Wednesday 26 April 2017

'My career has to become my priority' – Cork's All-Ireland winning captain Anna Geary announces shock retirement

14 September 2014; Cork captain Anna Geary celebrates with the O'Duffy Cup after the game. Liberty Insurance All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final, Kilkenny v Cork, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
14 September 2014; Cork captain Anna Geary celebrates with the O'Duffy Cup after the game. Liberty Insurance All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final, Kilkenny v Cork, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Cork captain Anna Geary lifts the O'Duffy Cup last September. She has announced her retirement aged 27.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Cork's 2014 All-Ireland winning camogie captain has today announced her retirement from inter-county level.

The 27 year-old has decided to call time on her Rebels career, but says she will continue to play with her club Milford in North Cork.

She made the announcement on RTE's Six One News tonight and described the decision as one of the most difficult she has ever had to make.

Geary, who represented Cork in last year's Rose of Tralee, said she feels the time has come to concentrate on her career away from the GAA.

Cork captain Anna Geary lifts the O'Duffy Cup last September. She has announced her retirement aged 27.
Cork captain Anna Geary lifts the O'Duffy Cup last September. She has announced her retirement aged 27.

“Camogie for the past 12 years has been the focal point of my life and I’ve enjoyed every second of it,” Geary told Marty Morrissey on the RTÉ News. “But now, the career has to become my priority. And you know the career and the direction I’m taking means I can’t give the same level of commitment to camogie.

“And when you’re not prepared to give 100% somebody else needs to take that chance.”

I am privileged to have worn the Cork jersey for as long as I have, but also honoured to have lined out alongside past, present and future heroes of the game.

Her All-Ireland acceptance speech was widely lauded, with her eloquence under pressure underlined why she was chosen as a Rose of Tralee contestant.

The Cork squad had been touched by several tragedies over the course of the year past year, most notably the death of team-mate Jennifer O’Leary’s sister, and she paid tribute to the resolve shown by all involved.

“A lot of people have stuff going on in their lives but for 60 minutes they put it out of their minds,” Geary said.

“We’ve had some people having bereavements and struggles. It puts it into perspective. This is the power of sport, it’s an opportunity for people to create a little bit of happiness through the sadness and that’s what happened with us today.

“You have the power to lift someone else up when they’re down. That’s what sport does. It lifts people up. I think everyone today down in Cork has got a little bit of a lift out of this, I really do.

The Milford club player won four All-Irelands with the Rebel County and was awarded four All Star awards.

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