INJURED Charleville hurler Dessie Fitzgerald was back among friends last Saturday as the local GAA club hosted their annual awards night.
Dessie was a member of the junior panel that were presented with their All-Ireland runner up medals having come so close to tasting victory in the competition during the 2011-2012 season.
The atmosphere on the evening was one of celebration, a far cry from that horrific day in October 2011 when Dessie was left fighting for his life following a freak accident on the playing field.
His battle to regain fitness following an accidental collision with a team mate during the county semi-final again Kilbrin, that left him with a debilitating neck injury has been well documented in the media.
However, all thoughts of that terrible day were firmly cast aside last Saturday as the 31-year-old and his teammates were rewarded for their outstanding dedication throughout the All- Ireland run.
Club chairman Mike Walsh said it was great to see Dessie back at the club. "Dessie has always been, and will always be, a huge part of this club. It was great to see him back among friends and teammates. He is a great inspiration to the club and its members, in particular the younger players," said Mr Walsh.