, felt this was a premature decision. “At the start of the year, I tried to change his mind but Niall had a lot of things going on, between teaching, farming and building a house. You have to take into consideration people have lives outside of this. We’re looking for 24/7 but actually this is what we do as a hobby.”
With the house now completed, on summer holidays from his job as a secondary teacher in Árdscoil Rís, Niall found himself with more time on his hands and was more than happy to answer TJ’s call.
“We had a few injuries before Tipperary so he was one of the calls I made and he was mad keen. He came back and we said we’d have a look, there was no pressure on either side but he’s back now and he knew 100% what it was about. Niall is a top man.”
On the injury front, nothing new to report. “David Reidy’s been out since before the Tipp game with a shoulder injury. Conor Allis has an ankle injury, I don’t know if he’ll be right or not. Alan Dempsey took a knock to the knee but he should be okay.”
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