Kilkenny SHC final: Family occasion as Hogan brothers set for battle

Club is family? Make that ‘clubs are family’ in Sunday’s Kilkenny SHC final, where brothers Brian and Keith Hogan are set to mark one another as Clara meet O’Loughlin Gaels.

It’s not the first time the pair have clashed. What might have started in the back garden, the last duel came in last year’s quarter-final when Clara won out (they didn’t mark one another but there’s a humorous photograph available online of Brian pulling back Keith’s jersey).

After guiding Clara to their last county title in 2013, Keith explained the circumstances behind the differing colours: “Basically, a long story short, my parents got married and were living in town and had my two brothers, Brian and Barry. They moved out to Clara then where they bought the house and settled.

“I was born a year later in Clara. I was born beside the likes of Lester Ryan and Liam and Tom and Mick McDonald. I was baptised in Clara, went off to primary school in Clara, grew up with the boys and that was it. The boys are pure-bred O’Loughlins and I am pure-bred Clara. It is a weird situation but it works, we don’t fall out over it.” The elder Brian last year spoke about the move to Clara: “He (Keith) wasn’t even born! But even though we had moved out there, we were all O’Loughlins people. My parents were both from Kilkenny city and myself and Barry went to St John’s National School. Then Keith came along and although he started national school in St John’s, he ended up going to Clara National School and that became his club. His friends are from there and that’s where he hurls.”

Recalling their last encounter in 2014, Brian admitted it wasn’t such a pleasant experience and he wasn’t referring to the defeat. “Yeah, I’ve come up against him once,” he told Newstalk. “As luck would have it, Keith is centre-half-forward for his club but they didn’t start him there the day we played them. Thankfully, he played wing forward. He was a bit young and they didn’t want him to be squaring up to the big brother! To be honest, it’s something neither of us enjoy.”

The only time the pair did share the same colours was for the county senior side although they never played alongside one another — Keith saw action in the Walsh Cup this year after Brian had retired.


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